When it comes to ammo, figuring out where and what to buy can be an overwhelming endeavor. Beyond price and type, when to buy can be equally important. As with any other product, market forces can cause the price to fluctuate throughout the year.
The best time to buy ammo is when the market is steady and the price is lowered, such as during hunting season or after the holidays (provided that other market factors don’t come into play). Independent vendors can impact the price of ammo in a supply-and-demand market.
In the rest of this blog post, we will discuss the best market time to buy ammo and the best time of the year to stock up, as well as compare purchasing at gun shows to online dealers and give you some resources to find the best prices all the time. Let’s get started!
When Should I Buy Ammo?
Timing is essential for ammo purchases because if you aren’t watching the market and the news, you might end up paying way more for ammunition than you could have. In general, the best time to buy ammo is right after hunting season and the holidays—people are done shooting for a while and have just spent their money on gifts.
If you don’t buy ammo after Christmas or near the end of hunting season, you can also watch the market and the news for good prices. Generally, the market follows the publicity around guns and ammo—if there’s been a negative event, ammo might get more expensive. Even if the national prices are high, you might be able to find individual vendors with sales or specials.
Market Factors Can Affect the Price of Ammo
The most important thing to keep track of when looking to buy ammo is the fluctuating market because the price depends on much more than just supply and demand. Politics, news, and events can increase or decrease ammunition prices, and it’s vital to know when you are looking to buy more ammo.
The best time to buy ammo is when the market is calm, such as when there have been no massive gun-related events, no national panic of any kind, and gun control isn’t a forefront issue in politics. Supply and demand work the same as any other consumer market and you have to watch for outside factors a little more carefully when it comes to guns and ammo.
In the case of COVID-19, there seemed to be a permanent price increase in the price of ammo. As the quarantine dragged on, more and more people were buying guns and looking to stock up on ammunition. In more “precedented” times, there are other market factors to track.
Which Political Party Is in Charge?
Ammunition is cheaper when there is a Republican president at the helm of the country, as well as states with Republican governors or government majority. If you are buying online, you can buy from another state to avoid higher prices, fees, or sales tax related to gun control laws.
Although the president changes only every four years, Washington’s political world still affects the prices of ammunition. When gun legislation is at the forefront of political argument, the market responds, so the best time to buy ammo is when no one is talking about gun laws, either negatively or positively.
What Has Been Happening?
One of the most significant factors for change in the gun market is the public’s gun opinion. After a mass shooting or other violent event related to guns, the ammo price goes up, and it becomes much harder to find what you need. Watch the news, and you will see a reflection of current events in the ammunition market.
Another common factor is any national panic. When the country is peaceful, ammo is cheaper. Whether it is an attack on the country or a pandemic, bad news can affect gun sales.
Are Scalpers at Work?
Recently, there have been a growing number of ammo scalpers working the market for their profit. These online sellers observe the market closely and buy when ammo is exceptionally cheap, then resell their stocks locally, inflating the prices as much as they can. While this is not always the case, it’s happening now because of the COVID price peak.
Scalpers usually work when the market is already low and prices are higher. People are more willing to pay higher costs when they are desperate to buy ammo, so scalpers both work on the market and affect it by playing on the fears of ammo consumers who don’t know whether the price will go down.
Best Time of the Year for Ammo Prices
Although the market fluctuates and varies throughout the year, certain times tend to have better ammunition sales because of the natural ebb and supply and demand flow. Some months are consistently better than others for finding cheap ammunition.
The two best times of the year for buying ammunition are right after hunting season and right after the holidays. After hunting season (season dates vary per state but are mainly in October and November), there is a lull in the need for ammo, because most hunters take a break and stock up right before the next hunting season, so both the demand and prices go down.
However, the holidays come pretty quickly after hunting season, and many people receive guns and ammo as gifts. After Christmas, most people have spent all they can and are done hunting for the year. January and February are low points for sales, which is a great time to take advantage of the market and buy ammo.
Related How Much Ammo Can You Buy at One Time? (Legal Limits).
Gun Shows Can Help You Save Money on Ammo
Bulk dealers at gun shows can be an excellent way to save money on buying ammo. If you are buying bulk reloads for practice, you can find fantastic deals on ammunition. Gun shows are also unique places to connect with other gun enthusiasts and form lasting relationships with buyers and sellers.
When it comes to gun shows, the more you buy, the better the deal will be. Sellers who sell in bulk often have discounts for more considerable amounts of ammunition sold.
If you are going to a gun show, prepare to spend money on a lot of ammo, as you can stock up and save, especially if sellers are promoting with specials or sales.
Buying Online Might Help You Save Money
While you might find some specials and individual sellers at gun shows, buying online will give you a more consistent sales price.
Many bulk dealers have an online presence and offer sales at certain times of the year or when overstocked. If you can keep track of these websites, you can save a lot of money on ammunition. Online vendors often host sales and offer great discounts on their ammunition stocks. However, these can come with little or no warning, and you can miss them.
Websites, like my recommended vendor, offer specials when they are looking to move inventory quickly, so if you find a sale, you can capitalize on it and buy more than your usual amount.
To keep an eye on the online stocks, you can subscribe to your favorite suppliers’ email updates (or just the biggest ammunition manufacturers). However, there is an easier way to track ammo prices for online vendors, such as sites like ammoseek.com, which track prices in real-time, so you can search for the ammo you want and watch for a good sale.
The bottom line: watch the market. If you know when the market is going crazy, you should be able to avoid paying astronomically high prices for ammo. Keeping up with your favorite vendors and gun shows for sales is also a good strategy, as is buying online or in bulk once a year to stock up on all the ammo you need.
For more, check out How Much Does Ammo Cost? | Detailed Price Analysis.
Hey, I’m Jim, and the author of this website. I have always been interested in survival, fishing, camping, and anything in nature. In fact, while growing up, I spent more time on the water than on land! I am also a best-selling author and have a degree in History, Anthropology, and Music. I hope you find value in the articles on this website. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions or input!