Before we continue with our regularly scheduled programming, a quick message from our commander-in-chief:
“They will overturn everything that we’ve done and they’ll do it quickly and violently, and violently. There’s violence. When you look at Antifa and you look at some of these groups — these are violent people.”
— President Donald Trump, August 2018, on what could happen if the GOP loses in the upcoming midterms.
Clay’s Guide to Urban Defense
- Series Introduction
- Ep. 1 Rifles
- Ep. 2 Other Things That Go Bang
- Ep. 3 Ammo: The Amount You’ll Actually Need
- Ep. 4 Hardening the Home
- Ep. 5 Surviving In A Concrete Jungle
- Ep. 6 Escape from NY
Now that we have talked until we are blue in the face about guns, we have to talk about what to feed them. What I am about to say will no doubt ruffle feathers. But let’s try to be civil. This is only one man’s opinion. And if you don’t agree with me, you can always tune back in next week, after you let me know in the comments section that I am an idiot and my mother worked in the less savory districts of Bangkok.
Seriously, on the ammo issue, this is probably going to be controversial. I have a different experience than most people and a different skill set. My personal needs are obviously tailored to me, as yours should be tailored o you. This time, it probably doesn’t mean I think your ammo pile is too small. It means I think it is ridiculously over-sized for the task at hand. Mine is too, so hear me out…
Less is More?
If we are talking about someone starting to prep, and in this case preparing for a Mongolian horde event, the easy answer is to tell them to snag one million rounds! Preferably in a Dr. Evil voice. But the reality is that is too much, especially when we are talking solely about the amount one will need.
I have a massive stockpile, as I am sure most of you do too. But that is more a hedge against inflation than an insurance policy for Antifa. I have the storage space, so no harm no foul. If you could go back 10 years and buy Facebook stock or .22 LR, that you had to keep until today, which one would you prefer? Me too.
The one thing I see over and over again in prepping circles is a belief that a mountain of ammo is all you need. Absolutely not true! In fact, I believe that most people would be better off with 300 rounds and the skills of having shot 20,000 as opposed to 20,000 stockpiled and the skills of having shot 300.
For my personal TEOTWAWKI (Total End Of The World As We Know It) stash, I only count 500 rounds of 77-grain 5.56 and an additional 300 rounds of 6.5 Creedmoor. My pistol isn’t even coming with me unless I am taking my truck and half of that Creedmoor is to cache in short order. Everything else, including all the extra boomsticks, is for barter, to bury, or expendable. Because in my experience, mobility is a lot more important than firepower. If my skills won’t get a resupply as needed with that loadout, I’m not going to make it anyway.
If I was planning an Urban Defense, like we are right now, I would actually upscale those numbers a bit. You still have to keep it sane because apartments are small and bullets are heavy. Not to mention expensive when you buy them in quantity. It changes a little bit both being in a defensive position and being in the concrete jungle.
For your centerfire rifle, I feel like 1,000 rounds is enough. Have I used more than that in a day of Urban Combat? Absolutely. By a factor of three on some really nasty occasions. But that was mostly in a street fight, where cover was sometimes scarce and the enemy had mountains of ammo to throw back. If someone starts chucking basketball-sized “Dishka” (DShK 1938) rounds past you, you do whatever is needed to shut that thing down.
On normal types of combat operations, 2-3 magazines was more likely, so 60-90 rounds. It turns out, experience and hitting what you are aiming at are important things. If you ask most guys from assault-type units what they took with them by the end of the war, 4 magazines is the most common answer. If you splay out 300 bad guys in front of your building, I’m betting your problems will stop. And if you think my suggestion is light, the cost and space aren’t that high to double it.
For your pistol or pistols, 200 rounds per gun is a good starting point. Or 500 rounds if you only have one. At close range, or against an area target, your pistol is going to work good enough. Two hundred is a big enough figure that your barista pressed into service can’t spend it all at once. It is a strange idea to have half as many pistol rounds as rifle rounds but in this context it makes sense. If you are only arming yourself (because you don’t trust anyone else or you’re on your own), I would reduce this down to 100 max, and add 500 to the rifle.
For the shotgun, ammo is super heavy. It isn’t going to be fun to move around, and if it comes time to escape, this would be my last choice. But you are going to be using it if the human wave closes in, so have enough to feed it. I would use 150 Buckshot and 50 slugs as a solid count.
For rimfire, go a little heavier. Given your defensive position, rimfire punches well above its weight class. At nearly one-third of the weight of rifle or pistol, you can get a little froggy here. Not my choice for fighting in a phone booth, but it beats a knife any day. I like a nice round figure of 5,000 here, which happens to be a full case.
So there we are. Your total urban defense ammo loadout by my calculation costs you just over $1,200 dollars. If you happen to have more on hand, awesome. But between now and when you need it, I strongly recommend you use some of that extra ammo to hone your skills.