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We all remember the Covid-era where there was virtually no ammunition of any caliber available on the shelves.
Things have started to get back to normal since then as ammunition has returned to the shelves and prices have also stabilized. But there are warning signs that things may not stay normal for much longer.
We’re starting to see crippling fuel and diesel shortages in Europe and the eastern coast of North America. If this continues and spreads across the states, it will deal a severe blow to the trucking industry and thus devastate the supply chains. We could be in for a substantial period of rationing and shelves in stores going empty again.
If the Covid-era served as a valuable lesson for you (and hopefully it has), it should be that you can never take what’s ‘normal’ for granted.
In other words, stock up now while you still can. When the next ammunition shortage hits (and you can guarantee it’s a question of ‘when’ not ‘if’), a box of ammunition or even a single bullet will become a precious commodity and a valuable asset.
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Here are the best kinds of ammunition to stockpile before the SHTF:
The small and yet mighty .22 Long Rifle round is perhaps the most overlooked caliber there is, and yet it was one of the first rounds to disappear off the shelves in the last ammunition shortage. People may commonly overlook the .22 in everyday life, but they always suddenly remember its value as soon as the next shortage hits.
In continuous production since the 1880s and now one of the most popular cartridges worldwide, the strength of the .22 LR lies in its inherent versatility. Since it’s a very small and lightweight round, it can be bought in bulk packs of thousands of rounds and without taking up very much space. You can store hundreds of rounds of .22 LR in a box that can hold fifty 9mm Luger rounds, for example.
The .22 is also an excellent (if not the best) round to use for casual plinking to keep your shooting skills up, for pest control, and for small game hunting. Stock up on it now, and buy it in bulk, because when the next ammo shortage comes around the .22 will likely be the first caliber to disappear.
The 12 gauge may be a completely different round than the .22 LR, but it’s equally as versatile. The reason why is because of the many different types of ammunition you can get with a 12 gauge.
Specifically, you can use buckshot rounds for home defense, slugs for big game hunting (granted, within closer distances than a hunting rifle), and birdshot for small game hunting or bird hunting.
If there’s only one handgun round that you stock up on, it should be the 9mm Luger. This is the most plentiful centerfire handgun round worldwide and with good reason. Small and lightweight, the 9mm generates minimal recoil, offers sufficient stopping power (especially with self-defense +P loads) and the guns chambered for it often have a very generous magazine capacity.
The 9mm is also the most common pistol caliber in use by law enforcement and government agencies, as well as military units in the United States. Demand for the 9mm will be very high in the event of an ammo shortage between both civilians and the government, and subsequently in the last ammo shortage it was one of the first cartridges to disappear off the shelves. Buy it now while you can.
Another semi-automatic pistol cartridge worth stocking up on is the .45 ACP. While it isn’t as commonly utilized as the 9mm, it’s still the caliber used in some of the most popular pistols in the United States today, such as the 1911. The .45 ACP (or .45 Auto as it’s also known) will be in very high demand during the next ammo shortage, so stock up on it now.
.38 Special and .357 Magnum
Revolvers may have been replaced by semi-automatics as sidearms for the military, law enforcement, and civilians alike, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t still in use. Countless Americans today will rely on .38-snubnose revolvers for concealment, or .357 Magnum revolvers as sidearms while hiking or hunting out in the woods.
.357 Magnum revolvers in particular have the added versatility of being able to chamber and shoot both rounds. There will be a market for the .38 Special and .357 Magnum (as well as other revolver rounds) when the next ammo shortage hits.
5.56x45mm NATO/.223 Remington
The 5.56x45mm NATO is one of the most popular centerfire rifle rounds in the United States today for one reason: it’s the caliber utilized for the most popular rifle in the country as well, the AR-15. It’s also the caliber used for many other semi-automatic rifles as well, such as the Ruger Mini-14.
The 5.56x45mm is lightweight and powerful enough to bring down medium-sized game such as deer, pronghorn, or wild boar. It generates minimal recoil and is easily controllable, and
Note: you can fire .223 Remington ammunition in a rifle chambered for 5.56x45mm NATO, but not the other way around.
The venerable .30-30 Winchester has brought down more deer than perhaps any other caliber in the United States, and a lever action rifle in .30-30 remains the quintessential deer hunting rifle. Many people still rely on the .30-30 for their deer rifles, so don’t discount it as a valuable round to stock up on. When the grid does down, there will be a big demand for it.
7.62x51mm NATO/.308 Winchester
The .308 Winchester holds the distinction as the most popular centerfire rifle round used worldwide. Many semi-automatic, bolt action, lever action, and pump action rifles alike are chambered for this caliber. It’s highly versatile, capable of dropping anything in North America, and also in use with the military as the very similar 7.62x51mm NATO caliber.
A semi-automatic rifle in .308 (such as an AR-10 or M1A) is arguably the most versatile rifle you can own because it can be used for both hunting big game and as a tactical rifle to engage targets at longer distances than you could the 5.56x45mm.
Note: You can fire 7.62x51mm NATO ammunition in a rifle chambered for .308, but not the other way around.
Another highly popular round in the United States today is the traditional .30-06 Springfield, from which the .308 Winchester was actually derived. This was the caliber originally utilized in American military service rifles before the advent of the .308 and 7.62x51mm NATO, but it’s lived on as a common chambering for bolt action rifles to this very day.
Like the equally venerable .30-30 Winchester, there’s still a considerable market for the .30-06, so stocking up on it while you can won’t hurt.
Right now, you can walk into any sporting goods store and buy nearly any type of ammo you want right off the shelf. Take advantage of this opportunity, because it’s not likely to stay this way for long.
In a true SHTF situation, ammunition in general will become among the most valuable commodities like food and fuel. But the specific calibers that we’ve covered above will be the most sought after.
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