George Bush the First was no real friend of gun owners. He had a real dislike of the NRA, mainly because the NRA was no fan of the BATF, and George I considered the federal agencies like BATF and the FBI as his private police force.
Willaim the Bastard certainly was no friend of gun owners, and George Bush II , while a conservative, was all in favor of legalizing illegal immigrants and in some cases limiting the right to bear arms. We all know about Imperator Barrack Hussein, despite his promises to the contrary he's done all he could to grab the guns.
But picking them up is going to be problematic. Unlike the unfortunate citizens of countries which allowed gun registration, and consequently had no chance when confiscation came, Americans won't automatically troop down to do the governments bidding. Vast numbers of arms would go underground in the event of an unconstitutional ban, and enthusiasm for enforcing it among the rank and file of law enforcement would be low. Only the Federal Sicherheitsdienst would put any real effort in going after gun owners per se.
What do to, then? If you can't get the guns, how about ammo sources? That's an easy way to put gun owners out of business, so it's reasonable to expect the Oligarchy to try that.
There's also the fact that in the event of a major disaster or civil disorder, the first thing the government does is ban the sale of firearms, ammunition, and liquor. I can see the logic behind it if you live in Cloud Coo Coo Land. You don't want rioters to get all fired up on popskull, and arm themselves. The problem is, banning the sale of anything during riots is pointless. Think back to the newscasts of Ferguson or New Orleans, or any other breakdown situation. Can you see those people stopping at the gun store door and saying "oh, damn. We can't loot this place because of the ban."
Finally, in the long term aftermath of a major breakdown, it's a "come as you are" survival situation. If you don't have it stored, you aren't apt to have it at all. Remember the protagonist in "The Road" and his little revolver with two rounds left? I still cringe when I think of him running away and leaving the young woman and her son to be eaten by the cannibals, but with 2 rounds and twenty cannibals, what were his options?
So, you could try to trade for ammo, which seems to me a pretty iffy proposition, particularly in the complete breakdown scenario.
If you can't trade for it, you can perhaps make it. I reload, and keep large quantities of components on hand. I know a good many people who come by here with the same intent. They will be able to produce their own ammunition in quantity , regardless of which of the above scenarios transpires.
In my mind, a combination of three options is best. I keep barter items , I can reload my own ammo, and I store ammunition.
Long term storage used to mean buying ammo by the case, and keeping it in a climate controlled environment. Of course, you have no way of knowing how it was stored before you got it. I bought several cases of Turkish 8mm Mauser ammo, headstamped in the late 30's to the mid 40's period. I am pretty sure it was sitting in a warehouse somewhere from the time it was made until I bought it in the late 1980's. It came in the wooden crate, in spam cans, in bandoleers with stripper clips.
This was what most "survivalists" did. Some of them bought ammunition, and stored it in PVC tubes sealed at both ends, with desiccant packs in the tube. Since I had my own purpose built retreat by 1986, I stored the crates in a portion of my shop or the main house, where I could keep it dry and cool the year round. Most of those cases of ammo are still there, either on dunnage or stacked in purpose built racks.
For many , many years, and possibly to this day, the best internet information I ever found on long term ammo storage was written by an Army ammunition tech. His spelling and grammar were not top flight, but he knew what he was talking about. As far as I know, no one can say who this guy actually was, since he went by "Bird Dog." Here's his article : (from a post a couple of years back). I cleaned up the spelling and grammar but it's his information.
There has been much debate on what is the best way for long term storage of ammo, and while I can’t say it’s wrong to place your ammo in a bucket and suck out all the air and replace it with nitrogen I can say it is a waste of valuable resources.
O.K. if you plan being cryogenically frozen for hundreds of years then maybe. The rest of us just need to know what is the best way to properly store ammo so that it doesn’t degrade over a period of time and that it functions as designed when put into use.
Now. I need to give you some background on how and for what condition ammo is built. Military cartridges are designed so that they can withstand storage temperatures from minus 65 degrees F. to 122 F. So as long as you don’t keep them in an oven you’re fine. They’re made for soldiers to use in battlefield conditions under the most horrible conditions conceivable and still function.
The manufactures (OLIN, Winchester, Remington Etc.) know this and they also know they will lose a big fat Govt contract if they don’t pass this criteria. Here is one for you, the same folks that make 5.56mm make the exact same cartridge and call it a .223 ,change the label and sell it civilian. (Just a note: there are actually some differences, primarily in terms of pressure. Most people don’t know or care about these.)
Same with 308 (7.62 NATO). (Same note above applies)
So now you know that there is hardly any difference between civilian and military ammunition manufacturing. Let’s get down to storage.
Shelf life refers to how long an item can remain in storage and still be functional. Well, all military small arms have an indefinite shelf life. This means as long as it is properly stored it will never go bad. (I’ve fired military surplus from the 1930’s with no trouble. I have read of people firing ammo from the Spanish American War, with no ill effects.)
Service life refers to how long a item can remain in a operating configuration and still be functional. Small arms ammo should be good from anywhere from 6 months to 18 months before you need inspect it. If the ammo has some corrosion on it take some copper wool or steel wool and take it off then it’s good to go unless it is to the stage of pitting, then get rid of it.
Now, most ammo comes in a wooden outer container with metal inner packs that holds the ammo. We store it on at least two inches of dunnage to keep off the floor. It is inspected every five years and then only ten percent is checked for defects and then thrown back into storage for another 5 yrs. (if nothing is wrong). So now what can you do as a civilian to store your ammo?
Your number one enemy is moisture, as long as you have a waterproof container you are fine. I use empty 20mm ammunition containers that you can get from any surplus store although PVC pipe will do. Try and keep the cartridges in the original packing and try and keep away from metal to metal contact.
To ensure that the ammo has no moisture I throw in a couple of dehumidifier packages. This is strictly optional as we don’t even do that in the military. Whether it’s military ammo you got at a gun show or 22 shells from K-mart it’s all the same. Before you store it make sure its clean, dry( and wiped off if you touched it) and that’s it! Wow, almost too simple!
You don’t need to vacuum seal it, and you don’t need to store it at any particular temperature just keep it dry and out of the elements and leave it alone. I have been working with munitions for over 11 years, and this how the Army have trained me. I hope this sheds some understanding on storage.
So, that's what Bird Dog had to say, and it sounds good to me. There have been articles on long term storage in various gun magazines, over the years, and none of them have said anything much different.
However, the latest edition of American Survival Guide has an article on long term storage, and it had some new information. I did not know, for instance, that some of the powder companies are now developing powder specifically for long term storage purposes. You can use it to load your favorite chamberings and it's designed for long shelf life.
The magazine also has some notes on what specifically can make ammo go bad, which I found interesting. I don't intend to have my ammo at 125 degrees F, but then as they pointed out, it can get that hot inside your truck on a summer day.....
*Note the pictures from AIM are reprinted by permission. I buy a lot of stuff from them and they let me use their pictures, but it's not a quid pro quo.