The price of firearms and ammunition are on the rise around the country! Go figure, because target shooting is a favorite hobby of the Big Guy and I. But, we are on a budget, as are many people, so how can we reduce the cost of target shooting, one of our favorite pastimes?
Switch to a smaller caliber:
My husband and I have several guns, a shot gun, a rifle, and a couple of pistols. Over the course of the years, though, we have owned many different types of firearms, all of which have used a variety of different ammunition. What we discovered is that ammunition like 9mm and 0.22 is cheaper than 0.40 and 0.45. And it’s actually quite a bit cheaper. Take a look:
|Caliber||Price per 50||Per Bullet Cost|
I used the same brand (Winchester) for all ammunition prices, and all were from Cabela’s
By switching from a .45 to a .22, you save yourself 70% in ammunition costs. If you were to buy 1 box of ammunition per month, or 12 boxes per year, you would save yourself $312.00 – or almost enough to buy another pistol. Well, maybe not a nice pistol, but it’s certainly a start :-)
Of course, I didn’t compare every single brand of ammunition, different stores, or even ammunition for shotguns or rifles. But, I think this gives you a good pictures of how much money you can save just by either considering ammunition costs when purchasing a firearm, or considering ammunition costs and purchasing a firearms that costs less money to shoot.
Consider Ammunition Quality and Purpose:
In our house, at least for The Big Guy’s pistol, we have 2 different types of ammunition. The first is cheap ammunition that we use for target practice. It is less than half the cost of the home defense rounds that The Big Guy keeps loaded in his gun when it’s home. Why do we have 2 different types? We go through a lot of the shooting range ammunition, seeing as we target practice with it. However, we have never had to use a home defense round, but we keep them loaded in the gun in case we were ever to be victims of a home invasion. The home defense rounds will do a lot more damage to whatever they hit, so they are more expensive. If you’re strictly target shooting, don’t shoot the most expensive ammunition you can find – check for cheaper options!
Reload Your own ammunition:
This seems a bit like crazy-weird science to me, but I had been told that you could actually save lots of money by reloading your own ammunition, so I did some research. 1000 of cheap AR15 (223) ammunition will run you $365.00 at Cabela’s (at the least). However, by reloading your own ammunition, you can save about $200, because reloading 1,000 rounds of 223 will run you about $170. Yes, it’s more work, but I’ve been told that with some practice it’s actually really easy.
Ditch the expensive target range:
Shooting Range prices vary greatly by region. When we lived in rural illinois, the shooting range closest to us was $500 a year for unlimited shooting, or there was a pay-per-use plan that was $5.00 per half hour. Now that we live in St. Louis, we can go to the range for $100 unlimited annually, or $4.00 per half hour, which greatly reduced the cost. But, I have an even less expensive alternative: make friends and use theirs. No, not their shooting range membership, their home shooting range. Nearly every friend The Big Guy has either has property with a homemade shooting range, or has a friend with one. In our case, we shoot out on his parents 80 acre farm. This saves us $100-$500 a year!
Buy in bulk:
There are many companies, both online and offline, that will allow you to order ammunition in bulk, and if you’ll actually use all of it, this can yield a lot of savings! Generally, bulk order yield a 10% discount, but when you’re talking a $1000 ammunition cost over the course of a year, $100 savings is nothing to scoff at !
Target shooting is a favorite pastime of the Big Guy and I, but it’s more than that. Knowing how to property utilize firearms is an inavluable skill – and it is one that Baby RB40 will learn as soon as she is old enough. But, even with just The Big Guy and I shooting right now, it can be expensive, so hopefully these methods will help us to lower our costs!
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