Ammo Stockpiling – Busting Myths with Real Data

Opinion by Rational Preps via Youtube. All credit for video and transcript is the property of Rational Preps.
This video uses select data to debunk common myths about stockpiling ammunition for SHTF situations. It explains why using ammo for barter is a terrible idea, how much you really need for self-defense and hunting, and the truth about hoarding ammo for militia activities.

Editors Note: While we do not agree with all the points made in this older video it is worth having the debate. ps: we still stockpile ammo.

UPDATE: Read Dean Weingarten's rebuttal ~ Ammo Stockpiling: Why You Can Never Have Too Much.

VIDEO REMOVED FROM YOUTUBE

*Machine Transcript follows, [sic].
USA – -(AmmoLand.com)- So-called experts love to pontificate on the amount of ammunition preppers should stockpile. Some say 500 rounds per gun. Others say 1000. Still, others scoff and say those numbers are child's play.

This video looks at real-world data to cut through the B.S. and determine what a smart investment in ammo really looks like. There are four primary rationales used for stockpiling ammunition. Self-defense, hunting, militia activities, and perhaps the worst idea ever. Using ammo for barter.

First self-defense.

In 2018 only a minuscule percentage of U.S. citizens actually fired guns in self-defense. Cops confront criminals daily, but most have never fired their weapons in the line of duty. Smart preppers also know to avoid gunfights like the plague. But if you must fight it's good to know how many shots you should expect to fire when guns are drawn. A New York City police report based on more than 30,600 shooting incidents showed that cops fire an average of only two point nine shots per incident. Claude Werner surveyed close to 500 successful firearm self-defense reports 36 percent of which involved multiple assailants. He found successful civilian defenders fire an average of only two shots per incident. Greg Ellifritz studied more than seventeen hundred real-world gunfights. He determined that all weapon types incapacitate aggressors with an average of less than two head or torso hits. There will always be outliers on the high end, but that's three different real-world sources with large sample sizes all saying you can expect to fire an average of three or fewer shots in the rare event you are ever in a self-defense gunfight.

But that's today. What about after SHTF the American Wild West with its homegrown law enforcement, guns, gangs, and violence is the best historical example we have of a real SHTF like situation. Here are the Wild West most prolific gunfighters and their legendary kill counts.

Now here are their actual historically verified numbers of kills. It's important to understand that these men represent the extreme highs of gunfight participation for the time. By today's standards, they would all be considered psychopaths. Out of these five record-setting Wild West killers only two are verified to have been in more than ten gunfights. So ten gunfights times an average of three shots per fight comes to just 30 rounds. Even if you panic every time and fire an average of 10 rounds per gunfight that's still only 100 bullets, it's the folks playing too many video games that think you need more than that for self-defense. One more thing. It turns out murdering lots of people has some fairly predictable consequences.

Next up hunting.

Just because you plan to hunt it does not mean you're going to be successful.

More than one hundred and five thousand hunters registered for the Oregon 2017 deer season. Only twenty-five thousand deer were harvested that year. That means more than 80000 hunters went home empty handed finding game will only get harder during SHTF because everyone with a 9-millimeter pistol or shotgun will also be out there trying to murder animals. The Alabama DNR notes that deer are almost hunted to extinction in that state during the Great Depression. Given these stats, you don't really want to rely on gun hunting as your sole source of protein. Trapping, fishing and raising livestock are much more reliable and don't consume non-renewable resources. But let's imagine there is game available and you are luckier or more skilled than 75 percent of hunters. The next question is how many deer can you expect to harvest. The Ohio DNR did a study on successful hunters. They found that only 27 percent bagged more than one deer and less than 1 percent bagged more than five. Five deer, by the way, can be turned into close to 1000 meals. Now good hunters know five shots are required to harvest the first year of the season. Four to zero their weapon, and one to kill the animal. This means that the most elite deer hunters will fire about ten rounds per season. The vast majority of folks will fire four to six. If the SHTF scenario last 30 years you wouldn't need much more than 300 hunting cartridges.

A hunting strategy based on small-game like rabbits would require obvious adjustments. If you are prepping for an event that lasts longer than 30 years, it would be wise to invest in hunting technologies with naturally renewable ammunition like bows or blowguns. Remember humans somehow managed to survive for hundreds of thousands of years before firearms were invented.

Next militia actions.

Let's be clear. Fighting a personally funded militia war against an invading modern military force is an absolute dead end strategy. The government's resources and equipment will always be vastly superior to whatever you can scrape together as a civilian. The notion that a civilian AR-15 and a 200 round combat load can blaze a path to victory against a modern military force is nothing but a glorious fantasy. In 2018 Afghan militia fighters managed to kill only 14 of the eight thousand four hundred and seventy-five U.S. troops stationed there. Of those 14 just six soldiers were killed by small arms fire. Six that means despite firing hundreds of thousands of rounds. Militia riflemen only managed to kill a pathetic zero point zero zero zero seven percent of the military force occupying their country. The fact that modern military forces are equipped with level 4 body armor is a key reason for the spectacular failure of militia riflemen.

This protection is specifically designed to stop five point five six and seven point six two rounds. Considering the state of the modern battlefield, it wouldn't matter if you hoarded a million rounds of AR-15 ammo. Those munitions are simply not effective against today's soldiers. You might as well stockpile spitballs. If your survival is important to you armor is a much smarter investment than ammunition. Sniping is the one potentially effective militia rifle strategy. The greatest sniper of all time is Simo Hayha. Finish military records show that he tallied two hundred and fifty-nine sniper kills against the Russians during the Winter War of 1939. His sniping career ended after only one hundred and nineteen days when he was shot in the face and permanently disfigured. So if you think you can match the very best sniper in the history of mankind, you won't need more than 300 rounds to prove it.

Ammo Barter

Finally, some people stockpile ammo thinking they will use it to barter with. This is a terrible idea. Bartering with ammo will primarily attract two types of customers. First the desperately unprepared. People with no ammo are not likely to have anything else of value to trade to a well-prepared person, and you've got to ask yourself what they plan to do with the ammo you give them. Do you really want to top off the magazines of all the random desperate souls who wander through your community?

Common sense dictates that you should never barter away something that can be used to kill you.

That brings up the second group. The “dangerous.” These folks will be looking for ammo because they use a lot of it. That means they're are likely criminals or those prone to violence. Barter out ammo to them is about as smart as setting up a free-range rattlesnake-ranch next to a daycare center. The worst part of bartering ammo is that it is a bright shining advertisement to criminals saying that you are the one who has exactly what they want most. That's not a theory.

The Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms says thieves often see gun dealers as easy targets. Their data shows gun store thefts are rising and the smash and grab techniques are growing bolder. These fellows didn't let anything stop them from getting what they wanted during SHTF will you have the security to stop a raid like this. They were in and out in 30 seconds. Why would you invite this kind of trouble when the world is already awash with chaos. Finally, if you think through the problem of paying soldiers and guards, you will understand why no one in history has ever used ammunition as currency. So how much ammo should you stockpile? That answer is easy. Stockpile as much as you want to.

Just don't get fooled into buying more than you really need.



Rational Preps*Source Links…

  • Percent of US citizens involved in self-defense shootings in 2018: 1,795 shootings divided by 327,100,000 people in the US. https://www.gunviolencearchive.org/pa…
  • Percent of police who have fired in the line of duty: http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/…
  • Number of shots fired by police: Page 5, Chart “NYPD SOP-9 1988-2001 COMPARISON OF SHOOTING INCIDENTS”, “AVERAGE SHOTS PER OFFICER” Column… http://www.theppsc.org/Staff_Views/Av…
  • Number of shots fired by Civilians (Claude Werner): http://gunssavelives.net/self-defense…
  • Number of shots for Incapacitation (Greg Elefritz): See my other video for a full description of the study… https://youtu.be/nycYxb-zNwc
  • Original report here… http://www.activeresponsetraining.net…
  • Gunslinger Information:
  • Tom Horn… https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tom_Horn
  • Jim Miller… https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jim_Mil…)
  • Billy the Kid… https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Billy_t…
  • Wild Bill Hickok… https://truewestmagazine.com/how-many…
  • John Wesley Harding https://www.thevintagenews.com/2015/1…
  • Oregon 2017 Deer Hunting Season: https://www.dfw.state.or.us/resources…
  • Hunting during the Great Depression: https://www.mossyoak.com/our-obsessio…
  • Number of deer harvested per hunter (Ohio DNR Study): http://wildlife.ohiodnr.gov/hunting-t…
  • David Koresh and the siege of his Waco Texas compound: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waco_siege
  • US military deaths in Afghanistan in 2018: http://icasualties.org/App/AfghanFata…
  • Number of US troops in Afghanistan in 2018: https://www.forces.net/newsoperations…
  • Military body armor protection level: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Improve…
  • Simo Häyhä sniper: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simo_H%…
  • Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms quotes and gun store robbery data: https://www.thetrace.org/rounds/gun-s…
  • Background Music: Tumbleweed Texas – Chris Haugen

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Jeff
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Jeff

I think the article is missing an important category, especially for those of us who live in restrictive states like NY & California: HOARDING IN PREPARATION FOR RESTRICTED AMMUNITION PURCHASES! Having seen the recent restrictions CA has inflicted on their gun owners (background check with each purchase, limiting the amount that can be purchased, etc), I’ve decided to be prepared for when Cuomo tries to do the same in NY. (After all, Democrats now control the governorship, the state assembly and the state senate, so he can get pretty much whatever he wants). I’ve been purchasing bulk ammo (1000 at… Read more »

Jack
Guest
Jack

Hahahahaha…FUDDS
Nope, i just keep buying and will!

Triggered
Guest
Triggered

Yo…Barney Fife…at the very least, you might consider doubling your ammo count to two bullets.

danny b pro 2nd
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danny b pro 2nd

I don’t stockpile ammo for any of these reasons, not that they can’t be a reason. I stockpile ammo because I like to shoot my guns and shoot them a lot. I started buying ammunition consistently for the last 10 years and been reloading for over 40 years. I have a group of friends that buy ammo together in bulk for better pricing and over the last 10 years have bought almost 10 million rounds. What caused me to stockpile ammunition is price and availability. Basically since Sandy Hook and maybe before the country got into this panic buying when… Read more »

Jeffrey Szabo
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Jeffrey Szabo

Most everyone forgets about the domestic enemies; more dangerous than the outward ones, rotting us from the inside out. You can easily be a Nazi or Commie bastard wrapped in an American flag! This article had a lot of truth in it; however, the Taliban has been holding ground for years, hitting and running. The SAME could be accomplished here. You raid the enemy; hit and run, and everything else you can do. You hit convoys. Capture equipment. Millions of people with guns can kill thousands of well equipped soldiers, just by opening the door and shooting. Imagine if the… Read more »

UofUDavid
Guest
UofUDavid

“Rational Preps” has only 3 videos I can find on YouTube, yet many thousands even millions have watched the stupid videos. I see no website to see where this propaganda originated.

Lots of questions about “Rational Preps” and absolutely no credibility given to anything they present.

Czechsix
Guest
Czechsix

Exactly. I’ve been looking and researching, trying to find who they are….but nothing is out there. I’ll keep digging, maybe I’ll find something, but they seem to have hidden their tracks well.

Jeff Mehl
Guest
Jeff Mehl

I’ve been stockpiling ammo, but not for any of the reasons mentioned. Living in New York, my concern is the ultimate availability of affordable ammo. Watching other anti 2A states trying to limit the amount that can be purchased, or pricing them out of existence through taxes, etc. convinced me that we should keep a supply handy for when there’s a ‘government-made’ shortage. If that’s overkill on my part, then the worst that’ll happen is I’ll be making a lot more trips to the range. (Sort of like folks who store up on water and canned food “just in case”).

ou812
Guest
ou812

Can’t wait for the upcoming articles on Ammoland written by:
1. Michael Bloomberg
2. Shannon Watts
3. Rep Eric Swallowswell
4. Gabby Giffords
5. James Brady

willford
Guest
willford

YEP, This site has went down hill really fast. I hardly EVER come by it any more. You would think mom or bloomy even oboz0 the zer0 is writing the stuff any more

Granny
Guest
Granny

The 2nd amendment is not about hunting or self defense shooting…sure those were assumed to be a natural god given right but, the 2nd Amendment is about fighting ur Gov or invading Gov and winning. Don’t ever let them change the argument to hunting of about self defense only… its about a tyrannical Gov these 2020 Candidates to step over that line into tyranny! We may need to erect mass hanging gallows on the capitol grounds and lots of rope 4 these treasonous commies…cuz we have 22,000 infringements to our natural God given rights. The Dems running for President are… Read more »

willford
Guest
willford

You go Granny. ISRA, GOA, TSRA, CCRKBA ALL LIFE oops FORGOT NRA. not real fond of of late though.

JPM
Guest
JPM

Seems like some kind of 5th column gun control propaganda funded by the liberals under the guise of being pro-gun.

Bullitt
Guest
Bullitt

There seem to be a lot of what I can only assume are salty, delusional teenagers in this comment section

willford
Guest
willford

I was certified as marksman at the ripe old age of 10. which was 55 years ago. You spout garbage bloomburg would be proud of.

Heath
Guest
Heath

Bullets are better than throwing rocks, like we see in South America.

Oldshooter
Guest
Oldshooter

There is an old rule of thumb to the effect that, if you have only 100 rounds of ammunition, you should shoot 80 of them for practice and consider the other 20 available for effective use in whatever capacity you intend to use the gun. Accurate shooting is a perishable skill, and having 1000 rounds stockpiled, but using none for sighting in and practice, will likely mean those 3 you need in a gunfight won’t save your bacon after all, and the longer you go without practice, the greater becomes the likelihood that will be true.

Wild Bill
Guest
Wild Bill

@Old, And dry fire even more. Do make sure it is really empty.

Kevin
Guest
Kevin

So the US military are Clone Troopers? Just waiting for Order 66 from Senator Palpatine, so they can open fire on law abiding citizens who own AR-15s? What a pile of retarded Liberal horseshit. “Murdering animals?” Another dead give away. So last week military members in Venezuela walked into a room with a sheet on one wall. When the sheet was removed, the wall had dozens and dozens of photos of the military leaders family, children, parents, friends and relations. That same tactic would have a lasting impression on anyone willing to bomb civilians. And militaries rely upon civilian supply… Read more »

Bill
Guest
Bill

Agreed. It has been established for a very long time that a person serious about defense (from whatever level of threat) show do quite a bit more than keep a revolver and a box of 50 rounds. How many hundred might be a good question, if not how many thousand rounds. Up to a thousand might be sufficient, but don’t let me talk anyone down in number. Those who talk people down in their self-protections are not friends.

Lee
Guest
Lee

as the military carries the 5.56 we carry the 5.56 it’s killed thousands of enemy soldiers why is it not going to kill enemy soldiers in the civilians hand I was in the infantry my armor would not stop a 5.56 or any other high-powered rifle the Viet Cong use gorilla tactics against are army in Vietnam very effectively and not every Afghanistan in the country is armed like we are