As with any commodity, there are a lot of things that affect the price of ammunition. It just so happens that, at the moment, a lot of those things have made it difficult, expensive, and even sometimes dangerous to get ammo. We’ll walk through a few of them here, then offer some solutions to help get you stocked back up, or, if you’re a new firearm owner, stocked up for the first time with a bulk ammo purchase!
One major thing that is affecting ammo prices at the moment is the fact that it is a presidential and federal election year. While elections always mean some level of uncertainty, the fact that guns are a political issue means that we’re going to see some politicians threatening to ban or restrict certain kind of firearms and ammo. Whether or not they do any of this is, right now, irrelevant: the fact that someone is saying it often inspires people to buy bulk ammo thinking they may not be able to again in the future- this is called a panic buy. When people panic buy, demand goes up and so does price. Election years are a great time for people in the ammo business.
Second, we’re in the middle of a global pandemic. Generally, it’s been harder to get much of anything. Usually, a lot of us go from one local gun store to another, perhaps even a big box store, to look for cheap ammo. That isn’t happening in a lot of the country right now so we’re forced to either take what we find at the one store that might be in stock, or look for better options.
Also, we’re in the middle of a major period of civil unrest. With that said, it’s no surprise that a lot of people have been buying firearms in case, as it is becoming increasingly likely, you’ll have to defend yourself and those you care about, as no one else might be coming to help. So, people are buying up a lot of ammo as well.
Whether you’re one of the many new shooters, or someone that’s been in the game for years you know that ammo is likely your single biggest expense. I know I’ve put more than five times the value of the firearm down the barrel of my AR over the last three years. So, we’re going to have to find some good sources of bulk ammo that we can buy cheap and stack deep in order to keep shooting without having to sell a kidney. So, here is a list of some of the best suppliers that we could find to get reasonably priced ammo right now.
Palmetto State Armory Bulk Ammo
Palmetto State Armory, or PSA, is one of the coolest firearms companies to have come out of the last decade. Basically, their mission is to make excellent firearms at a reasonable quality and offer them to the public at a price we can afford. Their AR and AK platforms are wonderful, and we’re really excited for their MPP5 clone, and a rumored Druganov clone that would make me have to visit the bulk ammo of their section of the site for 7.62 on a regular basis. But, they don’t just sell guns. PSA also has an excellent selection of bulk ammo for people who are in need of some ammunition for their firearms. The site is slick, allowing for selecting of the usual things to sort by, which is THE way to do this kind of thing if you plan on comparing multiple sites. The big thing with PSA is that they list the price per round, which I really appreciate as it saves us from doing the math. Another thing they tend to get quite good at is their surplus ammo section. A lot of the former Soviet bloc ammo comes in massive tins, called Spam Cans for the obvious resemblance, which is a great way to ship ammunition. Every time I go to their website I can feel my wallet getting lighter, and their ammo section is no different. PSA is another great spot to check for ammo.
Cabelas Bulk Ammo
Depending on how you define it, you can buy bulk ammo about anywhere just by selecting a large quantity of boxes of ammo and they’ll come to your house in a massive box. A few companies, such as Cabela’s, go the extra mile and put some of their bulk ammo in a dry storage box. I like this for a few reasons. First and foremost, it makes it a lot less hassle to ship ammo: I once had a case of 500 .22 rounds break open from their box in shipping and had to spend three hours picking them all out of the packing peanuts the shipper used. That was less than fun. Instead, these come in a nice plastic ammo can that you can also use to store ammo once you’ve got it home. If you have more than one of the same can, also order a Sharpie so you can write the caliber on the side of the can. Cabela’s is a known quantity in the firearms world, so we trust them to get the orders right. Additionally, we like their website in that you can check local stores, as well as sorting out caliber, brand, and bullet weight. This is nice, since you’re likely going to be looking at a few of these in an attempt to save the most money possible. We’re not going to comment on prices, since they do change often, but this is a great option to start with if you’re looking for bulk ammo.
Sportsman’s Guide Bulk Ammo
Sportsman’s Guide is another one of those big companies that has all of the benefits of a large online retailer, usually including price, customer service, and the ability to have a wide variety of ammo in stock. One thing they’re kind of unique about is that they have a club membership that knocks down the price of most items, including ammo. So, if you plan on buying a lot of ammo from them, it might be worth getting a membership and committing to buying from them, as the savings will add up over time. The site is pretty easy to use, allowing for all of the usual sorting options and they often have sales that make even really high quality ammo fairly cheap. Since they also do surplus, you will also occasionally see some surplus ammo come up from them, but as it is surplus, that is going to be a little hit or miss over time. Sportsman’s Guide is one of the spots that we check often for ammo and all kind of other shooting gear. It is handy to have these big one stop online shops, especially when the family asks for gift suggestions and you can just tell them that gift cards are the way to go so that you can buy some ammunition.
Sportsman’s Warehouse Bulk Ammo
Another one of those online big-time stores, Sportsman’s Warehouse is more than worth a look if you need to buy ammo online. Their website is similar to the ones that you’ve looked at before and thus is pretty easy to navigate. We do like that sometimes they have product review videos that add a little more depth and information so that you can do things like really dial in the ammo choices you’re making to the specific barrel and firearm. Two other things worth noting. They have a rewards credit card, which, again, may be worth your time if you plan on sticking with a single supplier to get the maximum rewards over time. Also, they have a clearance section, which is usually the first place we look for ammo just in case there are any really killer deals to be had. Sportsman’s warehouse is a site that should be part of your online ammo shopping rotation if you’re looking for convenience and reasonably good prices on a regular basis.
Brownells Bulk Ammo
Brownells is one of the best trusted and known names in the firearms industry more broadly. Their inventory is so large that chances are they have exactly what you’re looking for no matter how obscure it may be. Lately, they’ve even been producing branded rifles in their Retro AR line, which are some seriously cool guns. It makes sense, then, that this is also one of the better bulk ammo suppliers out there. In terms of the website, it looks and functions much like the other ones on this list with a large array of filters to help you find what you’re looking for quickly. One thing that we especially like on their site is the ability to filter by the number of rounds in a package, so that, if you like, you can buy truly bulk ammunition in giant crates of 1,000 rounds or even more. There’s also a price per round listing, which is one thing that we wish was standard industry wide.
Ammoboard Bulk Ammo
Sometimes instead of a one-stop shop, you want a retailer that has exactly what you need and not much else. That’s the case with Ammoboard. Basically, this site does one thing and one thing only: sell bulk ammo. As such, the interface is pretty simple, and it could, in all honesty, do with more filters to make searching easier. But we’re not here to review the web design, the thing we care about is ammo pricing. And to that end, they tend to have awesome prices on ammo. A really sweet part of the deal, which sometimes gets really expensive with ammo, is that Ammoboard does offer free shipping. This is one thing that you’ll need to sit down and figure out as, in some cases, you’ll save money overall with higher priced ammo and free shipping as opposed to lower ammo prices and paid shipping. There’s also a customer service line listed prominently, so Ammoboard is one of the few companies where you can still speak to a human being relatively easily should you have a question or concern.
Lucky Gunner Bulk Ammo
Lucky Gunner is a fair bit more than a simple website that sells ammo at reasonable prices. While they do, in fact, sell ammo at reasonable prices, the cool bits of the site go beyond the buying of ammo itself. Much like the rest of the sites, this one allows you to sort by caliber, cost, and manufacturer. These search features make it really quick to find exactly what you’re looking for, especially if, like me, you have some firearms that are kind of picky with ammo to remain as accurate as they can be. Where Lucky Gunner really stands out is in how much information they provide. In really simple terms, these people are firearms and ammo nerds. First, they actually test some of the ammo in consistent and relatively scientific ways, and when they do they link those studies right in the product page. Also, they sponsor a massive YouTube channel on which they host a lot of content. So, aside from their prices and reasonable shipping times, we, as fellow people in the firearms education and knowledge space, appreciate the sheer amount of quality info that the folks at Lucky Gunner are putting out into the space. Even if you don’t buy from them, their information is itself worth your time as you’re shopping around for ammo.
bulkammo.com Bulk Ammo
No one said that names for ammo websites have to be fancy or some kind of cool allusions. Sometimes you just want to stop messing around and buy some ammo at a fair price. That’s exactly what you get with bulkammo.com. In terms of the site itself, you’ve seen a lot of this before in terms of the search features and functionality. We actually really like this consistency across sites, as it makes it easier to quickly check, for instance, ten different places for the same ammo so that you can get the best price even when you factor in the cost of your time for having looked for the ammo. One thing that this site does especially well is that they only list for sale the ammo that they have in the store. This saves you the time of having to scroll through endless out of stock notification. It also means that they can ship things out quickly, usually the same business day, though things are understandably gummed up a little bit at the moment with the world being more or less upside down at the second. This is a no-nonsense supplier that is worth adding to your shopping ideas.
Outdoor Limited Bulk Ammo
Outdoor limited is a great choice for bulk ammo if you know what you’re looking for already. Their website breaks down the ammo onto caliber, which makes it much easier to look through if you know the caliber, but are open to options. This saves you time when compared to combing through massive lists trying to see what a particular retailer has. These folks offer more than ammo, and have a lot of cleaning supplies, tools, safety kit and targets: this makes them a great spot to go if you need more than ammunition when you’re planning your upcoming range days or training sessions. A couple of things make them stand out. First, they have an actual customer service line that they advertise that they want you to call. Ammo can be sort of confusing to new shooters, which there are a lot of at the moment, so having someone to ask questions of will likely be very helpful to those people. Additionally, this is a small business, run out of North Carolina. Especially these days, small businesses appreciate your dollar more and have better customer service than the anonymous corporate giants. So, add this one to the list of places you’ll consider shopping for ammo.
Surplusammo.com Bulk Ammo
Surplus Ammo sells more than just their namesake, ammo. They have a wide range of tactical gear, accessories, optics, and firearms parts making this one more of a one stop shop. The sorting on the site is the usual fare, making it pretty easy to find what you need. These folks have, according to their website, been suppling law enforcement for years, so they should have the capacity to fill large order and get decent prices in doing so. One thing we really like about their site is the transparency. With everything going on right now in the world, most businesses, regardless of industry, are operating a little slower than normal. Most of them also don’t bother saying anything about that until they’ve taken your money. Surplusammo on the other hand admits that shipping is a little slow at the moment right on the top banner of their website. This sort of honesty makes us much more willing to deal with a company rather than one just emailing post order to say that things are going to be slow. This one has great prices and seem to be generally easy to work with, meaning that this one is worth adding to your list.
While it’s not technically a retailer and this we’re not adding it to the numbered lists, every now and again forums with high traffic, such as the relevant communities on Reddit, can be great resources for ammunition deals. This comes with a few caveats, though. First, since it’s not an actual retailer and just a place where people can post and comment, this is more a matter of blind luck if you happen to need a certain caliber, so you’re really unlikely to find exactly what you need today, unless what you need is whatever the posters happened to find in their travels around the internet. Second, that same high traffic that means lots of deals get posted also means that the smoking deals tend to get cleared out in a matter of minutes, if not less. So, it’s not a consistent source, but if you happen to catch the right post on the right day, you might get a really good deal on some ammo.
So, there you have it, ten places online to buy ammo. Which one do we recommend? Simple: all of them. Since all of them have fairly similar web interfaces, we think the best way to get reasonably priced ammo is to sit down and look at three or more of there sites, more if you have the patience, and find all of the ammo you need at each of them. Then, figure out the real cost per round, shipping included. This might mean making a few phone calls or adding’s things to cart to figure out how much they’re going to charge you in taxes, fees, and shipping, but then you’ll have a real idea of how much things cost and you’ll be able to make the best choice for you. The other strategy that might work is to pick one site that has a member program that offers points towards discounts, or perhaps free or upgraded shipping. Then, becoming a member and loyally buying your ammo from a single source starts to make a lot of sense.
Finally, always make sure to check your local laws regarding ammunition. Some states are pretty restrictive about what you can have delivered to your house. Generally, people who work for online firearm manufacturers and retailers know this, and are good about guiding you in the right direction. But, with that said, you are the best advocate for yourself here, so always double check before placing the order, or the knock you get at the door might be from the sheriff instead of the postal delivery person.
With all of that said, we hope that you found at least one good deal by the time you’ve checked out all of these sources. If you do find one and want to share the information, post it on our Forums, and we’ll likely both thank you for the deal, and then admonish you for having helped us further empty our wallets for cheap .223 ammo.