How Much Ammunition is needed?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Archie, Feb 1, 2022.

  1. Archie

    Archie Member

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    I just did a search for this subject. Didn't find any discussion of the subject in the manner I am thinking.

    How much ammunition does one really need? Or perhaps one should determine how many primers and how much powder does one really need?

    Now, before anyone responds with "Ten thousand rounds", consider these thoughts:

    1. How many arms does one shoot? How much does one shoot?
    2. What sort of ammunition is to be 'stockpiled'?
    3. (Possibly the least considered) Where does one have to store it all?

    I have a 'pile' of firearms. Pardon me for being vague, but I am a little bashful about such things. Most of my arms are collector type devices. I add I collect WWI battle rifles and .32 ACP/7.65mm Browning pistols designed prior to WWII. Most of those are not shot much. They are all safe to shoot and can be shot (okay, there is a 1886 Lebel about which I'm a a bit leery). But other than for initial testing and sighting in, they don't get shot at all.
    I do collect period correct ammunition for display. Cartridges of the era, unfired and such. I don't shoot it. One example of this is about 10 or 15 rounds of .32 ACP ammunition made by Eley and possessing cupro-nickel jackets. Not the sort of thing one shoots casually. Not the sort of ammunition I would shoot at all.
    But I have a number of rounds from PPU (last couple of years) I use for comparing velocities and accuracy of various pistols. Seems to be the same "standard" load used forever. I buy it (or I did in the old days) in 1000 round lumps all from the same lot number.
    Same idea for the rifles. Some ammo for test firing and comparison, some collector stuff for display.

    I have several home and personal defense firearms; both rifle (actually carbine) and handguns. I have two types of ammunition for these. "Duty" ammo that I actually load and carry for the purpose of defense and practice ammo of lesser cost. Some ammo is my own handloads.
    The practice ammo shoots the same weight bullet at about the same velocity (within limits of variation) and impacts in the same location at the same distance.
    I don't use the duty ammunition much. Most of it needed to be replaced is due to exposure and or loading and reloading the arm over time. From a rather delightful event, I have enough proper defense ammunition for my primary arm to last the rest of my life. (400 rounds or so.)
    I do shoot more of the practice stuff for practice and informal competition. However, since the requirement is quite close to 'standard' loadings I have little problem reloading it. For instance, my defense .45 ACP loads shoot the same as G. I. hardball. Not hard to duplicate.

    I have a couple hunting rifles. A couple of them are of the large, dangerous game type and they are not plinkers. Forty rounds (each caliber) will no doubt be more than enough.
    Same for North American game, mostly deer, the possibility of an elk or moose. After the initial function check and sight in, one desires a certain amount of ammunition for practice and sight verification. So I opine I need around twenty rounds for the initial shooting and perhaps twenty rounds a year for practice and verification.

    The reader's needs and thinking may be considerably different than mine. What is your thinking?
     
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  2. Archie

    Archie Member

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    Forgot .22 long rifle ammo. Have both handguns and a rifle or two. I use about forty rounds a month plus twenty or so from the rifle. Obviously cannot reload it. Attempt to keep a buffer of 500 rounds or so.
     
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  3. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

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    As much as you want, it’s a free country. Need has little to do with it.
     
  4. mokin

    mokin Member

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    "How much ammunition is needed?"

    That's a good question and one I have asked myself as well. I too, have some old war rifles, not as old as yours, but old enough that I don't shoot them much. I try to balance the stockpile of ammunition and components commensurate with how much I shoot that cartridge. In addition to having a deep pile of 9 x 19 and 5.56, I also have a good pile of .303 British and probably an abnormally large stock of 6.5 Carcano ammunition and components.
     
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  5. RMH

    RMH Member

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    Given the current state of "stupid", I think a minimum of a 5 year supply. Maybe more.
     
  6. Chuck R.

    Chuck R. Member

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    Individual thing.

    In my case, I have my backyard range so during decent weather I shoot a couple of times a week. I also normally shoot 2 IDPA matches and one 3Gun match a month. So my match ammo expenditures for a month come to about 300 9mm, 100-120 .223 and about 50 shotgun, + or - a couple slugs. And that's just for matches, then there's practice.

    I buy 5000 flats of primers and powder in 8lb kegs and at any given time I'll have around 10-15K in small pistol and 10K in small rifle primers on hand. Sounds like hoarding to some, to me it's just a years worth of match ammo and some practice. When I get down to 5K in primers for any type, I start getting nervous. For the rest of the stuff; hunting, SD/HD, I've probably got a few years worth on hand. For hunting bullets, IF I shift most of my practice to .22LR and .223, I've got a couple lifetimes worth of supplies.

    When I drop an order for components its usually anywhere from $500 to $1000 to take advantage of bulk and limit the cost of hazmat and shipping.
     
  7. twarr1

    twarr1 Member

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    Impossible to answer. As always. Only you can decide an amount that you’re comfortable with. One can calculate how much they shoot and multiply it by x number of years, etc, but at best, it’s a guess only. Are your interest/needs going to change in 5 years? 20 years? Ever?
    What is availability going to look like in 15 years?
    Interesting discussion but don’t hope for an accurate, correct answer.
     
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  8. cd4337
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    cd4337 Contributing Member

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    Taking into account how long ammo will keep if properly stored and the question that pops in my head when I am about to purchase a pallet of ammo, "yes I know its a 100,000 rounds but it is such a good deal and is there ever going to be a time where you dont want to go shooting?"

    For reals, I try to keep 1k rounds per caliber available.
     
  9. DukeConnor

    DukeConnor Member

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    I don't have much ammo stockpiled. Lately I just make what I need for each range trip. My shooting interests have drifted into single shot rifles and 20-50 rounds seems to be enough for a range trip.
     
  10. bannockburn

    bannockburn Member

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    I go "heavy" on a few cartridges; primarily 9mm., .38 Special, .45 ACP, .223, 7.62x39, .22LR., and 12 gauge shells. For the rest I typically like to have at least 500 rounds or more on hand, depending of course on price and availability.
     
  11. Axis II

    Axis II Member

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    Go away ATF!
     
  12. Steve S.

    Steve S. Member

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    Like money, any amount that makes you comfortable - and with some, no amount of ammo (or money) will ever be enough.
     
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  13. Riomouse911

    Riomouse911 Member

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    I want enough on hand at all times so I can go shooting with friends on a 3-day weekend trip and not have to worry about ammo for any gun I may bring that trip… or the next one.

    To the news media I have a”stockpile” of ammo. To a serious shooting competitor I have a “good start” on ammo.

    To each his own :thumbup:.

    Stay safe.
     
  14. bullseye308

    bullseye308 Member

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    Figure what you shoot per year. Always keep at least 5 years stock on hand, that usually would get you through the expected 4 year shortages we always seem to have. I reload everything I shoot except.22 so I keep enough components to load 5 years worth at any given time and usually more because it was cheap not long ago.
     
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  15. webrx
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    webrx Contributing Member

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    For me, I base my ammo needs on how much I am able to shoot, for example, if I go to the range once a month and shoot 100 rounds of 9mm each trip, I need 1200 rounds to last a year (assuming you can't replace that ammo that I shot).

    Since I reload, I want the ability to replace what I shoot, and the ability to do that for 2 or 3 years so I can be comfortable in a situation like we are in now.

    .22 if plinking, we can go through several hundred rounds a trip, if shooting for accuracy or testing then maybe only 100 - 10 rounds of 10 different types slow fire, shooting for accuracy.

    If you have others in the house that shoot, then, you have to take their usage into consideration. with 3 people shooting 100 rounds of 9mm a trip, and 12 trips a year that 1200 rounds is now 3600 rounds x 3 years if you can't replace it at the LGS, and you are now over 10,000 rounds of 9mm. Add 300 rounds a trip times 3 people for 12 trips a year for .22 plinking ammo, and you have 30k in .22, again assuming you can't buy it.

    If you don't want 50k rounds of ammo, and you only want to replace what you shoot and keep 1 trips worth of ammo, then you need to be able to replace what you shoot, shoot 100 9mm and 300 .22 then find some at an LGS and replace what you shot before the next trip, or don't go shoot because yo don't have or can't get ammo.

    You have to decide how you want to do this and what works for you, and how much you want to stockpile. A guy that only shoots 50 rounds of 9mm 3 times a year only needs to keep 3 boxes at home for one year, and a 3 year supply is 9 boxes.

    d
     
  16. armydog

    armydog Member

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    Thanks to Obama, I base my needs in president terms. I stock up to get through 4 of them. And I easily achieved that goal thanks to Trump.
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2022
  17. defjon

    defjon Member

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    More
     
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  18. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    Varies vastly and is dependent on a number of variables. In my life, I have had years where I have gone through more than 50,000 rounds other years, at least the first 6 where I never fired a shot…

    I suppose I only need what I shoot, as long as I can get more when ever I need it again. It is that uncertainty that has people maintaining stock beyond what they need.

    Humans are not the only critters on this planet that do this. Even the simple minded tree rat gathers more nuts than they need, while they can. It’s what they eat when they can’t get any more.

    I know for sure that more would have been happier had they been ready for the next panic. No one wishes to pay scalper prices for goods but the only way to avoid it is to buy before hand or quit using them altogether.

    I figure it an issue for new people to the game, a lot of us learned this long ago with other panics and won’t get caught in the same situation twice.
     
  19. reddog81

    reddog81 Member

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    I was at a about a 4 year supply of components and 1+ year of ammo. I think I’ll push for an 8 year supply once primers become available for reasonable prices. I shoot 200-300 rounds per range visit and go about 2 or 3 times per month.
     
  20. DustyGmt

    DustyGmt Member

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    A few thousand rounds at least, at all times, for at least one weapon would be my guess.....
     
  21. bdickens

    bdickens Member

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    I don't know. How many books does anyone "need?" Newspapers? TV channels?
     
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  22. brewer12345

    brewer12345 Member

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    Ordinarily I would suggest that you figure out how much you typically use in a year and buy double that. With the shortage dragging on and all kinds of restrictive attempts by the feddle gubmint (let alone various states), I think all of that goes out the window. Safer to have a bunch, have reloading equipment and supplies, learn how to cast. Heck, I even got into muzzleloaders in part because I can feasibly make powder, caps, patch and ball if it becomes necessary.
     
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  23. GEM

    GEM Moderator Emeritus

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    When you are older, also figure in your life span. I calculated I had enough bird shot to reach Methuselah and thus unloaded it - oh, sold it. Basically, a rule of thumb is 500 rounds and a rolling stock of competition ammo. Figure about 300 rounds a month of various calibers.
     
  24. AK Hunter

    AK Hunter Member

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    Can you predict what the future is going to do as far as guns & ammo is concerned?
    I can't ether, so that's why I stockpile as much ammo as my bank account will allow.
     
  25. Bazoo

    Bazoo Member

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    My goals for 22lr is 250k rounds, that'll be enough to get me through my life and some into the sons. I'm not there yet and I buy some when I can.

    I'd like to have 100k primers. I'm not there yet either, and again, I buy when I can.

    Per just my 30-30 rifle I have 4k primers and Im barely comfortable. Id buy more if the money and opportunity happened at the same time. I'm not comfortable for my higher use handgun rounds, but the current drought hasn't slowed me much.

    I don't just consider myself but my sons needs. And I consider possible shtf and want to enough ammo if I survive.
     
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