A year and two months to the day after society fell, you’re into the last box of .22 shells. The stockpile lasted longer than planned. Those armed hoards never materialized, so ammo was better spent on fox and the occasional deer. Taking care against the wasted shot conserved it for even longer. Unfortunately, the latest supply run was a bust. Finding remnants useful for anything, let alone decent ammo, is a hope left abandoned out in the far and between these days. Sooner, rather than later you have to figure a way to bag a whitetail without the trusty long rifle.
Given the boatloads of ammunition US manufacturers pump out monthly, it is hard to imagine ammo running out at all. But should there be any doubt that this is a very real prospect, just look at recent ammunition shortages. Far from a catastrophic event severing supply, the cause was panic spread on the backs of government gun control fears coupled with higher costs and increasing global competition for raw materials. If those comparatively mundane catalysts could result in runs on supply how long would stockpiles last if production screeched to a halt?
Living without Ammo
When the ammunition runs out, when there’s not a box or a loaded shell left, people are going to rely on alternatives for hunting and personal protection. But what could possibly take the place of the firearms so many have come to depend on?
In the absence of ammunition, guns will become essentially, obsolete. A gun without bullets isn’t good for much of anything other than throwing at someone’s head (hoping they don’t just pick it up and reload) or as a mediocre meat tenderizer. Manual weapons will assume the role firearms once ruled. These types of weapons include a bow and arrow, spears, slings, slingshots, knives, swords or even the ancient, spear-throwing atlatl.
If you have yet to make an atlatl’s acquaintance, it is a rather cool and very effective distance weapon. The device, used for hundreds of years by prehistoric peoples, is composed on two pieces; a thrower about 24” long, a notched hook at one end and a handle on the other with a counterweight in the middle, and an arrow or spear which lays horizontally along the thrower, fitting into the notched hook. The arrow or spear is launched overhand, not unlike casting a fishing pole. In a trained hand, the atlatl can take down a deer or opponent with comparable accuracy and force as a standard bow and arrow.
These are just what the term implies, weapons improvise from items or objects with other intended purposes. A crowbar’s main purpose is a lever but is rigid and solid enough for use as a blunt weapon. A stone is another example. A stone can be thrown or used in combination with a sling or slingshot. It can also be dropped from a height, aimed right and with gravity handling the rest, a respectable sized stone will stop an opponent in their tracks. Take a tour of your house and garage with an eye to potential weapons.
- Those golf clubs in the closet.
- The ballpoint pen in the pen holder.
- A magazine on the coffee table easily rolled up and used as a baton.
- Kitchen knives (an obvious choice).
- A sturdy stand lamp pulled free from the wall to make a great staff weapon.
- The cordless drill or circular saw in the garage, on the workbench (oh so intimidating).
- A flashlight coupled with a hand weapon (a light to blind so you can strike with the other).
- Electrical cords as whips.
- Laundry detergent tossed into another’s eyes (a painful distraction opening them up for attack)
These are simply a few ideas generated from a quick tour of any given home, think about all the weapons, defensive and offensive you could come up with through a careful inventory of the family household.
Martial arts are not typically the first line of defense when talk turns to replacing guns but in a world at a loss for ammunition, personal defense will become more personal. Martial art styles range from the traditional variants of Kung Fu, Karate and Taekwondo to the lesser known styles of aikido, Bruce Lee’s Jeet Kune Do and Hapkido. Kickboxing, Brazilian Capoeira and mixed martial arts (MMA) have also gained popularity over recent years. While picking the style that works for you is important, choosing the right instructor is equally so. Objectively gauge the instructor’s competence with the style, their general mentality and check credentials before committing to one teacher.
Out fox the wildlife you’re hunting or the opponent you’re facing. Learned skills in tracking, building blinds or elevated stands and camouflage techniques will allow you to find game animals and approach closer or reduce range increasing the chances of bringing home food with alternative weapons.
Similar techniques are useful should you find yourself facing a human opponent, someone intent on challenging your personal safety. With knowledge of the area, places to hide and locations to lie in wait, you can effectively defend your property and person from those seeking to do it harm.