How Many Magazines Are Enough?


How Many Magazines Are Enough?

How many magazines do you need? This is like asking how many pizza slices is enough; the answer is different for everyone. It’s a matter of personal taste.

For preppers, the question often comes up about how many rifle and pistol magazines should they keep in stock at all times, and some would say you can never really have enough.

You have to assess your own situation by asking a few questions:

  • Are you likely to bug-in or try to get away from a SHTF event? (Of course this depends on the type of SHTF, the severity, and the immediate threat to your safety and long term survival either temporary or sustained.)
  • Will you be alone in defending your position, or will others be available to assist with guarding, patrolling, or resisting a threat?
  • Will you be reloading your own magazines or can others help out?

These are conditions you have to factor in and prepare for now.

Then, of course, the number of magazines per weapon depends on how many of what type of firearm you have and intend to deploy. Herein lies a strong case for the standardization of survival weaponry across the board. For example, if all of your defense rifles are of the AR-15 type in 5.56/.223, they will all accept the same magazines, which simplifies things.

It’s the same for handguns; if your arsenal is made up of only one make & model of handgun in the same caliber, Each of them will accept any magazine for any other. Everybody on board knows that every rifle and every pistol will take a rifle or pistol magazine from your inventory, hence the standardization of task and mission.

If you bug in, have at least twenty 20- or 30-round AR magazines (or 400-600 rounds) loaded. Certainly more if you want or if you have several rifles. Same for pistols. If you bug out, carry half the load, ideally with an extra cached stock at the bug-out site. Of course, there are other things to consider, especially if you add shotguns to the mix. Just be well-prepared.


Avatar Author ID 67 - 1488003243

Award winning outdoor writer/photographer since 1978. Over 3000 articles and columns published nationally. Field & Stream Hero of Conservation in 2007. Fields of writing includes hunting most game in American, Canada, and Europe, fishing fresh and saltwater, destination travel, product reviews, industry consulting, and conservation issues. Currently VP at largest community college in Mississippi in economic development and workforce training with 40 years of experience in Higher Education. BS-MS in wildlife sciences from MO. University, and then a PhD in Industrial Psychology. Married with two children and Molly the Schnoodle.

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