Is It Worth Buying Ammo in Bulk?
Whether you are on your first ammunition purchase or your millionth, the thought has likely crossed your mind: Should I buy bulk ammo? Is it worth it? Honestly, the choice is really going to vary from person to person, and possibly even from purchase to purchase.
Whether you buy ammunition in bulk is going to be among the most situationally-driven questions you’ll face in all of gun ownership.The important question to ask yourself is not, "Is it worth it to buy bulk ammo?" The question you should ask is, "Is it worth it for me to buy bulk ammo?"
Why Buy Bulk Ammo?
To help you make this decision, we've outlined the most important factors in your decision.
The first and most obvious reason you might buy bulk ammo is financial. Buying in bulk saves you money. There is no debate: Buying in bulk helps you save because you're guaranteed to spend less per round on your purchase — sometimes up to half as much as you’d have spent if you’d purchased your ammo in smaller quantities.
Seriously: it is considerably cheaper to buy in bulk.
The Ammo Is Ready When You Are
If you buy in bulk, you can be sure that you have your ammunition there when you're ready to shoot. Whether you find yourself in a disaster that forces you to defend your home and family or you just want to go plinking with friends, the ammo is there and ready to go. You don't have to waste gas just to go to the store and hope they have the ammunition you need in stock.
For most people, bulk ammo purchases take place online. This is a definite benefit, because online sales outlets offer access to a better selection of ammunition. Plus, some manufacturers prefer bulk sales and/or only deal in bulk, and if you wanted to try and buy a small box of their product, you'd be out of luck. This opens doors to better quality rounds than you may otherwise have access to.
Another mark in the plus column for buying in bulk is that by buying in bulk, especially online: you aren't beholden to what the shop owner or big box store manager felt like ordering. You get to order exactly what you want in a large quantity. No more being stuck with some less-than-optimal rounds because "that's all we've got."
Buying in bulk also lets you have more ammo on hand than what you'd likely be able to get in one trip to your local sporting goods or big box store. That's especially true in times of an ammo shortage. If you bought in bulk, you'd have exactly what you want when you need it.
Speaking of having exactly what you want, if you have a firearm that shoots a less common cartridge, buying in bulk might be the only option. Most stores aren't going to carry random ammunition for that custom-made gun you found at the gun show. If you know what you need and you know that it can be hard to come by, bulk purchases from online outlets are an excellent way to make sure you’re stocked as often as you want to shoot.
Lastly, don't underestimate the convenience of having options for your everyday carry. Maybe in the summer, you want to dress lightly and carry a smaller concealable firearm chambered in .380 ACP. Perhaps when the weather gets colder and you're wearing more clothes, you'd like to carry a full-size gun chambered in .45 ACP. By buying in bulk, you can be sure to have the ammo for your guns when you switch up your carry.
Why Wouldn't You Buy Bulk?
Every coin has a flip side, and so now let’s turn the bulk-buy coin over and examine some reasons why you might not want to buy ammo in large quantities.
One of the main barriers to entry for bulk ammo purchases is typically the up-front cost. Buying in bulk will always come with a bigger initial price tag, but the significantly cheaper cost per unit makes that a lot easier to swallow if you can swing it. Dropping $20-$30 on a 20-round box of 9mm is less of a blow to your bank account than dropping about $250 or so for 500 rounds, of course, but bear in mind that each individual round ends up costing twice as much that way.
Shipping is another drawback for some people. While you can certainly make bulk purchases in stores, you're limited in selection and price to what the store has. For many, this means the only viable method for bulk purchases is to buy online, and that means paying for shipping. Ammunition, especially in bulk, is not light, and that weight can lead to significant shipping costs, but these are typically, well, outweighed by the cost savings of a bulk purchase.
Another important consideration — and perhaps one of the biggest (no pun intended) — is that of storage. When you buy in bulk, you need to have somewhere to keep all your ammo. Buying bulk ammo also increases the issues associated with storing your ammo. For some, the work and space requirements associated with bulk ammo can be a deal-breaker.
If the initial cost and storage considerations aren’t roadblocks for you, then the drawbacks of purchasing bulk are next to nil. You’re almost always better off netting the significant per-round savings.
There is a lot to consider when deciding whether or not to take the plunge into the bulk ammunition world. Weighing the pros and cons is a personal decision that each person must make themselves. You know your situation, so you know what's right for you. If it is worth it for you, then enjoy it and carry on. If it isn't, guess what? The same applies. Enjoy whatever ammo you have and don't feel bad about making the decision that fits you best.