Total Ammo in the US?


July 4, 2004, 04:15 PM
I'm in a debate with some anti's over on and one argued for banning bullets. I wanted to point out the inanity by saying how much ammo is in private hands in this country. I'd say the number is in the billions but anyone got a more exact number and a source? Thanks,

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July 4, 2004, 04:28 PM
Billions isn't a bad estimate wouldn't be surprised if it could be measured in trillions. 60 million gun owners is a conservative estimate of gun owners in America. Assume every one has 100 bullets. Right there you have 6 Billion. Now take onto consideration so-called 'gun nuts'. I myself have nearly a thousand round in Pistol and Rifle ammo, Many hundred in shotgun and thousands in 22 (yes, a low number, i know). Search around here and some other forums for polls on how much ammo people have on hand. Especially try the C&R folks, they seem to like to stock up when they have a chance. I've seen inividual members claim to have over 100,000 rounds. For a more realistic example, I know my friends family has over 10,000 rounds loaded, and plenty of supplies to make more.

July 4, 2004, 04:30 PM

My answer was pretty conservative, I didn't want any blissninny to wet themselves with the thought of trillions of bullets ready to hop out of people's gun barrels killing countless children in the process.


July 4, 2004, 04:36 PM
The Census Bureau issues a report, every couple of years, on the firearms and ammunition industry.

The last report I read indicated something like six billion rounds of ammunition are sold on the civilian market in the US every year, and another four billion primers for reloaders.

July 4, 2004, 05:01 PM
There are some people out there that have in excess of 10,000 on hand and then there are those that have 10,000 in one caliber alone. :evil: (not counting 22lr's of course :D)

Heck the internet and Wal Mart have made it cheap and easy enough to stock up w/o breaking the bank, and I know many of the members here are doing just that :D

I'd say the it's atleast cose to a trillion rounds if not over that mark.

July 4, 2004, 05:34 PM
I have 50 right now but I just got my gun a few weeks ago. Anyone know where I can get 1000 rounds of .38 special cheap?


July 4, 2004, 05:51 PM
WalMart - Winchester White box 100 round value packs-dirt cheap!

July 4, 2004, 05:53 PM
Natchez has S&B 158 gr FMJ for $6.56/box plus shipping. LRN is a little cheaper.


July 4, 2004, 06:29 PM

Not sure how his .38 prices compare, but his customer service has been excellent and his prices already include shipping. I'll buy from him again.

Back to our originally scheduled thread topic:

I personally have ~3K-4K rounds. I try to keep 1K rounds for each firearm on hand. It's more cost-effective to buy in bulk, and keeps the UPS guy fit. :p

July 4, 2004, 07:17 PM
I don't have a source for it, but I recall reading that Americans bought over 2 billion rounds of just .22 LR last year.

*edit* found source:

July 4, 2004, 07:58 PM
Hmmm... last ammo shopping I had 4 cases of 9mm in the truck. Sure, I passed one to a friend and one is spoken for, but it was cheap... and I'll be going back again.

Then again, I have a case of frangible for a pistol I don't own anymore... and several cases of .308... and two cardboard boxes of unknown capacity full of Turk 8mm... and at least two cases of 3131a in a closet somewhere.. Oops, another case in an ammo can... two half cases in case I ever decide to try 7.62 soviet...

Oops... I caught a rough number and decided that the unwashed masses would tinkle all over their widdle selves if they read it... ;-)

Standing Wolf
July 4, 2004, 08:17 PM
I reduced the number of rounds in the United States by about 350 this afternoon, but am planning to load more .357 magnum rounds in the next week or ten days, and am about to buy another case of .22 long rifle. The number will go back up!

July 4, 2004, 09:26 PM
Well, let me put it this way: If they banned all ammo sales tomorrow, I'd still be shooting for the rest of this decade, maybe a bit more if I ration a little. ;)

I think I'd quickly learn shoot a lot better though and rapid fire wouldn't even be considered. Gotta make every round count now. :rolleyes:

R.H. Lee
July 4, 2004, 09:37 PM
And don't forget that we could cast our own bullets, cases can be used over and over again, I don't have the recipe for progressive burning powder right at my fingertips, but I'm sure we could figure it out, as well as manufacture primers, if necessary. So the supply is limitless:D

July 4, 2004, 10:43 PM
Well, without knowing what I actually own, I know that I probably have about 2,000 rounds of ammo that I can't shoot because I don't have guns chambered for them...

My guess would be very considerably over 100 billion rounds of privately owned ammo counting rimfire in the country.

Ky Larry
July 5, 2004, 12:00 PM
I had ammo, brass, primers, powder,and bullets all over my house and storage shed so a few weeks ago I tried to gather it up and organize it. So far I've found 4 cases of 7.62X39, 2 cases of 9mm, almost a case of .223, 800 rounds of .380 ACP, and lots of odds'n'ends. I was digging thru some old boxes of 9mm brass and found 4 boxes of Hydra-Shoks I'd forgotten about. If you're like me, you aren't sure exactly what you've got. Gotta get organized.

July 5, 2004, 01:43 PM
I meet a person at the range awhile back that said he Keeps a standing count of 10,000 9mm,45acp, 308, and 223 each

July 5, 2004, 02:07 PM
10,000 9mm,45acp, 308, and 223 each

Gentleman (and Ladies;)) the standard has been posted! -Gotta get back to the bench...

July 5, 2004, 08:18 PM
Wanna relly freak 'em out? Just show 'em that pic of Preacherman's new ammo cupboard!:evil:

July 5, 2004, 09:31 PM
I seem to recall Winchester's website listed the fact that they sell an average of 3 Billion rounds of just .22LR a year.. Multiply that by all manufacturers that make .22LR's, and you are in the 10's of Billions in just .22LR ALONE.

Multiply that with a few years, and a few other calibers, and you are close to the trillions easily..

Oleg Volk
July 5, 2004, 10:01 PM

July 5, 2004, 10:23 PM

July 5, 2004, 10:48 PM
Well, I'm not saying how much I have--but here's a hint.

Recently I took my nephew to the range with his dad and we shot about 450 rounds of 9mm.

That didn't change the first two digits of my inventory of 9mm ammo. :)

I'm pretty much in the same boat as DMK--I won't start getting worried for around 10 years if ammo sales stopped tomorrow.

July 6, 2004, 09:16 AM
I just love to watch the stack grow. Last time I moved things around it was about 8' high by 6 .50 cal ammo cans wide by two ammo cans deep not counting the crated Auzzie and other stuff in cardboard boxes.

July 6, 2004, 11:30 AM
OK - we have real info, at last.

US Census Bureau
Small Arms Ammunition Manufacturing
1997 Economic Census

Table 6a. Products Statistics: 1997 and 1992

Rimfire rifle~pistol cartridges (30 mm or less, 1.18 in. or less) millions.. ......................... 1997: N/A 1992: 3,000.9

Centerfire rifle cartridges (30 mm or less, 1.18 in. or less) millions.. ......................... 1997: 270.1 1992: 554.0

Centerfire pistols, including cartridges interchangeable between rifles and
pistols (30 mm or less, 1.18 in. or less) millions.. ........................................ 1997: 1,148.7 1992: 875.0

Shotgun shells (30 mm or less, 1.18 in. or less) millions.. ..................................... 1997: 1,018.9 1992: 981.5

Small arms ammunition primers (30 mm or less, 1.18 in. or less) millions.. ................... 1997: 2,221.6 1992: 2,027.8

Of course, 1997 isn't very recent, but there's no indication that production has declined. (That large apparent drop in centerfire rifle-only cartridges is at least partly because of an increase in the number of cartridges for which pistols are available. If one guy makes a pistol that fires .223, all .223 sales are moved from the rifle-only to the rifle-and-pistol category.)

The rimfire category doesn't include counts for 1997, because too large a percentage of their data was dollar-value only. But the dollar-value of rimfire nearly doubled between 1992 and 1997, from $60.5 million to $112 million. It'd not be unreasonable to guess that there were more than five billion rounds of rimfire sold in 1997.

Ky Larry
July 6, 2004, 11:49 AM
Does anyone have any info on how much ammo we import each year? I'm sure the Russians alone send us many million rounds per annum.

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