October 07, 2008
Petzal: To Hoard or Not to Hoard
By David E. Petzal and Phil Bourjaily
With doom on the horizon, I've heard all manner of talk this past weekend about hoarding ammunition, components, and guns against the time that President Obama outlaws all firearmss except Joe Biden's Beretta, and food riots break out in Beverly Hills. Some perspective was provided by a friend who dotes on old and obscure rifles, and who has, over the years, acquired a ton of ammo for them. Now all of a sudden he has to move, and is faced with the task of unloading hundreds and hundreds of rounds of .280 Ross, 6.5x54, and stuff like that. At the least he will take a financial beating, and will probably end up having to take his stash with him.
Generally, it's not a good idea to buy huge amounts of anything unless a) you get a hell of a price on it and b) you shoot it up over the years. About a decade ago, a police-supply house near me went out of business, and I bought what I thought was an absurd number of primers for very little. Now they are just about used up, and I saved a bundle by making the purchase.
I also had a chance to buy powder dirt cheap, but I didn't because you don't want a lot of powder in your house. Very often there are local ordnances on how it must be stored, and if you ever have a fire and your
insurance carrier finds that you had 75 pounds of H4831 in the broom closet they will be thrilled not to pay. I limit both the types and amount of powder I keep around to just enough and no more.
So, if you have a chance to pick up a whole bunch of good ammo, cheap, and in a common caliber that you can sell off if you have to, by all means do so. And then proceed to shoot it. That's what ammunition is for. But do leave some in reserve. When the apocalypse comes, you may be able to trade it for food.