When stashing ammunition for survival purposes there’s a few aspects to consider regarding the types of ammunition to store, reasons for storing it, and how much to store.
Types of Ammunition to Store
The type of ammunition you want to store should obviously reflect the calibers of the weapons you have in your arsenal (See Survival Weaponry). That means the decision of which type of ammunition you want to stock needs to extend back before you purchase the weapon. A good rule of thumb is to stick with weapons that are able to use common calibers. Common calibers include .223, .308 (or 7.62×51 NATO), 7.62×39, and for hand guns .40 and .45 calibers. For shotguns normally 12-gauge shells are used, with a combination of slug rounds and buck-shot.
Automatic Rifles normally use the .223 rounds, with some using the .308 or 7.62×51 rounds. Weapons that use the .308 rounds have the advantage of allowing you to stock ammunition that is widely used by many hunters and many single-shot bolt action rifles, one of the most common weapons in department store hunting sections today. The 7.62×39 is the round of choice for anyone with an AK-47, arguably the most versatile weapon in any arsenal. This weapon is accurate up to around 100-150 yards for most shooters but is also more adaptable to situations that require close quarter firing. Finally, the .40 and .45 calibers are very common for handguns and are two calibers with sufficient stopping power, low enough cost, and enough availability to make these calibers a viable option. We excluded the 9mm as an option due to it’s smaller size, but it’s also a common caliber round.
Reasons for Storing Ammunition
Reasons for storing ammunition are based on your personal needs and need for security. Other reasons could include your hunting needs if you’re in a rural area, and the reason gaining most traction among survivalists is for barter. As mentioned above, it’s wise to store popular caliber of ammunition if you intend to barter them. If the economy fails or the world falls into turmoil the things that will become the most valuable are going to be food, medical products, tools & equipment, and maybe most highly-valued; ammunition. Ammunition will hold it’s value and prize itself as a valuable commodity long after food and medical supplies have hit their expiration date. With ammunition and a good weapon you’ll be able to hunt and protect your family for years. You’ll also be able to trade neighbors for their valuable produce, materials, or goodwill if you’ve got a supply of ammunition.
Ammunition is also very durable, if it’s in a waterproof container it can last for years underground, in basements, in closets, and hidden away in safe locations.
How Much Ammunition to Store
Ammunition has become outrageously priced in the last few years (Lovingly referred to as the O’Bama Tax by ammunition hoarders everywhere), and it isn’t as cheap as it once was. I was recently opening a case of 500 7.62×39 rounds I had bought 5 years ago and found the receipt still in the box. Comparing what I paid then to today’s prices I nearly tripled the value of my investment. Great for people who bought a while ago, not so great for people just looking to start.
The good news is you can still obtain and reasonable size stash of ammunition on a budget. If you can afford to spend 4-500$ in a single go then buying bulk off an online retailer is right for you. At current prices you can expect to get between 1000 and 1500 rounds of a good quality product for a solid caliber.
If you’re operating on a budget the easiest way to start working on an ammo stash is to throw in a box of 15-20 rounds every time you visit the grocery store (many of the bigger chains have hunting sections and ammunition at reasonable prices).
Depending upon your situation and how much you can afford you’ll need varying amounts of ammunition in your storage locker. If you live in a rural area, have strong relationships with neighbors, friends, and local organizations, you’ll obviously fair better on ammunition usage than if you live in an area with lots of people that is prone to more social unrest.