How Long Would Ammo Last In An Apocalypse (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 1 Month to 10 Years

Many Hollywood movies have envisioned their point of view about the apocalypse. The reason for the apocalypse can be an alien invasion, zombies, meteor or asteroid disaster, nuclear accident, natural catastrophe, world war 3, or any other reason. Whatever may be the reason, in an apocalypse, the protection of an individual & their family is highly dependent on arms & ammunition.



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Depending upon the reason for the apocalypse, the shortage of arms & ammunition may occur. If it is a zombie attack, alien invasion, or a world war, then there are high chances that the ammunition may end sooner. If the apocalypse occurs due to a viral outbreak, asteroid crash, or natural catastrophe, then there is a higher chance that the ammunition may not exhaust soon.

How Long Would Ammo Last In An Apocalypse

How Long Would Ammo Last In An Apocalypse?

The shelf life of any modern ammunition is at least a decade. Even if we assume that all the ammunition manufacturing industries & units are shut down, existing & manufactured ammunition will be available for at least a decade.

The most severe problem would exist when there is the constant use of ammunition. This happens when you need to constantly fight with the attackers, like zombies, aliens, or maybe humans. In such a condition, constant production of ammunition would be necessary. If the production of ammunition is shut down, then considering the available ammunition on the shelf, hardly one may have a month or two.

Even if the production units of ammunition were active, it doesn’t ensure availability. Transportation & logistics for ammunition always remains an issue. The ammunition may last for a year or two, but getting hold of ammunition is a much bigger task.

Ammunition encompasses a broad spectrum. If the people are capable of designing & manufacturing their ammunition, then the ammunition would last more than a year. An extreme shortage of special caliber bullets and other such ammunition will occur. The usual, mass-produced ammunition will last longer.

Type of ApocalypseTime Duration of Ammunition Available
Zombie1 Month to 1 Year
Alien1 Month to 5 Years
Virus5 Years to 10 Years
War5 Years to 10 Years
Natural Catastrophe1 Month to 10 Years
Meteor Crash1 Year to 10 Years
Nuclear Accident1 Year to 10 Years

Why Would Ammo Last So Long In An Apocalypse?

If the ammunition production units are working, and the logistics & transportation are no longer an issue, then it creates an unlimited supply of ammunition. Apocalypse is not a utopian period. Even if somehow the production units are running, the logistics can be a huge problem. Imagine zombies or aliens on the street. In such cases, the stocked ammunition is the only source.

Countries like the US, where the citizens are allowed to have arms & ammunition will have large stocks of ammunition. Many people know how to manufacture ammunition from easily available resources. This knowledge will play a crucial role as a deciding factor. Easily available ammunition types that are available in large quantities will last for years, while the special types may get exhausted or hoarded.

The ammunition available is dependent on the type of apocalypse. If there is a need for constant firing, like in a zombie or an alien invasion, then the supplies may exhaust more rapidly. In an apocalypse, the human population dwindles quite rapidly. This leaves a large chunk of ammunition available for the remaining population. The only problem is to get hold of this ammunition.


In an apocalypse, ammunition is a resource that will be scarce. In an apocalypse, arms & ammunition are necessary for protection. In an ideal scenario, the ammunition may never exhaust. It is because the production units will constantly manufacture ammunition. Apocalypse is not an ideal situation. Considering the worst & unimaginable situation, ammunition in the stock can last up to a decade.

Constant use of ammunition will deplete the scarce resource. If the people have the skills of manufacturing ammunition with easily available resources, then the ammunition will be available in plenty. The availability of ammunition is directly or indirectly related to the cause of the apocalypse.


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