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Old January 17, 2013, 07:52 PM   #1
Alabama Shooter
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Saving Money Through Stockpiling Ammo

Some things I have learned over the years.

If you choose not to reload and you choose not to stockpile ammo you are pretty much left to the whims of the political fancy of the markets and secondary resellers. By planning ahead and thinking through what your needs and desires are you can save a ton of money and some headaches.

When I first began getting involved more into shooting more than 25 years ago I did not give much thought to how much ammo to keep on hand. I hesitated at two boxes of 9mm instead of just one. Personal fun shooting was new to me and I did not really give it much thought. The shelves were all full, FMJ was about $10 for a box of 50. I bought one box, went to the range, shot them all and then realized I was holding a paper weight. That was when the light first came on.

About the time I started getting into guns murder rates in the US had peaked (although we did not realize it at the time). I then participated in assisting with a series of disasters (King riots, hurricane relief, war) that made me give some thought to how I would deal with these problems if I were a victim instead of a helper. Since I was then shooting several guns of different calibers I decided to dramatically increase the amount of ammo on hand to ten full boxes at all times.



I figured that if things were bad enough for me to start shooting defensively then more probably would not help as before I would have time to shoot all those I would be long gone. I still feel that way. I took my ten boxes of ammo and put them in a foot locker and they stayed there for a number of years.

Then the ban years started. There was a lot of fear that effective ammo would be banned. Several states had already banned different kinds of ammo, some that did not even exist like teflon coated armor piercing ammo. Ammo was bought up in great quantity but no where near what it would be in later years. The AR revolution had not yet begun and AKs were still terrorist rifles. SKSs were just hitting the shores and starting to become the go to deer rifles when the gun companies killed off the importation. You could still buy a case of surplus .308 for under $100. Brand name ammo was expensive, higher than it is today adjusted for inflation. I bought a fair amount and before I knew it I had a lot more than ten boxes.

The first big panic I can recall was the pre Y2K run up. Y2K was silliness. I am still confused by what expectations were but .22rf was suddenly unavailable. This had never happened to me before. I don't know if the plan was to subsist on squirrels and rabbits while plinking away or what. I heard later people were planning on trading it like coins. That will be the day. The way people were buying that rim fire you would have thought there was an ounce of gold in every box. A few other calibers disappeared too. They did not come back for a 6-9 months either.

That is when I decided that if the ammo makers were not going to plan for crazy demand spikes I would just go ahead and do it myself. Conveniently it was the golden age of ammo availability too. The AWB had not been lifted yet but everyone had figured out ways around it and everyone was shooting. When it got lifted things really took off but prices stayed really low until about 2006.

TL/DR start here

For absolute bottom dollar I purchased about one years worth of shooting ammo, with another year in reserve. The first year to deal with the shortage the second year to wait for prices to normalize before buying more. You need two years worth based upon what you actually shoot. This includes all the different kinds too. Hunting ammo, SD ammo etc. Not just target ammo. For the useful kinds of ammo the storage is four years worth. I don't believe in holding it for more than four years due to the decline in effectiveness of powder over the years for working ammo. You can always demote it to target ammo.

Calculate what the actual "real" price of what you shoot it. For example before the current ammo run up 7.62X39 Russian was selling for $.20/ rd. This is a little higher than 2006 price of $.11/ rd but inflation and other issues are going to force the price higher. This means I won't buy again until the price drops to at least $.22/ rd. for bulk. This might even be too high if the price could be lower. You have to read the market.

When the price drops buy about half what you need to replenish. I can only tell you if you buy all of it at once then the price will drop the next day and if you buy less the price will then shoot back up.



Wait a couple of months and then buy the rest gradually over the rest of the year to replenish.

Buying during a panic is dumb.

If you have no other choice and you have to buy during a panic then buy from a retailer, preferably one that infrequently rotates stock, like a small gun shop. His prices will miraculously seem reasonable when the shelves are bare at walmart.

Buying from a reseller who bought out walmart is unwise. It encourages them by giving them money to go do it again. But if you have no choice then do what you have to. Best not to get into that situation at all.

Keep a record. Record how much you paid and where you bought it. The exact type is important too as prices vary widely in brands. During a shortage inventory every month to make sure that you are not over consuming. Don't get freaked out and go buy more when the prices are still too high and you are running low. This was all planned for.
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Last edited by Alabama Shooter; January 17, 2013 at 09:22 PM.
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Old January 17, 2013, 08:30 PM   #2
flotter390
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That is a great post and good advice!! I have done the same for years and reload!!

Fred
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Old January 17, 2013, 09:02 PM   #3
Willie Sutton
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Join Date: January 26, 2012
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Old habits...

Buy a box of 50, and shoot 40. The last ten go into long term savings. Never shoot 'em. Give it a decade and you'll have a stash like mine.


Willie

.
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Old January 18, 2013, 12:09 AM   #4
bigalshootmupper
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Stocking up to me is common sense. If the price is low and you think the price will rise, you stock up.

If gasoline went down to $2.50 a gallon tomorrow, wouldn't you want to buy a year's worth (if it would stay fresh)?

But ammo is a safer bet than gas or oil. Does anyone really think ammo prices will ever be lower that the 2006 price? A severe depression could lower oil prices, but ammo prices would probably go up.

If I see a good deal, I buy it. Right now, no deals.
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Old January 18, 2013, 12:17 AM   #5
LRChops
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Join Date: January 12, 2013
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Stockpile YES. When I go to the range I find there is never a need to shoot more than 50 rounds of pistol and 20 rounds of rifle for my primary firearms.

having a good holster rig and equipment belt set up for the pistol and a good two point sling for the rifle is all that is needed to maintain proficiency at home by practicing dry fire, holster draw, high ready positions, shooting on the move, barricade exercises, and practicing any type of shooting position that can be imagined or seemingly impossible!

Practice shooting using vehicle as cover, shooting under a vehicle on your side (weak and strong sides) shooting from rooftops, shooting upside down with your pinky finger, reloading offhand, reloading wounded, head shots, moving fluidly through a structure, around a structure, mag changes in the high ready, whatever you can think of!!!!

If you think I'm crazy,,,,you talk to anyone who has been on the ground in combat of in a fire fight! Special Ops does the most progressive training scenarios that would blow your mind. You must have warrior mindset and train yourself at home doing dry fire and mag changes.

No need to burn up a bunch of ammo. Once your firearm is perfectly sighted, don't waste ammo!
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Old January 18, 2013, 12:32 AM   #6
Bamashooter
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Stockpiler and a reloader. Most of the stuff I buy is plinking/practice then it gets reloaded into what I want or need. I have plenty on hand so I can still shoot/practice and not worry about running low. Eventually things will calm down and I can shoot more and reload and stockpile more as well.
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Old January 20, 2013, 10:53 AM   #7
Alabama Shooter
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Quote:
But ammo is a safer bet than gas or oil. Does anyone really think ammo prices will ever be lower that the 2006 price?
Doubtful. Those were good times.

Quote:
If I see a good deal, I buy it. Right now, no deals.
Absolutely. The time lines are arbitrary based upon what I observed during the last three panics. Right now is the worst possible time to buy ammo.
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Tomorrow is the most important thing in life. Comes into us at midnight very clean. It's perfect when it arrives and it puts itself in our hands. It hopes we've learned something from yesterday.
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Old January 20, 2013, 11:30 AM   #8
mitchntx
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Join Date: June 19, 2011
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Been called a "hoarder" and "reason for the panic". And never knew I had so many friends.

Having witnessed runs on this and other products due to a political dark cloud, I began building inventory in 2010, anticipating a 2nd term.

I never anticipated the current catalyst. But I've learned from that as well. You just never know what will set a panic off.

I find myself becoming more and more "prepper minded" than before.
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