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Firearms General Discussion Rifles, pistols, shotguns, scopes, grips and everything in between.

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Old 01-12-2012, 04:37 PM
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Default How much ammo should you store?



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Although not new to firearms or shooting, this is one area where we are definitely out of our element. We are working on changing that starting with training while we decide where to invest our firearm budget.

From a planning/prepping perspective, the way I prep is to figure out what my baseline supply levels are and then treat those as interim goals. For food, my first goal was 30 days, then 3 months, then 6 months, with the long term goal of 3 years. I am trying to do the same thing for ammo and don't have any background to know how much is the right amount to even set interim goals.

So, if we assume that our firearms include rifles, shotguns, and pistols and that we will choose guns with the same caliber as often as makes sense, how much ammo would we need per gun for hunting and defense for
- 30 days
- 3 months
- 6 months
- 1 year

(I have already made the assumption that if we are on our own for more than a year we will need to learn to make our own ammo.)

I am also interested in your thoughts on the best way to store large amounts of ammunition both in terms of our safety and in terms of keeping it from being damaged.

RM

"I declare to you that woman must not depend upon the protection of man, but must be taught to protect herself, and there I take my stand." - Susan B Anthony

"You have a divine animal right to protect your own life and the life of your offspring. "
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Old 01-12-2012, 05:12 PM
MattGoffrey MattGoffrey is offline
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Here's the problem. Once you include a long term range in there it becomes impossible to put numbers on this as there is no way to estimate how often or to what degree you will need to defend yourself. All you can do in this regard is the best you can.
Old 01-12-2012, 05:15 PM
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I would shot for 500 rounds per gun then work from there.
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Old 01-12-2012, 05:32 PM
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Yeah, ammo planning is one of those very very difficult things to estimate.

The short answer is as much as you can. Not to be obtuse, but there is some truth here, as needs simply can't be measured.

I can tell you, I personally shoot at least 500-750 round per month in practice, with some months going well over 2000 rounds. So, 30 days for me would be a minimum of 500 PRACTICE rounds. This isn't to speak of SD rounds. I go through about 50-100 round of SD ammo per month for testing.

I'll be honest, given my druthers I would feel best with 15-20K per caliber of "practice" ammo, 5000 per caliber of SD ammo, and reloading supplies for 20-40K more rounds.

It might sound crazy, but I know preppers that have already surpasses these numbers.

So, once you get in the habit of practicing that will give you a feel of where you should be ultimately for your stores.

I also HIGHLY recommend that you start learning how to reload. This will save you a TON of money and put you in a position to supply yourself for a very long time.

Finally, I don't feel comfortable without a MINIMUM, and this is BARE minimum of 2000 round per caliber. Then again, it's potentially possible for me to burn through that in a single month depending on my activities.
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Old 01-12-2012, 05:38 PM
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Thanks for the replies!

I do feel better now about not knowing where to start in terms of planning. I think I have enough of an idea now to at least put a monetary figure in my budget for level 1. Once we start shooting regularly I can then adjust that based on your thoughts!

RM
Old 01-12-2012, 06:07 PM
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500 rounds per gun is great advice. I would probably go more on your primary weapon and .22. For me my primary is the AK47 so I would like to have 4,000 rounds eventually. My sidearms are 9mm and .45 so I idelly would like to have at least 1,000 for each. I think primary weapons and hunting weapons are the most important. Side arms, not so much.
Old 01-12-2012, 06:11 PM
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500 rounds per gun is great advice. I would probably go more on your primary weapon and .22. For me my primary is the AK47 so I would like to have 4,000 rounds eventually. My sidearms are 9mm and .45 so I idelly would like to have at least 1,000 for each. I think primary weapons and hunting weapons are the most important. Side arms, not so much.
Good points.

Nice thing is .22 is CHEAP, and you can get a LOT for next to nothing.
Old 01-12-2012, 06:34 PM
MattGoffrey MattGoffrey is offline
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Originally Posted by BurntEyes View Post
Good points.

Nice thing is .22 is CHEAP, and you can get a LOT for next to nothing.
Even cheaper is like BurntEyes suggested and learning how to reload your own ammo. It's cheaper to store a lot of powder than it is the ammo.

Of course the problem with storing a lot powder is the DHS sniffing into your business so be careful with your purchases in this regard.
Old 01-12-2012, 07:00 PM
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Quote:
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Good points.

Nice thing is .22 is CHEAP, and you can get a LOT for next to nothing.
Absolute truth here. If you pick up one of the 500-550rd value boxs every payday (they are usually on sale at Wally-World) it will AMAZE you how fast they add up.
As far as them going bad, I don't think that will happen as long as they are stored in a cool/dry place. Just a few weeks ago a local fellow who is 87 years old gave me some Sears brand .22lr shells. Not sure how long ago Sears quit selling ammo, but it has been a bit I'm sure.
Old 01-12-2012, 07:08 PM
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Absolute truth here. If you pick up one of the 500-550rd value boxs every payday (they are usually on sale at Wally-World) it will AMAZE you how fast they add up.
As far as them going bad, I don't think that will happen as long as they are stored in a cool/dry place. Just a few weeks ago a local fellow who is 87 years old gave me some Sears brand .22lr shells. Not sure how long ago Sears quit selling ammo, but it has been a bit I'm sure.
Yep, very easy to stock pile .22.

I'd rather have a bunch of .308, .12g, .45, 9, and .223, but in a pinch me and my 10/22 have a LARGE store, for what 50 rounds of my preferred SD ammo costs.
Old 01-12-2012, 07:15 PM
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Yep, very easy to stock pile .22.

I'd rather have a bunch of .308, .12g, .45, 9, and .223, but in a pinch me and my 10/22 have a LARGE store, for what 50 rounds of my preferred SD ammo costs.
No question there. I have been casting my own bullets as well for many years. And I was amazed ho much free lead I have been able to come up with. That brings the cost of 9mm down to about 7-8 cents a round. Now I figured that several years ago, so it may have gone up a little by now, but it's still very cheap compared to store bought ammo. I cast for all my pistol calibers, and some rifle as well. I do on ocasion buy a few 100 high end jacketed HP pistol bullets when they go on sale to load defensive loads, but I always shoot cast for practice. I would not hesitate though to use my handloads for defense if the need came up.
Old 01-12-2012, 07:18 PM
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Just had a thought that might help.

Don't know if you ever make it to wally world, but on the off chance I am forced into one, I ALWAYS, ALWAYS, go to the ammo section. I buy them out of whatever they have in WWB (winchester white box) in 9mm, .38 and .45 (typically there aren't many as they get snapped up fast), I always get one box of 525 (that's 525 rounds of crappy .22 ammo). Occasionally, I'll even grab a box of .40 or .44 (though I own no guns in either caliber, I consider it priceless barter).

Perhaps you only get one box, but this is a good way to start building your stores piece by piece.
Old 01-12-2012, 07:22 PM
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No question there. I have been casting my own bullets as well for many years. And I was amazed ho much free lead I have been able to come up with. That brings the cost of 9mm down to about 7-8 cents a round. Now I figured that several years ago, so it may have gone up a little by now, but it's still very cheap compared to store bought ammo. I cast for all my pistol calibers, and some rifle as well. I do on ocasion buy a few 100 high end jacketed HP pistol bullets when they go on sale to load defensive loads, but I always shoot cast for practice. I would not hesitate though to use my handloads for defense if the need came up.
I am currently, and much to my dismay in a position where I am unable to reload. FURK!! (long story, don't ask)

I actually enjoy reloading, something very zen about it to me.

Never cast, I need to learn to do that. And yah, I'm a total "Ammo Snob" when it comes to SD, but ANY working gun with a bullet in SHTF, is priceless.
Old 01-12-2012, 08:29 PM
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I personally shoot for 2000 rounds for each pistol, 10,000 for each AR, 500 for each shotgun, 2,000 for my hunting rifle, and 5,000 for my .17 hmr.
Old 01-12-2012, 09:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BurntEyes View Post
I am currently, and much to my dismay in a position where I am unable to reload. FURK!! (long story, don't ask)

I actually enjoy reloading, something very zen about it to me.

Never cast, I need to learn to do that. And yah, I'm a total "Ammo Snob" when it comes to SD, but ANY working gun with a bullet in SHTF, is priceless.
Oh don't get me wrong, in my current situation I ALWAYS us very high end factory defense loads for carry. But in SHTF I have no problem with the reloads for that purpose, be they factory JHP's or the cast. A .45 is still a very big hole even if it is a cast bullet with no expansion.
Old 01-12-2012, 09:20 PM
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I am shooting for 4,000 rounds of ammo for my AK47, I only have about 500! ( I have added that over the last 2 months and have shot double that in practice so...)

For my 9mm I have about 800 rounds and shoot it so often

My .22 I have about 2,000 rounds

my .38 spl I have about 300 rounds

Not sure how much 12 gauge I have but enough I'm sure...

I don't plan shooting a whole punch of people and mainly keeping low, I also have others that are going to help, and will be providing about the same for themselves.

I would start with 500 per gun and then add just keep working from there! it is a lot of work at first but man is it worth it to have it!
Old 01-12-2012, 09:47 PM
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short answer:
whatever makes you sleep better at night, I would have quite a bit more .22 and shotgun than anything else.

Unless you either really are or think your Rambo, youll need more practice rounds than anything else, followed by hunting rounds and least of all, SD rounds. Again, unless your planning the video game version of the zombie apocolypse.
Old 01-12-2012, 10:15 PM
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As you can see from the above, there are a lot of opinions. Here's mine:

MBR - 2,000 rds per rifle
Hunting Rifle - 500 rds per rifle
Pistol - 500 rds per pistol
Shotgun - 250 rds 00 buck & 500 rds birdshot per shotgun
.22 LR - 5,000 rds per rifle

YMMV.

I would cut these amounts into thirds if prepping by timeframe, specifically on the 30, 90, & 180 day periods. By the time you get to 6 months of stuff, your firearms should be pretty much in place, in my humble opinion.

Storage: ammo cans with good seals, maybe a dessicant if you live in a high humidity area. I live in the desert, so humidity and corrosion are of low concern to me.
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Old 01-12-2012, 10:16 PM
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I have sold a few pistols and just have 2 glock 9mm's now (aside from long guns). I did this for the inexpensive ammo and the fact that I only had to buy 9mm. The glocks will last forever and parts are easy to come by. As far as how much ammo I never feel like i have enough (currently have about 1000 rounds b/c i shot it down and havent replenished). I like kenny256's idea of laying low- that seems a lot more enjoyable to me
Old 01-12-2012, 11:06 PM
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I have sold a few pistols and just have 2 glock 9mm's now (aside from long guns). I did this for the inexpensive ammo and the fact that I only had to buy 9mm. The glocks will last forever and parts are easy to come by. As far as how much ammo I never feel like i have enough (currently have about 1000 rounds b/c i shot it down and havent replenished). I like kenny256's idea of laying low- that seems a lot more enjoyable to me
Yeah man you got the right idea. Glock 9mm's are the way to go. I also have HK USP .45's as my sidearms but my wife has the glock 26's. We only buy 9mm. .45, 12 gauge, .22, and 7.62x39 at the moment.
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