It wasn’t all that long ago that you couldn’t find the ammo you needed anywhere at any price. Store shelves were bare and reliable online distributors were out of stock. And unscrupulous vendors took advantage of the shortage to raise prices to astronomical highs.
Well, folks, those times might be coming again if the election doesn’t go the way gun owners are hoping it will go, and while we are enjoying relatively easy-to-acquire ammo again, it’s time to stockpile.
Here, then, are five rounds to stockpile before November.
This one is a no-brainer. It is probably the single most common handgun caliber, and if you don’t have 9mm, one of your buddies probably does. Lay in a good supply of lightweight ball ammo so you can continue to enjoy target practice during the next shortage, as well as a goodly supply of combat-suitable rounds. I’d make sure to have at least a thousand rounds of assorted hollow point and +p ammo. You can get some great deals right now on steel-cased plinking ammo, and if your gun likes it, it’s certainly worth putting some away if cost is an issue. Otherwise, stick with brass case, because even if you don’t reload, that brass will be valuable trading material, or should inspire you to start loading your own.
2. .223/ 5.56
Yes, the rounds aren’t identical. And yes, there are millions of rifles and handguns that can safely shoot either round, so for the purpose of this article, we are lumping them together. The .223 or 5.56mm round is found everywhere. Aside from the ubiquitous AR-15, there are bolt-action rifles, handguns of all sorts, and even AK-47s in this caliber.
As an added bonus, it’s also the standard round of the US military and many law enforcement agencies. A critical round to stockpile, buy cheap steel case if it works for you, but know as always, brass case will have more value in an ammo crisis.
3. .22 magnum
I had thought about recommending .22lr, but not only is that stuff still hard to come by in some places, but a brick or two can feed your family for a very long time. I figure any smart survivalist already has some on hand, and if you don’t you’ll get some anyway. But the .22 magnum has a special place on this list. Not only does Kel-Tec build an incredible handgun and carbine in this surprisingly powerful round, but there are a plethora of inexpensive bolt-action rifles and even revolvers that will shoot .22 mag. This round will take small game (probably even deer-sized in a pinch if you do your part) and is a surprisingly good self-defense round if nothing else is available. Use it for predator control, varmint hunting, or when you just need a little more power out of a .22. Thanks to Kel-Tec, there is a demand for this round that exceeds its traditional hunting role, and pushes it into a limited combat or self-defense position. Even if you don’t have a .22 mag yourself, put some of it aside if you can and watch it be a wildly popular trader among those who need it.
4. .308/7.62 NATO
Same deal here as with the .223/5.56. Know your gun, and know that no matter what, these nearly identical rounds WILL be in great demand. The .308 is not only a hard-hitting, long-range round, but it figures in many people’s disaster plans. A must-have for those who prefer hard-hitting defensive rifles, long-range hunting or sniping rifles, or those who simply appreciate the power of a true battle rifle, this round is expensive in the best of times, and in the worst of times is sure to dry up fast. Found in everything from single-shot rifles to top-of-the-line combat arms, this is one of the most popular cartridges in the world. Unless you score a deal on what little military surplus 7.62 that turns up now and then, simply lay in .308. It’s more common, and you don’t have to worry about the real dangers of shooting the wrong round in the wrong chamber. Steel case is out there, but a few more cents per round gets you invaluable reloadable brass. Remember: The apocalypse might be fought with 5.56, but 7.62 will be sounding the trumpet.
From Russia, with love. Widely used in SKS, AKs and even AR-15s, and a few bolt-action rifles, this is perhaps one of the best general purpose, medium-powered rounds. The 7.62×39 is mostly imported, making it really easy to cut off at the whim of any anti-gun president. There are about umpteen million rifles and more than a few AK-style handguns running around in this caliber, and one of the best things about it is that it’s cheap. Probably the only time you won’t care about buying brass or steel case, just grab an extra case of whatever is cheapest and call it good. When bad times come, you’ll be amazed at how many SKSs and AKs come out of the woodwork, forgotten sometimes for decades. If you don’t already use this round, it will be invaluable for trading.
Is this list comprehensive? Of course not. Will you agree with it? Probably not all of them. There are other calibers I could have ran with, but odds are you have at least one on this list, or know somebody who does. Feed YOUR guns first, but be sure to lay in a good supply of popular rounds, especially those in common use by military and police. When the grid goes down, and anti gun governments go after our ammo supply as a default gun ban, you’ll be glad you stocked up.