It’s pretty obvious why most folks have jumped on the bandwagon of purchasing ammo online, among other things. Since the pandemic outbreak, we turned to online transactions, and guns and ammo are no exception.
No need to sweat it, we’ve got your back. Whether it’s hunting gear or self-defense, this brief guide will narrow down your choices.
Gunmade.com is a collective of experienced gun enthusiasts and our team will help you decide the fastest and the most cost-effective way to purchase ammo online.
We’ll cover purchasing premium and cheap ammo online, how to choose your favorite retailer, discounts, state laws and regulations, and a general overview of the brands and ammunition types.
We’ll also answer a few FAQs to clear up any minor details for your convenience.
Can I Buy Ammunition Online?
Yes, you can. In most US states, you can purchase ammunition and have it delivered to your door.
Buying ammo online doesn’t have to be complicated, but it can become tedious when you’re looking for a specific type, can’t find cheaper deals, or you’re unsure about your local laws and regulations.
Most folks usually go straight to Ammo.com and call it a day.
But, there’s a handful of other trustworthy ammunition retailers on the web, and they offer a wide selection of ammo types and equipment you can choose from.
Top 5 Ammo Retailers in the US
There are no easy answers. Most retailers offer a pretty narrow price range for ammo, yet they still vary in cost.
Ammo prices are often different from one vendor to another, and current events can throw the demand-supply curve out of whack, creating weird shortages and spikes in prices.
We highly recommend you subscribe to your local gun retailers to catch all the latest sales.
Here’s a handful of the best ammo retailers that offer great deals when you’re buying in bulk:
Lucky Gunner has been a go-to place for both newcomers and veteran gun enthusiasts. It boasts the largest ammunition stock in the US.
These folks offer fast shipping, real-time inventory, regular discount prices, and they also have a shipping estimator so you can calculate your order.
We’ve been loyal customers of Lucky Gunner in the last couple of years and never had a problem with our orders.
Have you ever purchased ammo only to receive an email stating they’re out of stock? Ever had to wait days for a refund? That’s never the case with Lucky Gunner.
These guys regularly check their inventory and have a great big selection of stuff, but what sells me is the speedy delivery.
Looking to buy in bulk? PSA is your best bet.
Based in Columbia, SA, Palmetto State Armory offers top-notch ammo in quantities from 50 to 1,000 rounds.
If you’re lucky enough, you can find free shipping for ammo cases.
You can also find great prices of popular bulk calibers like the 308 Winchester, 9mm, or .45 ACP, 5.56mm, 7.62x39mm, .223 ammo, and .223 Remington, and their guns aren’t bad either.
If you’re looking for a durable, cost-effective gun that won’t cost you a lot, check out this guide.
Another place to find great shipping and bulk ammo deals is Brownells.
Usually, this is where I grab my hunting and camping equipment from.
Their stock consists of all kinds of gun blueprints, security devices, ammo cans, camping supplies, optics, and all kinds of other accessories, much like Cabela’s.
Brownells holds customer service as their highest priority. Despite being an older company, their website offers an excellent overview of their stock and useful shipping functions and is well-adjusted for customer experience.
We recommend the Winchester USA 5.56mm NATO ammo. It goes from $0.86 to $1.05 per round, and you can easily catch some cool discount on other ammo like .224 hollow point Hornadys.
Unlike most older retailers, they don’t have any problems with stuck orders and halfway transactions.
They also have a flexible customer return policy, allowing customers to return any unsatisfactory product, which rarely happens.
Everything the outdoorsman needs, these guys have it.
True to their name, you can find great deals for bulk ammo for the 9mm, FMJ, and 124 grain.
Sportsman’s Guide offers backorder for ammo, meaning you can order an item that’s out of stock. How cool is that?
What’s best is that they offer memberships with 10% discounts on gear and 5% on ammo and guns.
This retailer is famous for being an advocate for ethical hunting and conserving the environment.
Cabela’s have fantastic hunting gear like high-quality optics, hunting/fishing equipment, and clothing. It’s also a go-to place for campers and boaters.
If you’re looking for some heavy full metal jacket ammo, they usually have great sales on some 5.56mm NATO 62gr full metal jacket Hornady Black Ammo.
Favored by hunters and fishermen, Cabela’s has the best of the best in hunting ammo. Just name a random caliber, and Cabela’s has it.
Where Can I Buy Ammo? (Online Ammo Purchase Laws by State)
It’s much easier for you to go online when buying ammo. If you’re looking to buy locally, you can Google ‘where to buy ammo in + your state’.
That said, there are always regulations concerning gun or ammo purchases. Check your state’s gun laws before doing anything else. Most gun/ammo laws vary from state to state.
For example, you can’t buy ammo in Washington DC, Hawaii, and Alaska, while you need to have a certificate and some permits to buy ammo in Connecticut. You can buy ammo in New York locally, but if you’re going online, your ammo needs to be sent to an arms dealer with an FFL (Federal Firearms License) or a special seller. More info here.
A lot of states allow online ammo purchases if you have an ID and other permits. See your local regulations for further details.
If you live in a state that allows online ammo orders, there are search engines for finding which retailer has ammo in stock, as well as the best prices. This has been a lifesaver during this COVID-19 crisis, as many popular calibers were either out of stock or insanely overpriced.
Here are some of the search engines:
Can I Buy Ammunition Online in California?
As one of the states with the most strict gun laws in the US, California only allows properly licensed gun vendors to sell ammo and they are obliged to keep ledgers on all ammo purchases.
They require background checks, each city has its own rules, some won’t allow tracers, and the pandemic only complicated things further.
If you’re a proud Cali resident, stick to local shops until this whole thing blows over.
Best Ammo Brands on the Market Today
Next, we’ll talk about some important brands on the market that are top quality, safe, and cost-effective.
Here’s my personal choice of ammo brands. I focused on price, functionality, practicality, and whether or not they’re difficult to find these days.
We’ll start with one of the more expensive ammo brands.
Hornady offers some of the highest-quality bullets and it’s one of the best ammunition brands in the US.
Hornady is manufactured in Grand Island, Nebraska, and, as a brand, they are known for their consistency over the years and inspire trust in consumers.
Being among the best in premium ammo, they are a favorite of long-range shooters, especially the 6.5.
Fiocchi is one of Italy’s oldest and most popular ammo companies. This Italian standard is a close second for premium ammo. They’re slightly overpriced, but they are known for their consistency and stability.
We recommend the Fiocchi 9mm 115gr FMJ, as a top-shelf pistol standard. To date, I’ve had no problems with this one, and the accuracy is more than decent.
This South Korean manufacture can be purchased almost anywhere in the US. They are a budget brand, but they are pretty flexible with most calibers.
Ammo from this brand is usually used for target shooting, and if you’re a beginner gun nut, go nuts with this one.
Owned by Federal Premium Ammunition, American Eagle are one of the most popular brands out there.
The ammo is affordable and manufactured in good ol’ USA.
You can find them in Walmart as Federal Champion and most people use them for hunting or target shooting. I prefer to buy these in bulk.
Blazer’s cheapest ammo types use aluminum instead of the standard brass cases. Over the years, they have earned a reputation for reliable plinking ammunition.
Their .22 LR ammo is a rimfire regular, and their 9mm isn’t half bad either. Minor chokes here or there, but I’ve had no major problems with this standard ammo.
A Russian ammunition standard. Tula is known for being an AK-round brand. It’s affordable, polymer-coated steel casing ammo, and pretty much does whatever an AK-47 standard does.
Lake City sells surplus ammo throughout the US. You can’t miss them.
It’s US government-owned and they make brass and bullets for other suppliers. It’s a pretty standard ammo quality, and the quality is top-notch.
Different Types of Ammo You Can Buy Online
Depending on what you need, you can find quality and cost-effective types of ammo for your caliber if you’re buying ammo online.
Let’s start with the handgun ammo.
This is the concealed carry, used for self-defense, law enforcement, or home protection.
The handgun is a small, and lightweight weapon with a certain barrel that uses 9mm bullets. You can also find other cartridges such as the .45 Colt, the .357, and the .40 Smith & Wesson, which use other calibers, and most folks use them for security.
The 9mm Luger Ammo, for example, costs around $.25 per round. While steel or aluminum cartridges are an okay choice, I strongly recommend buying brass ones.
Go for the 124 g instead of the 115 g for an overall better feel with the recoil.
Rifles use an ammo shape whose design hasn’t changed much over the years. It’s perfect for hunting and target practice.
There’s an insane number of rifle ammo calibers to choose from and you need to have certain ammo types if you’re planning to hunt a brown bear. You can go for 6.5 Creedmoor, or a .270-.308 Winchester. A .280 Remington usually does the job just fine.
The Winchester and .223 Remington are the most popular rifle ammunition, so customers usually find great deals on these types.
This type of ammo is what you’d most commonly use when you’re learning how to shoot.
Rimfire ammunition is used for small game and varmint hunting. It has less power than centerfire ammo.
If you’re looking forward to plinking this spring while on a budget, grab yourself some Federal Auto Match rimfire ammo from Brownells and load up the .22 caliber.
Shooting bottles has never been more fun.
Anyone would recognize shotgun ammunition. It’s highly versatile and it’s not to be trifled with.
The grains inside the shells offer countless combinations with buckshot, birdshot, steel, lead, regular slugs, and even rubber bullets. It’s used for sport as well as personal defense.
Apart from the lead and buckshot shells, rubber bullets are used for law enforcement crowd control and protests.
For home defense, we strongly recommend going for the .33 buckshot instead of slugs. 12-gauge .69 slugs are heavy and can penetrate deeply. You don’t want your slugs to go through walls.
Is It Safe to Buy Ammo Online?
It’s perfectly safe to buy ammo online, but you need to check your local laws and regulations before purchasing.
Most people avoid purchasing ammo online in fear of legal issues and there are some laws, regulations, and restrictions you’d have to keep in mind.
However, with that said, there are very few downsides to buying ammo online.
Downsides of Buying Ammo Online
As far as we can tell, there’s just one major issue with online weapons/ammo retailers. Most of the ammo dealers are still in the process of migrating their products online and polishing up their website’s interfaces. Their websites are either too slow and clunky or need serious updates.
Other problems arise when customers try to make an online payment, and their transaction is stuck in the check-out process.
This is a serious issue that most ammo dealers should look into, but we’re sure the bigger retailers have less problems like this.
Why Should I Buy Ammo Online?
Simply put, buying ammo online can be cheaper, easier, and can offer you a wider range of options. And, lately, more and more gun and ammo retailers have begun to set up their businesses at e-commerce, which gives us, as consumers, even more options.
Even more so, when the pandemic outbreak hit, online transactions for ammo and guns skyrocketed.
Let’s be real, the only time you’ll need to buy ammo at gun stores is when you forget to bring it. Personally, I prefer to order multiple types of ammo and then decide which one to purchase in bulk.
Buying Ammo Online Is Less of a Hassle
Online shopping allows customers to purchase ammo straight from the manufacturers, and this is more cost-effective as opposed to going to the store.
It’s also easy because you’re literally a few clicks away from ordering. However, you’ll usually need to wait 2-3 days before your purchase arrives.
More importantly, you have a wider variety of ammo to choose from than you’d have in a brick-and-mortar store.
Buying Ammo Online Is Cheaper
It’s cheaper because regular stores have employees, taxes, and bills to pay. Online retail stores have none of that and their overhead cost is lower.
Plus, you can order in bulk and enjoy some sweet discounts. Depending on where you’re buying, there could be discounts up to 15-20% when you buy in bulk and spend over $300.
Personally, I prefer to subscribe to retailer newsletters so I won’t miss any ammo deals.
Why Is There No Ammo? (Ammo Shortage Pandemic?)
There has been an ammo shortage since the pandemic hit. People started hoarding everything, including bullets.
Civil unrest further complicated the situation and nobody knows when the shortage will end.
What we do know is that ammo prices have spiked extremely hard.
Final Thoughts – So, Where’s the Cheapest Place to Buy Ammo Online
In conclusion, there is no specific retailer for you to buy the cheapest or the best ammo.
However, what you can do to get the most bang for your buck is go hunting for the best deals and prices, and that means browsing 3-4 retailers. Lucky Gunner, Brownells, and PSA are probably your best bet.
Buying ammo online saves you time, money, and lets you choose a wider variety of ammo types.
To sum up:
- Buying online, especially buying bulk ammo saves you a lot of money. There’s always a chance of discounts for you to find, especially if you have a membership or you subscribe to your ammo retailers.
- There’s a better selection of ammo and ammo types, and you can even find some that aren’t available in local stores.
- Shipping usually takes 2-3 days before your ordered ammo arrives.
- Physical gun stores have only so much storage space. Going to an online ammo retailer, you can buy all the ammo you need without having to carry it home yourself.
As for the laws and regulations, there are different states and countries whose ammo purchasing laws vary and there are a lot of rules.
There are rules for purchasing ammo in bulk, as well as rules regarding age, eligibility and identification issues, etc. Each state has its own restrictions and some laws may change over the years.
If you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to comment below. Safe shooting everybody.