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Armory, Self Defense, And EDC => Firearms (Including Long Guns, Pistols) => General Ammo, Reloading, Bullet Casting, & Ammo Craft => Topic started by: Heavy G on January 11, 2009, 11:15:29 AM

Title: How Much Ammo Is Enough?
Post by: Heavy G on January 11, 2009, 11:15:29 AM
I want to be prepared but resources are limited so I need to put them to the best use.  

I have some ammo but wonder if I should try to get more now (at the ridiculous prices) or see if ammo prices fall.  My idea is to focus on food and other preps while the ammo prices (and availability) gets better.  But, if I need a lot more ammo, then I'll get more.  I have a set amount each month to spend on prepping so it's either ammo or other preps (or a combo).

Even though I use a screen name, I still don't want to blab on the internet about the guns and ammo I have.  Therefore, I will provide a list of my guns that's not quite accurate and I won't say how much ammo I have; I want you guys to post with the amount you think is essential and then the amount that's ideal.

I have added a few guns to the list that I don't own and omitted a couple that I do own.  Besides, if I add a made-up gun to my list then (and you have that gun) then the responses to that will help you too.  OK, here goes.

Battle rifles

- AR-15 (.223/5.56)
- AK-47 (7.62x39)
- FN FAL (.308)

Shotgun

- 12 gauge pump (tactical set up)

Side arms

- .40 XDM
- 9mm Baretta

Hunting/Long Range Rifle

- 30-06 (scoped)
- .308 (scoped)

Pocket Pistol

- .380

.22s

- 10/22 rifle
- P22

P.S.  Allow me to anticipate some of your questions and answer them:

- No need to say I should standardize calibers.  Remember, I added some made-up guns to this list.  I am all over the standardized calibers.

- I have plenty of magazines (10 for battle rifles, 5 for pistols) and a spare parts kit (like firing pins and gas rings) for most of the battle rifles.

- Reloading is not an option for me.  Mrs. Heavy G doesn't know a thing about this so I can't exactly put a reloading operation in the garage.  Plus I doubt I would have the quality time to devote to it.  I don't want to get distracted and accidentally add twice the powder to a cartridge. 
 
Title: Re: How Much Ammo Is Enough?
Post by: Greenjeans on January 11, 2009, 03:28:42 PM
Heavy G, good question, afterall a firearm, as a tool, is all but useless without ammo.  I have friends who have stored over 10,000 rounds of .223 and are still buying.   It's not that he thinks, as some do, that he is Rambo, and will win all his skirmishes.  But he knows that it would be difficult for a corrupt government to take away the millions of guns in our country, but easy to choke off the ammo, through taxes and fees.  How much is a pack of cigarettes now compared to 25 years ago? 

My goal is, a couple cases of fodder for each defensive system:
Keltec 16,
Glock 23 & 27, 
Savage .308 scout rifle (on my birthday list)

870 12 ga.  1,000 rds various 00, slug, bird.

For my .22 lr tools 20 bricks:
10/22
 AR 7   
Advantage Arms Glock conversion, (Father's day?)

I was plugging along slowly...now on advice from my friend at the gun shop, I have accelerated the plan.



Title: Re: How Much Ammo Is Enough?
Post by: Dirt Rider 3006 on January 11, 2009, 04:04:05 PM
Never have enough..... Seriously, if you have some stocked now and are lacking somewhere else, spend it there. If all else is covered, buy some more...
Title: Re: How Much Ammo Is Enough?
Post by: HYRYSC on January 11, 2009, 05:52:32 PM
I agree with dirtrider 3006.  Ammo is important, but certainly no more than adequate stores of food and water, so if you need some, get more of that as there are many scenario's that could play out that you would need that, much fewer scenario's that you would need a large supply of ammunition.
Title: Re: How Much Ammo Is Enough?
Post by: Jack Crabb on January 11, 2009, 08:12:43 PM
Enough for what?  Enough for how long?

Quantity is easy enough.  If you shoot 4 rounds of skeet 50 weeks a year for 30 years, then you need 150,000 rounds.  If you are in one defensive gun use in your life, and use the average 2.3 rounds, then 3 rounds is enough.

Without any additional purchases, I would bet most people have what they "need."  The guy with a revolver in his night stand and a box of 50 cartridges will be able to fulfill the purpose (largely peace of mind) that that revolver is intended.  The guy shooting prairie dogs by the hundreds probably has several thousand rounds already on the shelf.  The prairie dog population may enjoy a modest come back but they won't be entirely safe for some time.

Just my opinion, but the guys buying 1,000s of rounds envisioning massive human wave assaults up their driveways are kidding themselves.  If we get to that point, ammo resupply is only the nearest baby blue beret away. 

Also, keep in mind the government's power to regulate "hoarding."  Executive Order 6102 limited gold ownership.  The US government may take a page from some foreign countries and limit the number of rounds you can possess.  It looks like South Africa limits gun owners to 200 rounds per firearm.  If we do that here, you will need to deliver all ammo in excess of the authorized amount to the nearest public safety and reeducation center.

Duration is the other question.  During the "great primer shortage" of the early/mid 90's, we reloaded less, shot factory ammo more, and maybe did not shoot as much.  But a couple years later, there were all the primers you wanted.  So, one needs to consider for what reason ammunition will be unavailable and then consider for how long that is likely to last.  Y2K caused some shortages and price increases, but it all went away.

If we get to the point that ammo is being taxed extensively to reduce consumption, then loss of places to use ammo will follow.  As taxes on cigarettes increased, smokers watched airplanes, portions of restaurants, public places, etc. all become off limits.  You can have all the stored ammo you want, but if ranges are closed, competitions canceled, hunting seasons suspended, etc., what is the point?  I just do not foresee a program of federal and state taxation to put the price of ammo out of reach to shooters without also affecting other aspects of firearms ownership.  It won't matter that you can't afford ammo because the magazines to stuff it in are prohibited anyway.

What if you look at the question the other way around?  If you have a 1,000 rounds of 9mm, you can shoot an IDPA match each quarter for about the next five years.  Somewhere between now and then, get another case of ammo.

As some other posters already mentioned, there are higher priority survival preparations than stockpiling ammo.
Title: Re: How Much Ammo Is Enough?
Post by: spartan on January 11, 2009, 08:41:59 PM
For my needs it comes down to, per caliber:

1000rds for my semi-auto rifles.
200rds for my bolt actions rifles.
250rds for my shotgun.
500rds for my hand guns.
At least 2 bricks of 22 lr.

That is what I can regularly shoot in a quarter and re-stock without too much pain in to the pocket.  I can also reload this many rounds, minus the 22 and shotgun, in a month with some regular time at my reloading press.  It is also good for quite a few seasons in the field for big game, small game, and fowl. 

In a survival situation, I'm not worried about roving hordes or any kind of a shooting battle.  I'm worried about making sure there is enough food on the table, water to drink, and wood to heat my house.
Title: Re: How Much Ammo Is Enough?
Post by: The Professor on January 12, 2009, 11:45:22 AM
Quote
P.S.  Allow me to anticipate some of your questions and answer them:

- No need to say I should standardize calibers.  Remember, I added some made-up guns to this list.  I am all over the standardized calibers.

- I have plenty of magazines (10 for battle rifles, 5 for pistols) and a spare parts kit (like firing pins and gas rings) for most of the battle rifles.
 

If I may. . .

While you state that you have "Plenty of magazines," I might still recommend you get a few more.

The AK mags are pretty solid, if you take care of them.  Ditto the FAL mags.

Depending upon what brand of AR mags you have, 10 may not be enough.  The magazine is the weakest point of the AR system, especially if you're using the military issue aluminum mags.  IF you can find them, I'd snag on a couple of the MagPul PMAGS.  I use my AR's almost every week and have gone through dozens of aluminum mags due to lip malformation, etc.

However, I have a good friend of mine who runs a gun shop with indoor range.  They rent full-auto weapons and have been using three PMAG's for several years now.  These magazines are loaded, fired and reloaded several times a day.

Plus, if magazines are banned tomorrow (or, more likely, on the 21st), you may never have the opportunity to get more.   You may have to think that those 10 mags you have will have to last you the rest of your life. . .and those of your kids, if you have any.   

As to the ammo question,

I generally recommend what Spartan has, but with a twist.

1000 rds per rifle, regardless of caliber/use
500 rds per handgun, regardless of caliber/use
1000 rds per shotgun (more because this is a working weapon, you can use it for hunting to gather food and, in a pinch, for defense)

Once this is established, what I recommend is to then just purchase a box of ammo whenever you get paid.   For almost 20 years, I've gone down to where I find the lowest price and purchased a single (or more) box of ammo.  One week it would be for a rifle, the next for a handgun, the next for a shotgun, etc.

I set these back and when I have enough to fill an ammo can, I pack them in, put in a dessicant and seal the can up with info on what's inside.

I also have a basic load of ammo and mags set aside for each firearm that includes the appropriate number of magazines and ammo to fill them completely.  This way, if I only have a few seconds, I can grab a firearm and throw the bag over my shoulder and have a full load ready to go.

Some will say that this is entirely too much ammo to have. 

Fine.  But keep in mind that ammo may not be easy to get in a particular survival scenario.   Some of your friends/acquaintances may not have enough on-hand, but you may be able to provide them with an appropriate amount. It is barterable (arguable with some people) and, if you store it properly, will last a very long time.

Ammo is like money. . .you can never have too much.
Title: Re: How Much Ammo Is Enough?
Post by: Heavy G on January 12, 2009, 04:51:54 PM

IF you can find them, I'd snag on a couple of the MagPul PMAGS. 


I have 5 Magpul PMAGS and 6 Bushmaster aluminium mags. 

P.S.  Professor: You have the coolest frickin' avatar ever. 
Title: Re: How Much Ammo Is Enough?
Post by: simpleguy on January 12, 2009, 09:38:02 PM
I vote for:

2500 rounds/semi auto rifle
2000 rounds/handgun
5000 rounds/.22 firearm
500-1000 cases/shotgun
Title: Re: How Much Ammo Is Enough?
Post by: Greenjeans on January 13, 2009, 08:21:29 AM
“Enough for what?  Enough for how long?” 

It is absolutely a question of what scenario you are preparing for… TEOTWAWKI or just an economic hard landing.   Mike, I agree with your analysis of the issue of ammo and where our country would be if they taxed ammo for regulation.  And while I’m not a smoker, neither Grandfather nor my Father (who both had lung cancer) could ever have imagined that in their lifetime most buildings would be non smoking even restaurants and bars and that smokers would be huddled in small freezing groups outside. 

The shooting sports are at least challenged and on the decline in the many areas of the US.  No shooting areas (in my neck of the woods) are growing at an alarming rate. Public hunting has fallen sharply.   New outdoor ranges are all but halted here due to EPA regulations.  While shooting sports are far from being eliminated in the US, I wouldn’t want to be a complacent frog, in a not yet boiling pot. 

As with any preparation plan one has to prioritize.  Once your basic essentials are covered, owning the means of production is important, as we do with growing food.  While not for everyone, reloading can be a relaxing distraction. It is relaxing, because it does take your concentration…kind of like sailing.  Puts my mind away from day to day concerns yet requires focus or you could die. 
Title: Re: How Much Ammo Is Enough?
Post by: AGreyMan on January 14, 2009, 06:21:20 PM
The smart-alec response is "Unless you are swimming or on fire, there is no such thing as too much ammo!"

I like to keep a floor of 1000 rounds per rifle caliber and 500 per pistol caliber. That's the floor. When I get to the point that I have that little left, I tell myself I have "none left" and don't practice until I get more.

Some folks disparage the desire to stock up on ammunition, but I can invision a few scenarios in which you might be better off with a large supply. A 500% tax on ammunition, for example. A outright ban on the manufacture of ammunition for another. Not to mention a highly unlikely complete collapse of society.

Ammo doesn't go bad (very rapidly at least: I still have some WWII Surplus GI .45 ACP that goes bang every time), hardly ever gets cheaper, and has a great store of intrinsic value. If you have your other bases covered, why not stock up?

Stay Safe,
AGreyMan
Title: Re: How Much Ammo Is Enough?
Post by: Heavy G on March 15, 2009, 09:16:35 PM
(This thread has been selected as a “best of” thread by Heavy G.  You can search for “best of” threads by using that term in the search mode.  Everyone on the forum is encouraged to reply to a post they think is “best of” worthy so we can all search for them.  For more information on the “best of” thing, see  http://thesurvivalpodcast.com/forum/index.php?topic=3423.0  (http://thesurvivalpodcast.com/forum/index.php?topic=3423.0))
Title: Ammunition stockpile, how much is too much?
Post by: product85 on June 02, 2009, 03:25:56 PM
I haven't completely been influenced by the fear in the atmosphere since early november but as a regular shooter and reloader i have been looking for bulk components and better deals for years. I just recently took inventory of live cartridges on hand and personally feel that in a SHTF scenario that i have more than enough, and that is looking at most of it going to hunt to feed myself.

What do you consider to be an adequate ammunition stockpile? I have heard ranges from a couple hundred on up to 10,000 for each caliber or firearm.

What i found as good food for thought and experienced somewhat firsthand when just recently moved.. it just weighs too much so what is a reasonable qty?

Your thoughts?
Title: Re: Ammunition stockpile, how much is too much?
Post by: Roknrandy on June 02, 2009, 03:37:06 PM
I keep one or two cases of the larger caliber (.223,.40 & 9mm, not that I'll probably ever shoot it all) and small caliber (22lr which is what I shoot the most of) I do keep allot of (don't ask because its allot). It just depends on what you want to purchase and store. I'd say "normal" people may have a few boxes of what ever caliber they shoot. I like to have a little more.
Title: Re: Ammunition stockpile, how much is too much?
Post by: wbo3 on June 02, 2009, 03:53:06 PM
I keep a few hundred to a few thousand, depending on caliber.  It stands to reason that you should not need as much handgun ammo in a SHTF situation, so I keep far less of it than my rifle calibers.  The overwhelming majority of what I keep on hand is .22 LR, because it can't be reloaded (I keep dies on hand for all my other calibers, components is a different story right now), and .22 is dirt cheap.  I am guessing that most, if not all, the hunting I will do in a post SHTF world can and will be done with one of my .22s.  I have over 10K of .22lr, and will buy more if I ever find any more.  Another reason for keeping so much .22 is for practice, it is nothing for me to go out and shoot 500-1000 rounds of .22 in a single afternoon, so while 10K seems like a lot, it is really only 10-20 range sessions.  Or one REALLY fun one.  ;D
Title: Re: Ammunition stockpile, how much is too much?
Post by: chrisdfw on June 02, 2009, 05:29:51 PM
It really depends on how much you shoot in my mind.

I can easily go through 2000 rounds a month in a pistol when I could find it.
It also depends on your gun, I keep more for the belt fed 30-06 than for the single shot 50BMG.

Whatever you feel comfortable with is fine.

Myself, I like to shoot for 10,000 per centerfire caliber. I have only got there in a couple
of calibers but it is a goal, and I am over halfway there in just about everything I shoot
except 50bmg. Most of that is training and plain FMJ ammo.

For premium self defense ammo, I try to keep 1000 rounds in each caliber whether pistol or rifle and
rarely go through it except to verify a new gun.

If you can afford it, and find it reasonable, it really will hold its value, and you can shoot it later
avoiding future price increases or at least mitigating some of it. I believe the dollar will be devalued
so I spend my money now on things that will hold up. I am looking for real esate for some of the
same reasons.

Title: Re: Ammunition stockpile, how much is too much?
Post by: Klapton on June 02, 2009, 05:43:59 PM
I don't think you can have too much.  I'm convinced that when TSHTF, bullets will be a very popular form of currency.  They are durable, you can shove a bunch in your pocket, you can "make change" for larger calibers with 22LR...
Title: Re: Ammunition stockpile, how much is too much?
Post by: cohutt on June 02, 2009, 07:53:41 PM
Loaded ammo? 
Not more than a couple thousand in each semi auto caliber at any one time, plus a few hundred of 44 and 45-70.
Components?
Enough that I won't have to ever buy them again.  I'm 49 and shoot quite a bit. 
Title: Re: Ammunition stockpile, how much is too much?
Post by: Heavy G on June 02, 2009, 08:21:21 PM
This topic came up on a previous thread:  http://thesurvivalpodcast.com/forum/index.php?topic=2141.0  (http://thesurvivalpodcast.com/forum/index.php?topic=2141.0).

I encourage the discussion here, it's just that the previous thread has even more good info on it.

In fact, with all the new people we have on the forum (yeah!), a good discussion here, in a fresh thread, will get out to more new people. 

Fresh is good. 
Title: Re: Ammunition stockpile, how much is too much?
Post by: cohutt on June 02, 2009, 08:35:58 PM
Having more than you "need" for the forseable future at worst allows you to wait out the spikes and shortages like we are seeing in a lot of caliibers right now.  If something sticks and price avaiilability issues remain or become permanent you won't be sorry.

If one is shooting less handgun as not to deplete modest reserves, skills to deteriorate rapidly.   I prefer to stock ahead and avoid "range rust". 

Title: Re: How Much Ammo Is Enough?
Post by: chrisdfw on June 02, 2009, 08:36:12 PM
Also, keep in mind the government's power to regulate "hoarding."  Executive Order 6102 limited gold ownership.  The US government may take a page from some foreign countries and limit the number of rounds you can possess.  It looks like South Africa limits gun owners to 200 rounds per firearm.  If we do that here, you will need to deliver all ammo in excess of the authorized amount to the nearest public safety and reeducation center.

Perhaps I can deliver the lead at high velocity, while using up the powder and primer and retaining the brass.

I will not be a slave. You may kill me, but I will not be reeducated. I will be free.
Title: Re: Ammunition stockpile, how much is too much?
Post by: Heavy G on June 02, 2009, 08:43:17 PM
I must say that the ammo shortage has changed my view on this.  Not because I'm hoarding or have gone nuts.  I just like knowing that if I shoot a brick of .22LR I won't be out for a few months and I won't have to drive around looking for ammo at various stores.

Title: Re: Ammunition stockpile, how much is too much?
Post by: product85 on June 03, 2009, 02:12:43 PM
I
I must say that the ammo shortage has changed my view on this.  Not because I'm hoarding or have gone nuts.  I just like knowing that if I shoot a brick of .22LR I won't be out for a few months and I won't have to drive around looking for ammo at various stores.

I hear that a lot

22LR is about the only thing i can think of that i would like to have a seemingly infinite supply of, as for now the goal i am reaching for will be 10,000 on hand but i too am one to empty a brick in a few hours from my revolver. one thing to slow me down in i don't have or shoot any semi auto 22s. Other calibers i try to have about 250 factory rounds on hand with the exception of one centerfire caliber i would like to have a 1:2 ratio up to 1500 in defensive and ball ammo. Mostly my intentions are to acquire a good supply of components, as a big reloader i used to feel OK with having enough to reload 1000 of each caliber on hand but in looking at the savings (and the scarcity of components) in bulk numbers like 5000 i would really like to maintain a personal inventory to load for this qty.

Even with my loaded cartridges i already have on hand i don't see any short term scenario where i would need to use all of them to get by. Even if it was a couple of months of just using ammo to hunt with i would have more than enough to suffice. I think from a savings standpoint qty is a great idea if purchases can be made in bulk as opposed to a box at a time, but in a survival SHTF and you gotta get up and go too much ammo could work against you just in the logistics of trying to transport. I would be willing to bet the best bet for this situation would be to have Bug out Ammo can stocked with the predetermined calibers that is enough to get up and go.  I think this would keep a lot of people grounded with the idea of what is really necessary. or atleast a can per person. I could be wrong but that is my current thought on the topic.
Title: Re: Ammunition stockpile, how much is too much?
Post by: liftsboxes on June 03, 2009, 02:22:13 PM
I would say that you want to keep as much on hand as you would normally go through in a 3 to 6 month period.  How much is that?  I don't know.  Do you practice regularly?  How much of your plan involves hunting vs agriculture?  Do you live in an area that you are more likely to have to defend yourself against looters, or does your geo offer you defensive space.

Something to remember however, First In First Out.  Cycle through your ammo.

Buying in bulk does save money, but if what you need to do is pick up a 50 round box on payday to start putting some away then just do that little bit to start.
Title: Re: Ammunition stockpile, how much is too much?
Post by: Jimbo on June 04, 2009, 07:43:59 PM
 No such thing as too much ammo... I rest easy when every .50 cal & 7.62  ammo can (s) designated for each caliber I own is filled with ammo ;D
Title: Re: Ammunition stockpile, how much is too much?
Post by: cohutt on June 04, 2009, 07:50:02 PM
No such thing as too much ammo... I rest easy when every .50 cal & 7.62  ammo can (s) designated for each caliber I own is filled with ammo ;D

As long as it is loose and no space is wasted with boxes and packaging.

 ;D
Title: Re: Ammunition stockpile, how much is too much?
Post by: product85 on June 05, 2009, 03:33:53 PM
No such thing as too much ammo... I rest easy when every .50 cal & 7.62  ammo can (s) designated for each caliber I own is filled with ammo ;D
As long as it is loose and no space is wasted with boxes and packaging.

 ;D

if you have any extras that just don't fit in their designated box you can make a misc can to fill up and i'll take her off your hands, i'll do my part to keep your stock pile neat and organized ;D
Title: Re: How Much Ammo Is Enough?
Post by: punkndisorderly on June 06, 2009, 06:13:13 AM
Such a simple question, but so complex to figure out. There's a lot of things to consider. Some that I've thought about when selecting my stock:

What firearms do I consider serious as opposed to range toys? There are firearms I own that I would never consider using othr than for some fun range time. There are others that I would likely rely on in a disaster scenario. For the "toys", I try to have enough on hand that I can go two months withouut runniong out. When I hit that 2 month level, I order more (which usually takes 1-2 months). For the "serious" I try to have at least 6 months. The "toys" get shot less than the "serious" ones, so I have about 200 rounds for the toys but about 1500-2000 rounds for my serious guns.

What do I intend to do with that ammo? A rifle that will be tasked solely with hunting large game will need much less ammo for it than a rifle to be tasked with defense. 100 rounds of .30/06 for your deer rifle will last a long time if taking deer and other large animals is all you'll use it for. If it's zero'ed and you don't intend on changing anything, that's a whole lot of deer. 100 rounds for defensive rifle can go quick. You might run through 100 rounds in one encounter.

How long could I honestly expect to survive over the course of multiple hostile encounters? I don't honestly expect to still be around to fire 10,000 rounds in anger. If the stituation ever got to the point that roving mobs were about, I'd probably end up dead before I ran out of ammo. If a fluke happened, and I made it through several firefights, there should be enough "battlefield pickups" to keep going. 

What kind of ammo do I need to stock? I try to have ~200 rounds of defensive ammo for any defensive firearm. That means good hollowpoints for my pistols and Hornady TAP for my AR's. For hunting, I try to have good hunting ammo. Yes, you can defend yourself with ball ammo and you can hunt with it too. However, if that shot means me eating or going hungry, I want to make sure that deer/hog/squirrel goes down. If that shot means the difference between a bad guy getting a shot at me or not, agian I want a round designed for optimal results. For a shotgun which will have multiple uses, multiple types of ammo will be needed. Slugs for deer, busck shot for defense, medium loads for geese, birgd shot for small birds.


Considering these questions will get you in the ball park to shoot for. However, you need to also consider your total state of preparedness. I'd rather have the full range of preparedness supplies and a small amount of ammo than 100 firearms and 100's of thousands of rounds of ammo and little else.If you feel differently, I hope you live far away as that makes you either a dead man or a looter should a survival situation ever happen.
Title: Re: How Much Ammo Is Enough?
Post by: Darkwinter on June 06, 2009, 08:05:03 AM
If your ammo will no longer fit in your home, you have too much ammo.

 ;D
Title: Re: How Much Ammo Is Enough?
Post by: homeshow on June 06, 2009, 08:31:20 AM
ok try this equation.

P+Y+F= :)

find P by adding up alll ammo used to practice in a month say 200 rounds X 12 months = 2400 rounds
find y, y is the amount of ammo you need for 2 years of practice  4800 rounds
find f, f is the amount of ammo you might want to use for trade i.e. trade ammo to a friend for engine repair (never trade ammo to a stranger unless you want to get shot with your own previousely owned ammo)  say 1000 rounds

P(2400)+Y(4800)+F(1000)= :) 8200 rounds 

this seems to be a safe amount of ammo for a regularly practicing MBR.  you DO PRACTICE right?  i personally only have about 2600 rounds for my MBR.  i was buying bulk ammo pretty regularly until "the giant liberal ammunition scare of 2009"  now i'll start buying ammo again and keep a look out for the super ammo deals that could be coming out late this year.
Title: Re: How Much Ammo Is Enough?
Post by: PistolWhipped on June 08, 2009, 11:49:22 AM
How much ammo is enough.  All of it.  Seriously the more, the better.  Even possibly a few in common calibers you might not possess, at least not yet. If you don't use it, ammo makes one hell of a barter item, especially if it gets to the point where factories aren't producing anymore.

And caching a rifle or two and a good bit of ammo might not be a bad idea either.
Title: Re: How Much Ammo Is Enough?
Post by: cohutt on June 08, 2009, 05:40:33 PM
Buckets of it

It doesn't go bad and generally speaking keeps up with inflation at (a minimum).


(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/bullet%20porn/misc010.jpg)
Title: Re: How Much Ammo Is Enough?
Post by: firefly on June 08, 2009, 05:48:30 PM
In a post SHTF scenario, I'd say enough ammo is when everybody in the area knows not to f__k around anywhere near your property, and you still have half of your original supply.

Quote
“It is too late for a man dying of thirst, to begin to dig his own well"  Ancient Chinese proverb
Title: Re: How Much Ammo Is Enough?
Post by: Pathfinder on June 08, 2009, 06:49:32 PM
"Re: How Much Ammo Is Enough? "

If you have to ask the question, it ain't enough.   8)

Title: Re: How Much Ammo Is Enough?
Post by: Romanov on June 08, 2009, 11:26:54 PM
"Re: How Much Ammo Is Enough? "

If you have to ask the question, it ain't enough.   8)
Truth.

You can get to a point of probable sufficiency with your ammunition supply, just like you can with food, energy and other types of supply stocks. Will it ever be truly "enough" to handle any type of contingency? No. If you are anticipating actually having to defend your life/family/home/community from a real threat, I wouldn't be satisfied until I was at 10k+.
Title: Re: How Much Ammo Is Enough?
Post by: HillbillyHemi on June 09, 2009, 02:50:21 PM
 As mentioned before food, water, medical supplies, and other things are as important and in some cases more important than ammo. I use a build up method, first how much of everything do I estimate we will need for 30 days. Once I had food, water,ammo and other supplies for 30 days I started  building for 60 days then 90 you get the picture. So while ammo stores have there place do not overlook everything else. Lets face it if a company of Rangers or Marines show up to your house to fight chances are you loose and if you have to run you won't be taking 100,000 rounds with you.
Title: Re: How Much Ammo Is Enough?
Post by: chrisdfw on June 09, 2009, 06:26:10 PM
Everyone brings up good points, I have a lot of ammo, and for the following reason.

I think most shtf problems will be temporary. 1-2 years on the outside.

I think in most shtf scenarios, human behavior will be the problem. Look at Katrina, the worst parts were the human reactions. So I
believe the ability to defend my other supplies will become necessary.

I believe economic problems like inflation will debase the currency, so I spend what I have now on things that will hold their value or
go up, ammo fits the role.

So I have spent an inordinate amount on guns and ammo, for the reason that I think they will be more expensive in the future. Same
with the parts, machinery, etc that I have put away. I have little faith that cash will be worth as much in the future given the
massive government spending we have seen. I have not paid more than pre-election prices and will not, I do beleive we have a small
current bubble in guns and ammunition, and prices will subside a little before inflation kicks in, maybe a buying opportunity.

Do I think 100,000 rounds is too much, not at all. I have plans to bring in others when a problem arises and they have little to no firearms
and ammo, so I will be supplying them. (I'm not saying I have 100,000 rounds, but if I did, it would not be too much)

PS. I also have food, clothing, medical supplies, generators, solar panels, fuel, parts, equipment, raw materials, etc.

Title: Re: How Much Ammo Is Enough?
Post by: MD3C on November 02, 2009, 05:20:50 PM
I don't know? I thought that I had lots of ammo in the house, I moved it yesterday and it seemed anemic to others posts here.
I'm comfortable with it but would like more.
I shoot mostly 22 lately.
I still have 8-10,000 of that laying around.
6,000 762x39
8,000 308
6,500 5.56
4,600 9mm
1,700 45acp
some 30 carbine, 32acp, and misc stuff.
That's the stuff in the house.
Pretty sure that I have lots of 38 spl, and 5.56 elsewhere?
M
Title: Re: How Much Ammo Is Enough?
Post by: otowner98 on November 04, 2009, 08:32:00 PM
Using the lessons I've gleaned from Zombie movies, I would recommend you have at least one round per person currently living within 30 miles of your location   ;D
Title: Re: How Much Ammo Is Enough?
Post by: Gas-Mask on November 05, 2009, 01:09:15 AM
Using the lessons I've gleaned from Zombie movies, I would recommend you have at least one round per person currently living within 30 miles of your location   ;D


LOL!!!!
Title: Re: How Much Ammo Is Enough?
Post by: Gas-Mask on November 05, 2009, 01:16:43 AM
If your ammo will no longer fit in your home, you have too much ammo.

 ;D

How about if you rent and you have no more than 900 sf and a small gun safe?   And your running out of room for your guns because of the ammo?  (yeah right!  I only wish I had all that ammo)  Any ways... You keep your ammo in the safe because in case of a fire, you won't be as worried for your neighbors... (High people density area)  Kind of like being in an apartment...  I guess, it would be as much as you can fit?   Man, I wish I could afford a BOL where I could dig deep into the ground to put  ammo away for a  rainyday...  Oh well, just a dream...   

Title: Re: How Much Ammo Is Enough?
Post by: Serellan on November 05, 2009, 03:33:20 PM
I buy stuff up when I get a good deal.  For example, I have 7000 rounds of 7.62x25.  Do I need that much?  Nope.  But I got a smoking deal, and I figure I'll never need to buy any more, ever. :)  Has worked out good.  I stocked up on 8mm (~2000) rounds, back when it was $90/case of 900.  Now it's over $200/case.  Same story again with 7.62x54.

Naturally the stuff I shoot more I buy more often, like 9mm, 5.56, 7.62x39.  however, having a large stock let me ride out the ammo "crisis" and not need to spend exorbitant $$ on ammo.

Title: Re: How Much Ammo Is Enough?
Post by: Goober Pyle on November 05, 2009, 05:48:00 PM
Using the lessons I've gleaned from Zombie movies, I would recommend you have at least one round per person currently living within 30 miles of your location   ;D

I like it! Hope you don't mind if I quote you some time.
Title: Re: How Much Ammo Is Enough?
Post by: otowner98 on November 05, 2009, 08:59:26 PM
You go right ahead. 
Title: Re: How Much Ammo Is Enough?
Post by: Bad_Synergy on December 10, 2009, 01:17:21 PM
Here is the formula I generally try to stick to:

Gun$Value = Ammo$Value

and for centerfire rifles:

(Gun$Value = Optics$Value) = Ammo$Value

For example, for my GLOCK 21 with Trijicon sights, costing $700, I try to keep a minimum of $700 in ammo on hand.

(Somehow I can barely keep up with the ammo I always have to buy… Weird)

In the case of my rifles, I typically match the expense of my accessories to the rifles’ base values themselves – particularly referring to scopes (since IMHO they are just about as important to performance, and maybe more likely to fail).  And,,, if the whole package is worth, say $1500, then in my mind it better merit a $1500 minimum supply of ammunition, or else I have a piece of equipment that is more expensive than it is worth (balancing it against other preps).

This is a hard formula to stick to, especially for us gun nuts that never saw a gun they didn’t want to buy and shoot all day long, but I have found that I am pretty comfortable with it.

Everything is a monetary trade off, and while I would absolutely love to have a crazy amount of ammo saved up, there is a point of diminishing returns, in terms of what I want for my life overall and on a day to day basis, but especially if the SHTF. 

Of course everyone has to gauge their own ammo/prepping balance based on their own situation, finances, and preferences.
Title: Re: How Much Ammo Is Enough?
Post by: chrisdfw on December 10, 2009, 05:03:42 PM
Here is the formula I generally try to stick to:
Gun$Value = Ammo$Value
and for centerfire rifles:
(Gun$Value = Optics$Value) = Ammo$Value
For example, for my GLOCK 21 with Trijicon sights, costing $700, I try to keep a minimum of $700 in ammo on hand.
(Somehow I can barely keep up with the ammo I always have to buy… Weird)

Not a bad formula to start, hate to see a 3000 rifle with a 200 scope.
Note: I shoot a lot and recently inventoried my ammo, I was shocked to find I was many thousand short of what I thought I had!

So I suggest everyone keep a good inventory. Its way past reorder time for me, I was under 50,000 rounds. Nothing wrong with that per
se, unless you think you have a lot more!
Title: Re: How Much Ammo Is Enough?
Post by: cohutt on December 10, 2009, 05:16:21 PM
I'm never going to move from this residence, lest I have to move my lead stash and reloading components. 
Title: Re: How Much Ammo Is Enough?
Post by: Who...me? on December 10, 2009, 06:02:07 PM
How much is enough?   No such thing.
Title: Re: How Much Ammo Is Enough?
Post by: OC Celtic Lass on December 12, 2009, 09:01:23 PM
How about if you rent and you have no more than 900 sf and a small gun safe?   And your running out of room for your guns because of the ammo?  (yeah right!  I only wish I had all that ammo)  Any ways... You keep your ammo in the safe because in case of a fire, you won't be as worried for your neighbors... (High people density area)  Kind of like being in an apartment...  I guess, it would be as much as you can fit?   Man, I wish I could afford a BOL where I could dig deep into the ground to put  ammo away for a  rainyday...  Oh well, just a dream...   


No, not just a dream! Dreams become realities when we put them into motion with ideas and actions! You are smart, you are intelligent and you are good-looking........go get it! That is what I say.

As far as ammo, it is just like food and preps. I just keep buying more and more till I fill my house etc. I do believe, I will have to make sure that I do have a pathway to get out if there is a fire though. Ha!
Title: Re: How Much Ammo Is Enough?
Post by: lspooner on December 20, 2009, 02:25:10 PM
On one hand one can never have "too much" ammo. That being said, if you have to to get the hell outta dodge, how much can you take with you?
Title: Re: How Much Ammo Is Enough?
Post by: Goober Pyle on December 20, 2009, 02:54:57 PM
On one hand one can never have "too much" ammo. That being said, if you have to to get the hell outta dodge, how much can you take with you?

If I'm driving my truck - probably all of it. If I'm walking, significantly less.

That's why it's always a good idea never to keep all your eggs in one basket - break up your collection (as far as location is concerned) if you can.

Title: Re: How Much Ammo Is Enough?
Post by: chrisdfw on December 20, 2009, 06:34:04 PM
If I'm driving my truck - probably all of it. If I'm walking, significantly less.

That's why it's always a good idea never to keep all your eggs in one basket - break up your collection (as far as location is concerned) if you can.


I probably need a bigger truck, or at least one with higher cargo capacity to move it. Now I can always pick up the BOV from the imtermediate
BOL and it can carry my ammo, but a half ton truck would be overloaded.

Ammo is heavy.
Title: Re: How Much Ammo Is Enough?
Post by: exoduster18 on December 30, 2009, 12:43:08 PM
I know that you are probably looking for hard numbers.....but this is how I have looked at it:

If you have a enough to shoot it all up before you die.....then you don't have enough.

If you have so much that you can't shoot through all of it before you die, then you're not practicing/shooting enough.
Title: Re: How Much Ammo Is Enough?
Post by: OC Celtic Lass on December 30, 2009, 01:43:37 PM
I know that you are probably looking for hard numbers.....but this is how I have looked at it:

If you have a enough to shoot it all up before you die.....then you don't have enough.

If you have so much that you can't shoot through all of it before you die, then you're not practicing/shooting enough.

Alright, I like these statements. Ha, ha.
Title: Re: How Much Ammo Is Enough?
Post by: M14fan on August 19, 2010, 08:05:50 AM
If you are not sure you have enough, buy more ammo. If you are pretty sure you have enough, buy more ammo. If you are absolutely sure you have enough, buy more ammo.
Seriously, it depends on whether you expect to bug-out by vehicle, on foot, or defend in place. If planning to defend in place, you can never have too much ammo.
Title: Re: How Much Ammo Is Enough?
Post by: chrisdfw on August 22, 2010, 06:43:34 PM
How much is enough?   No such thing.

Actually I think I heard the only two times you can have too much ammo is
when you are either
1. On fire
2. Swimming

Title: Re: How Much Ammo Is Enough?
Post by: Who...me? on August 24, 2010, 04:01:47 PM
Actually I think I heard the only two times you can have too much ammo is
when you are either
1. On fire
2. Swimming




If you are carrying enough ammo when on fire the resulting explosion will put out the flames...like an oil well fire...really... ;)
Title: Re: How Much Ammo Is Enough?
Post by: JerseyVince on August 24, 2010, 04:14:15 PM
When your Stash is listed on the DOD's list of possible/likely places to aquire Ammo in Case of National Emergency, then you can begin to ease back (A Little) Of course you have another hidden ammo bunker than no-one knows about with double the Ammo
Title: Re: How Much Ammo Is Enough?
Post by: quiet-man on August 26, 2010, 10:13:29 PM
Your question is relative to your personal situation. Ammo vs. food or whatever else you're short in.
I live in Kalifornia, & I have a large family (all adults now but nearby). While I've been a "preppie"? for almost 40yrs, they still have a long way to go. My current emphasis has been on increasing my food storage, but also increasing my ammo. I'm retired LEO, and I remember the embargo on 7.62X39 ammo, and the attempt to tax & squeeze handgun ammo a few years back here. I worked a multi-agency Task-Force that included ATF in the 90's and saw how they really believed the "Federal Mantra" on gun control. For those of you living in less restrictive states, it may not  be as big of a concern. But here, I have to "re-build" hi cap mags because I can't replace them. I have to replace what I shoot when we all shoot for training/practice. But I still add to my food & water basics because that's important too. I bought a new pressure canner on E-bay, and built a food dehydrator last month, this month I got more ammo for training. It's a balancing act that must be tailored to your specific needs. You got to weigh the "tactical vs practical" if you have a family.
Title: Re: How Much Ammo Is Enough?
Post by: chrisdfw on August 26, 2010, 11:33:43 PM
I know people sometimes think others are fanatical about this or neglect food in favor of weapons or ammo, and
while that may be true, on the other hand:

1. I have enough food stored around my waist to last a month or more.
2. When I need food, if I can get it within a few hours I will suffer no ill effects.
3. If I need ammunition, I likely cannot wait a few hours, the need will be critical
4. Having a handgun on my person has kept me from being robbed and possibly killed.

I may very well be alive today because I had the gun on me when it counted.

Everybody has to balance, but don't listen to the "get 20 rounds but store more food" people. You have
to decide based on your own situation and with the crime moving further and further out from the urban
areas, I feel a pressing need to be able to defend myself. They relocated the people who robbed, raped, and
looted new orleans after Katrina to the cities of Texas.
Title: Re: How Much Ammo Is Enough?
Post by: Orionblade on September 04, 2010, 02:22:35 PM
dumb, but somewhat related question - when selecting an AR-15, which chambering (or does it matter) is better for the whole mixed bag of ammo storage - 223 Win or 5.56 NATO? I'd just like to be able to grab whichever/whatever is cheap and available to hit about a 2,000 round reserve and not care about what the mix is.

As far as how much is enough? I like the equation posted earlier, but a few hundred to maybe 2000 rounds is a nice reserve, and just buy what you plan to use at the range for the next month or two, and don't shoot much more than that before you buy more. I keep amassing .22LR, and think it's plenty until I go to the range for an hour or two...!
Title: Re: How Much Ammo Is Enough?
Post by: Nadir_E on September 04, 2010, 03:55:28 PM
In response to the original post - how much ammo? - I offer the following thought:

In Tactical Response's "Advanced Fighting Rifle" class, running an AR-15 carbine, I seem to recall burning through over 1,500 rounds in two days of classes - probably closer to 1,700 rounds.

In one drill (two two-man teams moving from rear of range to 5 yd line in three bounds, then pulling back to original starting point, also in three bounds) I went through almost 400 rounds (and that's firing at a rate of your hands clapping - not as fast as I could pull the trigger).  In each case you're covering while the other element is moving (and of course, they cover for you while you're moving).

My point is that from a scenario perspective that's but a single -SHORT- engagement!!  True, it's a balls-to-the-walls engagement compared to most gun fights in America (which I understand are typically fewer than 3 rounds fired).  So 1,000 rounds would buy you just shy of three such engagements.  If the s**t has truly hit the fan, is that enough for you?  Not me.

I also look at it this way - I have more than one weapon, though I can only fire one at a time (not a Hollywood actor, sorry).  That doesn't mean I won't have teamed up with weapon-less family and friends who may be operating other weapons from my arsenal.  Anyone with me in that same drill Tactical Response drill would've fired a similar amount of ammunition - four guys x 400 rounds = 1,600 rounds in a single engagement.  How deep do you want your bench to be?

Food for thought...
-N

PS - and a good reason to get into reloading - something on my To-Do list.
Title: Re: How Much Ammo Is Enough?
Post by: Nadir_E on September 04, 2010, 09:29:19 PM
Speaking of ammo....

Wrigley Ammunition (http://wrigleyammo.com/default.aspx) is having a 10% off sale through Labor Day. :)

-N
Title: Re: How Much Ammo Is Enough?
Post by: Heavy G on September 05, 2010, 07:39:14 AM

when selecting an AR-15, which chambering (or does it matter) is better for the whole mixed bag of ammo storage - 223 Win or 5.56 NATO?


Definitely 5.56.  Almost all ARs are chambered for 5.56.  You can shoot .223 out of a 5.56 but you're not supposed to shoot 5.56 out of a .223.  5.56 has a higher pressure.  Other than a few AKs in .223, I can't think of too many semi-auto rifles that are .223-only.

Once you have a 5.56 chambered gun, you can mix an match 5.56 and .223 all you want.  I do.  I try to stick with one kind of 5.56 (Federal XM193) but it's just that I found a brand of ammo that works for me.  (All 5.56 and .223 worked for me, though.)

Title: Re: How Much Ammo Is Enough?
Post by: Orionblade on September 05, 2010, 07:20:55 PM
Any advantages to a Wylde chamber in a tactical/non-benchrest gun? I'm still thinking along the lines of finding some moderately craptastic ammo really cheap, it seems like the wylde might present some advantages to chambering something slightly out of tolerance, but at the same time, it seems like it might accumulate gunk, over-work the brass (for reloading purposes) and maybe, just maybe, fail to chamber stuff with an out-of-spec OAL?

I know this is a wee bit off topic, but it seems to go together - how much ammo of what type, and how to maximize its use are the questions I'm asking when I read through the posts.

Thanks for the info - if you think it's getting a little astray, feel free to just PM me, and we can discuss further there. Thanks!  ;D
Title: Re: How Much Ammo Is Enough?
Post by: maxhedroom on September 05, 2010, 08:35:20 PM
1000  9mm, 2000 22lr, 500 7.62 x 54, 1000 5.56, 500 38spl, 500 .380, 100 .357, 100 12ga 7.5 shot.
I need more!!!
Title: Re: How Much Ammo Is Enough?
Post by: MToons on September 28, 2010, 07:09:07 PM
I think that the .22lr in a ShTF scenario would be some of the most important preps one can have. So I like to have atleast 20 bricks stashed away.  I also have stored about 500 rounds for each of my handguns with the reloading components for another 500-600. Most of my centerfires are between the 200-300 range and Learning to reload those calibers is on my to do list
Title: Re: How Much Ammo Is Enough?
Post by: CaptainRW on October 03, 2010, 10:40:43 AM
I go by the MINIMUM of 1000 rounds stored for each main rifle/carbine, no matter the style or caliber, 500 for each sidearm. More is better, no doubt. I'd stock up now, as I don't feel it will really get any cheaper.

Reloading is nice, BUT you'd need to store all the stuff to reload the rounds. Some calibers it's cheaper to buy the mil surplus rounds sealed up then the supplies to do the work yourself later. I shoot alot of 7.62x39 and 7.62x25. I can't buy the powder, primers, re-loadable brass and bullets (or mold) for the price of made rounds sealed for long term storage. AND if you have all the stuff, do you really want to make the rounds later? or have them ready for use?
Now if you can buy the supplies and reloading set-up for anything near the price of ready made rounds, sure, then it would make sense.
Title: Re: How Much Ammo Is Enough?
Post by: Bradbn4 on October 07, 2010, 09:08:20 PM
Ammo weights a lot - easy to carry 20 rounds of 7.52x39 in your pocket, a few hundred rounds you will notice it. Not my idea of a fun time to lug 1k of ammo in my back pack with a bunch of other stuff. 

-- 1k of ammo for each type of rifle - not to be "touched"  - often in spam cans that provide "best" overall long term storage.  I think of it like my freeze dried food.  Not to be dipped into for every day use, but there when you need it.
-- Another 1k to train with / plink with in all the useful caliber sizes. 
--Primary defense wepond(s) add another 1k to train even more with.

I know some folks can train a whole lot more than 1k a year.  I use to go thru 1000 rounds a month in 45 acp when I use to shoot combat league.

For the 22 LR plinker - well - as much as your budge can afford.  This is a very good round to provide trigger / training time without breaking the bank.  Heck, you can get some good quality ammo for under 25 dollars per 500 rounds.  A few hundred dollars you can enjoy many years of shooting for both sport and training.

I also reload - and I do like to keep at least 1k worth of fixings for ammunition that I can use PB rounds (lead).

What is too much ammo?  When you have so much ammo that you have to notify the fire chief and have special storage requirements encase your ammo dump go's up in flames.

Just like stocking up the pantry - use a box / tin / create - replace it with new.

Brad- In Colorado

Title: Re: How Much Ammo Is Enough?
Post by: Nadir_E on October 08, 2010, 08:36:18 AM
...Not my idea of a fun time to lug 1k of ammo in my back pack with a bunch of other stuff.  ...

Welcome, Brad!  I don't think the premise was a Bug-Out-on-foot scenario, or the answers given above would've been much different.  I believe the underlying premise, which you touched on later in your post, was what you'd keep at home/homestead/Bug-out *location* (i.e. a static store of ammo).  I think most of us would agree that carrying 1,000 rds of anything other than .22 LR along with food water, etc. would be very unpleasant.   There are several threads on bug-out bags and things of that nature elsewhere here on TSP - you may want to peruse them and pipe in there, too, with your thoughts.

-N
Title: Re: How Much Ammo Is Enough?
Post by: chrisdfw on October 08, 2010, 09:35:23 AM
  I use to go thru 1000 rounds a month in 45 acp when I use to shoot combat league.

I go through 9mm at a rate of 500-700 a day and sometimes 2000-3000 a month leading up to competitions.

I used to shoot 45 too, but got hard to find.
Title: Re: How Much Ammo Is Enough?
Post by: endurance on October 08, 2010, 10:57:56 AM
The whole Obamascare has made me rethink this question several times.  Nadir's numbers of rounds per engagement sound about right and I've always couched my cache with the realistic understanding that I'm an average Joe with some tactical training, but I'm not a ex-special forces guy who's going to beat everyone every time.  I'll be lucky to put the odds at 60/40 in being victorious in any single engagement.  With those odds, surviving ten engagements in a lifetime is statistically pretty unlikely.  Hell, surviving three engagements is pretty bleak.

However, that doesn't take into account what happened in late 2008 and early 2009 with the availability of ammo.  I train at about 160 rounds of 9mm a month.  If I cached 1,000 rounds of training ammo, I'm out in six months if I can't resupply.  .22 is even worse.  I used to cache 2,000 rounds, but shoot between 250-500 rounds a month during the summer, but far less in the winter.  On the otherhand, my hunting rifle doesn't get nearly the love.  I've been shooting the same two boxes of 20 for two years now and that includes an annual sighting in (actually, I haven't adjusted the scope in two years now, so that just accounts for 2-three round groups).  While I may desire to have 500 to a 1,000 rounds on hand for that caliber, realistically, that's more than a lifetime supply.

Anyway, now my goals are based more on rates of consumption than what I'd need to survive armageddon.  For 9mm, I'd like to get back into reloading and keep powder, primers and bullets on hand for 3-6,000 reloads, plus 500 rounds of self-defense ammo.  For .22, 6,000 rounds is probably not overkill for what I go through in a year.  But, for my hunting rifle, I probably have more than I need with 500 rounds.  Since my FN doesn't get enough love, I think 1,000-1,500 rounds is probably enough, if not overkill, since I'm not a zombie horde survivalist.  I just want enough to make it through a couple of engagements, just in case I'm wrong and the zombies do come. ;)
Title: Re: How Much Ammo Is Enough?
Post by: Bradbn4 on October 09, 2010, 07:26:44 AM
Supply and demand - can I get the stuff I want even when times are good?  I understand that thought on drying up the ammo supply.  Right now I am still re-filling my ammo supply after not being able to buy ammo or their components for the last two years.

I guess that is the reason I built / assembled my own 10/22 style Ruger from parts.  Good rifle, a good supply of spare parts, and 8 bricks to plink with.  I just don't want to think too hard on just how much money I put into that rifle.

If you have good safe storage - dry / cool / out of the way - why not plus up on the ammo on the core rounds by a few thousand.  I know I am not ever going to shoot more than 2k of my 7.62x54R out of my bolt rifle.  Even taking in consideration of hunting + target practice for the next 20 years.

Now the same amount of ammo for my 45 acp which I love to plink with is way too low to cover my bases for 4 years.  I am thinking about getting a 22 lr conversion so I can maintain trigger time without having to worry - bang - 40 cents gone - bang -another 40 cents. I like to think of 22 lr as hamburger helper.  It extends all of the other ammo that I have, and keeps most of the rust off my skill sets.

Maybe a rule of thumb would be not how many rounds you need - but if there is a dry spell on ammo, how many years you need to keep your bases covered....

Getting large amounts of ammo is fine - esp if stored well.  However, trying to lug more than 1k in your back pack of 223 is going to be a bit much.

Going to places like Aim Surplus is a good choice for surplus ammo that may still be in a spam can / crate.  They are setup well for long term storage.  They can also be a pain in the butt - because some of the ammo, esp the Russian  stuff is corrosive so best be cleaning out the firearm after a day of plinking.

I guess the answer to the original question is another question....just how much are you going to shoot?  Mostly the price of ammo over long periods of time always go's up.  Ammo if stored right will last 40+ years, so if your budget allows, pick up a box or two extra each time you go shooting.  Sort of the same way most folks built up their pantry.

Brad
Title: Re: How Much Ammo Is Enough?
Post by: nelson96 on December 21, 2011, 04:34:25 PM
Heavy G. . .  IMHO, since you did mention "battle rifle" in your original post AND someone (maybe you) mentioned the possibility of ammo being a good way for the government to control the ability to use our firearms, I offer these suggestions.

- Too much ammo? . . .  Not possible
- With the way things are going, we may find paper/coin money to be useless at some time in our lifetime
- Ammo could be a very good form of currency, especially if you have more than you need
- I suggest 10K rounds for each battle rifle, even if calibers are duplicated
- I suggest 5K rounds for each pistol, even if calibers are duplicated
- I suggest 1K minimum rounds for every other firearm owned (exception: 20K for .22)
- Not possible to have too many magazines, and a good supply of repair parts for your firearms

Think about it.  Even if the economy stabilizes, you know ammo prices are going to go up just like everything else always has.  If you store them properly (stable temperature and dry), you still have a good investment you can trade with.  Use this time to buy right, don't get too eager and pay too much . . .

i.e.  I have a rule that if I find 5.56 ammo under $300/1000 I buy it, or .22 ammo under $15/500.  The rest I've started loading myself.

I store my ammo in .50 cal surplus ammo cans.  Make sure they have a good rubber seal on the lid before buying and try not to pay more than $12/can (they're out there).  Midway had them on sale a few months back for about $7 per can and they were in real good shape (I wish I had purchased more than I did).

I'm personally a ways out with the suggested list (love to shoot and hunt too much), but never a better time to work on it as the budget allows. 
Title: Re: How Much Ammo Is Enough?
Post by: Heavy G on December 21, 2011, 08:27:41 PM
nelson96:

Your first post and you got a karma point.  Nicely done.

I agree with everything you say. 
Title: Re: How Much Ammo Is Enough?
Post by: soupbone on December 21, 2011, 09:10:35 PM
Initial Issue + 1 day resupply as a minimum. For an AR/M-16 this would be 120 or 210 rounds (4 or 7 mags), so about 500 rounds per gun. For an M-9 or equivalent, 2 boxes min.

A couple of things to remember, you may have to move and, as mentioned before, ammo is heavy. Also, you should be concentrating on escape and evasion or camouflage, concealment and deception, not getting into gunfights. The idea of needing a lot of ammo - with the exception of .22 - and getting into Red Dawn firefights is not going to happen.

soup
Title: Re: How Much Ammo Is Enough?
Post by: Heavy G on December 22, 2011, 04:47:20 AM
Soupbone is right.  Ammo should be split up among the places where you are likely to be (for me, that's my house and BOL).  And you should have ammo that's portable.  A tac vest with mag pouches, bandoliers, and even small .30 ammo cans with preloaded mags are good ideas IMHO.

But, as Soupbone says, it won't be Red Dawn.  Having thousands of rounds is for a very long term collapse and for barter.
Title: Re: How Much Ammo Is Enough?
Post by: ag2 on January 11, 2012, 12:20:39 AM
AND if you have all the stuff, do you really want to make the rounds later? or have them ready for use?
Now if you can buy the supplies and reloading set-up for anything near the price of ready made rounds, sure, then it would make sense.

Reloading is a fun and I think a great skill to have.  Great hobby in the middle of winter.  Some folks have said that they can get milsurp ammo cheaper than reloading.  That may be true for some, but not in my neck of the woods.  But considering inflation, I don't think it will be true for many more years.
Title: Re: How Much Ammo Is Enough?
Post by: CountryRootsCityJob on January 11, 2012, 10:49:40 AM
I just wanted to throw on thing in real quick...

Don't put all your eggs in one basket!  If: Your hose burns down, a tornado blows it away, a hurricane or flood washes it away, an earthquake flattens it, somebody breaks in and robs you, etc...

Then what happens to your "Stash"? 

Unfortunately I don't have the funds or a place to store up 10,000 rds for my main battle rifle (that I don't have the money to buy).  But I have been thinking harder and harder on what happens to what I have if something were to go wrong.  I don't have any great ideas, but consider splitting things up... some people talk about burying guns, maybe not a bad idea to put some of your ammo into "cold storage" either?
Title: Re: How Much Ammo Is Enough?
Post by: endurance on January 11, 2012, 10:57:40 AM
Reloading is a fun and I think a great skill to have.  Great hobby in the middle of winter.  Some folks have said that they can get milsurp ammo cheaper than reloading.  That may be true for some, but not in my neck of the woods.  But considering inflation, I don't think it will be true for many more years.
While reloading can make some calibers affordable that might otherwise be out of reach, I don't think stopping to pick up brass after a firefight is very likely. 

Honestly, I'm of two minds on this.  I don't think things will devolve into Red Dawn, but I do see a prolonged financial meltdown that lasts 10-15 years.  I don't see things returning to the good ol' days of the 1990s with an ever-expanding economy, but I also don't see the dark ages coming back either.  Rather, I see some odd blend of the two world's where technology continues to evolve, but the access to it becomes a smaller and smaller group.  In the meantime, struggling to hang on to what you have and hold your position in the society will be a greater and greater challenge until things finally find a new plateau to build on.

So, with that being true, there's going to be more competition for resources, thus, more street crime.  To me, handgun skills and effective ammunition (not the case of stuff you shoot at the range, but the high dollar stuff that costs and arm and a leg to buy) will be more important than an MBR with 10k rounds.  Still, worst case scenario I can't imagine being in a world where most folks will be involved in more than a handful of shootings and/or assaults in their lives.  But if the powers that be legislate restrictions or impose taxes on ammo, then we're going to have to have a good stock pile when that day comes.  Having 10k rounds for a firefight may not be necessary, but having enough ammo to train regularly so you keep your skills on the razor's edge seems imperitive.  If it takes 50 rounds a month to stay the least bit competent with a handgun, that's 600 rounds a year.  If there's no resupply because of ammo taxes, inflation, supply or sales issues, then how many years worth of training can you store?  I don't know.  I'm not sure where it all fits into the big picture yet.  In that case, reloading would still be viable for training.

At least that's my perspective for today.
Title: Re: How Much Ammo Is Enough?
Post by: Outdoorfury on January 11, 2012, 11:19:47 AM

If you are carrying enough ammo when on fire the resulting explosion will put out the flames...like an oil well fire...really... ;)

Agreed. seriously
Title: Re: How Much Ammo Is Enough?
Post by: RPZ on January 11, 2012, 12:06:18 PM
It is very difficult to ascribe two arbitray numbers here. It is like asking how many gallons of water you will need. Because we do not now what might happen nor for how long.

However, I think it would be prudent to have something like 1,000 rounds for any small to medium bore defensive rifles. If things get ugly these are going to be your primary and most capable. It is, still, an arbitrary number so you could say, 500. 750. Or 1,200. Or 2,000.

The lower the number, the higher the consequences might be later for wasted shots. But the same fire discipline should be exercized whether you have a 5-shot bolt action or a 30-round banana fed AR.

Ideally, assuming your guns have not been subject to heavy use already and have a long projected service life, I would multiply that by 5, maybe even 10. Since your barrels are probably going to run at least that long provided nothing else breaks that you can not fix. If things get ugly and stay that way for a prolonged period having all that ammo should carry you a long way, and if needed some can be bartered for unforeseen other needs that may arise.

Skimming I can see it has already been mentioned: the .22 rimfires. So here is the trick: buy a trunkload of .22 for rifle(s) and pistol(s). Preferably that which you know shoots well enough in each gun for each purpose. 2,000, 5,000 or 20,000. The more towards the latter, the longer the haul you will have some - and the more you can spare your heavier and more expensive ammo for your bigger guns.

Only a fool, even a small army of fools, will rush in to within even many hundreds of yards of open ground with limited cover to harass someone who can shoot with a .22 and a comparatively unlimited amount of ammo. In more urban terrain what the .22 lacks in power can be balanced with stealth and pinpoint accuracy. .22 should also be good potential barter stock.

For service pistols I would start with a basic 200, maybe 300 at the most. A defensive handgun is a stopgap arm. It is neither intended nor capable of replacing your main guns, nor the rimfires in their role. Spending more on this is going to detract from the heavy long guns and rimfires where you should invest the most in my view.

Pocket guns. 50 at the most.

Shotgun ammo is heavy, and lacks range. I would keep a few hundred for barricade defense and or birdhunting and thats it.

So if your budget is limted that is the way I would balance the load.
Title: Re: How Much Ammo Is Enough?
Post by: bdhutier on January 11, 2012, 12:58:37 PM
How Much Ammo Is Enough?

All of it.
Title: Re: How Much Ammo Is Enough?
Post by: Heavy G on January 13, 2012, 09:08:18 AM
(http://t3.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRbT_P7UFb5VT1LqxPmxIqxUvXQ_w-HwjbAUuz66PmLZmy1zBCtgq5LkHiQ)
Title: Re: How Much Ammo Is Enough?
Post by: mesta26 on January 13, 2012, 09:53:49 AM
For me the answer is "As much as the wife will let me buy."
Title: Re: How Much Ammo Is Enough?
Post by: endurance on January 14, 2012, 06:54:47 AM
This thread led me to do inventory the other day.  Some silly imbalances were discovered, like having plenty of ball .308, but only 40 rounds of hunting ammo for that caliber.  Also found out I had two boxes of .38 self defense ammo, but given that I never shoot my .38 and my primary handguns are all 9mm, that just might be enough to last a decade.
Title: Re: How Much Ammo Is Enough?
Post by: Orionblade on March 08, 2012, 03:50:39 PM
If your ammo will no longer fit in your home, you have too much ammo.

 ;D

I disagree, even though this is an old post...

If your ammo will no longer fit in your home, you need more storage.

;D
Title: Re: How Much Ammo Is Enough?
Post by: nelson96 on March 08, 2012, 05:49:36 PM
Have you seen the new movie that is out, Act of Valor, it's the one that has actual Navy Seals starring in the movie and is supposed to depict what real life battles are like? . . . .  My extended family and I have been stocking up for some time now.  I knew that my father-in-law watched the movie, and after I also watched it I asked him what he thought.  He said, "we obviously don't have enough ammo stocked up". . . .  If you watch the movie you'll know what he means.  And by the way, I highly recommend seeing the movie.
Title: Re: How Much Ammo Is Enough?
Post by: gundog on March 09, 2012, 04:32:30 AM
I think the number is one of those internet questions.....the answer is....It Depends......

On another note I would like to touch on buying several different types of amo....IE different brands of .556 or whatever. We know that different loads will print differently. Why qwould we buy whatever is on sale and end up with several (or many) different types of ammo, some will shoot well in our guns and others will not. Some will shoot well but you will need to re-adjust your sighting system to re-gain accuracy when changing to that load.

I like to establish a load that performs well for my gun, shoot it a little to make sure it's what I want......and then buy the shit out of that one load. I feel like I am in a better position than just buying whatever is cheap. sometimes it takes a while to determine.....but well worth it. .....and it gets you out shooting and really paying attention to what is happening not just burning through rounds. It forces you to determine where the rounds are going and why.

My 2 cents.......
Title: Re: How Much Ammo Is Enough?
Post by: DrJohn on March 09, 2012, 08:10:19 AM
I agree with gun dog, find what works then buy only that. 

Now as to how much, take this as food for thought; my son can burn through 1000 rnds of .22 through his 10/22 with 25 rnd mags at the range in less than an hour if I let him.  If no more ammo was available, and you had to have an "exchange" how many could you have before you were defenseless?
Title: Re: How Much Ammo Is Enough?
Post by: nelson96 on March 09, 2012, 05:03:03 PM
I would agree with gundog as well BUT, if cheap is what you must buy in order to get enough to support rounds downrange in a SHTF scenario, a target pattern of 12 inches focused on center mass is going to serve you almost as well as ammo that can obtain SUB MOA. . . . .  I would rather have a butt wadd of ammo at my ready than thinking "crap, I don't have much so I better make it count". . . .  Of course you want to make sure it won't cause malfs in a poop storm, but there is a lot of good quality ammo (in variable bullet configs) that can be found on sale that will shoot well in most firearms. . . . .  my .02
Title: Re: How Much Ammo Is Enough?
Post by: reefmarker on March 10, 2012, 07:55:28 AM
My $0.02:  I set a goal to buy as much ammo as each gun cost.  This is a starting point.  From there I just buy some every month.  Cost is usually the only reason I buy one round vs. another.  This month .40 is cheap, next month I find cheap .223, etc.  When I set goals of X thousand rounds I just found myself worrying that I never had enough.   ???
Title: Re: How Much Ammo Is Enough?
Post by: rustyknife on March 10, 2012, 08:06:44 AM
My $0.02:  I set a goal to buy as much ammo as each gun cost.  This is a starting point.  From there I just buy some every month.  Cost is usually the only reason I buy one round vs. another.  This month .40 is cheap, next month I find cheap .223, etc.  When I set goals of X thousand rounds I just found myself worrying that I never had enough.   ???

That's pretty much the way I do it. As of now it's more like I'm buying ammo for trading stock than anything else.
Title: Re: How Much Ammo Is Enough?
Post by: Heavy G on March 12, 2012, 05:02:15 AM

My $0.02:  I set a goal to buy as much ammo as each gun cost.  This is a starting point.  From there I just buy some every month.  Cost is usually the only reason I buy one round vs. another.  This month .40 is cheap, next month I find cheap .223, etc.  When I set goals of X thousand rounds I just found myself worrying that I never had enough.   ???


+1.  A great idea.
Title: Re: How Much Ammo Is Enough?
Post by: soupbone on March 12, 2012, 03:05:07 PM
Now as to how much, take this as food for thought; my son can burn through 1000 rnds of .22 through his 10/22 with 25 rnd mags at the range in less than an hour if I let him. 

With all due respect, seems like someone needs a good talking to - or some additional training. Try this, before spray and pray becomes too ingrained: 1) Put up the 25 rnd mags and give him one (1) 10 rnd factory mag. 2) Give him 10 rnds. 3) mount a standard bull target at 25 yards. 4) Give him ten more rounds for every "X" shot, one more round for every hit in the black, and take away five or ten rounds for any shots in the white.

If he wants to shoot, he will learn to slow down and make every shot count. That is the best and in some cases, the only way to employ the .22 in any kind of serious situation. He should start training now for a time when, for whatever reason, ammo availability becomes an issue.

soupbone
Title: Re: How Much Ammo Is Enough?
Post by: endurance on March 12, 2012, 03:17:58 PM
With all due respect, seems like someone needs a good talking to - or some additional training. Try this, before spray and pray becomes too ingrained: 1) Put up the 25 rnd mags and give him one (1) 10 rnd factory mag. 2) Give him 10 rnds. 3) mount a standard bull target at 25 yards. 4) Give him ten more rounds for every "X" shot, one more round for every hit in the black, and take away five or ten rounds for any shots in the white.

If he wants to shoot, he will learn to slow down and make every shot count. That is the best and in some cases, the only way to employ the .22 in any kind of serious situation. He should start training now for a time when, for whatever reason, ammo availability becomes an issue.

soupbone
+1  A lot of wisdom in that post. 

This thread in general keeps veering wildly from guns over butter to the realities of priorities, but it's little injections of wisdom like this that keep it worth while to check in on once in a while.

I find my own shooting transition from fast and furious in the summer, when I'm outdoors and shooting steels, to slow and tight during the winters when I'm trapped at the indoor range for months at a time with quickdraws prohibited.  If I'm going to be involved in a shooting in my lifetime I really hope it's many years from now, but in June! ;D
Title: Re: How Much Ammo Is Enough?
Post by: DrJohn on March 13, 2012, 07:42:06 AM
No problem with the advice, but this is not a spray and pray kid.  He is a super marksman, and fast.  I only wish I could line up and shoot with the speed and accuracy he has!
Title: Re: How Much Ammo Is Enough?
Post by: reefmarker on March 13, 2012, 10:00:40 AM
No problem with the advice, but this is not a spray and pray kid.  He is a super marksman, and fast.  I only wish I could line up and shoot with the speed and accuracy he has!

I have one boy that is like that.  He can empty the magazine in short order and do a great job with a very tight group.  My oldest is the opposite, he sprays and prays and misses man size targets even up close sometimes.  Until he started hunting squirrels with a 10-22.  He now is slow and methodical because he sees a reason not to miss.
Title: Re: How Much Ammo Is Enough?
Post by: Duc1 on March 13, 2012, 08:53:27 PM
Marksmanship is important, but it's fun sometimes to "spray and pray" so to speak, especially with a .22.  If one practices like a self imposed ammo scarcity situation they would fire one, maybe two rounds and go home.  Some of my fondest memories are of my childhood buddies and I blasting away, first with pellet guns and then with .22's.   

How much ammo to have is pretty subjective, but I have about 7k .223 and the same for .22.  Hunting calibers (200 for each), Handguns (500 to 1000) and also plenty of reloading stuff.
Title: Re: How Much Ammo Is Enough?
Post by: Lostjagged on May 21, 2014, 07:03:26 PM
While I personally try for $1,000-5,000 of ammo per cal. in storage I still think it's a bit excessive. I'll give an example.

For hunting we will figure high of three rounds a deer. One to Two deer will feed an individual for a year so six rounds a year.

For "other" uses of ammo I like to hold to a quote from the Sergeant Major in We were soldiers "There will be plenty lying on the ground"
Title: Re: How Much Ammo Is Enough?
Post by: Lostjagged on May 21, 2014, 08:29:44 PM
Sorry meant 1000-5000 rounds. Not quite sure how dollars got involved :o
Title: Re: How Much Ammo Is Enough?
Post by: christphrmurray on May 21, 2014, 09:44:52 PM
Just like fire wood when you first think you got enough you need about five times as much.
Title: Re: How Much Ammo Is Enough?
Post by: NWPilgrim on May 22, 2014, 12:08:53 AM
Just like fire wood when you first think you got enough you need about five times as much.


That's exactly what our USAF survival instructor told our SAR team regarding firewood for an unexpected night in the woods. Very true.  We always underestimate what it will take unless we have performed that activity many times.  Same principle applies to estimating software development time: whatever the developer tells the project manager, multiply by at least four times.


It is impossible to predict the future, how it will unfold, how long it will last.  The one thing almost guaranteed in a disaster: whatever you need, so does a horde of other people; so there won't be any available outside of what you already have stored up. As long as you are balancing your expenditures with other necessities, family responsibilities, and your budget then can you ever have too much ammo?  Mr. Murphy says, "Try me!"
Title: Re: How Much Ammo Is Enough?
Post by: Lostjagged on May 22, 2014, 02:39:59 PM
Quote
It is impossible to predict the future, how it will unfold, how long it will last.  The one thing almost guaranteed in a disaster: whatever you need, so does a horde of other people; so there won't be any available outside of what you already have stored up. As long as you are balancing your expenditures with other necessities, family responsibilities, and your budget then can you ever have too much ammo?  Mr. Murphy says, "Try me!"

Too true, my point is more along the lines of "recommended prepper allowance" where more is always better.
Title: Re: How Much Ammo Is Enough?
Post by: witch on May 22, 2014, 06:19:26 PM
Always one more
Title: Re: How Much Ammo Is Enough?
Post by: Semorjh on May 26, 2014, 08:50:27 PM
I like to keep 5 years worth of range time on hand. So buying components to replace what I shoot. Reload so always changing things up a little, interest change reloading makes it all more flexable.
Title: Re: How Much Ammo Is Enough?
Post by: frankd4 on July 21, 2014, 12:11:58 PM
You can never have enough ammo I reload and have way more ammo than I will ever shoot in my life time and I just keep reloading, thinking that something might happen that would keep you from getting any more ever so I keep reloading 223, .308, 45  and 9 mm and I buy all the 12 ga that I can afford every month, once again no you can never have enough ammo or spare parts to rebuild your fire arms.
Title: Re: How Much Ammo Is Enough?
Post by: endurance on July 21, 2014, 01:32:28 PM
You can never have enough ammo I reload and have way more ammo than I will ever shoot in my life time and I just keep reloading, thinking that something might happen that would keep you from getting any more ever so I keep reloading 223, .308, 45  and 9 mm and I buy all the 12 ga that I can afford every month, once again no you can never have enough ammo or spare parts to rebuild your fire arms.
And so the question has to follow:  How are you set on your other preps?  Are you spending money on ammo that might be better spent on food, water, generators, getting out of debt, putting money into savings, a better piece of land, trees, training, education, precious metals, etc.?
Title: Re: How Much Ammo Is Enough?
Post by: soupbone on July 21, 2014, 01:51:52 PM
Well said, endurance. It is too easy to become fixated on one aspect of prepping to the detriment of others. We, Homo sapiens, survived because are generalists - we do enough things well enough to make it, while those species who couldn't change with the times died out. Au. robustus died out with the ready supplies of soft fruits died out; the Neanderthals couldn't adapt to more open spaces and the need for missile weapons as opposed to the thrusting spears so successful in the past.

Today's prepper who concentrates on any one aspect of prepping to the detriment of others is doomed to fail in the long run. You need to eat until the garden comes in, you need to protect your resources, and you need resources to protect.

How much ammo is enough? If you need to ask, you probably have too much already.

soup
Title: Re: How Much Ammo Is Enough?
Post by: frankd4 on July 22, 2014, 11:14:30 AM
We have enough food for eight people for two years, five acres of land and we generate about 3.5 KW a day solar and wind we have been prepping since Hurricane Andrew in 1992 each member of the family has his or her own area of responsibility we meet at the BOL once a month to do inventory and train this month topic will be HF antennas two members of the family are Doctors so the meds are always up to date yes I think we can improve on some things, but my part is guns and ammo and Ham radio so that's what I fixate on.
Hurricane Andrew was awful we lost the house and had to fall back to  the farm, we learned a harsh lesson that we will never forget, prepping is a big part of our lives one we take very seriously you might say we were all scared by this event, we know that yes it can happen to us and it did. 
Title: Re: How Much Ammo Is Enough?
Post by: TexDaddy on July 22, 2014, 05:24:06 PM
+1 frankd4.

We also have well rounded preps, firearms and ammo only being a part of the equation, but it is a part.

And I say, it is impossible to have too much ammo! That would be like saying, "I have too much money."  :o
Title: Re: How Much Ammo Is Enough?
Post by: nelson96 on July 22, 2014, 06:09:39 PM
it is impossible to have too much ammo! That would be like saying, "I have too much money."  :o

Yup
Title: Re: How Much Ammo Is Enough?
Post by: d3nni5 on July 22, 2014, 07:21:28 PM
I recently bought some AR lowers.   I have yet to complete one and already I am shopping around for .223 and 5.56.   I'll probably have 1000+ rounds of ammo before I finish my first rifle.

Common calibers are never a bad thing to have too much of.   So long as it is balanced with all the other items.   In fact, I think of it like money in some respects.   You know folks (like every one of my neighbors) are going to be looking for ammo if SHTF and willing to barter.