ARSENAL AMMO AMOUNT 3*
note: remember, Saturday's now contain an article-so be there.
Primitive folks usually saw quite regular warfare. Larger political entities were far less likely to engage in conflict in any given year, something like 80% less likely as an average. The reason for this was because of energy surplus. Larger societies grew by assimilation from conquest, brought about by a surplus initially. If you had extra, you could afford to take extra, essentially. Then once you had surplus you needed to defend more often than attack, and conflict on a whole was reduced. Small villages, on the other hand, had far more small opponents than large groups had large opponents, and conflict occurred regularly. Village Alpha got together with Delta, to attack Charlie, but then Delta didn’t give Alpha the agreed price of the elders daughter in marriage, or the bitch was infertile, so Alpha got pissed and attacked Delta. Of course, Bravo saw all this going on and figured they would strike while the iron was hot and attacked the one just attacked by the other while they were weak. Then Echo attacked the village of Bravo while its warriors were ambushing the others, coming away with lots of war brides. Bravo got all butt hurt and retaliated, or tried to because Echo bribed Foxtrot with some of the brides to help defeat Bravo.
And so it went. In an energy scarce environment, you don’t wait to get weak before you try to steal the neighboring villages resources. You preempt that by attacking first while strong. Plus, you have no other mechanism of redress than invasion. You are like a criminal gang ( gangs are not just a fantasy novel nemesis. They are also a sign of the times, a regression into smaller political units as a survival mechanism and an indicator of the nation state reversal and a blueprint of future decentralized governance ). You can’t even allow slights of honor to go unanswered at the risk of appearing weak. Really, gangs are a valid methodology for understanding decentralized societies. It isn’t just the Mafia ( now more the Russian than Italian ) or the war on drugs fueling their growth ( drugs fuel the bankers growth, the war of occupation in Oil & Opium Land just one aspect, and piss on the rest of society burdened with the problem ) but a world wide phenomenon. Every country, Jamaica or Mexico or African crapholes, where you see a weakening of nation state power you see gangs filling the power void. Both for profit but also for the citizen protection racket ( civilians might not like it, but they like literal anarchy less ).
Now, given the reality of the coming demise of the nation state due to energy decline ( it WILL happen, with timing the only variable ), its replacement with decentralized political units ( shrunk to the size local surrounding resources, WITHOUT transportation infrastructure can manage as well as the size of the military units available for defense, can afford ) and our devolution down very close to the old primitive tribal unit ( scavenging is all well and good for some aspects of life, but it isn’t surplus energy needed for food production, now is it? That is only a partial, less important aspect ), how do you envision yourself earning a living if it isn’t by force of arms? You won’t be running a trading post, or a mechanics shop or any of the other BS occupations you think will be needed after the apocalypse. You might be farming or turning wrenches in your spare time, but primarily you will be a fighter. All able bodied males will be. Without energy surplus you don’t have a dedicated military, you ARE the military. Every male.
Still think five hundred rifle rounds are sufficient? You won’t be using a LOT, you are a warrior and not a soldier. There won’t be set battles, but more the nature of rolling ambushes. But you still need more than just enough for self defense. You need an offensive tactics amount of ammunition ( in a defensive building you will be able to utilize less advanced weaponry such as black powder grapeshot, crossbows, flaming oil and the like. Of course, keep in mind even a dirt wall around a group of huts takes a LOT of labor. Got slaves? ). You need more than what it takes for hunting and fending off grizzlies, but less than a soldier on a battlefield. You won’t be fighting one big war every five years but more like continuous enemy probes and skirmishes. There are, of course, only arbitrary amounts and what you decide won’t come close to reality ( soon I’ll be writing on war gamming and reality ) but you need to decide on something and go with that plan.
My arbitrary figure is five thousand rounds, a good portion reloading components ( really, how else can you afford that much ammo? Figure out how many times maximum your case can be reloaded, then go BELOW that amount in useable rounds for paranoid safety reasons, then get MORE primers and powder just to be sure-but only count on the useable number ). I didn’t always have that much because I didn’t think I needed it. I steadily increased that amount when I realized I needed to supply far longer than initially thought. Just as I at one time thought I only needed one year of wheat, so too was I content with mere thousand rounds of ammunition. That was of course FAR too optimistic and in my defense I can only ask, what the hell was I thinking? Looking back, I believe I was subconsciously matching my food supply in a rough estimation. Call it a thousand rounds per year of perceived need ( as I believe five years in the minimum for planning, hence five thousand rounds of rifle ammo to go with my five years of food ).
Completely arbitrary. I can only say that once I reached that amount in food and ammo, I wasn’t worrying ( and you all know how much I worry incessantly about everything, most waking hours and only with the drug of nighttime TV can I mute the concern ) at all about getting any more. I was comfortable with the amount, worry-less ( never worry-free ) as it were. So it works for me. My subconscious was pacified. Once I stopped worrying I stopped stocking.
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In a SHTF/WROL situation, I would want to stay well away from populated areas. Right now the area I'm in is fairly sparsely populated, and there's PLENTY of woods in most every direction around this thinly populated area so if it's 'innawoods' time, then all I have to do is pick a direction. Anyways, that said, I don't anticipate ever in a position where I NEED 1000 rounds on hand, especially considering the likelihood of me hitting the road if things got REALLY bad. So firstly how much ammo would I carry, and then how long could I manage to sustain said ammo, as well as how?
Well firstly, how much would I carry? I've studied loadout weights (specifically firearms/ammo) for a decent while and put a fair bit of the information to memory. It seems to me that 15-20lb is quite average. If you're below 15lb, it's a nice and light loadout though you probably either have no side-arm and/or don't have much ammo for your primary. If you've got over 20lb for JUST your firearm(s) and ammo, then boy howdy you're ready for a lot of shooting. Though as a note, while it seems as though Jim has some Military history, I do not, so you can take my point of view with a grain of salt since I don't have any actual combat training/experience or anything of the such. On with the story, however.
Most of the firearms at my disposal are old WWI and WWII stuff, simply because that's the kind of stuff I fancy. Shotguns are more diverse than rifles and can hunt more animals but I'm not a huge fan of them personally even though I recognize their fantastic use. I also don't like how 12 Gauge shells weigh roughly 10 rounds per pound, or I guess 22 rounds per kilogram. So if you've got a 7lb shotgun and want to carry about 7lb of ammo to keep a light loadout, you're only going to have about 70-77 shells. That might sound good, but 7lb of rifle ammo (.303, .30-08, .308, 8mm, etc.) will generally get you around 105-140 rounds depending on which rifle round and what the bullet weight is, to a lesser extent it's also dependent on the powder weight. Or, you can have 6 STANAG mags (180 rounds of 5.56), 17 SKS clips (170 rounds of 7.62x39), 4 bakelite AKM mags (120 rounds of 7.62x39), about 14 8-rnd en bloc clips (114 rounds of M2 Ball .30-06), or about 25 5-rnd clips of rifle rounds (125 rounds).
The SKS clips probably gives the most bang for the buck, considering you get 170 rounds (over twice as much as with a shotgun), and it's good for hunting deer. Potentially even moose if you're a good enough shot. People have hunted moose with .30-30 before, Hell, a friend of the family did just that not long ago with a nice lever-action, bugger was just 150 feet or so from the road, he said. Anyways, how would I SUSTAIN this ammo? If production of ammo stops, it obviously won't last forever. Even if I never have to fire at another human being, which is obviously ideal, I would still be using it for hunting. How much ammo would I use in a year? Ten years? Twenty? Inevitably the smokeless powder would dry up and people would either revert to bows and arrows unless they or someone else knows/learns how to make black powder like the old days with KNO3, charcoal, and sulphur (though I hear that last one is basically optional).
With black powder, people probably couldn't continue to use semi-auto firearms simply because of how much weaker black powder is than smokeless, how much hotter it burns meaning faster firing is more dangerous due to faster over-heating, and of course the terrible amount of fowling which would inevitably gum up the action before too long. Still, as long as primers hold out, you can still use repeating manually-operated firearms. Bolt-actions, lever-actions, pump-actions, and the like. If nobody figures out how to make primers though, then it's back to matchlock and flintlock, which is an obvious step down from repeaters but hey, it's better than a pointy stick!
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Anyways that's going REALLY long-term, what about short-term? A hand press. Lee hand press works wonders. Quite portable, takes a little bit of muscle to use but that's ok. Primers are dirt cheap, small, and light. That's a great thing to stock up on. Powder? Use whatever you can find by pulling the bullets of ammo that you might luckily happen upon. Ideally, like in cases of .303, 7.62x39, and 7.62x54r, I'm pretty certain that the bullets for those are all .312 or damn close to it, so with that stuff you can reuse the powder and bullets between firearms as long as I'm not mistaken!
7.62x54r is hotter than .303 though, so best to not use ALL the powder. There's no way of knowing what type of powder it is so even with a powder scale that doesn't use batteries (Lyman 500 is good!), you can't figure out exactly how much to use for optimal velocity. So just go light, maybe even only half, mark the casing with a marker if you can, and use that ammo for close range stuff. It'll perhaps be comparable to .30 Carbine or maybe 7.62x39, something like that. If you have soft-point bullets perhaps it'll be good for deer, but for bigger stuff like moose or bear it's probably best to stick with the full-power .303.
For REALLY long-term, use a repeating manually-operated firearm, and use subsonic ammo or at least not stuff that's far beyond 1500 ft/s. Not for suppressing/silencing, but because I hear lead bullets can end up not engaging the rifling if it's going too fast due to being too soft. Or it causes more leading issues or something. If you've got a cabin, somewhere stationary, perhaps invest in some lead as well as a setup for forging your own projectiles. If you find cartridges to pull the bullets from, melt the lead out of them and use them for your own projectiles. Accuracy will suffer from the drop in velocity, but you can still shoot, and you can keep shooting as long as your primers hold out.
Once the primers are gone it'll probably be bow time, crossbow time if you're really handy with wood, or hopefully by the time that ammo as we know it is lost forever you or someone you've come to trade with will have figured out how to make their own black powder so you can at least kick it like it's 1799 with a musket of some sort. Rifled if you're lucky, but I'd even take a smoothbore over a bow. It takes a LONG time and A LOT of practice to get good with a bow, but even with the easier crossbow I'd trust a musket to put an animal down more reliably.
I also think a musket is capable of more accuracy than a bow even if smoothbore, and the effect on a threat's morale? God knows I'd be getting out of there in a hurry if I was faced with gunfire while all I have is a spear or a pointed stick! That's enough ranting on the subject for now anyways. I do enjoy thinking about how to sustain one's self without the aid of the cozy lifestyle we've come to get used to. Never in history has humanity had it so good and easy than people do today.
Oh yeah, and food. Well, wherever you're going you'll need water, and where there's water there's usually fish. A rod could be cumbersome but if you can just have a fishing line, preferably stored on a spool to prevent tangling, then with a small weight/sinker to aid in tossing the line as well as a floater to keep it from just going to the bottom. You can fish to sustain yourself in the short-term while you do some hunting, hopefully get to work on a decent shelter, maybe a vegetable garden, and so on.
If you can, save your preserved goods for a true emergency. Fish/hunt/catch/forage to feed yourself in the short-term, save the long-lasting stuff for the long-term. I've actually caught fish with fishing line without a fishing rod back when I was a kid; true story! ALRIGHT! ENOUGH! Jesus, I start typing and sometimes I just can't stop! I just find this stuff so damn fascinating!
If I'm remembering correctly, a smooth bore combined with a proper bullet ( the one that expands and twists on its own-Mini Ball? ) gives you the rapid loading with better accuracy.Delete
What you're describing, I think, is a rifled slug. Commonly used in shotguns which are almost always smoothbore. A Minie ball is a projectile designed by a Frenchman and was widely used during the American Civil War. It's shaped much like a modern bullet except very wide to accomodate the typical .50 cal or so barrels of the day, made of all lead, and is somewhat hollow at the base giving the bullet a sort of 'skirt'.Delete
It's a smaller diameter than the rifled barrel it goes into, making it easier to reload with, and once the rifle is fired the expanding gasses form the skirt to flare out resulting in contact with the rifling. This causes a gas seal which improves velocity and velocity along with of course reload speed as mentioned. MAYBE it used less lead than a typical ball, resulting in a lighter bullet that had a flatter projectile, but I really don't know for sure.
Anyways it was a definite advancement and I also hear it had better penetration. A ball would typically get stuck in a soldier's torso or the pack on his back, but a Minie ball could potentially go through the soldier, his pack, and into the soldier behind him. Though that might be just a rumour I read a few years ago... actually, I think I heard that from R Lee Ermey on that TV show he had. So yeah, might not be too accurate. He's funny as Hell and great at improvised acting, but has something of a biased opinion from what I've seen so I wouldn't be surprised if he also knew some misinformation. Don't believe everything you hear on TV, right :P
Okay, I knew I was off on the spelling. Was I off on it being used in a smoothbore? It had to be a rifled barrel? Sorry, my Civil War reading was a long time ago. I thought the minie itself was a substitute for rifling, but it sounds like it was just a much more lethal round.Delete
If the Minie was a substitute for rifling then it's going to be a surprise to me. As I recall, the bullet might have a couple rings along the sides of it, but they're not screw-like, meaning they won't cause a spin like a rifled slug. I'll look it up to make doubly sure.Delete
Nope, no rifling on the ball. Just some rings, which I assume are put there primarily to add some grease or something to help keep the rifling from becoming victim to fowling, or maybe those ridges themselves, even without grease, helps minimize the fowling/leading and what not. Anyways, it's definitely not a rifled slug. On the Youtube channel IraqVeteran8888, they have a video or two where they shoot ACTUAL Minie balls from the American Civil War. LITERALLY lead Minie balls manufactured in the 1860s (or likely manufactured around then) that were created with the intent of being used against other Americans, and they test them on ballistic gelatin. The results were... interesting. Won't spoil anything further, but needless to say I highly suggest trying to track it down.
Basically the Minie ball was created for faster reloading, with the benefits of better accuracy and penetration being happy accidents. Before the Minie ball, back when rifled muskets just used balls, either the shooter had to ram the ball down and cut it through rifling which took a lot of muscle, or they wrapped the ball in a leather or cloth patch, however that still made it slower loading than with smoothbore muskets which also used slightly under-sized balls simply to aid in reloading as well as to make sure the reloading didn't slow down TOO much as the barrel would inevitably get fowled after a few shots. With a clean barrel, you can actually 'tap-load' a smoothbore musket.
Prime the pan, pour the powder in, drop the ball, and then just tap the butt on the ground a couple times to make sure it's seated against the powder safely. Just make sure you're not aiming downwards, otherwise the ball might roll down the barrel a bit before firing. You want the ball RIGHT against the powder otherwise a huge build-up of pressure could potentially cause the barrel to kerplode. Obviously, not ideal... but once the bore gets fowled you DEFINITELY need to use the ramrod. Really, it's best to use it no matter what, and also it's probably best to use the paper of the paper cartridge as a 'sabot' which helps prevent the ball from rolling out of the barrel if you tip the firearm forward or upside-down. At least I recall that being the purpose and definition of a 'sabot'.
Thank you, I appreciate the upgrade on my faulty memory. Once upon a time, my brain was useless as it stewed in a cocktail of hormones, now it is useless as old age dries it up. On the plus side, I haven't lost any hair yet.Delete
Haha well glad to hear about the hair! Lucky bugger, I'm still only in my 20s yet I've already got a receding hairline! Still, if I end up like my old man, then at least when I'm getting to around 60 I still won't be totally bald on the top of my head. Then again I don't think he has a widow's peak like I've got, so i might be different. Maybe I'll end up like Bill Murray. That guy was receding his hair like a BOSS, VERY cool. I need to watch that movie Stripes again sometime lolDelete
Did you watch "kingpin"? Bill and co-star with insane gi-norous comb overs. Funny movie, the hair was just one aspect.Delete
Haha yeah, and that one Amish dude? Ah, Randy Quaid, had to look him up. He was awesome in that Lampoon's Vacation flick; "People call it Hamburger Helper, but y'know what, I think it's just fine all on its own!" Probably paraphrased that but I love those movies, the Family Christmas one as well. "Merry Christmas, Merry Christmas, kiss my ass, Merry Christmas, kiss my ass, kiss my ass, Merry Christmas" lol I wonder if Randy Quaid still thinks there's people out to get him though. Didn't he move up here to Canada for quite a while in order to go in hiding?Delete
I never heard about the fleeing for safety part. If he did, why would he come back?Delete
J N Morgan that was quite interesting. If we ever go into bow territory then chances are there will be some kind of craftsman in the vicinity to do that, it's a lot of work.ReplyDelete
Actually, it would not surprise me to see the younger generation (20 year olds etc.) learning post-apocalyptic trades. We old gheezers have little evolution left in terms of skills on a professional level.
But I can see people our age band together to restart some level of technological production. Primers can be made with mercury, it is complicated but it can be done.
There are definite advantages of the bow over the firearm but of course in a duel the firearm wins (especially the rifle). This is why I can see some production of powder and primers even in the worst situation, this being an absolute priority production. No use for growing food if it is for others to take over your land and kill you. Inversely, if the peasants around you are unarmed you might want to rule over them along with the "protection package", and for this you need firearms.
One day I might take up weapons devolution again. I'm not sure I'm satisfied with how I covered it previously. If I'm not mistaken, this would be historically unigue. And I don't think it would be slow enough to spare us, those who worried on it. A bow is great for guerrilla war in forest-I worry more for wide open spaces such as I inhabit. But then of course you must facto in technological disadvantage rather than advantage this time around. The AmerIndians died from germ warfare more than from lead shot. Too many variables.Delete
Thanks, Ave! Glad you enjoyed it! I was thinking that, maybe, with high-strength alcohol perhaps you could use it to absorb some gunpowder in, perhaps even crush the powder up into a literal powder instead of the state it's normally in. Mix in some flint fragments in a primer pocket, apply the anvil in said primer, let dry, and who knows, maybe the powder will still be able to fire if the alcohol is 58.3% or stronger. I'm pretty sure that's the strength required for alcohol not to prevent black powder from firing. As for smokeless, I dunno.Delete
Anyways, it probably wouldn't work, but what can we do but to experiment? God knows I don't know the chemicals used in producing a primer! Very interesting stuff to think about though.
You can buy primer mixings from an online company that sells supplies for reloading .22's, including a bullet mold that also crimps the bullet into the reused cartridge case. Several powders mixed with (alcohol?) put in cleaned casing and reloaded when dry. 22LRreloaders.com is the company and the primer mix will reload approx 2000 .22' s or primers.Delete
Yes, sorry, I seem to have a mental block remembering that product. About a penny a primer in material.Delete
Great series. I learned a bit as well which is always good.ReplyDelete
I refrained from commenting until the end. Thanks go out to my fellow minions for their contributions
Basically it boils down to "as much as you can"
But as Bison Preppers struggling to make ends meet we have to adhere to the BTN principles.
It might be the digest version but I wrote down btn goal of 350 rnds cntr fire & 2k rnds rim fire
As I'm the only firearm owner for my "tribe" err family I have to plan for 5 other, how shall I say, adults. They're not all "warriors" aka some are chicks, 2 are elderlyish
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Now I don't live in the US so let's just say the options regarding GATS is constrained. No word of lie a law abiding firearm owners had 500 22lr taken off him by the po Po bc the officer thought that was an excessive amount. That's what I potentially have to deal with
The man with the finest head of hair in the northern hemisphere mentioned the musings of a bald headed (assumption) minion that a .22 rifle / centre fire pistol combo would be great PODO. I like that. 22 rifle / centre fire pistol combo 2nd person centre fire rifle / 22 pistol combo for a man & wife team
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I know I'm rambling, blame my stress addled brain. Blame the cheap bourbon I'm trying to convince myself I earned & the money I spent on buying it wasn't worth using to buy 20 rounds of 30-30. Actually blame Hillary, that psycho scared me into returning to preparing for the worst & that's no lie.
So as we want to survive but don't have the deep pockets for an underground bunker we have to allocate our pennies to where they'll do the most good. 5 years of food is no good if we can't defend it. 5,000 rounds of 308 isn't any good if you have to hoof it because a nearby militia tea leaved a couple of APC from the local military base & they want to talk to you about Jesus
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I think the BTN number of rounds is what we can realistically carry.
Are you holing up in place? In the hoof? Patrolling? Raiding?
Heck - did you survive the first couple of weeks of wrol / teotwawki?
if you are reading this you are the resistance lol
I think I'm going to have to cover this sooner or later-are we too optimistic we can shelter in place? Even if we have a fallback position, are our supplies in danger? More than we want to admit to ourselves?Delete
Regarding Sheltering in Place. I like the idea set forth in the book, A Distant Eden. If you remember, the main character, buried and cached most of his supplies. He then retreated from his house and spent the next couple of months, hiding in the woods near his place while the waves of refugees came through. After the initial die off, he came back to his house and started setting up his tribe.Delete
Caching supplies, staying mobile, hunkering down out of sight, regrouping as circumstances change, staying flexible -- I think is the way to go.
PS thanks for the movie recommendations. I put them on my watch list.
That was one of the best books ever. Sequels equally.Delete
PS-they are on Kindle Unlimited!!!!Delete
Ammo for crossbows and bows is easily made, sure bows take years of practice, but crossbows are stronger downrange, and almost as easy as a firearm to use. With the added advantage of no clouds of black powder smoke and near silence.
I would expect that crossbows will be the first alternative for hunting and small scale protection, with black powder being restricted for the cannons and larger scale military units, once all the smokeless powder ammo is used up. The stocks of all off calibre rifles could make good bases for the above linked leaf spring crossbows.
Really large tripod or fixed in place crossbows /ballista / etc are doable enough to have a couple protecting your homestead, and many dozens protecting your village/tribe, but I expect blackpowder cannon will probably be more used.
I'm not sure cannon will be feasible long term with the nitrates demanded of them. Europe parlayed domestic supplies to colonize natural source build-ups in tropical lands to increase supply to gain militarily. How to duplicate that now?Delete