I’ve seen several posts online lately talking about “when the ammo is gone” in a long term SHTF situation. My plan is to NOT run out of ammo. But that has me thinking. How much is a reasonable supply to ensure that? You often hear “1,000 rounds per rifle” as a good ball park figure to start with. I’ll defer to those with firefight experience if they wish to correct my estimates, but since we need some timeline as a base, let’s assume that 1,000 cartridges would last the “average” prepper post SHTF, a year. 1,000 is almost 20 shots per week which is more than enough for a year’s worth of rifle use for hunting – even year round hunting. Every firearm in each home will not be used for hunting. So even if, God forbid, you need to use them all for defense at some point in the first year after the SHTF, it should balance out enough to call a thousand per firearm a reasonable supply for at least one year. If you are a long term planner like me, you reload your ammo and have at least 1,000 projectiles, 1,000 primers, and 6.25 lbs of powder on hand (my load calls for 43.5 grains of powder per cartridge so 6.21 lbs loads a thousand) to reload those initial thousand cartridge cases. This should carry you through the second year. What next? I have bought a bullet mold. Even without jacketed projectiles or gas checks I can load low velocity rounds with a cast lead projectile and 10 grains of Red Dot powder for an effective close range hunting and defense round. While this load will not cycle my semi autos it will work just dandy in my bolt action rifles and using my semi autos as bolt actions. With this basic reserve, two years after the SHTF, if you have still used 1,000 cartridges per firearm per year, and have been unable scavenge, or barter for loaded ammo, powder, or projectiles you could still load effective cartridges for hunting and defense. At ten grains per cartridge an eight pound keg of Red Dot would load a whopping 5,600 cartridges. Primers cost about $30 per thousand and only take up minimal storage space. 7 bricks of primers, an eight pound keg of full power rifle powder, and an eight pound keg of Red Dot in long term reserve, along with my bullet mold, and my initial thousand cartridge cases - I could have 7,600 firings from my initial 1,000 cartridges – more than a seven and a half year supply. At this point someone reading this is saying – yeah but what about REALLY long term TEOTWAWKI? I too believe in planning for the next generation. So in our scenario it is now TEOTWAWKI + seven years. You have not been able to expand your supplies by buying, barter, salvage, or looting. As unlikely as it is, every primer and grain of smokeless powder in the world has been used up and no one has restarted the manufacturing process. You are the last outpost of humanity and you are down to a six month supply of cartridges which you are still using at an average rate of more than two shots per day. I have a two word solution: black powder. I will not attempt to explain the manufacture of black powder to you. Any search engine will bring you to it and you will have had seven years to practice getting it right in the above scenario. As evidence of the effectiveness of black powder I will make note that on October 7, 1777 at the Battle of Saratoga during the American Revolution, patriot Timothy Murphy made two one shot kills of British Officers over 300 yards away with his flintlock rifle. Flintlocks need no primers. This should keep you shooting plenty long enough to research and restart the smokeless powder era should you choose to do so.