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Is Buying Bulk Ammo Okay Right Now?

It is June 2021, and ammo is still hard to get consistently, and the price is outrageously high. Even before the ammo crisis, people who routinely shot their guns bought bulk ammo. Not only was it smart financially, but you always had ammo on hand if you needed it.

bulk 9mm ammo is it safe

I am willing to bet that most of us did not think getting ammo would still be so hard over a year after the COVID apocalypse started. And I, for one, thought early on that that the cost would begin to stabilize once businesses were able to open. Yet here we are. Many factors are causing this, but I'm not addressing the reasons for the issue.

The massive demand for ammo is no secrete. And where there is a demand for something, people are willing to sell products and make money. This situation brings up an important issue that I think needs to be addressed.

Is buying bulk ammo, or any ammo for that matter, safe right now?

I have seen many more “bad rounds” than I have in the past. And they aren't all coming from small, fly-by-night companies. Things like crooked primers set back projectiles, overcharged cartridges, and primers that don't detonate all seem to be more prevalent.

  • Is quality control falling behind due to increased demand and fewer workers?
  • Are small ammo companies cranking out bulk ammo to make money in the short term but doing so without the standards we presume they are?
  • Maybe it's a situation where there is more ammo circulating, so there are more instances of “bad ammo” but not necessarily a more significant percentage.
  • Or perhaps we are just more aware of these instances because more people are talking about them.

It is tough to say, but these are good questions we should be asking.

bulk ammo remanufactured

I don't work for an ammo manufacturer, and I certainly could speak to some people who are. I doubt, however, that any company spokesman would say they are loosening up quality control just to meet demand. And I am not insinuating that companies are lying. My point is, I don't know if we will know anytime soon, the reason why there are more frequent reports of “bad rounds.”

In The Meantime Should You Buy Bulk Ammo?

The simple answer is, sure. I would just pay a bit more attention to the manufacturer. I continue to have success with companies like Fiocchi, Winchester, Sellier & Bellot, Geko, and even Tula and Wolf.

If you can find bulk ammo, there is still a savings to be had, and you should probably take advantage of it. I don't know where ammo prices will head in the future, but I suspect it will be at least a year or two before we start to get back to pre-COVID ammo prices.

I would also scrutinize your ammo a little more than maybe you would in the past. Especially if you're buying bulk ammo lose in cans or bags. Also, be more aware of squib loads and hangfires and understand what to do if one occurs.

I'll leave you with this story that pushed me to write this post. During a recent range trip, a shooter's gun exploded. According to this person, they were using factory-loaded ammo. They suspect an overcharged cartridge or a weak casing was the cause.

unsafe ammo

They reported some minor cuts on their face and hands. Fortunately, they had safety glasses on and suffered no injury to their eyes. These rare occurrences are just one of the hazards of shooting guns. So whether your shooting pandemic ammo or not, wear good eye pro and always have trauma gear with you on the range.

Ammo Supply Warehouse is a company we have a good relationship with, and they seem to have fair prices and a decent inventory.

Have you experienced any “bad ammo” recently? If you have, share it in the comments.

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6 Responses to Is Buying Bulk Ammo Okay Right Now?

  1. Gordy Jones June 9, 2021 at 3:48 pm #

    a local friend purchased a Henry Golden Boy in 30-30. Finding no factory ammo, he purchased some rounds reloaded by a local guy. The first round he fired sent powder residue into his face, and it sheared off the extractor claw, which imbedded itself deeply into his house’s trim – within inches of his wife’s face! And it locked up the action. I pulled a couple of bullets and found the powder was slightly compressed. Weighing the powder and comparing it with loading manuals showed that it was over charged for 8 of 10 recommended loads, and at max for the other two. Not knowing what powder the reloader used, it was difficult to call the reloader out for dangerous loads. Fortunately, Henry replaced the rifle and it shot factory rounds successfully. Coincidentally, another friend bought some .556 rounds from the same guy. Before he shot any, I pulled the bullets and found the same situation – compressed powder and over charged for 8 of 10 possible powders. I advised him to NOT shoot the rounds at all.

  2. Ashley June 9, 2021 at 4:54 pm #

    I am new to guns and ammo and guilty of buying bulk but I only buy boxed not loose or bags. I will say this article has me very scared to go to the range with them because I don’t know if it’s a bad or a dud or my fault result. Also OMGosh if my gun blows up all bets are off. Thanks for the article and panic attack guess I won’t be using these ammo now.

    • Matthew Maruster June 9, 2021 at 6:33 pm #

      Hi Ashley, I don’t want the article to cause you anxiety. It is more of a reminder to be more aware of issues related to ammo issues. Handguns exploding rarely cause any significant injury. I purchase ammo in bulk all the time and certainly don’t want to dissuade you from buying it that way. Just wear eye pro and be aware.

      Happy shooting

  3. Bill57 June 9, 2021 at 5:14 pm #

    Yes I’ve had almost a full box of .380 factor new ammo not fire. Only one out of twenty fired, I suspected the primers were faulty.
    Purchased a box of twenty of another major brand and all rounds were good.
    In this case I think it was who the ammo company was buying bad primers from.

  4. Ron June 9, 2021 at 6:06 pm #

    The bullet in the picture appears to be a lead semi wadcutter with blue lube in its groove. I used to buy similar bullets to reload for my handguns but do not remember ever finding new factory ammo loaded with bullets like that.

    There was once a New England source of bullets like that and they also sold reloaded ammo. I had several squib loads in a batch of their reloads and when I went back and spoke to the owner he shrugged and claimed a spider made a nest in the machine’s drop tube. That was the last time I bought reloaded ammo from anyone! And the last time I bought anything from him. If that was a quality firearm it was subjected to a huge overload, any reputable business should be willing to replace it if their product caused that mess.

  5. Dave June 17, 2021 at 11:07 am #

    I only buy factory ammunition from well know people such as the ones you mentioned. Yes you can still have issues but they are far less than taking a chance on these sellers that “reload”. I only trust my own reloads when I did reload.

    Never from anyone else even a close friend.

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