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G&A Perspective: Where to Find Ammo Right Now

by Dusty Gibson   |  June 12th, 2013 24

Overwhelming demand for ammunition has taken over the country like a classic 1930s bank run. Panic buying is clearly illustrated by long lines, surging prices and “out of stock” signs at nearly every retailer. If the only things left on the shelf at your local gun shop are a couple bottles of Hoppes and a bucket of foam ear plugs, then you’ve felt the wrath of the great ammo shortage of 2013.

The shortage is affecting the entire spectrum of ammo consumers, including police and sheriffs who are cutting back on routine training drills. As reported by Fox News, many departments are rationing their supply for deployment use only. Nobody wants their local police armed with a single round in their pockets like Barney Fife.

Manufacturers are dealing with the shortage by running their factories 24 hours a day, and still can’t even keep up with the demand for nearly every caliber.  According to Neal Emery from Hornady, “We are producing as much as we can, much more than last year, which was a lot more than the year before, etc. No one wants to ship more during this time than we do.”

Many people have even resorted to buying guns based on which caliber of ammo their local gun shop has in stock at a given time. For example, those who can’t find ammo for their 9x19mm pistols are buying guns in 9x18mm or .380 ACP, just so they can have something to shoot. Others who can’t find 22LR are resorting to other available rimfire cartridges like the .17HMR.

Look no further—if you need ammo, then you came to the right place! Guns & Ammo is here to help you find the ammunition you’re looking for. We’re sharing some reliable places to find ammo so you can carry on with your regularly scheduled practice and plinking endeavors. Here’s where you can find ammo right now:

Big Box Stores
Cabela’s has maintained a steady supply of common ammo calibers throughout the shortage. They continually update their inventory, both online and in store several times a day.  The reason why they maintain their inventory is simple: Ammunition manufacturers and distributors prioritize their outgoing supply to the retailers who place large orders, or maintain a sizeable contract. Cabela’s has a long-standing tradition as a major ammunition retailer, and manufacturers want to continue that relationship.

Gun Shows
Gun shows are historically one of the best places to find great deals on ammunition, but buyer beware! You need to keep a few things in mind before trying to buy ammo at a gun show. First, get there early. Long lines at recent gun shows make Black Friday look like an ordinary fast food drive-thru.

When you get the chance to buy ammo at a gun show, it’s always best to know who you’re buying from. If you don’t know the seller, make sure you buy what’s being advertised. If it’s being sold as factory new, inspect the ammunition to make sure it hasn’t been reloaded, or swapped with another brand or caliber. If it’s being sold as reloaded ammunition, check to make sure it has new primers, properly shaped and necked brass, and correct bullet seating. If you’re unsure, ask questions or walk away.

If you do buy ammunition, record the seller’s booth number and contact information. On the occasion that you’re dissatisfied with your purchase, at least you have a chance of contacting the seller, or reporting their booth number to the director of the gun show. While fraudulent ammo sales are not common, they are certainly possible in a market where people will buy anything that’s available.

Blogs and Online Forums
If you need to find ammo, you can rely on tips from online blogs and forums, such as the G&A Forums. Our forums welcome a collective wealth of information from thousands of knowledgeable and helpful firearms enthusiasts. With almost 4,500 contributing members in our forums, you’re sure to find information on available ammo.

Members have shared this type of information, as well as pricing and quality, throughout the current shortage. Once again, buyer beware! Make sure you buy from a trusted source, and of course be careful when giving personal information to anyone on the Internet.

If you’re interested in a topic that doesn’t already exist, start a new thread and ask a question. G&A Forum members are very receptive, and typically respond quickly to new threads.

Online-Only Retailers
Bypass the lines at local gun shops. Pierce Munitions is a privately held manufacturer in Buffalo, N.Y., that produces some of the highest quality ammo on the market. Even better, Pierce sells directly to the consumer at Pierce Outfitters.

Pierce currently has several rifle and pistol calibers available, including its exclusive new Ted Nugent hunting and personal defense loads. Also, don’t be afraid of its factory reloads. Pierce uses quality components and state-of-the-art loading machines. The G&A Online Editors highly recommend Pierce Munitions for its industry leading ballistics, outstanding customer service and fast shipping.

Training Courses and Shooting Events
Don’t blame your lack of training on a low supply of ammo. Popular training courses and events are making ammunition available for sale to its participants at reasonable prices.

Specifically, U.S. Navy veteran Andrew Touhy from the Vuurwapen Blog is now offering carbine courses with rifle ammunition for sale. His approach is pioneering a new standard for client accommodations and quality firearms instruction.  He goes so far as to offer rifle rental, lodging reservations and airport pickup options for his shooters.

Don’t talk yourself out of shooting competitively because you just want to hoard all your ammo for doomsday. Popular shooting events are offering ammunition to its competitors on match day.  Hornady recently offered ammunition for sale to competitors at Zombies in the Heartland 2013 in Grand Island, Neb. Shooters had the option to exterminate zombies with Hornady’s venerable Zombie Max ammunition. In fact, those who didn’t use Z-Max probably didn’t put the zombies down with one clean shot.



  • Liberty_First

    Look no further than gunbot.net, which aggregates near real time data on ammo availability and price per round for a number of different ammo types.

    • Francis Stein

      susshhhhhh :)

  • Chris

    I ordered 250 rounds of 9mm from Cabela’s in Feb and just got it in June. Not the best source if it takes them four months to get it to you. So if I ordered some more now, I’ll get it in time for Halloween. By then shooting season is over.

    • William Azzara

      Sportsman’s Guide is the same, but so far what I ordered in March is due to be delivered in July, already pushed back twice, But price has not changed yet. I will never buy from Cheaper than Dirt after observing their price gouging!!!!!!!!

  • 2War Abn Vet

    We had a show here in Fayetteville the first weekend of June. I bought 250 rds .45 acp (230 gr) and 250 rds .40 cal (185 gr) from Precision One for $109.95 per box. They would have been a little cheaper before the panic, but not much.

  • William Azzara

    Just checked Cabela’s website, NO 9MM One 38 special with no description of type, plus warning that photo is not it, still looking!!!!!!

  • BJC

    I checked Cabelas and Pierce. Cabelas wants 7 and 8 dollers for 22lr plus shipping and Pierce is charging big money for reloaded ammo, lead 38′s 35 dollers and jacketed 40′s for $20.45 plus shipping. I will not pay these outrageous prices.

  • Mike

    Cabelas? Must depend on area. The last time I was in Cabela’s they were out of near everything except self defense ammo. No .223/5.56. No 9mm FMJ

    • Orville Thomas

      Two weeks ago I checked Cabela’s website to order a couple box’s of Winchester .22LR birdshot. They had it (Probably a lot of it), but like all their other ammo (if they have it), 1 box per customer, per day, with $5.00 shipping per order. For one box!!

  • rmm200

    Give us some information on why the shortage exists. Everyone in this area thinks the government is buying up all ammunition to keep it out of our hands – but that seems impossible.

  • Dave

    Just bought ammo from Pierce. Availability and decent prices. Thanks G&A for the advise.

  • RMP52

    Cheaper Than Dirt is always the first to raise prices, I won’t give them my business. Sportsman’s Guide will hold the price, but like everyone else, most ammo is backordered. They have shipped me ammo off of backorder for the same price it was when ordered.

    • Pete Wallace

      I got 1000rds. of 9mm from SG that I ordered in January this past weekend. Long wait, yes but it was for the same $223.00 that it was when I ordered it. Hoping that I still get the .45 and .223′s that I ordered at the same time soon and at the same price!
      Midway USA continues to hold their prices but even with email item notification I usually miss on the availability of .22′s and primers and there is a $27.50 Haz Mat fee per order on primers and powder there.
      I ordered some powder from them in May and I am unsure when I will get it, I’m sure I will but don’t know when.
      The local Walmart’s have ammo but there is a three box limit (get friendly with the associate in sporting goods!!!) I got some .22′s there today! The first that I have seen that wasn’t $50.00+ a brick since January. Hope that this is a sign of better things to come as they have had more availability of 9mm, .45, .223′s, 7.62X39 lately, brass and steel cased.

  • erik

    I ordered 800 rounds of .223 from cabelas on Dec 4th and I still have not received it. so, I don’t know why they are getting any praise from this magazine?

  • Jim Burgess

    Shooters Ammunition (shootersammunition.com) is a new manufacturer that has 9mm FMJ and 45LC for sale online. As of today, both in stock.

  • RSDrake

    Sometimes you can good deals at gun shows. I got a couple of thousand primers for $64. Almost as low as the old prices. Win 748 -VERY hard to find was at the gun show for $200 for a 4lb canister. Cabelas has 748 for about $25/lb. 4 lbs would be $100 + $20 haz mat fee. Big difference.

  • Michael Bobier

    yeah the only people selling ammo at the gunshows are from the law firm of duey screwem and howe. the prices are a rip off at the gunshows.

  • JoeR

    I have found success buying from http://voom.in/Gun-Ammo

  • Bruce Emmons

    i thank all the folks who leave all there expended brass on the ground when they are done shooting…..reloading is fun, and affordable…I have “no” shortage in any caliper I shoot !!!

  • Luke Bagley

    Hey guys! Thought I would share this! Found it not long ago was helpful for me! http://xtremerevolution.net/the-ammo-hunt/

  • Michael J.

    Usually Guns & Ammo Superstore has cheap ammo and a big selection. http://gunsandammosuperstore.com found a free shipping coupon for anything over $100

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