Ammo: How Much do You Need?

Metal military surplus ammo cans stacked up

A guest post written by Eve Flanigan.

Today, as gun owners and advocates of defensive living, we’re constantly scrutinized for exercising our 2nd Amendment rights. I’m sure many readers have numerous firearms available to them. Good. But the long-term concern, at least in my estimation, is the ammunition to feed those firearms.

While we’re enjoying the right to own guns, it’s worth noting that Constitutional protection may not include ammo. Ponder, if you will, the prospect of having firearms, but not ammunition. While many readers are surely prepared in the ammo supply arena, from conversations with students, I’d venture a guess that most aren’t. The question is not just for you, but perhaps generations to come. Teaching students on an ongoing basis, I find it not uncommon for folks to struggle to come up with a couple hundred rounds of handgun or carbine ammo to conduct some baseline training. Given today’s political climate, ammunition is more aligned in the crosshairs than ever. Consider in just the last few years there have been attempts to control or restrict ammo via several rationales, including:

Metal military surplus ammo cans stacked up
The military style .30- and .50-caliber ammo cans or the sealed spam cans of ammo make good long-term storage options.
  • Environmental — the claim that any lead-based projectiles will lead to the ultimate demise of endangered species by wildlife ingesting lead from hunters and shooters.
  • Public Safety — the all-too recent attempt to eliminate 5.56 green tip ammo as a supposed fix for preventing penetration of law enforcement body armor. Never mind that any high velocity rifle round has this penetration ability.
  • Leave your fingerprint — recent attempts in the land of fruit and nuts (CA) to have purchasers of ammunition have their fingerprint on file.
  • Taxation — there’s already a tax on most ammo through the Pitman Robertson Act….now Seattle, Washington politicians have decided to tax its residents even more on ammo purchases in the name of funding anti-gun propaganda.
  • Quantity restrictions — Numerous discussions lately by liberals on restricting ammunition sales to a minimal amount per week or month.

Let’s not forget the bare shelves of just two or three years ago because of the political climate. .22 LR rimfire is just now becoming reasonably available again. Prices have just settled in the last few months.

So, back to the original thought of how much ammo? Well, it depends on what your primary, secondary or beyond use of it may be. That of course varies from person to person. Aside from fact that many folks are very accomplished handloaders requiring a good supply of powder, primers, casings and bullets in their own right, many don’t have the time or inclination for handloading.

The need and use for ammo can probably be categorized into the following;

  • Hunting
  • Sport and competition
  • Training
  • Defensive
  • Bartering


For most, standard, big game considerations I could probably get along for quite some time with a couple hundred rounds. But thinking down the road for many years, I would like to have 500 to 1,000 rounds per caliber of any hunting rifle. Small game means shotgun and rimfire, the round count here could increase exponentially.


If its USPSA, IDPA, 3Gun, Trap, Skeet, Silhouette or others, start thinking in the thousands of rounds or even higher for the long term.


This is where things could get interesting. Shooting well is a perishable skill (yes, dry fire can take place of live fire to some extent). I shoot almost on a weekly basis, at least handgun. That may not be sustainable in tough times. I focus most of my weekly handgun shooting on 9mm to keep it economical. I like to keep a minimum of 5,000 rounds available if possible.


I keep a few hundred rounds of good quality handgun, shotgun and rifle ammo that fits this category on hand….per caliber or gauge. A sub category here would be the battle rifle or fighting carbine, at which point there is no such thing as too much ammo.


Military ammo can filled with ammo boxes
In really tough times or a run on the supply, ammunition will always retain a high trade value.

The sky’s the limit. All common calibers and rimfire ammunition is in high demand. Imagine ammunition over-the-counter availability being gone overnight! In really tough times or a run on the supply, ammunition will always retain a high trade value. So the question is how much do you need to have for yourself and family versus how much you can afford to sell or barter with?

It goes without saying that the cost, storage and transportation of ammunition may require logistical planning. Ammunition is heavy. Storage can have its own challenges. Basically, prioritize cool, dry and durable storage when it comes to ammo. The military style .30- and .50-caliber ammo cans or the sealed spam cans of ammo make good long-term storage options.

Other than your local store, where might one find ammo today without breaking the bank? Some obvious choices may be your local gun shows (or similar events) and online ammo sales sites (these sites have also been under fire in recent months). A few less obvious locations to find ammo at sometimes below wholesale prices are flea markets, estate sales and garage sales. This may bring up the question, how long is ammo good for? In my experience if it has been stored properly and out of the elements it can be good for decades. I have shot military surplus that was 50-plus years old, without issues. Not to disparage any hand loaders, but I stay away from reloaded ammo that I do not know the source of. I say this because you will run across such ammo at flea markets and garage/estate sales.

Someone once called ammo the precious metal of the future. I agree.

Eve Flanigan is a firearms instructor and writer residing in the American Southwest. Flanigan provides instruction in safety, basic and defensive pistol, defensive scenarios and basic rifle as well as concealed carry. Flanigan’s work in the non-profit sector has provided opportunities for participation in law enforcement firearms and use of force training. Her instruction, as well as her reviews of guns and gear, center around safety and practicality for self-defense. Her development as an armed citizen and instructor is aided by a variety of firearms and self-defense instruction plus competitive shooting. Persons wishing to contact Flanigan for instruction or to offer materials for review may do so through

The Mission of Cheaper Than Dirt!'s blog, The Shooter's Log, is to provide information—not opinions—to our customers and the shooting community. We want you, our readers, to be able to make informed decisions. The information provided here does not represent the views of Cheaper Than Dirt!

Comments (107)

  1. Sivispace : Empty plastic Folgers cans with a little silicone adhesive makes a great Ammo cache.

    Not those cheap plastic things!
    Under ground they would deteriorate too fast.
    A 5 gallon bucket with a fresh lid/seal maybe, but not a thin little coffee container.

  2. I believe that one cannot have too much ammunition or too much gun lube. Empty plastic Folgers cans with a little silicone adhesive makes a great Ammo cache. Be sure to bury it near a tree or beneath a post to ground-penetrating radar won’t reveal it.

  3. The future will be serviced by unaccounted for “GHOST GUNS” and old Spam cans of ammo stashed away in little cashes along with guns and ammo culled from the government.

  4. Ammo Cans, are made of Mild Steel! Which have a Life Expectancy of ~120-years when Buried in Dirt. OLD AMMO, is “Anything” over 30-years old. If Possible, “Shrink-Wrap” the Ammo with a Desiccant Silica Pack INSIDE as well. Though Airtight Shrink Wrap, Humid Weather and a Warm Ground in a Steel Container. Will “Act” Like a Solar Still…

  5. I also live in So. California. One of my other hobbies is custom woodworking. First get some good airtight containers such as military ammo cans. When woodworkers want to save partial cans of paint, stain, etc. there is a product called “Bloeshield”. It comes in like spray cans. The product is inert and heavier than air. Just as you are closing your container, give it a good blast and shut the lid fast. Air and the moisture it containes will be displasted. (pardon my lousy spelling), Every time you open a container you will have to do it again. It works. I got tired of throwing away half cans of stain, paint etc.
    Go to http://www.woodcraft,com or do a google search. You can buy it over the internet.

  6. Read your article about having enough ammo. My problem is: even though I live in the desert southwest I have a bad problem with corrosion. Any hints? I shoot .45 ACP.


  7. Long term ammo storage is not so much a problem of how much but as to where.
    While article is theoretical , government limiting ammo, what makes anyone think storage will be legal.
    Having ammo 20 years from now in a vastly changed political, environmental and financial world , It is minight and I am listening to the “Twilight zone”, easier than reading the political fantacies of gun ownrrs.
    Too damn long living in your pocket book to satisfy our fantacies.
    Hunts for less animals ( except the diseased who have mad cow( deer and elk) but that shows the true kill not the hunt mindset. You get poisoned food but not from a dead pacific , wildlife is dying at alarming rates and gun owners wave flags and talk as if everything was normal.
    Why is it most gun owners are like dumb beast of box and horse wearing blinders, all they see and know is 2nd Amendment.
    This nation is an environmental disaster where only 30% of populace under Agenda 21 the rest of population will be no more than animals to be used and herded.
    Store all you want as nations people die of cancers and genetic defects are the norm.. Your grandkids will morebthan likely never touch a weapon once the old horses are gone.

    1. Funny you should mention United Nations Agenda 21. Agenda 21 is the communist inspired vehicle that will eventually take your guns, and is currently the greatest threat to ALL property ownership worldwide.

      For example, in the name of “health and safety,” Agenda 21 is in Maryland banning all septic tanks in the state. What’s wrong with that? What’s that got to do with guns?? Without rural septic tanks, no one lives outside the city, and easier to control you and your guns.

    1. Wait a sec there AINT SO . I did mention the importance of safe steel fire safes for storing large amounts of ammo and powders etc. for that reason .If you are going to store that much it must be done safely in case of a fire so you do not take out half the hood and responders to the fire with lbs of powder and loaded rounds cooking off in a fire .So i did bring that up .

  8. When SCOTUS ruled on the individual right to bear arms in the not too distant past, their results were—— 5 TO 4— for our right. With just one more Clinton appointed member, that vote would have gone 5 to 4 against us. Don’t take anything for granted regarding your right to guns, or ammunition— We just saw Obamacare pass with over 60% of the people opposing it– we’re now seeing this Iranian deal go through, with over 60% disapproval, we’re seeing the Constitutional treaty requirements ignored– One vote retained your rights, and one vote can take therm away. We can all read the Constitution—4 of them just choose to disregard it– to RE-INTERPRET it. Luckily it wasn’t 5 that chose to do so.

    1. First off SCROTUS has gotten out way of hand and has seemed to under this current the admin watch become LAWMAKERS WHICH IS NOT THEIR JOB they are to uphold the law and our rights not decide wtf they are such as same cple marriage , Deciding if we have the rights the constitution clearly has written in english for all to read by 1 vote when did they become the makers of law ? When did it become SCROTUS job to go against the constitution with a vote?As in whether we have the right given to us under the 2A to keep and bear arms and ammo ? We need to get Washington back to following the laws we have and upholding them not let 5 appointed fed judges deciding what is law and is not it is clearly written in our constitution something the current POTUS has forgotten it seems to me with his i have a pen and a phone and lets send it for a federal vote? That is not how it is done and as far as the UN goes they hold no law or right to make laws in AMERICA and can shove their article 21 where the sun dont shine is how i feel about the UN.

  9. The greatest threat to our gun rights is the United Nations Agenda 21, sometimes known as Smart “anything,” or Green “anything.” The Soros, Rockefeller and Carnegie Foundations are financing gun grabbers, and are operating in stealth mode in plain sight. Agenda 21 wants your property for green projects too.

    Check out the State of Washington. The State of Maryland is trying to BAN all septic tanks in rural Maryland. What will that do to your property? Force you to live in the high rise apartments downtown where gun rights are most restricted. Chances are Agenda 21 is in your town now. Don’t take my word for it. Research

    1. lol @ rick ,
      that be THE RIGHT TO BEAR ARMS THERE BUCKWHEAT LOL. Reminds of that movie about boat drinks BUCKWHEATS not a good way to go in that flick lol things to do in denver when dead but was a pretty good flick at least. With THE HEAD that ran the gangsters lol.

  10. The Real Problem in this Country is the POOR EDUCATION of the AMERICAN PEOPLE!!! The Constitutional Amendment says the RIGHT to BARE ARMS!!! THAT Includes AMMO and ANYTHING ELSE that is NEEDED for the FIREARM!!! OUR ForeFathers WERE VERY SMART MEN!!! The Liberals are Constantly TWISTING the MEANING of the LANGUAGE and WORD of the Constitution. THE LIBERALS ARE WRONG!!!! YOU can OWN as MUCH AMMO as YOU WANT!!!

  11. If You’re to stupid to realize why this article is stupid, then you’re too stupid to understand any explanation as to why this article is stupid. ….Stupid…

  12. Surprised you didn’t touch on replenishment cycles. Let’s face it, most of us have a practical limit to our inventory, be it cost or space. Regularly cycling new in and getting rid of older stock, while maintaining inventory levels, if done with thought benefits your stash. Now and when SHTF you have newer ammo rather than the first spam can you ever bought. You can also better optimize ammo to gun combinations. if you’re fine tuning your skills and tools, you likely now have a better idea of your current go to likes to eat verse when you when you picked up that bulk buy on a deal.

  13. I posted on another article weeks back about shortage of .22lr in my area (Livonia MI) and a conversation I had with a former US Embassy Guard. USMC, Moscow. He mentioned that in a shtf situation he would only need 2 or 3 rounds, he would use those to “procure” some from somebody else and we got around to talking that ammo, could be a viable form of currency during a time like this. I have 3-5k rounds stashed around area and am always hitting Dad to buy more on his credit card ( so it does not get traced to me) I know he would clam up and claim rights under constitution and they would rip apart his home and business and find squat, he did some work w Col. North so he would go to jail for me. But another time at Walmart another customer said to me, when I complained that they had no high velocity .22 only low that ” Low velocity beats no velocity”, that’s my 2 cents.

    1. seems a lot think that having someone else buy for you or spending cash for ammo and will not use the great deals you get online you cannot get in retail store think that will stop the gov from getting it or you or ya weapons if they really want it . That is stupid unless you are buying so much you would never use it all in normal hunting and shooting buying a case or 2 here and there or reloading components makes you no more a target of the feds than anything else .Or you think you can hide the fact that is stupid unless you are buying tons of it and have no ffl you are not being watched by gov spies every time you buy some ammo build it up over time buy in small bulks like most real shooters have been for last 100 yrs in america and they are not breaking your door now in middle of night over ammo that is stupid and if they want it you could not stop them anyhow especially when you say on an open forum how your dad buys it that makes you safe lol c mon man the true fact is until the present admin is out and we stop making everything so politically correct or try to hide everything we buy would bring up more suspicion then if you bought as you always have as i do you do not need a million rounds in a house as a sports and comp shooter unless you are using full auto weapons you will never shoot it all up and if you have a full auto you have it registered anyhow or better have that tax stamp so they know you have it , ammo hoarding is not against the law but safely storing it from fire and theft is way more of a concern than jack booted thugs busting in ya door dont draw the attention by trying to hide it wont matter they want it they will get it VOTE ,VOTE VOTE .That is how we protect our rights in america we do not vote for gun grabbing liberals and we go about as we always have the ATF and NSA read these forums as well as we do you give them a reason by telling world on open forum i have dad buy it i hide it , use only cash blah blah is the RED FLAG . Live in a blue state MOVE that simple . Trying to hide it all will raise way more suspicion in my opinion. Always have some stashed away for shtf but dont talk about it on open forums you have less worry than buying offline or at the local sports and gun store ever will.

    1. @Scott


      I’m tired of people dogging those who prepare by trying to blame them for the so-called ammo-shortage. This is America . . supply and demand.Nowhere is it written that I should artificially limit myself to how much ammo I buy just to satisfy someone else I don’t even know.

  14. SCOTUS already ruled on this, years ago. Can’t deny ammunition, it is part and parcel of “firearm”. Quit posting “scare” articles.

  15. Indeed we do Mikail and that same unnamed supplier has a Draconian return policy for defective rounds which would appear to allow them to ship any Ammo they please with impunity.

    1. @Sivispace

      Sadly, there’s more than one of them out there. In terms of accepting returns, I have never found anyone better than Freedom Ammunition. I bought some target .357 from them that turned out to be too weak to cycle my Desert Eagle, and he just said send it back and he replaced it with some high powered .357 hunting ammo at no additional cost (not even shipping0 that is so hot, everyone at the range stops and comes over to to WTF I am shooting.

      When i find a good dealer i can trust, I sure as heck stick with them.

  16. “Someone once called ammo the precious metal of the future.”

    If you think about it, ammo makes a good substitute currency. A .22lr round is about a dime. 7.62×39 steel might be 25 cents. In brass it might be 50 cents or more. A .308 cartridge is maybe a dollar.

  17. “It’s worth noting that Constitutional protection may not include ammo.”

    That’s a LIE, plain and simple. Ours is the right to keep and bear ARMS, and ARMS include firearms, ammunition, and all other needful supplies. I’m appalled my beloved Cheaper Than Dirt would print such garbage.

  18. Just a suggestion.

    2K mixed rounds ( defense/practice ) min. for every type of gun you own. If you own 2 of the same caliber of gun then you should have a min. of 4k rounds of ammo for both.The more guns you own the more ammo you should have for them. Stock piling ammo by making your own or buying it, should be every gun owners effort. Buy ammo when you can afford to buy. Storing your ammo properly, it can last for a few years. If you can’t store it properly, then you will have to cycle out the old and buy new. This method can get costly. So learn to store it properly. If you want to be able to live safely, then keep plenty of ammo for your guns and have peace of mind by doing so.

    As everyone knows.Without ammo for your gun, the gun becomes an expensive paper weight or a club. You can never have enough ammo.

    And remember, the bad guys do not follow any rules or any laws.

  19. I am a rimfire pistol target shooter, and I do not appreciate articles like this.

    1. The ammo I have to shoot (standard velocity 22 LR) is the very last thing that companies make, and lately, even when it has been made, it has been sucked up by hoarders along with the high-velocity ammo. That makes this ammunition – when you can buy it – only marginally less expensive than centerfire pistol. At 50 feet to 25m, ammunition choice is actually immaterial; you could shoot Federal 711B or Eley, and except for the price differences, it will not matter for most guns and most shooters. But you don’t want to be buying Eley if you don’t have to.

    2. Some of us work full-time jobs and aren’t there standing in line at Wal-Mart with every member of our family buying the limit. Advocating for hoarding is a great way to help exercise gun control over people don’t have the time to scour, 24/7, internet retailers and local sporting goods stores. And driving prices up is a great way to insure that the rich will inherit the earth.

    3. The survivalist stuff is bizarre and seems to revolve around ideas that variously overstate the competence of government, overstate the ability of individuals with legal weapons to fight a government that is capable of taking our Bin Laden (for example), and overstate the ability of guns to provide food in most of the urbanized and suburbanized U.S. should there be some massive societal collapse.

    3. You can’t help but to wonder if the ammo hoarding thing is a product of the manufacturers and sellers of ammunition wanting to do a little bit of profiteering. You can bet that the manufacturing cost of a box of fifty 45 ACP cartridges never went up when the retail price jumped from $10 to $50 a box. Someone made a pretty penny on that, and just when you see prices drifting back to reality, you see an article like this, published by an ammunition seller on its blog.

    In the end, we can see supply quickly catching up with demand. Everyone got tapped out hoarding expensive ammunition; some were able to profiteer for a short time; and everyone who thought this was an investment is about to get burned. The ammunition shortage of the last few years was not precipitated by the postal service buying 16 trillion rounds of ammunition. It was a self-fulfilling prophecy driven from within the market, and the bubble is about to pop.

  20. Me I have tens of thousands of rounds of several calibers. .223/556, 45 acp, 40, 9mm, 7.62 x 39, 6.5 Grendel. 308 and the shotgun ammo I have. I am ready for pretty much anything. But I have to admit that most of my 223/556 goes towards exploding varmints at my friends ranch in Texas.

  21. Store all you can make or buy and keep your mouth shut. Just be ready and if you do not get to use it,teach your kin to do so. DO Not Trust this government.

  22. There have been several comments on this thread, and others, regarding people who don’t have the money to go out and buy large quantities of ammo, food storage, or gear. I completely understand and agree.

    One good technique is to simply buy a box or several of ammo every month. Most people can afford a box or two a month, and in doing that, you will eventually build up a decent supply. Food is another item we all need, so when you go to the store to buy something, buy an extra one and put it into the storage. Then be sure to rotate your items to use the oldest first.

    Believe me, doing this works. Before long you have a nice little store built up, and then you just keep building on it.

    1. @mikial,
      Agree how i got most of my reloading components i bye bulk of w/e i need to keep my stash built up ,use the powder that is oldest up first to newest but i try and buy a few reloading components a month ,and a few boxes of factory ammo to keep new brass on hand when needed as well as a case of spam can every other month this keeps me at range training to stay expert level with the firearms i own and test the reloads for the loads i like best for each weapon i am loading for and pack it into steel and wooden ammo crates. Water has always been the thing i hoard most for supplies i learned very early in service during training you can last a lot longer without solid food then water .You have 76 hours to find water then game over for w/e it is trying to survive but water is the most important thing to have stored is fresh water. Or you will not last long enough to worry about the rest.

    2. @Damian

      Spot on regarding water. Assuming you don’t freeze to death or die of heat stroke, you will last about 3 days without water.

      It’s recommended that you store at least 1 gallon per person per day. That can add up to a lot of water if you have a family to worry about over a long period. We store in multiple methods; 55 gallon drums with chemical stabilizer to retard various kinds of fungus growth, collapsible Mylar bags that are inside cardboard boxes so you can stack them 2 high on a shelf. (they have a spout), various sizes of bottled water, and as a backup, (the liners you put in your bathtub each of which will hold 65 gallons). We have a propane generator with about 300-400 pounds of propane, so we can run our pump for a long time by only using the generator as needed.

      It’s also a good idea to invest in a high capacity filter. Berkey makes some decent filters that won’t cost you an arm and a leg.

      Here is a good site that discusses water in emergency situation.

    3. Buying 1 box of ammo at a time can be a good plan, but I prefer to put the money in a can and buy in bulk when I have enough saved up. I usually get better prices that way, and definitely better shipping prices. By the way. Target Sports is a good place to buy bulk ammo. Decent prices and always free shipping on bulk orders.

    4. @indianasteve

      Thanks for the tip. I’ve checked out their site and it’s going on my list for comparative shopping. Too many buyers neglect to consider shipping charges when comparing costs. Some dealers advertise good prices and then gouge you on the shipping. I won;t say who, but I would imagine many of you already know.

    5. Shipping charges can be really confusing. Just last week I ordered some soft point .223 ammo from (I also won’t say who), but shipping on 200 rnds was about $13.50. For 400 rnds it was just over $15. I added a small rifle barrel mounted rail for my sub 2000 and total shipping was under $9 for the rail and 400 rnds.

    6. @indianasteve

      One thing that has always bothered me a little about CTD is that if you have a firearm in your cart, you can’t have anything else in it. So you place one order for the gun, but then have to place a separate order for ammo, spare mags, etc., and pay premium shipping on both orders.

    7. CTD isn’t. After trying to charge me more for one box of rifle ammo than another vendor did for 440 rounds of surplus I said no more.

    8. I guess there is no good reason for me not to say who. It was Midway. I don’t know if that’s who you were talking about with the multiple warehouses or not.

  23. I think Victoria Jackson sang it best with her (less than) hit song “There’s a Communist in the White House …” While some of it is tongue in cheek, there is a lot of truth to the tune.

    What does a tyrannical government need the most … lots of peasants to support them and to weak to resist them. Step one is to disarm the future peasants, the rest of the take over is relatively simple.

    Invest in Gold and Silver … then invest in brass and lead. Destroy the economy and you’ve got your peasants, destroy their ability to secure weapons and ammunition and you’ve got your weak peasants who can’t resist. Have you looked at our deficit lately .. the dollar is already based on thin air, there is no substance behind the dollar other than the promise of “good faith.” You already know what Progressives think of faith, don’t you? If the (non governmental entity) Federal Reserve raise the interest rates .. you’ll see what I’m talking about.

    1. You had a good post until you said “invest in Gold and Silver”. What would you do, throw it at someone coming at you with a gun or knife? First is water, second is ammo and long shelf life food, and how about meds if you or one of your family rely on them and then first aid supplies.
      Just ideas from my training. There are many others but not many as important than these.

    2. @Kurt

      Gold isn’t a good plan unless you have some sort of means of converting it into something you can use. You’re certainly not going to give someone a one ounce gold piece for some ammo or a can of food.

      Silver on the other hand is a good plan. Silver Half Dollars are the perfect medium for making trades or purchases. Gold and silver have withstood the test of time as something people seek after. Gold is too valuable to be good for trade, but silver could be useful.

    3. we’ve kind of gotten off the how much ammo theme, but I’m not complaining. I like hearing other peoples ideas. To barter with, I keep a supply of whiskey and cigarettes on hand. The cigarettes might get pretty old but I bet I can still trade them

      Also, for bugging out means of transportation. Bugging in is my 1st choice, but if I have to leave, I have my bare essentials in a couple of packs. Then I have a bicycle that can is packed and ready to go. The bike is packed to the hilt and is used as a cart to carry supplies only,including food and water, not me. As the food and water gets used, then there is room for me to use as transportation. All of this can easily fit into the back of my truck if need be. But as others has said. a truck is a big bullseye. That would be for an initial jumpstart to get away from an escalation fast. I would not stay with my truck for very long.

    1. @Larry

      I’m sensing a bit of sarcasm in your post. I don’t go overboard with the supplies I keep on hand, but I do stock enough to ensure I won’t run out. I reload and buy new…keeps me from not having enough for trips to the range and ample supply of defense/hunting rounds.

    2. @ Dan ,
      Always got to be one big mouth man right? smh. i reload,buy a box or case or 2 of spam can for just blasting with my ak’s and mosins (cheaper than i can reload ak ammo for and box ,or 2 lb’s or such of powder ,1000 primers maybe a month W/E is on sale and there at the time . to keep up my brass supply, powder and have enough components to keep hand loading for a yr everyday into ammo of almost every cal weapon i own . I never carry hand loads in my carry pistols, DEMOCRATIC Liberal DA’S love to say you loaded man killers just to make sure you kill them duh lol so i buy enough self defense branded (in case of a court case box says self defense sir ) to keep them running and my aim and practice up with what i carry on streets and use my hand loaded for hunting or tourneys. @Larry no reason to be an a$$ man but the more the better if you have the storage room to keep it in good shooting shape . You just never know man . Good as gold it cannot be gotten by any one but come to you in a real shtf scenario it is good as any other bartering item.

    3. I hate to say it Damian but it is people like you that cause ammunition and reloading components (probably firearms also) to be in such short supply. You hoard all you can get your hands on. If you lived to 250yrs you could never use all you have while decent people suck wind just trying to find enough (of the above products to protect themselves and their families if needed). Give me all the hate mail you want but you don’t impress anyone.

    4. @Kurt

      I have never had a problem finding ammo when I needed it. Prices have gone up and down, but that is simply supply and demand. Capitalism.

      I don’t really think it’s fair of you to blame others for going to the effort of finding what they want or need, and then spending their own money to buy it. Sure, if you rely on Wal Mart for your ammo needs, then you are going to be disappointed. But there are at least a dozen on-line sites that track ammo availability and cost and make it availability. Try this one . . it’s the one i use the most.

  24. Never mind how much ammo you NEED. How much ammo do you WANT? For me, it’s a lot and any law trying to prohibit me from obtaining it is unconstitutional. This article is a little silly at best.

    1. What part of this story is silly, ..None if it…The US Constitution does not state you have a Right to Own Ammo…Its these little loopholes that allow states to pass laws that dances all around the edge of the infringement line of the 2nd Amendment…Each word, or comma, or period in the wording of a amendment means something….Its how these crazy laws get forced through the state chambers and voted on and passed…The word Ammo does not appear anywhere in the 2nd amendment…That small over sight by the Writers of the Amendment, could one day cost the rights of Millions of honest gun owners to even be allowed to buy ammo, much less possess it .All it will take, is a congress that is controlled by liberal Gun haters such as the liberals we have in power today. Look what they passed in 2008 and 2009 when they had that total control..WE also have a liberal leaning SCOTUS today, that could agree with a Liberal New Bill( Law) to ban the sales of ammo to the public…This story is not silly at all my view Dan, its scary to even think about, how Our Rights are slowly being erased by the liberals in leadership positions throughout America.

    2. @ky_Tom

      We have the right to own and bare arms. To bare arms, one must have ammo for said arms. Not allowing the purchase of ammo is unconstitutional. I totally agree with you about liberals trying to steal our rights any way they can. That’s why our votes are so important.

  25. Without ammo, the highest tech firearm is nothing more than a high tech club! I save 62gr 5.56mm for defense (shtf) and use the cheaper 55gr for practice. If I shoot 200 rounds I like to replace it with 400 rounds. Handgun ammo I like to have a minimum of 1000 rounds and for .22LR about 10K. Shotgun about 500 buckshot, 200 slugs, and 2500 7.5 shot. Other rifles have about 400 rds each with powder, bullets and primers to load a couple hundred more. I never was a Boy Scout but, I have always tried to follow their motto…BE PREPARED!

    1. You do know that your 62gr ammo if NATO ammo and manufactured with the penetrator is only going to drill a small hole through somebody if they are not wearing body armor don’t you? It is very unlikely that it will tumble upon entering flesh like the 55gr fmj does. 2

    2. I’m a Viet Nam vet and I can tell you that 55 gr 5.56 works pretty good and as you point out, it’s cheaper than the 62 gr stuff. I have heard reports of current Vets saying that the 62 gr penetrator punches small holes in the enemy and doesn’t take them out.
      I recently bought a few hundred rounds of 5.56 soft point and I was happy with my results.I hadn’t intended to buy soft point but turned out it was not only accurate but the soft point is pretty effective causing damage to your target and again, it’s cheaper than the 62 gr ammo.
      The only time 62 gr might be preferred is if you’re going against somebody that has body armor.

    3. My 7 most reliable firearms: 1.A Remington 870 pump 12ga. 2.A Ruger Mini 30 (7.62×39), A Russian SKS (7.62×39) and 4 Glocks:
      A mod 19 my most carried and used,
      A mod 26, both 9mm.
      A mod 36 and
      A mod 30.
      The last two in 45 ACP.
      The four Glocks have been used in work and worked. The Rem. 870 also. the two rifles not yet, but I train with them all the time and have no doubts they will work when I need them.
      I also have about 6000 rounds for each of them on hand, and that will last me and mine more than we need.

  26. Don’t buy the “Progressive” lies. The Right to bear firearms includes being able to use them, which includes having the ammunition to use them.

    Too many “conservatives” surrender the arguments before they begin, by buying the “progressive” lies and presuppositions.

    1. Without starting a battle which no one can win, how is it the stupidest article? I read a lot and have seen some truely inane, wrong, actually stupid articles. Whilst I may not agree with everything said, I am curious as to how this qualifies as “stupid”, much less “stupidest”? Is it the subject matter? The quantities suggested? If you choose to responde, please be specific. I would like to understand your perspective accurately as I may have missed something.

  27. A long long time ago in a country far far away, i was down to my last 10 rounds before the cavalry arrived, i vowed then and forever to never be in that position again…..I’m not a hoarder, i’m just prepared for the worst and hoping to live in the best….

  28. USMC 1964-1968, target shoot mostly, don’t hunt anymore, would if i were hungry. You can never have too much ammo.

    Also contribute meager funds to Wildlife ReHab, it’s not a claim, it’s a fact, ingesting lead will, and does, kill Raptors. The cost to remove lead from the system of an American Bald Eagle is 3K per injection. I am by no means a tree hugger, just stating the facts, if you don’t believe it so, study the ReHab folks files and data. Start with Marge Gibson, she runs REGI, a world class Rehab located in Wisconsin, Marge is not a tree hugger, she just loves Eagles, as do I, but i also enjoy my target shooting

  29. Back in 1958 I became a US Matine Sniper. Here is a 1903 Bolt action and a 2x scope. Draw 300 rounds and when your done..come back for more.

    While an over simplification pretty close. Late in my 22 year career I had occasion to lay down some precise hidden shots. While it was true, the comment of brass and one shot, it was sometimes tre’s neccessair to shoot more than once. Not recommended nor sanctioned but after all my experiences, there ARE no hard fast rules. YOU will do what you have to and what you measure as safe, secure and on target.

    1. @JD

      A neighbor I had a few years ago had been a sniper attached to the famous, or infamous, 1st Bn 9th Marines Walking Dead. He was a disabled vet (he walked with a distinctive limp) because, as he liked to put it, he had won every firefight he’d ever been in but one. He swore by his M1A and stockpiled ammo. But as we got to know each other, he told me that he needed someone he could trust to be there if things went south, so he bought me 500 rounds of ammo and told me he would call if he needed me. I agreed.

      I later worked with his son doing private security work in Iraq as a DoD contractor. You are very correct, there are no hard and fast rules. As John Wayne said, “A mans gotta do what a mans gotta do.”

  30. I put them on my boycott list when they sold me German surplus in battle packs with close to 40 percent corroded ammo only to learn that they sell the ammo in “as is” condition. Then there is the shipping charges. But I will not shoot ammo n poor shape like that in my HK-91. I now buy local and only after obtaining a guarantee.

  31. I put CTD on my ammo boycott list when they wanted to charge $18.36 to ship 1 20 round box of rifle ammo. Eff that. Buying it locally with the brick store markup and sales tax was still way cheaper. And this was just last month with fuel prices having dropped 50%…

    1. I as well have not purchased ammo from ctd in some time i hve been buying my spam cans from SG (sportsmans guide) the prices have been good the shipping is not incredible and they get it to me fast . It still goes back to what i keep saying it is all about the dollar now greed has taken over every aspect of our lives with every major big company out there i also buy from classic arms, Ammo firearms etc,aim surplus ,sg ,sgn (shotgun news)but the US postal service is part of the gov and they most times set shipping prices high as well so the companies have to pass that along to us or UPS,FED EXPRESS all are getting greedier and see the time to make bank on all of us is now they are all so quick to shoot prices to enormous levels that realy the only way NOT to get raped is handload ya own and spend what it takes for the rimfires .The Obama admin and his croonies like pelosi know that they will drive the price up every time they throw these we are going to ban it bs out there Hell mr Obama and his wanna be socialists liberal bs policies has been the best gun salesman to come along in last 20 yrs every time he mentions i will ban them they sell out in days all over he has sold more ar and ak platforms than some governments have with his i have a pen and a phone and i will ban it now we have more (just a guess ) guns in private hands along with wth knows how many rounds of ammo stashed all over the states now due to his own hand .T/Y mr obama keep doing such a great job of causing better buy it now or never own it which the companies love every time he does they are all making bank off firearms you could get for a third of the money before he was elected he himself now admits every time i mention gun control gun sales soar well yea ya dmb fk of course they do and you have only you and ya admin to blame for there being 3 times as many in private hands now keep up the good work man .You are realy winning arent you lol.

  32. No worries, Secundius.

    They send them monthly, but I don’t go by them very much. Easier to do the on-line thing. I prefer Ammo Seek for ammo shopping. Very up to the minute prices.

  33. Where is 22 ammo available again. I sure have not seen any here in Nebraska. I don’t think it is that available yet and I believe it will take an election before it is again and that is only if it goes the right way!

    1. I have been able to purchase Federal Auto Match .22 LR from Palmetto State Armory online for about $0.08/round in 325 round cartons. They have let me buy 3 to 5 cartons at a time which makes the shipping cost more reasonable. It is cheaper than it was at its peak. I can’t remember back far enough to when .22LR was $0.02/round (1975???). I was paying just over $20.00 for a carton of 500 back in 2006.

    2. @Secundius

      And, not just to give a plug for CTD, but they are listed there as the lowest priced .for 22LR. Can’t speck to their S&H costs though.

    3. @ Mikial.

      US Mail must be a little slow, haven’t received a CTD catalog in the Better Part of TWO MONTH’s, or Just “Pissed” somebody off. So I Posted What I Knew…

  34. the majority of my bulk ammo that is for that JIC moment is all new Tula at least for the .223 and mist handgun ammo is the same. I want to know who instilled it into the brains of people that the second amendment is for •Hunting •Sport, competition•Training•Defensive•Bartering etc..

    None of this is in there. Its all for defending your self against the government. no where does it say “you can’t hunt with a 250 round drum in you rifle or lead ammo or explosive ammo. its all STUPID. The 2a also is about ammo. Sivispsce got that right. CTD really needs to fact check a little before they release these “stories”. Being the focus of Diane Feinstein’s war on guns more than once you would think they would they would be more careful of what they released.


    5,000 rounds for each individual firearm.
    that means in I own three 9MMs and two glock 21s, two 1911s, and one M&P .45, I have 35,000 rounds ready to go at any given moment.

    The reason I use steal cases for emergency is I do not need the enemy getting my position by a gleam of light reflecting off the brass when it ejects from my guns.

    1. There is never too much .I not only buy cheaper spam cann ammo for my mosins ,svt-40 and ak’s offline but i also reload as well for the calibers that are not so cheap to buy .In todays world i would suggest handloading to anyone shoots a lot or wants to not be without .Just keep the components stocked up ,store them in a controlled temp room at all times in steel safes or cabs .Such as 45 acp ,45 long colt magnum level for my blackhawks,.308 win for my 4 .308 cal weapons ,06 for my Garand as i never shoot cheap ammo through it and every other cal i own i have the dies to reload most all of them the only ammo i do not reload is the ak ammo it is cheaper to buy by the cases or sealed spam cans again i stay away from corrosive .Handloading saves me an average of 70% when i stock up on the needed components i need for it ,bullets ,powder ,brass ,primers and the brass if used right can be reloaded many many times if you stay away from the cheaper brass such as s&b but even it can be used numerous times just a matter of how long it lasts . Handload man it is the best way ,the ammo is far more accurate than factory for me and will keep you from ever running dry ,of course you cannot reload rimfire so stock up on rimfires as i do and you will be set .

    2. @Damian. Make sure you pay cash for your components and factory stuff. No record of what you purchased. Buying on-line or in-store w/credit leaves a record. Just sayn’.

    3. you “steal” cases? Touch mine and you will lose a hand ! Now “steel”, cases, ah that’s a whole nuther siteeation. And as far as the hunting, competition, etc. not being part of the 2A, well, what good is that firearm the 2A says you have a right to own if you have no ammo for it? What good is having a car but no gas? Hunting and competition are lawful uses of firearms, and without ammo, the participant’s ability to participate is certainly infringed, is it not?!

    4. Ammo is covered in the 2A. The ammo is also part of the firearm. The 2A does not cover the 3 GUN competition or hunting for your next meal with a gun. Its strictly covers the right to defend yourself against tyranny and an oppressive government. The 2A has been stepped on so many times and all these dumb a$$es keep binging up sport shooting and hunting. “you don’t need a 60 round magazine for hunting” and “6 rounds is plenty to defend yourself against intruders”. AND all that other BS.

      The 2A is there and gives the people the right to own and have the same weapons as our military and law enforcement. That is what the 2a says.

      This article brings up BS that has nothing to do with the 2A like hunting, sport shooting, target practice. It all is legal and wonderful but it really is just like freedom of religion. which has been stepped on too. If you are a Muslim you can prey in the middle of a college campus and blare that awful prayer music but if you have a chapel on campus or in a hospital with the cross displayed or the star of David you are committing a cardinal sin.

    5. @Vector16
      PREY LOL i shoot prey that be PRAY TROOP.They PRAY LOL can see the typo lol j/k was funny .Agree on the 2A comment as well it was meant for protection from any tyrannical gov or dictators and kings from oppressing us ever again as well as invaders,domestic threats,etc. not hunting or sports shooting but it does guarantee the right to do those with our LEGAL owned firearms as well as long as we follow the laws in place but protection was the biggest concern of the founding fathers from all threats man or beast not competeting for trophies or money that just came with the advent of modern firearms of the time and now.

    6. @Damian Couldn’t you understand the Freudian Slip of saying that a Muslim could prey anywhere he wanted? I am sure @Vector16 said what he meant to say.

    7. lol @ Leon
      Yea my 2 120 lb plus pit bulls would deff not take a liking to anyone stealing my ammo or anything else in the house but good 1 lol i like that steal vs steel lol. .And if that were a prob as a cavalry scout sniper for yrs in the army we never concerned ourselfs with brass shining in sunlight we were taught police the area of all signs you were ever there including brass you do have a spotter will get it if you do not and unless engaging multiple targets at once we were up in hides made to mask any sign of us being there you could put some flat black on the case lol i guess but never had that brought up in sniper training at Benning.YA BRASS IS TOO SHINY TROOP and they did not issue steel black cased ammo to us army sniper teams ever .That is a new 1 even for me . And we were not in thick tall grass all desert man when not in a village or urban engagement . In tall grass and weeds doubt ya brass gives you away and most rifles we used threw the brass 20 feet from us unless we had bolt actions most of us had the scoped old M14’S pulled out for the ranges we were engaging at out to over 800 meters or the .50 cal Barretts which also shoot the brass about 25 ft from the shooter if you had the semi auto if you had the bolt 50 or 7.62 nato you never let the brass leave the action most times you let it fall into ya hand as you slowly drew bolt back. and it went with you when you moved all about stealth my man .You were never there for the counter snipers to know where you took that shot from. A snipers team biggest threat is another sniper team or you gave away where you were and they called mortars on ya head well dont give that position away man why you go for 1 shot 1 kill and oscar mike on out that position to next hide for another shot if needed not wait for them to come looking and they will come looking .

  35. Ammunition, like silver coin, can quickly become a medium of exchange in dire times. Bartering will become commonplace in times and places where SHTF and normal civil commerce breaks down. One should not just think of what their unit might possible need for their own use but what they might be able to trade for food and fuel. Investing in ammunition commonly used in your area and storing it properly is an intelligent survival strategy in many respects.

    1. @Pistolero

      Very true.

      Not everyone will be as well prepared. But I would also caution people when bartering never to do anything to make the people you are bartering with think you have tons of supplies. Desperate people might take desperate action. Be sure you are careful to vet the people you barter with, or else barter from such a position of strength that people will think twice about messing with you.

    2. Yes, common sense (sometimes a more rare commodity than you would think) should make you aware that in all times and situations you may have to resort to the law of the jungle.

    3. @ Pistolero.

      Its Always be “Law of the Jungle” out there, the only thing different is. Is That we’ve Replaced the TREE’s with BUILDING’s…

    4. @Secundius

      Truer words were never spoken.

      But the predators in the modern jungle are decidedly less noble or pleasing to watch than a wolf or a leopard. They are more likely to resemble jackals and hyenas, although that’s probably not fair to jackals and hyenas..

    5. @ Mikial’
      100% agree never tell them or show them how much you really have ,store in sep caches in case they think they have it all they do not but never just say i got as much as you need ,the ?should be HOW MUCH do you need then give them the ol i have just enough for this barter .You just nevrr know who is trading with you in a shtf scenario. Barter smart . Use common sense .

  36. “Other than your local store, where might one find ammo today without breaking the bank? Some obvious choices may be your local gun shows (or similar events)”
    In my experience gun shows have NO DECENT PRICES on factory or military surplus ammo!
    Scheels has VERY good prices on ammo. Internet sites also have good prices but you must consider shipping cost.

  37. Inherent in the Right to Keep and Bear Arms is the Right to have functional arms. While liberals may plot and contort logic to attempt to ration or ban ammunition, they will lose in court. I think the more likely scenario would be disruption of the supply due to natural disaster or an EMP. That said, I like to have 5000 rounds of every pistol caliber and at least 7000 rounds of rifle ammo plus 1000 rounds of buck shot and 500 rounds of hunting ammo. For tactical carbines and battle rifles, military surplus is a good and fairly economical source. But buyer beware. Some supposedly sealed battle packs have corroded rounds. And most vendors, CTD included sell surplus ammo as is and will not take defective ammo back. I bought some of that German surplus and 35 percent of the rounds were corroded. If you buy sealed battle packs, cut them open and re-seal them in new packaging with a desiccant.

    1. @Sivispsce

      Good advice on the battle packs. Another thing to be aware of is that some foreign ammo uses corrosive powder, so you need to clean you weapon, especially the bore, after every shooting outing or you will damage to your weapon.

      I try to standardize calibers as much as possible to reduce the number of different calibers I have to stock ammo for. Unfortunately, or fortunately according to your perspective, I now find myself in a position where I have rifles shooting 5.56, 7.62 NATO, 7.62 Russian, 30-30, 30-06 . . . um, and .22 of course. I guess that’s good in that at least I have a better chance of coming up with ammo that fits something. 😉

      Another good practice is to have some pistol caliber long guns that use the same mags as some of your handguns. We have a Sub2000 that uses 9mm Beretta mags like my wife’s favored handgun, and an AR pattern in .45 that uses Glock mags like mine. This was if you have to bug out on foot, it simplifies things. I would still carry a rifle caliber weapon as well, probably my M1A. I’d like to take the Garand, but it’s heavy and not as quick to reload as the M1A.

      And trust me, we have ample ammo in multiple locations.

    2. @ Mikial.

      I saw one a Website dated about a year or so ago about you owning a Marlin 336(?) .30-30. Have you considered the .30-30 Ackley Improved Cartridge. A ~25% increase in range and ~7.72% in muzzle velocity. Just a suggestion. SEC…

    3. Hey there, Secundius!

      You are indeed the unchallenged expert in unusual ammo and weapons, and that is not meant to be sarcasm in any way. I’m always impressed by your knowledge.

      My understanding of the 30-30AI is that it requires the chamber to be reamed so that when you shoot a standard 30-30 round it expands the case so that you can load more powder. I don’t really want to do that, besides, many of the AI specific weapons I have seen have been bolt action or single shot so that the owners could hand-load bullets with better ballistic shapes (in other words, more pointy) than a standard 30-30 round. That would make them dangerous to load into a tube magazine because the points have a tendency to fire the round ahead of them as a result of the recoil of firing a round.

      I appreciate the suggestion, my friend, but my daddy always said if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. I like my little 30-30 just the way it is, and it’s great for Virginia big game or home defense in the absence of a modern rifle. If I need more range I have a Moisin, a Garand and an M1A.

  38. It’s not so much as How Much You Carry, But What You Carry. For me it’s either the 7.92×57 98k or the Gewehr 43 in 7.92×57 as my Rifle Choice. And the Iver Johnson FN 5.7×28 Spitfire Pistol/Carbine, it can double-duty between Pistol Ranges and Medium Range Rifle…

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