What Calibers and Brands of Ammunition are Best for Prepping: Weekly product review

“The skillful soldier does not raise a second levy, neither are his supply-wagons loaded more than twice.” Sun Tsu

Ammunition, something most of us have, the form of which depends entirely upon what is allowed where we live. For many of us, firearms are embraced and used. For others slingshots, archery equipment, and even blowguns. Many people have very different approaches to prepping, for myself it is a matter of balance, over the course of my lifetime I have learned to balance my approaches. As a child I was taught archery, firearms, trapping, tracking, stalking and even the use of slingshots. As I got older I continued to practice the use of all of these hunting tools.

Sun Tsu was clear in that he believed that soldiers were better for the ability to either use whatever they could get their hands on, or that they carry adequate supplies on their own person. Supply trains tend to slow an army down, and or any group really. It adds difficulty in that there are additional schedules to keep and routes to protect, maintain and be aware of. For preppers, relying on supplies coming is the last thing we really want. After all, shouldn’t we be prepared to the point where we do not have to rely on additional supplies, rather foraging as we go and having on our persons enough to get from one cache to the next?

For the purposes of this article, we will be concentrating on firearms ammunition. Specifically on what I have found to be the best ammunition for long-term storage and in accuracy, reliability and overall cost efficiency. In the past decade, ammunition has bounced around in both pricing and availability. At the moment it is both available and relatively inexpensive given current economic conditions. The following are several solid tests and sites available for good ballistics information. I have included one written result I published and recently updated.

  1. 9×19 Ammunition testing for self-defense by Jesse Mathewson
  2. Active Response Testing
  3. Lucky Gunner Ammunition testing
  4. International Ballistics Society
  5. Applied Ballistics
  6. Ballistics by the Inch

After ballistics, there are a couple other items that have to be addressed. How are you planning on storing the ammunition? Is it for practice, hunting or self-defense? What are your primary calibers? What are your pricing limits and abilities?

For instance, .45 acp is almost always two or three times the cost of 9×19 for practice and even self-defense ammunition. While it is proclaimed to be an amazing round and the only thing capable of stopping asteroids, the reality is that it is more difficult to shoot, more expensive (practice is essential for solid marksmanship) and in some cases actually less ballistically capable than solid jacketed hollow point (jhp) self-defense ammunition in 9×19. Numerous studies have shown that the bullet itself while important, is not by itself deadly, it must be compared with accurate placement, solid wound making capability and reliability of the firearm and round itself.

Death is caused by rapid exsanguination of the targeted subject, be it four-legged or two. This quite simply is loss of blood, unless you are fortunate enough to place a round severing the spinal cord from the brain, effectively destroying the brain stem, bleeding out is how everything dies when hit with a projectile weapon. Shock may occur, and there are other factors, however, death itself is almost always caused by bleeding out of the targeted subject. With this being said, any firearm is better than none, and a brick is better than a hand, etc,.

So how should we decide what is the best ammunition to store for the long-term and why? As an individual, I see ammunition as an insurance policy, as a result, I refuse to buy ammunition from Wal-Mart as over the past few years the sheer quantity they buy in and reduced pricing they buy at means that in many cases the ammunition sold will not be best quality. I have had several squibs, misfires and failure to fires, I no longer purchase ammunition from that location except for purely practice purposes and ONLY if I cannot get it anywhere else. I utilize on-line retailers to purchase ammunition that I know has a proven record and that has been tested by myself or others whom I have trust in.

For my 22 rimfire needs, the use of Aguila, Eley or if I must, CCI is more than enough. However, for stockpiling and storing I only use Aguila and Eley. Though the cost averages .08 cents through .14 cents for the rounds I prefer it is still half of what I spend on 9×19 and other rounds. I have never had a failure to fire from Aguila, Eley and very very rarely from CCI. Additionally, they are sealed with a thin coat of wax, or are crimped, meaning they will store better for longer even without solid cases surrounding them.

Rim-fire ammunition stores differently than center-fire ammunition due to composition. Most American made rim-fire ammunition utilizes the following per available patent data. “The priming mix of the invention contains dinol as the initiating explosive, manganese dioxide as the oxidizer, tetrazene as the sensitizer and glass as the co-sensitizer and is intended for use in rimfire cartridges such as .22 caliber cartridges.” (Patent number US 4689185) Eley and Eley primed ammunition uses a slightly more stable and more evenly spread mixture resulting in a peanut like odor when discharged. The differences are that Eley primers are lead based, though I would suggest washing your hands after shooting firearms and loading magazines regardless, this is simply another reason to do so. In Chemical Analysis of Firearms, Ammunition and Gunshot Residue authored by James Wallace, the name given the Eley priming mixture is called Eleyprime. It consists of lead monoxide and styphnic acid which alone are safer to handle and produce though before the end of processing a drop of water is added resulting in a chemical reaction that ends with lead styphnate. While chemically no different than most priming approaches, the process is different resulting in a more stable, even primed surface. And the resulting overall consistency from round to round.

Storing this ammunition away from water sources is absolutely essential, use good stable solid dry containers and silica packages during storage. Even though the popular Gator Country reality shows they flaunt their rusted rifles, I would go so far as to say, that not only is that unsafe it is quite clearly lazy behavior. Clean your firearms, and do your best to keep your ammunition (powder) dry and clean as well. I have friends that Barney Fife their ammunition, and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend that if you have the time. (Barney Fife had one bullet, which he polished religiously every day, several times a day)

When buying 22lr ammunition, remember, there are the types you can rely on, and the types that work well for hunting, storage and survival. What is your life worth? This of course, applies to all ammunitions regardless caliber. I know many people who absolutely love stockpiling corrosive com bloc ammunition because…”its cheap”. Obviously, they plan on having the ability to clean their firearms regularly and thoroughly as well as replace parts corroded due to not getting them clean enough. For myself, I simply do not want to have that many things to consider. I would rather pay extra now to prevent future issues. So when it comes to centerfire ammunition I test and look for the ammunition that works the best in the firearms I have, then I test its ability to sit under water for extended lengths of time or out in the cold, heat and more and still function. Obviously, if you reload you know that temperature and humidity affects a loads power overall. My loads at 3500 ft above sea level will not function the same or have the same POA if they were fired at sea level or at 17000 ft above sea level.

However, minor ballistic changes aside, what ammunitions do I recommend for storage? It’s easy really, I choose milsurp ammunition. For my 5.56/.223 carbines, I use IMI, PPU, GGG or Remingtons PMC as they are all crimped rounds. The IMI is readily available in 55, 62, 69 and 77 grains at the moment and while the cost is between .02 and .06 more per round than most ammunitions. I have found it to be the most stable round to round in testing as well as exceedingly accurate regardless of the platform. So I stockpile IMI ammunition, and do so by preloading magazines and using ammo canisters to store these preloaded magazines. For my 7.62×39 AKs, I only use Golden Tiger rounds, non-corrosive, accurate and sealed. Easily stored, again preloaded and in ammo cannisters. For my 7.62×51 or in my case the 7.5×55 swiss as I do not plan on using it nearly as much as the handguns and carbines, I have purchased several cases of South African ball/ Swiss surplus and sealed it into separate ammunition cases.

For defensive purposes the IMI 55 grn works really nicely as it does what it is supposed too and breaks apart in targets, the 124 grn Golden Tiger also works well, as it tends to tumble after hitting a target due to the length and bullet shape. For distance shooting, I also stockpile a few crates of soft point and hunting type ammunition for distance needs. And for handguns I stock 1-10 boxes of SD ammunition, so for every ten boxes of target/ non-specific sd ammunition I stock a box of SD ammunition and because I prefer CCI Speer Gold Dot for SD ammunition, I purchase Speer Lawman in the same bullet weight, allowing for less expense practicing with virtually the same round. Using desiccant packs and solid storage containers it is easy to ensure ammunition longevity. Do what you can to avoid temperature extremes, this alone is enough to cause instability and a shortened life span in ammunition. For instance, if you bury caches in different places, make sure they are 3 feet below ground level, this will allow for a fairly even temperature regardless what occurs above.

 

So here are my choices for ammunition for stockpiling, as you have already seen the reasons why I make the decisions I do, with evidence to support them, the list will be rather short, however, it was put together with allot of thought, testing, and research.

  • Rimfire ammunition, get the best you can afford, preferably ELEY primed, or CCI ammunition. Remington also makes an ELEY primed round that is very good.
  • Centerfire handgun rounds, test these fully for whatever handgun caliber you use. Test for reliability, function, and expansion as well as penetration. 12+ inches with full expansion is essential. I prefer CCI Speer Gold Dot in 115 or 124 grn and Hornady Critical DUTY 135grn, 147+ grns tends to be stopped easier by barriers and I noticed many of the rounds tested failed completely to open up when faced with barriers.
  • Centerfire Carbine, Military surplus (NON-CORROSIVE) is essential, they are crimped, and sealed. My choices for 5.56 are IMI, GGG (Lithuania), Remington PMC, Federal milsurp in that order. For 7.62×39 Golden Tiger all the way. Never corrosive unless it is only used for NON long term storage plinking needs.
  • Centerfire Rifle, Military surplus South African, IMI or Swiss depending on round used. PPU makes a VERY nice 7.62x54r round that I use in my Mosins.
  • If you reload, CRIMP the cases, and you can purchase primer sealants as well. For long-term storage!
  • Lastly, amount, I store on average 1000 rounds per firearm, this does not include practice rounds and the like. However, for hard use, 1000 rounds of premier ammunition in premier magazines per weapon. If you do the math on it, it’s actually a very small amount of ammunition. However, it is relatively easy to transport and properly apportioned can get you to the next step, where you use what you take from those who fight against you.

Obviously, while this is my testing, assumptions, and experiences it does mean that alternatives are not only possible they may be better, if you have rounds that are better overall (every listed category) please let me know. I am always open to testing and trying new things. Hope you enjoyed this review and as always, keep your powder dry.

Free the mind and the body will follow

About Jesse Mathewson

Arizona since 86', lifetime prepper, camper - criminal justice advanced degrees, numerous certifications, 1+ million rounds (shooting for decades), prior contractor, instructor, current volunteer, disabled, honest, father of two husband of one - all budget and prepared. Jesse Mathewson reviews because regular people need someone in their corner as well!

Comments

  1. j.r. guerra in south tx. says:

    Shotgun ammunition should also be put back. Many residences have at least one firearm, most of them rimfire, but I’m betting a shotgun of some type is also present. Unlike rimfire shooters who buy a brick at a time, a box or three is often enough for shotgun hunters. Having some to pass out to TRUSTED neighbors would gain some gratitude if trouble begins.

    • Jesse Mathewson says:

      Agreed, I have a mixed large cannister of 12g and 20g for trade bait. As I do not personally use it myself.

      • For my rimfire stockpile I mostly buy cci minimags and some 22 shorts. the shorts are cci also. I have some big bore remington ammo. I plan on getting some loading gear and rolling my own.

  2. Common rounds are best.
    22,9mm,40, 38/357 handgun ammo I’d also add 44mag just for Dirty Harry. Lol

    22,223/556,7,62×39 carbine ammo

    12ga, 20ga shotgun ammo

    30/30, 308,30-06, 7.62x 54,300wm. Common rounds but many different hunters use other ammo.

    • Jesse Mathewson says:

      They do, remember, this particular article was more based on what to be used by individuals pre bugout- though for the sake of trade alone, the BOLs (hopefully people have multiple potential locations). Should have stock of necessary and trade items.

  3. Cndnathan says:
    • Jesse Mathewson says:

      I absolutely love PPU ammunition, most is crimped and sealed well and stored, it is reliable, accurate and well priced. For non standard rounds I would use this ammunition for storing absolutely!

  4. I stay away from Aguila 22 LR ammo as in it’s subsonic version it did not cycle my semi-autos when using a suppressor; either in 36 or 40 grain.

    I have had the best luck with Winchester Power Points for somall game hunting. It ALWAYS puts down the game (assuming I do my part). Additionally I have had good luck with the WInchester Subsonic in 40 and 42 grain.

    CCI seems to work as a second best alternative to Winchester. This spring/summer I will be trying out their subsonic 45 gr HP’s.

    Personally, I try to keep my main ammo in 223 & 308 for rifles; 9mm, 38 & 357, and 45 ACP. I do have some other calibers to go with specific weapons, but these are secondary or old favorites.

    The DW prefers a 20 gauge, as do I for hunting. For defense I have a 12 with it’s appropriate ammo (20 gauge is hard to get in defensive loads and slugs for smooth bores).

    • Jesse Mathewson says:

      Ive found the aguila super extra Blue lined box/ runs around 1070/1100 which is right on the brink of subsonic and is solid lead no copper jacket or wash – my semiautos love it both supressed and not.

      Anyone else hoping the hearing protection act goes through…it sounds funny coming outta me but, I do hope this legislation goes through!

  5. Santa Walt says:

    This is one of those subjects that no matter what you think or say, there will be bunches of people that disagree. I don’t even read these any more.

  6. Jesse,
    My preferrence is 10mm..have tried many brands but always come back to GEORGIA ARMS. Their ammo no matter what the caliber or bullet, I have never had even one failure to fire. After 10s of 1000s of rounds not one bad round is impressive. They are located in Villa Rica Ga. I have been to their factory and was very impressed.
    No their ammo is not as cheap as milsurp but reliability in a tough situation is priceless. Besides there is no milsurp 10mm.
    This old VETERAN and shooter recommends them highly.
    I enjoy all of your posts and reviews.

    • Jesse Mathewson says:

      Thank you, 10mm is a great round, I have not checked out their ammunition yet.

      • Jesse,
        The 10mm is not for everyone but I have big hands and the Glock20 and 40 fit my hand perfect.
        Shooting the 10mm I find the recoil perfect no matter what the load for my taste. Very controlable, double taps are a breeze. On the other hand I cannot hit the broad side of a barn with a .45 in any model. I must have a brain block toward 45.
        GEORGIA ARMS has all types of ammo and one of the most helpful and friendly staffs of anyone. Give them a look at least

        Incidentally the only 9mm I ever developed a liking for is an old but pristine 9mm Largo. Comparable to 38 Super.

    • Okg55

      Your 10mm preference is interesting. I recently bought a SIG 220 in 10mm. Price was outrageous, but Cabelas had this deal where you buy any gun over 500.00 and you had a year to pay for, 0% interest. Anyway it is a very cool round, so of course I bought brass and loaded up some hot stuff in all the .40 cal bullets there are. This round would be great in a carbine weapon IMHO. Do you shoot a Glock 40? Recoil is totally manageable from the heavy SIG.

      • I do have a Glock 40 and love it. My G20 is my EDC pistol and have a G29 in each BOB.
        My heart lusts for a SIG 220 and a COLT DELTA ELITE.
        Hope you enjoy your 10mms as much as I do.

  7. TPSnodgrass says:

    Several years ago, my wife and I decided to logistically simply our ammunition preparations. So, we got rid of firearms and calibers that we could not “easily” get from any retail establishment, or from an “end user”.
    I reload religiously for practice rounds, and “assume” that those same reloads will have to also be pressed into service as defense and/or hunting loads at some point in time. Thus, we store what we normally use for those purposes. Yes, it’s a bit more expensive in the long run, but we feel WE and our children and grandchildren are worth it. I’d much rather forgoe that cruise, and be able to sleep well knowing we had excellent supplies in hand, than be eating, drinking and making merry for a very short period of time.

  8. Hello
    I agree on all of your recommendations but would like to offer another.
    With 2.5 billion (+/-) of .40 S&W HP pistol rounds currently in the hands of a brazillion different Gov. agencies, I would have to think there exists a high probability that a percentage will trickle-down to a black-market type level. Particularly when a substantial percentage of those Gov. agencies/personnel have little background or proficiency with firearms.
    To me, that suggests that a .40 may be a good platform to acquire as well.
    Heck, it’s “our” ammo anyway…..

    • Jesse Mathewson says:

      Good point, except that FBi and mil are sticking round 9×19 so there will be changes…and it will mean more available .40sw

  9. JMHO but what type of weapon is important also. Some guns and manufacturers are just finicky about what the shoot. I have talked to people and read articles about my gun shoots this or that but doesn’t like this brand. To me that is a problem as we may not always be able to pick and choose what brand we buy. While I like buying quality ammo( more because it seems to run cleaner) I have put thousands of rounds through my S&W AR 15 and through my .45 M&P of whatever brand was the cheapest at the time I have never had a problem with jamming,stove piping ect, As to accuracy I can’t comment as either gun is more accurate than I can shoot. I do prefer guns that with eat whatever you feed them.

    • Jesse Mathewson says:

      Remember the purpose of the article, is not best or cheapest ammo, but what will be best in long term storage and how to store well.

  10. I’ve always felt military and LEO calibers are good to have weapons for. Ammo for those calibers may be available if a SHTF event is of the pandemic type.

  11. Chuck Findlay says:

    What is the best ammo, simple: the ammo in the caliber of guns you own, and that cycle through the action if it’s a semi-auto or pump.

    Some ammo groups better then others, but I have found that all of it I have used (I don’t buy unknown brands of ammo) groups well enough for a defensive situation. For hunting you may need to handload for top accuracy as it’s an issue in rifles, not defensive / combat handguns.

    As far as calibers people have been using every every caliber made to kill people and animals since guns have been around, pretty any one of them will work. Don’t over think it. I can kill a squirrel (and I’m sure a person) at 75-yards with my 1937 single shot Winchester shooting 22 Shorts. If a 22 Short will kill, so will just about every other caliber you will use.

    As far as common caliber ammo, during the last ammo shortage I saw 32 Mag, 41 Mag, 22-250, 7 MM Mauser and lots of other not-so-common rounds that were on the shelves where common calibers like 5.56, 308 Win, 22 Long Rifle, 9 MM, 45 ACP, 357 Mag were always sold out.

    Common caliber ammo was downright hard to come by bordering on not being able to get it at all, and when it was found it was selling for a high price so it was not the best choice for someone wanting ammo. So maybe it’s not the end all it’s made out to be?

    You should not buy a gun and caliber based on what others use, you should buy a gun (and caliber) based on what you need it to do.

    I have many odd calibers (at least 1/2 of my guns are not so common calibers) and am very happy with them. I don’t need to worry about ammo shortages as I have stocked more then I will likely need.

    I have a 22 Mag rifle, I shoot maybe 300 rounds a year, I have 6,500 rounds of ammo for it, enough for my lifetime. I really like my 32 Mag handguns (have 3 of them) and shoot it a lot, I have 5,000 rounds loaded, a few thousand primed brass and thousands of bullets for it. I also like my 17 Remington (both in rifle and handgun) and have thousands of rounds for it and lots of bullets, primers and powder to reload)

    Why should I care if any of them are not on the shelves of the local Gander Mountain?

    The real way to solve your future ammo problems is to build a large stock of it and you will not suffer when shortages or high prices come again, and they will come again. My most favorite handgun is a Wildcat round that has never been made by any ammo company, that being the 7 TCU. I had to make every round I have. It’s easy to make out of 5.56 or 223 Remington. It’s definitely not common at all, it’s about as hard to come by as anything because no one makes it. I worry not at all about it being uncommon as I have built up a somewhat large stock of it.

    I also (since the late 1980’s) have enough ammo to last me the rest of my life. I worked part-time at a friends gun shop and took ammo and guns as payment. So I was able to build a substantial supply.

    When people asked what caliber to get I gave 2 different advice for them.

    For self defense handguns in a home any caliber of 38 Spl / 9 MM or larger. As a sub question to that a new shooter that was going to take time to learn to shoot a semi-auto was a good choice. But for the person that was going to put the gun in a drawer a revolver was the best choice.

    As far as a hunting rifle I always told people to decide what they wanted to kill and look at the bullet first (not the gun or specific round), it’s speed on target and it’s desired effect on the animal. And then find a gun and caliber that delivers that bullet to the target.

    Gun’s don’t kill things, bullets do. You need to know what is happening when the bullet hits the target, not so much the gun that fired the bullet.

    I’ve seen people argue (quite vocally at the gun shop) for the 3006 over the 308, and vice versa as the best man killer. When in truth both shoot the same bullets, that being .308 dia bullets, the 3006 is only a few hundred feet faster and at the range most people shoot them (under 200-yards) the difference is meaningless. Out West it may make a difference, but here in Ohio it doesn’t, so my advice was based on here, not out West.

    As far as my favorite rounds I’m a hunter / target shooter so I have gravitated to rounds and guns that fit that niche. Bolt action rifles and single shot and handguns with long barrels, and revolvers. My first gun that I personally bought(other then my Dads guns he gave me, I don’t count them as I did not choose them or buy them) was a Ruger mk2 with a 10-inch barrel with a 2 to 7 power rifle scope on it. 2 of my 32 Mag’s have a 9.5 and 10-inch barrel, both are absolutely deadly at 100-yards.

    Handguns I like 22 Long Rifle, 32 Mag, 9 MM Ultra, 7-TCU, the most.

    Rifles I like 22 Long Rifle, 17 Remington and 22-250 the most.

    I also have numerous common caliber guns, but for some reason I like the odd calibers.

    One thing about prepping, guns and ammo supplies is to understand how much ammo you will realisticly need.

    TV and Hollyweird movies would have us believe that there going to be running gun battles going on almost non stop.

    The Wild West was not nearly so wild as Hollyweird portrays it to have been. The highest body count in Tombstone for any one year was 5. Dodge City had murder rates of zero.6 per year during the Old West time.

    Also modern cop / hero shootouts show hundreds of bullets being fired without hitting a single person. If you buy into this you must stock a LOT of ammo. It’s unrealistic to think a prepper will be able to burn hundreds of rounds per gun battle, and engage in gun battles every few days.

    More likely you will only need to fire off much less ammo then TV good and bad guys do. You will likely hunt with a gun (Mostly a single shot fired to hit an animal and maybe a final kill shot when you catch up to the animal)

    As far as gun battles with Brigands, I don’t know for sure (as do none of you) that it will be a daily thing like Prepper-porn and Hollyweird makes it out to be.

    I stock a respectable amount of ammo, but I don’t think I will be in many if any running gun battles. My guess is that the show of guns may run people off. But still be ready to use them if needed. This will not involve 12 clips of ammo for your AR and the need to empty every clip when you see someone you don’t know.

    Post-SHTF people will figure out that even a few 22 Long Rifle bullets mean death when hospitals will not be a 911 call away. It will modify their behavior as the result of aggressive action will likely kill them. I’ve read that criminals fear a home where the home owner is armed more then they do the police. Home owners are more likely to shoot them then cops. I see this only growing more common Post-SHTF. People don’t want to get shot by any gun, it will temper their actions if they feel they will get shot at.

    Most all of my guns & ammo was bought for the love of shooting long before I was a prepper. But it fit well into prepping once I became a prepper.

    • Jesse Mathewson says:

      Well said. What did you think of the article? Your response was very well put together.

  12. Chuck Findlay says:

    This is an honest question for people to think about and answer:

    During the last ammo shortage common caliber ammo was borderline impossible to find and there was no SHTF going on. What the heck makes you think it’s going to suddenly be easy to find months or years into a Post-SHTF event?

    Get realistic and buy your supply of ammo now because Post-SHTF you are going to find it very hard to the extreme to come by. And when you do find it, it’s going to be expensive or you are going to have to fight (with guns) to get it. And if you are in a gun battle for ammo you are just as likely to get shot as the other guy. And again theirs that No Hospital thing Post-SHTF.

    Were preppers, we are supposed to prep and think ahead, and ammo is an important prep, why would you not be buying all of it that you can afford today?

    And for those that say they can’t afford it, you better figure out how to buy it. It’s an item that can save your and your families life.

    Buy a good air rifle (A Gamo is under $175.00 and comes with a scope) and lots of pellets for hunting small game. Air rifles can almost silently kill small game and shoot inexpensive pellets. Air rifles are good SHTF food procurement tools.

  13. Chuck Findlay says:

    While I upon occasion I do this, I’m not going to write an article on it.

    But an article how to take apart found ammo and reuse the bullets, powder and primers in a new round that you have would be a good article.

    The most unknown factor is the powder used, but watching for excessive pressure and working up slowly to a full charge is not that hard. Most reloading books tell you how to recognize pressure limits.

    For most people it’s not something they should be doing, but SHTF could change that.

    You can use 32 handgun bullets in 30 cal rifle rounds I’ve used 85 grain 32 Mag bullets in my 3006, makes a great 100-yard small game round, the bullets explode in a woodchuck, quite impressive. and fun.

    And 380, 9 MM 38 Spl and 357 Mag bullets are interchangeable if you watch pressures.

    I have not seen any articles ever written on this, maybe the liability is an issue?

    • Jesse Mathewson says:

      I dont because honestly, most people still have issues with stockpiling good ammunition lord knows I dont need the liability issues coming from someone with little to no experience 🙁

  14. Curley Bull says:

    Hey Fella’s,
    A while back a few of us were talking about reloading the .22LR. Check out this article, sounds good to me, especially the #11 percussion caps.

    .22 Rimfire Reloading System + DIY #11 Percussion Caps + Berdan Primer Replacement – SHOT Show 2017
    by Paul Helinski on January 28, 2017

    • Curley Bull says:

      PS: At the Guns America web site!

    • Jesse Mathewson says:

      .22lr reloading while possibly necessary in extreme long term…is definitely not something I would recommend to the general layman.

      Btw, learn to make gun cotton…:)

  15. PrepperDoc says:

    I saw only two comments above from people who RELOAD. I don’t think you really understand ammunition until you make your own.

    You can store a LOT more “rounds” in “unassembled form” than you can in “assembled” form…… And to some degree you can “mix and match”. So I think a compromise between “assembled” and “unassembled” rounds is wise.

    Many current people don’t remember when primers were unavailable at ANY price. So I have a “bunch”. Many current people don’t remember when certain powders were “unavailalbe” for a year or more….so I have a “bunch” (Store in WOODen foot lockers, nominal 1″ thickness of wood; build your own or strengthen surplus units). It is EASY to cast your own pistol projectiles — so I have a “bunch” of certain alloys…and the necessary tools, which are CHEAP.

    Cases — I have plenty of those, and of course I can re-use the one from my “assembled” stored rounds.

    Plus—its a possible trade in such a time……

    If you don’t now how to do this….learn NOW. 95% of the rounds I fire….I made myself.

    • Jesse Mathewson says:

      PrepperDoc / agreed, sadly that is one thing I havent been able to do recently. (Reload) time/space and physical constraints have made it so that I have to choose which is the better more efficient course – I do have a few single stage setups and dies for my favorite calibers, plus load data ive worked up over the years. I definitely agree, loading your own and really understanding what is involved makes a huge difference in how one approachs preps.

  16. If it doesn’t come in a green can marked in yellow NATO or with military caliber, don’t need it that’s the storage side.

  17. Chuck Findlay says:

    One thing I don’t do is plan to barter with ammo I have.

    I always had in the back of my mind that ammo I bartered or sold could come back to me at 1,200 feet-per-second and generally make for a bad day.

    I plan to barter (as I do a bit of bartering talready) with my awesome repair skills.

  18. Might get some flack over this, but I think too much focus is placed on firearms. There near the bottom of my prep list. Hell yes they are important. But so if food on the table, clean water heat, medical supplies etc.
    I’d rather have a 20 gauge and 6 months worth of food than an AR and a weeks supply of food.
    That said a whole lot of bad things have to transpire before its OK to walk down the road with a long gun. A hand gun on the other hand can go undetected. How many rounds are you going to need for self defense or hunting? Guess that varies from person to person. I want more than a box of 50 rounds but do I need 10,000? Just my opinion.

    • Jesse Mathewson says:

      It would be a good idea to read the article, you may get a better understanding of reasoning and what exactly was being said, as it was a review of ammunition types. Having reviewed cooking methods and even long term food types here…just saying. 🙂

    • Jesse Mathewson says:

      Additionally, like everything, one does not get better by simply owning one. Practice is everything. I practice making fires with all various approaches, catching and harvesting wild foods and using knives…most definitely I practice firearms, I know of far too many preppers who have two or three years of mountain house etc., as well as 15k plus rounds of ammo and yet, dont practice, believing *incorrectly* that their 4-6 year stint in the army will like a bike come back to them, its a perishable skill. Practice or you do lose it.

    • Chuck Findlay says:

      I want more than a box of 50 rounds but do I need 10,000?

      Well Yea, 10,000 is a good number to shoot for per handgun that you want to practice with. With 22 Long Rifle ammo I would go well beyond 10,000 rounds, I think I have close to 60,000 of it. A hunting rifle or hunting shotgun I would say 1/4 that should do it as you normally only shoot it a few times a year.

      Another thing to look into is reloading, you can get a Lee Loader that cost $16.00 per caliber, it a mallet, a bit of powder, primers and bullets and you can reload for not too much money.

      You can never have too much ammo.

      The more ammo you have, the more you can go out and shoot the gun and the better you become. The better you then can defend your family.

      I’d rather have a 20 gauge and 6 months worth of food than an AR and a weeks supply of food.

      Build both slowly but steadily. I did this with silver and while I almost never bough a lot at any one time I did build up a good pile of it. So much so that my Son opened the silver safe (also has several handguns in it and they were what he was looking at) and said “WOW, that’s a lot of silver”.

      I think you should buy a bit of extra food every trip to the store, and a box of ammo every week. Assume 40 boxes of ammo a year (some weeks you will miss buying it so 40 is a good number to shoot for. ) and you suddenly have a good amount of it.

  19. I liked your analysis. To me, the most important thing is to have an ample supply for the firearms most likely to be used and most frequently used. That means hunting rounds, in brands I have proven go “bang” and hit when desired. If it hasn’t worked well for me, it is not in my supply. We have quite a bit of self defense ammo, but also general purpose stuff. Also reloading supplies and equipment. Do we have the best stuff? Probably not, but what we do have works. We have substantially standardized our arms also, in order to limit the different types of ammo we must stock. We aren’t peopling the ark and choosing representatives of all calibers! Plagiarized from Arthbut Fisher, first Sea Lord of Britain when he was developing the modern battleship.

    • Jesse Mathewson says:

      Again, agreed, hence the article as written. I didnt include shotgun rounds, because shotguns I do not have or use. And while a few friends have 300aac I do not, and so did not get into that round either.

  20. I’m always slow to checkout articles during the week due to work.
    With that crying over, super good article on ammo.
    ( Nice job, Jesse )
    Really like the facts on 22LR ammo.

  21. I have been building our amno now for a while. Since my brother in law works as a guard for Homeland Security. We got 1000 rounds for hubby’s AR-15 at a descent discount. But I keep building every month.
    This last week I turned 65 and for a birthday present I got a Sig Sauer 380 pistol. My 357 pistol is good but heavy the new semi automatic is much lighter. Since I am still healing from a micro tear in the shoulder the lighter pistol will help.

  22. mauserman says:

    Good article thank you !

  23. Country boy says:

    Good article. I prep for a much longer term. I consolidated my firearms and focused in on a few calibers of 22, 9mm, 7.62×39 and 12 gauge. By consolidating I can buy ammunition (Ammo) in bulk and at a much lower overall cost. Are there better calibers…yes, but my decision is based on my area, cost, practice at the range, and long term storage. A city pepper is going to prep a lot different than a farm country prepper. That is why I consolidated to these calibers. Why use a more expensive caliber which is good for a 1000 yard when the average deer in my area are shot at 45 yards. In my opinion self-protection with a rifle or hand gun is going to be up close and very personal. Why pay $2 per round compared to $.26 per round. I can buy almost 7 times the ammo and at 50 yards have the same effect.
    Most of the calibers I buy in on-line bulk and any box or two of ammo I purchase from my local Walmart store. The cheaper I can buy it, the more I can buy. I keep a box or two of Hollow point (HP) ammo for Every day Carry (EDC). Most of the ammo I buy are Full Metal Jacketed (FMJ) except where I can buy hunting loads for the same price of the FMJ ammo. I practice more at the range when the ammo is less of a burden on my wallet.
    Presently for practice, I am using up ammo I bought on sale in the eighties which I stored in surplus ammo cans. I shoot Surplus 308 ammo from India made in the sixties. At the time I bought everything on sale, Winchester, Remington, CCI or non-corrosive surplus. The ammo cans kept the bullets dry, as you mentioned, moisture degrades the ammo. By keeping the ammo dry, I haven’t had any duds or misfires. You could probably store sealed ammo for a few decades or at least a lot longer than non-sealed ammo.
    With that in mind. Presently instead of buying surplus ammo cans. I purchase new ammo already sealed in spam cans. You can buy 900 rounds of Russian 9mm in a sealed spam can delivered to your door step for as low as $165, 700 rounds of Russian 7.6239 soft point in a sealed spam can delivered for $185, 500 rounds of Russian 223 / 5.56mm in a sealed spam can delivered for $140. Any ammo I find on sale or on-line not in a can. I seal in a seal–a–meal like bag, much like what NATO has done for long term storage. Each spam can purchase sound like a lot but only cost a few cents per round and will last decades longer than a paper box of ammo from the sports shop.
    One of the disasters that I prep for is an EMP strike which would leave us in a new stone age for years to come. Even after the electrical power is restored. Making bullets are not going to be high on the commodities to produce. So what you stored away today may have to last you and your children a life time.
    A firearm is useless if you don’t have any bullets for it. Do a true assessment of your needs and then make your purchases. I store a can or two per caliber and a lot of sealed 22. Just trying to help! Keep prepping and keep safe.

  24. Sarah Querry says:

    MY self I have a SPRINGFILE SUBCOMPACK V10 in 45acp + I have a ENFILD mark IIII IN 45 ACP. THAT use the same mag It very good on rabbits ! with 1,000 rounds of ammo and growing

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