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 Ammunition sales by caliber in the US? (long guns and handguns)
AROptics  [Team Member]
10/10/2007 1:42:53 PM
Anyone have the information?

Just read "The Road". I wondering what ammo would be the easiest to scrounge/find? (like the top ten).



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Quarterbore  [Life Member]
10/10/2007 1:53:24 PM
Just a guess....

22LR
12-gauge
243
270
308
30/06
30/30
9mm
38 s&w

Now, this is from non EBR/Military sources...

If you include EBR or Military supply then add 223.

JMHO
fishngrits  [Team Member]
10/10/2007 2:01:04 PM
In no particular order, my guess:

.22LR
12 gauge
30-30
30-06
.223/5.56mm
.357 Magnum
.38 Special
9mm
.40 S&W
.45 ACP
.243
.270
jchewie  [Member]
10/10/2007 3:02:34 PM
My guesses, in order

22LR
12 Ga
30-06
30-30
20 Ga
9mm
223/5.56
270 Win
38Spl or 357Mag
243 Win
DernHumpus  [Member]
10/10/2007 4:02:55 PM
Here I go with my crack

.22LR
12 GA
308
223
45ACP
9mm
30-06
brasidas  [Member]
10/10/2007 4:17:16 PM
As far as rifle calibers, the NRA a few years ago said big game hunters used the following:

30-06 32%
270 17%
308 8%
7mm Mag 8%
30-30 8%
Everything else 27%
John_Galt_1957  [Team Member]
10/10/2007 5:04:34 PM

Originally Posted By jchewie:
My guesses, in order

22LR
12 Ga
30-06
30-30
20 Ga
9mm
223/5.56
270 Win
38Spl or 357Mag
243 Win


my $.02:

9mm would be far easier/more abundant than 30-30 and/or 20ga

just think of what the floor of a gun range looks like
Orbital-Burn  [Team Member]
10/10/2007 5:16:05 PM
considering all aspect of shooting, my opinion is (in order):
22 lr
12 ga
30-06
.223
.270
30-30
7mm
everything else, including .308
DocD  [Team Member]
10/10/2007 5:55:01 PM
I just tried a search of the interweb and got nothing. Anyone have a link to the real top ten??

My guess (no order)
.223
.308
12 ga.
9mm
.22LR
.30-06
.30-30
.270
.45ACP
7.62x39
DarthZeth  [Member]
10/10/2007 6:53:53 PM
I'd like to interject some empirical data into here:
www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/pub/pdf/guic.pdf

Over 40 million handguns have been produced in the United States since 1973.

Since over 80% of the guns available in the United States are manufactured here, gun production is a reasonable indicator of the guns made available. From 1973 to 1993, U.S. manufacturers produced ¾
6.6 million .357 Magnum revolvers
6.5 million .38 Special revolvers
5.4 million .22 caliber pistols
5.3 million .22 caliber revolvers
4.5 million .25 caliber pistols
3.1 million 9 millimeter pistols
2.4 million .380 caliber pistols
2.2 million .44 Magnum revolvers
1.7 million .45 caliber pistols
1.2 million .32 caliber revolvers.

During the two decades from 1973 to 1993, the types of handguns most frequently produced have changed. Most new handguns are pistols rather than revolvers. Pistol production grew from 28% of the handguns produced in the United States in 1973 to 80% in 1993.

The number of large caliber pistols produced annually increased substantially after 1986. Until the mid-1980's, most pistols produced in the United States were .22 and .25 caliber models. Production of .380 caliber and 9 millimeter pistols began to increase substantially in 1987, so that by 1993 they became the most frequently produced pistols. From 1991 to 1993, the last 3 years for which data are available, the most frequently produced handguns were ¾

.380 caliber pistols (20%)
9 millimeter pistols (19%)
.22 caliber pistols (17%)
.25 caliber pistols (13%)
.50 caliber pistols (8%).


Lots of other stats in there, but mostly having to do with guns used in crime, which differs from what non-criminals spend their money on. No data in terms of rifles, since they make up a small percentage of firearms used in crimes. this data is close to a decade and a half old.


stats on gun and ammo sales: www.nssf.org/news/PR_idx.cfm?PRloc=common/PR/&PR=060506.cfm

handgun manufacture in 2005 www.atf.treas.gov/firearms/stats/afmer/afmer2005.pdf

PISTOLS
TO .22 139,475
TO .25 10,455
TO .32 29,024
TO .380 107,386
TO 9MM 369,236
TO .50 273,731


REVOLVERS
TO .22 68,856
TO .32 75,337
TO .357 MAG 68,476
TO .38 SPEC 110,486
TO .44 MAG 44,405
TO .50 67,935

stats for the years 1998-2005: www.atf.treas.gov/firearms/stats/

I'm assuming the "to .50" covers 45s...

some more older stats about crime and firearms production. links at the bottom of the page: www.amfire.com/php/container.php?content=../htm/statistics.htm


I can't really find anything specifically on ammunition sales or production, though. sorry. I also make no claims that these stats will lead to anywhere near a correct answer to your question. But I prefer bad stats to wild ass guesses.
DarthZeth  [Member]
10/10/2007 7:50:31 PM
checking out Midway's ammo section, they list their "Most popular" calibers:
handgun: www.midwayusa.com/ebrowse.exe/browse?TabID=3&Categoryid=691&categorystring=653***
* 45 ACP
* 9mm Luger
* 40 S&W
* 38 Special
* 357 Magnum
* 44 Remington Magnum

rifle: www.midwayusa.com/ebrowse.exe/browse?TabID=3&Categoryid=690&categorystring=653***
* 223 Remington
* 308 Winchester
* 30-06 Springfield
* 7.62x39mm Russian
* 270 Winchester
* 300 Winchester Magnum

shotgun: www.midwayusa.com/ebrowse.exe/browse?TabID=3&Categoryid=9217&categorystring=653***

* 12 Gauge 2-3/4"
* 12 Gauge 3"
* 20 Gauge 3"
* 410 Bore 2-1/2"
* 20 Gauge 2-3/4"
* 16 Gauge 2-3/4"


Their rimfire section doesn't have a 'most popular' since they only sell 9 calibers. But I can't imagine 22lr not winning hands down.

I Don't know if the order is important, although I imagine it COULD be. I don't know if midway's sales reflect the ammo industry as a whole. The relative popularity of shotguns, rifles or handguns is probably unimportant, because you're not going to choose a 22lr when you need a shotgun because the 22lr is "more popular".

I'd be willing to take these as an accurate "top 6" of ammo usage of each category in the US.
Dedhorse  [Member]
10/10/2007 9:57:43 PM
I sell antiques so I see lots of old house contents at estate sales, flea markets , auctions and what have you...and I see lots of ammo. I think this would give you a good idea of what you would be scrounging though to find ammo and what most people might have.
...With pistol ammo you see lots of .32s and 38 shorts, probably the most common by far pistol ammo. Lots of small cheap pistols out there in these cal. and not many got shot but owners had a couple boxs for them. See some 25s [and .32/380 autos]too but not as common probably because these autos were more expensive then a cheap revolver. Next pistol cal. probably 38 special. Lots less common are .357s and then 9mm and .45. ...Things like .44 special and magnum very uncommon and I have never seen anything like a .40 cal. Did get a box of 38- 40 once.
...Lots of old .22s of course including a good many shorts
...Shotgun 12 ga. then 20 and 16
...I don't really live in rifle country like out west but I still see alot of ammo. Probably the most common... 30 06, 303 and 8mm with 30 30s not to far behind. See some 270s but not common same with 308 and even less common 243. Kind of strange but I probably see as many 35 remington....In my experance .223 and 762 x 39 is very uncommon...probably see as many 22 hornets and more .222s
I think this is a good reflection as to what is out there in most common avarage houses

If i had to chose some guns to have to scrounge ammo for I would get a couple .32 / 38s revolvers, a 22 rifle, 12 ga shotgun and a rifle in 30 06 or 303 .....Todd
Ultvikefan  [Team Member]
10/11/2007 12:39:56 AM
my "list" (note I do not have a 9mm, .223, 30-30, or a .270, I also have a DE conversion for .357, but never use it.)

22 lr
12 ga
30-30
30-06
9mm
45acp
44 mag
270
308
38 special/.357 mag
Kar15  [Member]
10/11/2007 7:02:09 AM

Originally Posted By Dedhorse:
I sell antiques so I see lots of old house contents at estate sales, flea markets , auctions and what have you...and I see lots of ammo. I think this would give you a good idea of what you would be scrounging though to find ammo and what most people might have.
...With pistol ammo you see lots of .32s and 38 shorts, probably the most common by far pistol ammo. Lots of small cheap pistols out there in these cal. and not many got shot but owners had a couple boxs for them. See some 25s [and .32/380 autos]too but not as common probably because these autos were more expensive then a cheap revolver. Next pistol cal. probably 38 special. Lots less common are .357s and then 9mm and .45. ...Things like .44 special and magnum very uncommon and I have never seen anything like a .40 cal. Did get a box of 38- 40 once.
...Lots of old .22s of course including a good many shorts
...Shotgun 12 ga. then 20 and 16
...I don't really live in rifle country like out west but I still see alot of ammo. Probably the most common... 30 06, 303 and 8mm with 30 30s not to far behind. See some 270s but not common same with 308 and even less common 243. Kind of strange but I probably see as many 35 remington....In my experance .223 and 762 x 39 is very uncommon...probably see as many 22 hornets and more .222s
I think this is a good reflection as to what is out there in most common avarage houses

If i had to chose some guns to have to scrounge ammo for I would get a couple .32 / 38s revolvers, a 22 rifle, 12 ga shotgun and a rifle in 30 06 or 303 .....Todd


i would agree with the info that you have put forth, i've been to many antique shows, flea markets, auctions for estatees due to death, moveing, or forclosures, yard sales, etc. mostly in rural settings.

however you have to keep in mind that at most of these events, you are dealing with the firearms/ammo and possetions of an older generation. many of the items from these sales belonged to folks who were/are at least in their 60s and are usually now deceased. this would definatelly explain most of the caliber choices. .35 was once a popular caliber, so was .32 .38 etc. also older military "capture" and or old "mail order" surplus guns were very common, cheap, and popular(which is where your .303s, 8mms, some 6.5s both jap and italian, etc. come into play).

now a days i would think that some of the combloc calibers may even come into play, as 7.62x39 and 7.62x54r(it's all over the place here) have become quite commonplaced both in stores on shelves and in emptied brass on the ground.

like the guy said earlier, just look at the floor or ground the next time you're at the range, as "the most common caliber" may often be reagonilised. for instance you probabally don't often find a LOT of magnum large game calibers in the SE, or a LOT of varminter calibers in the NE or NW.

and just out of couriosity WTF is popular in the dessert/SW?...
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