5 Ammo Stockpiling Mistakes You Are Probably Making Right Now

Rich M.
By Rich M. June 12, 2020 09:13

5 Ammo Stockpiling Mistakes You Are Probably Making Right Now

If you’re a prepper, chances are you’ve got a few guns and a bunch of ammo around. Or maybe you’re the kind that has a lot of guns and a huge pile of ammo around. Either way, guns and ammo are just one more part of prepping – and important part. How important is something that each of us have to decide for ourselves.

It’s never hard to convince yourself that you need just one more gun, and you know just which one it is. There are a lot of sweet guns out there, making it easy to justify that “one more”.

Should the proverbial brown stuff ever hit the rotary air movement device for real, those guns may end up being the only thing that keep you and I alive. Of course, I’m not sure how some of my friends are going to use 17 rifles and 39 pistols at the same time, but that’s not my problem. I’ll leave that for them to figure out.

Stockpiling guns and ammo is good. But just because you’re stockpiling guns and ammo doesn’t mean that you’re doing it right. Believe it or not, it is possible to do a few things wrong in this regard.

No, I’m not going to tell you that you should own a particular type of gun, or that you should stockpile X number of rounds of ammo. Everyone has their own opinion on that and mine is no more valid than anyone else’s. But there are a few common mistakes I see, which I thought I’d point out to you.

Related: Firearms for Emergency and SHTF Situations

As Far as Quantity Goes

Yes, you read that right. I’ve found that it is possible to buy too much ammo, as hard as that may be to believe. The thing is, many of us subscribe to one of two theories. The first is “the more the merrier” and the second is “1,000 rounds per caliber”. Neither of those is necessarily right and neither of those will necessarily help us to survive.5 Ammo Stockpiling Mistakes You Are Probably Making Right NowThere are calibers for which “the more the merrier” makes sense, specifically your main defensive and hunting calibers. When it comes to your AR-15 and your hunting rifle (especially small game hunting rifle), I can see where there is no point at which you can say, “That will be enough to last the rest of my life in a post-disaster world.” There’s just no way of knowing how much ammo any of us are going to need in that situation.

But on a more realistic level, how many battles do you think you can survive, where gangs are attacking your home? Infantry soldiers carry a basic load of 320 rounds for their rifles, which is considered to be enough for one day’s fighting. Do you really think you’re going to survive more than two or three days of attacks on your home where you use as much ammo as an infantry soldier?

Then there’s pistol ammo. One firearms instructor gave the perfect description for why we carry pistols – they’re so that we have something to fight with, while we’re making our way back to our rifles. With that sort of purpose and with most of us carrying two spare magazines or less; do you really think you’ll ever use 1,000 rounds of pistol ammo in a post-disaster survival situation?

Yeah, you might use 1,000 rounds in training. I can easily go through 100 rounds in one trip to the range. But that’s not from my prepping stockpile; that’s practice ammo. Not the same thing.

As Far as Expenses Go

If you’re buying a lot of ammo, like I do, then you need to be looking at how to get it for a more reasonable price. Buying pistol ammo in boxes of 50 rounds or rifle ammo in boxes of 20 isn’t a bargain. It’s even worse if you’re buying it at your local gun range.

There are two keys here: buying in bulk and buying from a low-cost retailer. Buying 250 round boxes of pistol ammo works out to be roughly 20 percent cheaper than buying 50 round boxes. Larger quantity boxes, or even cases, can be even cheaper. Besides, you can often get those larger quantities packed in ammo cans or other moisture-proof containers, giving you a little extra bonus for your money.

Some of the small-scale ammo manufactures will sell by the can at gun shows. I’ve found that to be about the best deal going, other than buying it off of someone who’s a little cash short. You’re getting the benefit of both buying directly from the manufacturer and buying in bulk, at the same time. If you don’t trust that ammo for your carry gun, you can at least use it for your practice ammo at the range and save yourself a bundle.

Calibers

If you’re a gun collector, chances are that you’ve got a lot of different calibers of firearms in your collection. That’s okay; there’s nothing wrong with that. But I seriously doubt that all of those firearms are part of your survival plan. You probably have just a few guns which you consider your survival guns for yourself and your family.

Hopefully, you’ve selected guns that use commonly available calibers: .22LR, 9mm, 5.56, .308, etc. That makes sense, if you ever have to resort to scavenging ammo or bartering for it. But it also makes sense to have some common calibers for your whole family to use. If your wife’s pistol is a 9mm, because a .45 is too much for her, then plan on carrying a 9mm too. Sharing ammo will save you money and help ensure that you have enough for both guns in a time of crisis.

My EDC pistol is a .45. I carry that because I’m working under the assumption that if I ever have to face off against a criminal, they’ll either be high on drugs or adrenalin. Considering that the .45 was developed for that very purpose, it makes sense for me to carry it as my EDC gun.

But my survival gun is a 9mm Glock. That’s because my wife’s survival gun is also a 9mm Glock; but hers is pink. By carrying the same caliber and the same make, we have commonality of both ammunition and repair parts. Not only that, but I only have to learn how to work on one kind of pistol, not two. Both of our survival rifles are AR-15s, chambered in 5.56 for the same reason.

Related: 15 Best Guns for Preppers

Storage

Believe it or not, ammo isn’t moisture-proof. While it would seem that it should be, with everything crimped tightly together, it isn’t. The only ammo I know of which is made to be moisture-proof is military ammo, which has shellac over the primer, ensuring that no moisture can get in through that vulnerable route.5 Ammo Stockpiling Mistakes You Are Probably Making Right NowI suppose you could shellac the primers on all your ammo, if you wanted to. But I’m not sure if that shellac would flake off in your gun’s action while you were shooting. So I wouldn’t do that. But you still need to keep your ammo stored in some moisture-proof way, especially ammo in your stockpile, which you’re planning on keeping for a long time.

The solution is to keep your ammo stored in ammo cans. There’s really more to keeping it stored that way, than just being tacticool. Ammo cans, both the old metal ones and the newer plastic ones, are intended to be moisture-proof, so as to keep ammo from going bad. The US Army had them first developed that way during World War II, to avoid problems with ammo going bad during beach invasions.

Later, the M2 ammo can was replaced by the M2A1, the metal ammo can we all remember as being associated with belted .50 caliber ammunition. That can, and those that followed, have been used for many calibers, all with the intent of making the ammo easy to handle and keeping it protected from moisture.

I figure if it’s good enough for the Army, then it’s good enough for me.

Related: Awesome Places to Hide Your Guns

Where to Keep Your Ammo

Keeping all your ammo in one place can end up being disastrous, especially if that one place isn’t where you need it to be. If your home comes under attack during a time of crisis, you may end up fighting from several different parts of the house. That means needing to have access to ammo, wherever you are.

Worse than that, the bad guys could gain control of whatever part of the house you have your ammo stockpile in. Should that happen, they’ll have your ammo and all you’ll have available is whatever is in your gun and on your person. Spreading that ammo out a bit helps to ensure that you’ll always have some of it available to you.

Spreading it around means having some of it stored at your survival retreat too. If you think you’re going to take your ammo stockpile along with you when you bug out, think again. Ammo is heavy, so even if you manage to bug out in a vehicle, you’re going to be limited in how much you can take along. If you have to abandon that vehicle and head out on foot, about all you’re going to be able to carry, along with everything else in your bug out bag, is a couple of boxes. That’s not going to be enough.

Anywhere you build a cache of supplies should also include a cache of ammo; not a lot, but enough to restock your primary survival guns. A box of pistol ammo and a few boxes of rifle ammo, to replace what you might have used getting to that point makes sense. But don’t put more in those caches than you’ll be able to reasonably carry. You won’t want to leave it behind for someone else.

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Rich M.
By Rich M. June 12, 2020 09:13
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51 Comments

  1. TheSouthernNationalist June 12, 14:34

    I’d have to say get as much ammo of all the popular calibers that you can, rifle and handgun.
    In a true SHTF situation, ammo will be worth more than money so use excess ammo for bartering.

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    • Dave from San Antonio June 13, 03:14

      Unless you ‘know’ exactly ‘who’ you are going to barter ammo with and trust them with your life, I wouldn’t use ammo. You might find out you have just loaded the weapons of someone who might attack you, either right then or later.
      “There are two reasons I don’t trust people.
      1. I don’t know them.
      2. I know them.”
      Bill Murray

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    • John June 21, 14:44

      I don’t understand why anyone would barter ammo. If you trade a box of 22s to someone for say a hammer, you may very well end up with one of those 22s through the side of your head from 100 or so yards away. He/she now comes back for the hammer plus extras.

      Reply to this comment
  2. ATR June 12, 14:39

    In the case of a complete breakdown of society, ammo will be equal to or better than gold and silver for bartering for things you will need. LEAD, the other precious metal. If you don’t have it, you won’t be able to keep the others.

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    • scrooster June 12, 17:48

      One can never have too much ammo provided one’s ammo stockpiling obsession does not adversely affect one’s food, water and first aid preps. But NEVER, not ever, should one stockpile ammo with the idea of using it for currency (bartering). Not unless you intentionally intend to have to fight the one’s you have the ammo to once they decide to come back and take every thing that you have and probably kill your family and you in the process. But yeah, stack it high (especially the 7.62 and the 5.56) and store it well and have a way to reload it (save your brass) if possible. One case might be reloaded as many as 8-10 times so imagine how that can be a force multiplier post shtf provided that you have the components to do so.

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  3. Roy June 12, 16:17

    I have ammo (38 Special) stored in my dresser bureau for about 20 to 25 years. The drawer is seldom opened.
    Is my ammo still good?

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    • Ted June 12, 17:23

      Go to the range & try it.

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    • Botaboom June 12, 20:27

      Do not go to the reage and try it, you may get a squid and blow up your gun. buy new ammo, powder has a shelf life like everything else.

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      • Roy June 13, 03:21

        That is a scary thought. However, it makes sense.
        I’ll take it to a local gun shop and see what they suggest.
        Thanks for your reply.

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    • left coast chuck June 13, 16:47

      Roy: I have some .30 M-1carbine headstamped 42. That means it was loaded in 1942. You can figure out how old it is. It still fires very accurately out to 50 yards and somewhat less accurately out to 100 yards. Inasmuch as the firearm itself was intended to be used in place of a pistol, that is reasonable accuracy. None of it has ever misfired. It is stored in an ammo can in my garage.

      I have some .303 British that is headstamped 57. It is fine ammunition and works every time. It is stored in an ammo can in my garage.

      I have some .30-06 ammunition that is headstamped sometime in the 60s. It works fine. Same storage.

      Because I have been shooting for almost 70 years and my brother for almost 60 years, we both have a considerable amount of “ancient” ammo on hand. With all the rounds we have sent down range, we have only experienced one squib load. He fired a shotgun shell at a pheasant and the round made a less than robust sound as it went off. I could see the shot column flying through the air. It almost caught the pheasant who had a head start. Examining the case we saw a dark ring around the case where the powder had interacted with the plastic in the case. The shotgun shell was from the early 60s when plastic replaced paper hulls.
      I have some of that same lot with the same dark ring and it has never failed to function as I expected.

      All this verbiage to say that I don’t think based on my long experience with shooting really old ammunition that you have anything to worry about. Thirty year old pistol ammunition stored in your dresser drawer is most likely fine. Take it out and look at it. If the cases are green and corroded I wouldn’t use it simply because the corrosion might make the cases not function in your pistol. They may not extract upon firing in a semi-auto and you may have difficulty extracting them from the cylinder of a revolver.

      If you have a friend who reloads, you might offer it to him. He can pull the bullets, dump the powder safely, kill the primers, clean the cases and reload the cases with the pulled bullets using fresh powder and primers.

      If you don’t know anyone who reloads, and if it isn’t illegal to gift ammo as it is in the PDRK presently, contact your local gun club or shooting range and offer it free to some shooter who reloads. That way the components can be recycled and put to useful purpose.

      If the brass is clean then the ammo is still good. If the brass is just tarnished and dark, that doesn’t indicate anything. One way I keep brass from tarnishing is I either wear nitrile gloves when handling ammo or I wipe it down with a cloth or paper towel when I place it back in the box or load it in the magazine or cylinder. That keeps the greasy acid on your fingertips from tarnishing the brass. I make a special point of this when loading the gun before putting it away.

      Always remember that even with brand new ammunition it is necessary to inspect the ammunition before you load it in your firearm. Modern ammunition is made to close tolerances and is carefully inspected but when making anything at the rate modern ammunition is made, it is possible for a defective round to be loaded. I have had acquaintances tell me they have found rounds with no primer; primer in backwards, bullets with no powder, so just because ammunition is brand new, having just hit your retailer’s shelves from the factory doesn’t mean that it is impossible to have a defective round.

      If, when firing your weapon, the sound of the cartridge igniting is significantly different from normal, put the firearm down, with the muzzle downrange and step back. Wait one full minute before picking up the firearm. Open the action, remove the ammunition in the magazine and inspect the weapon thoroughly, examining the bore to insure that it is clear of obstructions. Some gun writers suggest maintaining the firearm in your hand pointed downrange for the prescribed 1 minute. Authorities on the subject differ.

      Botaboom suggests that a squid load will blow up your gun. He is partially correct. If a bullet is lodged in the barrel as a result of a squib round, and you fire a subsequent round you can seriously damage your firearm and perhaps injure yourself with flying metal parts.

      Anytime your firearm makes an unusual sound upon discharge or doesn’t function properly, you need to immediately set the firearm down to allow a hang fire to complete. A hang fire is where the powder is doing a slow burn. They don’t happen very much these days with modern powder and primers. If you are firing military ammunition from foreign countries, you have no way of knowing how that ammo was stored and that is where one encounters hangfires in my experience.

      Reloads from an unknown source are also infamous for delivering surprises. I try to avoid using “never” but in the case of reloads from an unknown source, I will use never. I will never use ammo from an unknown source. If I acquired some, I would pull the bullets, dump the powder, kill the primer and reload with fresh primer and known powder of known quantity.

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      • Chesapeake Woodcraft June 13, 23:31

        That was great info and well written. Great historical experience. I was going to make a comment but will do it here. I have a now half box of Montgomery Ward .22 LR that obviously has been around for maybe 40 years ??? I shot some about five years ago and it did fine.

        I think I disagree with the plastic storage bin being best and the metal ammo boxes were only good for easy carry and stacking. WW2 and Nam type that we remember well. Plastic may be air tight but you are trapping in moisture that has no way to vent.

        My current way to store long term is to vacuum store with a food storage machine that sucks out most of the air. I feel better doing this with boxes of ammo rather than bulk but bulk is probably fine as well.

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        • left coast chuck June 14, 04:05

          Chesapeake: We all live in different climes. If from your web name I may assume you live near the Chesapeake Bay, your humidity level is much higher than here in SoCal. If we get humidity of 40% it is grossly uncomfortable. I suspect if humidity in your locale is 40% you feel that it is unusually dry.

          I haven’t made up my mind which I prefer in cans, plastic or steel. Both have advantages and disadvantages. I don’t vacuum seal my ammo, but I do put a desiccant in the package. I repack all my bulk ammo in sealed plastic bags with a small desiccant pack. It is a lot easier to inventory if it is packed in 100 round bags than counting out single shells any time I want to see if I need to buy more .308 or 9 mm.

          I just recently acquired a vacuum sealer. I also have an impulse plastic sealer left over from my printing company and a supply of plastic tubing that I use in bagging my ammo.

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    • GM June 23, 20:27

      Unless it’s extremely humid where you are or that dresser is subject to huge temperature fluctuations that ammo is almost certainly still good. 20-25 years is not that long a period. Anecdotally I heard numerous examples of ammo that old and older still functioning with basically 100% reliability. I’ve even heard of stuff not stored so well…as in stored in attics that are subject to extreme heat and extreme cold still functioning fine after 3 or 4 decades.
      While a squib is not desirable it is not dangerous in and of itself. A round stuck in the chamber is a nuisance to get out, but as long as you pay attention and note that you just had a squib and don’t try firing another shot on top of it there’s no real danger. If you do fire another round down a plugged barrel then yes it could be catastrophic…for the gun, and possibly for you. Also always be alert for a delayed detonation…keep the gun pointed in a safe direction at all times. But both those rules or scenarios apply anytime…new ammo or old…

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  4. left coast chuck June 12, 17:23

    Wow! A whole hundred rounds on a trip to the range. What a shootist!

    Sorry for the sarcasm, sometimes my evil twin takes over.

    Let’s start with some errors. Shellac is not waterproof. Yes, it is used in some instances to make items water resistant. You can use it on paper in lieu of laminating to make your map water resistant. Notice the use of the word “resistant.” It’s not waterproof. Big difference in those two words.

    Ammunition primers are sealed with a lacquer compound. The case mouths of military ammunition at one time were sealed with a tar-like substance. I think with more modern machinery capable of close tolerances ammunition manufacturers have discovered that sealing the case mouths is not necessary. If you are hand loading, you might not be as scrupulous about tight case mouths and correctly seated primers as, say, Federal or Black Hills or Hornady.

    Military ammunition also has the primers crimped in. Anyone who has ever reloaded military 5.56 or .30-06 knows all about primer crimps. The purpose of that was to help hold primers in the primer pocket in case of excessive chamber pressure. Most civilian ammo does not have primers crimped in.

    Civilian ammunition generally does not have primers sealed with lacquer nor the case mouth sealed with tar. Most civilians are not going to be wading ashore as happened at Pelelieu or Omaha Beach.

    You can purchase primer sealer if you think you will need to use it on your ammo. I would suggest that you use sealer designed for ammo rather than your wife’s favorite color nail polish. Brownell’s, a firearms supply house carries primer sealer. There are other vendors which a quick on-line search will reveal. Follow the instruction on applying the sealer. You just don’t smear it over the whole primer.

    Duck hunters sometimes seal their primers because they hunt in all kinds of weather and it is not unknown that the boats they sometimes use to retrieve ducks turn over, dumping contents into the water.

    Now as to how much ammunition. A military load out is an interesting tidbit of information but is not relevant to a survival scenario.

    It is the rare soldier that wanders around outside the wire all by himself. While there are exceptions, usually the smallest patrol unit is a squad, all of them armed with the load out. They will all also be carrying grenades. If you have managed to score a case or two of grenades for use in the end of the world, congratulations. Big 5 always seems to be out of grenades whenever I am in there shopping.

    In addition to individual shoulder arms, some of the troops will be carrying a M16-XX(haven’t kept up with all the current subcategories) with a 40 mm grenade launcher underneath the barrel of the rifle. That will fire a grenade somewhat further than the best centerfielder can hand throw a grenade.

    Also there will be a SAW with the squad. While it certainly isn’t an M240, it is a significant increase in firepower. The SAW operator will be carrying a larger load out and will have an assistant who will be carrying extra ammo for the SAW. It will be more than 320 rounds even if that is the recommended load out for that weapon. Troops have been known to ignore Table of Equipment dictates when, in their individual opinion, the situation demands something different.

    In addition, when the unit is back behind the wire, they will resupply their load-out. So if they have expended all their ammo, there will be more back at the base camp. If you are in a bug-out situation, you may be engaged in shooting engagements the whole length of your bug-out route. There will be no supply helo dropping cases of ammo and grenades along your route.

    Additionally, if things get really hairy, they hope they will see an Apache appear over the horizon or better yet, an A-10 Warthog. They may have some crew-served weapons fire support from their base, either mortars or artillery. They might even get some fast movers or drones with Hellfires.

    Unless you are George Soros with your own privately equipped army, you are not going be able to afford to outfit an infantry squad, let along have an Apache at your disposal with its ammo load.

    So while the standard infantry load out is interesting, it has zero relevance to the topic under discussion.

    The author’s suggestions of standardizing your weaponry is a very valid one.

    I would suggest, however, that while a .22 can be used for small game hunting and for training both rifle and handgun, practice with one’s individual hand weapon is important. Nineteenth century desperados according to legend frequently practiced with their handguns some even shooting their handgun in practice on a daily basis. Good handgun shooting is a skill that expires with lack of practice. Therefore, your handgun ammo store should include sufficient rounds to maintain your proficiency with that firearm. Use cheaper full metal jacket ammo for practice and save the premium hollow point ammo for deadly encounter shooting. At handgun distances, the difference between 115 grain 9mm and 124 grain hollow point 9mm won’t make a difference. Be sure to shoot enough 124 grain or whatever you use for your defense load to insure that my statement is accurate. The same dictum applies to whatever caliber you choose for handgun defense.

    Your hunting rifle and long range tactical rifle can be one and the same. Premium ammo for hunting, full metal jacket for defense. You will need more defense ammo than hunting ammo. If you use the same weight bullet for both, you won’t have to mess around changing your sights. You can use the same setting for each type and be confident that you will be on target. Unless it is a very large group, in which case you should be retreating to fight another day, you don’t want to be engaging folks at 300+ yards. They might even prove to be friendly unless you fire first. If you know they are non-friendly and they are more than 300 yards away common sense should dictate that you seriously consider enlarging the distance between you and the non-friendlies. It is always better to run away and avoid fire fights. You are in survival mode, not a combatant whose job it is to engage the enemy.

    I would suggest that for your self-defense long gun, 5.56 or 7.62 x 39, there is no such thing as too much ammo. Don’t be guided by “Well, I won’t survive more than three fire fights, so I don’t need much ammo.”

    Nobody ever survived a firefight and said to themselves, “Next time I’m not bringing so much ammo.” You want to feel free to expend as much as you think you need to expend without worrying about how much you are shooting.

    Of course buy in bulk. The author suggests 250 round boxes. Sorry, I buy my 5.56 or 7.62×39 in 1 thousand round boxes. When I go to the range I will shoot over 100 rounds through each of my guns. A trip to the range is an all day affair and I go to shoot, not b.s. with the other guys at the range. You need to practice shooting a lot. The noise and recoil and holding the firearm in the correct positions is tiring. You don’t just shoot off the bench do you? You won’t have that luxury in an EOTW situation, You must practice shooting offhand, sitting and prone. Offhand and sitting are probably the most important positions to shoot in. If you are in weeds you may not be able to use the prone position. You may have to sit up to see your target. While a lot of ranges frown on moving around, if you are at a range that will allow it, you should practice changing from one position to another. Make sure you safe your weapon before you change position. You won’t have the rangemaster reminding you to safe your weapon in an EOTW situation and an unanticipated discharge of your weapon may not be advisable.

    Practice changing magazines too. Instead of firing a full magazine, partially load three magazines and practice reloading your weapon. Our range has steel targets set up at varying distances. That makes for good practice, shooting at varying distances rather than plugging away at a paper target 100 yards away.

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  5. HoundDogDave June 12, 17:47

    If today was the day, I would not feel unprepared. Nor would I feel over burdened with excess, Well maybe 1,500 rounds (couldn’t pass up on $0.25/round 230 gr. JHP during the WalMart pistol ammo purge) in .45 ACP and only one pistol is a bit much. But the plan is to eventually add another PCC in .45 ACP to the mix. I have a JR Carbine (and 2 pistol) in 9mm and if funds will allow I’ll get one in .45. But if things go south before I get the funds together I will opt for the Hi-Point and have to be happy with that. As for the ammo, the majority is canned, in mags or in mags in cans(16 qt. Igloo Playmate Cooler comfortably hold 500 rounds of .308 in mags for easy transport /access)

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    • left coast chuck June 13, 16:58

      Hounddog: I wouldn’t pass up .45 ACP JHP at 25¢ a round either. I would buy all that my credit card could stand. In fact, I would buy any U.S, manufacture .45 ACP at 25¢ a round and even a select few foreign manufacturers. That’s an excellent price.

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  6. Hacksaw June 12, 19:36

    take some to the range or go plinking in the woods and find out.

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  7. PRL June 12, 19:37

    A somewhat naive article. Humidity control is a must, I have dehumidifiers in all locations where ammo is stored.

    Fire control is also a must. We have a range at the house (live in the country) and shoot over 4,000 rounds a year. 98% of our ammo is in fireproof fire resistant vaults. If the house burns down the firefighters will not be at grave risk.

    The author may go through 100 rounds but we may do 500 tomorrow

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  8. Illini Warrior June 12, 21:24

    if you don’t normally prep your supplies with a desiccant pack – your ammo should be the exception – could be the difference decades down the road whether you have a reliable arsenal …

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  9. TexasRalph June 12, 22:14

    thank you! you know your shit

    Reply to this comment
  10. Botaboom June 13, 00:26

    So you all realize these emails are generated for someone that gets paid from 4Patraits to review and post in a way to get you to purchase from them?

    This was confirmed to me after many conflicting email about the products listed for sale……

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    • left coast chuck June 13, 19:42

      Of course it is a proprietary website. Claude may be a swell guy but when the landlord comes around he can’t tell him that because he is a swell guy he doesn’t have the rent this month — well, he can tell him that and good luck too. It never worked for me.

      And Rich and the other authors that write for this website and others as well do it for money. Well, goodness gracious me. He’s selling articles for money. How crassly commercial of him.

      Even if whatever the author of the article writes is totally false, to me the value of this website is that the many readers of the article will be quick to point out the errors and post their real life experiences.

      Also, Claude doesn’t edit the remarks. You don’t have to join facebook or any of the other on electronic I.D. sites in order to post. Yes, we get some garbage, but all you have to do is skim over it. There is nobody standing there with a gun to your head making you read it.

      As I said above, the primary value of the website is the real life experience that many of the followers of the list post. We can’t all be experts in every field of everyday life. If you want your plants to turn into brown sticks, I am your man. However we have some real, lifetime farmers who post on here and their advice is priceless to me.

      We have a couple of people who are actually living off grid and their posts are also priceless. You may not do things exactly the way they do, but theirs is first-hand, hands-on experience which if read and absorbed will keep you from trying square wheels.

      So, yeah, it is a commercial site. And Claude advertises his products. Geeze Louise, I stopped believing in free lunches a very long time ago. Nobody is holding a gun to your head forcing you to purchase either the products that pay Claude to mention their products nor the products that Claude is selling himself. Except in very few instances the goobermint isn’t telling us what we must buy just yet.

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  11. Roy June 13, 17:35

    Hi Chuck,
    I am amazed at your kindness in replying to my need in such copious detail.
    Almost all of my ammo is still unopened and in their original container. I still have a British Enfield which I acquired back in WW2, about 1944 or 1945.
    Again, thank you for your most welcome information
    I will seriously consider your most welcome advice.

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    • left coast chuck June 13, 20:20

      Roy, if your Enfield is .38, that is not .38 special nor is it .38 S&W, although .38 S&W is closer to what your Enfield shoots. That is, if it is a WWII model Enfield. If it is a WWI model Enfield, it shoots. the .455 British a .45 caliber round that is not a .45 ACP. Some .455 Enfields were converted to take .45 ACP but the .45 ACP, while a relatively low pressure round still — I believe — had a higher chamber pressure than the Enfield was designed for.

      I am not really a British military firearms expert. My brother is my go to source for British military firearms. He can tell you the history and model numbers of British military firearms back to the War for Independence. I will drop him a note and ask him to explain in better detail what I have outlined above. After he responds, I will post his response here.

      Or, you could go on line and look for yourself. Be careful about what you read on line. A lot of it is self-styled experts whose actual knowledge can probably be printed on my thumbnail.

      While the WWI Enfields were manstopper handguns, the WWII Enfields were mostly decorative indications of rank. The .38 caliber bullet they fired was a low muzzle velocity round that was not very effective, especially considering that if you needed to shoot somebody in WWII and they were handgun close you were in serious trouble.

      They were tough guns and were reliable even in the mud and crud of trench warfare in WWI. I can’t understand why the British War Department decided to switch from an effective round to an ineffective round.

      If that is the firearm you consider your main defense weapon, I would urge you to seriously upgrading your arsenal. If you have trouble manipulating modern handguns due to lack of hand strength, S&W has recently introduced a .380 semi-automatic which was designed from the get-go to be easy to operate. While some diehards will scoff at the .380 as less than manly, with modern hollow pointed and other even newer design bullets, the .380 is again taking its place among self-defense rounds. Whatever derogatory remarks someone may make about the .380 as a self-defense weapon, it is still better than holding out one’s index finger and saying, “Bang.”

      If the ammo you have stored away is British military surplus, I am not sure what year the Brits stopped manufacturing their .38 ammunition. I have a vague suspicion that it would be sometime in the 50s. While the British manufactured quality ammunition, some of the surplus British ammo you find in the marketplace was manufactured in Commonwealth countries. I won’t cast any national aspersions, but some of their quality control was not up to what the Brits insisted on. Personally, despite everything I said about military ammunition being reliable long after manufacture date, I would not rely on it for self-defense. I would use it for weapons familiarization, I would use it for fun shooting. I would not use it to zero my weapon, although for pistol shooting if it were on target, that would be fine as long as it was consistent in the strike of the bullet. Even if every bullet I had fired worked perfectly, I would be reluctant to use it in self-defense. If it is British .455, they probably haven’t loaded that since they switched to the .38 prior to WWII. Anyone who had a .455 would in WWII would have been using WWI ammo in their side arm.

      Check back to see what my brother has to say about Enfields.

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      • left coast chuck June 14, 00:17

        ROY: My brother reports that the WWII Enfield was .38/200 which means that it was .38 S&W loaded with a 200 grain bullet.

        I remember the 200 grain bullet because I bought some in .38 Special. They were called police loads and featured a lead 200 grain bullet which was supposed to be unstable and would tumble upon striking the human body.

        They didn’t last very long as the .357 Magnum had the SuperVel round come out at about the same time. For a while all the cops I knew who had .357 Magnums were carrying SuperVel as their service round.

        My brother said that the Brits soon dropped the 200 grain bullet in favor of a 170 grain bullet as the recoil was too rough for the British officers. Considering that during WWI the British officers used a .455 round which was significantly stouter than the .38 S&W, the Brits must have wimped out between wars.

        I fire two boxes of the 200 grain or 100 rounds of the .38 Sp. which would make the round hotter than the .38-200. I didn’t find them especially nasty to fire. Certainly they weren’t anything like the 180 gr. .357 by Buffalo Bore which I have also fired.

        So you can fire .38 S&W in your Enfield, although unless you use very soft lead bullets, accuracy may be a little less than ideal. My brother tells me that the normal diameter for the Enfield is .360 as opposed to .357/.358 for present .38 caliber bullets. Soft lead will obdurate to fill the grooves, copper jacketed bullets not so much.

        As far as the .455 Enfield, they ground off the back of the cylinder to handle .45 acp and also .45 auto rim which is the .45 acp cartridge with a rimmed case so that it can be extracted by the extractor. The .45 acp headspaces on the case mouth. The .45 auto rim headspaces on the rim.

        If you got the .38 special cartridges to use in your Enfield, I am sorry to report that they will not fit. If they do fit because of sloppy tolerances in the cylinder, you should not fire them in the Enfield as its cylinder was not built to take the pressures of the .38 special

        I didn’t bother to go look in any of my reloading manuals to see what the SAMMI maximum pressure is for the .38 S&W and I never committed it to memory, not trusting my memory banks to not corrupt the data stored there. I always look up critical numbers like maximum chamber pressure, maximum loads for certain cartridge/bullet combinations etc. I do know that the .38 Special when introduced back in the 19th century was considered a big jump in hitting power over the .38 S&W. Both cartridges started out as black powder cartridges. While they are no longer loaded with black powder, they still have lower maximum chamber pressures than more modern firearms.

        Hope this information proves helpful to you.

        Reply to this comment
      • left coast chuck June 14, 01:36

        ROY: My brother advises me that the official nomenclature for the WWII Enfield is .380.200. The .38 Special case is supposed to be .37 of an inch longer than the .38 S&W case so if everything is according to spec, you should not be able to close the cylinder if you have .38 Sp. cartridges in it. Please notice the qualifier, “if everything is according to spec.”

        Many times faced with exigencies of wartime production, specifications were plus or minus. Because the .380/200 headspaced on the rim, a slightly longer chamber was not a problem, thus you might well be able to insert the .38 Special case into the .380/200 chamber. The gun is quite strong and probably would not shatter. On the other hand, it is almost as old as I and while it probably has not seen as hard use as I have, it’s still at least 75 years old.

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      • Coloradotrinidad September 7, 22:27

        I purchased a 380 ez for my mother it is very unreliable the ejector malfunctions and ejects the last live round jamming the gun and often times the case will jam / fail to eject I bought her a revolver 38 spl and it works extremely reliably most revolvers do I recommend keeping your gun as it is for protection etc. It is a smaller power round with the same diameter bullet it will crush through a target just the same.

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  12. Chuckster59 June 13, 19:30

    “My EDC pistol is a .45….. if I ever have to face off against a criminal, they’ll either be high on drugs or adrenalin. Considering that the .45 was developed for that very purpose, it makes sense for me to carry it as my EDC gun.”

    That’s not why the .45 was developed in 1911. No PCP back then but I understand your reasoning. I like that big slug too. Some will say that it has a drastic slope over yardage and the 9mm will travel straighter for further distance. That is true! However, pistol fights are usually in a pretty close range 5-25 yards. Drop them with one rather than try to make a wind chime outta them I always say.

    “45…because more than one shot is just plain silly”

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    • IvyMike June 14, 00:08

      Well, the legend anyway holds that the military adopted the 1911 to stop attacks by the Filipino guerillas who fought long and well against American Imperialism and were so hopped up on drugs the standard army pistol ammo of the time wouldn’t stop them.
      At the end of his book To Hell And Back the great Texan Audie Murphy writes lovingly about the Model 1911 that has saved his life a couple of times in the fight across Europe. It’s a chilling insight into the PTSD he would struggle with the rest of his life. His wife said he slept with that loaded Colt under his pillow every night. Great book.

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      • left coast chuck June 14, 00:21

        Yes, Audie Murphy lived a tormented life after the horrors of WWII. Like most vets who have joined the ranks of the Medal of Honor inductees, he is reported to have always felt it was more deserved by those who didn’t make it.

        To Hell and Back was also a movie in which Murphy played himself. It started his acting career.

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      • `T June 16, 08:57

        My husband and I go to the range twice per week. Weather and temperature no matter. I have a great photo of us from last winter, when it was 4 degrees fahrenheit. This week I was shooting my Mosin Nagant, 7.62x54R. I believe it was from 1942. Corrosive as could be. My husband was shooting even older 8mm in his Mauser. Every round in both calibers fired. Then I made an ammonia bath for both rifles.

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    • left coast chuck June 14, 00:27

      Chuckster: I don’t know if you heard of the cop who shot a bad guy 17 times with 185 grain jacketed hollow point .45 acp rounds. He actually scored 17 hits on the b.g. although he fired more than that. The b.g. was actually dead only he didn’t know it and kept on shooting back at the cop. Finally the cop managed to put one in the b.g.’s brain bucket and that ended the war. This happened within the last two years.

      If you want impressive handgun power in a semi-automatic, look at the 10 mm. It has almost but not quite .41 magnum muzzle energy, goes out just as far as the 9mm and makes a bigger impression on your target. Finally, it had the approval of Colonel Jeff Cooper as a suitable cartridge for self defense. What better imprimatur can a cartridge have than to be blessed by the bishop of defensive hand gunning?

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      • Chuckster59 June 14, 14:57

        Yes, I did hear about that. Zombies are excluded though, LCC. LOL

        No doubt the 10mm is impressive. No denying that. My son has a Glock 10mm he carries as a sidearm hiking the mountains to deter bear strikes.

        But for me, given the choice of a 45 or a 9 as a EDC, I’ll pack my Para-Ordnance P13 double stack. I do believe in capacity so I’d take my Sig P320 X5 9mm that holds 17 kisses over a single stack 45. The 9 vs 45 has raged for years and I am not looking to dig up controversial comments. Hell, I’d hate to be hit by a 22 or anything else for that matter!

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        • left coast chuck June 14, 21:11

          10-4 on that good buddy. Sometimes when I hear someone scoffing at some calibers as defense rounds I can usually quiet them by, “Well, then, it wouldn’t bother you at all if you got shot with a xx. right?”

          I believe some federal agency collects data on what type of firearm is used in shootings and I have read that more people are killed with a .22 than any other single caliber. Don’t have a clue if that is correct or not, but it does make sense, kind of. A lot more people have .22s than any other firearm. I believe that some people don’t even consider a .22 a “real” gun. Kind of like, “I can’t be an alcoholic. I only drink beer.”

          More .22s in homes than any other caliber equals more opportunity to get shot with a .22 everything else being equal.

          So while I wouldn’t consider a .22 my first line of defense, I would rather use a .22 than stick out my finger and go “Bang.”

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          • Chuckster59 June 15, 23:15

            Indeed.

            I have heard the same about killings with a .22 but I don’t want to waste my precious squirrel meal caliber ammo on a bad guy. LOL.

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            • `T June 17, 03:07

              We make homemade ballistic gel. Currently we only make 14″ cubes or 3 gallon bucket forms (already had the forms so…). NOT including .44 magnum (because it is too expensive to shoot), .357 magnum beats 10mm by far and .45 ACP significantly. What do I mean by it “beats”? The .357 magnum penetrates father with a larger hole. The .45 ACP makes a bigger hole, but with far less penetration. We cut out the damage and then we measure and weigh the damaged amount. Then we repour new gel and the form is perfect once again. This whole idea was just us playing and is in no way scientific. .357 Sig does more damage than 10mm. Deeper penetration, similar height and width of damage. Ah, I almost forgot. My husband just shot some .303. I THINK he said it was from 1919.

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              • left coast chuck June 17, 16:41

                If the .303 ammo was from 1919, it was loaded with Cordite the odor of which all kinds of writers are still claiming can be smelled in the air after a firefight with AKs, ARs and 9 mm pistols.

                Of course, Cordite hasn’t been loaded in small arms ammunition since before WWII. The Russians ran into some of it in their ill-fated invasion of Afghanistan when Afghanis trotted out their old Mark 1s and .303 ammo to use against the Russkis. The Afghanis soon adopted the AK74s and the Dragonovs as better weapons than the old Mark 1s left over from the Brit’s failed attempt to dominate Afghanistan.

                Then we tried. Somebody once said something about learning the lessons of history. Wise words apparently never heeded by anybody.

                Of course the same writers are also having elite ComBlock forces using the AK47 which has not been in service for almost 40 years, certainly not for elite forces. Maybe chromed and gussied up for parades, but not actual service weapons.

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                • `T June 17, 23:53

                  Thanks so much for that information. Should we be worried about cordite? I assume it is corrosive. I clean all guns that shoot old ammo as if the ammo is corrosive. I ALWAYS use ammonia and/or glass cleaner. Then Hoppes, then Micro Kroil oil. It is just my thing.

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                  • left coast chuck June 19, 21:26

                    Actually, except for black powder, the gunpowder itself is not corrosive, it is the compound in the primers that is corrosive. If I had .303 ammo that was head stamped 1919 it would absolutely have corrosive primers. I don’t know when the Brits switched to non-corrosive primers. I have some mid 20th century .303 that is FN manufactured and although I think it is non-corrosive, I always clean my .303 as if it were corrosive. Better to be safe than sorry.

                    For U.S. surplus ammunition, .30-06 and .45 acp were corrosive until 1952 or 53 which is when the switch was made. M-1 carbine ammo was always made with non corrosive primers.

                    During my whole time with Uncle Sam’s Misguided Children we always fired corrosive .30-06 from WWII. We never had any of the “new” stuff.

                    To be safe, numerous shooters of military ammo use 1954 and later as the cutoff date to presume that the U.S. ammo is non-corrosive.

                    I always assume that any foreign military ammunition is corrosive. It is my understanding that corrosive primers maintain their puissance longer and under harsher conditions that non-corrosive. I cannot state any authority for that understanding but somewhere along my history with shooting I glommed onto that understanding.

                    It is also my understanding that the original Hoppe’s was designed for corrosive primers. It is further my understanding that Hoppe’s has undergone a slight formula change to satisfy the greenies and may no longer be suitable for corrosive primers. Hot, soapy water is the standard cleaning agent for corrosive primers. Some gun writers recommend Windex with ammonia. Remember, however, that ammonia will make brass brittle eventually, so be careful that you don’t leave it on your brass if you are going to reload. Also be sure to clean the ammonia solution from your chamber, bore and bolt face as it will corrode steel eventually.

                    That said, we always used Brasso which stunk of ammonia to clean our brass belt buckles and belt tips. However unless one were exceedingly stout which the Marines seemed to be able to correct, belt buckles are not generally subjected to the same pressures as a brass cartridge case. In my present condition, that may be a close call. I know that some case cleaner compounds smell like ammonia and I have a hard time reconciling cartridge case cleaner with ammonia and reloading that brass cartridge. I have had case mouths split but I think that was more from work hardening than case cleaning.

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  13. left coast chuck June 14, 16:53

    I compared this article to another article that Rich M. wrote on June 1. On June 1 he wrote the following: ” Infantry soldiers only carry 210 rounds of 5.56mm rifle ammo into combat.”

    This is his statement in this article: ” Infantry soldiers carry a basic load of 320 rounds for their rifles, which is considered to be enough for one day’s fighting.”

    Wow! Amazing! In only twelve days the infantryman’s load out has jumped by a little over 50% according to Rich. I wonder if DoD knows that? Is that something that is just field instituted or is it Army wide? How about the Marines? Has their ammo load out jumped by 52% also?

    Well, at least 320 rounds equals 16 mags, although I have been told that experienced riflemen don’t load the mag to its ultimate capacity but load 19 rounds. 210 rounds equals 10.5 mags which in retrospection, I should have realized was an erroneous number of rounds.

    Rich M. may consider himself a firearms expert but based on his articles, I would suggest that he drop writing about firearms and move on to topics about which he may have valid knowledge.

    While his articles do stimulate discussion which provides more valuable data than, obviously, his articles do, I guess that serves a purpose but I would further suggest that if he continues to write about firearms that there be a disclaimer that the information contained in the article is based on the author’s uninformed opinion and may or may not be factual so that readers who are not well-versed in firearms data will not be misled by his incorrect information.

    I have reached the conclusion that I know considerably more about firearms than Rich M., yet I don’t consider myself expert enough to be writing articles about firearms. My brother knows far more about firearms and ammunition than I and he has told me that he doesn’t consider himself knowledgeable enough to write about firearms.

    “A little knowledge is dangerous.” “Jack of all trades, master of none.” Two aphorisms that my grandmother liked to quote and seem apropos at this point.

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  14. Claude D. June 16, 11:31

    Hi ATR,

    Thank you so much for your comment.
    You can turn off the comments notification using the “Unsubscribe to this post or Manage your subscriptions” link, found in the emails you receive with recent comments. Alternatively, you can also email me directly.
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    To unsubscribe from these emails just click on “mark as spam,” or however your email lets you mark it as spam. Then they will not come to your inbox.

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  16. KickStart June 21, 14:27

    I have a few ammo reloader’s that are set up for when needed.
    When my son and I were shooting pistol competitions, I used two Dillon Square Deal loaders, one in .45ACP & the other in 9mm. They worked at a quick pace but only for pistol rounds. It was nothing for one of us to load several hundred, or a thousand rounds in a short time.
    I haven’t invested in a long case (rifle) reloader yet as I haven’t found the need. The only rifle rounds I use at the moment are 5.56 & 7.62, and have sufficient live rounds in bulk. The 7.62 cases are steel with Berdan primers, so reloading Is a challenge. Rarely have I seen used brass cases with boxer primers in that size. I do have bulk Lake City 5.56 XM193 cases in case I want to get another reloader. My rifle is chambered in 5.56, which means I can also shoot .223, but a .223 chamber won’t shoot 5.56, I think.
    I also have a MEC 650 in 12g with an adjustable charge bar. I have only reloaded target loads in AA hulls, but I can easily load any shot in it. I found my target loads were softer and more accurate than new AA shells. To go with that, I have a couple thousand once-fired AA hulls and even more plastic wads.
    I also have sufficient supplies of components and powders for all of the above.
    There was talk of the dangers in cutting shot shells and I don’t understand where the danger is. I have recipes for cut shells, though I lack a hull cutter. That would be an eventual addition. What am I missing?

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  17. wraith67 June 21, 18:07

    Where does 320 come from? The standard load is 7×30 round magazines (one in the rifle, six in the pounches). Combat arms will typically carry at least a double load. And no, it’s not sufficient for a days worth of fighting (ammo discipline apparently went out the window in the 90s). Protracted fights outside of a FOB or COP will call in close air support and if necessary drop in ammo. FOBs and COPs will have pallets of ammo with regular resupply. 1,000 per caliber is probably a good baseline. I’ve never had a problem with old ammo (in some cases decades old) and/or handloads going off when they were supposed to and it’s never been stored in air tight containers (*caveat that I’ve lived in a dry area the last 20 years). The one batch of ammo I have had problems with was Malaysian MILSURP 7.62×51 – kept in military issue metal cans – that had clearly been under water at one point (thanks Sellier & Bellot).

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  18. Chris Brown June 21, 18:45

    Don’t stack shotgun shell boxes on top of each other. The shells will deform from the weight and you won’t be able to load them into magazines or chamber them in your shotgun. Store shotgun shell boxes with the shells within the boxes standing on end inside a quality, non-deforming container like an ammo can.

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  19. TruePremise July 14, 03:30

    Universal Advice for the comming Buugaluu.

    1. Dark-Age Weapons [body, 12″+ long-knives, swords, chain-flails, axes, halberds, spears], are going to be more in use than you realize, especially since ARMOR/SHIELDS have made a huge comeback & are worth way more than guns [cuz everyone has guns nowadays]
    2. You’re not going to be shooting pistol rounds very much. Rifle Rounds {Armor Piercing particularly] will absolutely be more common, such as the .223, .308, & bigger.
    3. Weapons that can be used from MODIFIED VEHICLES are 100% going to be of HIGH VALUE.
    4. Instincts are also going to be high in demand. Invest in this more than actual equipment.
    5. Learn how to Self-Sell your Skills better…Self-Appraisal [Plus References] are more important than the amount of ammo you have [since ammo is probably going to be shared & coordinated more than people think]
    6. Mercenary/Vigilante/Security Work is going to make a comeback.
    7. I recommend a 7″x11″ long-handle flat-head shovel/spade….[ I have worked as a Grave Digger…the 7×11 is my favorite shovel for all digging cuz it pierces the ground so well & is easy to lift…& I keep 1 at home & 1 in my red ranger truck].

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