You need to prepare yourself for SHTF as it can happen anytime so you should be well-prepared and good to go. When you have a firearm, it is important to consider the ammunition or bullets stock needed to fill your weapon in the long run.

The usual question pondered upon is the timeline of when the preparation process of accumulating and collecting supplies and knowledge to face this problem should begin and how much ammunition is needed to be stockpiled when SHTF. Basically, it is more beneficial to stock more ammo with less caliber rather than less ammo with more calibers.

Hunting and Defense 

All in all, it is tough to predict the future thus estimating the amount of ammo needed. However, a realistic minimal goal is set of the ammo needed during an emergency situation. The main focus and minimum estimation is determined by the hunting and defense.


  •  .22lr Rifle

The rifle commonly used for hunting is usually the .22lr rifle. It is an all-rounder excellent and versatile rifle which can be used for short to long range hunting and varmint clearing. Apart from that, it has a small game caliber and can be classified and used as a defensive weapon that will come in handy during SHTF.

Just like any other guns, the more accurate you are, the less ammo you will need. There a few things you can do to improve your accuracy but the most important one will be practicing and getting a good feel of your rifle. You should also use scopes designed specifically for .22lr rifle.

  • Shotgun

Apart from owning a .22lr rifle, every hunter should also own .12 or .20 gauge shotgun. A shotgun acts as a multipurpose weapon as it is not only able to kill larger animals such as turkey and game birds but also used for self-defense from your predators to be used at home. Basically, it has two uses so the ammo count needed is high which is about 500 rounds for both self-defending from your home and hunting.

Nevertheless, the cost of ammo for shotgun is cheaper than that of the .22lr rifle. Hundred rounds of ammo by field loads for the shotgun can be purchased for over 20 bucks so you can save your cost. Compared to the .20 gauge shotgun, the .12 gauge shotgun has more power and can cover longer distances.

  • Big Game Rifles

Big game rifles are used to hunt down larger preys such as boars and deer. You should at least have 100 to 200 rounds of ammo of game loads. The total of 100 rounds itself might last you years of hunting down larger preys as your main food source, provided that your rifle is properly sighted in and handled properly with great care.

Popular big game rifles such as 30-30 and .45 Colt are good for hunting larger game. For example, the .45 Colt rifle has additional features such as a revolver and lever gun in its caliber to improve your hunting game especially used to target larger animals.


  • The Semi Auto Sporting Rifle

In the western countries (USA), the semi auto sporting rifles includes rifles such as AK-447s and AR-15s which are not classified as assault weapons however they still ensure good defense. Meanwhile in Canada, these rifles are mostly used for competition and target shooting such as the AR-15 and SKS.

This defense rifle uses about 2000 rounds of ammo at minimum so you need to stock a whole lot of ammo for this product.  Moreover, a true assault weapon possesses the ability to switch between the full-automatic and semi-automatic gunfire. Also, it is equipped with an intermediate cartridge. The operation of these firearm on the other hand is almost similar to that of a semi-automatic hunting rifle.

  • Handgun

The suitable ammo for handguns are 9mm of the .45 ACP or .40 SW ammo. Both these ammo are commonly used so there is an abundant flow of these ammunitions around so you can restock them anytime you want. For a common handgun, you need to stock at least 1000 rounds of defensive load ammunition so you can use it for self-defense at home and these 1000 rounds will most likely last for a long period of time if stored properly.

Tips to Store Your Ammo Stockpile 

Treat your ammunition stockpile preciously and with good care. Take it as a long-term investment so it is maintained to be used in the long run. Without proper care, you just will decrease the shelf-life of your ammo thus wasting your own investment.

You can only understand and know the importance of firepower when SHTF so never neglect your ammo as you might need it in the near future. Besides that, your ammunition should be stored under a cool, dry and dark surroundings so that its shelf life is maintained. Heed these regulations and your ammo can thereby be passed down from generations to generations and still be good as new.

There are some things to avoid when storing your ammunition.

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  1. Refrain from packing too many ammo into very heavy containers as it will damage your ammunitions in the long run.
  2. Refrain from burying your ammunition underground without a solid packaging.
  3. Avoid hiding your ammo in easily located places to avoid your stock from getting stolen.
  4. Avoid storing your ammo under cold or hot temperatures and moist conditions (low humidity) without suitable containers for long-term storage.


In summary, ammo is divided into two categories which are the hunting and defense ammo. Both types of ammo are highly essential for SHTF. For defense, you should stock up a minimum of 500 rounds of defensive ammo for your shotgun, approximately 2000 rounds for your rifle and finally 1000 rounds for your handgun.

Meanwhile for hunting, you should possess at least 1000 rounds of varying and assorted hunting loads for your shotgun, 400 rounds just for your large game rifle and finally 4000 rounds for your .22lr rifle. Nevertheless, you should at least achieve to aim the minimum ammo stockpile as estimated as above. After that, you can either continue to stock more ammo for both hunting and defense or purchase other necessities according to your preference.

Author Bio: Hi guys, I am John, an avid outdoorsmen that blogs over at I am by no means an expert but I will be sharing all the useful tips I learnt along the way with you.

*Featured image courtesy of US Marines