Author Topic: How Much Ammo Is Enough?  (Read 55993 times)

Offline Orionblade

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Re: How Much Ammo Is Enough?
« Reply #60 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...!

Offline Nadir_E

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Re: How Much Ammo Is Enough?
« Reply #61 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.

Offline Nadir_E

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Re: How Much Ammo Is Enough?
« Reply #62 on: September 04, 2010, 09:29:19 PM »
Speaking of ammo....

Wrigley Ammunition is having a 10% off sale through Labor Day. :)

-N

Offline Heavy G

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Re: How Much Ammo Is Enough?
« Reply #63 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.)


Offline Orionblade

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Re: How Much Ammo Is Enough?
« Reply #64 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

Offline maxhedroom

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Re: How Much Ammo Is Enough?
« Reply #65 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!!!

Offline MToons

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Re: How Much Ammo Is Enough?
« Reply #66 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

Offline CaptainRW

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Re: How Much Ammo Is Enough?
« Reply #67 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.

Offline Bradbn4

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Re: How Much Ammo Is Enough?
« Reply #68 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


Offline Nadir_E

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Re: How Much Ammo Is Enough?
« Reply #69 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

Offline chrisdfw

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Re: How Much Ammo Is Enough?
« Reply #70 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.

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Re: How Much Ammo Is Enough?
« Reply #71 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. ;)

Offline Bradbn4

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Re: How Much Ammo Is Enough?
« Reply #72 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

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Re: How Much Ammo Is Enough?
« Reply #73 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. 

Offline Heavy G

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Re: How Much Ammo Is Enough?
« Reply #74 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. 

Offline soupbone

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Re: How Much Ammo Is Enough?
« Reply #75 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

Offline Heavy G

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Re: How Much Ammo Is Enough?
« Reply #76 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.

Offline ag2

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Re: How Much Ammo Is Enough?
« Reply #77 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.

Offline CountryRootsCityJob

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Re: How Much Ammo Is Enough?
« Reply #78 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?

endurance

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Re: How Much Ammo Is Enough?
« Reply #79 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.

Offline Outdoorfury

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Re: How Much Ammo Is Enough?
« Reply #80 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

Offline RPZ

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Re: How Much Ammo Is Enough?
« Reply #81 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.
« Last Edit: January 11, 2012, 12:11:53 PM by RPZ »

Offline bdhutier

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Re: How Much Ammo Is Enough?
« Reply #82 on: January 11, 2012, 12:58:37 PM »

Offline Heavy G

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Re: How Much Ammo Is Enough?
« Reply #83 on: January 13, 2012, 09:08:18 AM »

Offline mesta26

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Re: How Much Ammo Is Enough?
« Reply #84 on: January 13, 2012, 09:53:49 AM »
For me the answer is "As much as the wife will let me buy."

endurance

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Re: How Much Ammo Is Enough?
« Reply #85 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.

Offline Orionblade

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Re: How Much Ammo Is Enough?
« Reply #86 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

nelson96

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Re: How Much Ammo Is Enough?
« Reply #87 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.

Offline gundog

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Re: How Much Ammo Is Enough?
« Reply #88 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.......

Offline DrJohn

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Re: How Much Ammo Is Enough?
« Reply #89 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?