This isn’t just a question for people who carry concealed handguns everyday but more of a general question. We’ve gotten this question in our inbox countless times and figured there needs to be an article to address it. It’s not just the number of magazines you carry on your person or in your car or in your home — it’s how many rounds do you have for your concealed carry handgun?
Well, I’ll kick this off and give my own personal opinion. I keep 1,000 rounds of full metal jacketed rounds stocked for my primary concealed carry pistol. In a different article, I discussed the decision my wife and I made to paring down our pistols to just one caliber. That ended up not holding up for reasons explained in that article.
No Gold Standard For Pistol Ammo Stores
The 1,000 round mark isn’t some gold standard. Different people, different circumstances, different levels of preparation will all factor into whatever number that becomes for you.
At 1,000 rounds, I know that I conservatively have at least a 6 month supply of FMJ on hand at all times. That number can grow or shrink slightly but it hovers right around there.
For concealed carry, in general, I keep three magazines in my vicinity at all times. I have the one in my pistol, with a round in the chamber, and then I have a back-up magazine in a pocket or IWB holster.
There’s usually one more magazine stored in the glove box of my car. I don’t store my pistol there for any reason — which I again illustrated in another article — but I do keep a back-up magazine there for quick access.
At home, I have two more magazines loaded and ready to go in the safe.
We have a young child so firearm access is important.
Those two magazines in the safe represent a “break in case of emergency”.
All magazines I keep ready are loaded with self-defensive ammunition. Since I switched to a Sig Sauer SP2022, 15-round 9mm magazines, that equals out to roughly 75 rounds of defensive ammunition kept loaded at all times. In the safe is about 200 rounds of additional defensive ammunition rounds. Then there’s the bulk FMJ I use for practice.
FMJ, for my own personal carry style, doesn’t work. In a pinch, it can do but it’s not my go-to.
That’s why I keep it in reserve. It’s great for the range and it ensures both my wife and I have enough to practice with even if ammunition prices and availability fluctuate.
Keep A Good Supply Of What You Use Most Often
We decided on 9mm as our basic pistol caliber and the vast majority of our pistols are chambered in such. That doesn’t include the addition of the .357 SIG or .40 S&W pistols we ended up acquiring over this last Black Friday or the .45 ACP for the 1911.
Because 9mm is our main everyday carry ammunition source, that’s what we keep the most stock of. For .45 ACP, I’d say we maintain an inventory of about 4-500 rounds. In .40 S&W and .357 SIG, both being new additions to the team, we usually only keep about 300 in each.
Each household will budget accordingly. Some people can afford to keep a consistent stock of 5,000 rounds of pistol ammunition. We cannot. I’ve had stocks of more than 1,000 rounds of 9mm because of sales but, due to practice, that number tends to hover and keep at 1,000.
It’s not just the rounds you keep on your person or in your vicinity — it’s also the rounds you have in store in case you need them for practice. The cheapest ammunition is the ammunition you already own.
Keep carrying concealed, every single day, everywhere you reasonably can.