Stockpiling Ammunition

Written by Greg Ellifritz

Topics: Articles

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Written by: Greg Ellifritz


Last week I read an article titled Is Ball Pistol Ammo Worth Stockpiling?


The author talks about how ball ammo might not be the best for defensive purposes, but for a prepper on a budget, it might be worth considering.  I think the author is right, but he misses some of the lesser-considered roles of an ammunition stockpile.


In my view the answer to the question the author poses is an unequivocal “yes.”  There are a few things the article doesn’t consider.  The primary factor is “what event are you stockpiling for?”  Most folks are planning for some type of societal collapse/zombie apocalypse.  That’s fine; but if things get that bad, exactly how many thousands of rounds of that high dollar hollow point ammo do you think you will fire before you get taken out by a team of criminal invaders?  Your best bet in such a situation is to lay low and NOT draw attention to yourself.  That strategy doesn’t require thousands of rounds of defensive ammunition.


Think about it more logically.  In any collapse/crisis situation, there will be a lot of non-gun people pulling old/poorly maintained or cheap junk handguns out of shoe boxes and attics to defend their families.  Are those guns more likely to feed ball ammo or the state of the art hollowpoint?  Ball ammo has some important utility here.


Even more importantly, the purpose of an ammo stockpile might not be to be prepared for the zombie apocalypse.  It might be to prepare yourself for an ammunition sales ban or as a hedge against future supply shortages.  If you are stockpiling for a stash of practice ammo, ball is fine.


Here’s my view of stockpiling ammo…


I think that in the face of the multiple failures the anti-gun crowd has endured with regards to creating more firearms restrictions, their next target will be to ban or severely curtail the purchase of ammunition.  A ban on lead containing “environmentally harmful” ammunition via EPA rulemaking is far more likely to be enacted than a gun control bill is likely to be passed by congress in the current political environment.  I still want to have practice ammo in the event of such a ban and don’t want to pay the dramatic price increases that may result from it.


My goal in stockpiling is to put away enough ammo that I will have a LIFETIME supply of practice ammo.  I recognize that I’m not likely to be able to stockpile enough ammo to feed my current consumption rate of 500-1000 rounds a month for the rest of my life.  But do I really NEED to shoot 1000 rounds a month?  Probably not.  I could likely maintain 80+% of my shooting skills firing 100 rounds a month.  Stockpiling 35,000 rounds of ammo isn’t nearly as difficult as stockpiling 350,000 rounds.


While I have a fair amount of quality defensive ammo put away, the majority of my stash is ball ammo.  And like the article says, it will probably do just fine if pressed into an emergency defensive role when the zombies attack.




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7 Comments For This Post I'd Love to Hear Yours!

  1. Chuck Haggard says:

    People often forget that the vast majority of human beings shot and killed over the course of history have been shot with ball ammo.

    Sure, premium JHPs work better, but ball ammo ain’t exactly airsoft.

  2. thebronze says:

    I agree with you both. I sure as Hell don’t want to get hit with FMJ (or anything)!

  3. Ferran says:

    found this through Rory. Some queries:

    Wasn’t there a ruling by which the EPA couldn’t rule on ammo?

    On those quantities, wouldn’t it be better to make your own ammo?

    I’m missing the point on the “unpreppeds will use old junk and ball ammo”. So?

    Sorry. Take care.

  4. Kinky says:

    My personal first choice for a handgun, would be one of Bill Ruger’s OLD ARMY single action revolvers! Think about it: Percussion caps are cheapo.
    You can make your own black powder if you have the basic ingredients. With a shotmould, you can cast your own bullets, (use old wheel weights if you can’t find pure lead. There are several companies in the U.S. who make cylinders for these things, that hold the .45 Long Colt rounds. They are fun to shoot- and very accurate! Any of the old large caliber Colts and re-productions would also work.
    What is your professional take on this?
    (Fine- INFORMATIVE- website- by the way!)

  5. RJ says:

    I don’t know anyone that would want to be shot with ANY type of ammo. On another note, stockpile it. If you don’t want to use it, you can always use it for barter.

  6. Bill Wright says:

    Great article Greg
    Well personally I will stock both, but that truly does not matter though. What matters is why do you have the weapon? I tell/teach everyone, first you always want to understand and select the weapon according to its intended “purpose” such as is it for self defense, tactical, combat or just plinking etc. secondly does this weapon fit you? Grips to sights? Can you handle that caliber? Can you operate the functions of that weapon? Are you going to carry, or you going to train, or are you going to leave it in your dresser drawer to rust? Always select purpose of the weapon, select the correct weapon to fit you, and then train continually with it.
    Now, in stock piling ammo, well, that is a good thing considering what is going to happen here shortly with ammo, weapons, and the laws there in to include your accessories to that weapon such as mags, ammo, grips, sights, stocks, all pieces and parts etc.
    So yes, stock as much as you can afford with understanding to rotate the ammo out as you train always keeping the newer ammo on the shelf. I recommend 10,000 rounds per weapon, and mags, well in that a minimum of 20 mags per weapon. Ball ammo verse Hollow points etc., well ball is just fine. Jacketed Hollow Points are for self defense yes, BUT, if things go into chaos as most believe, I want Ball ammo and Full Metal Jackets, etc, why? Targeting. At that point I am no longer concerned with just self defense in the mall, groceries stores or home; it now becomes more of a combat environment.
    I am not a doomsday prepper, but one who understands my environment, this nation, this global environment and what is coming. So I train, and prepare, to include helping those who need it in building “survival packs” for short term and long term durations.
    Good luck everyone and remember to train!

  7. Lonnie Hopson says:

    I have a couple hundred rounds of “defense” ammo for all our pistolas but, my major purchases are always ball. For my ARs it is either Lake City or PMC 62g. Shotguns mix of buckshot, usually “0,” and slugs. As long as it is dependable, non corrosive, and reloadable the cheaper the better. A lot of people are starting to get into reloading now days due to the shortages recently. I suggest enough powder, primers, and bullets to reload at least 1K rounds for each firearm.