How long does a box of shells last you?


April 22, 2013, 08:24 PM
I was going through my safe thinking I might need to get some more .35remington or at least start trying to find it down here. I don't shoot my .35 336 except for hunting season and thankfully it is always on zero. Anyways, I opened up one box and it was full. I opened up another box and still had 13 rounds in it. Now this is something considering I am 2 seasons, 4 deer and a hog through that box. I had to shoot a couple extra as I was aiming at one deer about 175 yards away which on first shot it moved about 25 yds further away.
Anyways at this point I am now looking to see how long this box will last me. I figure maybe 4 more seasons :).
Any one else proud of how long a box will last you for hunting only?
And yes I shoot my other rifles a lot more but the 35 usually only gets the nod during hunting season.

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April 22, 2013, 08:36 PM
Any one else proud of how long a box will last you for hunting only? No.
I'm proud of how I always check the zero of my rifle and practice a little before hunting season starts every year.

I'd be ashamed if a box of 20 rounds lasted me up to hunting season, let alone after the season opened.

After that, I would hope to harvest the game animal with one shot / one kill.
And have 19 rounds left for practice and zero check before next hunting season.

But I would have plum wore out a box of ammo or four before the season opened.


Arkansas Paul
April 22, 2013, 08:44 PM
How long does a box of shells last you?

Well, I normally go through several boxes for the '06 before deer season ever gets here. Prolly a box or two during the season, not shooting at deer, but because with a 6-8 guys sitting around the campfire telling stories, there's bound to come a time when you go and see who's the best shot.

We like shooting. Also, shooting often keeps you sharp and familiar with your rifle. I've missed one deer in the last 5 years, and it was with a gun I was unfamiliar with at a stepped off distance of 412 steps. (I also misjudged the distance which was prolly a bigger factor than an unfamiliar rifle)

We also handload, so what you would pay $35 for at the store, we're paying about $10. Makes it a little easier to waste a few that way.

April 22, 2013, 08:49 PM
I shoot what needs shooting to accomplish my myriad purposes. It takes the number of rounds it takes.

April 22, 2013, 08:50 PM
About 2 hunting seasons...10 shots each year out of the gun at the range to ensure that the scopes are still zero'd. 0 shots out in the field cuz I never can find anything :(

April 22, 2013, 09:28 PM
One 20 round box - 'bout 2-3 years. In the 60s and 70s I fed my family with deer, elk, and bear - one shot kills the norm. Had not used my '06 since the 70s, but recently took it out with loads I loaded in the mid-60s. Shot just fine and grouped well, therefore one loading session has lasted nearly 50 years.

April 22, 2013, 09:37 PM
My 270 is pretty much hunting season only with some late summer/early fall practice and scope checking. Have not used it in about 5 years now since I have been mostly hunting with a revolver when I can deer hunt. You never know when I might dust it off and use it again. But a box of 270 cartridges lasts me about a hunting season (one deer and practice)... maybe a little longer if the scope is still on and it has been for the most part. A long shot is 75 yds where I hunt.... really don't need to practice a lot for that kind of shooting with a rifle if you are certain the scope is "on".

I don't keep score when it comes to rounds. I have enough on hand for probably the rest of my life if I continue only occasionally using the rifle. Handguns are different.... very different. You must practice.... and if I don't, then the rifle gets dusted off or I don't go.

April 22, 2013, 10:11 PM
I'm not bashful about shooting. I shoot any coyotes I see during deer season and might even take a crack at a crow now and then. Unlimited doe tags means we need plenty of ammo. Also, I may pop a shot or 2 at a target on the backstop now and then during the season.
I don't push the "one shot kill" thing. If a deer is still standing, I'm still shooting. The big 12 point I tagged last fall was hit 3 times within a few seconds since I was hunting alone and didn't want him to get to a place I couldn't drive to. I shot 15-20 rounds from 3 different rifles during the course of 14-15 days of hunting.

April 22, 2013, 10:27 PM
I put at least one box of ammo through every gun I own, every time I go to the range. Thats only about once a month usually, but that means every gun I own sees at least 12 boxes a year, and some guns see a lot more than that minimum. Only exception is 22LR, which I still shoot, but only 100 rounds or so usually. I don't think I could ever hold onto a gun I only shoot once or twice a year unless it was an heirloom or something.

April 23, 2013, 02:36 AM
Before I started handloading, I found a certain brand/type of ammo that my 270 shot really well, and had the particular bullet I wanted. The problem was that it was $40/box. So, I would shoot off-season with cheaper ammo, and save the expensive stuff for when I was pointing the rifle at 4-legged critters. Besides a couple of shots to re-zero from the cheaper ammo before hunting, 6 deer and 2 caribou all fell to the same box of ammo over 4 seasons.

But, I'm not sure that counts, since I shot other ammo in between...

rio nueces
April 23, 2013, 04:47 AM
I went to the range today and shot exactly one round of 20 gauge #3 buckshot.
Just wanted to get a fired case to determine head expansion and help me figure a correct diameter for a sizing die. Also patterned the 20 pellets at 15 yards from the cylinder bore.
Wow, big spread.
I learned a lot. And surprising how just one shot fouls the bore.
Most the time these days I shoot no more than 30 rounds per session, mostly revolver.
But I shoot weekly.
You really don't need to shoot more, if you are already experienced.

April 23, 2013, 08:11 AM
I belong to a club in a rural area with few shooters during the work week.I'm retired and in the summer and fall months I pack a lunch and take 3 guns(2 .243's and a 50 cal muzzleloader)and shoot and tinker for 4 or 5 hours about once a month.In deer season I usually shoot no more than 6 shots.I really try for the one shot kill,it doesn't always happen.

April 23, 2013, 08:11 AM
i shoot all year long, so ammo never sits around very long. BUT, i do have some ammo that is strictly for hunting. i will not allow any ammo to sit around more than 5 years though. and that is ONLY if it is stored inside of a military surplus ammo can with a good seal.

April 23, 2013, 09:24 AM
I use to shoot my rifles during the summer to check the scopes. My brother does not have the time to check his scope when he goes hunting. I use to check it for him now after 10 yrs of it not changing I use a bore laser sighter to confirm. So in the last 20 yrs my brother has only fired 1 round per season, 1 kill. At the current rate he will be 90+ yrs old before he goes through 30 rounds.

So to answer your question at your current rate you have enough for several years. I would just ride out the ammo shortage before I buy. If you reload you can do it any time you need them if you have the components to make them up.

April 23, 2013, 10:03 AM
I hunt SOMETHING year around now. I am in squirrel mode. Supposedly we have turkeys here, but I've yet to see sign of 'em. Wife saw one up the road in the car, that's encouraging, but I've not seen one, yet.

I practice with rimfires, the centerfires don't get shot all THAT often, but I do pop a few rounds from 'em now and then as I have my range next to my house, can shoot up to 100 yards. My .22 mag is a GREAT practice rifle and I take a squirrel now and then with it. It stays loaded in the mud room with a light on the scope for chicken marauders in the middle of the night. The other evening, I should have grabbed it instead of my .308 as the mag was loaded and I wouldn't have had to hunt for my ammo for it. There were 12 piglets and a sow in my back yard right before sun down. Oh, well....:D

Really, I don't have to worry about practice. I shoot my rimfires ALL the time. I don't have to worry a lot about ammo for my centerfires, either. I handload for everything I shoot except rimfire and 20 gauge. I really don't keep track of how many I shoot a year, doesn't matter. When I am running low for one of my rifles, I just reload the empty brass. I cannot imagine having to buy inferior store bought ammo to hunt with. I have guns that have never seen a factory round. My .308 is one of those. I just couldn't see paying 4 times the price for 1/4th the quality. :rolleyes:

April 23, 2013, 10:24 AM
How long does a box of shells last you?

One box of 20 rounds lasts me 20 shots !....................

April 23, 2013, 10:35 AM
Now as I think about it my brother just bought 2 boxes of 35 rem cor-lokts 200 gr last deer season. I can't remember the last time we bought any ammo. I think the last time I bought a box of 35's when they cost @ $ 24.00

I go up to the Catskill Mountains N.Y. every year and we do our tradition the day before opening season walking up a couple of ridges behind the house and shoot a couple rounds.

I was just at Gander Mountain Palm Beach Gardens and they do have some box's of 35 cal on the shelf for $34.00

April 23, 2013, 11:47 AM
I once had a box of shotgun shells that I went 25 for 25 on squirrels over the course of a couple years. As for rifles, I tend to shoot a lot of different rifles. I don't shoot my "go to" hunting gun as much as some of my others, but marksmanship is marksmanship. Lots of practice with a .22 for example will carry over to hunting with larger calibers. I generally use the same rifle for big game hunting every year and am 100% confident in it.

I find shooting at game is more a matter of keeping yourself calm and collected than anything else. If at the moment of pulling the trigger you separate yourself subconsciously from envisioning the animal that you are about to take life from to being a target that you MUST hit exactly in a certain spot, then you will have very few misses and almost zero lost game. You will also find yourself not taking marginal shots with this mentality. I almost never get buck fever anymore, but I generally have the adrenaline dump after the animal is on the ground.

April 23, 2013, 11:49 AM
It depends on how many deer I shoot that year but I average about 3 deer/year. Almost all of them only take one cartridge but occasionally a follow-up shot is warranted. With a 3 shot sight-in session to confirm POI each season, an accurate estimate would be 3 years.

April 23, 2013, 01:14 PM
Depends on what I'm hunting...

Hunting hogs I've had twenty shells last me less than 2 minutes with 10 or more hogs on the ground. I generally spend one or two per critter other than hogs while hunting Seldom do I shoot an animal only once even if I'm pretty certain of my shot I generally send another bullet if I have the opportunity. And I shoot a heck of a lot more than that through out the year, shooting for practice. Between several dozen and several hundred per caliber per year at a minimum.

fallout mike
April 23, 2013, 01:20 PM
One box generally lasts me about 20 shots.

April 23, 2013, 01:38 PM
I have a 6.5x284 that I am trying to be conservative with to save the barrel. I'll shoot a handful of rounds to check the zero, then another half dozen during the season, depending on how many species of critters I am hunting.

Considering I'll toast a barrel (or two) every summer shooting p-dogs, and maybe another barrel slapping steel, I really don't feel the need to "practice" a whole lot with my 6.5x284.

April 23, 2013, 02:38 PM
Considering I'll toast a barrel (or two) every summer shooting p-dogs, and maybe another barrel slapping steel, I really don't feel the need to "practice" a whole lot with my 6.5x284.

Same here I don't do high volume shooting on two barrel burners. A .300 WM and a .270 Weatherby.. But I shoot the heck out of my other stuff in all kinds of circumstances from hogs and coyotes to P-dogs rocks and steel.

April 23, 2013, 07:53 PM
One box generally lasts me about 20 shots.
20 shots .. yeah me too. :D

April 23, 2013, 08:53 PM
I have a life membership in a Sportsmen’s club that has a senior membership of 1200 with a waiting list. Sight in days were held before rifle season for deer. Enjoyed being a casual observer average consumption was ten rounds with the remaining ten saved for hunting I suppose. Most sighted their rifles in at 100yds from the bench almost none utilized the 200yd line. Few if any shot from a field position after sighting in.

I haven’t been there in almost two decades. It’s a little over a 400 mile trip one way. I believe nothing has really changed much there at least the news letters don’t indicate much of a difference.

April 23, 2013, 09:19 PM
A box or more in one outing, if they're really flying. ;)

April 24, 2013, 10:40 AM
For some calibers, many years! For others, a range session!

April 24, 2013, 03:26 PM
The range: 10 minutes
Hunting: Several years

April 24, 2013, 07:17 PM
Hunted with an old timer from Wyoming who pulled out a 20 round box with five live rounds left. Turned out he'd purchased the box 15 years prior and was proud of the fact he had bagged one deer each season using only one round each season to fill his tag. He had grown up in another era when ammunition was precious and you made sure each round counted.

Carl N. Brown
April 24, 2013, 07:29 PM
One box of CCI .22 shot shells (20 rounds) lasted twenty years used only to shoot rats and snakes indoors. (Actually I still have some rounds of that box.)

One spam can of 300 rounds 7.62mm lasted one season vintage military rifle matches. (Of course that's not hunting; I still have the softnose ammo I bought 1992 years ago for that that rifle.)

I have no doubt that farmers have gotten a deer or two for the freezer every fall for ten years from one box of .30-30 and have a few rounds left over.

I have had plinking sessions with my son and my cousins at the old homeplace in the mountains and went through a brick of 500 .22 in one afternoon with no rounds left over. For strictly hunting, I suppose a box of 50 would last two years or more when I was squirrel hunting.

Here's the problem I see: when I was kid, I could count on my dad being able to find .22 or 12ga at any general store or gas station on the way to the mountain. I have found especially when participating in vintage/modern military competitions, you have to buy ahead due to periodic droughts in ammo like .30 carbine or .45 ACP even at dedicated gunshops and sporting goods departments. For months now even .22 LR has been hard to find. Even if you shoot only when hunting in the field, occassionally doing sight checks, you must buy ahead even if you shoot less than a box per season

April 24, 2013, 08:48 PM
a box of shells to me is a plastic 50 round box of 6.5x55 handloads.its pretty much my go to hunting round now.i use it for coyotes, deer and groundhogs.50 rnds will last me all year. usually before deer season ill load up what shells are empty to have a complete box handy.during deer season ill shoot maybe 4 to 6 rounds at animals.coyotes and deer.this year i shot 4 rounds. 2 coyotes and two deer.and 1 more round thru my muzzy gun for another deer. i always check my sites before season so that eats up a few rounds.then occasionally ill shoot just for pleasure. so yeah 50 rnds per year in my main rifle.

April 24, 2013, 09:10 PM
A .270 is my go to deer gun. I have others but it gets used the most. I didn't hunt this season and that was a first ever. I have a box of Winchester Silver Tips that I think that I must have bought somewhere around 2007 that has 4 or 5 left. I do buy cheaper ammo to keep on hand for coyotes and whatnot and to check the scope before deer season. It makes that ammo that costs $2+ per round last a little longer.

Sav .250
April 25, 2013, 08:00 AM
For me that`s an open ended question. If you have have more than a few weapons and don`t use the same one year in and year out, a box can last quite some time. years.

April 25, 2013, 08:55 AM
One box lasts about 5 minutes during dove season.

April 25, 2013, 09:58 AM
:D I usually shoot up 4 or 5 boxes opening weekend of dove season. I'll go through 10 in a season easily if I hunt much at all. But, after opening weekend north zone, I'm going into teal/waterfowl mode. I'll burn 15-20 shells on a duck hunt. Geese, it just depends on how much they're flying, but the single shot 10 gauge keeps me from wasting ammo, guess that's a good thing. :D I fired 21 rounds from it one particularly good morning. Probably would have burned twice that or more out of a pump. :D

All 25 round boxes, of course.

April 25, 2013, 10:04 AM
Varmints can't count or tell time so it depends.

April 26, 2013, 12:16 AM
My deer season rifle days are precious few, so I run several boxes of ammo through whatever rifles I think I may try during a season. I enjoy target practice with a Savage 17 HMR every chance I get for less expensive shooting. My favorite centerfire calibers have a reserve ammo stock of 200+ rounds. Extra per diem funds for work travel help me out immensely with this.

April 26, 2013, 03:44 AM
If we are talking purely hunting, I only hunt deer. I only hunt with a single pistol, my Blackhawk in 45 colt. I shoot between 100-150rds a month out of it. Every month, whether its season or not.

Now, in my comp guns, during Bullseye season, 300-400rds a WEEK, then competition every tuesday. For IDPA I typically only shoot 150week in practice, then 100 or so twice a month(two matches a month around here).

April 26, 2013, 10:17 PM
On a typical trip to the farm, for shooting steel, I can easily go through 200 rounds of centerfire rifle, 500 rounds of handgun, and well over 1,000 .22LRs. On such trips, I typically will take 4 or more rifles, and at least that many handguns.

Now, if I am working on handload development, I may only take two rifles and 20 to 30 rounds of handloads for each. I always take the .22LR and several hundred rounds of ammo for it. It's fun to shoot while the barrels cool between strings. It depends, fun or business.

Then, in a typical deer season, I will go through 100 to 200 rounds for preseason practice. During the actually season, one box suffices, unless I have to verify my scope. No, I use a whole lot of ammunition, and it explains why I handload. I could never afford to purchase this much factory ammo.


PS: If you have some extra ammo that has been sitting around, feel free to ship it to me. 8^)

April 29, 2013, 09:20 PM
I will say one thing... regardless if it is my 270 or a handgun and I'm using factory ammo to hunt big game, I will probably grab a fresh box for "opening day" and leave any partial boxes at home or in the truck. I figure if I am likely to shoot one or two shots if I see my quarry, why use five year old ammunition when I have newer?

That helps to eliminate the chance happening that all my ammo is bad for some reason. I actually had that happen when I was 14 with shotgun slugs... all my ammo that my Dad gave me were duds, every single round. :) And yes, the 8-pt buck when bye bye.

April 30, 2013, 10:14 PM
My deer season this past year consisted of 1 shot, 1 dead deer, from a single shot rifle. A Ruger No. 1 in .308 Win. to be exact. But man do I shoot the snot out of that and all of my other rifles during the off season. Sent about 40 down range today. Handloading, its the only way to go.

May 1, 2013, 01:07 PM
Asking how long does a box of shells last is like asking how long does a loaf of bread last?

Depends on how many sandwiches you eat, do you eat one for lunch or one for lunch and one for supper?

May 5, 2013, 12:23 AM
sometimes about 30 seconds.

May 5, 2013, 08:48 AM
I shoot about 2 boxes of coyote ammo during season and maybe 4/5 deer rounds during deer season.

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