Tips For Saving Money On Your Ammo


About the author: This article was contributed by Joe from Joe is a gun enthusiast that started his blog specifically to not only learn more himself, but to also share what he learned with others in the community.

Who doesn’t want to stretch a dollar these days? For reasons of safety and reliability, one doesn’t want to scrimp on firearms and their accessories. But there are still ways to find savings here, particularly with ammunition. Below are some effective tips for saving money on your ammo.

1. Look For Sales

All retailers offer them, and those that sell firearms are no exception. While an eye should be kept on merchants year round for random ones, there are specific times of year when you’re pretty much guaranteed to find them. Black Friday, the last Friday in November, has now become the international start of the holiday shopping season. This means that certain retailers like Dick’s Sporting Goods and Cabela’s, etc. will be offering steep discounts on ammo. Don’t forget to check back in with these retailers either, for last minute holiday sales. Many of these merchants offer sales at the start of hunting seasons as well.

2. Gun Shows

You can often find big bargains here. There are so many firearms and accessories here that it truly is a buyer’s market. And there’s another advantage to buying your ammunition directly from vendors here. In doing so, you’re avoiding the shipping and hazardous materials fees that retailers incur and must pass on to you, driving up costs.

3. Wally World

Walmart offers the consistently lowest ammunition prices of any retailer. This applies to both their online and “brick and mortar” stores. They also generally don’t charge shipping costs.

4. Bulk Up

Savings can be considerable for those who buy their ammunition in bulk. Retailers including online ones, often offer discounts when purchasing in bulk. Those making purchases online are cautioned to keep an eye on potential shipping costs. Keep in mind too, that some online retailers are better than others for certain kinds of purchases. Some of the better ones for online bulk ammunition purchasing include:

5. Storage, Storage, Storage

If stored properly, your ammunition will be “immortal”. It can depend on what exactly the ammunition was made for (military ammunition is especially long-lived) but clean, dry ammunition can last for decades. Ammunition that is not stored correctly is one of the biggest drains of your ammunition dollar. So what are the secrets that will guarantee that your three year old ammo fires like it’s brand new? Just as with wood, moisture is your ammo’s single biggest enemy. When in the field or outdoor target shooting, ammunition should be transported in containers that are paper free and kept sealed at all times. Shooters should take the time to review their container selections, as some types are more appropriate for certain types of firearms (like vintage ones) than others.

And while one would hope that individuals using firearms understand that their ammunition is explosive, one still reads or hears news stories about the firearm user who burns down or blows up buildings due to improperly stored ammunition. That ammo is cheaper and easier to replace than a home. So when storing ammunition indoors, keep in mind that:

  • Ammunition should be stored at the furthest point from heat sources
  • Ammunition should be stored indoors in metal fire and blast resistant cabinets
  • Some types of ammunition (like black powder) should never be stored inside of a dwelling.

So how does one protect black powder and similar ammunition type investments with safety in mind?

  • Always store in DOT approved sealed containers
  • Avoid exposure to heat, flame, sunlight, sparking, fumes, or contact with “firing” mechanical devices (vehicle, lawn mower, snow blower, etc.)
  • Never attempt to “recycle” smokeless powder by mixing older, unused powder with new stock

6. Recycling – Sometimes

If you’re plugging away at stationary targets for practice, it may be possible to reuse ammunition. Examine bullet casings before reloading for signs of wear and tear like dents and “bites” in the rim and extractor groove. These scorings and lubricant deposits can cause weapon malfunctions, and such bullets shouldn’t be reused. Also avoid “recycling” ammo that’s been used out of doors or exposed to elements (like moisture) altogether. And hunters and those using firearms for any type of defensive purpose should stay away from used ammunition, period.

And finally, the Great Reloading Debate……….

7. Reloading Saves Ammo Money – Or Does It?

Pro: Knowing how to make your own cartridges can save you hundreds of dollars. It’s better for the environment as it reuses shells. It allows you to customize ammo specifically for certain firearms. This specific ammo then allows shooters to improve accuracy.
Con: Given the cost (often $400) investment of the equipment and the amount of time needed for reloading, it’s cheaper to simply buy a quantity of pre-fabricated ammunition.

The Verdict

The friends of reloading…win! In addition to reloaded cartridges offering shooters greater knowledge of their pieces and firing accuracy and being “greener”, reloading skills save firearm users money, too. How? A .38 Special user buying ammunition pre-fabricated can expect depending on retailer to pay an average of about $500 for a thousand rounds. But if that same .38 owner had reloading skills, his or her total expenses including reloading supplies, would come to about $140 for that same thousand rounds. Reloading is admittedly time consuming and requires both training and practice to create rounds. But of all the tips offered here, it’s probably the single most effective way to save money on your ammo.

What Works For You?

We really hope this article was helpful to some of you out there. If you have some tips that you have tried and found really works, please share them with the rest of us. We would love to hear from you!

About the author: This article was contributed by Joe from Joe is a gun enthusiast that started his blog specifically to not only learn more himself, but to also share what he learned with others in the community.


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About the Author

Brandon is the founder of Concealed Nation and is an avid firearm enthusiast, with a particular interest in responsible concealed carry. His EDC is a Springfield Armory Hellcat OSP, with a Shield Sights RMSC Red Dot, that holds Hornady 165 gr FTX Critical Defense rounds, and rides comfortably in a Vedder Holsters ComfortTuck IWB holster.

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