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Below is a practical and common-sense approach to aquiring perparations for SHTF situations. Many of us need to learn and USE this principal to balance our preparedness supplies.



Originally posted by member "Cohort"


It is my opinion that a person should establish a base line of need for their ammunition stockpile. It is easy (and fun) to buy, buy, buy more ammo. However, once a standard amount is on hand, every extra round of ammunition is purchased with preparedness dollars that could be allocated to other valuable and expensive kits, sets, and outfits. We are preparedness folks, not ninjas -- we should plan our ammo the same way we plan our water. What do we need, why do we need it, and how much is enough? All the ammo in the world isn't going to feed your family. As I have done with all of my preps (and surely most of you here have as well), I apply the rule of three to everything, including ammunition.

1. How much Ammo do I need to live three seconds? The answer is one magazine -- no more, no less. If it ain't gettin' done with that in three seconds, it ain't gettin' done. I don't stock any more than that until I have all of the air, food, water, and shelter I need for three seconds. For myself AND my family.

2. How much ammo do I need to live three minutes? The answer is probably a couple of mags that could, at the worst case, in three minutes, allow me to remove myself from trouble. Maybe a hundred rounds for my rifle and a dozen for my pistol. I don't stock anymore than that until I have all the air, food, water, and shelter I need for three minutes. For myself AND my family.

3. How much ammo do I need to live three hours? I think the answer here is probably enough to outfit a standard basic load -- just enough loaded magazines that can be comfortably carried on the body. This means that I add another two hundred rounds to what I have already stockpiled for my rifle and a couple dozen for my pistol. I don't stock any more than that until I have all of the air, food, water, and shelter I need for three hours. For myself AND my family.

4. How much ammo do I need to live three days? I think the answer here is that I should plan on being able to refill my basic load at least once. We aren't combat soldiers, so we aren't looking for trouble -- we just need enough (at the three day mark) to top-off our spent magazines. Prudent preparation for unknown future calamity deems another couple hundred rounds for my rifle and another couple dozen rounds for my pistol to be appropriate. I don't stock any more than that until I have all of the air, food, water, and shelter I need for three days. For myself AND my family.

5. How much ammo do I need to live three weeks? Apply the same logic here as applied to the previous milestones with the emphasis on 'what do I need'? Again, since we aren't combat soldiers, we aren't fighting everyday for that period of time. It seems logical to assume that we may find ourselves in at least one more fight, so to prepare for such an event, stockpiling an additional basic load seems appropriate -- a couple hundred more rounds for my rifle and a couple dozen more rounds for my pistol. I don't stock any more than that until I have all of the air, food, water, and shelter I need for three weeks. For myself AND my family.

6. How much ammo do I need to live three months? Continuing in the same manner, after three months, there isn't likely to be continuous fighting. If there is, we are no longer preparedness folks, we are soldiers and different logistics issues come into play. For preparedness, stocking our own in advance in order to safely navigate ourselves and our families through unforeseen dramas and hardships, it would not be unwise to have a spare case of ammunition, over and above what has already been stockpiled for the previous milestones. At this stage, one should not only be stocking an additional thousand rounds for your rifle; but should be thinking at least about a spare rifle of the same caliber for back-up (please note, that I specifically waited until this milestone to bring in an additional rifle). It is fun to buy guns, but now is when they become necessary redundancy. I don't stock any more than that until I have all of the air, food, water, and shelter I need for three months. For myself AND my family.

7. How much ammo do I need to live for a year or more? This is the point at which, for me, the rule of threes ends and a homestead lifestyle takes its place. At this level of societal disruption, it is not realistic to stockpile enough ammunition to live for three years. It is realistic, at this point in the preparation plan, to stockpile the equipment, skills, and raw materials to make ammunition. Don't stock cartridges, stock thousands of bullets, casings, powder, and reloading equipment to allow yourself to survive an indefinite period. Stock spare parts for rifles that will not be readily available. Prepare at this unprecedented level to never be able to go to a 'gun store' again.
 

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you know i am new to this forum and i know others have far more than i do. and i just collect/gather for future enjoyment. if that doubles as preparedness, that is fine too. your rules of three leave out basic ergonomics. if mobile, how much does 1000 rounds weigh? i have "just in case" sections of my ammo collection with the necessary firearms nearby. this includes a few bricks off 22lr that are easily accessible and quite a few rounds of the natec 223 that has the polymer casing. the natec is super super light and accurate enough to be used for whatever you need. the ar15 or the m16 decision is probably based more on if one needs to survive or be a soldier. (my m16 barrels are pretty short and less accurate, but it sprays bullets pretty fast :) )

also by suggestion of a friend i have a special box. this special box is a smaller pelican brief case sized box with a good working 22 handgun, 500 rounds of ammo, 4 loaded magazines, water pur tabs, dry rice, dry beans, p38 can opener, water proof matches, 2 bic lighters, 1 mre, 2 space blankets, swiss army knife/leatherman, some twine, undisclosed cash in lower denominations and some in higher denoms.

this is not the lightest box in the world but it is easily mobile and can fit in a decent sized back pack if on foot and would be easier concealed in that fashion. the point is is that it has what i feel to be a decent emergency stash for 1 or two people for a few days to a week on the go.

r
 

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Iets look at a recent history lesson - Andrew, some people were cut of for 30
days. The local Govts. told people to leave because they could not supply h2O - water - food - or protection. This left you with the decision - abandon your home to the looters, or stay and set up a local Militia with your neighbors. Some did some did'nt. Hopefully there is at least one or two neighbors that are x military or police. This is where if your smart, get to know your neighbors. I do, I live in Florida. Have a bug plan, do you know your local U-hall man well enought that he would hold a trailer or truck for you. Have you torn a bill into and told him when shtf he gets the other half.
Is there a friend you could stay with, if so how long. Do you have a supple of
gas horded away. I have four 5gal. gerry cans. Do you have a hitch on your car? How many cases of cup of soup do you have? these are just the basics. :wink:
 

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ok i see where this is going and i'm taking the hook, line, and sinker with me.
this is what i do if SHTF always keep a stock pile of water and mre's ( me i have 60 of each)( i buy in bulk) then make sure u keep at least if not more, 60 mags worth of ammo thats it. keep spare parts for your guns ( remember 2 is 1, 1 is none. live by that and your ok) make friend with neighbor's this way they can learn from you or vis versa. and if all else fails and the shit really REALLY REALLY hit the fan then u load up with your buddys and raid the closes military base and load up on everything you can get and GET THE HELL OUT OF THERE ( REMEMBER WHEN YOUR RAID A BASE YOU NEED THE FOLLOWING GUNS, AMMO, FOOD (MRE), WATER, LARGE TRANSPORT TRUCKS AND A TANK IF YOU CAN MANAGE WITH A FUEL TRUCK) OH AND TRY TO GET THE WATER TRUCKS b/C THEY HAVE A ONBOARD WATER PURIFYING SYSTEM SO YOU CAN GET WATER FROM ANYTHING THEN WHEN YOU RUN OUT.
 

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For survival cosiderations whether urban or rural the use of caches pre-planned and placed would be a definite consideration in any SHTF preparation.
As was previously mentioned, you can't carry everything. Heavy items such as ammo, food, water, weapons, clothng would need to be cached in strategic locations.
If you are in a Hurricane location having supplies stashed with a relative or friend far away inland would be wise.
If you have a rural location as an escape I would have caches located nearby to avoid theft.
Operating in an urban area would require safehouses and stashed supplies if you are talking L.A. riots or 4GW activities
 

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Not trying to hijack, but I heard of a different "Rule of Threes" as it applies to being in a survival situation:

You can live 3 minutes without air, 3 hours without shelter, 3 days without water, and 3 weeks without food.


I can't remember where I heard it, but it's always seemed logical. The 'shelter' one is a little iffy unless you're exposed to extreme cold or something.
 

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Re:

Zane Zackerly said:
Not trying to hijack, but I heard of a different "Rule of Threes" as it applies to being in a survival situation:

You can live 3 minutes without air, 3 hours without shelter, 3 days without water, and 3 weeks without food.


I can't remember where I heard it, but it's always seemed logical. The 'shelter' one is a little iffy unless you're exposed to extreme cold or something.

Many survival courses will emphasize the '3 minutes, 3 days, 3 weeks' scenarios. If you're breathing and mobile, you should be able to improvise some sort of shelter under most conditions. Unless you're soaking wet and unconscious in >50 degree weather, you should be able to last longer than three hours...
 

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I read this thread a week or more ago and have been digesting it a bit. As a new member, I do not want to get on the bad side of anyone. :) So with that said, I must respectfully disagree with Cohort’s “Rule of Threes.”

I won’t go through section by section, but I will cover the ones I mostly disagree with.

1. Quickly after a breakdown in the everyday social expectations it takes about five minutes for the POS (“thugs”, “badguys”, “gangbangers” whatever you want to call them) to start preying on the weak and helpless. They will all most certainly start this as a pair of POS and quickly move to small gangs/gangs. Empirical evidence: Katrina.

One magazine for three seconds? Eight plus one rounds of .45 in your 1911 or 19+1 round of 9mm XD(m)? Would not that make a HUGE difference? Either way, you should have AT LEAST TWO magazines and so you can perform a tactical reload after you get a lull in the action. Plus the two, or more, may be coming in from different directions. In a SHTF scenario I would have no less than two spares on me (but I do that everyday too).

Last point of point #1; everyone in my family that is able to, would be equally armed.


3. While I do not disagree with Cohort here, I would like to add some clarification, IMHO, of what this should be. I think everyone concerned about a SHTF scenario should have some sort of higher capacity pistol or be prepared to carry additional magazines. Figure >=60 round of pistol ammo. At this point you should be armed with both your sidearm and a rifle/shotgun and should be carrying more ammo for the latter.

4.-7. Should be as much ammo as you can afford to purchase and store. Realistically 99.8% of us here-- myself included-- could not expect to afford the space and funds needed for storing food and water for more than a six months or a year-- both of which go bad over time where ammo, properly stored, can last a lifetime. Plus I also buy "cheap stuff" that I normally do not eat because of the high calorie content and therefore I would never rotate it. Think Spam (1080 Cal per can, <$3) and Chef Boyardee Ravioli (400 Cal per can, <=$1.00).

Long term, while ammo is heavy, it would still be much easier than moving your reloading equipment, bench, supplies, et al to your new location. Plus ammo can and will be used as a means of currency that you may use for food and other supplies.


With my points noted above, I also think everyone should have a .22 rifle in their safe along with at least 1,000 rounds for it. I believe a quality air gun and ammo for it would be important for small game as the .22 may not be needed. As for water, look into what you need to safely filter your own.


/tg
 

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Tim G said:
I read this thread a week or more ago and have been digesting it a bit. As a new member, I do not want to get on the bad side of anyone. :) So with that said, I must respectfully disagree with Cohort’s “Rule of Threes.” ..........
/tg

You missed the point and seemingly applied it without knowing it. The rule of threes is only to make you balance what is important to you and in your AO. Which you did by applying the rules to yourself and changing as needed.

rules of 3s is just a balancing tool.

For me, i can not fire a full magazine from my rifle, transition to my side arm, and empty said sidearm in less than 3 seconds while taking reasonably aimed shots. Once again though, i applied the rule of 3s and found my comfort balance.

No use in having 10 tons of ammo and 1 can of beans.
There are ways of storing food for decades.

balance is all 'cohort' says.
 
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I agree, balance would be best. No sense in buying 100,000 rounds of such and such ammo only to starve to death with 99,000 rounds left.
 

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A couple things to think about - in an urban area the government either is going to make you move - for your ( Own Good ) in a real or staged emergency. So your limited in what you can do during the move. They probably won't let you take gun's if there providing the transportation so hopefully you have some provisions cashed at a friends home across town or at a near by location if your lucky enough to get away from your helpers. Now what are you going to have in that steamer trunk that you cashed? A couple sleeping bags, clothing, a few water bottles, a radio, riot shotgun, hand gun, extra med. kit. Unfortunately your helpers will probably separate you from your back pack after they ( helped You ) so make sure you will have to have everything your going to need for at least 3 days in you survival trunk. You really don't want to be stuck in a FEMA tent with 3000 new friends surrounded by barb wire.
 
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The original survivor's rule of threes as I learned it applies to the one is none, two is one, have three different sources of everything concept. An old Russian proverb (paraphrased) states "If you want to make sure your pants to stay up you should wear a belt, and suspenders, and buttons on your shirt."
 

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I don't understand the emphasis on carrying so much ammo. Even in a complete meltdown of a situation, you are never going to need a thousand rounds of ammo, unless you are solidly planted in place, and going no where while being relentlessly attacked. If you are lighting up so many people that you burn through 8 mags in 3 hours, you are doing something incredibly wrong, as you have been fixed by the enemy. Time to leave. Surviving in a SHTF scenario isn't Red Dawn...you aren't going on ops to light up military convoys or defending a firebase here people, you are SURVIVING. That means low profile, conserve resources, and most of all AVOID conflict to keep yourself out of danger.

And if you are dumb enough: in a scrap where the enemy needs to be assaulted, pinned, flanked, and constantly fired upon...don't you think there are going to be countless weapons and ammunition laying around after you take whatever lame ass objective you targeted? Granted, if you are lone-rangering it into some unknown armed group...bend over, stick your head between your legs, and kiss your ass goodbye...because you are going to be dog food by dinnertime.
 

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^^^^^^^^^

Couldn't have been better said.
 

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Also, look into your local/state laws as to the legality of carrying a firearm during a declared state of emergency. Here in PA you cannot carry a firearm without being in posession of a valid License to Carry Firearms. If you get caught carrying a firearm during an emergency and have your guns confiscated, your chances of getting them back after things have calmed down are greatly diminished.
 

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I told my wife I needed new sunglasses and bought 3 Wiley X's. She was mad and did not understand the rule of three's. Some day she will understand... SRM
 

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I told my wife I needed new sunglasses and bought 3 Wiley X's. She was mad and did not understand the rule of three's. Some day she will understand... SRM
I’m guessing that you feel the same way when she comes home with 3 pairs of shoes? ;) .....just kidding.....

Anyway, I get the rule of 3’s, and I get the whole ammo and food storage thing. I’m practicing some or most of those things myself already, and I agree that they are necessary.

I’m new on this forum, and I certainly don’t want to step on anybody’s toes, but what always surprises me in these kinds of discussions is how few people seem to place any kind of emphasis on the value of community as a prepping tactic. Two people are more than twice as strong as one person. Three people are more than three times as strong as one person; etc., etc., etc. I don’t have much faith in the long-term survival prospects of the theoretical “lone wolf” survivalist. Human beings haven’t existed that way - at least not successfully - in at least a million years. We are social creatures; and by that I do not mean social butterflies. I mean that humans have evolved to have social structures to ensure our species’ survival. We don’t run that fast and we can’t fly. We can barely swim. We don’t have sharp fangs and claws like big cats, or the sense of smell of canines, or the eyes of birds of prey. We are physically weak for our size. Not even an Olympian athlete is the physical match of a man-sized ape for strength, speed, and agility. Our offspring are absolutely dependent on adults for survival for far longer than any other mammalian species. We have merely survived as a species because we are intelligent creatures; but we have prospered as a species because we have evolved to cooperate with one another, and learned the skill of agreeing to live by mutually acceptable sets of rules that make it possible for us to coexist with one another in relative peace. We fail to live in peace only to the extent that we fail to cooperate, and fail to live by mutually acceptable sets of rules. Every single serious clash of culture you see in the world today, happens because two (or more) subsets of our species fail to abide by mutually acceptable rules and live cooperatively. This is at the heart, the cause of all war, crime, and oppression.

In the years since I first began my most basic preps and adopted the beginnings of a preppers mindset, my single greatest accumulated asset is the relationships I’ve built with like-minded people. All of them are solid, sober-minded, and willing to wisely spend money where it needs to be spent to move their game downfield toward readiness. All of us have the goal of acquiring land as the final prep.

If nothing ever happens, then we will have altered the arc of our families’ legacies for the better by giving them a landed future they might not have otherwise had. If things go to hell in a handbasket, then we will have altered the arc of our families’ legacies by giving them a landed and supplied future they might not have otherwise had.

But our efforts go beyond that. Yeah, I’ve spent money on ammo, food, medical supplies, communications capability (most people ignore this one too), and other odds and ends. But I’ve also spent money on the things it will take to rebuild a society.....because that is the end goal.....not just basic survival. So I’ve bought books too - titles like the first 12 books (so far) of the Foxfire series, Adam Smith’s The Wealth of Nations, Hillaire Beloc’s The Servile State, Arthur Conan Doyle’s complete Sherlock Holmes anthology, George Orwell’s Animal Farm, Eric Hoffer’s True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements, Sidney Algernon’s Discourses Concerning Government, Howard Ruff’s How to Prosper in the Coming Bad Years in the 21st Century, Joseph and Amy Alton’s The Survival Medicine Handbook: A Guide for When Help is Not on the Way, Lester W. Grau’s The Bear Went Over the Mountain, and it’s companion book The Other Side of the Mountain, The Oxford Shakespeare: The Complete Works, The Federalist Papers, Gibbons’s The Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire, Milton Friedman’s Capitalism and Freedom, Alexis de Tocqueville’s Democracy in America the 2 volume set, etc., etc., etc., and those are just a sampling.

I’ve purchased books on history, science, engineering reference works, theology, political theory, and on and on and on - and I’m not done yet. I’m counting on long-term survival - and that means families and children. And those children have to be educated so that their generation and those that follow can live better than a barren existence, and so that next generations will not screw the pooch......at least not for a while longer. At 65 years old, I’m a lot closer to the end of my life than I am to its beginning. There’s a lot of those books that I haven’t even read yet, and I may never get to read them all; but they are there for the future generations. I have raised my son that way, and he is raising his children that way.

So from my perspective, I’m not just talking about having just a short-term, or a 3-year survival strategy. I am thinking in terms of preserving and/or rebuilding mankind’s greatest survival asset - the ability to live cooperatively with one another and to prosper.

All that other stuff - the guns, the ammo, the shelter, the food stores, and so on - they are all valuable things necessary to short term survival, and I would never counsel someone not to spend their money on them. But it’s not enough to focus only on the ground immediately in front of your feet. Somebody has to also have their sight on the horizon. I would argue that, as preppers, we already have the mindset of thinking for the future. I’m not crazy enough to wish for a social collapse, although I think that some people do. But I do see that if such a calamity were to happen, it could possibly be an opportunity to rebuild things right - not just so we can survive, but so we can prosper.
 

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All the ammo in the world isn't going to feed your family.
It could, in a long-term societal breakdown. By that I mean that having extra ammo that you couldn't possibly need for your own uses would come into play as a bartering tool. No matter how much you prepare there is always going to be something you overlooked or did not expect to happen so it's always good to have things to barter with.

For example, you have ample supplies of ammo but you need a bottle of antibiotics to save a loved ones life. Someone else has those antibiotics but desperately needs more ammo, so you trade for it. This is just as good a reason as any to stockpile things, even if you don't think you could ever use them all and that is part of the reason why people are hoarding.

In a post-apocalyptic world things like ammo, medicine and food will be like gold, while true gold will be all but worthless.
 
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