Buy, Make Your Own, And How Much You Actually Need
Without ammunition, a gun is little more than a metal or polymer club. That’s why as a prepper, it’s very important that you have plenty of ammunition stored for each of your firearms. You might already have a few boxes in your safe and figure that’s all you would need for a short term grid down scenario, but you can never afford to take any chances. What if the grid down lasts longer than you thought it would, or what if angry mobs or organized raiders begin to form in your neighborhood?
One of your top goals as a prepper is security, and for your guns to be of any use, you need to have plenty of ammunition (and magazines) for them. Let’s put it this way: it’s better to have one gun and a big pile of ammo for it than multiple guns and only a few boxes. Don’t focus on buying multiple guns. Focus on buying the basic guns that you need and then spend the rest of your gun money on ammunition and magazines for them.
How Much Ammo Do You Realistically Need?
As a principle, it is a good idea to have at least 1,000 rounds of ammunition per caliber stored away. This 1,000 rounds isn’t your range ammo, it’s the ammo that you have locked and stored away and that you will ONLY access in the event of a disaster. Furthermore, you should have at least six magazines per firearm as well.
Notice how we said “this 1,000 rounds is not your range ammo”. You’ll need to buy range ammo too, and you’ll need to use that ammo to train extensively with your weapons on the shooting range. Take some time on the weekends to train with your guns. Complete hundreds of repetitions of firing drills, of reloading, of clearing malfunctions, of drawing and firing, of shooting close range and shooting long range, and so on.
You will find that through much practice with live ammunition, your discipline and abilities with your firearms will increase exponentially. You’ll become more confident in using your weapons and reloading them or clearing malfunctions. We truly cannot enunciate enough about how far more important it is to be proficient with guns than it is for you to have multiple guns you don’t need.
How To Buy Ammo?
Most ammunition isn’t cheap, so you want to make sure that your money is well spent and that you spend it in a wise manner. Should you buy a whole cache of 1,000 rounds right off the box? If you can afford that, go for it. But if that’s going to take too big of a bite out of your wallet, there are other strategies you can use for accumulating this much ammo overtime.
The most effective strategy is to make it a habit of buying one or two boxes, and only one or two boxes of ammo per week. Yes, this way is time consuming, but it also ensures that your ammunition count only grows on a weekly basis and without spending a boatload of money all at one time on it.
Ammo is one of the most valuable investments that you can make as a prepper. But ammo will not just be used for self-defense and hunting purposes in a disaster scenario; it will also be used as a valuable bartering/trading commodity. Bullets are going to be precious in the aftermath of any long term disaster scenario, and that’s why learning how to make your own ammo is another valuable investment that you can make, which leads us into…
Making Your Own Ammo
When making ammunition, have a station set aside that is dedicated to ammo making purposes. This station will need to receive plenty of light and ventilation, and it must also have a flat surface for the ammo making process. Have work gloves to avoid burning your hands and wear eye protection as well.
To make ammunition, place several wheel weights in an aluminum pot and melt them over a burner.
Next, pour in some bullet lube and stir it with the melted metal inside. If you notice that the mixture is smoking, that’s perfectly fine, but you will need to wait for the smoking to stop before you proceed. The mixture should have a silver color to it.
Next, take a steel pan and cups and pour some of the mixture into the pan. Then, transfer the mixture in the pan to the cups to form ingot shapes. The cups must be set on a flat surface, either on the ground or on a desk. Each cup will need to be filled at least halfway up.
After this, allow the melted mixture inside the cups to solidify, which should take about ten to fifteen minutes. You can then turn the cups upside down for the ingots inside to fall out.
You will use the ingots as your bullet molds by reheating them. Reheat each ingot one at a time, and then use a metal ladle to pour each into the shape of your bullet bolds. It’s a good idea to include some more bullet lube with each mold, so that the bullets will settle faster. Close the mold and then wait for just a few seconds until opening the mold again and shaking the bullets out.
Now that you have the actual bullets made, you will need to follow the basic reloading process. Use a reloading kit to clean out each of your usable shell casings, remove the primers, insert new primers into the casings, utilize a funnel to reload the casing with the correct amount of powder, and then use a seating die to sit your homemade bullets into the casings. Refer to the manual that came with your reloading kit throughout this process.