Want Cheap Ammo? Shoot These 5 Calibers

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As we already know, gun control isn’t limited to restricting access to firearms. The nanny state knows it can make it harder for Americans to exercise their 2nd Amendment rights by heavily taxing ammo and making it prohibitively expensive. It’s already happened in a few states to a few different calibers.

Thankfully, there are still a few reliable standby calibers you can shoot that guarantee an affordable and effective shooting experience.

Here are the 5 calibers to shoot if you want cheap, affordable ammo, provided by Off the Grid News:

One of the drawbacks to certain new firearms is the cost of the ammunition. Experienced hunters and shooters typically know this, but it can still be shocking on occasion. I may see a new firearm that does everything I want it to do, and 10 minutes later get sticker shock when I find a box of 20 rounds is selling for $110. Yes, even after three decades of shooting, I have had this happen to me.

At one time, 22 long rifle was the cheapest ammunition available. But in the past few years the price has risen and availability is limited.

Let’s look at five options for cheap ammo, focusing on center fire cartridges.

1. 9mm
One of the most common and relatively inexpensive handgun rounds is the 9mm Parabellum or 9mm Luger. I have seen a box of 50 for less than $9, but the typical street price is closer to $12 to $15 for a 50-count box of 115 grain full metal jacketed rounds. Sometimes this price can be beaten if you buy in bulk.

There is an exhaustive list of handguns in this caliber by Sig Sauer, Glock, Beretta, Heckler & Koch, Smith & Wesson and just about any manufacturer over the course of the past hundred years that produced a semi-automatic pistol. Long gun shooters can find the round chambered in Uzis, AR-15s, Kriss Vectors and various conversion kits for Steyr AUGs and IWI Tavors.2. 40 S&W

2. 40 S&W
Although declining in popularity as of late, the 40 S&W round is still very affordable and a plethora of firearms are available for this mid-sized caliber. Not very many long guns were chambered in 40 S&W, but if you like Glocks, Sigs, Steyrs, H&K’s and of course Smith & Wesson pistols, chances are that you will find one in 40 S&W.
The average retail price is typically a little higher than 9mm.

3. 5.45 X 39
I was a little reluctant to list this one, but more than once I have been tempted to pick up an AK-74 variant just because I saw cases of this ammunition in excess of 1000 rounds for around $100 delivered.
That may not be the case anymore, but I still see it cheaper than 5.56 or 7.62 X 39. Whether it will stay that way in the future remains to be seen.

Rifles in this caliber are mostly AK variants, but I do see an occasional AR-15 or bolt gun every now and then.

4. 20 gauge
Most of my shotguns are chambered in 12 Gauge because of its versatility, but I recently picked up a 20 gauge at an estate sale and could not believe the price difference in ammunition. Plus, the lower recoil is an added bonus.
Shopping around, I have found 25-round boxes for as low as $5.5. 7.62x54R

5. 7.62x54R
If a tin of 440 full-sized rifle rounds for less than $80 delivered sounds like a deal to you, then you will love the 7.62x54R round. It is, ballistics-wise, comparable to the venerable 30-06 but a lot cheaper.
The most common rifle for this caliber is the Mosin-Nagant bolt action. However, that is not the only option. A few semi-automatic rifles were built around this cartridge, such as the Dragunov, SVT-38 and SVT-40. Believe it or not, Winchester made 300,000 lever action Model 1895 rifles for the Russian army in this caliber in 1915.
This list is not complete. Ammunition prices tend to fluctuate, particularly surplus rounds. At one time I might have listed 7.62 X 25 for use in Tokarevs, CZ52s and other Cold War-era pistols and carbines, but that round can get expensive when it is not being imported on a regular basis.

Do you have any other suggestions for cheap calibers? Tell us in the comments.

20 COMMENTS

  1. Yes, those are good choices for a number of reasons, but I think .30-06, 30-30 and 12 gauge should’ve been mentioned if for no other availability. Here’s an example…
    In a tiny town up on a mountain pass several years ago we were passing through on our way to hunting camp we stopped at the general store which carried gas, ice and propane among a few other items, and sold hunting licenses! Well, my cousin hadn’t got his yet (an oversight) so as he was filling out his license I got to looking at my stuff and realized that I hadn’t packed my ammunition! I had like 3 rounds in a shirt pocket but that was it. So I asked the clerk if he had any ammo to which he replied “I always carry a few boxes of 30-30 and 30-06.” Which was wonderful because the gun I hunt deer with is a 30-06! I’ve also got a 30-30 I use in Western Washington because of the thick forest’s!
    Something to remember because alot of the calibers that you mentioned may be cheap, but may not be available!

      • Worst part is he has like 6 other correctly pluralized words. How does that happen? Don’t worry about people calling you a grammar Nazi. I absolutely can’t stand the pluralization attempts with an apostrophe and I love when people get called out on it.

  2. I also prefer Military caliber ammo, as long as we have a Military those calibers will be more available ie. 5.56 and 7.62mm…

  3. the ammo listed may be cheep but the proven types for ages have been the 7.62/308, 30-06, 12 gauge, 30-30, and 22 along with the

  4. Nice to bring this info to us, yet you didn’t mention who was selling the ammo for those prices. Best I have found so far has been sportsmenguide.com yet their prices are not that low. So pass on who can sell for $$$$$$

    • Cabelas carries 7.62x54r for $8.00 a box on sale. And no limit. And they average 5 or 6 sales a year.

    • I always check out Ammo Seek first. They don’t sell anything, they just do a continuous search of ammo prices to list the nest prices on the net.

  5. Another good reason why people are “SHEEPLE” Bahhhh!

    First of all the church in this country has become the enemy of the people just like it was in Germany. As the trains rolled by the saintly establishments on their ay to the Nazi slaughter houses, they would play their worship music louder so that those inside the church would not hear the screams of those on the trains.

    Those on the trains had their right of self defense taken from them and their weapons were confiscated in the name of safety.

    If the chucrh taught scripture without their imposed doctrines they find out that they have been leading the SHEEPLE down a dead end path.

    Reference Luke 22:36 – ” But no whoever has a wallet must take it along, and his traveling bag, too. And the one who has no sword ( Todays language: GUN) MUST sell his coat and buy one”. Yeshua (Jesus) said this!

    A sword not a knife as used for one thing, defense.

    Read Scripture as it was meant to be understood. WHAT DOES THE DOCUMENT SAY, not what doctrine says it should say.

  6. You may want to revisit your choice of 7.62x54R ammo, as the prices of both it, and Mosin-Nagant rifles have jumped significantly. That $80.00 “spam can” of 440 rounds is now double that, or better, and is much harder to find. The rifles that used to sell for under $100.00 now start at a minimum of $200. Thank the government for their trade restrictions with Russia. However, I do love my Mosins.

  7. Your 7.62 R54 info did NOT state if steel or non-steel tip,
    I’m after some non-steel tip ammo. Thanks JW

    • All 7.62x54r military rounds are a steel case and steel bullet (copper clad). There are a couple companies that make brass case lead bullet hunting rounds but they are twice the price. Cabelas carries both – the steel rounds run $8.00 to $12.00 a box of 20. The hunting rounds are about twice that – still cheaper then the 30-06 or the 30-30.

  8. Since it’s on the list and I just found a new distributor, what about a pocket pistol in .22? Absolutely reliable and, yes, I already bought it cuz I’ve always wanted one and it now goes with me everywhere. I also practice with it a bunch more than with my 9mm. Not saying the back deck isn’t covered in 9mm brass (anyone reload?) but the .22 is so much fun! Reliable, accurate with zero recoil, and it hides in no matter what I wear. Let’s hear it!

  9. […] Want Cheap Ammo? Shoot These 5 Calibers | Prepared Gun Owners – As we already know, gun control isn't limited to restricting access to firearms. The nanny state knows it can make it harder for Americans to exercise their 2nd. […]

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