how much is enough?


March 1, 2009, 03:29 AM
Just curious , how much ammo and magazines should/do you keep on hand in this day and age per firearm

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March 1, 2009, 03:47 AM
How much money do you have to sink into mags and ammo? Mind you, ammo and/or components is more important. 100 mags per firearm isn't much use with no ammo.

March 1, 2009, 04:04 AM
With all due respect, none of anyones business. I don't know anyone here well enough to let them know what I think is enough, much less what I actually have on hand.

March 1, 2009, 04:11 AM
Just curious , how much ammo and magazines should/do you keep on hand in this day and age per firearm

In some ways this is a hard question to answer, as it involves asking a few other questions:

1) Why do you want to store ammo?

2) Are you storing ammo for the sake of defense in a SHTF type of situation?

3) Are you storing ammo to ensure availability if it is ever outlawed?

4) Are you trying to buy now to hedge your bet against higher prices in the future?

5) Are you buying ammo just to keep on hand for recreation?

Simply put, until you define your needs, it is hard to define how much ammo you should have on hand. Personally, I'm not made of money, and I keep about 1,000 rounds per gun (give or take 500 at any given time). I'd love to have more, but I have other important things to spend money on.

At the end of the day, you really don't likely need a great deal of ammo to effectively defend your home, even in an urban disaster environment. Anything beyond the essential amount is what my friends and I like to refer to as "zombie ammo" (sure, it looks great stacked up in the corner... But, honestly, do you really need that much ammo on hand?)

[btw, I have no problem with a "zombie ammo" collection... Heck, people collect stamps, hubcaps, police department patches, coins, etc. I figure you may as well collect items that work with your hobby, but you ought to be realistic about the difference between a need and a desire!]

With all due respect, none of anyones business. I don't know anyone here well enough to let them know what I think is enough, much less what I actually have on hand.

With all due respect, then why even respond to the thread? The OP obviously asked this question because he/she is trying to be properly prepared for their situation (whatever that might be). I've yet to figure out why our "community" is so secretive about everything. I see so many threads with responses like that, and it makes me wonder what we are all hiding from!

This is just me talking here, but I sincerely doubt that the Feds/ATF/etc are watching the gun forums in an effort to: obtain subpoenas for IP addresses, so that they can contact the internet service providers to obtain listed addresses of those users, all in an attempt to track down those forum members who claim to have a lot of ammo on hand. I also doubt that the OP is a hacker who is intent on discovering the true identity of those members who he/she believes has enough ammo on hand to warrant a burglary attempt. We aren't breaking the law here, so why hide from the world? Heck, if I had the time tonight, I'd gladly go and provide the OP with an exact round count for every gun I own!

I don't mean to sound cranky tonight, but it seems like there is a lot of negativity on this forum whenever someone asks a question regarding their own preparations.

March 1, 2009, 10:09 AM
I'd say you should consider your rate of usage, for example, 1000 rounds/month. I'd start by having a month's worth or so on hand. Then you can decide whether to buy huge amounts all at once or smaller amounts more frequently. Some people can't afford bulk buys, and just pick up a few boxes now and then when they have a little spare cash. Personally, when I find a round that I like, I try to get as much as I feel comfortable buying. A couple years ago, I got a nice .22 target rifle, and after trying out some different loads, bought a whole case (5000 rounds) of CCI Green Tag for it. I've still got about half of that, and I believe this worked out well for me due to the price increases. Lately, it may be more prudent to buy smaller amounts in case prices come down in a while. In any event, I like to keep a comfortable stock on hand in case of emergency, but only you can determine what that means for you.

March 1, 2009, 10:16 AM
My golden ratio is as follows

1000 rounds for each major weapon and caliber we own so, if I had two 9mm I'd have 2k rounds on hand.

Plus reloading supplies for manufacture 10,000 rounds of each of those calibers/weapons. From the above that would be reloading supplies for 20,000 rounds

Question is do I need this quantity? I'm not sure, but I would prefer to be in a situation where I have what I need, and not need it, than be in the opposite position. I figure if I need more than 1000 rounds of all calibers for all weapons so badly that I can't reload the cartridges between using them, then I'm pretty much screwed anyway.

I do occasionally wear a tin-foil hat so take that as you will. :)

March 1, 2009, 10:38 AM
You can never be too rich, nor too thin, nor have too much ammo socked away for a rainy day. Or a sunny day. Or a cloudy day.

The problem, friends and neighbors, is that everyone and their uncle who has a gun, who is thinking about getting a gun, who knows someone who has a gun, or who at one time had a gun and then sold it and regretted it, is now in the process of buying up all of the ammo on the planet, as though no ammo will ever be available for sale or purchase again. And those folks sure aren't making it easy on the rest of us to fill up the closets and the empty spaces under the sink.

I have to laugh every time I read one of the stories where the LEOs make an arrest and the guy's house is filled with guns and thousands of rounds of ammo. You want to see thousands of rounds of ammo? Visit the house of just about any member of THR. :)

Redneck with a 40
March 1, 2009, 10:45 AM
Minimum 1000 rounds per gun and for semi-auto's, minimum 5 magazines. I can afford to stockpile ammo, because I reload all of my pistol calibers, cost's me about half, compared to factory.

March 1, 2009, 10:48 AM
A dozen magazines per semiauto. At least 2K rounds of each major chambering, and a supply of the component fixings sufficient to roll my own for at least five years.

You wanna know why I stock ammo? I bought all of my current stock before the election, and I haven't had to go back and buy any more since. All those poor schlubs that are complaining thet WallyWorld has no stock, well, I'm just glad that I'm not them.

March 1, 2009, 10:58 AM
I believe one should have at least a thousand rounds per SD/HD weapons. I have five weapons that are primarily for that purpose and five thousands rounds to support there use. I have other guns, but only stock enough ammo for monthly range use or about 500 rounds each.

Hungry Seagull
March 1, 2009, 12:10 PM
I fire aimed shots at the range. Call it 5-10 rounds for the spouse, good aimed rounds on target going for the bullseye.

I go through about twice that much on all the guns. The round count will increase when spouse gets used to the .45

So several times a month works out to about... roughly 50 rounds shottie, 50 rounds pistol per month shot more or less.

We would like to shoot more, but always consider what is on hand at the house, always a minimum of one box pistol and 15 rounds for each shot gun, three boxes of 5 each.

We try to order in bulk or replace what we shoot that day so our ammo supply stays constant.

I dont need to be carrying tens of thousands of rounds in the home. I might fill one box of something, fill a second box of something else and so on, get the picture?

Several boxes work out to a nice reserve but does not support a war. Finally we take X dollars and literally blow it at the range, all on a budget. We generally get cleaning supplies or ammo at the shop that day so we always stay ahead of items used up.

David E
March 1, 2009, 12:31 PM
It depends on the gun.

For a "serious" handgun, 500 rds, 100 of which are premium JHP's.

12 mags per serious handgun.

"Serious" rifles should have 1000 rds minimum and 20 mags.

These totals are NOT for shooting up, but for keeping on hand. If you want to go shoot (and you should) then buy or load other ammo to shoot.

Note that these are MINIMUMS. More is always better, but you can breathe a little easier once you attain these quantities.


March 1, 2009, 12:34 PM
I've been contemplating this very thing for several weeks now. I'm still a noob. I received a reloading press for Christmas from my in-laws :D. I have decided the same as Gugnir on loaded ammo (1000 rounds for each weapon in the home) for emergency backup (for SHTF, layoff, shortages, inflation, etc.) and components for 5K reloads for each. I may rethink that to 10K. The reloads are also for practice and training. I still have some stockpiling to do in these times of shortages.

Just Jim
March 1, 2009, 01:12 PM
I think about 20 rounds is gonna be plenty, it will be over before most ever get a reload in.


Hungry Seagull
March 1, 2009, 01:45 PM
Here is something else to consider.

Keep enough ammo to practice until the next backordered ammo shipment arrives.

Ive ordered some Brennekes two weeks ago and it may be several more weeks before they arrive. =)

March 1, 2009, 02:13 PM
5000 Rounds for each of my Guns and 5-10 Magazines.

March 1, 2009, 02:47 PM
Each caliber in use should have 10k practice ammo and 1k SD ammo for each firearm that used it.

Each firearm should have ~12 mags (or 3 load-outs, whichever is greater).

Ed Ames
March 1, 2009, 02:51 PM
Magazines really depend. If I am happy buying a gun with a fixed magazine (and I am) I don't see why having only a single GOOD magazine is a panic-inducing limitation. I like more but money is money.

I usually keep 20-50 loaded rounds on hand for bolt/single-shot/revolver guns and more for semi-autos. E.g. I have 25 loaded .222 cartridges and over 250 loaded .45ACP.

I try to keep the bullet count much higher though. I typically buy them 500-1000 at a time.

March 1, 2009, 03:08 PM
So what you folks are saying is, I need another 5 pack of 20 ga slugs besides the one I gots.

<scribbles note>

Ed Ames
March 1, 2009, 03:21 PM
A WHOLE five more? Just how many you plan on firin' between now and your next trip to the hardware store? :eek:

Seriously though... people need enough to get through to more. For an avid competitive shooter hso's numbers seem low (at 700 rds per week you can't even make it through a season with 10K practice rounds). A "3 to check zero, 1 to get meat" hunter can go 5 years on a box of 20.

Hungry Seagull
March 1, 2009, 03:27 PM
I thought 5 shells were plenty.

But nooo... always more, shoot each month always more.

More is good, as long they are aimed in a effort to better yourself instead of sprayed and prayed in a giggle-fit of joy.

The Swede
March 1, 2009, 03:31 PM
With all due respect, none of anyones business. I don't know anyone here well enough to let them know what I think is enough, much less what I actually have on hand.

But you feel ok telling people what firearms you own?

4 .38 specials, 5 .22's

Just sayin'.

March 1, 2009, 03:31 PM
I would keep on hand whatever you are comfortable buying and storing. A one month supply is not a bad approach, but sometimes that means I need zero on hand. :)

So, I keep a supply of what I shoot regardless of the frequency of shooting. I don't like to have to think about buying ammo if I am headed out to do some shooting.

March 1, 2009, 05:00 PM
In the current political climate, many people are stocking up by buying what they consider a minimum "lifetime" supply. For me that'd be at least 5000 rounds per gun.

March 1, 2009, 05:05 PM
well since i dont feel the need to know anyones life story to answer a simple question concerning my personall opinion.. i personally would advise having at least 100 rds of every caliber per weapon that uses the caliber meaning if u have 2 9mms have at least 200 rds of 9mm, also i suggest haveing at least 200 of whatever caliber your hd. or carry gun is just for those guns

Double Naught Spy
March 1, 2009, 07:26 PM
I like to have 10 mags per firearms and 1000 rounds each.

I don't have 10 for every gun, however, but most.

March 1, 2009, 08:02 PM
We are using the same logic just different numbers. The commercially loaded HD ammo will only be used for HD. Which means that in 100 years I want my great, great grandson to write on this forum that he just inherited 1000 rounds of hundred year old ammo. As for the rest, I go through at about 150 - 200 rounds per range session. Like another poster said, I don't want to have to think about having to get more ammo if I want to go the the range.

March 1, 2009, 08:38 PM
Ammo, buy it cheap(HAHA!) stack it deep, if nothing else it seems to be a great investment.
I recall the good old days of $80/1000 7.62X39 and $150/1000.308:(
As far as mags just remember the prices of hi cap mags under the AWB.

Ohio Gun Guy
March 1, 2009, 09:35 PM
The answer is always more than you have and can afford.

Seriously, on different web sites many people have come to the conclusion that 1000 rds for a "Main" gun is enough. Then some smaller number for others 500 or so. Then a whole pile of .22lr There are some guys on her that buy that kind of ammo in a weekend, me I dont make that kind of scratch! :o

March 1, 2009, 09:55 PM
Hungry Seagull: Do you have something against "giggle-fits of joy"? ;)

I do a lot of serious practice but once in a while a couple rapid-fire streams of lead can sure be a nice attitude adjuster! :D

I try to keep 1k rounds of hardball plus a couple hundred HSTs for my .45, 3k 22LR, a few hundred for the scattergun, and 500 for the .308 Saiga.

March 1, 2009, 10:07 PM
I've only got a few hundred for each of my guns. I need to get to work.:eek:

Hungry Seagull
March 1, 2009, 10:27 PM
Mr.510 Nothing to seriously wrong with a occasional giggle while on range but when it escalations to manical laugher with a evil intent.... watch out! :evil:

March 4, 2009, 09:00 PM
I keep a 1,000 rounds per HD/SD gun and I have 5. I use at least 100 to 200 rounds per HD/SD gun per month. Problem is at least 200 rnds per gun is JHP Federal HydraShok and is used sparingly for practice. So with a 1000 - 200 rnds per gun is only enough for 4 or 5 months and in this day is hard to keep replenished.

March 4, 2009, 09:03 PM
I think the ammo issue is much more important than the mag issue... I would be completely comfortable with only 2 to 4 mags for each of my guns as long as I have plenty of ammo to feed them when the situation requires..

March 4, 2009, 10:08 PM
Well, if you have anything over a .22 hornet keep enough for three magazines, I have two .22 LR guns and I keep about 1000 rounds at all times, but thatís because I get 550 a week and blow about 500 at the range each weekend. My relic lever action 25-35 I have five rounds next to it in a glass case. I know its not supper old, but you canít hit the broad side of a barn with it and the ammo was $60 for a box of 20.

March 4, 2009, 10:17 PM
however much you, and your finances are happy with. only you know how much you shoot. a person who shoots every week will burn up a lot more ammo than one who shoots 3 or 4 times a year. there is no sense in having 10,000 rounds of 45 acp in your basement if it will sit there until your great grand child is born (unless you are already 70, and you shoot everyday). but, you should have enough to get you through a bad economic time of say 6 months to 1 year. if things get so bad that you can not buy ammo for 1 year, you have a lot more to worry about than feeding your shooting habit! also, rotate all ammo you have/buy. unless there is something in your inventory that can not be replaced, and you are specificly saving it. that way, your ammo will not get more that 2-5 years old.

March 4, 2009, 10:21 PM
It's starting to warm up here. Time to start drawing down the reserves!

At current shooting rates and IF I'm not picky about what I shoot, I have enough 22 ammo to last me a long time.

I have enough for a few years of most of the ammo I shoot, but the 22 ammo is my favorite and I keep stocked up; always have.

March 5, 2009, 07:47 AM
How much is enough?

My basic rule:

Run to the window and look up. Are there any Black Helicopters circling your house?

If not.... you don't have enough.

-- John

March 5, 2009, 08:40 AM
I've thought this out with no input from others several years ago and i came to this conclusion, 1000 rds minimum, 2000 max. per main fighting rifle, 250 per shotgun, 250 per handgun. mags-10 per fighting rifle ,and 4 high cap per pistol. my thoughts on this were based on about 4 combat loads . I figure 4 combat loads would allow me about 4 engagements initiated by me (ambush ect.). I figure i wouldnt be so lucky to live longer than that and burning through ammo that much (i dont spray and pray). in my opinion, and in my way of thinking , any more than the max of 2k each will just fall into enemy hands. just my thoughts .

March 5, 2009, 08:50 AM
in addition, since i have multiple "battle rifles", to share with close relatives/friends in a shtf situation, i figure there would actually be more ammo available per weapon as casualties on my side mounted.

March 5, 2009, 10:45 AM
how many rounds of ammo on hand?? many as there are stars in the sky:evil:

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