In several posts I’ve talked about trying to keep most of the products I buy that require batteries down to just three sizes: AAA, AA, and D Cell. I do this so that I can stock up on a lot of batteries that are useful in multiple products. Although I must admit that my favorite flashlight is the Olight M30 Triton which takes CR132 batteries that enable it to put out an amazing amount of lumens. It’s also built from light but very solid aluminum and has bezzled edges that turn it into a formidable weapon. It is my go-to flashlight when I’m forced to go check out suspicious noises or a barking dog.
Much in the same way that I stock up on limited sizes of batteries, I like to buy firearms that share the same calibers. I like the ability to stock just a few different calibers of bullets to fit multiple guns in my collection. I also prefer that these calibers be common, and hopefully easy to find even after an emergency situation that could make ammo very valuable. 9mm, .22 Long Rifle, and 12 Gauge Shotgun Shells are my favorite.
In a sidearm the 9mm is a great round. It’s very common, easy to shoot, has a good amount of stopping power, and is fairly inexpensive at the current time. That all adds up to a round worth stocking up on. I would even go one step further and say that 9mm ammo could be one of your top barter items in a SHTF situation.
Most experienced shooters recognize the .22 Long Rifle cartridges for what they are worth. However many folks still criticize them because of their light load and lack of stopping power. Personally, I love the 22LR. I think the accuracy and quality you get in this round for a very low price makes it irresistible. There are lots of great rifles available in 22LR as well. From high-end makers like Volquartsen to the classic mass produced and inexpensive rifles a lot of us grew up with the choices are endless. There are also some very cool AR-15 style guns in .22 caliber as well as some copies of 9mm carbines like the old HK MP5 that are a lot of fun to shoot.
So whether you’re looking for a rifle for plinking, competitive target shooting, hunting small game, or even self defense at least one .22 just has to be in your gun collection. A lot of people might argue that the round isn’t strong enough for self defense but I would say that whatever round you can consistently put on target multiple times will serve you well. For a lot of us it’s going to be much easier to handle the light recoil of a .22 and to also be able to afford to shoot the number of rounds it takes to become proficient with a new weapon. I’ve said before that the true cost of a gun is the combination of the price of the gun itself PLUS the cost of 1,000 rounds of ammunition. Take this into account and consider that even high velocity hollow point .22 rounds are very inexpensive and almost always readily available. It’s a huge selling point. Ammunition To Go is selling 1,000 high quality rounds for about $60. I bought from them recently and it was easy and everything showed up right on time, as promised, and in perfect shape.
What can I say about the 12 gauge shotgun shell? When combined with a good reliable shotgun there are any number of options for ammo. This is such a versatile round it’s almost mind blowing. Choose light birdshot to bring down dove, pheasant, and other tasty morsels or jump up to double O buck or even slugs to take down large game or for self defense use. With one gun in your hand and an assortment of shells in your pocket you’re ready for just about any situation. Few other firearms provide such a benefit.
While these are my favorite types of ammunition and the ones I like to stock up on there are many other calibers out there that are great as well. As much as I preach about keeping my stock to only a few calibers there are always going to be exceptions. I’m still chomping at the bit to pick up a .45/.410 Taurus Judge revolver. I also have a .380 auto in my collection that I don’t shoot so much anymore but that I keep for it’s potential future value as a barter item.
Just remember that a gun is of little use without bullets and you don’t want to have to stock up on too many different kinds. Keep it simple and limit your collection.