A different take on the Rules Of 3 from another site. It is my opinion that a person should establish a base line of need for their ammunition stockpile. It is easy (and fun) to buy, buy, buy more ammo. However, once a standard amount is on hand, every extra round of ammunition is purchased with preparedness dollars that could be allocated to other valuable and expensive kits, sets, and outfits. We are preparedness folks, not ninjas -- we should plan our ammo the same way we plan our water. What do we need, why do we need it, and how much is enough? All the ammo in the world isn't going to feed your family. As I have done with all of my preps (and surely most of you here have as well), I apply the rule of three to everything, including ammunition. 1. How much Ammo do I need to live three seconds? The answer is one magazine -- no more, no less. If it ain't gettin' done with that in three seconds, it ain't gettin' done. I don't stock any more than that until I have all of the air, food, water, and shelter I need for three seconds. For myself AND my family. 2. How much ammo do I need to live three minutes? The answer is probably a couple of mags that could, at the worst case, in three minutes, allow me to remove myself from trouble. Maybe a hundred rounds for my rifle and a dozen for my pistol. I don't stock anymore than that until I have all the air, food, water, and shelter I need for three minutes. For myself AND my family. 3. How much ammo do I need to live three hours? I think the answer here is probably enough to outfit a standard basic load -- just enough loaded magazines that can be comfortably carried on the body. This means that I add another two hundred rounds to what I have already stockpiled for my rifle and a couple dozen for my pistol. I don't stock any more than that until I have all of the air, food, water, and shelter I need for three hours. For myself AND my family. 4. How much ammo do I need to live three days? I think the answer here is that I should plan on being able to refill my basic load at least once. We aren't combat soldiers, so we aren't looking for trouble -- we just need enough (at the three day mark) to top-off our spent magazines. Prudent preparation for unknown future calamity deems another couple hundred rounds for my rifle and another couple dozen rounds for my pistol to be appropriate. I don't stock any more than that until I have all of the air, food, water, and shelter I need for three days. For myself AND my family. 5. How much ammo do I need to live three weeks? Apply the same logic here as applied to the previous milestones with the emphasis on 'what do I need'? Again, since we aren't combat soldiers, we aren't fighting everyday for that period of time. It seems logical to assume that we may find ourselves in at least one more fight, so to prepare for such an event, stockpiling an additional basic load seems appropriate -- a couple hundred more rounds for my rifle and a couple dozen more rounds for my pistol. I don't stock any more than that until I have all of the air, food, water, and shelter I need for three weeks. For myself AND my family. 6. How much ammo do I need to live three months? Continuing in the same manner, after three months, there isn't likely to be continuous fighting. If there is, we are no longer preparedness folks, we are soldiers and different logistics issues come into play. For preparedness, stocking our own in advance in order to safely navigate ourselves and our families through unforeseen dramas and hardships, it would not be unwise to have a spare case of ammunition, over and above what has already been stockpiled for the previous milestones. At this stage, one should not only be stocking an additional thousand rounds for your rifle; but should be thinking at least about a spare rifle of the same caliber for back-up (please note, that I specifically waited until this milestone to bring in an additional rifle). It is fun to buy guns, but now is when they become necessary redundancy. I don't stock any more than that until I have all of the air, food, water, and shelter I need for three months. For myself AND my family. 7. How much ammo do I need to live for a year or more? This is the point at which, for me, the rule of threes ends and a homestead lifestyle takes its place. At this level of societal disruption, it is not realistic to stockpile enough ammunition to live for three years. It is realistic, at this point in the preparation plan, to stockpile the equipment, skills, and raw materials to make ammunition. Don't stock cartridges, stock thousands of bullets, casings, powder, and reloading equipment to allow yourself to survive an indefinite period. Stock spare parts for rifles that will not be readily available. Prepare at this unprecedented level to never be able to go to a 'gun store' again.