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  • Writer's pictureJoy Allen

How Much Ammunition is Enough?

You may have noticed that ammunition prices are slowly creeping up. While we certainly hope not to experience another shortage as we did a few years ago, it's important to plan ahead... just in case.


So, how much ammunition is enough? How many rounds should one store for practice and emergencies, especially when stock may be scarce or expensive?


As a general rule, all gun owners should have at least 500 rounds on hand at any given time. Assuming ownership of just one firearm, it's a good idea to have about 200 rounds of defensive ammunition and about 300 rounds of practice ammunition, at a minimum. Since purchasing ammunition in bulk generally provides some level of discount, making this investment purchase is a wise move all around.


If you own more than one firearm, this is a great "per gun" starting point - 500 rounds each. For those firearms used for hunting, training, etc., the strategy for ammunition storage will vary, based on needs and frequency of use. Use your judgment to determine what's best for your situation, keeping value in mind. The ultimate goal is to increase your inventory to a twelve-month supply, at minimum, based on your use and activity.


Here's the good news. As long as ammunition is stored properly, it generally doesn't expire. Follow these simple guidelines to avoid any complications:

  1. When you find a great deal, stock up!

  2. Store ammunition securely, away from any children, pets, or unauthorized persons.

  3. Keep ammunition stored separately from your firearms.

  4. Buy only quality ammunition.

  5. When possible, store the ammunition in the original manufacturer's boxes or in an airtight ammunition case.

  6. If removed from the box, be sure the ammunition is labeled correctly and accurately.

  7. Avoid mixing and matching calibers in the same containers.

  8. Keep the ammunition in a cool, dry place, protected from moisture.

  9. Do not handle the ammunition too much.

  10. Track the dates of purchase. Use the oldest rounds first.

  11. Keep records. A responsible gun owner always knows exactly how much ammunition they have at any given moment.

  12. Dispose of any bad ammunition properly - through a hazardous waste facility, by return to the manufacturer, or by submission to a local gun store or range.


Stay safe, and happy pew-pewing!

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