Ammunition: To Stockpile or Not To Stockpile?


ammo stockpile

A friend of mine was bemoaning the recent decision of Walmart to get out of the pistol and 5.56 ammunition business, along with their other recent anti-gun (and anti-liberty, if you ask me) decisions.

This friend is an ardent 2A proponent and has recently transitioned from one career path to another. The career decision has improved his joy index, but his checking account has not quite recovered.

Those things take time, as does amassing a proper ammunition reserve.

The Big Stockpile Question

ammo: to stockpile or not

As an outgrowth of the conversation, he mentioned his ability to shoot is going to be greatly decreased. With a puzzled look, I asked why. His response was, “ the 50-100 rounds I keep on hand is not going to be as convenient or inexpensive to replace.”

To put it mildly, I was shocked and horrified by that statement.

After an awkwardly long pause, I replied, “You aren’t doing it right. The minimum standard is 1,000 rounds per caliber you own, except .22 LR and that is 5,000 rounds. Shotguns are a different thing, but still… 100 rounds, TOTAL?”

There was another awkward pause. He replied, “You really have thousands of rounds for each caliber you own?”

“No, for 6.5×284 that is an entire barrel life, but I do have 200 rounds of that. For my non-exotic, frequently shot calibers, absolutely.”

How Much Should You Stockpile?

Doing some mental math, here are rough approximations of my ready stores in different calibers:

Caliber Loads
  • Just over 150 rounds of Federal HST 124 gr
  • Similar for Speer Gold Dot short barrel 124 gr
  • Similar for Federal Micro HST 150 gr
  • 1500+ rounds of Blazer Brass FMJ and another 600+ of assorted other FMJ
  • Components to reload another 3000 FMJ rounds – 3 Gun burns ammo
5.56x45mm NATO 
  • 300+ rounds Berger 77gr OTM precision reloads
  • 1000+ rounds Prvi 75 gr HPBT match reloads
  • 1500+ Federal American Eagle 55 gr FMJBT
  • Components for another 1000+ precision loads
  • Components to make another 5000 FMJ rounds – 3 Gun burns ammo
.270 Winchester 
  • 100+ precision reloads – Hornady 140 gr SST
  • 250+ precision reloads -Hornady 130 gr SST, deer hunting
  • 200+ precision reloads – Hornady 130 gr Interbond, hog hunting
  • Components to make another 1700 rounds with the above and vintage 150 gr spire point
  • 900+ rounds Wolf Military Classic 124 gr JHP
  • 800+ rounds Wolf 124 gr FMJ
.300 AAC Blackout 
  • 200+ reloads Maker Bullet 190 gr Expanding Subsonic
  • 250+ assorted subsonic solids
  • 200+ Barnes VOR-TX 110 gr TAC
6.5×284 Norma
  • 200 precision reloads with Hornady 147 gr ELD Match
.300 PRC
  • 300 Precision reloads with Hornady 250 gr A-Tip
  • 250 Precision reloads with Hornady 230 gr A-Tip
  • 300 Precision reloads with Hornady 225 gr ELD Match
.22 LR I don’t even want to begin to count. But let’s say I have a 5,000-count brick of CCI 40-grain standard velocity sitting on top of the ammo crates labeled .22 LR.

I have a few other calibers that are not shot often so they fall well below the 1,000-round minimum. I have a couple of wildcat calibers that also fall below the 1,000-round minimum, but they are reload-only and serve a specific purpose.

Budgeting for a Stockpile

ammo: to stockpile or not

The point is, Walmart’s poor decisions do not matter. Whether you are buying by the case (no point at Walmart) or buying by the box; if you are only buying for current needs, that is a huge mistake. Take the prepper approach and stockpile.

When you buy a box for shooting, add a box for saving. Do this with every paycheck and your ability to shoot and your reserve fund will grow immensely.

Before you say you don’t have the money, is your budget really so tight as to not be able to afford the equivalent of two boxes of 9mm ammo with each paycheck?

The concept works best when you get into a routine, just like your retirement investments. Do it with every paycheck and pretty soon you will mentally budget around that $20-25 “hole” in the budget.

My technique was to save the money until I had enough, for a case. Then, I bought ammo online for even greater savings.

How many rounds of ammo do you usually keep on hand for your go-to calibers? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.


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