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Old November 27th, 2011, 11:36 AM   #1
Minuteman
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Ammo cost comparison by caliber

There are a lot of other factors to consider, but how much it costs every time you pull the trigger is certainly important.

Why I did this- I was thinking about getting into 7.62x39mm shooting as a cost saving measure over 5.56 or .308, wanted to see if it was significantly less expensive. I was curious how much cheaper .22 Mag was over 5.7; also was interested if the .40 had caught up with 9mm in price. Also, looking around, it seemed 12 gauge was cheaper than .410, this didn't make sense, so I decided to do some online comparisons. These price per round (*estimates) do not include shipping or taxes.

Don't ask how I came up with these 'raw' figures, they will be useful to many especially new shooters; you gun guru's already know the deal.

Cheapest to most expensive (approximation of median price per round), of the calibers I picked to compare, not conclusive, not scientific.

22LR - 4
9mm - 18
22WMR - 20
7.62x39 - 23
17 HMR - 24
5.56 - 25
40 - 28
380 ACP - 30
38 SPL - 30
45ACP - 33
20 Ga. - 35
7.62x51 (.308) - 42
30 Carbine - 43
5.7 FN - 44
357 SIG - 50
10mm - 53
357 MAG - 54
44 MAG - 60
41 MAG - 63
12 Ga. - 70
410 Ga. - 73
30-06 - 75
30-30 - 79
10 Ga. - 90
300 AAC Blackout - 110
458 SOCOM - 250
50 BMG - 275
338 Lapua - 415

Some rounds have a huge range in price from the cheapest commonly available to the most exclusive; here's some examples:
You can find 12 gauge shells from 21 - 320 cents per shell; and 357 SIG ranged from 29 - 181 cents per shell, huge differences. The smallest variances in pricing was for 22 LR (3-6 cents per round), 9mm (16-22 cents per round), 17HMR (20-28 cents per round) and 7.62x39mm (17-25 cents per round). I didn't take into account the absolute cheapest or most expensive rounds (no blanks, no special loads or exotics; just the stuff that most people routinely shoot).

I hope someone finds this useful, happy shooting!


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Old November 27th, 2011, 03:22 PM   #2
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How do you get 25 cents a round for 5.56mm?

The cheapest I know of is 35 cents a round. The median (50% above and below) has to be higher than 35 cents.
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Old November 27th, 2011, 03:22 PM   #3
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300 AAC BLACKOUT UMC is $12.99 MSRP per box of 20.
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Old November 27th, 2011, 03:37 PM   #4
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i pay right at .18/rd for 7.62x39
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Old November 27th, 2011, 03:41 PM   #5
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I noticed 7.62x54r, and 5.45x39 missing.
if I get a chance tonight, I'll look, at work tonight, but if someone else got these, it'd be great.
Not to sound pushy, just noticed these.
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Old November 27th, 2011, 03:47 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by rsilvers View Post
How do you get 25 cents a round for 5.56mm?

The cheapest I know of is 35 cents a round. The median (50% above and below) has to be higher than 35 cents.
Median is the number in the middle when you line up all the data so you're right, 50% above and 50% of the data below but that data isn't necessarily distributed evenly.

Anyway, I don't know where you're buying ammo but I suggest googling better next time. Cabela's has brass case ammo for 26c and aimsurplus has steel case for 18-19c. Just two examples.
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Old November 27th, 2011, 04:14 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Grrrr View Post
i pay right at .18/rd for 7.62x39
And it's corrosive, which is why "comparisons" like this that don't strictly delineate what the qualities of the ammo they're comparing are essentially worthless.

Just use ammoengine.com, slickguns.com, or gun-deals.com to make a decision when you need to buy.
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Old November 27th, 2011, 05:34 PM   #8
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Exactly. I've seen 7.62x54r as cheap as 17˘ recently ... but it was corrosive. I've been able to find 54r one notch cheaper than 39 every time I compared the 2.


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Old November 27th, 2011, 05:37 PM   #9
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$4.15 for 338 Lapua is a bit underpriced. More like $7.00 -$8.00 each pull of the trigger unless your handloading.


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Old November 27th, 2011, 05:41 PM   #10
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this seems to be a good pricing website I use

http://gun-deals.com/ammo


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Old November 28th, 2011, 02:58 PM   #11
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I've been meaning to get historic data on prices over the years, but haven't gotten around to it. I've got 20,000 price points of about every caliber for the past 5 years. Here are some current ones for a few common calibers:








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Old November 28th, 2011, 04:10 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by erwos View Post
And it's corrosive, which is why "comparisons" like this that don't strictly delineate what the qualities of the ammo they're comparing are essentially worthless.

Just use ammoengine.com, slickguns.com, or gun-deals.com to make a decision when you need to buy.
it is corrosive... i have zero issues with corrosive ammo so for me thats the best deal out there. cheapest to shoot and requires nothing more than a little hot water to rinse it out with.
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Old November 28th, 2011, 06:33 PM   #13
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Squeky- very curious about price fluctuation. When was last time ammo was this cheap?


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Old November 28th, 2011, 07:13 PM   #14
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5.45x39 - 13

At least until the supply of 7N6 dries up. Buy cheap and stack deep!
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Old November 29th, 2011, 07:43 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by zombiehunter View Post
I don't know where you're buying ammo but I suggest googling better next time. Cabela's has brass case ammo for 26c and aimsurplus has steel case for 18-19c. Just two examples.
I am pretty sure you are talking about 223 ammo, not 5.56mm.
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Old November 29th, 2011, 04:17 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Minuteman View Post
There are a lot of other factors to consider, but how much it costs every time you pull the trigger is certainly important.

Why I did this- I was thinking about getting into 7.62x39mm shooting as a cost saving measure over 5.56 or .308, wanted to see if it was significantly less expensive. I was curious how much cheaper .22 Mag was over 5.7; also was interested if the .40 had caught up with 9mm in price. Also, looking around, it seemed 12 gauge was cheaper than .410, this didn't make sense, so I decided to do some online comparisons. These price per round (*estimates) do not include shipping or taxes.

Don't ask how I came up with these 'raw' figures, they will be useful to many especially new shooters; you gun guru's already know the deal.

Cheapest to most expensive (approximation of median price per round), of the calibers I picked to compare, not conclusive, not scientific.

22LR - 4
9mm - 18
22WMR - 20
7.62x39 - 23
17 HMR - 24
5.56 - 25
40 - 28
380 ACP - 30
38 SPL - 30
45ACP - 33
20 Ga. - 35
7.62x51 (.308) - 42
30 Carbine - 43
5.7 FN - 44
357 SIG - 50
10mm - 53
357 MAG - 54
44 MAG - 60
41 MAG - 63
12 Ga. - 70
410 Ga. - 73
30-06 - 75
30-30 - 79
10 Ga. - 90
300 AAC Blackout - 110
458 SOCOM - 250
50 BMG - 275
338 Lapua - 415

Some rounds have a huge range in price from the cheapest commonly available to the most exclusive; here's some examples:
You can find 12 gauge shells from 21 - 320 cents per shell; and 357 SIG ranged from 29 - 181 cents per shell, huge differences. The smallest variances in pricing was for 22 LR (3-6 cents per round), 9mm (16-22 cents per round), 17HMR (20-28 cents per round) and 7.62x39mm (17-25 cents per round). I didn't take into account the absolute cheapest or most expensive rounds (no blanks, no special loads or exotics; just the stuff that most people routinely shoot).

I hope someone finds this useful, happy shooting!
Good to see all the numbers together - thanks for the info
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Old November 29th, 2011, 04:35 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by ali View Post
Good to see all the numbers together - thanks for the info
Thanks. You are the first person to suggest my time was worth while. I really did it for myself, for the reasons I stated. I'm already using this list and have decided to stick with just a few calibers. There are deals to be found, and many other factors to consider (like steel cases vs. brass, corrosive vs. non-corrosive, weight of bullet, powder/primer used, manufacturer, etc.) but my goal was to show some raw numbers so anyone could take a quick glance and have a good idea of what typical ammo by caliber might cost.

.22LR is obviously best overall value, that should be a lesson for everyone.


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Old December 3rd, 2011, 07:02 PM   #18
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Minuteman, OK, now I'm the second one to "Thank You" for your time and generosity for helping your fellow MDShooters in their quest for more and cheaper ammo. Don't care if it is absolutely accurate or not, but it does give a general glimpse of all prices for all calibers and for that "THANKS: !

Lesson learned: No way you can satisfy ALL the people ALL the time !


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Old December 3rd, 2011, 07:08 PM   #19
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wow - thanks a lot Minuteman and Squeky!
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Old December 3rd, 2011, 07:19 PM   #20
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great post!

What i've found was that the shipping costs outweigh the wal mart discount plus 6% sales tax. Overall, its cheaper at wal mart for .22, 9mm, .45 acp, and .233 (only things i've researched)

The only thing i've found not cheaper at wal mart is Winchester 147 gr JHPs. They are actually cheaper to buy online + shipping than at wally world.
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