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What Calibers Do You Keep Stocked?

Tam seems to do what I do, but with a lot more calibers.  I have guns in several calibers, but I will put them in order of what I shoot the most, and thus what I stock the most of:

  1. .22LR – Rarely do I have less than 1000 rounds on hand.  Usually several thousand.  I go through a brick every few weeks.
  2. 9x19mm – It’s what I carry, so I go through a lot of it.  I try to buy it 500 or 1000 rounds at a time.
  3. 5.56x45mm – I load all this myself now, so I keep a few hundred at a time for matches, then reload when I need to.
  4. .380 ACP – Carry this one too.  But I usually won’t keep more than 250 rounds in stock, since I don’t shoot this as often.
  5. .44 Spc/Magnum – Don’t keep more than a hundred or so rounds loaded at any one time.  I use this for shooting field pistol in IHMSA matches.
  6. .45ACP – Just got a 1911 this summer, and have been collecting many rounds of brass to reload.
  7. 7.62x39mm – I typically keep about 500 rounds on hand.
  8. 5.45x39mm – I have a thousand or so of this, all corrosive.  Another 300 rounds of non-corrosive.
  9. 9x18mm – For the Makarov and CZ.  I was shooting this a lot for a while, but don’t so much anymore.
  10. .30-06 – For the Garand.  Club matches require buying the ammo from the club.  Don’t keep all that much loaded, as I don’t practice with the Garand as much as I should.
  11. 12 Gauge – Sometimes I like to shoot trap night at the club.
  12. 7.62x54R – I haven’t shot much of this lately, but when I get in the mood I can go through a lot.
  13. 8mm Mauser – Have one box of this for if the mood ever strikes me, which isn’t often.
  14. .17HMR – New caliber I have added to my stocks.  Have only shot about 50 rounds of 200 so far.
  15. 7.62x38R – For the Nagant revolver.  Expensive ammo.  I have a partial box because I will typically blow through one cylinder at the range and call it a day when the mood strikes me.

I need .308 now that I have a FAL, but my backorder for some hasn’t been filled yet.  That is the only firearm I have for which I have no ammunition.  I have the most number of guns in .22LR, since that’s what I shoot the most.  I like any caliber that’s cheap, and I don’t have to reload.  What ammunition to you keep in inventory.  I suspect many of us are poster children for the old Brady “Arsenal License” nonsense from back in the days when they dreamed big.

32 Responses to “What Calibers Do You Keep Stocked?”

  1. Steve says:

    I own considerably less than 20 guns (a matter of finances, not desire) but I would still have to have an arsenal license because of ammo. I buy in bulk, and besides about 2 bricks of .22 I have a few thousand rounds mixed of .45, 9mm, and .38. Plus a few hundred 12ga target loads and as much 7.62×39 as I can afford (usually just a few hundred rounds).

    One brick of .22 would make you get an arsenal license by Brady standards.

    Still remember reading comments on a newspaper story about Cho where a woman was shocked that he was “allowed” to buy 50 bullets at a time!

  2. Alas, my ammo reserves have been seriously depleted as of late (no money, taking new folks to the range, etc.).

    1. .22LR – I’m down to about 2,000 rounds. This is “danger low” for me, as I go through a fair bit of .22.
    2. 9mm – About 600-700 rounds of FMJ, about 30 JHPs. Not so good.
    3. .45 ACP – down to about 30 rounds of JHP. No FMJ.
    4. .223/5.56mm – down to about 60 rounds of reloads. Have components for several thousand, but don’t have time to load.
    5. .30-06 – About 30 rounds. Should get more from the CMP.
    6. 7.62x39mm – About 1,500 rounds. I don’t have a gun that shoots this anymore, alas, but I should get one…

    Hooray for a lack of money.

  3. Matt says:

    I passed the “arsenal license” criteria in my first year of collecting. Here’s what I keep stocked:

    .22LR: 6500 rounds. I bought half-a-case at the last gun show.

    .223: Two weights: 55gr and 62gr. I have around 350 rounds of 62gr on hand, 120 rounds of Lake City SS109 reserved for emergency use and the remaining 800 odd rounds are standard 55gr.

    .308/7.62 NATO: I have eight sealed South African battlepacks totalling 1120 rounds and perhaps another 100 rounds of Federal milspec. I’ve been stockpiling for my FAL too. The CETME can use it but I am not going to waste good ammo on that gun.

    6.5x55mm: Around 600 rounds in the box. All commercial production and I save all the brass.

    .30 Carbine: 550 rounds. All Federal commercial.

    7.62x39mm: 660 rounds of brass-case Portugeuse military surplus and reloadable. I don’t shoot that. It’s worth it’s weight in gold if I ever need to sell it. Another 1200 rounds of Wolf steel case for my SKS and future AKs. Strictly plinking ammo.

    7.62x54R: Multiple sealed 440 round spam cans and around 800 rounds of loose corrosive in the can. Both steel and lead core. My estimates place my pile in the 2500 round neighborhood. Feeds four Mosin-Nagants.

    7.5mm Swiss: 380 rounds. One 20 round box and 6 sealed 60 round packs. I don’t shoot it often and add a pack every gun show or so.

    .303 British: All corrosive surplus ammo. Around 950 rounds in a mix of loose and on stripper clips in bandoliers. Stockpiled for my sole Lee Enfield.

    8mm Mauser: I have a metric crapload of crappy Romanian steel case which I have bought ultra-cheap. Around 1500 rounds. Another 300 or so rounds of brass-case Yugo surplus. Never fired a single round. For my sole 8mm M48 Yugo (likewise never fired). If I ever get a Hakim, I’ll be set.

    .17HMR: Only 180 rounds on hand. I need to stock up. I’ll shoot 50-100 rounds whenever I bring the .17 out. I use it for instruction so I need to resupply soon.

    .45ACP: A pitiful 200 rounds of ball practice ammo and 40 rounds of premium PD ammo. I need to stock up there too.

    8x56R: 320 rounds. 250 rounds in a sealed tin and the remainder on en-bloc clips for the Steyr M95. All Bulgarian corrosive.

    I have a small amount of 6.8SPC for the upper I never built.

    The only caliber I don’t have for a gun I own is 7.5mm French. Going to pick up 100-200 rounds of that in commercial loading to get usable brass at the next gun show.

    I also want to start stockpiling .30-06 for a future M1 Garand and Springfield ’03.

    Last time I took an inventory, my total on hand was well north of 10,000 rounds on-hand. That puts me out of arsenal license and into 6 O’Clock News leading headline territory. And I’m a foreigner to boot so I get to soil additional pairs of panties with the disconnect that will generate.

    Sad thing is, I still have several empty ammo cans and ones that could be topped off.

  4. Skullz says:

    I tried to slim down the varying calibers I had. I was down to 22, 9mm, 45, .223/5.56, 30-30, and 7mmMag… and then my wife went and bought a 40 for her carry piece.

    On hand?

    22LR – probably 4 or 5 thousand. I like the federal 525 boxes and stocked up when they were still $13.99 a box

    9mm – I have a number of handguns chambered in 9mm as well as a AR platform in 9mm, so I tend to keep 3 thousand on hand

    45ACP – my EDC is a 1911 and I compete with another 1911, so I have a lot of 45 and shoot a lot of 45 – somewhere in the 5 thousand rounds or so range and a couple hundred Federal HST for my carry mags

    .223/5.56 – I saw the writing on the wall years ago before the prices got silly. 10 thousand plus rounds vacuum sealed in ammo cans, plus 2 or 3 thousand just to shoot.

    30-30 for lever action Marlin. I don’t shoot it a lot and have only hunted once – 100 rounds or so?

    7mm Mag for 600 plus yard fun and taking any animal in NA, should the need arise – maybe 200 rounds or so

    New 40 caliber, 500 rounds of range ammo, 100 rounds of Federal HST.

    12 Gauge – almost forgot. 250 rounds of 00, 250 rounds of number 4, 200 rounds of rifled slug, and maybe a thousand rounds of 7.5 shot for shooting clays (which I used to do every weekend – but then I got back into IDPA)

    I think most of the guys that I shoot with are well into front page and 6 o’clock news territory. I had to reinforce the floor in my “gun room” when the 3rd safe went in. If I ever get the opportunity to remodel, I’ll build a fireproof room and vault door instead :-)

  5. Shawn says:

    15 calibers? I only have 7. But the quanities of which are so up there even other gun nuts say I have too much.

    You know even though its hard to find ammo know I have noticed the 3 calibers that I can always find are 30-06, 12 gauge and .40S&W.

    I’d like to get more 7.62X54R but Bulgarian Heavy ball is impossible to find right now.

  6. persiflage says:

    Early on, I decided to approach my collecting and shooting in a “rational” manner, limiting my calibers and firearms to a reasonable number…I was almost able to succeed in this noble effort. Until I failed.
    1. .22LR – about 1,000 rounds. I don’t shoot much 22.
    2. 380 ACP – about 1000 rounds, most of it FMJ (why? – cheap for practice).
    3. 9x19mm – About 3000 rounds, 2800 of which are FMJ, surplus Egyptian SMG. The rest are JHPs.
    4. .45 ACP – 650 rounds of 200 gr. SWC. About 50 of 230 gr. ball.
    5. .357MAG – about 300 rounds; only about 10 125 gr. jacketed solids, the rest are 158 gr.
    6. .38 SP. – only about 50, 148 gr. WC.
    7. 5.56x45mm – about 260 rounds, all FMJ.
    8. 7.62x51mm – 660 rounds, all 168 gr. HPBT. These are “tuned” match rounds for Hi-Power.
    9. .30-06 – 200 rounds; a mix of 150 gr. SP and 168 gr. HPBT.
    10. .45-70 – about 70 rounds, for the replica single-shot rolling block. Tons of fun, and very challenging at 200+ yds. on account of the rainbow trajectory. Seems like you can yawn and stretch between the shot and the impact.
    11. 20 ga. – 625 rounds for informal trap shooting with the kids.
    12. 12 ga. – 750 rounds ditto above, and 50 rounds hunting loads.
    I reload everything #3 through #10 – only three types of propellants needed for all that! Still have a good store of components for everything.

  7. emdfl says:

    Well, a month or so back I picked up about a ton of 7.62X54R. Not sure exactly how many rounds that is…

  8. Mopar says:

    Oh man, I don’t even wanna guess. I should keep better records.
    Stuff I have “a lot” of:
    .22lr
    7.62×25 Tokarev
    7.62×39
    7.62x54r
    .30 carbine
    30-06
    .38

    Stuff I have a fair amount of:
    .303
    .32
    .380
    .45 auto
    7.5 swiss
    9mm
    12g

    Stuff I only keep a few boxes of:
    .243
    .308
    .45 colt

    I can reload a half dozen of those, as well as the 12g.

  9. Gerald says:

    I’m a relatively new shooter only keep the bare essentials:

    1. .223 – 500 rounds
    2. 7.62×39 – 1000 rounds
    3. .22LR – 2500 rounds
    4. 9mm – 500 round (equally split between defensive and practice ammo)

    And I do my best to plan all my gun purchases around those calibers. However, I may have to start stockpiling .45ACP and .308 Win in the future.

  10. penitentman says:

    Since I have always tried to keep my ‘arsenal’ fairly standardized, the majority of what I keep stocked is .22, .45, .223 and 12 gauge as the vast majority of my guns are in those calibers.
    I also have the odd few boxes of 9mm, .38 special, .380 and .30 carbine.

  11. emdfl says:

    Anybody have a good source for 20ga #2 or 3 by the case?

  12. Mikee says:

    And once we get past the volume of ammo, we need to talk about the price – I bought most of my ammo in 2005 to 2006, when the prices were about half what they are now. I have been buying less and less as time goes on, and am just about at the level of not replacing what I shoot.

    All that ammo, but so little time to shoot….

  13. Jdude says:

    Whenever I wish to go to the range, I decide how much to shoot and buy double. I only keep small amounts on hand, overall.

    From this I now have 6-7 bricks of 22lr
    240+ loose 7.5 swiss
    1 box of 12 gauge 7 1/2 shot.

    That makes it so that I have extra of what I do shoot, and not as much of what I do not shoot.

  14. ZerCool says:

    10-20 bricks of .22LR (I try to buy one of the Federal bulk backs every time I’m in Wallyworld – and an Appleseed will eat most of a brick.)
    12-1500 .17HMR
    50-100 12ga slugs
    50-100 20ga slugs
    250-300 12ga buck
    100-150 20ga buck
    300-500 12ga trap
    300-500 20ga trap
    100-200 misc 12ga loads – turkey, steel, game, etc
    200-300 .270Win
    100-200 .30-06
    1000-1500 5.56×45
    100-200 .357Mag
    200-300 .38Spl
    50-100 .44Spl
    300-500 .45ACP (mostly Rem ball)
    1500 9mm (mostly Wolf, some Win white box)

    Several pounds of miscellaneous powders, a few thousand primers, and several thousand cast bullets for the pistols…

    I got a lot before prices spiked too much, and now I buy when I find a halfway decent deal.

  15. Old Gaijiin says:

    4-5 boxes of each:
    .22 LR
    .25 ACP
    .410
    .45 Long Colt
    .45-70
    20 GA
    12 GA
    9mm
    5.56mm

  16. kaveman308 says:

    .17 HMR…150
    .22…2620
    .380…125
    9mm…700
    .357 mag…70
    .45 ACP…1450
    .45 LC…60
    .22 Hornet…50
    .223…2760
    7.62X39…3820
    308…1500
    7.62X54…700
    30.06…140
    .410…25
    12 gauge…150

    This is just the stuff I have hermetically sealed and stashed. I have a selection of all above for going to the range with.

  17. Kim du Toit says:

    Been too poor to buy ammo since National Ammo Day, so my supplies are seriously depleted.

    .22 LR: about 15,000
    .22 Mag: about 5,000
    9mm Para (for The Mrs. & Daughter): about 5,000
    .38 Spec: varies, depending on how much I’ve fired off recently, but around 3,000 or so.
    .357 Mag: much less, maybe a few hundred
    .45 ACP: about 1,000
    .30 Carbine: 700-800, I think, unless Daughter’s been at it recently
    7×57: about 300
    6×55 Swede: about 400
    8×57: no idea. Really. Maybe 700, excluding some I’m holding for someone else
    .303 Enfield: about 500
    7.62x54R: about 400
    .44 Spec: about 200
    .44 Mag: about 100
    .45-70: about 300
    16ga: about 400
    20ga: about 1,000 (found a case under the bed the other day)

    Then I have ammo for guns which I don’t own anymore (sniff):

    7.62×39: about 300
    .223: about 800
    .243 Win: about 200
    .308: about 200
    .30-06: 200-300
    7.5×55 Swiss: 400

    I need to either buy some “new” guns, or some more ammo.

  18. nathan says:

    I’ve committed the cardinal sin of letting my ammo stocks run low but normally I keep

    2000 .22LR
    1000 .223
    200 .308
    50 .303 British
    500 .45 ACP
    500 9mm
    100 .45 Colt

  19. Scott says:

    Started 6 months ago, when I only had the .22 rifle I never shot and 50 rounds. On a shoestring budget, for both ammo and firearms, current inventory is:

    .22 lr – 2,200 (Winchester 69 bolt rifle)
    7.62x54r – 400 (Mosin-Nagant M44 – July)
    .45 ACP – 400 (Ruger P90 – August)
    12 Ga – 130 00/slugs (Mossberg 500 – October)

  20. Gun Blobber says:

    This little exercise has me thinking that I will have to do a better count/inventory in the near future.

    .22LR: 7000+rds. About 2000rds CCI Mini-Mag, ~1000rds mixed brands, the rest bulk Rem or Federal. (1x rifle, 2x handgun)
    .223: Only 50 rounds. I only got a functioning AR this Christmas (had the stripped lowers for about a year) and have not yet started stockpiling .223.
    7.62×39: 3000-4000rds; cases of Brown Bear and Barnaul, plus a few boxes of brass cased commercial. (2x AK, 4x SKS)
    7.62×51: ~600rds; 3 battlepacks and a bit of commercial. (1x FAL)
    .30-06: ~1100 rounds; 2x 480rd S. Korean, rest commercial. (Garand, Rem 700)
    7.62x54R: ~1500rds; 3x spam cans plus odd boxes. All milsurp. (5x M-N)
    7.5×55 Swiss: ~1000rds, 2x sealed cases plus odd battle packs, all GP-11 milsurp. (1x K31)
    .303: ~50rds, British milsurp. (1x SMLE Mk. 3*)
    8mm Mauser: ~50rds, milsurp. (1x K.98)
    9mm Para: ~2000rds, ~700 JHP and rest ball, all 115gr, about half WWB and half reloads. (2x Sig P226)
    12ga: ~200rds buckshot, ~200rds slugs, 2 cases birdshot. (1x 870)

  21. OK, I’ll play. As I am storing ammo and firearms for my son as well, I have the following. (Note: only a fraction of it at my house. When the ATF raid comes, they’ll get no trophy pics from me.) From the latest ammunition inventory:

    5.45×39: 3,090 (most in bandoleers and stripper clips)
    5.56 NATO: 1200 rds, 900 ball, 300 tracer, b/sc
    (Note: getting ready to fire up the Dillon 1050 to run about 25,000 ball. My take will be about one third of that. All will be packed b/sc and cached.)
    .22 LR: 12,200 rds various, bxd (mostly trade goods)
    .30 Carbine: 2010 rds, all b/sc
    7. 62×39: 1280 rds, all b/sc
    7.62 NATO: 5,360 rds ball, mostly milsurp, various, all in b/sc
    480 rds standard AP, 240 rds Tracer, 40 rds SLAP

    9mm NATO: 800 rds ball, bxd
    .45 ACP: 1,350 rds ball, 200 rds tracer, bxd
    .25 ACP: 150 rds, bxd

    12 Gauge: #4 BK, 160rds M16 bandoleers/bxd
    12 Gauge: 00 BK, 210 rds M16 bandoleers/bxd
    12 Gauge: Slug, 70 rds, M16 bandoleers/bxd
    12 Gauge: #8 Bird, 200 rds, M60 bandoleers/bxd

    All ammunition packed in M19A1 or M2A1 USGI ammo cans (and usually crated, except that portion which is cached underground in cans within five gallon buckets.)

    This to support:
    2 7.62 NATO semi-autos
    1 7.62 NATO bolt
    1 5.56 M4gery
    1 5.45 AK74 clone
    1 M1 Carbine USGI
    1 Yugo SKS
    1 Mossberg 500 riot gun
    2 .22LR semi-auto rifles
    2 .45 ACP handguns
    1 9mm handgun
    1 .25 ACP handgun

    14 weaqons spread over a family of six counting my son and his wife. Not an awful arsenal by anyone’s reckoning.

    The raid will turn up less than one-third of the firearms on that list, and little ammo beyond a combat load per. Most weapons and ammo have been given to my son anyway. Good luck finding the rest, Waco Jim.

    PS: One thing I did back in the 90s still pertains. Back then, I dropped a piece of rebar and a sprinkling of black powder into most of the spaces in the walls of my house, simply to set them up for the headline: “ATF Tears Local Man’s House Apart, Finds Nothing.”

    PPSS: List does not count hand-held parachute flares and 26.5mm flare pistol rounds, nor the 10,000 plus training blanks in various calibers up to .50 BMG plus a few hundred grenade launching blanks in 7.62 NATO, 7.62×39 and 5.56mm NATO. (None of the above at my house.) All legal. Almost all, cached deep and wide.

  22. just joe says:

    So here is a question: If you knew that you could never buy any more ammo, how much would you buy? What is a lifetime supply of ammunition?

    Figure range sessions once a month, 100 rounds handgun, 40 rounds center fire rifle, and 200 rounds rimfire. Throw in 100 rounds of shotgun, too. Figure that you will be shooting for 20 to 40 years, and that adds up to quite a pile, even if you reload. You also have to add in training ammo for anyone you introduce to guns.

    For twenty years supply, (240 months) would be 48K rounds of 22, 24K handgun rounds, and almost 10K each for rifle and shotgun. This would be spread across whatever calibers you need.

    At today’s prices, that would run around $2000 for the rimfire (at $20/brick), about $7000 for rifle, $6000 for shotgun, and $12000 for handgun, without reloading.

    Total: $27,000.00 for a lifetime? supply of ammunition. YMMV

    I suspect that you could get a quantity discount to do better than that, but its a starting point.

    I could see finding enough room to store several cases of 22’s, but I have no idea how big a pile the rest is going to be.

  23. “So here is a question: If you knew that you could never buy any more ammo, how much would you buy? What is a lifetime supply of ammunition?”

    Twenty rounds and all you can scavenge out of dead men’s ammo pouches.

  24. “I suspect that you could get a quantity discount to do better than that, but its a starting point.”

    Maybe, but my plan has the advantage of being free. There is, however, a little risk involved — you must act like a free man. If ammo is banned, the war starts. Anything else is arguing how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.

    As a famous blogger once said, “Give me liberty, or I’ll get up and get it myself.”

  25. markofafreeman says:

    Twenty rounds and all you can scavenge out of dead men’s ammo pouches.

    Hmm, isn’t this exactly what the Bielski partisans did?

    It actually presents a bit of a dilema. Should it come to TEOTWAWKI, and all your ammo is in your house, but you need to bug out, do you really have the room / time to ship all your stash to your hide out?

  26. Kris says:

    I’ll prolly miss a few but:

    7.62 NATO = ~3.5K in battlepacks and components to make another 5K
    5.56 NATO = ~2K loaded and components to make another 3K
    7.62 Commie = ~3K in spam cans
    8×57 = ~2K in spam cans
    7.62x54R = ~2K in spam cans
    12 ga = 1.5K birdshot, 250 buck, 250 slugs
    20 ga = 500 birdshot
    .45 ACP = ~2K loaded and components to make another 2K
    9×19 = ~1K loaded and components to make another 2K
    .22LR = ~3K
    For the rest of the calibers, between 50 rounds and 500 rounds depending on how much I shoot and if I reload for it (including .45-70, 6.5 Swede, 7.5 French, .303 Brit, 7.7 Jap, M1 Carbine, 7.62 Nagant, 9×18 Mak, 7.62×25, 10 mm Auto, .38 Spl, .357 Mag, .45 Colt, and several others)

  27. Kris says:

    oops, I forgot the 2K rounds + 2K components of .30-06 to run the Garands, ’03s and 17’s.

  28. Endyr Wyggyn says:

    Have no single point of failure, have lots of ammunition in more than one place, and if egress is mandatory, think egress with another known cache in the route. NEVER run away from something, ALWAYS run to something.

    Knowing your bugout window tells you hoe much loadout time you have.

    Know your mission, know your basic and mission load capacity.

    If you are still in an urban center, well, there is always church.

  29. Endyr Wyggyn says:

    Sorry,
    One more thing. Minimize your overlap unless you are planning on barter.

    Account for CQB, DM and long range.

    Cheers,
    Endyr

  30. Great moniker. Ender’s Game (and the Bean sequels) is (are) truly the best fiction treatise(s) on maneuver warfare I’ve ever come across. All my kids read Card’s works early and often. “The enemy’s gate is down.”

  31. ChrisTheEngineer says:

    Man, all this crazy gun nut arsenal talk is scaring Uncle’s white people.

    Good job, I’m in.

    6K rds. for the SKS and Castrated-Kalashnikov (I don’t have an Automatic Kalashnikov). 5K for the AR. ~15K for the M1 rifles. 4K for the M1 carbines. Plus several K each for Mosins, Mausers, levers, bolts,… And of course a typical supply (by the standards of commenters here) for the .45acp, 9mm para, .357mag, …

  32. TJ says:

    Large quantites of the mainstays. I have a lot of factory ammo for the stash.

    The stash is the stash, though. I reload for practice ammo.

    Anybody give any consideration to reducing the number of calibers for simplicity and inventory’s sake?

    That is what I am thinking about now, giving up variety for practicality.

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