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Industry Secrets To Buying Ammo (What Nobody Tells You)

Here's a recent order I got from Federal.

Up until recently ammunition was relatively easy to find. Up until March 2020, ammo was abundantly found in stores across the nation and at online retailers. Then panic struck and ammunition is almost nearly impossible to find, and several of the retailers took advantage of the situation right away by gouging the prices before they even had reason to.

I won't name them, but they rhyme with deeper than Burt.


Anyway. Herein lies my industry secrets. Insider information about how I get ammo at the cheapest current prices possible. And it's really not that big of a secret if you've given any thought to how markets work.

Generally, there are a few parts of the supply chain. You've got the people who make the individual parts for something. Then you've got the people who put those parts together to make the end product. Then you've got third party people who buy those put together pieces, in our case called ammunition, who then resells that stuff to you and I for a higher markup.

Here's the secret: Cut out the middle man.

By cutting out the middle man on ammunition sales it helps you get that ammo at the price the manufacturer is going to sell it for, instead of the price the middle man needs in order to make profit.

Since the middle men (and ladies) have no ammo to sell right now anyway, we're not doing them any harm by going right to the manufacturer.

There are a couple of websites out there that are manufacturer websites who sell their own ammunition.

Since this whole cough and mask thing started, for example, I've bought off Federal Premium's website on several different occasions (that picture is one of those orders).

Their prices are going up but not at the industry rate. When everyone else is thrilled to have found 9mm ammo at 60+ cents per round with astronomical shipping costs, I'm still able to buy Federal's ammo in the 30-40 cent per round range with free shipping.

While it's not that impressive when compared to February's prices, right now that's a banging deal.

And, making it even better, when you spend $149 or more you get free shipping (at the time of this writing). This means that the price you see is the price you pay without any additional heart attacks in the cart.

An added bonus is that the people who own Federal also own Blazer and Speer. Blazer and Speer both have their own websites with different ammunition in stock as well.

I said above that I've bought several different times, and so far with my latest purchase being on 9-1, I've been able to buy 100 rounds of 380 ACP hollow points, 500 rounds of 9mm target ammo, 100 rounds of 9mm hollow points, several boxes of 223, a few boxes of 22lr, and some stuff I'm blanking on due to lack of sleep.

Another benefit that is great is that they don't limit you on how much you can buy. You can buy all of any specific product until they run out. At least, that's how it works to my knowledge. After all, I did buy that 500 round lot of 9mm without problem.

The way I suspect this works is that they release a product to be made, list the product for so many days or for a set number to be sold, and then after it's closed they make it to sell. I haven't spoken to anyone about this, but assume this is how they're doing it.

I could be wrong, though.

That way they're only making as much as they need and still have enough components, like powder and primers, for the other products.

The websites are as follows:

Federal Premium



The thing with the above-listed websites, is that when you're looking for ammunition you've got to check on it regularly because as far as I can recall, they don't have a notify when in stock option.

They may be sold out of what you're looking for one day and have it in stock the next. They're making it as fast as they can.

The only downside to shopping for ammo like this is that it takes a while to get to you. I've only received one of my orders to date. I'd say that you should give it about a month. If you need your ammo quicker, like for a class or something, this won't be the best way.

Another Ammo Maker:

Another one that my buddy has recently used due to my recommendation, is a company owned by Armscor. If you didn't know, Armscor makes ammunition and guns. Something that not a lot of people know is that Armscor has their own website called Advanced Tactical, where they sell parts and their line of ammunition.

My buddy just bought 1,000 rounds of 45ACP from them, and they've got some other stuff in stock, too as of this writing like 357 mag, 40 S&W, 38 special, 38 super, and others (no 9mm or 380 currently).

I have not used them personally, and they don't advertise free shipping, though my buddy did say he got it shipped free likely because his order was so big.


You have to get creative if you want to keep buying ammo during this shortage. The best place I can find is direct from manufacturer to cut out the middle man. I've given your four different options to choose from in this article.

There are others, I'm sure. All you have to do is think about your favorite ammo manufacturer and see if they also sell their own ammo. The bigger ones might and it certainly cannot hurt to check.

And, the added benefit of cutting out the middle man and getting reduced prices sure can't hurt, either.

Leave your thoughts on this in the comments below.

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30 Responses to Industry Secrets To Buying Ammo (What Nobody Tells You)

  1. Gary Gallet September 17, 2020 at 6:55 pm #

    All 5.56 and 9mm – “Currently Unavailable” or “Available In-Store Only.” Hope this changes soon.

    • Joshua Gillem September 18, 2020 at 7:03 am #

      Yeah the problem is you have to check it a few times per week. I was able to buy 9mm and 223 just a couple weeks ago, as well as 380 which nobody can get in stock right now. Keep checking and you’ll find it.


  2. Ronny September 18, 2020 at 5:05 pm #

    • Jacob Paulsen September 18, 2020 at 5:22 pm #

      Looks like all they have is JHPs right now. About $1 per round of 9mm.

    • Ashlee September 23, 2020 at 6:08 pm #

      Hi new to guns and ammo but isn’t sig sauer a gun so if they have ammo wouldn’t it only be for their guns? Also I am on their site and see this..SIG SAUER 9MM, 115GR, JHP, BOX OF 50. 1st off what is JHP? I used to get FMJ for target and still not sure what to get for carry defense or house defense but right now focus is on learning how to shoot before I carry this 9mm and before I learn how to defend the home with this .38 special that was given to me a few years back and sat in a drawer waiting for me to get the guts to learn to shoot it. Oh and for the record when I got my 9mm last Nov a box of 115gr 50rds was like $18.00 for Winchester white box, now boxes across the board are $35.00-$90.00 a box forget it guns will keep sitting in drawer before I pay that kind of money for a box of ammo.
      Thanks Ashlee

      • Steve September 23, 2020 at 8:49 pm #

        JHP = Jacketed hollow point

      • Renaldo Fanucci September 23, 2020 at 9:01 pm #

        Your sig will function with all manufacturers ammo. Take a course at a local range from someone reputable in teaching safe gun handling so you don’t shoot yourself or someone you love. Treat all guns as if they are loaded.

      • Mark September 23, 2020 at 9:32 pm #

        JHP is jacket hollow points. Those would be the rounds you need for home defense.

      • Randy September 24, 2020 at 7:16 am #

        JHP = Jacketed Hollow Point. You would use JHP rounds for self defense rounds and FMJ for target shooting.

      • Ron October 5, 2020 at 7:02 pm #

        try to find a good 22 semiauto, many come close the same size of diff. cal. cheaper to practice with. ex. Glock 44 = Glock 19, close

      • techs October 13, 2020 at 1:13 am #

        Sig Sauer also makes ammunition — standard calibers and loadings, not just for their firearms. Note that Winchester also makes guns. . That said, I could not get their V-Crown bullets to feed reliably in my pistol. Don’t overstock until sure that your gun is happy with a particular load.

  3. Mike Steele September 23, 2020 at 6:19 pm #

    Those of us out here in left wing California are screwed as we currently can’t have ammo shipped in due the asinine background check requirements…..

  4. Kknechg September 23, 2020 at 6:28 pm #

    I orderd 5 boxes of .38 + p from federal,aprox 3 weeks ago,not here yet but i did recieve a email saying basically “we have not forgotten you” buuuttt mnfctring demand is what it is.i was able to get 5 boxes of .357 from amoscor …pretty quick.havent run them yet,really dont like to beat down on the old python( 1981 ,8″barrel) …its a a s&w .357 airlite 4″ barrel 7shot…dont like running hot rounds through that revolver either if not necessary so .38 + p is a nice happy medium…go figure a basically outdated round is hard to find now.

  5. Frank September 23, 2020 at 6:52 pm #

    It’s still not to late to learn to make your own. Equipment is reasonable, and components can still be found.

  6. Frank Williams September 23, 2020 at 6:54 pm #

    Learn to make your own. Equipment is reasonable and components are still available.

  7. Dave September 23, 2020 at 6:57 pm #

    You did not describe why the shortfall happened and why it has not recovered.

    • Renaldo September 23, 2020 at 8:57 pm #

      With all the riots and arson and the police are outnumbered and the politicians won’t protect us people realized we are on our own and we bought guns and ammo. Lots of new buyers are panic buying to protect ourselves.

    • Tionico October 3, 2020 at 12:40 am #

      The record shows that bout five MILLION new gun wners have joined us since the first of this year. So however many rounds got sold last year, ad dfive million more. Multiple boxes for each newly purchased gun. That’s a fewtruckloads right there. Then add in the lockdowns, crime rising beause f that and so many not earning any money because of the fauz virus madness. NOW< wiht Atiffa'BLM on the rempage in a dozen or more major cities, cop shops generlally priving to be knee-banging scaridycats OR under strict ROE from their owners, the geral public are finally reawakning to the reality that WE are our own First Responders, the "security of a free state", and the hirelings have defauled and are NOT maintaining "the security of a free state", the job then fallls back on US, the only ones who REALLY care. Thus, wiht chaos and anarchy growing. tensions mounting, hints andor outright declarations of intent to use violent force to get their way, things are not looking all roses and posies these days. THAT means, ARM UP and TRAIN UP.

  8. Bob Davies September 24, 2020 at 2:39 pm #

    My normal supplier,, who normally carries large cases of 250 to 500 rounds of shotgun and 9mm is only offering 10-50 round boxes at 1.00 to 1.25/round. IN April i got a bunch thank god

  9. Geoff October 2, 2020 at 10:52 am #

    I load my own. I don’t buy commercial ammo. I have enough of all my calibers on hand so I’m not needing to load any right now. Powder and primers and brass on hand, but bullets are in short supply. But I really don’t need any right now.

  10. Floid October 2, 2020 at 2:43 pm #


  11. Andrew October 2, 2020 at 6:15 pm #

    So, I’m an economist and a gun nut. One of my pet peeves is whining about “gouging”.

    Economically speaking, there is no such thing. The ultimate price is where supply meets demand. Anyone who remembers Obama’s 8 year ammo panic should remember that supply moves upward very slowly. So, some stores realize this and raise prices higher than they used to be.

    Why do they do that? Because otherwise they will run out of supply (cause a shortage). You cannot get around it. In a buying panic, demand went way up, and supply takes a very long time to match it. So, price has to go up or there will be a shortage. The places that raise price are the only places that actually have ammo in stock. Those that don’t are no doubt worried about people whining about “gouging” and this is what causes shortages.

    You can whine about it all you want, but if you don’t like the price, then don’t buy it. And if you do buy it, we know, without any doubt, that you think you’ll be better off buying it than not buying it, as no free market actor will ever make a transaction that will make them worse off.

    Oh, and that rise in prices sends signals to investors that there is profit to be made here, and that is what ultimately increases the supply.

    Don’t whine about gouging. You’re only shooting yourself in the foot, twice!

    • DB October 9, 2020 at 3:58 pm #

      Hey Andrew,
      100% agree with you. Its a shame that the gun community is so outraged by price gouging, as it exposes a form committment to economic ignorance. Also, i for one gope to never shoot my foot even once haha!

    • Jim Griffiths January 8, 2021 at 4:55 pm #

      As an “economist” then you should know that market reaction is part of a free market economy. Negative reaction to financial actions is a market force.

  12. Hans Hull October 9, 2020 at 7:12 am #

    I empathize with those who can’t find ammo, but after the earlier panic-demics this decade, I set to paying more attention in the slack times, putting aside ammo and reloading components. Just enough to see me through times like these, so these days I don’t buy ammo but can practice at the same rate as always. I know this doesn’t help the shortage right now, but just a message to heed when this passes and many people just forget it and go back to their previous priorities.

    • DB October 9, 2020 at 3:56 pm #

      Wise words, Hans!

  13. J. Gary Robertson December 29, 2020 at 9:11 am #

    What do you do when the State restricts ammo shipments into the State?
    I have found several good ammo deals online, but have been unable to capitalize because shipments are restricted to New Jersey.

    • Joshua Gillem December 29, 2020 at 11:18 am #

      I was born and raised in New Jersey. I moved. First I made it to PA, now I’m down south.

  14. Eddie December 29, 2020 at 9:35 am #

    Old article, when you pay shipping and tax it’s still outrageous.

  15. Jim Griffiths January 8, 2021 at 4:51 pm #

    This is interesting info, except none of those companies ship ammo to California. It is legal to ship ammo here within certain constraints, but these companies choose not to.

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