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The Best Weapons to Own When Ammo is in Short Supply

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.

Handguns

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.

Long Gun

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.

Shotgun

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.


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7 Responses

  1. Since we’re talking about “preparedness,” it’s important to remember that when supply is short, we may need true survival ammo as well as defense-related ammo. The article overlooks the .22 Long Rifle cartridge. If you’re needing protein with your meager diet when supplies are scarce, a .22 rifle is a logical choice. This ammo is cheap, easy to store, and some think it could emerge as a type of currency when times are tough. While it’s not ideal for self-defense, a rifle or pistol in that caliber is a lot better than a 9MM or .223 without any ammo…

  2. No body seems to mention reloading , 44, 357, 38 , are the easiest to reload but 9 mm and 45 can also be reloaded with extra effort ,and bullets are easy to cast and many tire places will give you weights because they are contaminated with zinc ,the only thing required are primers ,which are usually bought by the 1000s.

  3. They mention the 30 cal ammo, I haven’t looked for a couple of weeks but when I looked if you found any in this range, you had to pay through the nose for it.

  4. I think the intent of the topic was relevant, but it was a bit shy of the mark. Also “what ammo to use” is going to be dependent on “what gun you have.” Let’s face it, even if things begin to return to some level of normal within the next year, we need to be prepared for the next round of “ammo shortage.” Being prepared doesn’t mean just stockpiling, but also having a variety of handguns. My experience has been that .32 acp and .32 long were among the last to get inflated prices, and both still seem to be available a few times a month. Yes, twice the price of a year ago, but that’s still better than 3x (9mm) or 4x(.380). My two-cents-worth of all this, is by all means, stay with the firearm you have and like, but get on someone’s waiting list for a .327 Federal Magnum. Ruger makes several revolvers and Henry’s makes a tube-loading lever action. My Ruger Single-Seven is a stylish, powerful hand gun, and it will reliably fire .32 acp, .32 S&W Long, .32 H&R, as well as .327 Federal Magnum. One handgun, four different rounds. That expands your options and increases availability. The Henry’s rifle is advertised as taking both the .327 Federal Magnum round and .32 H&R Magnum. Reviewers and private owners also claim it properly feeds the .32 S&W Long, though I haven’t tried it yet. At the local Dunham’s last week, there were only a few boxes on the shelves, 3 of .32 S&W Long, and 3 of 10mm. Someone told me early last year that 10mm would be the gun to have in an ammo shortage, and that one experience proved him to be right. Of course .22 LR will always be important to have, particularly for revolvers. Many discount the efficacy of .22 LR for self-defense, and I won’t defend the use, other than to say a revolver for .LR will handle the hottest loads, and also shoots .22 Long and .22 Short, so, like the .327 Federal Magnum, you have a few more options, at least for basic plinking or varmint management. For what it’s worth, .357 magnum is also a firearm that extends choices, allowing for .38 Special to be fired. 12 gauge shotguns are, IMHO, an excellent choice for home defense, and let me add that you can also purchase adapters for single-shot shotguns allowing the use of many popular rounds, including .22 LR and 9mm. So I’d check these out, they’re very affordable at around $30 each. Reloading isn’t a bad idea if you have a safe space to do so – and can find the materials. Even if you don’t, save your brass any time you can. It may come in handy. Finally let me point out that Lone Wolfe sells barrel adapters, for instance, they make one for the Glock 42 that allows firing of the more readily available 9×18 Makarov. When ammo is scarce, be adaptable.

  5. Don’t know where you are shopping right now, but I can tell you that this article will get a number of sarcastic laughs in the upstate of SC. Hunting caliber ammo is essentially as non-existent as 5.56/.223 and 9mm. And the comment about reloading is all well and good but the key component missing right now is primers. More rare than the aforementioned ammo, and significantly more expensive compared to “normal” prices when found on-line. Where many calibers have double, tripled or quadrupled in cost on-line, primers have gone from $30-40 per thousand to $200+ per thousand. Even ammo manufacturers (smaller companies especially) have had to stop production at times awaiting them. A big part of the problem are the opportunists who have no need of ammo and primers normally, but are buying them up at the more normal retail prices where available only to turn around and sell them on-line at inflated prices. This has driven demand way above just the end-user demand and is easy to see by looking at some of the auction sites. Many of these folks are very new to the sites, with very few feedback levels. If auction buyers would stop buying from anyone with feedback less than 3-5 months old and only buy from the more seasoned sellers, this would help bring prices down. How many of these folks would stay in the game long term is questionable.

  6. Sorry I’m behind the times if I buy a new different caliber gun I normally buy a1000 primers To go with it so I haven’t noticed the spot market for primers , every thing I have uses small pistol rifle or large pistol rifle primers .They are rediculous if they are 200 $ a thousand.May go back to muzzle
    Loading if I get short .

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