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There are many reasons to be armed when a disaster strikes. Hunting food could be the difference between survival and starvation. A defensive weapon could prevent death by predators, both four-legged and two-legged.
On the other hand, not all guns are created equal. Each caliber has its own advantages and drawbacks, and you need to have the right weapons on hand to get through a disaster in one piece.
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9mm ammo is the most popular pistol caliber in the world. It isn’t the most powerful caliber, but a study by the FBI found that it is normally the optimal choice for defensive carry. The difference in power between 9mm ammo and the larger pistol calibers is not big enough to have a significant impact on stopping power.
Shot placement is usually the factor that matters with all calibers in that general range of sizes. Since 9mm ammo has less recoil than heavier rounds, it tends to be the most effective.
It is also light, so it’s easy to carry more of it for occasions when reloading is necessary. Most 9mm guns also have more room to hold ammo, so shooters don’t have to reload as often. At a practical level, it’s also cheap and easy to find, so it’s possible to store enough to stay supplied in an emergency.
Those factors make it the best choice for a defensive pistol. It can be used for hunting small game in an emergency, but it is better to have a more powerful round for that. If it is necessary, loading it into a pistol caliber carbine can help, and doing so allows you to share an ammo supply between multiple guns for easier logistics.
Even if that isn’t your first choice, the versatility can make it useful to have such a carbine and ammo for a backup weapon.
While 9mm ammo is versatile and potent, there are times when heavier ammo is necessary. In that case, .45 caliber ammo is usually the best bet. It offers much more stopping power than 9mm, and it can also go in both pistols and rifles.
The big advantage to using this ammo is that it offers much more stopping power. It will not make a big difference against humans or anything smaller, but it will be meaningful against deer, bears, and other large targets. That significantly widens the range of viable hunting targets and boosts your odds of a successful hunt.
The ammo is also less prone to jamming than most others. Even more reliability is possible when using a simple revolver, and most of the viable hunting revolvers on the market are chambered in this caliber.
The downside to using .45 ammo is the size. It’s heavy, and most guns can’t hold very many rounds, so you need to shoot accurately to use it. The price of the ammo can also be a little too high, so it can be hard to stockpile.
Use it if you’re confident in your aim and you need the power, but be sure to either stock up or have secondary weapons in case you can’t get enough.
Most people learn to shoot with a .22 caliber weapon. It is not a very powerful option, but it still packs enough of a punch to take down small game animals. It is also cheap and easy to acquire in massive quantities, so it’s the best way to ensure that you have an adequate supply of ammo.
The recoil is minimal, so smaller shooters can also take advantage of it without losing any accuracy. The rounds are also light, so it’s easy to take a lot of it out on hunting trips when necessary, even if the trips involve a lot of traveling.
The downside is that the ammo is weak and not always reliable. Premium rounds are available that prevent most jams and dud rounds, but that defeats the purpose of buying cheap ammo.
It probably isn’t wise to rely exclusively on .22 ammo in an emergency, but the ease of equipping yourself with it and its usefulness in hunting small game means that it is also unwise to go without it.
In the event of a dire situation or when you run out of ammo, it is always best to have a caliber that you can easily reload. Just remember, when shit really hits the fan, bullets will not be in production anymore. You might be your only supplier of bullets, so save them up and brush up on your reload skills, it could mean your life.
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About the Author: Joe Humphries is a contributing writer and media specialist for Diamond K Brass. He regularly produces content for a variety of firearm and survivalist blogs, with an emphasis on DIY ammunition reload projects.
.45 ACP against bear??? Is this a joke??? No reputable hunter would use .45 ACP for bear and for good reason. A bear is NOT a soft target. Even for deer it would have to be a close shot and you had better be good at tracking.
YOU DON’T NEED TWO SIDE ARMS, JUST ONE.
I would use a .22 hornet for small game and head sniping medium game. For bigger game use a 30-06 caliber or anything near it. Then for side arm just use a .45 cuz you can add .410 shotgun shells in it and use that for your shotgun.
Johnny Duke says
Here in rural Canada I’m going with .300. WM ( big game at distance ) 7.62×39 ( medium distance, medium/large game) and 12 Guage ( buck.and bird loads )
In reference to .45 acp vs Deer.
While this article may have been written for an urban enviroment, I find it comes up short overall. First the 9mm, I’ll assume the author meant 9mm Lugar & by 45 45 ACP was intended. That being said, both of these cartridges are primarily handgun cartridges and fulfill the same roll. It boils down to personal preference choosing one over the other.
The last list I have of the most sold ammo by cartridge is a few years old. 9mm Lugar tops the list, thus making it the most popular cartridge in the USA. The 5.56N/223 Rem is second on the list and is a real rifle cartridge be it smaller than most, but a popular one. The 45 ACP is next, but as stated above mirrors the 9mm Lugar in it’s roll. 12 Gauge is in fourth place and 22 LR comes in 5th.
If I was to update or rewrite this article I’d list the 4 best cartridges as 9mm, 5.56N/223Rem, 12 Gauge & 22 LR. With honorable mention given to 45 ACP, 40 S&W, 308Win/7.62N, 7.62×39 & 38spl/357 magnum.
You are spot on with your assessment. I believe you need 2 side arms, semi auto and a revolver, a shotgun, 12 ga preferred, a 556/223 rifle and a scoped heavier caliber for larger game and 22 rifle for small game. To me, that is in the perfect environment for a SHTF scenario.
All 9mm are “Luger”….. Me personally? 9mm, 12 gauge, .300 AAC Blackout and 30-06, .22 rifle and revolver.
All 9mm is not 9mm luger. 1 very popular is 9 x 17 or .380 as compared to 9 x 19 9 mm luger there are others but the point is all 9mm is not luger. As for .300 Blackout is good but is not necessarily going to be found in quantity when scavenging.
There are dozens of 9mm cartridges, 9mm Largo, 9mm Kurtz(380) 9mm Win Mag, 9×21, 9×23 and on and on!
Jackie ow says
All 9mm is not Luger. 9mm Makarov for instance, among other exceptions to the “Luger” rule. It’s just that any of the non-Luger varieties are rarely encountered, but you still have to look before you leap (into unwanted and dangerous off-type surprises). If you have a 9mm Luger shooting iron, you have to proofread to make sure your ammo actually matches.
John smith says
Very much agree 👍
3 guns needed with respective ammo:
Handgun so you can get to the other two…
Elbert Jones says
I’ve been hearing the “Buy now before The gun grabbers come after you” messages for years. When has it ever actually happened? Panic buying happens ever a Democratic president gets elected. The ammo sellers laugh all the way to their banks.
Calif. has some of the toughest gun laws in the nation. They were signed BY GOV. RONALD REAGAN. He did it after a group of BLACK PANTHERS showed up at the capital with shotguns and hunting rifles. It happened before AR-15’s and Ak-47’s appeared on sale in the U.S. .
mike Matters says
In case you haven’t noticed, gun grabbers have taken our rights using one piece of unconstitutional legislation at a time. Pay attention, the economic plug is the weapon that will be used to destroy this nation. Soon the ruthless fight for survival will pit us against one another, doing what no military power could ever do so quickly and efficiently.
Amen Mike…… Finally, a bright light in the wilderness.
David Arnold Robinson says
I wonder how many Americans will refuse to hand over their firearms. I’m guessing that less than half will. If you consider the number of privately owned firearms in this country then we’re looking at a sizable army, many who are veterans. There’s no doubt in my mind that it’s coming. At 74 and a vet I hope I’m here when it begins
Put your head back in the sand. Would you rather have it and not need it or need it and not have it?
Here’s a thought, stockpile what you can afford to practice with. We’d all love to be able to afford to go a few times a week and blow off a few hundred rounds of 10mm or 357 magnum. But the reality is most of us can’t do that. Go practice your fundamentals with an inexpensive Savage .22 lr and keep a few bricks handy for small game. Stockpile your favorite bolt action caliber for hunting and long range defense. Got an AR? Stock up on .223/5.56mm Remember a 5.56 chamber will fire a .223 but the reverse is not true. Get a .22lr bolt conversion and practice with that. Plenty of inexpensive .22lr pistols out there to practice with. Get a reliable pistol that you can handle and stockpile your favorite caliber. When a bad guy is coming at you and your adrenaline is pumping, a 9mm .40 cal and .45acp feel close enough, that it won’t matter if your shooting fundamentals are sound. Go find a local gun range and meet some new friends. Talk to an NRA instructor. We LOVE passing on knowledge.
Great comment!! couldn’t agree more with all that you said!
Define ‘inexpensive’ and ‘plenty out there’ LOL
I have found neither to be true.
Reliad your own if you like to shoot. It does become affordable that way.
JOSEPH P DeMarco says
We are in the midst of the crap; we are isolated by mandates; no single gun or collection is not enough. Organizing against all mandates is imperative.
The lone wolves will be knocked off first!
By SHTF, do you mean an 18-month ammo drought like when the last democrat was elected President (twice) and DHS ordered millions of rounds of rlfle ammo? It was much longer than that to get .22LR back on the shelves.
The ammo drought was started by rumor of a shortage, PANIC buying emptied the shelves. It took a long time to restock shelves because .22 ammo manufacturers had no obligation to focus on the U.S., instead filling the standing orders of the rest of the world.
People think that because it’s Made In America that Americans come first.
That’s not how business works.
And, if the SHTF why are you depending on a .22 to save your life?
Made in America SHOULD mean Americans FIRST.
Without Americans, what would they do?
A .22LR can certainly save your life.
Not the first choice, but ANY gun is better than NO gun.
And guns are nothing more than nut crackers if they don’t have ammo.
Wow. For a writer of an article on ammunition, I would think you would be more accurate. Surprised you haven’t been thoroughly smoked in Comments. All (inch) calibers are in decimal form.
For “22” I assume you mean “.22LR” but there is a less common .22 Short; for 45, I’d assume you mean “.45ACP” but there’s also a .45 Long Colt.
The “stopping power” argument is specious. If you look up data on what it actually takes to stop an assailant, it’s more than one round in handgun calibers. As I recall, .45ACP was 1.43. That means 2 rounds because the weapon only fires in integers. Might as well go with 9mm and carry more, and less expensive, ammo.
“Best Calibers to own?” If you stated a purpose to the ownership, it wasn’t clear. Clearly the best to own for defense or hunting purposes are the ones you have weaponry for since you likely bought it with a purpose in mind. Are you talking about barter? OK then, .22LR, .45ACP, and 9mm are all good choices, but what about .223/5.56NATO for rifles (& AR pistols)? That little .22LR is pretty puny for anything other than small game and is certainly not a self defense weapon of choice.
Warren Monroe says
Lighten up a little!!! I thoroughly enjoyed the article, and while you are technically correct, there are a lot of folks new to defensive weaponry these days!!
Chill out just a bit and let’s help the new shooters get comfortable handling a 22 or a 9mm. When they gain experience, we can help them pick out a 45acp or a 40 cal. S&W if they want.
I shoot, reload, shoot, teach, shoot, teach, and shoot A LOT!!!
Handled firearms since I was 7.
I was recruited for sniper school while in army boot camp. I set record scores back in the 70’s.
I thought the article was well done, as it covered a very broad base of people!!!
Keep your powder dry!!
I find a 12 gauge shotgun with 16 pellet double OO buck very effective,, hey semi-automatic 22 like say the Marlin model 60 can put 17 rounds downwind each weighing 40 grains in less than 10 seconds that is equivalent to your double lock book nobody’s going to volunteer to be shot with a 22 LR I’m comfortable with it and the old 30 carbine whatever it is you have on hand use it well
From the perspective of one that hasn’t a clue,I know what you’re thinking but it is really hard for me , a woman who doesn’t know what to buy at all. Reading this article at least gave me a clue where to start. I don’t understand all the stuff about cartridges at all, and don’t know where to go to get the knowledge. I have and can shoot a 12 ga and 20 ga shotgun.This is where it all goes downhill .I have a revolver and don’t even know what it shoots, a 22 LR,AND A HAND GUN THAT I’M NOT SURE WHAT IT SHOOTS! I need a rifle and have not a clue what to buy. My sons are not preppers but could shoot a rifle or shotgun. One son did buy a Glock. None live with me.Then I don’t know what type of ammo to buy when I do find out what it shoots. I do not know the difference say in hollow point and regular ammo. So guys I will take this article go home and look at my guns and try to figure it out . You are all so knowledgeable you have no idea how much I envy you your knowledge. You will all be 1000 times better off than me no matter what you decided. Any suggestions for me as to what to do and how to get more knowledge would be sincerely appreciated. I do have a carry permit but until I get more knowledge and practice will not do. I don’t know any women with guns and men would not be interested in hanging around with a know nothing like me. Even in a gun store, struggle with enough knowledge to not look like idiot. Help!!! JR
JR you underestimate men. The older ones at least. Many would be willing to help you.
A place that offers training for concealed carry should supply some knowledge of calibers and other basics regarding weapons.
From there I suggest a shooting range or gun club.
They should be easy to find on the internet using a a search for local ones..
A prepper club or group would be a good choice also.
Often these can be found on survival forums or on “Meetup. com”
There is a national survival organization on there with a lot of local groups.
Get over thinking about looking like an idiot, the only idiot thing is in not learning about this stuff.
It’s way too much information to go into here.
Take a class from an NRA instructor and bring your *unloaded* handguns with ammunition (most gun stores/ranges sell it, but it’s usually got a hefty markup, so buy at a sporting goods store). You need knowledge on safety, loading, unloading, clearing any possible problems, and cleaning, basic marksmanship. All should be in an introductory course.
Look on the metal part of your firearms. It will have caliber (bullet diameter) stamped somewhere. This article says 22, but I’m sure he means .22LR (22/100ths inch, Long Rifle–although there are plenty of handguns (revolvers and semi-auto pistols) chambered for this round. (Author mentions 45; I’m sure he means .45 ACP. There’s also a .45 Long Colt for “cowboy” revolvers.)
Any firearm you plan to use should fit your hands well and have decent sights. If your current ones don’t fit that bill, rent something at a local range (unfortunately, you’ll probably have to buy the ammo from them, but rentals are cheap, around $5). Make sure you can handle it. Then shop around for price. You can even buy online (look at gunsamerica.com and have it transferred through a Federal Firearms Licensee (FFL). Dealers also show up at local gun shows, and of course there’s retail shops.
Your 12 and 20 ga are adequate for personal defense. A self defense handgun is .38 cal or 9mm or larger (up to .45ACP). Depending on who you listen to, .380 (also known as 9mm Short) may or may not be adequate with hollow points. I tell new shooters that if they are going to spend little time training, get a revolver (in Texas we call them wheel guns) because of simple operation and few things can go wrong. A semi-automatic pistol potentially has problems with failure to feed, failure to fire (faulty ammo; can happen on any weapon), failure to eject and you have to know how to clear these issues quickly. That said, most modern firearms are reliable.
Also, state law may limit what defensive ammo is legal. You have to know. Ask instructor or shop.
I’ve known many women who can handle the big .45ACP pistols and one whose hands were so weak she could not operate the slide on anything but a Bursa .380. She’s since cut over to a powerful .357 Magnum revolver (which also handles .38 Special ammo just fine).
Rick Palmer says
If you live in an area that has both a gunshop and a range ( try looking for Caswells , they are a franchise) , try renting before you buy . You will get both the opportunity to find a rifle that suits you , and you become more comfortable as you handle different types. If you are in a rural area , the most readily available calibers are the best choice . However if you are in a more urban situation, you have to be aware of over penetration. You don’t want to harm a neighbor or family member by having a round go through a wall and not into your target . The main point is become comfortable and familiar with your final choice . And practice, practice , PRACTICE ! Good luck in your search.
Go to your local cop shop and ask to speak with the armored, or their training officer. I’m betting they would LOVE to spend some time with you, so you can become more proficient, and therefore a safer firearms carrier.
If there is a shooting range close by, drop in and say hello. Ask for some advice and then most ranges will rent out a gun or two for you to try out.
Always remember, safety first!!!
JR.I’d really like to help I’m not the sharpest knife in the draw but I can relate to you I would like a little more conversation if that is OK with U
You can google a lot of the info you seek and most gun stores will be happy to help you. These are guys and gals that have a real interest in firearms and by educating you they also gain a new customer. Try to catch them during a less busy time so they have the time to help you without ignoring other customers. You will be surprised by how many people really want to help you. Gun owners are generally a good bunch of people.
Jackie ow says
Go to a gun store + gun range that lets you rent shooting lane time AND lets you rent pistols. Try different ones until you find the biggest one that you can shoot confidently AND carry with you at all times AND keep concealed. For most people 9mm is good enough, but if you can handle something bigger like .40SW or .45ACP or 10mm, you can stop the bad guy faster with larger heavier calibers. If all you can handle is a little .380 that is better than nothing. The best way to educate yourself is to just take different models out for a test drive.
Once you find a good shooting iron, you are best advised to have a matching copy for the other side of your body. Your first notice of danger might be somebody grabbing or shooting your right wrist or arm. At which point your survival depends on getting the bad guy entirely left-handed. This also means don’t buy a gun unless you can find both left and right-handed holsters for it. The gun you can’t carry can get you killed.
And have the same make and model on both sides of you (concealed) so you can interchangeably use magazines. You don’t know when any given gun might malfunction, which is another important reason to have a spare gun when one becomes none, but two becomes at least the one that can save you.
Bill Wershing says
Interesting 2 semi auto pistol calibers (yes rifles are available, but rare) and a light weight universal cartridge. What about .38/.357 available in pistol and levergun platforms. .223, or a smoothbore like our ancestors relied on. All would serve to harvest game or defend the homestead.
Wilson E. Stevens says
Guns, Ammo, Cameras, and Ass Holes. Everyone has one and they are all different. The author’s opinion of what would be in demand and of use in SHTF is right on. I have more .22 and 9mm Amo than I will ever use in my lifetime. Have a nice 9mm carry Beretta that I like. Have four or more .22 rifles and several Ruger pistols that use .22 ammo. My favorite .22 is a Winchester 22 single shot made so long ago it doesn’t have a serial number & looks like new. What I like and use is something different. I like and use is a Ruger GP100 Stainless 357 Mag 6″ Revolver that I bought second hand from a policeman when he was forced to go to a semi-automatic, and a Marlin 1894 .357 Lever Action Carbine. They will eat .38, .38P and .357, and like my ass hole, I like them. But when the SHTF ammo for them will be hard to get, until then, I can hit what I shoot at so don’t mess with me or mine.
Well spoken brother!!!
Wow! So many varied opinions and calibures to choose from. The talk about ammo scarcity makes me wonder why no one mentioned have a reloading setup. Most hunters/shooters I have known have always had same for all calibures and guges.
Bill Talaber says
Also, if bullets are in short supply, a mold and a way to melt lead would be a VERY viable addition to the supplies. But, that also takes a bit of knowledge as to requirements of different calibers and their bullet hardness. I have molds for 9mm and .38/.357, an electric pot and several hundred pounds of lead and alloys.
Yes, if one can get lead. You sound ready with supplies. AFAIK there’s only one lead smelter operating in the US. Weights for tires are not lead any more. Not sure if the previous composition would be appropriate for ball ammunition. It may be alloyed for hardness.
Old Lefty says
Sorry, we no longer smelt lead in the Yew Ess of Aiii. Barry Obummer and his EPA minions imposed so many new shibboleths on that smelter after it had spent millions upgrading to meet previous regulations that it just said “We’re outta here” and closed up. We now buy all our virgin lead from our BFFs, China and Mexico.
Wonder why the price of bullets is up? One of the reasons is it costs a lot more to ship lead form China than it does from Louisiana where the sole remaining smelter was located. Especially when the major bullet manufacturers are located in “flyover” country.
Hello from Seattle,Wa. I carry a Springfield subcompact V10 in 45 ACP + I have a Endfild Mark 4 in 45 ACP and use the same mag as my 45 ! And for larger game I have a 270 does wounders !
Of the pistol calibers….which is what this appears to be… I’ll keep my .357 magnum. One can also shoot .38 special with zero difficulties and also the 9mm family if you use moon clips to hold the rimless cases. I have a lever action carbine to go with the 3 revolvers. You could also get the .357 mag in an auto loader if you want.
Bill Talaber says
The point of this IS: if the SHTF, .357 Magnum is not going to be found on a dead cop, soldier, etc. 9 mm, .223 and, maybe, .40 S&W are the most likely to encounter. If you went house raiding(and survived…) you may find what you are looking for. If you are stockpiled with .357, then you really didn’t need to be here. A better choice for a handgun cartridge is a 10 mm. More powerful than a .357, but not much available in a rifle…
Yep, I’m gonna say it…..give me my good ol’ trusty 12 gauge. Slugs, buck shot, bird shot and everything in between. Yep it’s cumbersome, yep the ammo is heavy to tote a bunch around….but it’s probably the most versatile weapon/tool for it’s intended job.
william monger says
Can’t deny how universal a 12 GA is. As long as hummingbirds aren’t all that’s left. It certainly can do everything. Not the best only weapon if your attacked by a well armed group. But, then, if your alone, an AR probably wouldn’t make a big difference. Weight is my only issue. My primary will be what I can take with me by foot. But we’d all do well with the 12 ga.
Laughs at the hummingbirds ! 🙂
Old Lefty says
If I recall my Roman history, the Romans used to consider hummingbird tongues a delicacy. However in an EOTW situation, I am afraid dining on hummingbirds would lead to an early exit from starvation. I feel confident that the Romans, while dining on hummingbird tongues also concurrently dined on more substantial fare.
Jackie ow says
You’re thinking of peacock tongues.
get cartridge adapters and several single shot shotguns.
less to worry about
Yeah, author completely missed the ball on shotguns. But then again, he didn’t clearly state a purpose. Is it self defense? Hunting? Barter?
It was missed because the article is about handguns only, nothing else.
My first comment was a little off, typed it too fast, let me correct that as to what I meant to say. The article is about calibers, shotgun ammo is measured by guage which I’m sure you know. The article is titled “3 Best Ammo Calibers To Have After SHTF”. Obviously the reason shotguns weren’t mentioned.
Rick Palmer says
Hummingbirds at least hover . If you’ve ever hunted Arizona dove , you will know about a critter tha can make an acute turn while flipping you the middle talon just as you have fired . More meat than a hummingbird, but much less cooperative. ??
Personaly I like 7.62 x39mm with M72 AB2 Kalashnikov, in Yugoslav Army we trained to hit a man size target at 800m away, 70% hits are a must if you wanted to avoid weekend in piling up rocks from one pile to another. most of us had 7-8 out of 10 shots in it (without optics). that gun and caliber proved it self in ’90s wars very well. home defence, hunting if needed for mid size game (even bigger game if needed not best choice but can do job in most situations with FMJ) I know few guys in Bosnia that hunded bears with it, crazy people.. 🙂
My second choice is 12 gauge with 8,55mm balls (12 of them in cartridge) it has a nice spread at ideal up to 50m distance and great stoping power.
third choice standard 9mm semi outo pistol
not bad to have 5.56mm rifle aswell chambered in 5.56 NATO, just in case you get your hands on army ammo and same size/weight as .22LR but packs lot more punch..
We keep two SIG 9mm, a AK clone, and a Henry Big Boy in .45 Colt. Lots of ammo for all. I’ve got boxes of .22s, 9mm and oddballs for trading, but the good stuff I’m saving for problems.
Should you stockpile FMJ as well as hollow points.
Better be a damn good shot to take small game with a .308. If you have to bug-out, carrying ammo in volume becomes a factor. And caliber by itself, has little to do with impact energy. A 5.56 is the same size bullet as a 22lr, but with a lot more energy behind it due to the casing size/explosive power. A 9mm out of a carbine, is about the same energy output as a .357 out of a 5 inch barrel. Reloading is great, IF you have a stable place to hole up, and can do that. However, it takes nine 22WMR rounds to be the equal carry weight of a single 9mm, with approximately the same energy output per round – about half way between a .223 and a 22lr, and really close to the lauded FN 5.7×28. A 22WMR has far lower range drop than the equivalent energy 9mm, so more effective targeting at distance. Although rimfire is supposedly not reloadable, there are options on the market that provide the capability, albeit with limitations.
Doc A says
Remember that if SHTF medical supplies will probably be at a minimum. So any hit, by any caliber will probably kill over a period of time, assuming medical supply/expertise at a minimum. UNTIL 1920s the old .38 (before .38 spl) people died over a matter of days from any pistol hit. Any wound unattended will go septic and you’ll be lucky to survive that without antibiotics. So people tended to AVOID getting shot. 9mm, .45, 5,56, 7.62 all great for stopping the attack instantly, but the avoidance factor jackals will display will be the decider. BTW I’m a .45 fan. Period.
10mm for hunting, 10mm for self defense, 10mm against vultures, 10mm against thugs, 10mm against military and police, 10mm for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Anyone want to test my Glock 20 and Glock 40? The long slide 40 is for hunting. Trijicon rmr for long range. Turn danger to sludge in one shot!!!!!
William Talaber says
The 10mm is a great round. But, you missed the point. The author was talking about reasonable stockpiling and other factors, such as, if you run out of ammo and come across a bad guy or law enforcement/military casualty. Unless they were Secret Service/FBI, you are NOT going to find 10mm. AND, even now, you don’t walk into most Walmarts to pick up a spare box; they are a bit scarce. But to each his own….
Brandon Kim says
Can run .40 through a 10mm in a pinch too
Finally someone who does not drink the 9mm cool-aid! I swear I am tired of listening cool aid 9mm drinkers. Until you see how often they are known to bounce off skulls you would never want that as your go to ammo. .40 or .45 options are proven to be more effective. Without going into my background people, anytime you hear someone giving advice stating the 9mm is the best round known to man…RUN to the .40 or .45!
I don’t think there is a round that is best everyday for everyone. I really like my 9mm pistolS. I can hit what I aim at and can carry concealed easily. I’m older now than I used to be and can’t shoot my 1911’s like I used to.
The 9mm with premium hollow points are a VERY good next best, for me anyway. I train a lot and reload as much as I can also.
Whatever you carry or like to shoot, be a good shot and be safe!!
Practice, practice, practice!!! ?
You won’t be getting too far carrying around .40 or .45 ammo in a SHTF scenario and moving from place to place. You’ll get much further with a lot more ammo if carrying 9mm. Not saying anything bad about the .40 or .45 but there are situations where different ammo will have a place depending on the scenario, there is no one go to caliber unless you know exacty what your target is and what works best. Don’t care about your backround, you don’t know mine and there are others here that will surpass whatever you did on the subjecrt of survival and weaponry. Being boisterous and a know-it-all will get you killed, try being the Gray Man.
Jackie ow says
10mm is what the Greenland Army uses for killing attacking polar bears. It might take 5 shots, and the bear might get within 5 feet, but at least 10mm stops polar bears.
Rob Robinson says
I most certainly agree with the .22 LR caliper considering this round is responsible (at least at one time) for more deaths in the US than all others combined. As far as the 9mm parabellum and the .45, I have to respectfully disagree. While the 9mm is very inexpensive, the .45 is prohibitively expensive and neither are used by most police forces in the US. The preferred round as of today is the .40 caliper. It has the drill press speed of the 9mm and nearly the knock down power of the .45.
9mm 40 ACP 45 ACP
Grain 115-147 135-180 68-255
Feet/Sec 940-2010 915-2100 750-2260
Now, if it really hits the fan, the entire US will be under martial law. What does this have to do with the like of you and I? This brings to mind of the previous question. Sure, the previous rounds will protect you from a few thugs, but what happens if it REALLY hits the fan and soldiers go rogue? Don’t think it can happen here? Think again! Yes, use your 9mm, 45 auto, and 22LR to fend off thugs at first, but when the police come knocking to take away your very protection and deny your 2nd Amendment Rights (which, by the way, are intended to protect you from this very scenario), what calper do you think the police, swat, the national guard, and the US Military use? (and please, don’t take this as a call for war, I really do respect our first responder’s, the police, and most of all, our military.
However, mankind being the people we are, sometimes people make serious mistakes. It’s for these I suggest owning equal firepower as our first President (George Washington) suggested. These are:
40 S&W (Used by most US law enforcement in their side arms) This caliper with the right round has serious knock down power within close range. Much like the intended use of the 9mm, this round has much more significant capability.
.223 The preferred round of the US Army and US Marine Corps. This round has serious battle proven capability.
.308/7.62×51 Preferred sniper round of most US Military forces, especially the US Marine Corps and Navy. This along with the .223/5.56×45 are considered NATO approved rounds which are used in many combinations of rifles around the world with minimal variations to the caliber differences (ie., .223 vs 5.56x45mm and .308 vs 7.62x51mm)
Without getting into all the science involved into each of these rounds which, in my opinion are truly the most sought after rounds if SHTF, it is my suggestion to look into the rounds suggested by the author and my self and make a decision which suites you best.
Good luck to all of you and God bless
Chris P. Bacon says
Caliber. Look it up in the dictionary. Ignorance is forgivable: stupidity destroys credibility.
Ben Leucking says
You should have taken the time. It’s not like your life depended on how quickly you hit the enter key…
William Talaber says
Big blue says
And we digress into name calling.Actually caliper is a word and spell check wouldn’t pick that up, he just hit the wrong key, it happens, and is no big deal.
Spill Chicken strikes again!
William Talaber says
If the “good guys” come for your means of self defense, or “rogue” military, they will be “armored up”; vests, helmets, etc. But, what does that leave? LEGS! Harder to hit with a hand gun or a rifle, but a shotgun with, say, #4 buckshot would take out at least one aiming below the vest. I respect law enforcement, and especially the military, AS LONG AS they protect the Constitution. I was Army from 1969-1970 and help local L.E. on occasion.
all around I like the 357 sig. good distance 50yds good knock down power good and accurate not bad on recoil if you just carrying a pistol not to heavy. Will stop a black bear and deer with out a lot of meat destroyed and accurate enough to shoot a squirrel or rabbit
and way too expensive
My list- .45, 5.56 AR, 12 gauge for birds and deer. 5.56 for hunting 2 legged or 4 , .45 only for 2 legged.
Basil Ross says
I notice no one had any thing to say about the 17 i have 9mm 45s 38 an 357 along with 3030 and 22s but i have a 17 revolver and a 17 rifle the 17 leaves the gun at 2,750 fps ammo is light and carry a lot of it if needed and easy to get ammo for and you can get it in hollow point .jusk asking
I have given this much thought, I am a bow hunter, and know how to use a slingshot, I have no use for a .22 cal., of which the ammo is just now getting available again in my area. The only .22 cal I would keep is a bolt action. The ruger 10-22’s were fun until you can’t feed them anymore.
Although the 9 is probably the most popular The 40 S/W is in my opinion better. A few grain shy of a 357 mag, but much less expensive for ammo and the 223 would be my choice. (assault) 40 and semi auto handgun in 40 will do the job. And a 223 backup. Wish I would of had these in Nam.
Rob T says
You picked a semi uto round for the fit two and the double deuce can go either way. In my travels I have seen that the newbies and the old dogs go with the military calibers but the old dogs still have the 38spl from gramps and a new 357 so the old guns retired to the night stand or center console in grandma’s car.
The 223 is what the old dog talks about but a 303,243,270,3030,or7 Mauser is what comes too deer camp. Now don’t get the wrong idea you know that many will live by your story and I do to I will just be backing up the 9mm,223and 22 with 38spl,3006 and a sweet 16 with bird and buck shot plus some old Foster’s slugs.
Jim S says
I would say 22lr, 9mm, .223 wylde, 7.62×39. Sucks to say but I think I would be able to successfully scavenge enough ammo with any one of those. 22lr with a suppressor and standard velocity ammo could go a long way to checking many boxes. You could keep your position stealthy and carry an s ton of rounds
.223 Wylde isn’t a caliber. It’s a chambering.
My Top 3 – .22LR, 9mm, and .223. And, I agree, a 12 gauge is a good backup.
D Thater says
Good ole’ proven, steady Eddie rounds….lots of people have these for sharing if necessary.
I’m with ya on the 22LR and suppressor. Lots of damage can be done with this
Rob Robinson says
I like it! nothing wrong with a solid and proven 308 round!
pete dickson says
60 years ago I read an article in a major outdoor magazine about using the 22 lr hollowpoint. It was suggested to pack the hollow with soft warm wax (use a toothpick). Showed the difference and it was considerable. I shot a bird with a solid round nose and the bird fell to the ground; thump. Then I shot another bird with the hollowpoint. Poof! Nothing but feathers falling like snow to the ground. It works and upgrades the 22 lr a good bit. I have 4 other guns; 5.56, shotgun, 9mm, and air-rifle. May get .308 semi soon. Use good expanding ammo. In answer to someone about the police and military, some will go home, some will become raiders, most will do the obvious……follow orders. That is the way that works around the world. It will depend who is giving the orders.
The best ammo caliber to have are the ones that fit your own weapons. Anything else should be for barter and sale. I would recommend that you also have a shotgun and the ammo for that as well.
Two pistols and no centerfire rifle??? Take a walk in the real world–your priorities will change. No mention of a shotgun???
The standard recommendations are shotgun, rifle and pistol in that order. I would go that way. If you wait until threats are in pistol range, you have already lost. You get no points for second place. You don’t even want to see the participation trophy.
Ben Leucking says
If you’re lucky, the “participation trophy” is a body bag. Otherwise, it is a flock of vultures.
This article should have been titled “Best Ammo Calibers for Handguns.” Even then, you could debate the author’s selection ’til the cows come home. The .22LR is a fine round for small game IF you are using a rifle. Every sensible article on this subject lists shotguns, rifles and pistols as the principal “go to” firearms in any SHTF scenario. This author is off his rocker.
Chris P. Bacon says
“This author is off his rocker.”
You’re absolutely right. Just another self-made expert who writes poorly, is utterly and woefully ignorant of both physics and ballistics, and is in love with his own imbecilic opinions. It’s obvious he overlooks inconvenient truth when it comes to firearms.
The choice of a submunition (9mm) destroyed his credibility from the start.
Shotguns have a shorter range than handguns, so I think your priorities are too far askew. 22lr small game including birds like duck and geese. .270 for large game, and .40 for 2 legged threats (although I prefer a .45 acp. The forty could be in a carbine or handgun. In a shtf scenario those would be the ones I’d be hording.
12 Gauge Slug=100 yards–better than a pistol. I prefer informed opinions.
Mic Roland says
Before reading, I guessed the author’s choices would be: 9mm, 5.56 and 12 ga. Didn’t think it would be focused on pistols so much.
.22lr makes sense for small game hunting. Won’t be much meat left using a 9mm or 5.56, etc. A .45 for meeting bears seems like a rare event to stockpile for — unless you live in Alaska.
Agree that 9mm in a carbine fills some dual roles.
.22lr for game. 9mm for close-in defense. 5.56 for distant defense. (bonus round: 12 ga. for hunting (birds to bucks) and close-in defense)
Mr. Gray says
Daniel Hess says
45 is a vague label for the article but it seems the author is referring more to 45 long colt more then 45 acp
Also reloading .22? How’s that going to work? Yes I’ve seen the videos for ”reloading” .22 LR, I’m not impressed. You’re better off learning how to use a flintlock rifle as your foraging/hunting gun.
I’ve usually got my .45, but have everything I’d want. I’m an FFL. Like Sam Elliot said, if I need to use a rifle, I’m sure there will be plenty lying around. What I do like about my ARs, is all the calibers I’ve got. I’ve got a great select fire lower that I’d prefer to have, but flexibility in using an upper you come across if need be is something to consider. That .45 is my go to, all subsonic by design, and when I put my can on it, it really keeps me from telegraphing my presence. Everyone has favorites, but try walking around with them all day.
I see the author picked 45 over 40, or other much better calibers.
Personally I would trust a 9mm over a 45 against a bear 10 times out of 10. But if we’re talking useful calibers the 40sw, 357sig, and 10mm would be a much better caliber against aggressive woodland creatures every time over the 9 and 45.
And the 40, 357, and 10mm all work just fine against humans as well.
I can’t help but think that the person writing this based their information on their feelings, and not the facts
Actually I saw an article on how more grizzly bears are killed with 9 mm than any other pistol round.
Several bears survived and mauled, those individuals carrying larger caliber pistols.
Probably because the 9 mm people fired multiple shots, the others fired one or two shots, expecting that to stop the bear, It did not.
Real world experiences, based around how people react to a situation, makes for different outcomes than one might expect.
So contrary to so much popular opinion, the 9 mm will get the job done.
Something to consider.
Carmine Damato says
If the SHTF..
The ammo you want is what our military carries.
That’s why my firearms are;
You make a good point.
If I might add, ake certain your weapon is “approved” for 5.56. There are small differences between the .223 and 5.56 which will affect firearm performance.
Jim S says
Military, local and state police, and common hunting round or two. You can Google what the police in your state carry as a sidearm, and just ask at a gun shop or outdoor store what most hunters in your area use. It may mean an extra firearm or two in your arsenal, but who really needs an excuse for that.
I agree, the logical choices to me are military \ police calibers. I have 5.56, 223, 30-06, 308, 7.62 12 ga. ,9mm, .357, .45 acp and .45 colt. I carry a small 9mm , for dress ,but at all other times , (most), I am a .45 auto fan.
William Talaber says
,22 LR, while cheap(somewhat) to stockpile, is not a great defense ammo. .223 is the most commonly used law enforcement round and easy to get and reload. And, has plenty of power to take down the “bad guys”. So, I would include that caliber in MY list…
James Allen Wyatt, Jr., Son of the Gunsmith; Miss. State Univ. Class of 1961 says
TO THE VICTOR GOES THE SPOILS:
A MAJOR FACT BROUGHT UP IN AN INFORMAL DISCUSSION WAS THE OBVIOUSLY MAJOR POINT THAT IN ANY ALTERCATION THAT WE SUCCESSFULLY SURVIVE, POTENTIALLY WE WILL HAVE ACCESS TO WHATEVER ARMS, AMMUNITION, AND RELATED GEAR THE VANQUISHED ONES POSSESSED; automatic weapons, ammunition for those weapons, as well as whatever other arms, gear, and equipment possibly their means of transport, i.e.vehicles. These facts were specifically pointed out by Wm. H. “Bill” Jordan, a retired Border Patrol Assistant Inspector who was a U. S. Marine who served in the Pacific in WW2 as well as in the Korea war; he a cherished friend and acquaintance.
Uncle George says
Sometimes the clothes are a little gooey.
JamesAllenWyatt,Jr; Son of the Rifle Builder & Gunsmith, WYATT-POWER RIFLES says
THE EQUIPMENT MIGHT NEED A BIT OF CLEANUP; THE CLOTHING MIGHT WELL BE LEFT TO OTHERS.
As they say, “Gear adrift is a gift.”
OK I was close I was thinking .22 , 9 mm and 5.56 or .223.
Agree with 9mm and 22LR but my third would be 5.56, my fourth would be 7.62. The .45 is a potential substitute for 9mm but is less common.
Mr. Vernon Sturdivant says
If you are dead do you really give a shit what caliber made you that way. I think not!