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Topic Review (Newest First)
03-24-2011 11:05 PM
Even after paying shipping it is still cheaper than local most of the time.
Do the math with a calculator. For the 7.62 it was actually cheaper for me to buy 32 twenty round boxes than it was to buy one 640 round bulk can for some reason.
03-24-2011 01:59 PM
VINCENT great read, but i think it may be time to update your price stats.
03-24-2011 01:44 PM
Groovy Mike I wrote this a couple of years ago. But it seems worth sharing again since I use 22 as an example:

How much ammo should I have?

First and foremost I am a firm believer in “Buy it cheap and stack it deep.” I mean – c’mon, what other useful yet consumable item has 100+ year shelf life? Can you ever have too much ammo? Answer – of course not! And yet there are practical considerations. Most of us do not have the funds to buy ammo by the pallet for every cartridge we wish to keep on hand. Therefore, we must prioritize. Part of doing that is deciding how much of any given caliber (i.e. cartridge) is “enough” even if it is just “enough for now.” The basis for deciding how much is enough hinges on three questions:

* What is the intended use?
* How many people are you stocking ammo for?
* How long before you expect to resupply?

If you can answer these questions, then how much ammo to acquire and store will be obvious. Let’s eliminate the last question first. How long before resupply? Question: Do you think that an ammunition shortage or significant price appreciation is likely at any time in the future? I do. There is no political will to stop an ammunition manufacturing tax, or ammunition import tariff. I will leave that statement to stand on its own merits because I hesitate to give the gun grabbers any more confidence than they already have. Suffice to say that we shooters would vote the incumbents out of office during the next election. But even if we did so, governments are revenue sucking machines. No such tariff would ever be likely to be repealed. The domestic supply of cheap ammunition will evaporate over night just as it did for the steel core ammunition banned from import by executive order in the 1980s. Those cartridges which sold for 10 cents per round then, are now worth $1 each if you can find them.

Is it already too late? Popular 7.62x39 is already back ordered for up to six months at most suppliers. This backlog has been in place for months. I have not yet heard a reasonable explanation. If you agree that buying when a product costs less is better than buying at a higher price, or if you agree that a future ammunition shortage is likely - you probably want to store enough ammunition to last you at least a decade.

How many people are you stocking ammo for? Let’s start with yourself as the primary shooter and you can double the amount if you have a spouse who is an active shooter, triple if you have a child, etc. But for now, let’s consider just one shooter and let the rest of the math follow along in multiples of our one shooter calculations.

Now, what is the intended use? If you are the kind of hunter who fires only one or two shots a year, you probably aren’t concerned with storing ammunition anyway. If you are a recreational shooter (backyard plinker or competitive sportsman) you can calculate your usual usage based on how much shooting you typically do. Fifty cartridges per weekend might be considered a reasonable amount. Competitive shooters will easily burn through ten times that, but Jr. who goes through a box of 22 cartridges in an afternoon of tin can punching, or Joe who throws 50 shells on the skeet range is probably more typical. Some of us shoot more than that in one sitting (especially with high capacity magazines) but we may only shoot once per month. 200 cartridges one weekend per month works out to the same monthly total as 50 cartridges per weekend. So we’ll go with that estimate and you can modify the conclusion to reflect your own habits.

Fifty per weekend = 2,600 cartridges per year. A mere decade’s supply would be an unbelievable TWENTY SIX THOUSAND CARTRIDGES!!! But don’t be scared by the sticker shock when you start thinking about the investment required to put up 26,000 factory loaded cartridges for your 300 Win Mag. Chances are good that most of those cartridges will be pistol loads or 22 rim fire. In addition, reloading ammunition represents a huge potential cost savings. About half my shooting is done with 22 rimfire ammo. My son and I fire about 100 cartridges per month in one or two sittings. The total monthly cost for this is a mere $2 per month. I ask you – what provides more father/son entertainment per dollar? At a rate of one 550 round “brick” of ammo per paycheck it would take me less than a year to stockpile a full ten year supply of 13,000 cartridges. Let me say that again, if I bought just one brick of 22 ammunition per paycheck, I’d have a ten year supply of 22 ammo on hand before a year was up. As of this writing my local Wal-Mart has the best local price on 22LR ammunition. They offer both Federal and Remington brand hollow point, copper washed, loose packed cartridges in boxes of 550 for less than nine dollars per box including the sales tax. The grand total for a ten year supply would be $212 for twenty three 550 round boxes. That’s not a huge investment but you might get some unwanted attention if you take home that much ammunition at once. I’d recommend picking up one or two bricks per month and rotating your purchases between three or four stores. The remainder of my shooting is mostly centerfire rifle ammunition. For simplicity’s sake let’s assume that they are all 308 cartridges. If I buy in 500 round cases of full metal jacket (FMJ) ammunition or reload soft point hunting loads the cost is less than 20 cents per cartridge ($20 per month). The current price for FMJ 308 ammunition is $100 per 500 cartridges. Buying in multi-case lots or reloading may lower your cost to nearly half that. Buying a case per month is an option, or even twice a year. If you buy a thousand round case above your daily use twice per year it would take six years to collect a ten year supply. If you have the financial resources to buy thirteen cases at once then you can be geared up immediately.

Before we leave the topic of intended use, consider that if (God forbid) your family needs to defend your retreat from armed attackers, you may exhaust an enormous amount of ammunition very, very quickly.

When can you expect resupply? In the case of continued price hikes, never at a better price. In the case of a ban, never at any price. There will never be a better time to buy.

Conclusions: If you can answer the three questions of: what use? how many? and how long before resupply? You can tweak the above examples to match your own objectives. They key concept is that stocking up now, to take advantage of a buyers’ market is prudent. The first step is recognizing that you have a need to store ammunition. The second is recognizing that this is the time to buy. The third is deciding how much you need.

What should we do? There is only one answer. Buy now. Buy for the ammo you plan to expend in backyard plinking. Buy for the ammo you plan to shoot or reload next year. Buy for the hunting loads that you plan to expend in the next few years to practice with for each season. Buy what you feel is prudent for self defense. Buy today, because tomorrow may be too late. If you don’t, who will arm the next generation of shooters – or for that matter the hunters coming of age in the next decade? We owe it to our children. If the sort shortage that I am talking about occurs, you will have invested in a commodity that has a hundred year shelf life at a fraction of the replacement value.

Reality check: Let’s take a moment to double check the reasonableness of my conclusions. Is a ten year supply of ammo really necessary? Is it worth the financial investment? Yes, if God forbid, you need that ammunition to feed or defend your family, you would gladly have paid ten times the cost in retrospect. But what if I’m wrong? What if I am running in circles yelling that the sky is falling? What if no ban or price hike happens in the next five or ten or twenty years? Will you lose anything at all by buying a commodity that you will use later? Quite to the contrary – if no change in the supply or demand for ammunition occurs, but inflation continues unabated (let’s assume just 2% inflation per year to be conservative) your investment appreciates 10% in monetary value in just five years. You probably would not earn 2% interest on funds in a savings account. If your salary did not go up every year you would be losing purchasing power. So even by this conservative estimate, you have nothing to lose. At the very worst, you invest money in a hobby that you love and retain the ability to defend those you care about. That sounds like money well spent to me – even if nothing happens.
03-24-2011 01:15 PM
MikeK Walmart is generally the lowest priced place for .22 ammo. I buy the bulk packs, myself.

For a while, Walmart had limits on ammo purchases. Because back during the big buying frenzy, people would go in and completely clean them out. So they put up a limit of something like 6 boxes. Most of them seem to have removed the limit now.
03-24-2011 11:37 AM
dealfinder500 Thanks guys for all your comments!

I found hunting store kinda in the area that has the boxes of 525 for $16.99. A little more than buying them at Wal-mart for $1.47/50 but they didn't seem to care how many you bought. I bought two boxes and will buy a little more later.

The only larger boxes Wal-mart had were the hollow points (and they were higher priced than the solid points). I have a box of those but I prefer the solid points because they seem to me to be a little quieter (I have a neighbor about 500 feet away, nice guy and all, but he's got a ton of coon dogs that like to bark, and the hollow point shots seemed to set them off a lot more than the others).

There's a rifle range in the area, and my younger cousin and I went there and picked up the unbroken clay pigeons (got permission to do it). So we have over 1000 of them that we've had fun with in the back yard.

Also, I've accumulated a little over 3,000 bullets.
03-23-2011 08:59 PM
Lone Star
Originally Posted by dealfinder500 View Post
I was given a 22 a few days ago. I'm wanting to stock up on ammo. What is the best way to go about doing it?

My local Walmart has boxes of 50 of Federal 22 for $1.47. I got 10 of them, and the lady getting them asked the other person (in kind of a snotty way) "isn't there a limit on these?". He said he thought there was but he didn't see any sign up, so no limit right now. I went back that night at got 15 more. (They only have 4 boxes left now:-( ) Otherwise I'd go back and get more.

Anyone else know if stores usually limit you? I am new to all this so I don't really want to make a scene, nor do I want them getting suspicious and letting the police know I'm stocking up. Yeah, it's not illegal, but I just don't want to make any waves, you know what I mean?

I've looked online, but most places are much more $$ than the $1.47.
After Obama was elected there was a run on ammo and Wal-Mart could not heep any ammo on the shelf. Customers began complaining that there was no ammo and when any came in it would be gone in minutes. They started limiting customers to 4 boxes of ammo per purchase. you could buy 4 boxes of 50 .22 shells and that was your limit but you could also buy the 555 count boxes by the limit of 4 too!

Wal-Mart lifted that limit last year in my area when supplies caught up. Since the AZ Giffords shooting their shelves drun dry from time to time again.
03-23-2011 08:58 PM
just in joy yes make sure you rifle likes the ammo I know my savage 22 does not like remmington rounds!
03-23-2011 08:48 PM
RamRod I would get small small amounts of several types/weights. 22's can be picky depending on model. When you find the right cartridge, stock up
03-23-2011 06:54 PM
stinkybriches i second the federal automatch. its good stuff.
03-23-2011 05:22 PM
Gronk MOst Wal-marts had limited ammo purchases during the panic buying after Oblabla 's coronation. Some Wal-Marts have been slow to remove these purchase limits as WM corpotate moves at the speed of the slowest glacier.

As others had said : Buy in bulk, don't bother with 50 round boxes of .22's, and split your purchases up between several stores.

Get a little each week that way you don't break the bank trying to stock up.
03-23-2011 04:03 PM
hatchet jack
Anyone else know if stores usually limit you? I am new to all this so I don't really want to make a scene, nor do I want them getting suspicious and letting the police know I'm stocking up. Yeah, it's not illegal, but I just don't want to make any waves, you know what I mean?
Well you've done it now. You bought too much ammo. I bet you have already been reported and now posting here, I am sure the ammo goons are coming to get you. You are now on a government watch list. Been good knowin' ya.

Just kidding of coarse. I have around 30,000 22lr rounds myself. That doesn't count the thousands of 22 mag and thousands of rifle and handgun ammo plus a few thousand shotgun shells. I wouldn't worry about it. Sounds like the woman at WM just wanted something to gripe about.

Twenty twos are fun. Buy the bulk packs and do your best to wear that rifle out. You will go broke trying.

It may sound like I have a lot but I really don't My BIL is a fireman and he has seen some really big stashes of ammo. He said I'm just a piker by comparison.
03-23-2011 01:48 PM
Snubshooter I think we all tend to agree - Buy by the Brick only 2 Bricks at a time, test your ammo with your weapon see how they function together, use quality ammo and stay low profile good guy. I would also caution against Remy Thunderbolts, the lead is real soft and will coat the barrel with lead real quick. And PRACTICE alot and have fun with your system.
03-23-2011 01:30 PM
karlsgunbunker My Wal-Mart is used to customers buying all of a caliber or two at a time.
I buy 5-10 boxes all the time, if the price is right.

Federal Bulk pack is the cheapest .22 around here.
I think I have 4 - .30 cal ammo cans full and just bought 3 more boxes.

Wideners has the best online price I've found $1.62 per 50 or $162 per 5000.

I buy .22 every chance I get, it's probably the most useful caliber there is and you can't reload it.
03-23-2011 01:07 PM
Originally Posted by SgtBooker44 View Post
You posted this in the rifle forum so I assume it's a long gun.

Fire some rounds and make sure the rifle feeds it. Some can be picky.
I roger that. My 10/22 loves Thunderbolt, Winchester, and Remington, but jams occasionally at Federal. Why, I cannot guess. But better to have more expensive rounds that work consistently than cheap rounds that don't.
03-23-2011 01:07 PM
munchie3409 Every WM is different..around here it was a 10 box limit.

Take a look at the Federal Automatch comes in a bulk box of 320 I's the preferred ammo for semi autos at rimfirecentral. Avoid the Remington thunderbolt 22LR...really bad ammo for the most part.

I typically buy cases (2,500rds) when I used to buy 22LR online....I have quite a bit of 22LR ammo, so you can have what you find in the stores...haha.

The Federal...cannot recall the Federal number, but it's the Federal Champion that comes 50rds a box at WM is also good quality 22LR.
03-23-2011 12:35 PM
SgtBooker44 You posted this in the rifle forum so I assume it's a long gun.

Fire some rounds and make sure the rifle feeds it. Some can be picky.
03-23-2011 12:13 PM
VINCENT walmart if famous for 4 box limit, or 6 box limit. but often if you get to know someone they stop limiting you. either way stop buying 50 round boxes and buy the 500, ot 550 round box for 18. or 19 dollrs. better price and you can then get 4 or 6 boxs of 500 or 550. its not the # of rounds, its the # of boxs. stupid but true. also no one is paying attention to you buying a couple of boxs of .22 even if its bulk boxs. they start looking at you funny when you buy 500-1000 rounds of .357, or 7.62x39. or .223. thats when they start asking questions. you arnt doing anything wrong stop worrying. if your concerned the gooberment is going to track you pay cash. dont buy online. i jsut buy a box or 2 everytime i go to the store. a few visits a week and i have what i wanted with out being asked questions. walmart has become part of the "rat out your neighbor" program, but as long as you dont act creepy and suspicious they have no reason to look twice at you. and dont be a smart ass if they ask for ID, or if its for a pistol, or rifle. these people are minimun wage and dont care about you. they care about doing the job they are told to do. they have a script and they stick to it so they dont get in trouble.
03-23-2011 11:59 AM
Herd Sniper 1. Spread your ammo purchases out among several stores. This keeps anybody from asking too many questions and helps insure your personal security.

2. Buy ammo one or two bricks at a time from each store. In a gun store two bricks of ammo won't draw attention because they are used to dealing with thousands upon thousands of rounds of ammo sold every week. At a Walmart, buy one brick at a time just to keep the clerk's curiosity to a minimum. Also make a sly comment about the brick of ammo is going to be used for "target practice." You want to keep them at ease when you can.

3. Don't mention survival or survivalist in any conversations when in a store where you will be buying ammo. Not even when you are away from the gun counter and standing around in housewares talking to your best survivalist buddy. Once you are away from the store, then you talk survival topics but not while in the store or its parking lot even.

4. Get to know the clerks if you can. This is especially helpful at a gun store. Once a clerk gets to know you, then they will feel more comfortable and trusting of you.
03-23-2011 11:57 AM
home in oz Buy bricks, boxes of 500 or so.

Pay cash if you are paranoid.

When they ask, tell them it is not for a handgun.
03-23-2011 11:49 AM
Ohionative Just start buying it by the brick if the limit you. You will be buying 10 boxes of 500 instead of 10 boxes of 50. You usually get a better deal buying bricks also. In a good day of shooting you can easily chew through a couple bricks. Though I would not do that much shooting with a single rifle.
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