Let’s Rethink Stockpiling Ammunition
Kevin Felts 12.07.16
If there is one thing preppers like to brag about, it has to be about stockpiling ammunition. They like to talk about how many thousands of rounds or even tens of thousands of rounds they have stockpiled for various calibers.
It is not uncommon for a prepper/survivalist to have 10,000 rounds of 22 long rifle, 5,000 rounds of 223 Remington / 5.56mm, 5,000 rounds of 7.62×39, 5,000 rounds of 308 Winchester, and a thousand rounds for every rifle.
The basic consensus on stockpiling ammunition is at least one thousand rounds per rifle. For magazine fed rifles such as the AK-47, AK-74 and AR-15, stockpile as much ammunition as you can afford.
I have to step back and question that mindset. Why should preppers stockpile thousands of rounds for calibers that are ballistically similar? Maybe we need to rethink how preppers are stockpiling ammo.
Stockpiling Calibers With Similar Ballistics
Firearms are tools that perform a specific purpose. What happens when more than one tool can perform a specific task?
Let’s take the 30-30 Winchester for example. It is the perfect deer rifle for shots 150 yards and less using 150 grain Remington Core-Lokt. Some people argue the 30-30 is a 100 yard rifle, while others say it is fine for much more. For the sake of discussion, let’s say 150 yards.
Other notable calibers:
- 243 Winchester
- 257 Roberts
- 270 Winchester
- 270 Winchester Short Magnum
- 280 Remington
- 7mm Magnum
- 303 British
- 308 Winchester
- 30-06 Springfield
- 300 Winchester Magnum
- 308 winchester Short magnum
- 8mm Mauser
The list goes on and on and on and on. Since the early 20th century firearm manufacturers have developed a plethora of calibers and rifles that shoot said calibers. The problem is, many of the calibers listed above perform very similarly and in some cases identically to other calibers.
Hunting calibers were developed to take wild game. In most cases, the wild game is Whitetail deer. There is also the Blacktail deer, Pronghorn antelope, Moose, Caribou, Bear, Mule deer, wild hogs, etc.
Let’s take the 30-30 Winchester for example, yet again. What can the 30-30 Winchester do that the 308 Winchester can not? How about the 270 Winchester? What can it do that the 280 Remington and the 30-06 Springfield can not do?
Realistic Approach to Stockpiling Ammunition
In the mid-1990s I received a bolt action Remington model 700 chambered in 280 Remington. For hunting in southeast Texas, I thought this was going to be the perfect cartridge. However, I did not know 20 years later a box of 20 rounds would cost at least $25.
Stockpiling 270 winchester, 280 Remington and 308 Winchester, my main deer hunting calibers, is not realistic. To stockpile a thousand rounds of 280 Remington would cost an estimated $1,250. Why would I want to stockpile a thousand rounds of 280 Remington when the 308 Winchester can do the same exact job and for a much more reasonable price?
However, there are situations when dealing with large and dangerous game that only certain calibers will get the job done. Shooting Whitetail deer at 150 yards is it not one of those situations.
Most hunters own several rifles in various calibers. If the rifles are the popular cartridges for a given area, does the person need to stockpile a thousand rounds per rifle?
I say the answer is NO.
Affordable Approach to Stockpiling Ammunition
Pick a caliber that works for your area, then stockpile a thousand rounds for that rifle.
Have a backup rifle and have around 200 rounds for that rifle.
Let’s say our backup rifle is a Marlin 336 in 30-30 Winchester. Now lets say we are spending $16 for a box of 20. Two hundred rounds would cost an estimated $160 plus tax. For the sake of discussion, let’s round that up to an even $200.
Spread that $200 out over several months. Pick up a box here and there, and before you know it you will reach your goal.
In my case, I would have at least a thousand rounds of 308 Winchester, 200 rounds of 270 Winchester, and 200 rounds of 280 Remington.
That is a realistic and affordable approach to stockpiling ammunition for a SHTF event. Or even stockpiling ammunition for when the family goes to a local shooting range.