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Old 12-21-2012, 08:25   #1
Civic
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Guns, mags and ammo in the grand scheme of preparedness

Hello GT. I have a prepping dilemma that I bet lots of folks are facing right now.

I'm under-prepped, and I'm on a seriously tight budget. My wife and I own a very small suburban home at the edge of a small city, in a moderate climate, very close to the intersection of two major interstates. I'd like to be prepared for everything from total collapse to natural disasters to chemical/radioactive spills close to home.

Given the events of the last week, I've given serious thought to dropping what cash I have into guns, mags and ammo. But, in the larger scheme, how important are these items?

I am an overweight, untrained civilian. I cannot imagine a scenario in which I shoot through all seven of my AK mags and live to fight again. If there wasn't a ban coming, I would spend my money on better winter coats, better footwear, cast iron cookwear, gasoline, paying down the tiny bit of debt we have (less than $5k), etc.

But there is a ban coming. What should I do?

Current preps:

Two weeks of food and water
A week's worth of backup heating, both propane and kerosene
BOBs and GHBs for both of us

Glock 19, three 15rnd mags, about 200 rounds on hand
Bolt-action .22, scoped, about 1500 rounds on hand
AK, seven mags, about 500 rounds on hand

I'm specifically thinking about more mags for the AK and a Ruger 10/22 with five 25rnd mags. But I know there are other holes to fill.

Thoughts?
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Old 12-21-2012, 08:32   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Civic View Post
Hello GT. I have a prepping dilemma that I bet lots of folks are facing right now.

I'm under-prepped, and I'm on a seriously tight budget. My wife and I own a very small suburban home at the edge of a small city, in a moderate climate, very close to the intersection of two major interstates. I'd like to be prepared for everything from total collapse to natural disasters to chemical/radioactive spills close to home.

Given the events of the last week, I've given serious thought to dropping what cash I have into guns, mags and ammo. But, in the larger scheme, how important are these items?

I am an overweight, untrained civilian. I cannot imagine a scenario in which I shoot through all seven of my AK mags and live to fight again. If there wasn't a ban coming, I would spend my money on better winter coats, better footwear, cast iron cookwear, gasoline, paying down the tiny bit of debt we have (less than $5k), etc.

But there is a ban coming. What should I do?

Current preps:

Two weeks of food and water
A week's worth of backup heating, both propane and kerosene
BOBs and GHBs for both of us

Glock 19, three 15rnd mags, about 200 rounds on hand
Bolt-action .22, scoped, about 1500 rounds on hand
AK, seven mags, about 500 rounds on hand

I'm specifically thinking about more mags for the AK and a Ruger 10/22 with five 25rnd mags. But I know there are other holes to fill.

Thoughts?
Personally? I'd start losing some weight and conditioning yourself. Your wife too. That's free. I know it's hard. Ask me how I know. While you're doing all that, pay off that debt and squirrel away some cash. Then I'd take whatever money you can scrape together and buy some training with it. Pistol for sure...rifle only after the pistol training is done. Then, buy ammo and practice, practice, practice.
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Old 12-21-2012, 08:38   #3
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Gear-wise, it sounds like you're already better prepared than 90% of the population. Tarpleyg has the right idea.
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Old 12-21-2012, 08:38   #4
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Old 12-21-2012, 08:46   #5
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Consider the scenario of a post-apocalyptic environment (or whatever you are prepping for). There will be no more use for the US dollar, so we will instead go back to barter and trade.

Guns, mags, and ammo do help with security, but they will also be highly sought after items during this time. Ammunition specifically will be an excellent bartering item.

In a prepping sense, stocking up on ammo can be seen as investing in a new currency. With that mindset, there is never enough.

Last edited by Fear Night; 12-21-2012 at 08:54..
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Old 12-21-2012, 17:42   #6
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Thanks for all the responses. I'm working on the physical fitness (regular gym workouts and dieting . . . well, the dieting will start after Christmas) and "untrained" means I've never been in the military. I have some limited pistol training and I'm a good shot with a rifle.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fear Night View Post
In a prepping sense, stocking up on ammo can be seen as investing in a new currency. With that mindset, there is never enough.
I can see that. But so would coats, beans, rice, etc. Seems like I recall boots being one of the most sought after items in most war-torn areas.

The fact is, I can't afford to shoot the AK. At a quarter per round, a full mag is $7.50, and I have to drive an hour to the nearest place to shoot. So that rifle and ammo is basically useless to me UNLESS the SHTF. I've considered selling it now while prices are through the roof.

But I can't let go of the idea that this rifle is my "holocaust insurance." I have no illusions about being able to fight off tyrannical government, but I know that as long as I have a weapon like that I won't be loaded onto a boxcar.

In that scenario, that I think is highly unlikely and that I pray never happens, I can't imagine lasting long enough to go through more than a couple of mags. So why buy more ammo? Why not buy beans and rice and gasoline?
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Old 12-21-2012, 17:42   #7
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Old 12-21-2012, 17:45   #8
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Originally Posted by Fear Night View Post
Guns, mags, and ammo do help with security, but they will also be highly sought after items during this time. Ammunition specifically will be an excellent bartering item.
My thoughts exactly. It seems to me that ammunition would be more valuable than gold, in the event that something not-so-great happens.

And, yes, the OP seems to be doing a fine job of preparing himself and his family.
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Old 12-21-2012, 17:53   #9
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You can do a lot of your gun training with a 22. Buy a lot of bulk packs and practice.

By the way guns don't matter when you are starving to death. So start there.
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Old 12-21-2012, 18:14   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Civic View Post
Hello GT. I have a prepping dilemma that I bet lots of folks are facing right now.

I'm under-prepped, and I'm on a seriously tight budget. My wife and I own a very small suburban home at the edge of a small city, in a moderate climate, very close to the intersection of two major interstates. I'd like to be prepared for everything from total collapse to natural disasters to chemical/radioactive spills close to home.

Given the events of the last week, I've given serious thought to dropping what cash I have into guns, mags and ammo. But, in the larger scheme, how important are these items?

I am an overweight, untrained civilian. I cannot imagine a scenario in which I shoot through all seven of my AK mags and live to fight again. If there wasn't a ban coming, I would spend my money on better winter coats, better footwear, cast iron cookwear, gasoline, paying down the tiny bit of debt we have (less than $5k), etc.

But there is a ban coming. What should I do?

Current preps:

Two weeks of food and water
A week's worth of backup heating, both propane and kerosene
BOBs and GHBs for both of us

Glock 19, three 15rnd mags, about 200 rounds on hand
Bolt-action .22, scoped, about 1500 rounds on hand
AK, seven mags, about 500 rounds on hand

I'm specifically thinking about more mags for the AK and a Ruger 10/22 with five 25rnd mags. But I know there are other holes to fill.

Thoughts?
Welcome to GT. Really you most likely have enough to defend your self.
Prepping in general becomes an addition. I remember when I only had 500 rounds of 5.56 then I needed a 1,000 rounds, then I needed 2,000 rounds it never ends.

You may want to pick up some more 9mm. I often ask myself it I ever need to "bug out" leave my house how can I carry all my guns and ammo. I can carry them in my truck but would have little room for things like food, water and clothing. What good would 30 guns and 10,000 of ammo do If I did not have food or water.

Mags can be reloaded and with stripper clips they can be reloaded fast.

Now is not the time to be buying mags and ammo due to panic buying. If I suggested you buy anything now I would look at a pump shotgun. A Remingtom or Mossburg should be easy to find the the ammo cost would be low. A value pack of game loads at Walmart $20-30 of 200 rounds.
5 or 10 boxes of 00 and some slugs.

Do not fall into the panic buying you have plenty to defend yourself.
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Old 12-21-2012, 18:28   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fear Night View Post
Consider the scenario of a post-apocalyptic environment (or whatever you are prepping for). There will be no more use for the US dollar, so we will instead go back to barter and trade.

Guns, mags, and ammo do help with security, but they will also be highly sought after items during this time. Ammunition specifically will be an excellent bartering item.

In a prepping sense, stocking up on ammo can be seen as investing in a new currency. With that mindset, there is never enough.
I hear people GT say stuff like this all the time about ammo being a good trading currency in a SHTF situation, but I'm sure I'm on board with that whole way of thinking.
Do I really want to be trading my ammo off to some desperate guy for his canned goods or whatever, and take the chance that he will just turn around and use my former ammo against me?
Before, he was walking around with an empty gun. Now he is walking around with a loaded gun (courtesy of me) and he knows I have more ammo and his former canned goods.

If things got really really bad, might not bartering go out the window anyway and people just start trying to take what they need from others?

Wouldn't I be better off if more people in a desperate situation did not have ammo for their guns?
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Old 12-21-2012, 18:33   #12
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Wouldn't I be better off if more people in a desperate situation did not have ammo for their guns?
I wonder about this, too. Which is why I stockpile what I think I would need and no more. If you want to compete in a barter economy, services will be as good as merchandise. I also wonder about things like whiskey, tobacco, coffee. I bet two weeks in to a crisis a pack of cigarettes would fetch a handsome sum.
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Old 12-21-2012, 18:46   #13
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I'm not sure how the rest of the guys do it but I tend to feel like most of your ammo should be in mags ready to go so time your purchases accordingly. Food, water and tools will likely be more useful than firearms in most situations. Balance is important. Take little steps toward preparedness though. Fix the little things on your vehicle and home. Never let your car get below a half tank. Toss an extra few cans of vienna sausages or tuna in your cart when you get groceries. Get an Aquatainer or some sort of water storage going. Know how much bleach to make water safe.

The way I've done it is to prep for 72 hours. 3 days. Food, water, pet food, meds, etc. Double it, and you've got a week. Continue on if you feel the need. Starting small makes it a far more attainable goal.
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Old 12-21-2012, 18:50   #14
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I think you have done an excellent job on the firearms for not being a "gun enthusiast" (congratulations BTW) and I for on think you are spot-on about your evaluation of the magazine vs survival chances

IMO it is very important to be well armed, but it is a poor plan to have to use them often. You can do a lot with a few weapons if you know how to use them well. One of the reasons myself and others I know around here have more firearms than most in our "essentials" bin, is because, for a gun enthusiast who is skilled can tailor gun and load to circumstances, game type, nuisance etc. For instance good on you for seeing the value of a .22 but I supplement mine with a .17 Mach II not the faster HMR rd, because I tested the round and found it is far less ricochet prone and penetrates cover less and is a better pest control round near livestock. the non-gun person without the livestock issue wouldn't worry about that.

that's just one example. I had many talks with my Dad who was a young man during the Depression and the family farm was about a mile from where my place is. They got by with very few weapons in say ,month to month living. However Dad was quick to say that the world is a different place and the least gun list would include a Garand and he was also quick to say many of the guns I have acquired "would have been great to have" .

You are in better shape than a lot of folks I know who own a lot more guns, because you appear to have the right attitude and know your limitations

Kudos to you.
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Old 12-21-2012, 18:54   #15
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You got no holes in your gun preps. If you had more money, you could buy more guns, ammo, and mags for the fun of it.

Otherwise, work on your health
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Old 12-21-2012, 19:03   #16
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Welcome to the forum! Sounds like you've got a good start on your preps, lot of good advice here.
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Old 12-21-2012, 19:04   #17
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It all depends on how you view a SHTF scenario. Personally I would dump the AK (esp now that prices are up) and get a shotgun with slug, No 6, and 00 rounds. Also I would get a rifle that can take bigger game such as a 30-06 and a supply of ammo for it. Of course my idea is to get out of populated areas and take up in areas where I can get food. In such a case I only need 3-7 days worth of food/water on hand. Other things to consider is fishing gear, archery equipment, first aid, and shelter (tarp or tent).
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Old 12-21-2012, 19:31   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dragline View Post
I hear people GT say stuff like this all the time about ammo being a good trading currency in a SHTF situation, but I'm sure I'm on board with that whole way of thinking.
Do I really want to be trading my ammo off to some desperate guy for his canned goods or whatever, and take the chance that he will just turn around and use my former ammo against me?
Before, he was walking around with an empty gun. Now he is walking around with a loaded gun (courtesy of me) and he knows I have more ammo and his former canned goods.

If things got really really bad, might not bartering go out the window anyway and people just start trying to take what they need from others?

Wouldn't I be better off if more people in a desperate situation did not have ammo for their guns?
That is definitely a risk to consider when selling ammo to somebody you don't know. But the same thing could be said about any interaction with strangers during a SHTF situation. Some people will just opt to shoot you on the spot and take what you have.

That's why I feel it is so important to have a lot of armed friends in your network. Take a team of 3 or 5 or 10 to sell your ammo . Safety in numbers.

Last edited by Fear Night; 12-21-2012 at 19:32..
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Old 12-21-2012, 19:32   #19
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I wonder about this, too. Which is why I stockpile what I think I would need and no more. If you want to compete in a barter economy, services will be as good as merchandise. I also wonder about things like whiskey, tobacco, coffee. I bet two weeks in to a crisis a pack of cigarettes would fetch a handsome sum.
Tobacco and coffee would probably be worth saving up. I'm not so sure about alcohol though. At least it wouldn't be worthwhile where I live. There's too many moonshiners!


And OP, keep the ak. Every man needs a fighting rifle. Just save your pennies and pick up a crack barrel 20 or 12 gauge from a pawn shop. They don't cost too much these days.
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Old 12-21-2012, 19:38   #20
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I can see that. But so would coats, beans, rice, etc. Seems like I recall boots being one of the most sought after items in most war-torn areas.
Absolutely. You have got the picture.

Just like how we like to spread out and diversify our investments with many different types of stocks, mutual funds, bonds, etc., the same will apply to SHTF barter and trade items. Get a little bit of everything you think will be sought after when the time comes.

Last edited by Fear Night; 12-21-2012 at 19:41..
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Old 12-21-2012, 20:43   #21
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....


. I cannot imagine a scenario in which I shoot through all seven of my AK mags and live to fight again. ...


Thoughts?
Color me pessimistic, but my suspicion is that a few people seem to think that they would be able to fire dozens or hundreds of rounds, win the engagement and leave unharmed. I also think a few people think they will be able to go out and harvest a deer ever few days when hunger sets in. My guess is that a few million guys with rifles could put alot of pressure on game.
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Old 12-22-2012, 10:17   #22
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At this point I would get 1 or 2 g19 mags and 150 rds of jhp for 9mm if you don't have some.Does your wife shoot?Can she use your G19?If not maybe trade your bolt .22 for a ruger 10/22 for her to use.Use what ever you can to buy more shelf stable food and water.You are already pretty good on weapons,I would like more ammo,but food and water come first.

Edit
Federal classic 9mm jhp 9bp is a good cheap round($17.99),they also have a +p round that's around $28

Last edited by KML; 12-22-2012 at 10:20..
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Old 12-22-2012, 11:00   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dragline View Post
I hear people GT say stuff like this all the time about ammo being a good trading currency in a SHTF situation, but I'm sure I'm on board with that whole way of thinking.
Do I really want to be trading my ammo off to some desperate guy for his canned goods or whatever, and take the chance that he will just turn around and use my former ammo against me?
Before, he was walking around with an empty gun. Now he is walking around with a loaded gun (courtesy of me) and he knows I have more ammo and his former canned goods.

If things got really really bad, might not bartering go out the window anyway and people just start trying to take what they need from others?

Wouldn't I be better off if more people in a desperate situation did not have ammo for their guns?
What keeps you from popping off the Wal Mart guy and taking all the food you want after you buy ammo from them?

I don't really buy your theory. Sure, there may be a short period where that would be a concern, but ultimately, a trading and bartering system would take over and life/society would stabilize to some degree.
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Old 12-22-2012, 11:38   #24
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You're GTG for firearms. Don't fret that for now. Use your .22 for practice. You don't need to fire alot of your AK ammo to keep proficient.

Focus on food, water, shelter, and getting yourself in shape.
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Old 12-22-2012, 12:04   #25
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Civic- here's the deal: we've all been in your shoes when our 'eyes were opened'. Mine was after 9/11.

The thing is that this is a marathon and not a sprint. Not yet. You have to do the things that plan long-term. A bunch of ammo today and shot tomorrow for practice is nothing. You have to think on a weekly basis. Ok, what bills can we pay, what savings do we need, what extra can we throw in the cart. Every week. Need more ammo, food, way to grow food, purify water, etc etc.
The key is slight gains every week. Knowledge not on the computer is strength too.
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