Question of the Day: How Much Ammo Is Enough?

IMI ammo (courtesy thetruthaboutguns.com)

Since I first started this gun thing “my” ammo has been TTAG’s ammo. As this website’s reviewers need a large, constant supply of bullet food (thank you IMI), I don’t have a handle on what constitutes an adequate ammo supply for an average gun owner. Or for one of those “super owners” the antis keep rabbiting on about. So how much ammo is enough? How did you arrive at that amount? And please, let’s get past that “there is no upper limit” stuff. What’s the “right” amount to have to hold for you and/or a newbie?

comments

  1. avatar Sert says:

    No amount is too small!

    1. avatar Gman says:

      No amount is too much.

      Fixed it for ya.

      1. avatar Darkstar says:

        In the immortal words of the Grateful Dead (sorry can’t help myself) “too much of everything is just enough”

    2. avatar Robert [NRA Instructor & Training Counselor] says:

      The first question you must ask yourself is, “How often do I shoot?”
      The second question is, “What kind of shooting am I considering?”
      If you just bought a gun that’s going to “sit around the house [locked up and never touched],” a box of cartridges is all you will want.
      If you are going to shoot in competition, it’s going to be a lot more. – Maybe several thousand rounds.
      Suggestions: Don’t let the gun just sit around. Join a club or range and shoot regularly.
      Because of Obama’s policies, I went from a box or two for each of my guns to 1,000 rounds for each simply because there was nothing available to buy when I wanted to go to the range. — Up until then, I simply kept what I would use in a couple of months. [For my historic gun(s), that meant a box or 2. For my competition rifle & pistol, it was a couple of cans. [2 cans of 308 lasted me through one summer of rifle matches.]
      If you are talking self-defense, you should be changing your ammo annually; you should also practice regularly.
      So, to summarize, you must determine your needs based on you, not on anybody else’s ideas.

  2. avatar OmnivorousBeorn says:

    1-2K of nice FMJs for each major caliber. A couple boxes of JHPs for each caliber. Honestly I need mags more than I need ammo at the moment.

    I also like some steel-case ammo to have fun wit. Right now, however, SGAmmo has made made nice ammo so cheap that cheap ammo isn’t worth it.

    1. avatar OmnivorousBeorn says:

      Btw, that’s not “enough” per se, it’s more what’s practical for me currently.

      1. avatar RPope says:

        Practical thinking and practicle amount to keep on hand for the average shooter . most would agree that is sufficient enough to keep in stock at all times . but then again !

    2. avatar Billca says:

      Your thinking runs similar to mine.
      I’d like to have about 1K per weapon for most guns. I’ve paired it down to 12 calibers that are useful defensive or hunting calibers. FMJ for the range and/or SHTF considerations. Usually less than 500 of premium JHP ammo for defense or hunting applications. If things go south I figure poking holes in people will probably be a good enough way of saying “go away”.

    3. avatar Southern Cross says:

      If it is a caliber I reload for competition, I have about 200 rounds available at any time. And I have about 4-5 competition rifles ready. Primers are bought by the thousand, as are projectiles, and powder bought in 4kg canisters.

      If it is a caliber I use in milsurp rifles, buy it cheap and stack it deep.

  3. avatar ORCON says:

    This question came up a few days ago on a forum I frequent, I’ll give the same answer here as I gave there:

    Enough ammo…what a concept. When it comes to ammo, I’m like that guy we all know who is broke the day after payday; if it’s loaded, I’m shooting it. All the tools and gadgets that I’ve bought to speed up reloading only serve to deplete my components faster. I think that having enough components on hand to wear out each barrel I own would be a good start.

    1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

      Oh, now there is an incredibly wise answer to, “How much ammunition is enough?”

      Answer: the amount of ammunition that equals the expected service life of your firearms.

      Now the much more subjective question: how much of that ammunition should be quality self-defense loadings? Answer: as much as you need to respond to the threats that you expect.

      1. avatar California Richard says:

        +1 ask the average infantryman how much ammo he fired in iraq/afghanistan in a 6mo/9mo/12mo tour (usually is no more than 2 magazines worth). Ask yourself how many Americans you plan on bouncing in the next Civil War….. everything else is training ammo, which to me is like water or air; how much do you plan on drinking or breathing? What happens if you run out?

  4. avatar Gman says:

    Struggling not to jump into all of the possible humorous rabbit holes this one can create, this can be a serious question to answer. I have never felt as though I had enough stock, ever. Our household buys about 40,000 rounds (.22 included) every quarter just to use at the range. We have a stockpile of “GO” ammo. We have a stockpile of hunting ammo. And we have a stockpile of SHTF ammo. And yet, that never seems to be enough.

    1. avatar ORCON says:

      Holy shit! How many barrels do you go through each year?

      1. avatar Gman says:

        Well, that doesn’t mean all that ammo is going down the pipe of 1 gun. That said, my wife’s 1982 Colt Diamondback has about 32,000 rounds through it. I cannot detect any appreciable wear. Now my current EDC TP9SF Elite barrel is claimed by Canik to be good for at least 60K. Processing… Processing…

    2. avatar JDH says:

      You just gave Gavin Newscum a heart attack.

      1. avatar Gman says:

        Yeah, funny thing is that I buy much of my handgun range ammo from LAX.

        1. avatar Chris says:

          LAX!! You can do better. Believe me. I’ve been there, I’ve spoken to them, and I’ve seen their prices. They are not good people.

    3. avatar KCK says:

      If you include .22 then maybe your cost is 25 cents a round,
      4 quarters X 40,000 = 160,000 X .25 = $40,000.
      or 40,000/3 months > 12,000/ month = $3,000/ week
      then
      /12 rounds/ mag= 250 mags/ week
      to load insert and fire 250 mags if your are machine would take at least 3 minutes
      750 min/60 = 12 hours a week X 52 weeks 624 hours/40 hrs= over 15 weeks full time.
      if this is a 10 person club then this is reasonable.
      if its just you, your sounding like the Wilt Chamberlin of the shooting your load world.
      The math was quick with assumptions, please check

      1. avatar KCK says:

        My response was to GMAN

      2. avatar Gman says:

        Yeah, I see the typo. 4,000 quarterly, not 40,000!

        1. avatar KCK says:

          Welcome back to reasonable!

        2. avatar SouthAl says:

          I had a new hero for a minute there. Still, more than respectable.

        3. avatar TX_Lawyer says:

          Yeah. At 40,000, I thought you were cray, but in an admirable way.

    4. avatar Gunr says:

      160,000 rounds a year? Jesus Christ man, what are you expecting? Where do you keep it all? Just guessing, I’d say it would take several “Fat Boy” safes to store it all. Good luck with your neighbors in a time of crises, if any of them know about this.

  5. avatar JTwin says:

    How much money is enough? Answer that and you’ll answer how much ammo.

    1. avatar Chris says:

      The old man told me to buy as much as I can afford, and that’s a good enough answer in my book.

      1. avatar Gunr says:

        That’s a “Great” answer, it’s the answer I had in mind. However, if I went by that rule, I’d have two empty chambers on my five shot carry revolver.

  6. avatar Gman says:

    Hey honey, can I buy some more ammo?
    NO!
    I guess this is enough.

    1. avatar J R C says:

      You let her know?
      Brave man… brave.

      1. avatar Gman says:

        Ex Navy sailor. She got the finances way back when. I never got them back.

        1. avatar jwm says:

          You have someone else handling your finances? Expect a gun confiscation team in 5…4…3…

      2. avatar 4808 N says:

        Seriously, “She” has no need to know…

        1. avatar Tile floor says:

          Eh, I’m not concerned with her knowledge of my ammo count, but it’s not my money, it’s our money. I wouldn’t blow a bunch of it without her advanced knowledge. She returns me the favor

        2. avatar California Richard says:

          Its a sad day when a man has to learn the tricks of embezzling money from himself so his wife won’t find out…. on that happy note, I bought my last (legal) 1000 rounds of ammo. My wife doesn’t “know” about it, and she isnt asking about the 30lbs box of jingly stuff sitting on the floor of my office. I don’t think she wants to know.

        3. avatar Gunr says:

          Tile Floor,
          Separate checking accounts are the only way to go. I learned that a long time ago when my ex left me a “dear John” note. I rushed to the bank, but she had been there already. Not only did she take all the money in our account, but money that was for the house and car payment.

  7. avatar rdsii64 says:

    If you know how much ammunition you have, YOU DON’T HAVE ENOUGH!!
    All jokes aside, the amount you are able to purchase balanced by the storage space you have should be your deciding factor.

    1. avatar TX_Lawyer says:

      I think something about how much you can use in a given period should be in that formula. Since ammo is, at best, a speculative investment, I think putting money other places is a better use.

  8. avatar MyName says:

    Ammo is the only thing you need to stockpile – If you have enough ammo you can get anything else.

    1. avatar Stereodude says:

      I’m pretty sure you’ll need something to shoot it also.

      1. avatar MyName says:

        Well, yeah, but you don’t need a ‘stockpile’ of boom sticks – one or two will do.

        1. avatar Joe R. says:

          Naw, I’m still going to need something else and it doesn’t rhyme with food and water.

        2. avatar Stereodude says:

          I’m not saying you need 5+ guns for every cartridge, but only 1 or 2 doesn’t leave you much margin for theft, losing one, having it break, etc.

  9. avatar Alexander says:

    I have from a few hundred rounds of rarely used calibers to 1,000 – 5,000 rounds of the more popular calibers because I wanted to be a good neighbor, just in case. But I do think that much of it was either a waste of money or at the minimum a bad investment. Especially high power 12 ga – there is no need for a thousand + 12 00 buckshot. Really.

    1. avatar BLoving says:

      Okay. Since you’re the first to try to seriously answer, I’ll bite:
      You bring up a good point, do all of the calibers you own examples of get fired often or at all? If no (or rarely), then stockpiling ammunition for them is a waste of space and money. A box or two of the rarely used stuff is sensible… maybe pick up a dusty box of something you saw on clearance only because it was priced right and looked lonely on the gun store shelf.
      What about the other sizes?
      I ask myself: when I go to the range with a given caliber – how much ammo to I plan to shoot before I go home? I’ll then triple that number and that’s the minimum I want in my ammo cabinet.
      Mind you, these are just minimum quantities for myself. Maximum quantities would be limited to a combination of cabinet space, finances, and a perceived likelihood of need. YMMV, naturally. 🤠

  10. avatar JDH says:

    ∞ This is the correct amount.

    1. avatar MYHERO says:

      TTAG really needs a like button.

  11. avatar MyName says:

    How many PSF will a typical residential basement slab support? Asking for a friend.

    1. avatar Lupinsea says:

      “Typical” concrete (as in slab on grade and most foundations) is probably in the 3000 psf range minimum, but may be higher especially since that is the 28-day design load and concrete continues to cure and strengthen over time.

      However, an engineer would probably use 1500 – 2000 psf as a design factor for the earth supporting that slab. Again, it could be higher but without a geotech report stating otherwise, the 1500 – 2000 psf is a safe design limit.

      So. . . . 1500 psf.

      Hm.

      Now you have me wondering how much one cubic foot of ammo weighs.

      1. avatar MyName says:

        Well, the ceiling is 8ft so, 8 cubic feet of ammo.

      2. avatar uncommon_sense says:

        If the ammunition is packed tightly, a one square foot pillar of ammunition that is 8 feet high could get pretty close to that 1,500 pounds per square foot number.

        1. avatar MyName says:

          Well, I suppose some one has to so:

          One box Winchester 115gr FMJ 9mm = 21.5 ounces, .01096 cuft
          1/.01096 = 91.2428 boxes/cuft
          91.2428*21.5=1961.72 oz = 122.61 lbs per cuft
          8 foot column = 980.9 lbs

          So, getting up toward half a ton. More densely packed then factory boxes might get us past 1500 lbs or a denser load than 9mm. What’s the heaviest round per unit volume? hmm.

          Oh, one cuft of the above is 4562 rounds. Need me a cubic foot of 9mm (can you measure metric ammo by the cubic foot?)

        2. avatar uncommon_sense says:

          MyName,

          “Need me a cubic foot of 9mm (can you measure metric ammo by the cubic foot?)”

          I am still laughing out loud. Thanks, I needed that!

        3. avatar uncommon_sense says:

          MyName,

          By the way your number of 980 pounds increases a fair bit if you had 147 grain bullets rather than 115 grain bullets. (The boxes would be the same size although weight would have increased.) If your box with 115 grain bullets weighs 21.5 ounces, then that box with 147 grain bullets should weigh pretty close to an extra (147 – 115)*50/437.5 which is 3.5 ounces allowing for a slight reduction in propellant. (Those heavier 147 grain bullets take up more space in the brass casing which leaves a little less room for propellant.)

          And that represents an increase of 3.5 / 21.5 = 16.27%. Thus, your 8 foot tall column of 9mm Parabellum ammunition would weigh about 980 x 1.1627 = 1139 pounds!

          Now someone has to measure and weigh a box of .40 S&W and .45 ACP to see if those would be even heavier!

        4. avatar MyName says:

          Ima have to start estimating volume and weighing a lot of ammo to run this to ground. Get back to you when I have data.

        5. avatar MyName says:

          Oh, BTW, my gut instinct is that 230gr .45 ACP is gonna get us close to cracking the floor.

        6. avatar Billca says:

          230 grain .45 ACP bullets are exactly double the weight of the 115 grain bullets. I don’t have a scale available to tell you how much a box of .45 ACP weighs. I will tell you that a .50 Caliber ammo can stuffed to the top (about 650 rounds) is not anything you’re gonna carry very far unless you’re built like Scharznegger.

          Okay. Dimension wise a box of .45 ACP (Federal HST) measures 3″Wx6″Lx1.5″H. Weight is about 2 lbs.
          A .50 Caliber ammo can is 6″W x 12″L x 7.5″H (interior is about 11″ long. The latch & lid make up the other inch). I can stuff about 13 boxes into the can so that means about 26 lbs plus the weight of the can. a pair of cans occupies 1 square foot. Stacked 2 wide x 8 high (12″ x 60″) gives you five cubic feet of ammo, if my math is right. That would be in the neighborhood of about 450 lbs, including the ammo cans. Well within limits of the concrete.

          My own supply right now measures about 2 feet wide by 3 feet tall by 3 feet deep of mixed types. I’m less concerned about the concrete than the USGS showing up asking about the gravitational anomaly in my garage.

  12. avatar Illinois_Minion says:

    When I have to purchase a third or fourth safe to store it in, I might be getting close to “Enough”.

    1. avatar Gman says:

      I buy the Mosler US Navy surplus 5 drawer safes. Awesome for ammo storage!

        1. avatar m- says:

          they must really trust the safe since they are hanging a grenade by the pin in one pick

  13. avatar Bob Watson says:

    How Much Ammo Is Enough?
    The ammunition I have on hand + some more.
    If I start crying like a little girl because I have to move my ammo to a new location, then I only need a little bit more.

  14. avatar fteter says:

    2,000 rounds per firearm minimum. I get a little antsy when my inventory falls lower.

  15. avatar J R C says:

    I figure 3 or 4 trips to the range… so .22 may be 100×4, but .45 may be 50×4.
    But then I also have friends, family, alien invasion, fire, flood, and California gun grabbers to worry about too – so my count is considerably higher right now.

    1. avatar California Richard says:

      The correct asnwer is: “None, officer. It all fell in the lake.”

  16. avatar bob says:

    Mathmatically…

    Not enough information in the question. Is this based on things in the economy staying the way they are, or total Fallout style melt down?
    Best answer would be enough of each caliber to run each of your firearms to failure.
    Once your unit fails, it no longer requires ammo. Although one could argue that it could be used as trade for parts, but then that brings us to the infinity amount again.

  17. avatar Gman says:

    This blog is so much more relaxing that the previous ones.
    It takes a lot of effort to spin up Chip Bennett. But it has been fun.

    🙂

  18. avatar M1Lou says:

    I move every two years so I can’t keep a good stock. I use a steel folding footlocker with small plastic ammo cans inside to keep inside all organized. I have a few of the Ammo crates that sit on top of the cabinet. They seem to hold quite a bit of ammo. I have parts kits in about five other crates. Once those various guns are built, I’ll switch them over to ammo.

  19. avatar Andrew Lias says:

    Am I drowning or getting crushed? If not gimme more.

  20. avatar Mr.Savage says:

    more than I have now, and always enough in the carry gun to get you to the rest of your shit of course!

  21. avatar uncommon_sense says:

    How much ammo is enough?

    Answer: yes.

  22. avatar MIjim says:

    I don’t really have a answer for how much ammo is too much, or just right. I do however have Min quantity that I like to maintain. 500 fmj for each pistol caliber, 50 JHP for each pistol caliber, 2k 5.56, around 200 for each hunting rifle ( .270, .308, 30-06 ) and I dont have a min quantity for 12, 20, .410 shells

  23. avatar silverwarloc says:

    All of my ammo is pretty much for plinking. With that in mind, this is my count:
    40 S&W: 650
    5.45X39: 1700
    45 ACP: 1000
    9 mm: 1500
    308/7.62: 250
    12 g: 00 buck, 75

    1. avatar Just Sayin says:

      I’m starting a “go fund me” page for you.

  24. avatar k says:

    The generally accepted figure is a thousand rounds per rifle and five hundred rounds per handgun.
    That seems a good rule of thumb to me. OFC, like all rules of thumb, individual circumstances can modify that greatly.
    If one lives in the arctic circle, for example, and owns only one rifle, 1k may not be enough.
    But if one is a city fudd who only shoots a box or two a year, 1k may be well overboard.
    If, like me, one owns five reloading presses and buys powder by the keg, the number of loaded rounds is less important. I can always produce whatever caliber I might need, if I have the brass. And even if I don’t, I can probably make it from some other caliber. That’s the beauty of reloading; by sizing, trimming, and fireforming, one can make almost any brass one might need. Its a lot more work than just refilling spent brass though.

  25. avatar Slow Joe Crow says:

    The thoughtful answer depends on the type of gun and level of usage. For .22 I always try to buy full bricks for consistency and multiple bricks if possible so I use the same lot # as long as I can. Centerfire is more $ so 100-1000 rounds per caliber, more ammo for action shooting like a USPSA pistol, less for a hunting rifle.
    I always want more but money is tight and the local big box is well stocked right now so I don’t have a big stockpile

  26. avatar Ralph says:

    According to the MA fire code, one can have on hand not more than 10,000 rounds of rimfire ammunition, not more than 10,000 rounds of centerfire rifle/pistol ammunition and not more than 5,000 rounds of shotgun ammunition.

    But if the local fire department issues an ammunition storage permit, then one can have up to 30,000 rounds of rimfire ammunition, up to 50,000 rounds of centerfire rifle/pistol ammunition and up to 50,000 rounds of shotgun ammunition, provided that the total of all ammo cannot exceed 100,000 rounds.

    So I guess that’s enough.

    1. avatar No one of consequence says:

      Not more than ….

      Oops.

  27. avatar Parnell says:

    I try to keep 2,000 rounds of handgun (9MM & .40) each, 2,000 rounds of .223 and 2,000 rounds of .22LR on hand at all times. That’s FMJ and then at least 250 rounds of HP’s for the handguns. I forgot the 20G and 12G, usually 250 rounds total.

  28. avatar Excedrine says:

    Q: “How much ammo is enough?”

    A: “When you have run out of nooks and crannies to stuff it in. Or if you’re on fire.”

  29. avatar ATFAgentBob says:

    Barest of bare minimums… 100 rounds of the cheapest FMJ I can find for each gun and at least 40-90 rounds of self defense loads for the pistols. The shotgun gets at least 1 50 round box of each ammo type (bird, buck, slug).

  30. avatar No one of consequence says:

    Depends in part on the local regulatory and political environment.

    Here in New Mexico, and right now, we keep about enough “range ammo” for four to six months of range visits for our regular use guns, enough for one or two trips for the ones we don’t take very often. We buy mostly via mail order and both Mrs. C and I travel frequently, so we place large orders as needed and when we know we’ll be home to get them.

    For defensive and hunting ammo, we keep the magazines of those guns filled, and about the same again in boxes. Reorder after a range trip with those.

  31. avatar pwrserge says:

    I measure my ammo in expected event / combat loads. (I go to most 3 stage rifle events with a 180 round combat load and generally leave with partial magazines.) My standard is 20 events per year with 180 rounds per event for my primary rifles (.308, 7.62×39, and 5.56×45) That means I stock a nice round 4k of each with another 2k of 9mm and 45ACP.

    All of that is normal plinking ammo. (I don’t shoot anything that requires better than 4MOA precision.) For emergencies, I keep 2 loads of “the good stuff” stashed away that gets rotated into use as necessary. That’s 400 rounds for each of the rifle calibers and 100 for pistol.

    Then there’s the C&R ammo which is on an “as needed” basis. I still have 200 rounds of shiny factory Nagant revolver ammo and a spam can of 7.62x54R. If you dig through the ammo boxes in my armory you’ll come up with an eclectic mix of 8mm Mauser, 6.5 Swede, .30-06, and 6.5Jap adding up to a few thousand rounds. I still have most of a case of 7.62×25 stashed away for my TT-33 that I haven’t shot in ages. Shotgun ammo is much the same with a weird mix of various bird and buck shot shells adding up to about 500 rounds. I don’t shoot shotgun regularly, so they mostly collect dust.

    Finally, you have hilarious “giggle factor” loads like 45 Colt, 454 Casull, 50AE, and 50 Beowulf. Those generally sit on my shelf collecting dust as they are never really used except in the occasional dick measuring contest and might add up to another 300 rounds between them.

    1. avatar pwrserge says:

      I’m really not looking forward to getting a P90, as that will require me to stock another 3000 rounds of ammo with no “good” ammo being readily available. Basically, the lack of access to proper ammo has kept me on the fence with that gun for about five years. Eventually, I’ll pick one up and SBR it into a proper P90, but there are so many more fun projects. (Like that M203 that I REALLY REALLY want to get my hands on and the beehive adapters for it are ~$400 a pop.)

      1. avatar Joe R. says:

        With a Spike’s Tactical 37MM launcher, you could roll your own (if you carefully stay within guidelines). Should there be a zombie apocalypse, they’ll beg you to do > 4oz. loads.

        🙂

        1. avatar pwrserge says:

          If I”m going to get a launcher, it’ll be the real thing. Ironically, DDs are legal in Illinois while short barreled shotguns are not. I can load a beehive round into it to get a fair approximation of a 40mm shotgun shell.

    2. avatar No one of consequence says:

      .45 Colt + long barreled Judge = “Hey look! It’s Yosemite Sam!”

    3. avatar ironicatbest says:

      What’s your thoughts on the 7.63×25? I liked the steel cased stuff from Bulgaria, but the new privi partizan HP’s seemed like 30 Mauser velocities. I’ve got a 54-1, it’s my EDC lol. Junk I know, but it’s just to ugly not to carry.

      1. avatar pwrserge says:

        I haven’t shot my TT-33 in years. I’m probably the last person you want to ask.

  32. avatar Curtis in IL says:

    I’ll answer the question
    When Michael Moore can tell me how many donuts is enough.
    When Shannon Watts can tell me how much makeup is enough.
    When Hillary can tell me how many deleted emails is enough.
    When Al Franken can tell me how many groped crotches is enough.
    When the DNC can tell me how many Harvey Weinstein contributions is enough.
    When Dianne Feinstein can tell me how many low information voters is enough.
    When Ruth Ginsburg can tell me how many years on SCOTUS is enough.

    Until those questions are answered, I’m on the lookout for a good deal on ammo.

  33. avatar Charles says:

    I attempt to keep a 5 year supply on hand. Estimate the amount used in a year and multiply by 5. Then when used I use the oldest first.

    1. avatar Sam in Ohio says:

      +1 on keeping the stock rotated. I have some old enough that a round or two out of a box is failing despite good storage practices.

  34. avatar jwm says:

    How much ammo can you carry when you flee a zombie/alien ravaged city? On foot?

    1. avatar DonS says:

      How much ammo can you carry when you flee a zombie/alien ravaged city? On foot?

      I live in one of the areas where people would be fleeing to, so I’d need enough to defend against those fleeing. Until there aren’t any more of them.

  35. avatar BN says:

    Q-How much ammo do you have?
    A-1000 less than I need
    Q-How much do you need?
    A-1000 more than I have

    It’s really nobody’s business but mine.

    1. avatar Joe R. says:

      Ok, but how many full mags do you have?

      jk

  36. avatar former water walker says:

    Well I just added a 38 to the mix. More of that. 700rounds of 9mm. I’m aiming for 1000. More 12gauge which I rarely shoot. I’m aiming for an AR next year. Already have 60rounds of 223😄

  37. avatar ironicatbest says:

    I try to keep 100 for each firearm I have. So 500 looks about it, I don’t shoot all that much, most of my practice is with pellet gun.

  38. avatar Grumpy says:

    The minimum for self defense for me is what am I willing to carry in a go bag, which would be from 25 -150 rounds. Doesn’t sound like much but ammo is heavy and there are other things that I value push comes to shove.

    For supply confidence and target shooting, I have significantly more on hand, more than I would want to publish. Ammo generally does not go bad if properly stored, its value does not depreciate unless you buy in a panic mode and inflated prices. It does not become obsolete, at least in my lifetime. I buy a bit extra every month, just like I try to put away a few extra $$ for retirement, it all adds up in the end.

  39. avatar Stereodude says:

    IMHO, overall it’s more a question of how much ammo I can practically store.

    As far as JHP/expanding/non-FMJ rounds… At least 500 rounds in each pistol and rifle cartridge and several times that in the primary cartridges.

  40. avatar John in IN says:

    I generally buy another thou of each caliber when I get down to 400 rounds left or so. That’s enough to keep it reasonably fresh.

    How much do I wish i had? Enough to feel comfortable using it for barter if no more was going to be made. (That’s a lot. Picture the warehouse at the end of ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark’ kind of a lot)

    1. avatar Just Sayin says:

      Ah, you bring up something that I think a lot about.
      “Fresh” ammo.
      One can’t afford stale stuff to become part of their own mix.
      Shooting (and cleaning) often keeps the firearm in good working order.
      And just like the human body, diet is everything!
      So shoot as often as you can and keep rotating the stockpile!!

      I love the smell of freshly spent ammo.
      And not just in the morning!

  41. avatar jwtaylor says:

    Don’t stockpile ammo. Shoot it and then buy more.
    The 300 rounds you have an can use well will be far more valuable than the 10k rounds you can’t carry and can’t hit with.

    1. avatar Just Sayin says:

      Roger that.

    2. avatar Joe R. says:

      +

      Check the ‘born on’ date. It does get stale.

  42. avatar billy-bob says:

    Well, I can only stack the pallets in the bunker 3 high, 2 wide and 6 deep. So when that fills up… I’ll start on another bunker.

    1. avatar Joe R. says:

      Is that due to pallet-loading, or (structural) floor-loading?

      1. avatar billy-bob says:

        Size of the bunker.

  43. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

    Good question.
    I seriously don’t know how much I have.
    I know I’ve got components to load up another 5,000 .233. That’s a weekend project that I’ve been saving for winter.
    Same with .308.
    .30 carbine, I’ve got 2,000.
    My short stack is .470 nitro. I’ve only got 100.

    1. avatar jwm says:

      That’s a hundred dead T-Rexes. They don’t travel in packs so you should be OK.

    2. avatar Gunr says:

      Tom, I don’t know if it’s snowing in your part of Oregon, or not, but here near the Eugene area, the ground is a bit white when I wake up in the morning.
      Better get to loading up that 223 ammo. Winter IS here.

  44. avatar Carrucan says:

    I wish I had somehow stockpiled the collapsible steel cruise boxes we used in the Navy. We trashed those things, and I see crappy ones going for $100 on ebay. I think they would have made nice storage for my ammun…I mean, storage for my pottery supplies and stuff.

  45. avatar ACP_arms says:

    Well, lets see… If I shoot trap once a week, every week and I take two boxes each trip I’d need 2,600 rounds of 12 gauge for the year. Now, if I shoot both league seasons on one team that’s 500 more rounds. Then if I go to turkey shoots, that’s about 75 rounds per shoot to round it out and if go to six turkey shoots that’s 450 more. If I go to an ATA shoot I’m looking at 100-300 rounds per shoot and I might go to three shoots, so 300-900 rounds there. Then maybe 400 more rounds for the year if I feel like shooting doubles.

    So I need 4,850 rounds!

    I typically buy my ammo 300 to 600 rounds at a time, so don’t have to worry space to much.

  46. avatar Cloudbuster says:

    “How Much Ammo Is Enough?”

    I don’t understand the question.

  47. avatar Squiggy81 says:

    As much as I can comfortably afford to keep piling on. When we’re talking about 45-70, that may only be a hundred rounds a year, especially since it only gets shot a few times a year. 22 on the other hand is a few thousand. Common calibers are at least 1-2k on hand at all times. I always try and replace more than I shoot. That’s the main goal. My new home is being built with a dedicated ammo/firearm room, so I won’t have to worry about space considerations, at least for quite a while. 🙂

  48. avatar DrewR says:

    It’s far too subjective to say, what is more than enough for one person may be not nearly enough for another. I try to keep enough on hand for another shortage, but again that amount is different for everyone.

    I disagree with JWT on this one, though. If you have 300 rounds and then shoot 300 rounds you should immediately replace those 300 rounds. Of course I live in the woods far from town so it is a bit more of a hassle for me to make a trip to buy more ammo.

  49. avatar Accur81 says:

    Some rounds just ask to be stockpiled: .22 LR, 9mm, and 5.56. It’s easy to buy and store a bunch of that. .308 and 12 gauge are also nice to stockpile. .45 ACP is great, but 1,000 rounds of that weighs roughly twice what 1,000 rounds of 9mm would be. I’ve caved in a storage shelf with .45. I’d break the bank trying to stockpile. 300 Win Mag, .460 Smith, and .338 Lapua.

  50. avatar Chris says:

    Being that this is Kommiefornia with all those wonderful new ammo restrictions taking place on January 1st (some online retailers have already cut us off) and the inevitable black market/people running to Nevada, I’d say you can’t have too many because the prices are more than likely going to increase. In a way, I feel bad for the CADOJ who has to handle all the extra workload under an already embarrassing system. And it’s only going to get worse after they require in-state background checks in a couple of years down the road, if they ever happen at all. It’s been delayed twice, so who knows.

    But for a real answer: I have about 2,000 plinking rounds and a dozen brands of personal protection rounds to weather the storm. One caliber spread out to a couple of pistols. Both are equally good, I’d trust my life to either of them.

  51. avatar Leighton Cavendish says:

    How much money is enough?
    How much horsepower is enough?
    How much house is enough?
    How much land is enough?
    How much knowledge/intelligence is enough?
    How much freedom is enough?

  52. avatar Seizure doc says:

    Do you mean now or after the ANTIFA/BLM/ISIS/progressive/liberal/globalist/democrat/Soros funded p&£#@’s start the civil war. ?
    If it’s the later I may need one round for each of them.

  53. avatar MarkPA says:

    I think the question posed is the wrong one.

    The right question is: How to prepare for an temporary ammo shortage; or, an attempt to control the ammo supply? As a collective community, we need to think about how to do answer THESE questions.

    Ammo is expensive; asking each of us to buy 1,000 or 10,000 rounds to keep on the shelf for a rainy-day is a tough proposition. So, what else might we do?

    Brass is a major component. Every one of us who does NOT reload produces some small or modest quantity of spent brass each year. Each used case could – if needs-be – be reloaded another 9 times or so. In case of an artificial (political) shortage of ammo, that brass would be hard to replace from clandestine case factories. If ALL of us saved most of our once-fired brass in a barrel in the garage we would collectively accumulate an enormous supply that COULD – if needs be – be reloaded by our neighbors. This effort is – relatively speaking – FREE.

    Primers are relatively inexpensive compared to cartridges. If we have a little extra money to invest for a rainy-day, buying 1,000 or 5,000 primers wouldn’t cost much. Put them in (clean) paint cans with some O2 absorbers (for prepping food stocks). Now, we have 2 components of ammo stockpiled for not much money.

    Smokeless powder is somewhat more expensive than primers; and, hard to make in clandestine factories. Buying a few pounds of powder and sealing it in milar oxygen-impermiable bags provides the 3’rd component.

    Bullets are most expensive. Fortunately, in a pinch, a cast lead bullet will suffice. Just a few of us need to take into stock a bullet mold for popular calibers.

    Now, then, in an emergency, all of us who have squirreled-away some components can have a neighbor re-load the ammo using his dies and press. We do NOT need to acquire this equipment; nor do we need to learn to re-load ourselves. Our community has plenty of capacity in this respect.

    (Incidentally, our friends who re-load will occasionally run-out of primers or powder despite reasonable efforts to maintain stocks. Those of us who do NOT reload ourselves can stand-ready to supply inventories to our re-loader friends and thereby turn-over our inventories.)

    Sooner or later, the Feds will decide they need to soak-up current cartridge production to supply the military, Social Security Administration, IRS, Department of Education, etc. Or, the Antis will try to impose ammunition controls as is occurring in California. Enthusiasm for such measures will be dampened by the realization that the national gun-owning community has laid-up a stock of re-loading consumables sufficient to outlast their ammo-control campaign.

    Just how much inventory do we have squirreled-away? Pretty hard to tell. A bucket-or-two of once-fired brass here and there; a jug of powder; a case of primers. How do you possibly estimate these stocks? The cheeper the stock-pile strategy the harder it would be to guesstimate the quantity accumulated over the years.

    So, want to try to starve our guns for their necessary ammo? Go ahead: Make my day! See how long our stock-pile lasts.

  54. avatar Reef Blastbody says:

    Trick question – there is never enough.

  55. avatar CCDWGUY says:

    My view is now to have enough of a supply to last at least through a Presidential cycle of 4 years and continue shooting, as I do now, every week. I shoot a lot of .22LR just for fun so 100 rnds or so a week x 50 weeks puts me at 20,000 and I’m fairly close to that. Handgun ammo other than that is set at at least 5,000 rounds for the most common for me to use, with at least 500 or so of that as defensive ammo.
    For the AR, at least 7,500 rounds in various grain and bullet configurations.
    I recently purchased a Bolt Action .308 and have yet to determine just how much to keep on hand. I do know it’s more than I have now.
    Other than that for other handguns, I try to keep at least 1,000 rnds. When I buy anything I try to buy twice as much as I have used since the last purchase. Kind of keeps me ahead of the game.

    Just like investing with dollar cost averaging, it kind of evens out the price moves.

  56. avatar Joe R. says:

    It mainly depends on two (2) things:

    1) Is it YOUR ammo, or THEIR ammo?

    2) Are you swimming?

    – – Joe R., Super Owner

  57. avatar Joe R. says:

    The enemy typically brings at least 50% of the weaponry / ammo needed to defeat them.

  58. A lot of years ago, my dad’s response to such a stupid question [How much ammo is enough?] would have been, “How long is a piece if string?”

    It was an appropriate response then. It’s an appropriate response, today.

    Merry Christmas

  59. avatar Dave Lewis says:

    After the Sandy Hook ammunition shortage I decided to maintain at least a two or three year supply of .22 and enough reloading supplies in the calibers I shoot a lot to get me through a similar time period. I got a little carried away with the .22 and right now I’m sitting on about 20K rounds. I normally shoot around 2500 rounds of .22 a year so I’m okay for at least two Democrat administrations. I’ve got a good supply (in excess of 5000 rounds each) of 9mm, .38/.357 and .45 ACP and about the same amount of 5.56mm. I try to maintain about 500 rounds each of hunting calibers such as .308 and .30-06. I’m 65 years old so my heirs will probably be fighting over my ammunition – I know they’ll put it to good use if I don’t.

  60. avatar Dan Griffin says:

    5,000 rds for each caliber, minimum, not including shotgun. So for me that’s .40 S&W, .45 ACP, 7.62, 5.56, and 5.7.

  61. avatar BLAMMO says:

    At least a 3 to 5 year supply at the rate you shoot in ALL the calibers you own. Should be enough to brave any drought without cutting back on your shooting and without feeling like you have to overpay while the hoarders are most active.

    Hoard NOW!!

  62. avatar T bill says:

    Tell me Bob, would you ask a NY banker how much money he has in the bank?
    Would you ask a Texas rancher how many head of cattle he has on his spread?
    Then don’t ask a Patriot how much freedom he has in his safe!
    Just like math in school. When you think you have reached infinity add 1.

  63. avatar Darkman says:

    Some people invest in stocks,some in gold. I invest in guns and ammo. Can’t have to much of either.

  64. avatar sound awake says:

    centerfire rifle=1000 per caliber for semi auto
    centerfire rifle= 500 per caliber for bolt action
    center fire pistol=500 per caliber
    shotgun=500 slugs/00 buck/game/bird
    22lr= 5000

  65. avatar GoD says:

    100 billion trillion is a starting point

  66. avatar Mike in OK says:

    If I had all of it, I would feel like I had enough.

  67. avatar TX_Lawyer says:

    Enough for what? For a shortage (economic, political)? An apocalypse? For a natural disaster?

  68. avatar Button Gwinnett says:

    One more box.

    1. avatar Owen says:

      ^ This is the correct answer IMHO!

  69. avatar Alvin Moses says:

    Its really relevant to how much you shoot…but a good standard would be a 30cal ammo can full of a single caliber. Shotgun is different, they are bigger and cheaper, so you might have two 50cal cans.

    If you buy a few boxes of something every payday, average user should have $200-400 of any single caliber.

    Range visits, I find it easy to shoot 200 rounds of most calibers I take with me, so that is an average of 4 50 round boxes. If I have a guest/friend shooting my guns, can double that amount.

    You know, some people only buy enough sodas to fit in the fridge, and other people got 12 pack cartoons piled in the garage they bought on sale.

    Another factor was when did you get into the scene, if you were around before the “shortage” where 22 cal were like gold, then you might have become a hoarder.

  70. avatar John says:

    “A man can never have too much red wine, too many books, or too much ammunition”

    ― Rudyard Kipling

    1. avatar Gunr says:

      Did he say anything about how many women?

  71. avatar Kevin says:

    Inventory a few months back had me at about 23,000….with half of that being .22.

    My primary round is 9mm had about 6500 there. Just ran about 1200 through the reload press in the last rew days.

  72. avatar GeorgiaBob says:

    I don’t currently cast my own bullets or reload cartridges, so I do pay attention to the “inventory” and resupply as needed.

    So when my stock of ball ammo in any caliber I shoot, (.577, .494, .490, .451, .440. .365) drops below 200, I buy more. Same for .575 minie’ ball and .50 sabot, except about 100 rounds is eough. I also keep up with my black powder, making sure I have ample supply of FFg, FFFg, and FFFFg on hand, plus patches and grease. I really don’t want more than 15 pounds of black powder in the closet!

    Cartridges are easier to obtain from many local stores as well as on-line sellers. I generally have less than 100 rounds each for 30-30 Win, 30-06, and 12GA, because I shoot those only maintain familiarity, to verify sights and prepare for hunting. For .223/5.56 I will buy another 500 rounds, whenever I notice I have less than 1,000 on hand. Not that I really need more than a 1,000 rounds for my AR, but I buy because I don’t KNOW that I’ll never need more than a thousand rounds!!!!

    Pistol ammo is much the same. I would like to have more than 100 rounds of 380 and .40 on hand, but it’s not a big deal. I WILL have a minimum 200 rounds of 9mm ball and 100 rounds of 9mm hollow point, and 200 rounds of .45 ball and 100 rounds of .45 hollow point on hand. It is a rare day when I blow through more than 100 rounds in any one pistol, so I am usually able to buy ahead of time in prep for a “9mm blow out” or a similar “shoot ’em up” day at a range.

    Is that enough ammo? Oh’ Hail No, no wise citizen ever has enough ammo! But it about all the room I have set aside for ammo and if I try to stash more my wife starts asking about how much I am spending on guns and ammo (don’t want those unnecessary questions).

    1. avatar Gunr says:

      You need to get the gun dealer to fill out a simple “Spouse Receipt”. If the gun sells for $500, then put “Sale price $125 right on the gun. Unless their really “Gun savvy” they will never know the difference. Myself, I always leave a new gun in the car trunk, until the little women is out. And if she asks about a particular gun, I tell her it’s one I bought a few years ago. She doesn’t know the difference between a
      “snubby” and a “Judge”

  73. avatar JS says:

    Such a simple question – how much ammo is enough with so many complex answers. It depends….
    -One work friend has 80,000+ rounds of 5.56, yes he admits he is a hoarder. Its not enough. Yes he makes a lot.
    -In the next zombie apocalypse its how much can you carry on your back while running?
    -In crappyfornia, its how long can you hold out until the ammo laws change or Gavin croaks…
    -In an SHTF world where you stay put, you cant have enough.

  74. avatar Edward Allen says:

    Being in California, the answer is as much as I can get my hands on before Jan 1. I figure 5K of what I shoot the most and 2K of the lessor rounds. So for me, that is about 60K.

  75. avatar Salvador Navarro says:

    TV commercial financial investors are always pushing gold for our “future and security”. I say, “He who has the lead, gets the gold”. More ammo is always better. Come to think of it, more guns is also a good idea!

  76. avatar COgunner says:

    . . . more . . .

  77. avatar Tony says:

    How much ammo is enough? There is no such thing as enough. However much ammo you have, go get more. Asking how much ammo is enough is like asking how much money is enough?

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