Published on April 8th, 2013 | by Destinee (FateofDestinee)

How to Find Ammo

The current ammo shortage has effected shooters of all types. Even the small .22 LR has been difficult to acquire. It goes without saying that the challenge of finding ammo has detracted from shooters’ abilities to engage in their sport and develop their skills. However, there is ammo out there, and this article will focus on a couple of tips for how to find it.

I know my local Wal-Mart’s shelves have been barren of late, so I asked the management about it. I was told that the same four people have been coming in every day between 06:00 and 07:00 every morning for the last two months. And when these hoarders come in, they buy the limit of what Wal-Mart will sell them. So, after two months of this behavior, they’ve racked up quite a personal stock. What’s unfortunate for shooters like myself is that this handful of individuals has contributed greatly to perpetuating the ammo situation in my region. And while the manager at my local Wal-Mart had that unhappy bit of news, he did have a helpful piece of information for me. He told me that ammo is being delivered to Wal-Mart on a daily basis and is put on the shelves every morning to sell at 07:00.

Following the tip of the Wal-Mart manager, I got up early and was waiting in line at Wal-Mart’s ammo counter by 06:30. There were six people ahead of me, and a couple behind me. When the employees loaded up the shelves with that day’s stock, each person in front of me bought their 3 boxes (the limit at that store), and the two people behind me did the same. After the group of us had made our purchases, the ammunition was depleted. So, that means that my local Wal-Mart had 30 boxes delivered to them that morning, and we few shoppers cleared them out within half an hour of them putting it on the shelves.

I gleaned two pieces of advice from this experience.

1) Find out when your local stores are expecting shipments of ammunition. For my local Wal-Mart, it’s every day at 07:00. For my local Gander Mountain, though, it’s only Wednesdays starting at 09:00.

2) Come in to make your purchase at least an hour before the store opens sales for their ammo.

The YouTube video included in this post, an upload by sootch00, has some excellent additional advice for how to find ammo during this shortage. He recommends the two points just mentioned and expands to include advice such as:

a) Start reloading. Components have been difficult to come by as well as factory ammunition, but reloading can make the ammo you do find stretch a little further.

b) Establish yourself at local gun shops. Having friends behind the counter of your local shooting shops can be helpful in getting you info on ammo shipments, and having people hold on to ammo, guns, accessories, or other supplies you may want to purchase until you can come and pick it up.

c) Get on a back order. Make your purchases at places, such as MidwayUSA, and wait for it to come in. After all, you’re already waiting to find ammo, so having your order secured at least puts you in a better position.

d) There are some sites where, even if the item you want to purchase is “out of stock” you can ask to be notified once it is in stock. Getting that notification can allow you to log in and make your purchase quickly while it is available.

e) Build your personal ammo supplies incrementally. If you see a good buy somewhere, whether online or in store, pick up a couple of boxes and work at building up your stock little by little. After a while, it’ll start to add up.

There is still ammo out there, so hopefully this article helps you to find a little of it for yourself.

About the Author

In addition to writing for The Arms Guide and her personal blog, Destinee is also a vlogger. She publishes videos on weapons, gear, and fitness on her YouTube channel every Tuesday and Thursday.

  • CK5150

    Reloading is definitely the way to go, especially now with some of the asinine prices I’ve seen out there for what is commonplace ammo i.e. 9mm, 40s&w (I don’t shoot it) and 45acp.  You can get set up for a couple hundred bucks and easily make it up in savings in less than a year if you shoot enough.  Plus it’s good if you compete to be able to work up your own loads.

    • CK5150 Yeah, I’ve been meaning to get going on reloading for a while… now seems like an excellent time to bring that goal to fruition.

      • CK5150

        @fateofdestinee -if you need any help getting started, let me know.  I’m no expert, but i know enough to be dangerous

  • CK5150

    Reloading is definitely the way to go, especially now with some of the asinine prices I’ve seen out there for what is commonplace ammo i.e. 9mm, 40s&w (I don’t shoot it) and 45acp.  You can get set up for a couple hundred bucks and easily make it up in savings in less than a year if you shoot enough.  Plus it’s good if you compete to be able to work up your own loads.

  • JoeFabeetz

    I finally made it to the range/gunshop today to do a little shooting.  Its been about two months since I have gone to the range due to the lack of ammo in my area.  While there I checked on CCI 22LR Quiets.  As expected, they had none.  I also checked on mags for my 9mm Shield.  None of those either.  I guess I better start paying more attention to what time my local Walmart stocks its shelves.

    • JoeFabeetz Yeah, it has forced me to work harder and be creative to get what I need to keep up with my site here and my YouTube channel. Hard to do gun reviews without any ammo!

      • peter3101

        FateofDestinee JoeFabeetz Get a lone of Bimbo’s nerf gun, problem solved!!!

      • JoeFabeetz

        FateofDestinee JoeFabeetz   More singing.  🙂

  • peter3101

    The one thing I don’t like about certain shops is that employee’s are tipping mates and keeping ammo for them, you then see this ammo online for gouger prices. People are hoarding all ammo now as they fear running out again, they did this with guns, now ammo, it will settle but will take a while. On another note most of the shortage is government created, its a very effective tactic money is being spent on guns and ammo and not given to organisations fighting for gun rights. What good to us will 3000 rounds and 10 guns be when the grabbers win. They are winning the fight and we should never take our eye of the ball.

    • peter3101 I hope it settles down sooner rather than later…

  • Muskrat

    At least your Walmart sells ammo, I live in NJ where we are all guilty until proven innocent!

    • Muskrat I don’t envy you! >.< I couldn’t live in the Northeast, not with how often I shoot. lol

      • Muskrat

        FateofDestinee Muskrat No need to envy me, just send ammo!!!

  • BillBuxton

    There is a gun shop that goes to wal mart and buys all the .22 lr  and then resells it at 50.00 per 333 round pack. Low life scum in my opinion.

  • atomicbean

    If you’re buying from walmart and are somewhat tech savvy the mobile app (and maybe the website) can tell you if ammo is even available at local or surrounding stores.   Based on my experience so far here’s what I do.
    You’ll need to establish your local store in the app.  
    Then go >Sports, Fitness & Outdoors>Hunting
    Tap on >Category and select >Handgun Ammunition (and >Rifle Ammunition)
    Now don’t rely on the >In My Store tab; it doesn’t seem to update as accurately.
    Use the >All tab and page through or select the ammo you’re interested in.
    It should update on the fly and tell you if you’re local store has the Ammo you’re looking at in stock.  
    There is also a >Find Nearby option that will show you stock of other local stores.  The light blue arrow is about 2 boxes worth.  The darker blue arrow is about 5 boxes or more from what I’ve seen.
    Some ammo that is at the store isn’t listed in the app for some reason.  So far i’ve seen the major domestic brands listed in .22LR and 9mm and confirmed what the app was telling my was in stock.  Other days there would be Tula 9mm or Winchester bulk .40s&w in stock but the app didn’t show either of those.
    Lastly this isn’t fool-proof and talking to the staff about shipments could be more helpful.  Personally I still check regularly but I’ve used the app to tip off others when it showed there was a larger amounts available.

  • hartcreek

    I have been reloading for 25 years.  My only real shortage is 22s which just means that my great nephew who is five will be shooting more 32 H&R which he does by himself and blackpowder then 22s in his Stevens single shot..  SPPs were a bit tight but I picked up 4000 in the last week and a half and I will be watching for some more pistol powders as I use up my last five pounds but prices are not bad.  I still have 100 pounds of range lead that I need to smelt so I can cast faster but TV sucks so the 500 9mm rounds I cast tonight instead of watching garbage will be added to every few days.

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