It’s not likely, but as recent events in Eastern Europe remind us, it is possible to run out of ammunition when the fight is on. In that case, what can you do? As I write this, comfortable and thankfully at peace, I am thankful that the most likely time to run out of ammo here in the USA is during a criminal encounter such as a carjacking or armed robbery, not in a hostile action by a government or cartel acting as government. However, things can change. The nations to both the north and south of the USA are in turmoil with government or para-government versus civilian conflicts.
Taking a broad view of what an ammo depletion problem may entail, the best solution is common sense: have a plan for taking cover, if you’re not already in it, and identify objects in your surroundings that may serve as alternate weapons. There’s a reason the M1 Garands of WWII had bayonets at the end! Keep in mind that just about any object can be used offensively, even clothing.
The second component of readiness for ammo depletion is mindset. Curate the attitude that you’ll not be defeated. Draw your virtual line in the sand. Decide you’ll be resilient and adjust as needed during the conflict and beyond. Use breath control and stay calm to keep your physical and decision-making capabilities intact during the fight. If you’re a person who tends to fret over the future or mull over the past, this mindset will aid you in doing a better job of living in the present, which is the only thing under your total control anyway. Study criminal behavior of all kinds and the outcomes for people who used various strategies including compliance or fighting back. Get past any tendency to be paralyzed with fear or shock and envision yourself taking action no matter what the circumstance. Living close to the southern border, I’ve taken an interest in websites in which citizen journalists risk their lives to report on cartel activities that are ignored by corporate media. Depraved and brutal acts committed during cartel missions often catch civilians in the crossfire. Entire, innocent civilian communities are sometimes taken hostage for the farms, minerals, or other resources they possess. It’s easy to see that having a plan for your family to maintain communication without cell phones, take shelter, or escape the area is an investment in time that could save a lot of pain later.
Is compliance an option? In some cases, when the criminal has a clear advantage, it is perhaps the best way to stay alive and hope for the best. Sometimes, feigned compliance will allow you to gain an advantage in the near future. Any time hostage-taking is involved, the longer you wait, the slimmer your odds are of escaping alive. Most of the time, it is to your clear advantage to fight back, early on, with greater force than is being exacted upon you.
I love the example from a news story some time ago of two brothers, both under age seven, abducted in a carjacking. The smaller of the two in the backseat grabbed a toy rubber snake and repeatedly whacked their captor with the snake as the car sped down the highway. The bad guy soon dropped the boys off, unharmed, by the roadside. In later testimony, the abductor said the annoyance of the beat-down wasn’t worth keeping his hostages. As the saying goes, it’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog.
This is a pretty dark subject; no getting around that. Even if the news reports of a guy found to have in excess of one box of ammo as having an “arsenal,” do not be shy about hoarding ammunition and storing it in a dry place for a troubled time. If things go well, you still have a resource for recreation and resale. If things fall apart, your chances of being a victim are greatly reduced.