Your ammunition to firearms ratio?


May 21, 2012, 10:16 PM
Well, I finally put off the inevitable and took an inventory of my personal collection. I wrote down every make, model and serial number along with every cartridge to my name. (Keep having this dream that someone takes all of my firearms and I have no serial numbers)

I will not bore you with my meager collection, but I will ask you fellow High Roaders this:

What do you think the ideal ratio of ammunition value to firearms value should be? (i.e. $10k worth of guns and $5k worth of ammo is .5 ammo to firearms) The reason I ask is that I was very surprised at what I had and if I had an extra grand laying around I know what I would be buying right now. Should you have a higher ratio? Lower? All opinions welcome.

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May 21, 2012, 11:39 PM
That's hard to answer.

I have 25 rounds on hand for one rifle and several hundred for others. Anywhere from fifty to a thousand for the handguns. Maybe a couple hundred for each of the shotguns, except the .410 where I only have part of a box left.

I have one rifle that I don't think I have anything loaded up for now and I have some ammunition that doesn't fit anything I own...

May 22, 2012, 12:33 AM
I look at it this way: you can never have too much ammunition for anything.

On the other hand, I have some guns that I only have a handful of rounds for. I have a Mosin with maybe...5 or 6 rounds in a baggie out in my shop somewhere. I'm OK with this as there is no scenario in which I'll need that gun.

May 22, 2012, 12:48 AM
Just the other day I was doing a similar inventory of what I had on hand, and set some baselines for how much ammo I wanted to have on hand at any given time. More or less setting stock watch numbers where if my supplies dip below a certain amount its time to hit the store. These numbers were of course different for different guns based on my needs.

May 22, 2012, 02:13 AM
I had a longer reply, but it was too long due to so many variables.

Short version: I would say that the more firearms a person has, especially when they start to overlap in use and in caliber, the less $$$/quantity there will be in ammunition on a per gun basis. And the use of the gun/caliber play s a huge role.

Whether or not you reload is also a factor. If you can re-use brass and you have the consumables (powder, primers, bullets...) you do NOT have ammunition (well, you know what I mean), but you have the ingredients, and that is certainly worth counting in some way.

Single Action Six
May 22, 2012, 02:33 AM
I have over a thousand rounds in .40 S&W, over a thousand rounds in .22's, over 200 rounds in 12 gauge and over a hundred rounds in .380.

I also have about 25 one pound cans of Goex FFFG black powder and a couple thousand #10 caps.

As it looks (now that I've inventoried it), I'm getting low on everything. Looks like I'm going to have to replenish my stock and bring it up to my usual 5,000 plus rounds along with a additional 25 pound case/box of black powder and another couple thousand .44 cal lead balls.

Well, that will do me for the next week or two maybe.

Single Action Six

May 22, 2012, 03:16 AM
As a reloaded I don't see the immediate need for more than I could carry on me if I had to bug out. Other than leaving in a hurry and leaving behind my reloading gear I feel comfortable with a several hundred rounds ready to go for my primary bug out guns

Other than that I try to keep the components to load 1500 or so or my major calibers. This is
primaly for if there is and ammo shortage

May 22, 2012, 07:00 AM
A few years ago after a raise I started randomly buying ammo for my guns. I was collecting it faster than I shot it and it started to haphazardly pile up.

I havent bought ammo in a year and my stockpile is mostly gone. Time to start buying again. Or maybe get a reloader?!

"<=" means "Less than or equal to"

.45lc (Judge)
.410g (Judge)
.38spl (637)

7.62x54r (Mosins)

12g (870)
9mm (XD9)

.22lr (10/22 & Cobray)

May 22, 2012, 07:11 AM
I have stocked up on ammunition over the years, buying quite a bit at a time whenever I found a good deal on something. That combined with the fact that I rarely have a chance to get to the range these days, means that I have a fairly decent stockpile of ammo for some time to come. I would estimate that I have an hand at least a thousand rounds per pistol caliber (mainly 9mm. and .45ACP), twice that in rifle calibers (mainly .223 and 7.62X39), and well over 10K in .22LR.

Lex Luthier
May 22, 2012, 07:33 AM
While some men collect safe queens, I do not. Every weapon in my arsenal is a tool, and there is enough ammo to keep every tool well supplied. Every handgun or rifle gets fired at least monthly, except for the Kimber Dessert Warrior that is for special occasions.

I have enough 9mm, .40 cal and 5.56 mm to grab a few boxes and go shooting and not make a worrisome dent in the supply. As good deals come along on armslist, the stock goes up. Some guys have a beer box, some guys have a bullet box.

May 22, 2012, 07:36 AM
I think that a much more meaningful ratio involves Quantities, not "Value" (which constantly fluctuates).

FWIW, I currently maintain an average of 500-1000 rounds for each of my firearms. Rough estimate.

Most of my stock was purchased back when milsurp was cheap and I also, at that time, shopped & stocked up on good deals ... still do, although good deals are now tougher to find. :)

May 22, 2012, 07:48 AM
It's simple: A little is good, more is better and too much is just about right (both guns & ammo).


Buck Kramer
May 22, 2012, 08:49 AM
Average 500/1

May 22, 2012, 09:02 AM
A guy I train in upstate NY buys ammo for ~$65,000 at a time. So, there's lots of variance. I buy 1k rounds at a time for 9mm, 38Spl, and .45ACP.
I buy 250 at a time of 12 gauge.
If I am ever down to 200 rounds for something, I get all panicky and short of breath.

May 22, 2012, 09:24 AM
With out specifics I am well into the tens of thousands per firearm. The .22lr ratio is ridiculous.

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May 22, 2012, 09:44 AM
I'm heading out to buy ammo this morning. In my case I have a bunch of guns but only a few calibers 12-20-410 ga, .270, 7.62x39, 22lr, 17HMR, 9mm, 45acp, 38spl, and the 2 oddballs a 32cal BP, and 8x61. With my all my stuff being in the most common calibers I don't keep a whole lot of ammo on hand (a couple of boxes each) because everywhere around me that sells ammo always have these in stock so if I run out i just run to wally world, the local hardware store (he actually still sells guns too), or the local gun store and buy a couple more. Even during the so called shortages I could still find all my common calibers at their normal prices. I guess this is from living in a small farming town with an abundent supply of ammo and the fact no one around here gets caught up in the lack of supply hype and really only buy what they need. So that leaves plenty for everyone else. Even when wally world and the LGS runs out the hardware store always has stock.

BTW if anyone knows where I can get the 8x61 ammo please let me know because I can't find it anywhere and I'd really like to shoot that dang gun one day.

May 22, 2012, 10:17 AM
Not close to enough compared to most of these other posts.

200 for various handguns
300 for various rifles.

I have never felt a need for much more since I make it to the range less often than a lunar eclipse.

May 22, 2012, 10:34 AM
I try to keep 2k rounds of ammo for my AK and 1k for my AR.
2k of 9mm for pistols and the carbine.
200 for 12 g. This is bad because I have 00buck that is 25 years old and might not be safe.
10k of .22 bulk. I now have 24 guns in .22.
These do not include what I shoot every day/week but are just in reserve in case I can't get to the store or we need to kill every hay bale on the place this weekend. On the guns we shoot all the time(.38, 9mm ccw,etc) I just wind up buyin a box or two when I am in town. And i wonder why my credit card balance never stays at $0.

David E
May 22, 2012, 10:37 AM
It depends on the gun or caliber.

I have 200 rds of .25 acp, which is plenty. I'd never let it get below 50, tho

The .35 Remington only has 60, which I'd like to increase to 100+, but it's hard to find. Then again, I don't shoot that one often.

Now for my primary guns/calibers, I have a bit more.

May 22, 2012, 10:38 AM
I have sure whittled the number of firearms I own down a lot. Right now, for each firearm I own I have an average of 5120 rounds for each.

May 22, 2012, 10:43 AM
Did I do the math right?

709rds total / 4 guns = 0.00564175?

I got some catching up to do...

May 22, 2012, 10:48 AM
Except for .500 S&W, .250 Savage, and .32 ACP, I keep a minimum of 1000 factory rounds for each caliber/guage I own.

May 22, 2012, 10:48 AM
A guy I train in upstate NY buys ammo for ~$65,000 at a time. That's a lot of ammo for personal consumption.

May 22, 2012, 11:02 AM
I like to keep at least 500 rounds on hand for every caliber I own, not so much for any specific gun (although I own only one .22 and have 1500+ rounds for it riight now). Enough so that, like another poster said, I can grab a few boxes for the range and not feel like I'm cutting into my supply too badly. Once I get all my reloading gear together in the next couple of months I'll probably up my minimum inventory number a bit.

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May 22, 2012, 12:13 PM
If you know how much ammo you have you don't have enough.:neener:

May 22, 2012, 12:16 PM
I'm no Barney Fife.. I've got two rounds per gat!

T Bran
May 22, 2012, 12:37 PM
I keep a couple hundred or so per caliber on hand and enough components to do a couple thousand as needed.

May 22, 2012, 01:00 PM
In my opinion, ratios have little to do with what ammunition you maintain in terms of a cache. I keep a supply based on what I use. The cache can be based on many things from what you normally shoot and some volume that satisfies that need, months worth of normal shooting, or you simply like to see a big pile of ammunition available to you and it makes you feel good.

May 22, 2012, 01:12 PM
With out specifics I am well into the tens of thousands per firearm. The .22lr ratio is ridiculous.

Now that's more like it.

My primary caliber is and always has been 9x19, for which I have two guns and at least 7,000 rounds at the moment. My only other caliber in decent quantity is .22lr. I would really like to have 10k+ of several calibers. Some day...

May 22, 2012, 01:44 PM
I have about $1000 worth of ammo in all the various calibers I own, including a few I don't own but my friends do. I have about $3000 worth of guns.

My stockpile is regularly hoarded and replenished. It isn't for a SHTF scenario so much as "dang, nothing is on sale and I want to go shoot this weekend" so I raid the stockpile. Then later on when the sales hit I replenish.

May 22, 2012, 08:02 PM
Since I don't reload, I buy ammo in bulk. I usually have a minimum of 500 rounds each in .44 and .357, a couple thousand rounds of .45, and several thousand rounds of 9mm. again none of this SHTF nonsense, simply a matter of economics.

Now that I am starting to shoot 10mm, I'm thinking it may be time to start thinking about reloading. I just don't have time for another hobby, time is $$$.

May 22, 2012, 08:10 PM
Only you can answer the question of "Do I have enough ammo". For some guns that I shoot often I have a high round count, for others maybe 50 rounds.

And always remember, the only time you can ever have to much ammo is when your house is on fire.

May 22, 2012, 08:52 PM
2-3 K of .22 for 2 pistols and 2 rifles
About 800 factory rounds in .38 and enough reloading supplies for about another 2000 rounds. Been shooting reloads exclusively lately and have about 300 loaded rounds on hand.
50 rounds factory of .357. Don't own the gun yet, but will start reloading that too.
About 200 rounds of .380 for one pistol.

I guess I am not too bad...

May 22, 2012, 09:01 PM
I think the OP's question is an interesting one, but I don't believe that converting to dollars for the ratio is a good idea.
For example, if I have an H&K 9mm then I would have to stock away 5x-6x as much ammo compared to having a Hi-Point 9mm simply because the H&K costs 5x-6x more.
I also tend to keep to a minimum the number of different cartridge types I need, even if I have a bunch of guns for each type. So I measure it as about 1K rounds per cartridge type per person (i.e. my wife and I). I can't be shooting more than one gun at once, I don't care about factoring 'loaning' someone a gun. That just isn't going to happen.
It's a nice round number, not too big, not too small. Easy to figure out.

May 22, 2012, 09:32 PM
I appreciate all of the info. Putting a ratio in $ value might not have been the best idea, but it does give you an idea of where you stand in your overall collection. I was honestly shocked to see that the value of my firearms had a value of 5X my ammo.

At the end of the day, this is not an inexpensive hobby. Thousands of dollars go towards these tools and their munitions. Nothing but the best in your future collections... philoe

May 22, 2012, 09:37 PM
IMHO I would not answer that question for several reasons. BHO, DOJ, ATFE
We are not talking privately in the backyard here.

May 23, 2012, 08:28 AM
Half a ton all styles ammo. If you can count by rounds or boxes it's not enough.

May 23, 2012, 12:54 PM
And always remember, the only time you can ever have to much ammo is when your house is on fire.

Now that's the truth.... A guy in town here was an avid reloader when his house went up. The FD had to get back and just let it burn. The guy estimated his round count in the neighborhood of 100k-200k give or take a few.

May 24, 2012, 01:22 AM
I handload a lot and I shoot a lot, since the end of January about 5600+ plus rounds, mostly 45 auto, 38 Super, 357 mag and 9mm. I had expected to shoot more 10mm and bought the components to do so, but I prefer shooting the 357 mag (Keith bullet) over the 10mm.

Time for another order to Rimrock and to Powder Valley for more W231 to load for practice. :)

After all these years I finally broke down and ordered a Chargemaster from Natchez to replace the Lyman #55 that I bought in the early 70s.

May 24, 2012, 02:21 AM
I own two firearms at the moment: a Walther PPQ, and the Kel Tec PF-9 that lives on me.

I generally keep at least 100 rounds of FMJ, and 40 rounds of Speer Gold Dots in reserve, not counting the rounds in my PF-9, or the spare mag.

May 24, 2012, 03:13 AM
I would say that the more firearms a person has, especially when they start to overlap in use and in caliber, the less $$$/quantity there will be in ammunition on a per gun basis

This. It would be stupid to have thousands of rounds of 6.5mm Carcano, 7.5mm MAS and the like on hand for guns that I shoot once in a blue moon to the tune of maybe 30 rounds in a sitting. I have some guns that I stock fewer than 100 rounds for, and that's plenty. On the other hand, for most of us, it is prudent to have a pretty healthy stock for our AR/AK and the handguns we shoot frequently.

May 24, 2012, 03:36 AM
I'm not rich enough to have 1000 rounds of .375 H&H laying around.

My other calibers I do ok.

May 24, 2012, 03:46 AM
I try to keep 1000-2000 rounds of the calibers that I shoot a lot, i.e. practice ammo. Maybe 500 of expensive hollow point ammo for self-defense firearms. Maybe only 100 for firearms that I rarely shoot such as toys/collectibles. I actually think keeping a good stockpile in any caliber would be a better investment than putting the money in a savings account but, still, I can't afford to have a large quantity of everything.

evan price
May 24, 2012, 06:50 AM
I have one bullet, but it fits many guns.

May 24, 2012, 06:55 AM
3 boxes of varying loads for each caliber

May 24, 2012, 09:54 AM
As a reloader I keep plenty of components around and less ready-made stock. I make sure I have enough loaded ammo to handle several range trips and emergency stock. I make more as needed.

May 24, 2012, 10:14 AM
I keep enough ammo and reloading supplies to out-live me.


May 24, 2012, 10:21 AM
IMHO I would not answer that question for several reasons. BHO, DOJ, ATFE
We are not talking privately in the backyard here
Last I checked, its not illegal to purchase and keep ammunition. The tinfoil hat might be a bit too tight. :neener:

May 24, 2012, 10:24 AM
This topic is too wide and vague to have one answer.

Someone who does a lot of steel shooting with a 9mm may have a ratio of 2000 rnds/pistol. For someone who has one home defense pistol, itmay be one or two boxes of hollow point. For a shotgun clay shooter, maybe a couple hundred rounds. Then you have those who buy big ammo in big lots simply to save on expenses, figuring it'll get used eventually and sits around for years.

These threads are like asking how many nails people have in their workshop drawers and trying to draw some sort of conclusion from it. It all depends what you're doing.

May 24, 2012, 11:51 AM
Back in my college days, I had a reloading bench in my living room. When the neighbor's bbq got away from him (@#$% drunk!!!) and spread to his fence and then his apartment, the security guard kicked in my front door to call the FD. They has a merry ol' time when the powder, primers, and loaded ammo lit off.

Storage space has been an issue, but that's changing. I've been keeping between 200 and 1k rounds per handgun caliber and 1-500 per rifle caliber on hand, but will increase by a factor of at least 5. I never get below enough to load out every gun and spare magazine - which is still more than I could carry if I need to bug out.

I tend to buy ammo every time I shoot, and buy more than I shoot. Then there's the reloading components...

I have also limited my chamberings, which simplifies ammo somewhat. .22LR, 9mm, .38/.357, .45acp, .223/5.56, .22-250, .308, 12ga and 20ga. I'd go much deeper if I were running wildcats or less common commercial loads.

May 25, 2012, 12:45 AM
I keep at least a thousand rounds on hand for my AR and usually around 500 rounds each for my handguns. Normally have three or four bricks of .22lrs on hand for my two .22 pistols and one rifle. I do have a lot more in brass, bullets, powder and primer on hand for most of the centerfire cartridges. I don't keep much more than 200 rounds of various loads for the shotgun. Not a big hoard but enough to keep things going for awhile if the feds clamp down.

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