How much ammo should we keep on hand
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Thread: How much ammo should we keep on hand

  1. #1

    How much ammo should we keep on hand

    The question has come up in the past (generated 78 responses in 25 days, and that was before the most recent ammo shortage) about how much ammo a person should have on hand. As things have first gotten worse, and then better (well, at least better than they were a year ago), the subject has somewhat faded from view. But now, it is looking like things are not going to get better than they are right now, and could be a whole lot worse.

    The question has met with quite a range of answers before. Everything from "if you're not drowning or on fire, you can't have too much ammo" to a slightly more normal "thinking 1,000 rounds per gun or per cal owned then buy a box shoot a box" to a recent moron saying "So you're advocating that everyone reading this article should continue to hoard and buy everything in sight, furthering the shortage that is a direct result of the behavior you advocate for? Thanks for adding fuel to the fire."

    Well somewhere between the two extremes, there must be some reasonable measure that can be used. Over the past several months, I have been advising people to acquire a 3 years supply, at whatever rate they normally expect to use it for practice, hunting or whatever. I suggested this simply as a precaution to take against the next shortage, but, eventually I think that needs to be looked at with a wider perspective.

    Prior to the the Sandy Hook shooting, the subsequent politically motivated attack on gun owners and the widespread response that lead to an almost yearlong gun and ammo shortage, there were two other shortage periods. One when Barrack Hussein got into office and one when the DHS decided to buy 450 Million rounds (eventually seemed to grow to over 1000 Million rounds) of ammo, to surreptitiously stockpile.


    Over the course of these past few years, most of us have found workarounds to enable us to train a little more economically. This began with rifles and handguns that use 22LR ammo instead of more expensive 45, 556, or 7.62 ammo. So now (this is one of many reasons) we have a shortage of 22LR, also. We also incorporated more dry fire and more AirSoft training, which improves skills that would be difficult to practice with live ammo.

    Also, we need to consider the change of social climate, and the threat that our civilization is on the brink of collapse, where we might need to defend our families and neighborhoods from roving bands of thugs, and the government might decide to curtail our ability to acquire ammo (or a war in Ukraine might make it harder to obtain). (I'll leave other possible changes in the social and political climate unsaid, but understood.)

    Certain factors could make a difference. If someone is planning to attend a training class, most require you to bring 400 rounds (FrontSight requires 800). The new standard FBI course of fire is 60 rounds, so if you did that quarterly for three years, that would be 720 rounds, if you did that monthly it would be 2160 rounds. Since these things vary from person to person, I word my recommendation as "three years supply."

    And that brings me back to the need to take another look at the subject.

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  3. #2
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    A case or crate per gun would not be excessive. If you went to the range once a week like I did before the shortage, you could burn up 500 rounds in an evening. An hour at the maximum allowed by the range would burn up 540 rounds. 2 hours at the range at the time did burn up 750 rounds with no problem. Other than a sore shoulder from the 7.62X54R when a pad wasn't used. 5 30 round mags of 5.56X45 in 15 minutes even with the range restrictions was easy to do. 5 second rule enforced. 1/2 second per round in a handgun is easy to keep on target if your target is 8" diameter and at 25'. Full gun ( 12 rnds ) to empty in 5 seconds on a S&W 4006 as an example.
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  4. #3
    I normally reload my own center fire ammo. And the problem I've been having is finding powder and slugs that I use for reloading. I'm going to start casting my own slugs. But the powder that I use I'm still having a problem finding. But I've been seeing things getting better as far as finding ammo in stores. But I try to keep around 300 rounds per caliber that I shoot.

  5. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Reloader54 View Post
    I normally reload my own center fire ammo. And the problem I've been having is finding powder and slugs that I use for reloading. I'm going to start casting my own slugs. But the powder that I use I'm still having a problem finding. But I've been seeing things getting better as far as finding ammo in stores. But I try to keep around 300 rounds per caliber that I shoot.
    Yeah, I have heard that is a new thing with this shortage that didn't happen in previous shortage times, being low on powder. A friend of mine says he used to by powder in 8lb cans (IIRC), but now can only find 1lb cans. And also, some having a hard time keeping stocked on primers.

  6. #5
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    1,000rds of "war-stock" each caliber is a good start... Work up from there, I see no point in limiting yourself as long as you have the disposable cash and desire. 3,000, 5,000 or 10,000 rounds of a primary caliber is not unheard of... I have so called "war-stock" that is one of those 'break glass in case of emergency' things that I won't dig into until the S hits the fan or it's 50 years old. I reload most of my range ammo and usually have 4-500 of each main caliber floating around just for training, I load everything moderately to prolong brass life.

    The sky is the limit!!!!!!!!!! Or, rather the ceiling.
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  7. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mestral View Post
    Yeah, I have heard that is a new thing with this shortage that didn't happen in previous shortage times, being low on powder. A friend of mine says he used to by powder in 8lb cans (IIRC), but now can only find 1lb cans. And also, some having a hard time keeping stocked on primers.
    Yes! The powder pickin' is slim! I've been making due though.....
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  8. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by gunnerbob View Post
    1,000rds of "war-stock" each caliber is a good start... Work up from there, I see no point in limiting yourself as long as you have the disposable cash and desire. 3,000, 5,000 or 10,000 rounds of a primary caliber is not unheard of... I have so called "war-stock" that is one of those 'break glass in case of emergency' things that I won't dig into until the S hits the fan or it's 50 years old. I reload most of my range ammo and usually have 4-500 of each main caliber floating around just for training, I load everything moderately to prolong brass life.

    The sky is the limit!!!!!!!!!! Or, rather the ceiling.
    OK, on the war stock, how would you say to proportion it against say, stocked food items? Spend the same on each? Twice as much on food? Or twice as much on ammo?

  9. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mestral View Post
    OK, on the war stock, how would you say to proportion it against say, stocked food items? Spend the same on each? Twice as much on food? Or twice as much on ammo?
    Food & water 1st, medical & hygiene 2nd, firearms & ammo 3rd and fuel 4th.
    Quote Originally Posted by Deanimator View Post
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  10. #9
    Got a dumb question. Are we talking defensive ammo or practice ammo. I have about 1000 rnds of range ammo, but only about 50 (I need to get more) of defensive ammo.



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  11. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by NewlyEnthused View Post
    Got a dumb question. Are we talking defensive ammo or practice ammo. I have about 1000 rnds of range ammo, but only about 50 (I need to get more) of defensive ammo.
    It's a good question. In general, we are talking about practice, but when we discuss a war stock, many people recommend a mix. In addition, you should be using some of your defense ammo for practice, just to make sure it feeds reliably (assuming an automatic). Right now, I would suggest buying cases of range ammo, and some boxes of defense ammo (10 to 1 ratio), but your budget may dictate differently.

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