Stop: Don’t Barter Your Ammunition Away

Don't barter your ammunition awayIt’s been repeated many times in the preparedness community that “ammunition will be the new currency once the SHTF.” Other calibers are mentioned, but this idea is most commonly associated with .22 ammunition.‘s Jim Cobb disagrees.

In fact, Cobb not only discourages people from stockpiling ammunition to trade later, he offers this advice in his new Living Ready Online Course, How to Barter for Survival:

“They might decide to return it back to you at a very high velocity, then see what else you have,” Cobb said in his Online Course on bartering.

That’s not a hard and fast rule, though. It often depends on how well the barterers know each other.

“The only exception would be if it’s a family member, a close friend or someone in your retreat group. Then it’s probably OK. But a stranger or anything like that, I would avoid it all costs,” Cobb said.

Still, it’s tempting to think of ammunition in terms of barterable items. After all, it meets Cobb’s 3 Rules of Bartering. Here’s a clip from his Online Course:

How to Barter for Survival

Download Jim Cobb’s How to Barter for Survival Online Course from Living Ready Store.

Instead of ammunition, Cobb recommends stocking up on other essentials for post-disaster barter economies. He reviews them in detail in his How to Barter for Survival Online Course.

It’s important information to know, because it’s nearly guaranteed that businesses won’t be operating normally following a natural or man-made disaster. Bartering for goods and services will be the only way – outside of looting, which is never a good idea – to obtain needed items.

Would you be willing to trade away ammunition? What items do you keep on hand for bartering? Leave a note in the comments below.

7 thoughts on “Stop: Don’t Barter Your Ammunition Away

  1. DHConner

    Bartering your ammunition, in my not so humble opinion is, ineluctably, stupid. Harsh? I think getting 1 round of the ammo I bartered away returned to me resulting in an extra hole in my head that I neither need nor want is not the smart thing to do, and much harsher. Remember, your brain usually won’t take 3 strikes to put it out of commission permanently. If you have a black powder rifle and pistol and shotgun, then you are in a position to use powder for barter, assuming you can know where to look for the fundamental ingredients and make black powder. This occupation is not for dimwits either. If your product is off by 1% or 2%, you may be the first casualty. There are plenty of resources describing the exact procedure for making it. During the early frontier days many people were killed trying to formulate black powder and manufacture a safe and usable product.

    Bartering any mass manufactured ammunition is foolish. You have a product that will always (to infinity minus 1) work. I have fired thousands of rounds of commercial ammo in many calibers and never had one fail to fire. Remember, these manufacturers have a huge high-liability production process and product,, and they are not anxious to have their product fail. They have testing equipment and measuring apparatus that most of us would drool over just to see it at work. It doesn’t matter how one qualifies or justifies trading good ammo for anything: the fact is that Remington and other companies have doubled production of the ammo most in demand—5.56mm (.223 cal.). And it is still insanely hard to find. Having spoken to a Sierra Bullet rep, he says it will be at least a year before they catch-up with backorders that are still piling up. Sierra is running 24/7 and can’t begin to make the demand. All they make is the projectile. Case material, powder, and the primer that makes the cartridge go boom are also in short supply. For all but the most skilled machinists, actually producing a case and primer is simply out of the question.

    You’d be much better of getting a Dillon 650 reloading machine and spend your beer and Starbucks money on components and a reloading manual. This machine will make everything but sniper-grade cartridges, And maybe even that grade if you really fine tune it and do a lot of case sorting and other case prep work. I might add that this is a sensitive area, one that is best kept in the family, and having a room or area just for that, so it can be concealed from prying eyes.

  2. Scaramouche

    I would think that anyone coming to barter would not be out of ammunition and vice versa, I would be prepared for the worst.. Yes, I would barter for ammunition I have and hope the barterer had what I need. Baetering does not have to be done face to face at arms distance. After a verbal negotiation I could leave my ammo outside after viewing and receiving the bartered goods. I also believe heavy duty fixed blade bushcrafter knives would be good barter material. They are necessary tools in a SHTF situation along with culinary hardware (pots, pans, griddles, culinary hand tools, etc.), food (bacala “dried salted cod”) which has been around for thousands of years and spices will all be sought. Don’t think this will be a mans only event. Woman will have a lot to say and they posess our most valuable commidity.

  3. MojoHand

    This has always been my attitude about bartering ammo or alcohol, the other barter item of choice. Why give anyone the means to take from you the things you worked hard to accumulate? Why barter alcohol and have that person, or persons, get “all likkered up” and decide that you have more than you deserve and then choose to come liberate you belongings from you.

  4. quiet_forest

    This is a non_issue. Bartering or any other form of exchange with strangers is dangerous RIGHT NOW. Suppose you put something up on Craigslist, or just in the Recycler. You really have no idea who is going to answer that ad. People have been robbed and worse. Other side of the coin, if you answer an ad, you have no idea what you may be walking into. The item may be stolen, or it may just be bait. People have been robbed and worse that way, too. In a SHTF situation, your “customer” could decide that free is his price. You have no way of knowing if he’s armed or alone. Take the proper precautions.

    1. MojoHand

      So I suppose I should not go into a convenience store late at night because they have a tendency to be robbed. Or walk into a bank to conduct business instead of using the drive through because banks get robbed. Sounds more than a little paranoid. Have you been robbed before? So just don’t conduct business with anyone you don’t know because they may rob you.

      1. quiet_forest

        Here we have yet another example of the product turned out by our public school systems (no offense, it took me twenty years to recover and learn to think critically myself). Read my post again.

        I was pointing out that dealing with strangers can be problematic, regardless of the goods involved. The person who would kill you for a box of .22’s is just as likely to kill you for a bag of apples, given the right circumstances. Does that mean you should avoid all human contact? Of course not. I trade, buy and sell privately quite often. As I said, take proper precautions. Use your common sense. Listen to that little voice in the back of your head. If something seems off about a caller, then blow them off and look elsewhere. If I go to meet someone I don’t know, I don’t go alone. On the occasions I’ve been comfortable selling an item from my home, I’ve made sure one or more other family members are here when the other party arrives, and I can guarantee that we’re armed.

        My main point was that there is no special onus attached to ammunition as a trade good. I would think that items such as alcohol or medicine would be more dangerous, simply because anyone looking for those things is more likely to be an addict or experiencing a personal emergency. In a long term scenario, the ability to manufacture such items for trade could serve you well, even with the increased risk.

        If someone has what you need, and he wants a box of .30-30’s, that’s what you are going to have to get for him, or do without whatever he is offering. Again, use common sense.

  5. oscar615

    I have always thought that that was a very stupid idea because they will just shoot you and take whatever is left. I have never been willing to put my family’s safety at risk because I would trade the very thing that is supposed to keep us safe to someone that would then use it against me. And that someone would be anyone outside of my family. They better be getting theirs now because they won’t be getting any from me.