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Ammunition has already become a precious commodity. Gone are the days where you could walk into any sporting goods store and find rows upon rows of ammunition on the shelves at affordable prices.
Today, you’ll be lucky to find any ammunition at all in stores, and when you do find it, it’s usually priced multiple times higher than it was before…and sells out nearly as quickly as it arrives.
In other words, if you want to stockpile ammo, you have to keep a close eye out and act quickly once you find it. And while stockpiling any type of ammunition is certainly better than storing none at all, there are still certain calibers that are in higher demand.
These are the calibers you’ll primarily want to invest in, especially if you’re going to be stockpiling any ammunition for bartering purposes in a future SHTF or grid-down scenario.
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Here are the most important types of ammunition to stockpile for an incoming collapse:
12 gauge is the most popular shotgun ammunition sold in the United States today. Birdshot, buckshot, and slugs can be used for bird hunting, home defense, and big game hunting purposes respectively, making it a very versatile round that’s worth stockpiling in all three configurations. In an SHTF scenario, it’s also a round that will be in high demand from those on the bartering scene.
20 gauge is the second most popular shotgun ammunition sold today. It’s a good choice for those seeking a shotgun with decent stopping power and less recoil than that of the 12 gauge, but take note that this only applies if your 20 gauge shotgun of choice weighs the same as the same model in 12 gauge. A lighter shotgun will be less adept at absorbing recoil.
The .22 LR is an often-underestimated caliber that is excellent for pest control, small game hunting, target practice, and general plinking. It can also be bought in bulk packs at relatively affordable prices and that take up limited space. What’s more, is that the .22 LR is an enormously successful round with American gun owners; many people who aren’t even into guns often have a .22 rifle sitting in the closet, for instance.
.38 Special and .357 Magnum
The .357 Magnum revolver is a highly versatile handgun due to the fact that it can chamber and fire both .357 and .38 Special ammunition (although a .38 Special revolver cannot safely chamber or fire .357). If you own a revolver in either .357 or .38 you’ll want to stockpile as much ammo for it as you can, but even if you don’t own a revolver either caliber will be valuable for bartering purposes for those that do.
The most common caliber for semi-automatic pistols today, the 9mm Luger, is arguably the most important handgun round in general to stockpile. It’s usually cheaper than other handgun rounds and offers less recoil and greater magazine capacity than larger calibers like the .40 S&W or .45 ACP rounds as well.
The .45 ACP is a good choice if you want a semi-automatic handgun with more stopping power to it than the 9mm (while also sacrificing magazine capacity). It also remains an enormously popular round as well today with a large customer market if you plan on stockpiling it for bartering purposes.
5.56x45mm NATO/.223 Remington
The 5.56 and .223 are the most commonly used rounds for the AR-15 series of rifles, the bestselling centerfire rifle in the United States today. Even if you don’t own an AR yourself, millions of other people do, which is why there’s a massive market for the 5.56 today. Take note that rifles chambered for 5.56 can chamber .223, but not the other way around.
A compelling argument can be made that the .30-30 has dropped more deer in North America than any other caliber in history. It’s a staple for lever action rifles like the Winchester 1894 or the Marlin 336. Even if you don’t own a lever action rifle in the .30-30, stockpiling it wouldn’t be a bad idea so you can sell or trade it to someone who does own one.
The 7.62x39mm is the most popular caliber for use in AK-type rifles. This is definitely a round that you should stockpile if you personally own or plan to own an AK, or otherwise plan to sell or trade the ammunition to an AK-owner in the future.
.308 Winchester is essentially a shorter variant of the .30-06 Springfield, while the 7.62x51mm NATO is essentially a military specification version of the .308 that was developed as a standardized caliber for NATO nations during the Cold War. Since the .308 Winchester is loaded to higher pressures than 7.62x51mm, .308 caliber rifles can likewise chamber 7.62, but not vice versa.
Today, the .308 Winchester is the most popular centerfire hunting caliber in the United States as well as in the rest of the world. There will be a big market for it in a post-SHTF world.
The venerable .30-06 Springfield remains a very popular hunting cartridge with Americans today. As with the .308 Winchester, it will have a large and dedicated market on the bartering scene in a post-SHTF landscape.
Remember, storing any kind of ammo is better than storing no ammo at all. The above calibers are just some of the most commonly used in the United States today, and therefore likely to be in the highest demand.
Also remember that there’s also nothing wrong with storing ammunition in a caliber that you don’t have a firearm for. Ammo is a commodity, and if values continue to increase, it can become a lucrative investment or bartering item for you later.
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