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Why Would Anyone Need Thousands of Rounds Of Ammunition?

Anyone who has ready any of my previous work would know I am very involved in the education of people, young and old, in the proper and safe use of firearms. Like any tool, there are right and wrong ways to use firearms. I believe knowing a little more information helps people that aren't avid gun owners understand and answer questions in a sensible and reasoned way.

Friday I was working with a few folks and a young man, usually very conservative and often discussing is acceptance of firearms made a comment that he didn't know why anyone would need 2,000 rounds of ammunition in their home. He put forth that either they were a nut or a very bad shot. I'm neither - and probably have much more than that at different times. Let me explain.

I have a red metal toolbox in my garage for working on anything from my truck, my wife's car or any of the multitude of appliances in our home. I do a lot of repairs and I like to build things. To do so I have hammers, screw drivers, wrenches, ratchets, pneumatic wrenches, drills, saws, and all kinds of attachments. If I only had one screwdriver - I couldn't do much work. If I only had a 1/2" socket for my ratchet, I'd be severely limited in what I could fix. If I only had a crosscut hand saw, my attempts at cutting molding would look much worse than it might. My point being that guns, like tools, all have specific uses. Not all guns do the same thing - just like other tools, not all of them do the same thing either.

I coached youth shotgun for the local 4-H then later on a larger scale with the SCTP - Scholastic Clay Target Program. We had as many as 30 kids at one time learning how to compete shooting clay targets with shotguns - keep in mind this is an Olympic sport and we had a couple kids move up those ranks too. On any given Sunday afternoon at the range, I might show up with ammunition for the kids to shoot. A typical round of skeet or trap is 25 targets - each target requires one shotgun shell. 30 kids shooting one round of skeet or trap is 750 rounds of ammunition - 3 cases or flats of ammo. We might shoot two or three rounds of practice a week. Thousands of rounds of ammunition. I kept this either in my home or spread out among the teams.

My son really got into shooting competitively. Skeet requires a smaller pellet to be competitive as all shots are relatively close (less than 20 yards for the most part) so #9 shot is used. Typically competitors shoot 100 rounds in each of up to 4 gauges in a weekend of competition. That alone is 400 rounds of ammo - 100 each in 4 different gauges - .410, 28, 20 and 12. Practice is the same way. So the two of us would need 800 rounds just to go to the range for the weekend to shoot in one competition. Then the next weekend we may compete in trap which requires heavier shot - probably some 8 and some 71/2 shot, but we would shoot 300 targets each on the weekend, all 12 gauge, another 600 rounds. Multiply all of this times the other 29 kids, their parents and others and we are in the tens of thousands of rounds in a month.

Remember, not all one size, not all one size shot, and buying in volume is definitely an advantage so getting in 10 cases at one time (2500 rounds) is a big advantage even if it is just on shipping costs.

I like to shoot pistols and rifles too. I like to hunt squirrels, rabbits, deer, ducks, geese, occasionally bear, often wild hogs, and I like to target shoot. I also have the idea I could provide some home protection as well. In teaching hunter safety and firearms safety, one of the keys to doing things correctly is a swift and humane kill when you do shoot game. I don't want to make anything I shoot suffer. That is not my goal or the goal of any good hunter. To do so you have to match what you are shooting to the game you are taking. You have to allow for how far you will shoot, how hard it is to take down that game (obvious to me it would be harder to kill a moose or bear than a squirrel, but just in case you don't understand that, it is). You many be hunting in thick brush or wide open spaces - close in shots vs long distances across hundreds of yards.

Back to my tool chest again. I might want to hunt with a pistol for pigs, deer or even bear. That gun is probably not the best choice for home defense although it would clearly be enough weapon to stop most any intruder. But the bullet may go way beyond that intruder putting others in danger. So, once again, I must have two different kinds of bullets for the same handgun. Another 50 rounds in a box.

My favorite deer rifle is the same caliber that was adopted by the U.S. Army in 1906 and is 30 caliber. The name for this round was adopted as .30'06 (30 ought six). Not a new cartridge but very versatile and does a great job. But I can't use this on squirrels under normal conditions. It isn't the best choice for rabbits or any small game. So I may want to use my .22 rimfire. This is the same size bullet, same diameter bullet, same weight, as is used in the popular AR-15 in 5.6mm or .223 (also available in .22 rimfire, but for comparison sake). The difference is primarily in how much gun powder the cartridge holds. The .223 is centerfire which means it uses a primer to start the ignition of the powder instead of a place on the rim of the cartridge providing a similar effect. A box of .22 rimfire bullets can be 50 or 550 if you buy a "brick" of them. I have gone to the range with my son and one of his friends and shot through a brick or more of .22 rimfire in one afternoon. They are fun to shoot and relatively inexpensive. Misused, they can be deadly. The Mafia is said to prefer the diminutive .22 as their choice. Not a toy for sure.

I hope this helps answer a question. I know not everyone is a hunter or shooting enthusiast. I'm not real big on the opera. But learning more about why someone who is into shooting might have on hand more than one box of shells for their given sport or interest is important. If you have questions, please ask. I am always interested in getting communications opened.

The Inventurist

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Comments 4 comments

Anarchos profile image

Anarchos 3 years ago from Texas

Good article. I was never really into guns until I helped my uncle sight in a .22 for a skunk that kept eating our vegetable garden. After that I started getting into shooting handguns but never quite got into a shotguns. I prefer target shooting to skeet and rifles more than handguns.

In any case, I still haven't gotten around to buying a gun but I still go shooting with some friends from time-to-time. Definitely a capital intensive exercise and some of my hesitation is the cost of the ammo. My favorite handgun is a .44 but the 9-mm is the most common and, therefore, the cheapest ammo. Different guns for different uses and preferences, just like golf-clubs (another passtime I've just made my initial foray into).

Despite all this I've never really thought about volume purchases in this context. It definitely helps you see how "normal" people would want to buy large amounts of ammo. Well written piece and certainly helps put things in perspective.


Inventurist profile image

Inventurist 3 years ago from Georgia, USA Author

Anarchos, it is very difficult to write a piece aimed at the population of folks that only have heard what the media has pulled together from less than knowledgeable sources and mis-communicated the majority of the information gained.

Problems have solutions IF the people actually want to solve the problems and not just punish someone else because they can.


Solyn 24 months ago

Tondhcowu! That's a really cool way of putting it!


Minnie 24 months ago

This site is like a clsosraom, except I don't hate it. lol

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