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What percentage of your ammo supply is defensive?

Discussion in 'Caliber Corner' started by Silent Sir, Aug 23, 2012.

  1. Silent Sir

    Silent Sir

    Jul 26, 2012
    My wife and I are new shooters who recently purchased our first two pistols - a Glock 19 and 26, both new Gen 4's. We have read different opinions concerning the amount of ammo to have on hand but we have not seen recommendations on what percentage of that ammo should be defensive and what percentage range ammo.

    We presently have about 1600 rounds of range ammo with the intention to purchase a thousand rounds every time we get down between 800-1000.

    We have a very small supply of defense ammo and will be looking to make a purchase soon. We will probably shoot one magazine of defensive ammo each time we hit the range just to work it in and keep it fresh. Any input on how much defense ammunition is reasonable given it will not be shot often? We would likely be shooting say ... 100 defensive rounds per year. We were thinking 500 defensive rounds on hand at all times. That would give us a ratio of 3 range rounds on hand for every 1 defensive round. Thoughts?
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2012
  2. Tiro Fijo

    Tiro Fijo

    May 31, 2011

    "Fresh"? It's ammunition, not eggs nor milk. Kept dry & reasonably cool it will survive unto your grandchildren's generation. There is no need to shoot more than a box of defensive ammo through each Glock to find the POA and check reliability, which is rarely (if ever) an issue in a Glock with quality ammo and a capable shooter. If you don't reload then find a solid practice round that duplicates your carry load. Good luck. :wavey:

    There is no real need to have on hand a large amount of defensive ammo despite the forebodings of doomsday soothsayers predicting the "end of days".
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2012

  3. Agree,

    I keep a couple of boxes of each caliber of defensive ammo. My practice ammo is mostly reloads so I make that up as needed and as time allows.

    For all the people that think you need tens of thousands of rounds stored up for shtf, how do you plan on carrying it when you have to walk out?

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  4. PghJim


    Apr 21, 2005
    My only concern about the carry ammo is whether I will be able to get it when my supply runs low. I generally keep 500 rounds in stock, which would be slightly over $300 worth. I do not think the ratio question is valid. If the SHTF it all becomes defensive ammo to me.
  5. Smoker


    Jul 21, 2008
    NE Kansas
    remember all that you put out here on this here internet can be read by the whole world & sometimes all the tough talk sounds really cool, sometimes a little digression goes a long ways..
  6. PghJim


    Apr 21, 2005
    "digression" ??
  7. Silent Sir

    Silent Sir

    Jul 26, 2012
    Thanks for the input, glad I threw the topic out there before ordering. I recognize that ammo would have a long shelf life but I thought like anything the reliability would go down fractionally over time. Will probably settle for 100 rounds since we have two seperate shooters and guns in the house. That equates to 50 rounds per person.
  8. ronin.45


    Apr 24, 2008
    I have around 50-60 rounds of defensive ammo in 9mm and the same in .45. I don't see any need to shoot it at paper so it'll last me years. I keep 6-10k rounds of range ammo on hand so it's a relatively small percentage. I'm not married to any particular round or company so I don't worry about not being able to buy my ammo in the future.
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2012
  9. FatBoy

    FatBoy Millennium Member

    Sep 2, 1999
    I buy ammo by the case, JHPs or FMJs, doesn't matter.
  10. Adamz04


    Mar 28, 2012
    I'm about at a 90/10% ratio. I like to have around 1000rds of range ammo in my calibers and about 100 defensive rounds for each
  11. ranger1968


    Mar 23, 2009
    What percentage of your ammo supply is defensive?

    That's easy;

    All of it.
  12. John Biltz

    John Biltz

    Jul 27, 2010
    Phoenix, AZ
    Percentage is a worthless formula. You want enough to load all the guns and magazines you reasonably might use for selfdefense. I tend to keep enough to reload that once. Which is excessive for 99.99% circumstances. Then I stockpile what I am going to shoot on ranges for what I figure I might need taking into account shortages that might happen. Before the big shortage that was 400 rounds. After the shortage that was a years supply or 5,000 rounds. I've pushed past that because of the election. But I'm letting it go down again.

    I've been spending money on prepping gear instead of guns and ammo which I think is more important the last few months and feel better about it. I figure I'm good now for about 90 days.
  13. Kentguy


    Nov 22, 2010
    Kent, OH
    Silent Sir,

    I think you're on the right track with your thinking here but as pointed out, it is not really a percentage issue and it is more a cost and comfort issue. How much can you spend and how much do you feel comfortable keeping on the shelf. 70% target and 30% defense is not unreasonable.

    True - if you store your ammo in a cool dry place it will last for decades, so as I said the real answer is how much do you and your wife shoot? If it turns out to be quite a bit or just once in a while either way I'd buy enough for 1 years supply.

    As far as Home/Self defense ammo you should be VERY FIMILIAR with your gun and the ammo you intend to use in it. After all this is the stuff you are going to trust your life with so shoot it often and the 2 of you should be proficient from 20 yards and in.

    I hope this helps.

    Last edited: Aug 23, 2012
  14. ratf51


    Aug 6, 2010
    NW GA
    I realize that this is not a "fixed number" by any means but the rule of thumb that I am comfortable with is the ability to load all my magazines twice with my choice of defensive round. If you have 3 15-round mags then 90 rounds is the comfortable place. Actually, 92 if you take into consideration having one in the chamber (and I do.) Of course the number varies dependent upon how many mags you have-- as you buy more mags then you also buy more defensive ammo.
  15. PaulMason


    Feb 10, 2010
    I don't understand. What situation are you preparing for that you are concerned about the amount of defensive ammo you have? Are you thinking about a SHTF or TEWAWKI?
  16. Walk Soft

    Walk Soft

    Jun 3, 2011
    Probably 15% or so.
  17. GLOCK17DB9


    Dec 30, 2011
    Troy, MI
    all of it! just some for practice and some for bad guy!:supergrin:
  18. :thumbsup::thumbsup: Yep...if need be!
  19. PettyOfficer


    Nov 24, 2011
    Houston, TX
    I too am between 10-15% shooting about 5 rounds each time I got to the range after I've shot all my practice/range rounds... I figure, warm up with the cheap stuff then make my RA45TP (+P for compact G30 barrel) rounds count and keep the kick fresh in my memory until next range trip.
  20. unit1069


    Oct 10, 2007
    So. Central US
    About 2/3rd of my ammo stash is premium JHP self-defense rounds, but that's because I've been on a search for the best round I can find. I keep at least one magazine of every round, even the ones I've passed over for preferred status.

    That percentage will probably change before long because I've narrowed things down quite a bit for the pistols I have, so in the future I expect to be upping my range ammo inventory.

    As things stand right now I carry a different ammo in all three pistols, two 9mm and one .357sig.