Ammunition. To Hoard or Not to Hoard? That Is The Question

Plenty o' ammo (courtesy ammoland.com)

David LaPell writes [via [Ammoland.com]: I recently had a discussion with a gun owner about the availability and cost of ammunition. Only a couple of years ago, it was scarce and expensive — when you could find it. Did he think the availability of conventional ammunition could ever get bad again? He laughed . . .

With Donald Trump in office, gun control laws at the federal level were likely to be impossible. Besides, there was plenty of ammo out there. So what was there to worry about and why bother with ammunition hoarding?

So is ammunition hoarding crisis over? Have we nothing to fear, or are we just lulling ourselves into a false sense of security?

The History We Should Learn From?

Empty ammo shelf (courtesy thetruthaboutguns.com)

Up until the last year or so, the availability of ammunition in many places was scarce, especially for popular calibers like .22 Long Rifle and .22 Magnum. The cost skyrocketed — to put it mildly.

I remember seeing a single fifty round box of Federal .22 Long Rifle ammunition with a price tag of $22 on it. I recall the owner of another shop taking five hundred round bricks of .22 LR, splitting them up and putting a hundred rounds in a Ziplock bag and asking $15 for each bag.

There was a lot of hoarding going on, and a lot of price gouging. There were stories, some true, of big box store employees hiding ammo for their friends, while many people tried to hunt down what they could just to have on hand.

We now seem to be in a time of ammunition plenty. Even here in New York, I can get as much .22 LR ammo and other caliber ammunition for reasonable prices.

You can find .22 Magnum ammunition again when a little more than a year and a half ago, I didn’t see a box of it on a shelf anywhere for over six months.

No one is rushing out to line up at the local big box store waiting to see when the truck delivers the ammunition so they can get their three boxes. But we should be very mindful that those times can very quickly come back again.

To Horde or Not to Hoard?

Ammunition (courtesy thetruthaboutguns.com)

While “hoard” may seem like a mean, selfish word, gun owners shouldn’t wait to a political or physical  disaster to buy “spare” ammunition.

I don’t mean gun owners should run out and grab every box of ammo they can afford and/or carry. Panic buying is part of what got us into the mess of high prices and no ammunition in the first place, and there’s only so much ammunition you can store/use/sell.

But a sensible gun owner should always have plenty of “extra” ammo on hand.

If you have a .22 Long Rifle, I can’t tell you how much stored ammunition you should have at all times. That depends on how much you and your family shoot and your idea of how long any future ammo-buying difficulty might last.

I would indeed have more than a couple of hundred rounds stored-up. The same goes for .22 Magnum. 9mm? .45? That too. And certainly I’d keep a thousand of so cartridges of any less mainstream caliber your firearms require.

How hard is it to build up a supply? Not hard at all. When you go to the gun shop and you have a few extra dollars in your pocket, grab a box of ammo while you’re there.

Paying a few dollars here and now is better than paying three or four times that much if you really need it and there are ten guys after the same box. It is like investing in your IRA, a little at at time pays off big.

The Next Ammo Shortage Could be Worse

CA permit app (courtesy recoilweb.com)

What at one time might have been far-fetched, is now becoming more like a probability that, eventually, somewhere at some time in this country, there will be another ammunition shortage. And it could be sooner than you think.

In a couple of years we may well endure another change in power in Washington, swinging, perhaps wildly, to the anti-gun rights left. They already have ammo in their legislative sights.

Consider the new ammo buying laws in California, where it’s no longer legal to have ammo delivered to your door, where residents will soon have to have a background check for each and every ammunition purchase.

It could be a sign of things to come. Especially if you live in New York, where the same provisions lie (temporarily?) dormant in the SAFE Act.

The new terms and conditions will drive up the price of ammo. And create the possibility of limiting ammunition purchases. Choke the supply, increase the demand (by choking the supply), and prices go soaring. Again. Only worse.

Ammo Bullets America USA Dollars Ammunition Hoarding

You make an emergency kit with food and water stored in case of a disaster. You [should] put snow tires on your car when winter comes. You put smoke detectors in your house in case of a fire. Why wouldn’t you at least keep some ammunition aside?

You don’t wait until you’re in an emergency before you secure the means to deal with it. I say ammunition hoarding is a good thing and I plan to keep stocking up. You?


David LaPell has been a Corrections Officer with the local Sheriff’s Department for thirteen years. A collector of antique and vintage firearms for over twenty years and an avid hunter. David has been writing articles about firearms, hunting and western history for ten years. In addition to having a passion for vintage guns, he is also a fan of old trucks and has written articles on those as well.

comments

  1. avatar jwtaylor says:

    Don’t hoard it. Buy lots of it, shoot it and then buy more.

    1. avatar anonymoose says:

      I second this.

  2. avatar Green Mtn. Boy says:

    There is no such thing as too much ammunition.

    1. avatar neiowa says:

      Note that unlike your 401k, the value (REAL VALUE) of your ammunition stockpile did not decline today.

    2. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

      Alas, two times when you can have too much ammo are when you are swimming, or on fire.

      1. avatar Steven says:

        ditto!!!

  3. avatar M1Lou says:

    I keep a healthy stock of my big 5. 5.56, 7.62×51, 7.62×39, 9mm, 300blk. I reload for a few calibers for milsurps, but if it starts to get ugly, I’ll add some of my calibers I normally buy rather than reload.

  4. avatar rc says:

    Buy ’em cheap and stack ’em deep as they say. My problem is that I shoot so much now, it’s hard to increase my stock.

  5. avatar little horn says:

    wouldn’t know. haven’t bought ammo in years now. reloading makes life so much easier.

    1. avatar Scoutino says:

      Same here. I only buy .22lr cause they are bitch to reload.
      Stocking on primers and powders though. It was next to impossible to get either during the drought. So when I see them on sale I get some. I can always get more lead and used brass.

      It can’t hurt to have couple (or couple hundred) thousands of rounds to carry you through the next thin years.

      …and now for something completely different.
      For those who think socialism is a great idea, imagine the situation we experienced with ammo expanded to – well pretty much everything.
      Empty shelfs, long waiting in lines, rationing, sales persons hiding stuff for their friends and family, having to bribe them if you were neither of those… I remember it all from my youth in eastern Europe. From bananas, toilet paper, tv sets and washing machines to cars, there was never enough of anything to go around. I just never expected to see the same shit in US.

      I heard that East Germany, Poland and especially Russia had it even worse. I heard story from russian grocery store. All shelves full – of bottles of vinegar. The same vinegar everywhere, but nothing else. Foreign tourist asked the sales woman -How come you don’t have anything?
      To which she replied with mix of surprise, pride and a bit hurt in her expression -What do you mean? Can’t you see? We have vinegar!

    2. avatar Bob says:

      So then the question becomes, should you stock up on bullets, powder, and primers for all the calibers you use? Same idea, just different details.

  6. avatar BehindEnemyLines says:

    Californian here. Before our new ammo laws, I kept around 1,000 rounds of each of the five calibers I shoot regularly. After the passage of the new ammo laws, but before they went into effect, I bought around 22,000 rounds of ammo. Over two thirds of that is centerfire. Now I’m getting into reloading. I always advocate buying it cheap and stacking it deep. If another round of panic buying happened, I would be fine.

    1. avatar California Richard says:

      +1… I ended up with over 100 gallons of ammo. I’m not sure what that volume equals in round count, and Im not sure I want to count. My previous ammo budget will go in to reloading now.

  7. avatar Arc says:

    Absolutely hoard. Buy up in the cheap times, let a little out onto the market in the hard times. I would rather hoard ammo than gold and silver.

    1. avatar Bob says:

      When TEOTWAWKI happens, gold and silver will be useless. Shiny, but too soft to make anything durable and useful from it.
      On the other hand, ammo and guns will be very valuable. In fact, ammo might become like a new currency when the SHTF, with different calibers having different values.

      1. avatar RocketScientist says:

        Anyone who claims with confidence to know “how things will be” in any such scenario is exhibiting a concerning level of hubris. While I have no idea what the world would look like in any sort of societal collapse, I think claiming that gold and silver will be “useless” is probably a bit off the mark. While they have very little practical day-to-day value (not NONE as you claim, but very little for sure), that has been the case for most of human history. Yet gold has been considered valuable in almost every human society ever. It doesn’t corrode. It’s shiny. It stays that way. It’s easy to shape. That is apparently enough to make people want it. Assuming it will lose all its value if there is no organized market for it is assuming that every human in society will act in a purely rational manner (by recognizing that the practical value of the metal is now low), which is highly unlikely. It also completely ignores that there is likely a substantial portion of the population that will assume, or at least plan for, the eventual restoration of law/order/society (no matter how severe the situation and how unlikely such a restoration seems). It seems likely there will be a LOT of people willing to place a value on gold on the assumption that at some point they’ll be able to “cash in” on it. So no, I don’t think gold and silver would be worthless in such a scenario. But then again, what the hell do I know? It’s all just speculation.

        1. avatar hillbillyjew says:

          I can agree that it’s all speculation. I think it’s hilarious when someone I know talks about trading his honey in such a scenario. Sure he might be right. Or maybe someone will just shoot him and take his honey. Who’s to say?

          I prefer to spend more time at the range than with honey bees. To each his own.

    2. avatar Gutshot says:

      It’s universal currency.

  8. avatar Ddub says:

    I likely have enough in various calibers to put food on the table for the rest of my life, I may stop when there is enough for my kids’ lives. My grandkids will probably be on their own. Buy now, save later!

  9. avatar Omer says:

    There’s no such thing as price gouging. I get the feeling of nails on a chalkboard when I hear the phrase. Here’s my explanation of why price gouging isn’t with regards to gas (a big discussion a few years ago). I realize that it’s still an apple to orange comparison, but it gets the point across.

    I’ve had many conversations about price gouging at the gas pump since I started to casually study the Austrian school. After reading an article describing Adam Smith’s metaphor of the grain supplier to the galley captain having to ration supplies when he feels it necessary, I came upon some additional understanding. Using the analogy of the captain, if a cautious captain sees possible trouble ahead and rations supplies to the crew, is he more or less benevolent than the captain who ignores the foreseen trouble and runs out of supplies for the crew and the crew revolts, causing many deaths?

    Going back to the “price gouging” of gas stations: there are two gas stations in town, and there is a disruption of the supply of fuel. One gas station sees a possible shortage coming and raises prices, and the second ignores the possible shortage and keeps prices steady. Obviously, the vast majority of townspeople will get their gas from the latter, and perhaps, if they learn about the possibility of a shortage of fuel, they will most likely stock up a little extra on gas. There will most likely be a few customers still getting gas from owner number one due to loyalty, convenience, or ignorance of the lower price elsewhere. Soon, the second gas station runs out of gas and the townspeople have only one choice for fuel. Having no competition, the first station can raise prices just up to the point of where it’s more economical to drive miles away to the next closest town to get gas. The gas station that ran out of gas is almost out of business because the main draw to their business is fuel, which they have none, the station that has fuel doesn’t want to run out also, so he raises the prices so that the consumers can choose what tasks are most important and use fuel for those and put off or find another, more fuel efficient method of performing those tasks. Perhaps people will decide to car pool instead of driving individually, or walk, or ride a bicycle. With higher prices, people who NEED the fuel for more important task will still be able to purchase it and those with less important tasks will put off the use until prices lower or the task becomes more important. In this situation, the owner with the better foresight is actually more benevolent by raising his prices than the owner who didn’t. The lower price of gas actually wasted the precious commodity by allowing the less important tasks to be performed because of better timing instead of the critical tasks.

    Now, let’s consider the another scenario, similar to the previous, but that the shortage never really happens, once again, the first owner raises prices and the second does not. The townspeople once again flock to the second station. Once the perceived danger has passed the first owner is free to lower his price as he sees necessary, he may have lost some of his market share due to disgruntled customers, but once his prices are competitive again most people will do what they feel is convenient.

    The third scenario is neither station raises prices and the shortage happens. Soon, there is no gas to be had at any price. People can’t go to work unless they live within a relatively close distance. Minor inconveniences become emergencies.

    The last scenario is what we see in the real world. Both stations raise prices. Consumers are not happy, but they can decide for themselves if their use of fuel is important enough to justify the higher cost. Fuel is rationed from the earliest conceivable point. None is unavoidably wasted. And if the shortage never happens then both station will lower their prices to get the best market share they can.

    1. avatar Steven says:

      Huh?🤔

      1. avatar Rick the Bear says:

        Steven,

        Simply, it’s a case of supply and demand and the value of the commodity to the buyer.

        1. avatar Skippy Sanchez says:

          The value of something is determined by what someone is willing to pay for it. Econ101.

    2. avatar Rick the Bear says:

      Omer,

      Thank you. The term “gouging” isn’t a fave of mine, either. You really have to be in a captive market for gouging to occur. When you have choices, it’s not gouging.

    3. avatar Christoffer says:

      There is a better way to explain why prices rise when shortages happen.

      Say that I have a store selling ammo. Usually, I sell one thousand rounds per month.
      My costs for the store, utilities, permits, cashiers, advertisements and all other things are $987.
      I pay $2 for each round of ammo from my supplier. To cover my cost each month I my markup must be at least $0.99. I round that up to an even buck, so I can save some money for a rainy day.

      Now ammo dries up, for some reason. I can only get one hundred round a month from my supplier. Lets posit that I can still get that ammo for $2 a round, to make the rest of this explanation simple.

      My costs are still $987. But if I keep the same markup, I will only get $100 a month to from my sales.
      Now, if this was a temporary situation, I can take a temporary loss from this, use my saved up money and maybe just do a small markup.
      But if this will be an ongoing thing, several months or maybe a year?
      Then I need to increase income per round, and my necessary markup becomes $9.87.

      That is why prices rise when a shortage happens.

      1. avatar bob says:

        Thats not why prices go up, maximum profit is why it goes up.

        Your analogy only works if the store only sold ammo, this excuse doesn’t hold water for places like Cabelas or Walmart where you saw some of the highest prices. Small gun stores jacked prices the least because they needed the customers to keep shopping there, bigger stores didn’t have a shortage of the other 99% of the items they sell.

        1. avatar Stereodude says:

          So why were the shelves at Walmart empty? If they hiked prices the most the shelves should have been full as people bought elsewhere. However, they weren’t… That would seem to cast serious doubt on your claim that they hiked prices the most.

    4. avatar bob says:

      This is a completely misguided statement.

      Price increases are not an excuse to regulate the use of items.
      Its just a way for the “gas station” to take advantage of a situation and make a monster profit from it.

      You can regulate the amount of gas or bullets you sell and accomplish the same task as the captain rationing food without stealing money from people who need the items. If the same “captain” had withheld food from starving crew members and then charged them 10 times the price as it was rationed out, the captain would be a bad person for taking advantage of them.

      During the ammunition shortage you saw a lot of signs saying 1 box per customer only, or some guys would only sell maybe 10 boxes a day so they would have a steady but small supply instead of putting all the ammo they had on the shelf and jacking the price as high prices don’t regulate the sale if the people buying have the money.

      As we saw people take out loans or savings money to buy all available ammo then turn around and quadruple their investment after THEY caused a shortage. THAT is price gouging! not conserving.

      1. avatar Stereodude says:

        Unless you have complete visibility to the wholesale cost of the items at any given time and the availability of the item from the wholesalers a given retailer uses, you’re only making wild guesses claiming that price spikes are from a retailer gouging people for profit and not from issues upstream of the retailer.

        Of course you think that gov’t regulation is going to fix a problem that the market will take care of on it’s own so odds are you’re not that literate when it comes to economics.

      2. avatar Hoth says:

        The minimum price a retailer can sell something at without incurring a loss isn’t the price they bought it for, it’s the price they anticipate they will have to pay to replenish their stock. Gouging is a myth propagated by people who have no understanding of economics.

  10. avatar MikeJH121 says:

    I fear, according to the anti’s including a lot of LEO Chiefs, I has me an arsenal. More than 30 different guns. But I also has a supply of ammo for a small country. 😉

    Online ammo sales and live in Ohio so no special permission state issued card. Have 5,000 round alone of 762X54R, really need to find me a Dragunov. Maybe I went overboard a bit. For a few years a spam can was under 100 bucks. 10 cans plus adds up. Also surplus 5.56 ammo for a while.

    I am not a hoarder. I just like to collect shiny little tube shaped pointy things.

  11. avatar Skippy Sanchez says:

    A recent email from a popular online ammo distributor suggested that firearms/ammo suppliers across the country stocked as much as they could in anticipation of a Hillary presidency that failed to materialize. Once the current surplus — and attendant lower prices — is back to normal, increases in metal prices will drive prices up again, probably this spring.

    I maintain a full pantry of vittles and a healthy retirement account, but I consider it prudence, not “hoarding.”

    1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

      Skippy,

      Oh, now that is interesting.

      I have noticed that ammunition prices have been falling, although not yet back to pre-panic levels. I figured that people finally manage to acquire enough ammunition to be comfortable. And with the Republicans controlling fedzilla and most state governments, no one is panic buying any more. I thought those were the reasons for falling prices. Thus I have been waiting for prices to go even lower before I add a few boxes to my supply.

      Now I have to rethink that strategy. Thank you for the heads-up.

  12. avatar AlanInFL says:

    Reloading is the ultimate in hoarding.

    1. avatar Curtis in IL says:

      You still need to buy primers, powder and bullets.

      A few years ago, retail inventory of primers and powder were hit-or-miss. I was generally able to get what I needed but not necessarily at a great price and not necessarily the exact brand I was looking for.

      The moral of the story is that shortages can affect you even if you’re buying reloading components instead of ammo. If you want to be prepared, I think now is the time to watch for sales and stock up when you see a good deal.

    2. avatar Steven says:

      So ….. You hoard powder ++++++++ ?

  13. avatar GS650G says:

    Since it lasts for decades there is little downside to holding it. I shot the ahh ok paid too much for and replaced it with more at lower prices.
    I look at the guns and capacity to decide on hold amounts. I have one .38 revolver so I keep about 300 rounds on hand. I rarely shoot it anyway. I have two 9mm pistols so I keep 1000 rounds. More capacity and I shoot them often.

    .22 I keep a lot because I have a lot of .22 guns and it cannot be reloaded.

    .308 I keep a lot because all my rifles are chambered in it.

  14. Centerfire ammo keeps for decades, probably for a lifetime, especially military ammo, which is sealed against moisture better than civilian ammo.
    I’ve heard that rimfire ammo doesn’t keep nearly as long, but does anyone know how long rimfire ammo keeps? I still have plenty of rimfire ammo I’d stockpiled back in early 2012 when it was cheap, before the panic hit.

    1. avatar Curtis in IL says:

      I have some .22LR that my dad bought 40 years ago. It still shoots fine.

      I think it makes sense to store it in air-tight containers and keep out of humid environments.

      1. avatar Eric in Oregon says:

        This very much. I’m in a humid climate (Portland area) and a lot of the 22 ammo that I bought during the drought that are just in cardboard containers is nigh worthless now. Seriously about 30% failure to fire rate on some of the boxes and they’re less than 5 years old- and that’s my good ammo, not aguila or armscor.

        The stuff that’s in sealed plastic containers bought around the same time is fine.

      2. avatar Dave M says:

        I have people give me really old ammo that was their father’s, etc; except for one round that was corroded, it ALL went bang, including rim fire. As with lots of things, storage conditions; moderate temperature and humidity. Have used lots of 50 year old Remington 22’s with zero issues, for instance.

  15. avatar neiowa says:

    “hoard” is just a meaningless deliberate personal insult. Save such insults for directing at progtards

    1. avatar Tim says:

      And “hoarding” is something done in *response* to an existing shortage, specifically to drive prices ‘up’. “Stacking”/“stocking”/“prepping” is done in ‘normal’ times to prepare for a future shortage.

  16. avatar Jeffro says:

    Buy a 100 rounds a week. Shotgun, 22lr, 9mm, 45ACP, whatever. Then buy what your going to shoot when you go shooting. You can stockpile a fair amount this way. Only you know what your comfort level will be.

  17. avatar Kroglikepie says:

    Buy it cheap, stack it deep.

  18. avatar Leighton Cavendish says:

    It’s called stockpiling…not hoarding…LOL

  19. avatar Ralph says:

    Stock up now, boys and girls, and build your inventory while prices are reasonable ’cause you never know.

  20. avatar dph says:

    Define hoarding. I was a Boy Scout. I call it being prepared.

    1. avatar Curtis in IL says:

      I think hoarding is buying more than you expect to use and hoping to sell some (or most) of it at a healthy profit if/when the next crisis hits and prices spike.

      Truth is, there never was a shortage of .22LR. You could always find it at gun shows or online from private sellers if you were willing to pay through the nose.

      Capitalism at work.

  21. avatar Specialist38 says:

    Groucho Marx told the story of visiting W.C. Fields and that his attic was full of booze.

    Groucho said “Bill, prohibition has been over for years”.

    “But it may come back….” said Fields.

    True that…..

  22. avatar No one of consequence says:

    If you need to use a spreadsheet or ledger to track your ammo “current inventory” …

    1. avatar Cooter E Lee says:

      I don’t care if they put me on a list. I keep a spreadsheet with dates, bullet grain and type, casing, price per round including shipping, retailer, and notes on how I like shooting.

      2325 12 gauge, 26950 .22, 13,040 5.56, 2150 .380, 6503 7.62×39, 1605, 7.62×51, 4290 .45 acp, 25 .45 LC, 9094 9mm.

      Do I win a prize?

      1. avatar Steven says:

        Best name??!

      2. avatar dph says:

        You’d better work harder on the .45 LC.

      3. avatar Gunr says:

        You plan on opening a gun shop in the near future?

  23. avatar former water walker says:

    I have a thousand rounds. That’s a hoard in Britain. But this ain’t Britain…here it’s nothing. MORE!!!!

  24. avatar Mark N. says:

    This being California, I bought all I could afford of my favorite brand of inexpensive ammo before the first of the year. And unfortunately, I couldn’t buy nearly enough, no more than 1000 rounds per caliber except .45 Colt, only 500 rounds (which I reload).

  25. avatar hillbillyjew says:

    Stockpiling is definitely something to consider. My only regret is buying whatever I could find, in a time where that seemed like my only option. I get annoyed now when I pull out a different brand and have to re-zero my rifle. First world problem, maybe? Idk.

    So now that I have more experience and refined preferences, I tend to buy my favorite ammo in bulk. Only one brand/weight/style per caliber. Sure there can be deviations between lot numbers, and even deviations within the same lot. But it’s not nearly as bad as the alternatives.

    So yeah, keep stocking up. Just make sure it’s ammo you you’re happy with. That’s what I do. Do what’s good for you.

  26. avatar MLee says:

    Hoarding is a relative term. I have two hoarders on my block. Their homes are exactly like the TV show Hoarders. My mom was an organized hoarder. She kept it out of sight. She had an issue with container hoarding. Empty mayonnaise jars, empty soup cans, Kerr canning jars, Tupperware containers, you name it. She was OCD over wasting ANYTHING. “somebody might want it” She screamed at me one day because I wanted to wash off the serving spoon that was laying in the kitchen sink before serving up more food out of the kettle. “DON’T DO THAT AGAIN!” Shocked, I asked “what is the problem?” She didn’t want to waste the little bit of sauce that was on the spoon.
    I recognize hoarding. Having ammo is money in the bank. It can be thought of as an investment.
    How much ammo any one person needs is open to conjecture. I have over a thousand rounds of 7.62 X 39 on hand. Clearly even a mediocre prepper should have food, water, batteries, shelter, matches etc on hand. Obviously appropriate weapons and ammunition would be on that list.

    All it takes in an extended power outage in a cold climate region and you will quickly see how many people are not prepared for ANYTHING. We’ve had that situation a number of times in my area due to “ice storm” and “windstorm” I was prepared but many folks were not prepared with even a lantern for light and no way to cook. You’d see them in their car in the driveway trying to stay warm.

    I’ll never fault anyone for engaging in any varying degree of preparedness.

    There’s the people that run around with their gas tank on E and their car needs maintenance, and there are those who never let their tank get below 3/4 and their cars are perfectly maintained.
    Which one are you?

  27. avatar rdsii64 says:

    If I have the space to store it and the money to buy it. ( or in my case buy reloading components) I say stack it cheap and deep.

  28. avatar anarchyst says:

    If the proverbial SHTF, ammo will become a de-facto currency…

    1. avatar Nick says:

      Glukhovsky nailed that tidbit in the Metro series. Pre-war (before the apocalypse) 5.45×39 became the standard currency in the Moscow underground.

      Seems only realistic that it would happen that way here as well. Certainly more realistic than bottle caps…

    2. avatar Art out West says:

      Did ammo become the defacto currency in Russian when the Soviet Union collaped?
      1930s Great Depression? Weimar Germany? Argentina early 2000s? Zimbabwe? Yugoslavia early 90s? Rwanda 90s?

      No

      It may happen, but may not.

      It is prudent to have a good supply of guns and ammo, just like it is prudent to have some cash savings, some gold and silver, some real estate, some stocks, some emergency supplies etc.

      Prudence is a reasonable goal.

  29. avatar OmnivorousBeorn says:

    “When you go to the gun shop and you have a few extra dollars in your pocket, grab a box of ammo while you’re there.”

    Bad advice. Save up your “few extra dollars” (who’s ever had one of those?), and buy bulk. You save loads of money, and it comes in a box you can label and store.

    Simpler and saves time and money.

    1. avatar anarchyst says:

      You are correct that buying in bulk saves money, BUT, there are many people either on fixed incomes or low income who cannot afford to buy in bulk. A “box of the week” plan beats no plan at all…you would be surprised how fast a “box of the week” plan can accumulate over time.

      1. avatar OmnivorousBeorn says:

        So if someone’s on a fixed/low income they can’t afford to spend less? Or that it’s harder to save when times are tight? Either way, buying bulk makes the most sense IMHO.

        For instance, my favorite JHP goes for $20 per box of 20 in my local stores. In contrast, it’s $25 for a box of 50 delivered to my doorstep.

        If you’re a serious shooter on a budget, save up and buy in bulk. If you’re a once-every-few-months shooter, save up and buy bulk. The only people who should be buying in stores are people who didn’t plan ahead or rich people who don’t care. YMMV.

        1. avatar OmnivorousBeorn says:

          But yes you’re dead right that a box a week adds up and something is better than nothing.

        2. avatar Scoutino says:

          I can afford to buy bulk, but my spousal unit would not like it. She doesn’t blink an eye at 25 or 50 bucks at a time for pound or two of powder or box of primers. But if I spend couple thousands on my hobby, I would have hard time explaining how much I have saved.

        3. avatar Gunr says:

          Scoutino,
          You need to get a “spouse receipt”. Have the dealer make up a fake receipt when you buy something pricey.
          Then when you get home and the little woman wants to know how much you paid for your new $800 gun, show her the “Spouse receipt”.
          “See honey, marked down from $300, to $125.

          Of course if your wife is “Gun savvy” And knows the difference between a Ravan and Sig, your SOL!

      2. avatar Curtis in IL says:

        The person on a fixed income who can only afford a box a week (or month) can just as well afford to save that money each week and buy bulk after they accumulate enough cash.

        Being poor and having poor cash management skills are two separate things. But those who suffer from the latter will inevitably suffer from the former.

        1. avatar Lupinsea says:

          This.

          Instead of buying a box or two at a time, save that amount in cash (think back to the ‘ol piggy bank days). Spend it when ammo is on sale or when it makes sense to make a bulk purchase (during on-line sales and free shipping offers you can save about 25-30% vs local “on sale” prices). It does require patience.

          That said, my neighbor picks up a couple boxes of ammo every pay check regardless of whether he has plans to go out to the range. Like some here, it’s easier to swallow smaller increments and it’s a consistent habit. It works for his household situation even though he recognizes it’s not as fiscally efficient. You might end up with a more mixed stock pile of different brands, though, depending on what’s on sale at any given time.

          Another point to keep in mind if you want to stock up: shoot less than you buy. Same principle as spending less than you earn if you want to save up money. But with bullets. Buy four boxes of ammo? Only shoot two at the next range session . . . or whatever.

  30. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

    I think I may be a stockpile, not a hoarder.
    Just scored another couple hundred rounds of .375 H&H.
    I probably have more than I’ll shoot, but it was free, so what the heck?

    1. avatar Scoutino says:

      Tom, where can one score couple hundred of free rounds?

      1. avatar Dave M says:

        From people who inherited guns/ammo from dead relatives who are afraid to have the stuff around and just want to be rid of it. Also from people who are too old to use it and rid themselves of it before they die.

  31. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

    What is this ‘hoarding’ you speak of? Define it in precise terms, please.

  32. avatar strych9 says:

    I’d say it depends on your circumstances and what you’re planning to do with it.

    If you’re prepping for TEOTWAWKI you’re probably fucked because you really can’t move pallets of ammo at that point.

    Generally speaking I try (but usually fall a bit short) to keep about 3000 rounds of my “big” (common rifle/handgun) rounds in stock at any given time. I also then save the brass and reload it as I have the time. Plus another 2000 of .22LR for funzies and at least 300 rounds for each bolt gun.

    Is that hoarding? I don’t think so but many would say it is. Of course I’d say the same thing about someone who has 5x the amount that I do. So I say “To each their own said the lady as she kissed the cow”.

    1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

      Strych9,

      Only 2,000 rounds of .22 LR????? I expect more from you!

      Note that you can buy 5,000 round bulk boxes for about $250 these days including shipping.

  33. avatar ColoradoKid says:

    I started reloading all my calibers when ammo first got scarce. Today I still reload, because I enjoy it. But I also buy factory ammo at decent prices. Do I worry about another shortage? Nah, because I learned from the last one, so I’m covered.

  34. avatar Green Mtn. Boy says:

    @ AlanInFL
    Reloading is the ultimate in hoarding.

    This ! Roll Your Own.

  35. avatar Sam in Ohio says:

    I’ve got some that is close to 30 years old. I’ve shot what I had that was older than that and I had some misfires on what was high quality when it was new. If you’ve got ammo with that kind of age on it, you need to rotate your stock better than I have.

  36. avatar BLAMMO says:

    Maintain AT LEAST a 3-5 year supply of all your calibers at whatever rate you normally shoot. That’s reasonable and you can withstand any droughts without without overpaying and without curtailing your shooting activities. Especially center fire ammo. It will last manydecades if stored properly. Rimfire ammo needs a little more attention but quality stuff will easiy remain reliable for 20 years or more.

    Other than that, load up whenever you see a deal.

    1. avatar strych9 says:

      “Maintain AT LEAST a 3-5 year supply of all your calibers at whatever rate you normally shoot.”

      Great, now I gotta run up to Richie Bros and see if I can’t put in the winning bid on a 5000lb forklift so I can move pallets of bullets around.

      Thanks BLAMMO!

      1. avatar Scoutino says:

        Do you really need to move your ammo around? Last time I moved my ammo was from second floor to first which has concrete plate under the hardwood floor. I started to worry about the weight on my joists. Lead’s heavy.

        1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

          One word: basements. You can pile up all the ammunition you want on a basement concrete floor. Juts make sure that your basement cannot possibly flood! (Or make sure you elevate your ammunition off of the floor.)

  37. avatar FrmrDave says:

    I probably have enough to get to the end of the fight, live or die.
    But, I still get more every time I have the opportunity.

  38. avatar ironicatbest says:

    A DOC officer asking about how much ammo I have. ?????? then add, that over half the commentators on here berate cops, then add all the where do you, how do you store your guns, + what would it take for you to justify a DGU. I’d have to reshape my tin foil hat into a cone. Because only a dunce would answer any of those questions,

  39. avatar Chris T from KY says:

    I try to keep a minimum 1000 rounds per caliber weapon I have, on hand all the time.
    Some day the democrats will be back in the White House and running both houses of congress.

  40. avatar fteter says:

    One person may call it hoarding. Another may call it preparing for a rainy day. I fall into the latter camp.

    If you look at the historical price trends of ammo, it’s up. Some spikes and dips along the way, but generally trending up. So buying while it’s affordable is a good way to be sure you’ve got something to shoot when it’s expensive.

    1. avatar Stereodude says:

      Are you normalizing the prices against inflation? If not, the price of nearly everything is up.

  41. avatar Michael says:

    I got into reloading in 2005 after a 10 lay off. Bought 30 lbs of powder at the time and several thousand primers of various sizes. When Obozo won, I sold off some gold and bought more powder, primers and bullets (My UPS driver hated me). Even during the drought I was able to find big boxes of .22LR that had gone up in price, but not ridiculous. Ball ammo for handguns, not so much.

    In the last year I have restocked my powder, primer and bullet supply at good prices and have been buying 22lr 5000 at a time. No point in having guns if you don’t have ammo.

  42. avatar Kevin says:

    For a real shtf, wrol, situation, you won’t need much ammo, there will be plenty of arms and ammo laying around once the shooting starts.

    1. avatar hillbillyjew says:

      Haha. Which reminds me. From Altered Carbon:

      That’s a nice piece of custom you got there.
      You mind? [EXHALES HEAVILY] Modified second series Nemex? Hey! – Where did you get this? – A guy who doesn’t need it anymore.

  43. avatar Charlie says:

    I don’t recommend hoarding ammo. Instead I prefer buying in bulk to get price breaks and spread out the shipping cost. It sounds better when talking with people who are too easily influenced by TV. Now if only I could figure out how to open the wooden crate holding those 40 year old Soviet spam cans…

  44. avatar Jim Bob George Bill John Jones says:

    Haha… gun control laws unlikely with Trump? They’re more likely because everybody has dropped their guard. It’s surprising how many gun owners just chose to forget that he is a New York Liberal just because of an R next to his name.

    1. avatar AaronW says:

      They’re also likely (at the local and state level)because the anti-Trump movement has galvanized a LOT of people to run for local offices who supposedly never considered it before.
      I’m sure 90+ percent of these political newbies are Dems, and 90% of that lot are anti-gun.

    2. avatar Stereodude says:

      Just look at all the liberal things he has pushed through Congress!!! All the regulations he and his bureaucracy imposed. All of the executive orders he’s signed taking away our freedoms.

      He’s a RINO I tell you!!! A RINO!!!

  45. avatar CCDWGUY says:

    5,000 round minimum on .22wmr, 15,000 .22lr, 5,000 9mm, 7500 5.56/.223 and working my way up to 5,000 .308 for my new bolt action savage. Other .357/.38 and .45 kind of around 1,000 or so. Though I’ll be buying more .22lr and wmr and 9mm over the next few months.

  46. avatar Vic Nighthorse says:

    I stocked up on EPR projectiles from American Reloading when they had them and am surprised at how little interest there seems to be in them. They didn’t even sell out fast.

    1. avatar Gutshot says:

      I bought a bunch of 45 pulldowns from them. Had a bitch of a time getting them to crimp properly.

      1. avatar Vic Nighthorse says:

        I use their .45 230 HST pulled bullets. I don’t crimp but have had excellent results. They are sometimes a bit cosmetically challenged though.

  47. avatar AaronW says:

    > We now seem to be in a time of ammunition plenty. Even here in New York, I can get as much .22 LR ammo >and other caliber ammunition for reasonable prices.

    RF has moved from Texas to New York?

  48. avatar miforest says:

    Buy it local , keep your neighborhood gun shop in business

  49. avatar sir Tri says:

    I don’t know of ANYONE or any entity that has TOO MUCH ammo.

  50. avatar Joe R. says:

    To quasi-quote Vincent Van Gogh . . .

    If you hear a voice within you say “you cannot hoard ammo”, then by all means hoard ammo, and that voice will be silenced.

  51. avatar Grumpy says:

    Its not hoarding, it is investing. Taking a page from the bankers, use dollar cost averaging theory (purchase a diverse group of stocks on a regular basis). When I need 800 rnds, I buy 1000 and set the extra 200 aside. Repeat every month and bingo, you are set and after 5 years you are in good shape. No clearing off the selves of wally world, no paying too much, etc…

  52. avatar raptor jesus says:

    I still don’t understand people who buy ammo in physical stores.

    It’s like people who actually go shopping for xmas gifts.

    Welcome to the future people – the internet is here to stay.

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