Many people are overwhelmed by the different ammunition types, especially when trying to pick the best types of ammunition for survival situations.
There’s a lot for survivalists to consider, such as: price, availability, purpose, and stopping power. We’ll base the top five types of ammo on these factors.
Stopping power is important for defending against attackers and for bringing down large game. However, bigger and more powerful bullets will be useless on small game.
Perhaps the most important point for a survivalist to consider is availability of ammo. Even the best gun in the world is useless without rounds in the chamber.
If you carry a gun that uses a common ammo type, you’ll be able to find more ammo long after your original stash runs out.
Generally, if a type of ammo is common, it should also be inexpensive. Therefore, all the ammo on this list will be fairly cheap. Be prepared to pay premium prices to stock up on uncommon ammo for older guns.
The .22 caliber long rifle is a small but versatile round that’s great for survival situations.
The .22LR is one of the most common types of ammo, and you shouldn’t have any difficulty finding it in a SHTF scenario.
Its small size makes it great for hunting small game, such as rabbits and squirrels, though you’ll struggle to take down anything much bigger than that.
This lack of stopping power makes the .22LR a poor choice for self-defense. A hit to a non-vital point will do little to stop an attacker, especially if they’re wearing any extra clothing.
While the .22LR is certainly a great round for survivalists, it shouldn’t be relied on as your only type of ammo. You should also carry something with more stopping power.
A good gun that uses .22LR is the Remington Model 597 HB.
The 9mm, also known as 9mm Luger, is the most common type of pistol ammo and is truly deserving of its popularity.
After the .22LR, you’ll be able to find this type of ammo most easily during a survival situation.
The 9mm is slightly larger than the .22LR and packs more of a punch. This makes it an excellent round for self-defense and hunting mid-size game, while still being small enough to hunt small game in a pinch.
If you plan on using your 9mm gun primarily for self-defense, you should consider getting hollow point 9mm bullets, though the legality of hollow points varies from state to state.
Also, don’t get a revolver for survival purposes. Revolvers are too slow for emergencies and are prone to getting grit in the cylinder.
Instead, get a reliable semi-automatic handgun that’s compact and lightweight. The Glock 19 is an excellent handgun that won’t let you down during an emergency.
The .308 Winchester is a popular sporting round that’s also great for self-defense.
It has significant stopping power while also having minimal recoil, making it a great rifle round for those who don’t have the strength to shoulder a rifle with heavy kickback.
These rounds can have an effective range of around 800 yards when paired with a rifle with a long enough barrel, such as 24 inches. Combining its range with a scoped rifle will give you a massive perimeter of control and allow you to fortify an area.
The Winchester Model 70 bolt action uses .308 rounds and is great for both hunting and self-defense.
The 5.56x45mm round, also known as the 5.56 NATO, is the most common type of ammo used by the American military. In addition to military use, many gun owners favor the 5.56 as their rifle round of choice.
Its widespread use means you won’t have any difficulty finding this type of ammunition when SHTF.
The 5.56 has amazing stopping power and an effective shooting range of around 300 meters, though you’ll likely never have to shoot that far. These attributes make this round an excellent choice for both self-defense and hunting large game.
The Colt AR-15 is an excellent semi-automatic rifle that chambers the 5.56x45mm round and will help you through nearly any survival situation.
If I could only have one gun with me in a survival situation, it would be a shotgun.
12-gauge shells can take down large game, flying game, and is truly terrifying in close range combat against attackers.
When deciding on a shotgun to purchase, make sure to get a pump action shotgun rather than an auto loader. The pump action is simpler and will have less problems over time.
Be aware of the significant kickback that comes with 12-gauge shells. If you don’t think you can handle the power of a 12 gauge, then scale down to a 16 gauge or even a 20 gauge, though this isn’t ideal since those gauges aren’t as common as the 12 gauge.
Also, since shotguns are typically only fitted for one gauge of shell, you should make sure to get a shotgun fitted for the gauge of shells you plan on using.
The Remington Model 870 pump action 12-gauge shotgun is an excellent gun to have at your side during a survival situation.
While there are certainly many other types of ammunition available, sticking to these rounds will give you the best chances of survival.
Want to get the best prices on ammo? There are two ways to get it cheap.
If you like to buy your ammo in person, Walmart offers great prices. You can also buy cheap ammo online.
Have purchased a few items through Survival Frog, over the years. Almost always satisfied. Dissatisfaction is usually just personal preference.
This article on ammo is very helpful to a neophyte. (I don’t even own a gun of any type, yet. Even though I’m a Lifetime member of the NRA!). But you have given me food for though as to which guns I should try out at a range, and learn from there. Thanks. Will keep this as a good reference for future use.