1000 rounds per rifle, 3 rounds per handgun
twice your basic load for each weapon
until you can't store any more..
you never have enough ammo...
The last statement is probably the closest thing to the truth as you should always be training with your weapon so that in the event you do need to rely on it to protect yourself or your family you are fully capable to do so. That being said, the average gun owner cannot afford to buy thousands and thousands of rounds constantly and still pay the mortgage and car payment, or at least THIS gun owner can't. I have a reasonable, but adequate IMHO, stockpile of ammo to get me through any emergency. Basically I have about 180 rounds of 5.56 in magazines and another 400 rounds in an ammo can, plus enough quality 9mm +P+ JHP rounds to have my G19 with 4 mags full on me and 200 rounds in the can as well. Also in the can are some modest cleaning supplies and spare parts for both my rifle and pistol. On op of this ammo that is stored and ready with desiccant packets, I always have additional training ammo ready of at least a hundred rounds or so to verify both my iron and EOTech zeros and do some additional shooting.
One way I have stretched my dollar is by buying surplus Russian ammo that generally is made with plain steel cases or steel coated with lacquer. Where US made brass ammo is sometimes as high as $40+ for 100 rounds, the Russian ammo can be bought for as little as $20 for 100 rounds online. I have found that the Russian rounds by Wolf, Brown Bear and Tula to be just as reliable and generally as accurate as brass US ammo, although it does run dirtier in my AR and requires some additional training to use.
This Russian ammo has found its way into my SHTF stockpile and into my ready mags that I have "just in case". I never paid much mind to it since the reliability was there and always figured I would pack a bore snake and extra rag with my bug out bag to use often to wipe it (the AR) down as often as I could to compensate for the extra carbon build up. I had never given much thought I guess to how this ammo would stand up to "field" conditions until I read an article last night. Then I had some serious doubts about what I was storing for an emergency.
When I still was in the military I used to find myself in conditions “in the field” less than comfortable. Being wet and cold was part of the job and you learned to adapt..or at least cope..as best as you can. Fairly often my mags would be completely submersed in water during field training and I never really gave much thought to their condition. Of course I was issued GI brass ammo and blanks which are usually pretty good quality. I was trained that, when you could, you unloaded and wiped down your ammo the best you could and reloaded in the time you had. The thing is we always would find some reason or training scenario where we would fire up this ammo fairly quickly. In this forum article the author posts of his experiment using PMC brass ammo and steel cased Wolf ammo kept damp for extended periods. The results are quite disturbing. While the brass ammo did see some discoloration it was fully functional. The steel cased ammo, even the lacquer coated rusted heavily and would not even chamber in the authors AR. Even in an AR the steel ammo would not chamber. It is apparent the build up of rust cause the case diameter to go out of spec to where the rounds were not chambering. I would not recommend sanding off any rust from live rounds in any situation as this may be inherently dangerous.
Right now my local gun shop of mass consumption – Vances – has Lake City 55gr brass 5.56 for $280 for a 900 round box packed on 10 round stripper clips. I may just have to go down and get a box of that for my SHTF ammo and relegate the steel cased Russian I have for range use and back up ammo for SHTF if I store it in airtight containers with desiccant packets.
Just a little food for thought for my reader…