Good Time to Buy Ammo

Back in 2008 when I got into shooting again, this time as an adult, I noticed that my new gun pals all had cases upon cases of ammo stacked up in their gun rooms. I never really understood why until the election cycle came and the price of .45 ACP jumped so high that it actually made economic sense to buy a used Glock 17 and shoot 9mm than it did to continue shooting my 1911.

I saw this in action again about a year after I started shooting 3-Gun when the horrible tragedy at Sandy Hook happened. Consumers responded to that tragedy by purchasing AR-15’s, magazines and ammunition by the train load and prices went way up, if you could find ammo at all.

Fast forward to 2019 and we have a republican president, a down firearms market and a glut of firearms, ammo and components in the market.

You should be buying ammo. Right NOW.

Now I’m not usually one to insight a panic but I’ve been here before. Things are good, I can run down to Bass Pro or Cabela’s and find what I need in stock. If I’m not in a hurry I can purchase it online and save the money on tax.

But this will not last and as responsible, high-volume shooters we owe it to ourselves to plan for the future.

The Usual Suspects

For me, when I am short on ammo the first thing that suffers is my practice. It makes sense, right? I have already committed to shooting Multi-Gun matches and I love shooting matches so I’m going to slow down or stop the practice sessions to ensure that I’ll have enough ammo to shoot the match.

So that leaves us to buying bulk ammo for training. Right now Palmetto State Armory is having some smoking deals on ammo including free shipping. I picked up several thousand rounds of 9mm, 5.56 and .22LR for training purposes and enough to get me through the end of the year for the matches I have schedules.

The Deals

9mm Fiocchi 115gr FMJ – $8.29 per box of 50, $0.166 per round, free shipping on 20+ boxes.

I’ve shot a lot of this and it works every time. It is a bit hotter than most “match” 9mm that 3-Gunners shoot but it is great for practice and is “goodnuff” to be run in a match if need be.

5.56 American Eagle 55gr FMJ – $39.99 per box of 150, $0.267 per round, free shipping on 2+ boxes

Freaking 55gr 5.56 is cheap as hell, I thought I got a good deal at the end of last year for $.28/rnd. Federal American Eagle is good stuff, I’ve shot several cases in the last few years. One thing to be aware of is some matches don’t allow “XM193” ammo as it can cause damage to steel targets if shot at close range so be sure to check your club’s rules before buying a whole mess of it.

.22LR Federal 40 gr Auto Match, “Ideal for Semi Autos” – $11.99 per box of 325, $0.037 per round, free shipping on 10+ boxes.

This I’m really excited about- .22LR is back to a reasonable price. Can you remember when it was up over $0.15 per round??? Ugh!
I plan to create a bunch of content around training with .22lr this summer so this came at the perfect time and I bought way more than I think I’ll need.

FYI, these are affiliate links which means 3GS gets commission if you purchase using them. Not the point of the post, but I want y’all to know that in case you’d like to help The 3-Gun Show out while stocking up.

What Else?

I am making moves to do some more long range shooting after my experience at the North American Sniper Championship. I will likely stick to factory loaded ammo for the foreseeable future so I think I will have to wait until I pick up a rifle to test out which loads that gun likes. Whatever I end up getting will be 6.5 Creedmoor for which the factory loaded ammunition options are awesome.

Also I’m still looking for a super deal on 12ga bird shot and slugs. I just can’t seem to find any deals that get me excited on them so if you know of any place, drop it in the comments!


  • Rikhter_23 says:

    I once managed to find a free shipping promotion that overlapped with a rebate that Wichester was running on AAs, but that was the last really good deal.

    I have gotten a “good enough” deal on birdshot for practice and local matches – Gander Outdoors charges about typical price for Remington Gun Club target loads… BUT they ship orders of $99 for free. Base price is only slightly lower than buying from Academy or Cabela’s, but it is a tad lower, and there’s a about a 2% reduction in sales tax with no county or municipal taxes imposed. Every little bit helps.

    • Dave says:

      Yeah man, when you’re buying at the level that we shoot, every little bit sure helps. I found a killer deal on Remington Gun Club target loads last year but had so many of the heads separate from the body, causing a jam that I put them on practice duty.

      And then when I go to a match I get crushed by AA prices….

  • Joe says:

    I reload my own 9mm, buy the Winchester 12 gauge bricks at Walmart ($21-$22) and my 223 is scattered. I bought through a local company but had issues with that so Remington 223 is like $16-$17 per 50 at Walmart too.

    • Dave says:

      I’m going to be starting up the reloading game too, mostly for 9mm but maybe for some other low-volume rifle cartridges in the future.

      Do you have an estimate per round of what you have into your 9mm loads? And what projectile do you use?

      • Joe says:

        I believe 5-6 cents per round when buying by 1,000 with buying used brass. When I get home I can try to find my price sheet. Barry’s plated 124 gr.

      • Jos says:

        Cci primers small pistol 1,000 – $32
        Titegroup 1lb – $21
        124 plated Barry’s – $76
        1,000 dirty used brass – $28

        6.37 cents per round but the powder lasts somewhere like 1200-1300 rounds.
        Went with the Dillon 650 setup. I think it’ll take 20,000ish rounds to pay for the press and casefeeder. Obviously picking up brass will save you even more.

  • Ben Dover says:

    My old standby is Brownells. Code NCS gets you $15 off & free shipping for an order over $150. If you wait and find rebates you can get ammo from $.15 to $.18/round for 9mm. If ammo is real cheap I just do multiple orders that same day. Only catch is that shipping is about a week or week and a half.

  • BrianReno1 says:

    I try to keep at min 5000 rounds of my popular calibers on hand and 10000 rounds of 22LR which never seems like enough. I also keep all the essentials for reloading around for the other calibers I shoot along with several cases loaded up ready to go for those.

  • John L. Webb says:

    5.56 American Eagle 55gr FMJ – per box $39.99 but I bought it for a low price a few days ago.

  • Jeremiah Doty says:

    Anyone reading this article right now in 2020 is probably literally shedding tears over the prices listed…………just damn man.
    I stocked up on my more spendy rounds last yerar (home defense & larger calibers), but let myself run low on 9mm and 22lr. Ouch!!

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