How much ammo do you keep on hand?


May 14, 2005, 12:51 PM
How much ammo do you horde, for "just in case"? I was watching Dawn of the Dead (a zombie movie where mall ninjas and shotguns save the day) and it got me thinking, how much ammo should a guy keep around for his main defensive longarm? I use a shotgun for my do-it-all longarm and right now I have 100 slugs and 125 rounds of buckshot. I don't think anything "that bad" will ever happen, but you never know. One big terrorist attack and all the lowlifes could start rioting.

How much ammo do you keep around just in case?

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May 14, 2005, 01:20 PM

Any questions? :D

May 14, 2005, 03:48 PM
WOW! You got more 9mm than some gun shops I've been to! :uhoh:

Guy B. Meredith
May 14, 2005, 04:01 PM
I reload. Besides what I have made up I keep at least 1000 bullets ahead and currently have 3400 primers on hand. Basically all I'll ever need.

Lord Bodak
May 14, 2005, 04:34 PM
Preacherman, you have exactly what I want! A full ammo closet.

Are those shelves reinforced somehow?

My objective is to have at least 1000 of everything I shoot, more for the 7.62x39 and .22. Not quite there yet, but I'm working on it.

May 14, 2005, 05:21 PM
I have a shelf that resembles Preacherman's - Gorilla brand- 4' wide x 6' high. Nothin but loaded ammo on that one. 2 more shelf units with reloading components. some 5 gal buckets with lids for brass, 2 for .45acp, 2 for .223, 2 for .308, 1 each .38/.357 and .40... all polished and bagged 100 per.
lets see...6 flats of 12g, 2 flats of 20g, 8 bricks (4K) of .22rf, 8 or 9K primers...
Hhmmm, I'm thinkin its time to restock...

Mr. Chitlin
May 14, 2005, 05:35 PM
Shotgun ammo, probably ~1K or so.

All calibers combined, between 25K and 30K.

Then the bullets are ~5K rifle (223 and 308 mainly) and ~8K pistol (9mm, 40 and 45 mainly), primers ~20K assorted sizes, plus 50 lbs or so of powder. 5 gallon buckets full of assorted brass.

May 14, 2005, 05:36 PM
For those interested in my ammo locker, see this thread ( which describes the whole project in nauseating detail. :D

May 14, 2005, 07:35 PM
Preacherman, I like it, I probably have enough components on hand to have a similar set up, but they are all over.

As far as shotshells, probably close to 2500 loaded 12ga shells(birdshot mostly), 2500 20ga shells, 2500 28ga shells, and about 1200 .410's, give or take with a lot of emptys that need to be reloaded. :(

May 14, 2005, 07:50 PM
< looking at one 5 pk of .410 slugs> :(

I'm really really low on ammo right now. Might have something to do with having just run ~ 2k rds of 12ga , 2K rds of 9mm, 1k rds of 45ACP , 250 rds of .38spl in the last 10 days or so. :D

I did have ~ 35K rds of assorted ammo get burned up - like in a fire. Along with the guns, mags, and such that used them... :(

I'm okay, got some stuff in another off- site place or two. Since I have semi/ sorta retired from reloading shotshells for a bit...well I don't have *some* of the storage problems I once had. *snicker*

:uhoh: Does a pack of BB's count? I must of had a good reason to store them in the mini pantry...

May 14, 2005, 07:51 PM
Since a shotgun is my "something is in my bedroom" gun I don't keep too many shells around. I'm OK if I've got 5 rounds of 12 gauge buck shot on hand. I've got around... ehh, maybe 400 rounds of 12 gauge in various forms about the place right now.

I once thought it was a bit much when I had something like 300 round of ammo on hand. This was early on in the game, of course. Right now there's 12 good sized ammo cans full of various calibers, a couple smaller ones for pistol calibers, and random boxes strewn about. Probably 5-7k if I had to hazard a guess. Not much by THR standards. God Bless America! :)

May 14, 2005, 09:12 PM
Several years ago on rec.guns a fellow took a survey and the average was approx 7k rounds with the big boys having 10 times that amount. I am a bit above average.

Mr. Chitlin
May 14, 2005, 10:09 PM
I think a lot of us can remember back 10 to 15 years ago when the "primer shortage" was around. I saw primers for $4 to $5 for a pack of 100. I didn't have to pay that price since I had a fairly good supply on the shelf at that time. I also remember when 7.62x39 ammo was going out the gun show doors as fast as people could load it up and was running at $200 to $250 per case. When Sportsman guide ran Wolf 7.62x39 for $66/K a couple of years ago, I loaded up with as many cases as the credit card would allow. Same with South Afrikan 5.56x45, and Aussie and Port 7.62x51. I loaded up on it while it was plentiful. Get it while the gettin's good, because it won't last long. I keep enough on hand to wait out a dry spell.

May 14, 2005, 10:22 PM
Shotgun? :)

In 12ga alone, I've got about 5K of value-pack stuff left. Maybe 2K combined of STS and AA shells. I've got two Rubbermaid containers about half-full of reloads (one of #8.5, one of #7.5)... with around 600 shells per container. There are some boxes of hunting ammo, and a few boxes of slugs and buckshot laying around as well.

In 16ga, I've got about 600 or so.

In 20ga, maybe 1200.

In 28ga (finally), about 500.

In .410, maybe 300.

I've also got enough components (minus powder) to reload another 7500 shells or so.

Of course, I pretty much stock up for the year at one time. The 12ga stuff which is already loaded probably won't make it to the end of the year. Shotgunning isn't only my favorite hobby, but my wife's as well.

And, BA/UU/R is a way of life.

Dave McCracken
May 16, 2005, 06:14 AM
400 rounds of 00, 200 slugs, 100 rounds of assorted game loads including goose and turkey loads, a couple hundred rounds loaded of target stuff. Handgun ammo, 200-1000 rounds for the carry pieces, maybe 50 rounds for the 41 magnum Blackhawk.

150 rounds of 30-30 for the HBAR.

Have had more at times in the past and will again.

See an old thread about Panic Boxes and Bugout Bags for more info.

May 16, 2005, 02:37 PM
I try to keep about 15% of what "The Parson" has in his ammo locker ;) :D

Seriously, I have about 1200 of various birdshot sizes from #4 to #8, 250+ slugs, 250+ of buckshot in mixed sizes. And some of the steel stuff in case I get a chance to do some 'waterfowl' shooting.

Battle Rifle ammo is at least 1K of each cailber...although how long would it take to shoot 1K through a Mosin-Nagant ? ? ?

1911 guy
May 19, 2005, 03:29 AM
is the kind of "gun nut" that I aspire to be. I've got a couple thousand for my AR, many hundreds for the 1911 and lots of 12ga., but my tally is lacking, according to the photo! :evil:

May 19, 2005, 08:07 AM
It goes up and down depending on what I'm doing but if you knock out the peaks and valleys it would be something like:

300 rounds of 12 guage 00
1000 rounds of assorted 12 guage target
750 rounds of 30-06
1000 rounds of .223
500 rounds of .303
500 rounds of .357
1000 rounds of .38
1500 rounds of 9mm
2000 rounds of .45ACP
50 rounds of .380
50 rounds of .32ACP
500 rounds of .45Colt

May 20, 2005, 12:59 AM

I am green with envy. I only keep around what I may be able to easily transport. I guess that would be about 1K rounds each for shotgun, rifle and pistol. Since I shoot about 600 practice rounds a month, for serious social encounters, and tend to bulk up when stuff is on sale, I might have more at one time or another, but it soon gets shot up. My only "survival mode" ammo is 22LR, for stuff to eat, and I probably have a few K of that stored properly, and it turns over at a rate of about 2K a year in practice between myself and family. Yeah, I do prectice with the small stuff, in the great SHTF scenario, I believe shooting to eat, will far outweigh the need to shoot for protection. Hope I never have to abandon the local butcher though, I like my grilling done with a minimum of prep work.

May 20, 2005, 09:55 AM
I only keep a coupla hundred rounds (mixed 4 birdshot and 00 buckshot)...Buck including rifles probably total of 5000 rounds

May 20, 2005, 10:14 AM
preacherman, ROFL!!! Nice ammo closet. I hope you don't have a house fire *knock on wood* it happened to my house when i was younger and my dad was big on reloading.

personally i keep a good 1000 rounds of .22 LR. that's all. ;)

May 25, 2005, 04:33 AM
Why would anyone need that much ammo??? :scrutiny:

May 25, 2005, 08:30 AM
Why would anyone need that much ammo?

For me, I stock up once or twice a year. Since my wife and I are both avid trap and sporting clay shooters, we go through lots and lots of shells. It's cheaper (sometimes lots cheaper) to wait for good sales and then buy in bulk. Also, it's a pain to have to go buy ammo whenever you want to go shooting.

I keep some ammo on hand for every gun I own... generally in proportion to the amount I actually shoot that gun. Something I shoot a couple times a year may only have a box or two (rifles and pistols generally). If I shoot a gun regularly, then it makes more financial sense to get a case or so whenever I run low.

May 25, 2005, 09:08 AM
Checking the spreadsheet I find that I have more ammo on hand than most of you would believe. Most of that is in about 5 calibers-.308, 7.62x39, 9m/m ,.223 and .45 ACP. Twenty Two ammo I count by the can, not the round and I have about 7, .30 cal cans full. I have no idea how much that is. I know that we have bought a 500 round pack every week at Walmart with the grocceries for about 10 years now. Some is shot but nowhere near the amount that keeps stacking up. With my boys now starting to shoot we will be dipping into some of that soon.

I am a firm believer in buying huge quantities of good ammo when it is available at reasonable prices. I have been doing that for over ten years now with a pretty good support budget. I remember being at a gunshow when I was a poor law student in 1994 and seeing two guys get into a fist fight over primers. I had very little ammo on hand and there was none to be found at any reasonable price. Many of the current crop of shooters have NO idea what a real ammo shortage looks like. I vowed right then and there that I would NEVER, EVER be caught short and it's a promise I have kept.

We have seen huge price spikes in several types of popular ammo in the last two years, .223 is outrageous as far as I am concerned. They are getting .20 a round for freaking reject ammo! The Russian X39 has gone up 20% or better in the last year. Two years ago you could buy Portugese .308 shipped to your door for $140 a case. Now you will pay shipping and about $175 or more for equivalent ammo. Where there were good and varied supplies there are now few choices. People are scurrying around trying to find things and in many cases are settling for overpriced junk. It doesn't have to be that way!

As I stated in another thread this morning here, surplus ammo is cyclical in availability. When you find something good buy until it hurts, when you start building furniture out of ammo cases/cans-like coffee tables, bed pedestals, entertainment centers, then maybe you have enough.

I don't consider reloading as part of ammo stocks. It is important to be able to do and it certainly can get you through lean ammo times. I use it primarily to keep from dipping into my really good surplus stuff and for those calibers that are cheaper to reload vs. buying surplus-like .44 mag, .45-70, hunting loads etc.....For day to day shooting it is ok but for long term storage I prefer military/factory products.

Buy it cheap, stack it deep. Sleep well.

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