From Clay Martin (via Peter’s blog):
The one thing I see over and over again in prepping circles is a belief that a mountain of ammo is all you need. Absolutely not true! In fact, I believe that most people would be better off with 300 rounds and the skills of having shot 20,000 as opposed to 20,000 stockpiled and the skills of having shot 300.
Amen to that. I cannot tell you the degree of comfort I feel when I unholster my Springfield 1911 and raise it to a shooting position. I’ve put a lot more than 20,000 rounds through this old friend, and I’m not sure that I can operate any other piece of machinery as well as I can my 1911.
As for rounds on hand: I have an ungodly amount of FMJ practice ammo, and maybe a few hundred rounds of self-defense ammo (which I add to on a monthly basis, a box or two at a time depending on the status of my bank account). I’d have more of the HP stuff, but at the range I always shoot off a mag of premium hollowpoints first — following the maxim of “practice with what you’ll use” — but I can’t afford to shoot 200-odd rounds of premium self-defense .45 ACP ammo every week, sue me. So I shoot 8, buy 20, week after week. In my 1911’s “grab ‘n go” ammo bag, I have 200 rounds of .45 loaded in magazines, after which I’d probably need a rifle anyway. Which brings me to my next point, and a confession.
I don’t have the same degree of familiarity with my rifle part of the SHTF equation. I know I should shoot the AK more, but hell; in my life I’ve probably fired an AK more often than any rifle other than .22, and what’s to remember about shooting an AK-47? I’m confident that in any SHTF (urban street fight), I can put 20 rounds into a dinner plate-area at 50 yards, shooting “aimed-rapid” (which is all you need to do in that scenario. At 100 yards, I can’t even see the damn target anymore because Old Fart Eyesight, and at that point I’d go to one of my scoped rifles anyway).
So I break out the AK every few months (vs. every week for the 1911) and shoot off three or four mags (20-rounders) before I get bored and put the thing away (after letting the barrel cool and the handguard stop smoking, don’t ask me how I learned to do that before putting the thing away in a foam-rubber-lined gun case). And yes, I have an ungodly amount of 7.62x39mm ammo too; in my AK’s “grab ‘n go” ammo bag, I have 400 rounds of the “39”, which should suffice for any urban unrest I’m likely to encounter; and let’s not even look into Ye Olde Ammoe Locquer for more.
Practice more, folks, and you’ll end up needing less ammo in storage. To repeat those wise words:
Most people would be better off with 300 rounds and the skills of having shot 20,000 as opposed to 20,000 stockpiled and the skills of having shot 300.