These days, it can be hard to find ammo in stock at all, much less affordably priced, high-quality ammo. Drastically increased demand over the past year has exceeded supply and left many outlets out-of-stock. If you are driving all over town trying to find ammunition, this can be an even bigger hassle. That’s why many shooters have turned to online retailers for their ammunition needs. Buying rounds online has always meant larger quantities at cheaper prices, and a larger selection on top of that. Now, you can also save hours trying to find your favorite rounds in stock.
What We'll Cover
In this post, we’ll tell you what to look for in a 22LR round, and give you some of the best places to purchase cheap, high quality 22LR ammo once you’ve decided on your needs.
The Importance of High-Quality Ammo
Whether you are shooting for fun, for food, or for self-defense, consistency is the key to getting better and being able to hit the target when you need to. Most shooters understand the need for a quality firearm that shoots consistently. Without a consistent shot, it’s impossible to determine whether your aim is off, or if inconsistencies in your gun’s firing caused a misplaced shot. This makes it much harder to self-correct your shooting and improve as a marksman. What some shooters don’t realize is that ammo choice can have an even larger effect on the consistency of your shots than the gun itself.
Determining Ammo Quality
If you’ve been ammo shopping for any length of time, you’ve noticed that some boxes of ammunition are labeled ‘match’ rounds. The match rounds are designed to be of a higher quality than the company’s traditional ammunition choices: In other words, they were designed for competitive shooting matches. The problem with that is that there’s no standard for what a match round is. Assuming a company is honest, these rounds should always be better than the cheaper options. However, they might not be as good as the cheaper options from a higher-quality manufacturer. This means you’ll have to rely on other shooters whose opinion you trust, and personal experience to determine which make and brand of bullets are getting placed consistently.
About the 22LR Round
Although many people claim that the 22LR isn’t big enough, or doesn’t have enough stopping power, it is nevertheless one of the oldest and most popular rounds available. Rifles that fire 22LR ammunition benefit from the small size of the ammunition. They produce less recoil, which makes them easier for beginners to learn on. The sound of the bullet being fired is also more of a plink than a bang, making it easier to practice with for long periods of time and less likely to scare off the small game that the round is so efficient for hunting. While it may never be the preferred gun of your favorite action hero, the 22LR has a place in every shooter’s collection.
Places to Buy Affordable High Quality 22LR Ammo
If the problem with physical ammunition stores is that they are few and far between and searching for the ammo you want takes hours instead of minutes, the problem with online stores is very much the opposite. You’ll find no shortage of websites selling bulk ammo, so knowing which ones you can rely on can be a little difficult. Below is a list of eight online retailers that are popular with shooters of all experience levels. They all offer a great selection of brands and are sure to have your current, or next, favorite round.
Although the name would imply that they’re mainly a place that sells optics for your firearms, OpticsPlanet started as a microscope and telescope retailer before expanding to include equipment for shooting, camping, and other outdoor activities. In 2019, the company began selling ammunition and has quickly become a go-to source for many shooters. At OpticsPlanet, you’ll find a wide selection of ammo from brands you trust at affordable prices. The company ships any purchase over $49 for free to the contiguous 48 states, Washington D.C., and all U.S. Military APO/FPO/DPO addresses. You can also be assured of getting the best price from OpticsPlanet because they offer price matching of any authorized reseller.
Brownell’s began life in 1947, when gunsmith Bob Brownell was dismayed by how difficult it was for him to purchase quality gunsmithing tools. He filled out his catalog by combining all the good suppliers he had found so that more gunsmiths could benefit from his research and get the tools they needed easily and affordably. A lot has changed since 1947, and although they are now more online retailer than mail-order catalog (and they’ve expanded their inventory to appeal to gun owners of all stripes), the Brownell commitment to quality and affordability remains. On their site, you’ll find a large selection of 22LR ammunition, as well as some calibers that other companies don’t carry at all. Shipping rates are affordable and customers who purchase a Brownell’s Edge membership get 2-day shipping on all orders for free.
The Sportsman’s Guide
Another business that got its start in mail-order is The Sportsman’s Guide. In the 1970s, this business originally only sold patches for hunters to put on their jackets. The success of that product allowed the company to expand into one of the largest mail-order providers of hunting and outdoor gear. In 2012, the company was acquired by Northern Tools and Equipment, another large and successful mail order outlet. Of course, you no longer have to order through the mail. The company’s website features a large selection of 22LR ammo. Members of the Buyer’s Club can get 5% off of ammo purchases, plus exclusive deals and free standard shipping on any purchase over $49.
Although Cabela’s has had a mail order catalog since its founding in the 1960s, it’s also known for its large and well-stocked physical locations. The Cabela’s website offers an even larger number of items for sale, including 22LR rounds. As of 2016, Cabela’s is owned and operated by another large outdoor sporting goods supplier, Bass Pro Shops. The Bass Pro Shops CLUB card gives members access to exclusive deals, a price match guarantee, and more. For orders over $50 in the contiguous US states, standard and express shipping is free. Customers can also choose to have their order shipped to a physical store for pickup at no charge.
Palmetto State Armory
Unlike many of the previous entries, Palmetto State Armory was never a mail-order operation. Founded much more recently in 2008, the business has been an online retailer since its inception. The brand also has 5 physical retail locations in South Carolina and Georgia. When the company expanded its South Carolina business in 2017, Nikki Haley, who was governor at the time, even called Palmetto State Armory, “a valued member of South Carolina’s thriving business community.” The company now sells its own line of AR-15 style rifles and parts, and has recently expanded to include AKM style rifles in that collection. In addition, you can purchase ammo for a large number of firearms on their site, including 22LR ammunition.
In 2009, the founders of Lucky Gunner weren’t happy with the state of online ammo purchases. Then, like now, ammo was frequently out of stock, but sites at the time didn’t do a thorough job of informing customers when certain inventory was unavailable. The result was lengthy and unexpected delays after placing an order. Lucky Gunner was created to put a stop to that, becoming one of the first online ammunition retailers to put a live inventory tracker on their website so customers weren’t caught by surprise with delays due to unavailable inventory. Since that time, the company has maintained the same commitment to transparency and customer service.
Target Sports USA
Another large online retailer of 22LR rounds is Target Sports USA. The company offers ammo in both boxes and cases. And those who order the bulk ammo in cases receive free shipping on their orders. Shooters can also join their Prime program. Under this program, Prime program members enjoy exclusive deals, discounted prices on all ammo, and priority notifications when stock is replenished. In addition to ammo, you can also purchase firearms, shooting accessories, and outdoor apparel from the site.
The final entry on our list is SurplusAmmo. The site was originally formed simply to sell ammunition to shooters at affordable prices. They provide ammunition to military, law enforcement, federal agencies and hobbyists alike. As the company has grown, so too have their offerings. In addition to ammo, you’ll be able to purchase magazines, rifle parts, optics, reloading components, and more. In addition to sales on their own site, the company will occasionally place ammo, firearms, or firearm parts for sale on the auction site GunBroker.com, which deserves an honorable mention among places to look for bulk ammo at affordable prices.