It was an interesting take, but much too limited, in my experience. In the end, the authors put in a disclaimer: stockpile as much as you want.
The self-imposed limitations of the presentation were this: They only considered four reasons to stockpile ammunition. They limited the scenarios applicable to those reasons.
Here is a quick critique of the four reasons they listed not to stockpile ammunition:
- 1. Self-Defense – not unreasonable, in that a couple of hundred rounds fired in self-defense, will likely mean you will eventually catch a round yourself.
- 2. Hunting – not unjustified in most areas. In some areas, more will be needed, simply for pest control. It is not unreasonable for Australian pest controllers to fire hundreds of rounds a day. Pest control may be significant if you need to protect your family food supply.
- 3. Militia actions – A completely unreasonable take on possible militia actions. The idea of a militia force *only* and *solely* fighting a full-up modern military force is one of the least likely scenarios. Even in that case, lots of ammunition is much better than only a little ammunition.
- 4. Ammo barter – I disagree entirely with the author(s) on this. Ammunition makes excellent barter material, especially commonly available rounds such as .22 LR and 12 gauge. One of the reasons this is so in the United States is half the population has access to firearms already. There is more of a market in the United States than in the vast majority of places around the world. Nearly all of the 100 million or so firearm owners in the United States has a .22 rifle/pistol. Almost as many have a 12 gauge.
The self-imposed limits on ammunition stockpiling failed to take into account the obvious: What do you use ammunition for today?
You will have the same needs/desires/requirements when ammunition becomes unavailable from conventional sources, which is where the utility of stockpiling shines.
Most gun owners use most of their ammunition today for three purposes:
- Maintaining and improving their proficiency with firearms.
- Training others to use firearms.
- Having fun with their firearms.
Stockpiling ammunition allows firearms owners to continue these activities, even if ammunition becomes difficult to obtain through conventional channels.
Also, there are other excellent reasons to stockpile ammunition the previous article failed to take into account.
- 1. Cost savings. Buy cheap, in quantity. Stockpile the ammunition by the barrel if needed. Ammunition has a shelf life measured in decades, if not in hundreds of years. Stored in reasonable conditions, it will not go bad in your lifetime.
- 2. Rare and hard to find cartridges. Do you love your 6.5×55 Swedish sporter? Your 7.62×54 Mosin Nagant? Your .303 British? How about your 5mm Remington Magnum Rimfire, or a .17 HMR? Owners of those rounds already know to stockpile, because they are not always easily available in gun stores.
- 3. Specialty ammunition. Find a cartridge you like, which works well, and does wonders in your favorite gun? Stockpile it. It may not be around forever. Target shooters have been doing this for decades. Find a lot number that works well. Buy lots of that lot number.
- 4. Shortages for commercial reasons. We recently experienced several years where the most common of all cartridges, the .22 LR, was hard to come by at anywhere near reasonable prices. Those who stockpiled before the .22 bubble did well. Those who did not, tended to do without.
- 5. Deterrence. If hundreds of millions of firearms give the anti-Constitutional forces pause, billions of rounds of stockpiled ammunition reinforce the consideration. I believe the privately owned ammunition stockpiled in the United States is in the billions. One hundred rounds per firearm owner would be ten billion rounds of ammunition.
Conservatively, it is less than a trillion rounds, though I know of some enthusiasts who have over a hundred thousand rounds stockpiled. One thousand rounds of ammunition per firearm owner, on average, would be 100 billion rounds stockpiled.
A Free Militia
Let's use a little imagination and expand on the militia reason mentioned in the previous article. Very seldom are militias used solely against full-blown modern military machines. The reason is obvious: lightly armed militias cannot win a direct fight with a modern military.
Militias have numerous other purposes. Militias, in the United States, spring up spontaneously when the need arises, such as to maintain order after a hurricane or during a riot. The Korean storekeepers during the Rodney King riot did not shoot many people. But they fired a fair number of “warning shots” to inform prospective looters of their presence. They were an example of a spontaneous militia.
In a time when the state and federal governments are unable to maintain order, Militias will be called upon to maintain order in their neighborhoods, as has been their traditional role. If order breaks down far enough, militias will be needed to deal with looting gangs, perhaps even those attempting to exert their pseudo-governmental authority.
As late as 1946, in the battle of Athens, Tennessee, an impromptu militia took an illegitimate county government out of office and insisted on fair elections. Then, the core of the militia was military veterans. The same is likely true for future spontaneous militias.
A militia might be called upon to stop looting and see to the fair distribution of food stocks in a prolonged electrical shortage, or be used to keep the roads open and hunt down and suppress bandits.
All of those things require ammunition. Ammunition to train, ammunition to issue to new militia recruits who are short on supplies. Ammunition, if necessary, to fight bad guys and maintain order. In a prolonged crisis that might last for years, conventional military forces will burn through their stored supplies reasonably quickly. That would do much to even the odds with local militias.
It would be an unusual situation to fight a modern military force. It is more likely local militias would supplement and work with the United States military to restore order, protect property, and save lives. That has been their traditional role.
Ammunition is similar to gold or cash. It is hard to have too much. I join with my colleagues from the previous article. Stockpile as much as you want.
About Dean Weingarten:
Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of constitutional carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and recently retired from the Department of Defense after a 30-year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.