Regardless of what type of firearm you use or how often you use it, if you own a gun, you need to buy bullets. Fortunately, bullets are sold in varying amounts to cater to those who need more or less ammunition, but understanding which unit of ammo to buy for you can be challenging to understand. This has led to much confusion that needs some clearing up.
Boxes usually contain 20 – 50 rounds of ammunition, depending on the caliber. Smaller calibers come in larger numbers per box compared to larger caliber rounds. A brick usually contains 10 boxes worth of bullets, and a case can contain 20 – 100 boxes depending on the caliber.
Buying ammunition by the box, brick, and case should represent buying a fixed amount of ammunition, and in most cases, it does, but there are some instances when these units are not constant. Let’s break down the details of buying ammo in boxes, bricks, and cases by how much ammunition is in each unit.
How Many Rounds Are In A Box?
The most common unit of ammunition sale is the box. Buying a box of bullets is the smallest typical unit of sale, and it is the most readily available. Ammo boxes for most common calibers are available from general sporting goods stores and merchandisers. However, the number of bullets per box is not uniform across the board.
The number of rounds in a box depends on the size caliber of the bullets and the manufacturer that packaged the ammunition. Very common calibers that are relatively small in size generally contain more rounds per box, and larger calibers and more bulky bullets are typically sold in boxes containing fewer individual rounds.
For example, 9mm rounds are typically sold in boxes that contain 50 rounds. This number of rounds is useful for 9mm ammo because it is affordable, the bullets are small, and a larger number of 9mm rounds fit well into a smaller box than other calibers.
Larger caliber rounds are usually sold in smaller numbers per box. 12 gauge shotgun rounds, for example, are sold in 25 rounds per box because the rounds are relatively large and more difficult to package.
Rifle rounds such as .308 and 5.56 are usually sold in boxes of 20 as well, due to the size of the rounds but also because these bullets are more expensive to buy, so selling fewer rounds per box is more accessible for many people.
However, with this being said, there are no fixed units of rounds per box for any ammunition. The number of bullets per box varies, and many manufacturers package boxes with 20, 25, 40, 45, or even 50 rounds per box, regardless of caliber.
With that in mind, here are some of the most common ammo boxes sold and the number of rounds that are most commonly found in each box according to caliber:
|Caliber||Rounds Per Box|
These numbers vary depending on manufacturer and retailer, but these are the most consistent figures for the number of rounds per box of the most commonly sold calibers.
How Many Rounds Are In A Brick?
There are plenty of reasons to buy more ammunition than you can get in a typical box, which is why the next unit most retailers and manufacturers deal in are bricks. A brick of ammunition always contains significantly more rounds than a box, regardless of caliber, and are often sold at slightly discounted rates due to the number of bullets per brick.
A brick typically contains 10 boxes of ammunition, which means that this is not a constant unit either. The number of rounds in a brick depends on the number of rounds in each box within the brick.
However, a brick is almost always 10 boxes, which makes buying more ammunition easy, and if you buy ammo from the same manufacturer eerie time, you will always know how many bullets you are buying per brick.
For example, as per the figures we covered above, a brick of 9mm rounds typically contains 500 bullets because the typical 9mm box contains 50 bullets. A 12 gauge brick will usually contain 250 rounds, as each box contains 25 rounds.
Bricks can be larger or smaller depending on the number of bullets per box, but a brick rarely wavers from 10 boxes per brick.
How Many Rounds Are In A Case?
Another unit that we commonly see regarding ammunition sales is the case. A case is a difficult unit to define because the number of rounds cases depends on the number of rounds per box but on a larger scale than in a brick.
A typical case of ammunition contains anywhere from 20 to 50 boxes of ammunition, and the number of rounds per case depends on the number of rounds per box.
Smaller caliber rounds are not typically sold in cases that contain many boxes because the boxes themselves contain more bullets, while larger caliber rounds come in cases that contain more boxes because the boxes contain fewer bullets. This means that the number of boxes per case is not a constant indicator of how many rounds there are in a case.
For example, 9mmm rounds are sold in boxes of 50 and cases of 20 in most circumstances. This means that a case of 9mmm rounds contains 1000 rounds, even though it only contains 20 boxes of bullets.
.762mm rounds come in cases that contain 50 boxes, but each box contains only 20 rounds each. This means that a case of .762mm bullets contains the same number of rounds as a case of 9mm, even though the number of boxes per case is more than double.
A good indication of how many rounds are in a case is to estimate based on caliber. Larger rounds are sold in fewer numbers per case than smaller rounds and so will typically contain more boxes per case.
However, most manufacturers release cases of varying sizes for every caliber, ranging from 20 to 50 boxes per case, or even 100 boxes for very small rounds such as .22mm. The best way to know how many bullets are in the cases that you buy is to open it up and check how many rounds are in each box within the case.
Why Are There So Many Variations?
The wide range of ammunition units across the board can be very confusing, but it is for a good reason. The simple truth is that different people need different amounts of ammunition.
Weekend shooters who simply want to keep their eye will not fire off as many rounds as instructors or professional shooters and so will need fewer rounds per purchase.
Professional shooters or instructors will buy bullets in bulk and so will purchase significantly more ammo at once, which necessitates the need for higher unit quantities.
The variation that is seen between manufacturers is dependent on how much each round costs the manufacturer to produce and how many rounds per caliber is sold. A less-common round will sell less than a common round, so less common rounds tend to be sold in smaller units than very popular rounds.
There are even other units that equate to half a case; these are known as flats. If a case has 20 boxes, a flat has 10 boxes. This can be confusing, but if a case has a large number of boxes, such as 100 boxes, then a flat is a more manageable number of rounds to purchase at once, but still more than a brick.
Which Unit Is Best For You?
With the vast variations of ammo units available everywhere nowadays, it can be difficult to know which is best for you and your requirements.
The answer to this is simple. Before buying a unit of ammo, being a box, a brick, or a case, simply ask the person behind the counter how many rounds are contained in a box of your rounds from the manufacturer that you prefer.
This will let you know how many rounds are in a brick, as it will always be 10x the number of rounds per one box, and the number of rounds in a case will depend on how many boxes are in the case.
The number of rounds that you buy should be based on how much you shoot, not on how much you can afford to buy because owning more bullets than necessary can be dangerous, and they can be difficult to store safely.
Buy enough rounds for you to get through the week or even the next month, perhaps with a few extras, and this way, you will never buy more than necessary, making life much simpler for yourself.
Storing Ammunition Correctly
This leads us to an important aspect of buying ammunition by the brick or case that many firearm owners neglect: safe storage of ammunition.
Storing one or two extra boxes of ammo is easy to do, but if you are buying ammo by the case, storing the bullets safely can be a challenge.
Storing the ammunition that you will shoot all at once is important, and there are several ideal products available for doing so safely. Ammunition cases made from metal with locking lids are a good option for a larger number of rounds.
Plastic ammo trays are a good option for smaller caliber rounds, as they are easy to load and simple to move without the danger of the bullets rolling around or accidentally discharging.
Large ammo canisters can be purchased from military surplus stores for very affordable prices, and they are an ideal way to safely store large caliber rounds.
Always be sure to think about how you will store and transport the rounds that you buy, especially if you buy large cases or bricks at once.
The number of rounds in a box varies depending on the caliber of the bullets and the manufacturer that packaged the rounds. There are usually 20 – 50 rounds per box, and the number of rounds per brick and case depends on the number of rounds per box.
A brick contains 10 boxes of ammo, and a case can contain anywhere from 20 to 100 boxes of rounds, depending on the caliber and manufacturer. Understanding how many bullets are in a box of your preferred ammo is key to knowing how many rounds are contained in a brick or case of the same ammo.