Ammo Fieldcraft

How Much Ammo? Published by Divemedic

Once you pick your flavor of ammo as we did earlier this week, how much of it should we have on hand? Some people say that the most handgun ammunition that you need on hand is 250 or 500 rounds. That’s ridiculous. I have more than that in any given caliber.

For starters, there are two types of ammo: range ammo and war shots. PewPew Tactical recommends 500 rounds as a starting point, with 150 of those rounds being war shots. I still think that’s low. So what do I consider to be a good amount of ammo?

For range ammo, I buy in bulk because it’s cheaper, meaning in 1,000 round cases. If I find a good deal, I snap it up. That’s how I scored 9mm FMJ for 15 cents a round back in January of 2020, when I got 2,000 rounds for $300. Of course, that was pre-COVID. Good luck getting 9mm at that price now.

For starters, .22lr comes in bricks of 500 rounds. I own a few .22 firearms, both pistols and rifles. You will seldom see me with less than a couple of thousand rounds of .22 lying about. Of course, there is really no such thing as a “war shot” with .22lr. A brick of .22 will cost you about $30 at today’s prices, making it the cheapest way to shoot. It’s also great for squirrels and rats. That’s why I keep a bunch on hand.

When it comes to range ammo, I try to stock a minimum of 500 rounds per caliber. For the high use calibers of 9mm and .45, I find that 1,000 rounds on hand is a minimum.

For defensive handguns, we need to consider war shots. For semi-autos, I try to keep a minimum of 500 war shots per handgun. For revolvers, 150 war shots per handgun. So if I have a pair of 9mm handguns, that’s 1,000 rounds.

When we get into 5.56mm and 7.62x51mm, we get into a whole different ballgame. For the AR, all I stock in 5.56mm is Green Tips. I don’t do different war shots and range ammo, because I want my war shots to perform identically to my range ammo. For that reason, I try to keep a minimum of 5,000 rounds on hand of 5.56mm.

Likewise for the 7.62x51mm, but my round count there is lower simply because it is more expensive and takes up more room. So I want my minimum there to be no less than 2,500 rounds. With the 7.62, I look for nothing but the 147 grain. That way, every round is similar in performance to every other round.

For shotguns, all I have are 12 gauges. I stock 250 defense rounds in buckshot and slug, and 250 rounds of #7 shot (for hunting).

Toss in a few smoke grenades and a couple of pepper grenades, and the fire marshal’s office will shit themselves if they ever find out about that stash.

So as you can see, that means a lot of ammo on hand. We are talking about more than 20,000 rounds of ammo. I didn’t get there by buying it all at once. I just buy ammo on a regular schedule, buy a case at a time when I do buy, and try to get more than I shoot. Eventually, you get a decent stockpile.

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