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L. Neil Smith's

Number 834, August 16, 2015

School is only a starting place for education

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SHTF: How Many Rounds Per Gun?
by Paul Bonneau
email address witheld by request

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Attribute to L. Neil Smith's The Libertarian Enterprise

You have no doubt seen a lot of these articles out there, if you have an interest in guns. I am going to come at it from a different direction than most of them.

Of course it depends on what SHTF looks like. If it's fairly mild like the ongoing Argentine crisis, a rifle will do you little good, but you had better have a pistol, lots of ammo for it and know how to use it (as Ferfal reports). If it's a full-blown zombie apocalypse, or invasion by aliens, rifles will be a lot more important.

Instead of worrying if you have enough for your battle rifle (that's taken care of already, right?), just look inside your gun safe. What do you see? If you are like me there may be a couple of lever actions in .30-30 or .357 Magnum or .44 Magnum. Maybe a .45-70. Maybe a few bolt guns in a variety of calibers like .270 Win.

Without ammo, these guns are poor excuses for clubs. Guess what, you may be handing them out to your neighbors when SHTF. What are they going to feed them with?

I don't really believe you need thousands of rounds for each gun. One way to figure it is, how many AIMED rounds can you fire in anger at the bad guys before the bad guys get you? Maybe 200 if you are lucky? So 200 is enough to make that old .30-30 useful for a neighbor. It's very unlikely to see that much ammo burned up in a fight; the attackers are going to go away and find someone who won't be such a tough nut to crack—unless you are sitting on a gold or food horde and they know it's worth the trouble. The neighbors you need to hand a deer rifle to won't have that problem; they are not preppers.

Or say there is a flash mob coming at you and you have that old .357 in the trunk of your car. How many rounds does it take to persuade them to reverse course and get the hell out? Not many, I think. These people are just out for free shit, not for a hole in their belly. This assumes that things have gotten so bad that shooting into a mob is "acceptable", and escaping is not a better option at the time.

Of course ammo will be needed for practice; but you don't need practice ammo for every gun. That's what your .22LR guns are for anyway. Get people started with the rimfire, get them used to the bigger stuff by practicing with one of your .308 bolt guns, then hand them that .270 and tell them to dry-fire it. No need to burn up a lot of .270. You DO have lots of .308, right?

OK, but what possible use could that .45-70 have? Actually, it's known that the best way to defeat glass is with slow-moving heavy bullets. That old antique might have specialty applications. Just be sure you have some heavy bullets on hand, and a recoil pad!

It's helpful if you can trade off your odd caliber guns, of course. Most people ought to be heavy into 7.62/.308, 5.56/.223, and 9mm. It simplifies life.

Anyway, now I need to go out and practice what I preach. Time to get those old safe queens ready for use...

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