Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Stockpile, Cache, Armory, Arsenal

I read about these words a lot in the media.  I am not sure the writers know what they mean. A couple of guns?  A few guns?  500 rounds of ammunition?  Sorry if I don't get excited when you say some criminal's arsenal consists of a handgun, a shotgun, AND a rifle.  I know people who carry that when they go to a 3-gun match.  How did 3 guns get to be an "arsenal."

Then there are the large "cache's" of ammunition.  100 rounds.  200 rounds.  God forbid he has 1000 rounds!  Um, its small little bits not much larger than a nut.  Once again, I know of people who have this much ammunition on their person or in their vehicle on a daily basis.  I've had people pay me for rides to work using a couple hundred rounds of ammunition. It really doesn't take up that much space.

Let me put it in perspective a bit.  A box of 50 rounds of 9mm is approximately the size of a block of cream cheese.  That's it. And that includes an inordinate amount of packaging.  A 550 round box of .22 LR is about the size of a recipe card box (the 3x5 kind).  500 rounds of most rifle ammunition will fit into a box about the size of two Harry Potter books.  One round of 7.62x39 is about half the size of a sharpie marker cap. A pack of five 12 gauge shotgun shells is the size of a small point and shoot camera.  Do you have a visual image yet that ammunition just doesn't take up that much space?

I have at least 3 or 4 "stockpiles" around my house based on these definitions.  Heck, whenever I load magazines to go to the range, I have a new "stockpile".  I have, literally, thousands (as in X followed by at least three zeros) of rounds of ammunition.  I have a couple of friends who have in the neighborhood of 100,000 rounds or more.

Are we paranoid?  No more than you are for filling your gas tank when it gets near empty.  I have a 20 mile round trip commute to work.  I fill the entire tank up every time I stop for gas so that I only have to stop for gas once every three weeks (or about every 21 uses of my car) rather than every day by only putting in what I am going to use for the day. Likewise, I shoot around 500 rounds of ammunition for every time I go to the range.  To be comparable, whenever I top off on ammo buying, I should have 10,500 rounds.  So, no, it is no more paranoid than buying milk by the gallon instead of a half pint.

Most people who have "stockpiles" of ammo do so because they don't want to go to the store all the time.  Most criminals probably only have as much ammo as they can carry, but I am not sure that anyone has ever done a study on how much ammunition criminals "stockpile."  If news stories are an accurate representation, they stockpile a whole lot less than I do.  


  1. People like myself also "stockpile" because when we see a good deal, we go for it. We know it'll be used eventually at the range. If you had the storage, wouldn't you buy extra gas if you found it for $1.50 instead of $3.50?

  2. Absolutely. I do the same thing with tunafish and mac & cheese.