When panic really set in and people started running on grocery stores, a lot of gun owners were less concerned. We tend to be a class of people who believes in preparedness, and we were ready long before anyone knew a virus was going to shut down the whole world.
Even so, ammunition has gone the way of toilet paper, and even prepared gun owners might be worried about maintaining a healthy supply of firepower. With that in mind, there are certain firearms that tend to do better during an ammo shortage.
There’s no question that 9mm platforms are the most popular in the world, and there are a number of good reasons for that. The drawback to sticking with popular platforms is supply shortages. When we first began to descend into social chaos, 9mm was the first ammo out of supply. So, if you already have a stockpile, feel free to stick with 9mm. They’re reliable and effective, and there’s always another tempting new gun to buy.
If you don’t currently have a handgun, it’s reasonable to base your decision on ammunition that is available. The other popular platforms are .38 and .45 APC.
Ammo that is less likely depleted is .357 magnum and .44 magnum. You also might be able to find .40 and a few other less-popular but still common calibers.
Once again, popularity is an issue. The AR-15 is the most popular platform in America, and that’s why 5.56 ammo is hard to find right now. On the bright side, hunting rounds are still easy enough to get, and they’re more powerful rounds anyway. You can look for .30-30, .308 or any number of other hunting rounds in the .300 ballpark.
With hunting rounds, you get double use. They can absolutely be deployed for self-defense, but if you’re worried about food scarcity, these are the rounds that let you hunt the kind of game that can feed a family for months. Plus a warning shot with one of these rounds to scare off looters will let the whole block know which house not to mess with.
When it comes to home defense, nothing beats a 12 gauge. Really, any shotgun is going to be effective, but 12 gauge ammunition hasn’t dried up in most regions. In fact, it rarely runs out in any ammo shortage we’ve seen in the States.
If you’re worried about being able to handle the 12 gauge (maybe it’s for the kids), you can go for a tamer weapon. Shotgun ammo is still plentiful, and you know it can do good work. Shotguns also enjoy that bonus of being good for hunting and defense.
Dealing with this (and any other) ammo shortage is mostly about diversifying. Maybe people give you a hard time for having a cache of weapons, but when you have variety, you can adapt to different situations.
In this current event, there are a few particular things to remember. Dealing with the pandemic has left a lot of people with extra downtime. That’s a great opportunity to clean and maintain your weapons. If you reload, you might as well build up your ammo stock. Most importantly, now is a great time to work through dry fire routines. Dry fire will keep you sharp and save that precious ammo.