How Many Bullets Do You Need Per Gun or Caliber?


I am trying to figure out how many bullets to store per gun or caliber. My first thought is at least 1,000 per caliber, some of which are target rounds and some of which are defense or hunting rounds (depending on the caliber and guns owned).

What do you own or suggest?


As much as you can afford and store…? In this case more is always better. :wink:


Mister_Torgue (and Robert):

My problem is that I own guns in so many calibers (virtually all defensive calibers plus a few hunting calibers).

Gets mighty expensive and hard to store, to acquire enough bullets for all my guns and calibers.


Then prioritize what you use the most for HD/SD then range/hunting ammo. I come up with a ratio for us. I’m nerdy and use %'s and yes even excel… :nerd_face: I try to never have less than 300rds per caliber of the most used cartridges (.22LR, 9mm, .223, 5.56)–reminds me we need to restock after that last range visit.


I may be the wrong person to ask, but personally it’s 5,000 per hand gun and 10,000 per rifle. Anything above that is range ammo. All the ammo on the way to the specific will be NATO spec anything after that can be target ammo. It has taken me years of buying to get to these numbers. With that said you get huge discounts when buying in bulk.


Wow, switchpod, I am impressed.

So, counting .22 lr, .22 mag, .380 acp, .38 spl, .357 mag, 9 mm, .40 s&w, and .45 acp - just in my defense and target guns, plus a few more calibers in my hunting handguns, then including my rifles and shotguns, - geez, I would be ammo rich and dollar poor!

Do you not have many different calibers to contend with?


So far our list of calibers are as follows (along with what we currently have on hand), so I guess it isn’t quite as extensive as yours is John. That is not yet. :wink:

.22LR (420rds)
.22 WMR (100rds)
9mm (355rds, we’re LOW!)
.223 (80rds, we’re LOW!)
5.56 (55rds, we’re LOW!)
7.62x54R (120rds)
20ga birdshot (20 shells)
20ga buckshot (30 shells)
20ga slugs (12 shells, we’re LOW!)

Forgot shotguns


Thanks, Mister_Torgue.

Yeah, I agree - you are low! But, nice calibers!

I am a big fan of 20 gauge, too, though only have a couple of shotguns in that caliber. However, any future shotguns I might buy will probably all be 20 gauge. Thinking about the Remington 20 ga 14" barrel, as well as some others. But, I digress…

Do you buy bullets everytime you go to the range? If so, do you shoot all that you buy? That is one way I stock up. I only shoot half of what I buy each time.



Key word, “should”. Yeah, right. I might shoot 1k rounds in a month between all my guns, but per gun or caliber, not even close. Maybe I should?


I love 20ga and some of the loads have come a long way to help bridge some of the gap from 12ga. Plus the recoil is just a bit less which is more manageable for my wife. I’ll only get 20ga shotguns unless I can pick up one of those 12ga semi-auto ARs–which I want just for fun.

I only buy range ammo if I run out at the range or if what I bring in they frown upon (like the previous range visit did not allow FMJ rifle ammo :angry:). We go through a TON of 9mm and .223/5.56 upon each range visit. In the span of the ~1.5 hrs I used up 37rds of 7.62x54R in my Mosin my wife chewed through almost 200 .223/5.56 rounds. And we took our time. Usually I’ll go through at least 120~150rds of 9mm through my Star BM and 9mm PCC (each) and whatever the wife is shooting. I really need to start buying 9mm in the 1,000’s instead of the 50’s and 100’s.



That all sounds reasonable to me.

Still, nice to have a few rounds to take home, just in case.

But, you still don’t have your ccw permit yet, right? I probably would not want to carry live ammo back home with me if I did not have my ccw permit. Always the fear that some cop would pull me over and decide to search my car only to find the ammo and guns and decide that I was out for no good (which would definitely be untrue).


No CCW (TX calls it LTC) permit yet.

There is where the receipt from the range visit covers me. Plus its all in a bag in the trunk.



When I lived in Texas (Dallas area), they were very strict about non-permitted people (I don’t even think they had carry permits then), carrying guns anywhere except directly to/from gun ranges. Heaven forbid you were low on gas and needed to stop at a gas station.

Not sure how they are now, but yeah, keep those range receipts at least till you get home. I was never much impressed with how (un)fair minded the Texas cops were. Sorry.


On the Student Of The Gun podcast Paul G Markel said to have 6 mags for each gun you own. I believe he’s talking about standard size mags though. You know the one politicians and liberals say are “high capacity clips”.

I reload so I can start cranking them out if I need more. Other than that having at least 500 rounds sounds good for the calibers you use the least and about 1000 for the ones you use the most. That’s my rule of thumb yours might be different though.

You can also do what I use to do before I started rolling my own is when you buy a box to shoot buy one for your stock pile.


Thanks for your feedback, Full308.

Yes, tried to buy in bulk, some, but can’t do enough of it to make any nice, round numbers for each gun or caliber.

Then, as you suggested, I decided to just buy more than I will shoot each time I go to the range. Easier to carry a box of 50 than a case of 500 or 1000, and not such a big outlay all at once.

Still, I am trying to reach a goal for each gun or caliber, just need to figure out what that goal should be.


38 calibers at this time. Those numbers are for serious calibers. I only carry 400~700 of the uncommon rifle calibers, and far far less in the very rare or less used ones. For example I only have 300 8mm, 425 30-30 etc.


Wow! Impressed again, switchpod !

You have me beat big time! And, I thought I had a lot of calibers (uh, no, not compared to you).

And, I still don’t have even 1 single caliber with 5,000 rounds, much less 10,000.

You are ready for anything!


I shot this since becoming a member @Full30, 8 days worth of shooting. I’m not about to count it, but that’s a 5 gallon bucket half full of 357 mag 44 special 30-30 22 9 mm 300 Blackout 327 Federal Magnum 40 Smith & Wesson 10 mm. War room vault has a case of each in storage, and a case of each for training i replace as necessary.


Here’s a recommendation for all you 20 gauge fans,

this is my favorite load for home defense! / deer hunting
Rio #1 buck 3×3 2-3/4 @ 1345 feet per second.


Now that’s what I’m talking about SAK! Very nice.

I mostly have #4 buck (and slugs) for home defense. Well, because of this.