Question of the Day: Are People Creeped Out By Your Ammo Stash?

I’ll often make a quick call from work to my ammo and reloading suppliers to make sure they have what I need in stock before running up there over lunch. I make this call from my desk with my coworkers sitting within ear shot and I’ve heard some giggles from time to time. Recently I discussed what they perceive as the large amount of ammo I’m buying with them . . .

That conversation — along with Bill Orielly’s ludiculous rant about the Aurora shooter’s “60,000” rounds of ammo — got me thinking. The aversion to ammo quantities is only a matter of perception. My co-workers’ perception is that 3,000 or 6,000 rounds is a lot of ammo. No one would need to have that much on hand.

Well, for me…I’m a shooter. I use a firearm for defense, teaching, competition, and fun. So when I have 5,000 rounds sitting on my shelf, it’s more out of convenience and necessity than some unfounded desire to hoard 9mm FMJ (I built up my SHTF stock years ago).

For example, if I have a multi-day training course coming up, I’ll generally run through 500-1,000 rounds getting ready for the course. Then the course itself will require me to send 1,500-2,000 rounds down range. During the weeks after the course, I’ll spend a few sessions practicing what I learned; there goes another 500-1,000 rounds. So you see how quickly 5,000 rounds can disappear.

My conversation with the co-workers? Well, when I put the quantities in a perspective they could relate to, they got an understanding for why I buy like I do. For me, every pull of the trigger is a practice repetition. How many times does an avid golfer swing their club? How many times does a baseball player swing a bat, or throw a ball? How many gallons of fuel does a race car driver use? Here’s a good one…how many steps does a runner take in a mile? All of these are reps designed to get better at what you’re doing.

If you want to get good at anything, you’ve got to practice. I’m a good shooter because I practice. A lot.

I hope this helps some of you out if the question ever comes up. But I’m curious; have you had to deal with people thinking your ammo quantities are, um, unnecessary? How did you handle it?


  1. avatar Dirk Diggler says:

    how do you get to Carnegie Hall? Practice.

    1. avatar Evan says:

      Ive sung there it’s a nice place. Unfortunately I’m from NJ though. A single cartridge is scary. I’ll never be able to get any good firearm practice here.

  2. avatar jwm says:

    i don’t have a heaping pile of ammo on the coffee table for casual visitors to stumble upon. only those in my inner circle know of my addiction and they’re not trying to cure me.

    1. avatar Mashashin says:

      My coffee table at one time was a board stretched across some ammo cans so ymmv

      1. avatar jwm says:

        sounds like a man cave. i have a house full of females, got to share the space.

  3. avatar miforest says:

    I have been using my stash up this summer to refresh . my 2 sons and I regularly shoot plat an pin shoot events that require 100 rouns each. but to get to the point , yeah – they’re creeped out if they’re not a shooter.

  4. avatar CaseyB says:

    I had an acquaintance, once, who ended up on trial on a non-firearm related matter. In the course of painting him as a horrible person (which he kind of was, but that’s beside the point), his “stash” of “over 15,000 rounds of pistol and rifle ammunition” came up.

    It was true, he did have that many rounds…. of .22LR. Bought by the case, on sale.

  5. avatar John Fritz says:

    They would be if they knew about it.

    Ooops. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  6. avatar Van says:

    Other person: “Why do/did you…?” (Fill in the blank with any topic.)
    Me: “Didn’t I tell you?”
    Other person: “No.”
    Me: ” Then it must not be any of your business.”

    End of conversation.

    1. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

      Love it. I’m going to use the dickens out of that.

    2. avatar Matt in FL says:

      When I was a kid I knew a man, the husband of one of my mom’s friends. He was a slow to talk, slow to anger country boy. Worked in the citrus industry, a redneck in every non-pejorative sense of the word. A sound that sticks to me to this day was that man using the line, “I didn’t say.” Say it slow, with a southern accent: “Ah dint say.” It wasn’t impolitic like “none of your business,” just a simple statement of fact. A wise man didn’t push the issue.

      “What’d you say your name was?” “I didn’t say.”
      “Where were you last night?” “I didn’t say.”

  7. avatar RIGHT! says:

    Hou many ounces of gasoline do you buy in a month?

  8. avatar Ken Watters says:

    It’s like carrying concealed – it’s nobody’s business but mine – nobody needs to know about how much ammo I have.

  9. avatar Deford says:

    All of my buddies think my ammo stock is cute. They tell me one say I will have a real stockpile I can not wait.

  10. avatar Accur81 says:

    I just moved into a new house, and needed help moving ammo because the loan was delayed, although I moved the guns myself. There were some folks who were indeed creeped out by the ammo boxes, plastic ammo cans, surplus ammo cans, and zombie ammo cans (where else would you store M193, M855, SOST, and Zmax?). I had a few questions about why I needed zombie ammo cans and such (they were on sale, I do shooting competitions, etc.) However, they are all family friends, which are the only people who will help you move stuff in 102+ heat.

    Now they know someone who is normal (well, mostly) who has lots of ammo.

    Thankfully I was able to drink down my scotch collection to avoid some of those questions. Now, to find a good sale on scotch…

  11. avatar Brian says:

    The hilarious (sad) thing is that a “stash” of 60,000 rounds and a single box of 9mm could yield the exact results of the Aurora shooting. How much you have at home is irrelevant.

  12. avatar ST says:

    The crux of the problem is that people uninitiated to firearms have a distorted perspective on what “a lot” of ammo really is. Thanks to yellow journalism spots calling a 2 gun collection an “aresenal” , the layperson figures 100 bullets=100 targets, and what insane maniac needs the ability to kill 100 people?

    I encountered this problem when I took a friend of mine out to shoot. When I bought the 100 round box of WWB at the counter he had a look of confusion. I didn’t say anything except “trust me, this box will be gone in a flash.” The look of confusion deepened, but to his credit he didn’t say a cross word about it.

    20 minutes later at the range, the box was empty and my new shooting pal had an understanding of why people stockpile 10,000 rounds of ammo.

  13. avatar freeport56 says:

    Actually, they are creeped out, they are jealous! I started buying in bulk in 2004 to have a strong supply for the range. Running to the shop for a couple of boxes of ammo was not me. Most I know are catching up!

  14. avatar DrewN says:

    I find buying ammo in bulk to be one of the easiest things for non shooters to accept, once they have given it two seconds thought, that is. Every single suburban liberal mom with kids shops in bulk on a regular basis. “Why do you need so much ammo?” “It’s like Costco.” “Oh. That makes sense.” “Plus, sometimes it’s on sale and it doesn’t go bad,so…” “Like diapers, then?” “Exactly”.

    1. avatar Zack Pike says:

      Great point! I’m going to use this one.

    2. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

      Liberal urban female: “Why do you need so much ammo?”

      Gun Owner: “I buy in bulk. Do you need to buy TP in those huge Costco or Sam’s Club packages? You can get a four-pack at the local grocery store any time you want…”

      LUF: “But, but…”

      GO: “You don’t NEED that much TP, do you? Because if you do, you really should see a doctor…”

      LUF: “Hmpf.”

      I like it.

    3. avatar Dr. Kenneth Noisewater says:

      BTW, how nice would it be if Costco stocked cases of common handgun and rifle calibers? 1000 rounds of Kirkland 9mm (made by Winchester) for $199.90 I’d be backing up the truck..

    4. avatar DaveL says:

      Plus, diapers don’t have a HAZMAT charge on shipping. Well, at least before they’re used.

  15. avatar Greg says:

    What ammunition I have is my business only.
    The wife knows as well and she also says nothing.

    Even if my friends did know they could care less as all of them are shooters.

  16. avatar OHgunner says:

    They usually are more concerned that I spend a good chunk of my free time reading firearms/self-defense related articles and blogs. The ammo stays out of sight, but the iPhone is always present lol

  17. avatar John Clancy says:

    No, they don’t know I have it. Locked up just like the guns.

  18. avatar Frank says:

    If golf required a new ball for every shot…

  19. avatar Ralph says:

    My non-firearms friends are kinda creeped out at first. They tell me that I have too much ammo. When I let them know how much I shoot each month, they change their mind and tell me I have too little ammo.

  20. avatar Greg Camp says:

    There’s a fundamental cultural problem behind this question. My guns and my ammunition are my property. I didn’t steal them. They’re harming no one. I would never tell a stamp collector that he had too many stamps. I’d never label a collection of books or cars as having too many in it. (I have over two thousand books, for example, so I’m only just getting started on mine.) What I want to own is my business so long as it’s staying on my side of the property line or on my person. I don’t have to justify owning anything.

  21. avatar RobertM says:

    I am new to the whole topic but I think the Cosco is the best reason to give if someone asks and I do think Bill Oriellyโ€™s was wrong in his rant. Although at even $0.20 a shell 10,000 rounds would cost you 2,000 dollars and $0.20 a shell is a joke for certain ammo types.


  22. avatar Mr. Lion says:

    I see to it that nobody who I don’t know to be into the gun thing ever sees anything to do with my weapons, or hundred-odd thousand rounds of various ammo. Ordering supplies while in earshot at work, unless it’s the sort of workplace where such a thing would be completely unremarkable, is somewhat silly IMO.

    On a few occasions I’ve introduced newbies to shooting, and as such they became aware of it. However, when you have 40-odd firearms, almost all of which are in different calibers, some of which passed down through the generations (and ammo along with them), it really isn’t that difficult to cover.

    In short, if they’re gun people they get it. If they’re not, they probably won’t, and in most cases it isn’t worth the time to explain it.

    1. avatar Zack Pike says:

      Not sure I’m understanding why it’s “silly”. Convenient, yes. Please explain.

      1. avatar Mr. Lion says:

        Broadcasting something that may be “controversial” in certain atmospheres– for what? Some minor convenience in ordering? That is silly.

        And yes, in a perfect world it wouldn’t be, but we don’t live in one. So, barring a work environment where you’re relatively certain of everyone’s reaction, why end up being “that guy buying thousands of rounds of ammo” to some secretary with The Vapors when you could just as well place said orders on a lunch break away from prying ears, or better still, online?

        1. avatar Zack Pike says:

          I see your point… I probably should have explained who this group of people was. This group isn’t anti-gun… They really don’t have a preference one way or another. So it’s not like they’re reaction caused any controversy, but it did allow for an open an honest discussion to take place… Which is something we need more of around firearms.

          Sometimes if you take the “secrecy” out of the issue, those who are on the border quickly realize ammo and firearms aren’t all that bad.

          But let me be clear… Taking the secrecy out should be a gun owner’s choice… Not a legislated requirement. There are plenty of things I don’t communicate to the public about my gun-habits.

  23. avatar Hasdrubal says:

    I’ve been trying to develop an ammo stash for quite some time, but I keep shooting it all. The more I buy, the more I shoot.

    1. avatar Zack Pike says:

      Always seems to work out that way for me too. It’s like dieting… “After this meal, I’m going to start eating better” = “After this batch of 500 rounds, I’m going to start saving them”.

    2. avatar Matt in FL says:

      My method of developing my stash is to never set foot in a store that sells ammo without leaving with a box of something (assuming the prices are reasonable). Buying ammo while planning a range trip or while trying to recover from one is an exercise in futility. But if you throw an extra box of .40 on top of the pile every time you go to WalMart, you’d be surprised how fast it stacks up.

      *I fully realize this isn’t nearly as economical as buying in bulk, but if you don’t have the immediate scratch to buy in bulk, you do what you can with what you have.

  24. avatar gearhead231 says:

    I have an Ammo can full of 5.56 and people around here have no idea why I would need that much. After I take them out shooting with the AR they soon realize that 420 rounds is nothing.

  25. If anyone knows how much ammo you have, you are a total, complete, freakin’ idiot.

    Let me repeat that:

    If anyone knows how much ammo you have stored: YOU ARE A TOTAL IDIOT.


    1. avatar AK says:

      Sounds like your tinfoil hat may be too tight.

    2. avatar Zack Pike says:

      Paul… Name calling? Moron? I’m crushed.

      While I wipe away the tears, consider this… The article never states that anyone knows how much ammo I have.

      But please do explain… Hypothetically, say someone knew I had 15,000 rounds of 9mm sitting in a safe. What’s the impact of that? How would it make me a moron?

      Oh… And how is it different than someone knowing exactly what I carry everyday? For example, say I had a YouTube video out there that showed the exact firearm, magazines, ammo, ammo quantity, and complementary items I carried. Would that too make me a moron… Sir? ๐Ÿ™‚

      1. avatar RobertM says:

        Maybe. Because that would make you a target.


  26. avatar asia331 says:

    Me? Stashing ammunition? Don’t be silly; I’m simply investing in precious metals.

  27. avatar Stephen says:

    They might be if they knew about it…

  28. avatar Double A.D. says:

    Nobody really knows about my ammo stash. Only my wife knows about it. She’s not creeped out, but she is pretty peaved everytime a very heavy box arrives. ๐Ÿ™‚

  29. avatar racer88 says:

    All my ammo was lost in a tragic boating accident.

  30. avatar PYROhafe says:

    I cant seem to get a “stockpile” going. I buy a couple hundred rounds at a time, and then go oooooo I got a couple hundred rounds…. lets go shoot em! Then Im back to the basic couple hundred I had before I attempted to stockpile…. its a vicious never ending cycle!

  31. avatar Joe Grine says:

    I think you are running low if you have less than 100,000 rounds on hand!

  32. avatar Southern Cross says:

    If you shoot milsurps, it can be hard to get 8×57, .303, 7.62x54r, and other “obsolete” cartridges at your local corner store, so you “Buy it cheap, and stack it deep”. I have about 6000 rounds of 8×57. New shooters think this takes my entire garage. In reality it is a stack of crates in the corner.

  33. avatar JC says:

    In all of history, never has a man been at a disadvantage because he had too much ammo.

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