Survivalist Ammo hoards


Survivalists may have been seen as being on the fringes of madness but I’m guessing that a lot more sane and ordinary people are starting to contemplate possibilities regarding ammo (and gun) stashes than ever before.

The standard drill seems to be to buy several 6" or 8" lengths of grey plastic drainpipe, glue an endcap onto one end, fill it with ammo . and maybe guns, then glue another end cap onto the other end and bury it somewhere remote. Tell your sons, grandchildren and nephews where it is buried but swear them to secrecy. report the gun missing in a canoe capsize or whatever if you have to get it off the register.

It could well be that in 100 years or so from now these stashes could be the only source of guns and ammo available to them.

Given that, what would you bury? my view would be a Ruger 10/22 and 10,000 rounds of .22 HP Blazer. Plus a few 30 shot magazines

In the interests of serious but academic discusion what would you stash? 9mm ammo and a pistol seems to be favoured but a 9mm pistol has limited capabilities. A .308 rifle and ammo has more capability but ammo is bulky although surplus ammo is cheap.

As a fun subject only, what would you suggest?


Point taken, but you’re suggesting a potential felony on the false reporting there. And technically, stashing guns on property that you don’t own is illegal, so it’s preferable to stash it on land you own. Otherwise, ammo & guns are a great commodity these days. I might bury things with a couple more layers than just in a glued PVC tube; sealed plastic wrap, grease on the guns, desiccants with the ammo, etc…

As far as what I would bury - I would bury the most commonly used calibers, especially those that can be used in more than one firearm like .38 special & .44 special. 9mm would have to be the most commonly used caliber in the U.S. along with .22lr, and I would also have a bunch of 12ga. Rifle calibers would be .223, 7.62x39, and .308. Sealed ammo (necks & primers) with brass cases whenever possible, and never the lead-free primer stuff which has a poor shelf-life. Burying locating is important with remote gravely high spots being best, and clay-rich wet low-points where water settles being worst.

Speaking of ammo as a commodity, Mike Rintoul of Grizzly cartridge recently told me that they are virtually out of the Grizzly X-treme cartridges due to shortages of copper since the special oxygen-free copper they were using in the bullets is only made at 6 places in the world, and 3 of them were in Japan - all affected by the Tsunami. He hopes they will have things on track inside of 6 months anyway.



I’ll bite.

Survival types have existed since I was a lad during WW II. Their darkest fears have never been realized which should tell us something about the legitimacy of the survivalist premise. But, in my opinion, the biggest flaw in their plans for surviving a worst-case scenario is that they tend to view and prepare for it in terms of yesterday’s world. The Civil Defense programs of the 1950s and 1960s is the best example. Even though they were touted to be aimed at a nuclear world, they were actually based on WW II and KW warfare. It was soon realized that the CD shelters with stocks of supplies necessary to see the inhabitants through a nuclear attack would only delay the inevitable and so they, and all the plans and programs, were soon abandonded.

I see the current belief in burying guns and ammunition to be dug up and used some day in the future as the same kind of wishful thinking. Exactly who would these weapons be used against? A 22 LR against military armed with the latest technology, arms, and ammunition? I don’t think so. When (if) that time ever comes the average survivalist will be long dead and buried, and those surviving will be lucky if they still have a shovel. If I was bent on hiding a few arms and some ammunition toward some dark day in the future, I’ll use one of my bedroom closets. If those are taken from me by the very people I’m thinking I’ll use them against, it’s already too late.

I’m reminded of the CD days here in the US of A. A popular question of the day was, what do you do when the sirens stop wailing and you see a bright white flash of light? Answer, you bend over as far as you can and kiss your a$$ goodbye.




Its just a bit of fun and I agree with you. How could you ever come down from the hills and expect to resume a normal life when half the people in your home town had probably been killed and eaten by the other half.

But its the fear that drives you not the reality. The mass confiscation of guns, or the prospect of it, focuses the mind. Espescially when they have been around you all your life. Stashing guns is a reaction but one I would suggest is likely to occour more in the coming years and people will be quietly contemplating such measures.

In Britain some years ago they banned pump action shotguns, only a small percentage were handed in, importers figures for the numbers sold suggest the bulk went missing and still remain missing today. As they were not registered by serial no it was possible then. It would not be so easy now.

In years to come I suggest they will be finding many such hoards that people had put away against the possibility. Reality doesn’t necessarily come into it.

They still find hoards of coins that people buried hundreds, even thousands of years ago. In years to come will they be doing the same for ammunition?

Hopefully, if this forum survives will people be posting that they found a load of XXX buried in the hills, can anyone suggest a date? Or would it be a Mad Max scenario where stashes were the only guns and ammo available


I’d bury a 30-06 red/white tipped frangible tracer (w/ a sectioned mate as well)…it’s rare now. Maybe 100 years from now you could trade it for a used pocket sized “neutron powered invisible laser mango thermal energy zapper” (of course on the black market) along with a copy of Hackley/Woodin…which as a printed book would be equally scarce as the gunpowder propelled cartridge.


Vince, it’s not the survivalists as much as the growing number of those who are in legitimate fear of their government, the growing gap between the “haves” and the “have-nots” and the unpredictable world economy. When I was a kid, people generally bought a box or two of ammunition to go to the range with. Deer hunters bought a box of cartridges that would last them for many seasons. Now a days, that guy who bought 100 rounds of ammunition buys 1,000 rounds because tomorrow it might be banned or too expensive. Some of my wife’s uncles have boxes of “deer cartridges” that they have had so long that they might actually be collector’s items! A friend of mine hunts with an odd-ball caliber, the .307 Winchester. I mentioned to him one day that with the rising cost of ammuniton and the odd nature of his caliber, he should stock up while he could. His reply was that he should probably buy “another box”, while I’m thinking he should buy 5 or 10! I have a moderate supply of ammunition for all of my different firearms. Far less than many of the hoarders or survivalists, but enough that to most people, they would think it to be excessive. I bought cartridges at .09 per round that are now .50 per round. I can afford to shoot still, even if I can not afford to buy new stock. I also have enough that as my children move off and start their adult lives, they will have enough ammunition to be prepared for an “emergency” and have some fun target practice/training.



Hey, that brings back a half-forgotten memory. Sometime around 1959, when I was a teenager, I told my Dad that we needed to build a bomb shelter in the back yard. He agreed, and so, using pick and shovel, I began to dig a big hole at the location he specified. When I got about 3-4 feet down, I hit hardpan and couldn’t go any deeper. Dad then planted a tree in the hole. Many years later I wondered if that was his plan all along…


Maybe someone can talk about the Australian situation. I understand that during the gun turn-ins there 20 or so years ago, there was an enormous amount of PVC sewer pipe and end caps sold over a short period. And there’s a lot of empty land in Australia on which to bury stuff.


I have heard that about Australia as well. But to try and keep things on a cartridge basis, the amount of ammunition in storage must be very high now and will be turning up in years to come. Maybe one day it will be recognised as a phenomon that was associated with this time.

One other observation about the coin hoards that turn up in this country fairly regularly. Whatever their reasons for doing so, the people who hid them were not wrong about the threat. They never made it back to get them.

As a footnote, we are waking up to news of an old fashioned race riot on the streets of North London last night, buildings burnt shops looted cars and buses set on fire. Following the shooting by police of a man the night before. Thats only about 12 miles from here. No doubt it will be on your news channels. We live a lot closer to the edge that perhaps we would like to think.


As a more serious kind of survivalist the special units of the Home Guard in the UK had many secret hoards of arms and ammunition. These turn up from time to time, usually during building work or road building. I haven’t heard of any for a few years now but 9mm. .303", .30-06 (usually dated around the early 1930’s) grenades and Molotov Cocktails plus demolition explosives were typical finds.



I’m sure you know this Dave, but this is more for the American members. There was an unstable type of incendiary grenade made for the British Home Guard. It was made from a glass bottle filled with white phosphorous and benzene which was separated into two layers. The home guard units were instructed to store these underwater in case of any accidents. Caches of these are still found occasionally today in village ponds.


The Australian story on caches would be from 1996 when there were large nation wide gun law reforms (knee jerk reaction to the Port Arthur massacre that was with illegally gained firearms) that essentially banned semi automatic (RF and CF) as well as pump action shotguns to the everyday shooter who did not have some sort of occupational or collecting need to own these firearms.
There have been lots of stories and innuendo about burying ‘off the grid’ unregistered guns in PVC pipe. The figures of imports and the numbers handed in reportedly do not match. I have not heard of any of these guns being found and dug up though.


Stay-behind groups were organized in most of Europe after the second world war. Here in DK it was organized by the defence intelligence service and most of it was ammunition which had been airmailed in during the occupation. One example is this: For those who is a member there.
These stashes has been found all over, bricked in in factory buildings from the fifties and on farm lofts etc.


I worked for Kodak for most of my working life. At the front of the site in Harrow was a building Known as the KRS (Kodak Recreation Society) it was a theatre and rooms used for social activities. Dancing, various clubs etc.

It had to be knocked down in a hurry due to concrete cancer in the arched roof. The engineer in charge contacted me about a room in the basement described on the plans as the armoury for which they had no key. He asked if it was anything to do with us ( I ran the rifle club) I said no but suggested it was to do with the wartime home guard. However I also offered to come down and be present when they opened it to take charge of and make safe anything they might find. Can you imagine my anticipation?

Come the day, a workman put a sledge hammer through the door. NOTHING! totally empty.


They were No 76 Grenades.