The current ammunition shortage has shooting enthusiasts of all types on edge. In recent months, it has become difficult or impossible to find quality ammunition in many common calibers. One of the most popular calibers, 9mm Luger, has been especially scarce. With quantities in such limited supply and prices skyrocketing in response, it is important to identify quality brands so that a shooter’s dollar may be stretched to the fullest extent.
A shooter must first decide what general category of ammunition they desire. Target and practice ammunition tends to be somewhat cheaper “full metal jacket” rounds. This means that the lead bullet is encased all the way around in a hard metal. Personal defense loads are usually “jacketed hollow point” rounds, which have a concave opening at the tip of the bullet. This helps the bullet expand upon striking its target, which increases damage and limits chances of over-penetration. Target practice ammunition is usually somewhat cheaper and sold in boxes of fifty. Quality personal defense ammunition tends to be more expensive and sold in boxes of either twenty five or fifty.
Once the desired type of round is selected, a buyer must find a source. Selections tend to be limited on retail shelves, often selling out within hours of being stocked on the shelves. A shooter must make contact with individual retailers in their area and see if they are willing to divulge their delivery schedules. Oftentimes, a shooter looking for a plentiful supply or wide range of brand choices must line up outside the store before it opens in order to beat other similarly-minded customers.
Alternatively, a search online might reveal a much greater availability of ammunition. A much wider selection of brands, calibers, and quantities can be found on the Internet with relative ease. The downside to online shopping is the delay of several days while awaiting delivery, and the associated cost of shipping and handling. Online ammunition sources still tend to reflect present-day higher prices, usually beginning at $.35 a round and up.
The selection of a specific brand can encompass as much variation as the wide spectrum of guns on the market. Some guns may function perfectly well with cheaper or reloaded ammunition, while others may require higher-end rounds in order to operate reliably. A wise shooter will test his or her weapon with a variety of rounds in order to determine the price and quality level at which it will function reliably. The owner’s manual that accompanies each firearm may have further advice or instruction unique to that weapon. Certain practice ranges, especially indoor ranges, may have more stringent sets of rules governing size, types, and materials to which ammunition used in that facility must adhere. A few minutes of research prior to a purchase decision can often save both dollars and headaches. Ultimately, safety must be the primary concern of any wise shooter, even at the expense of a couple extra dollars.
A few safe bets to avoid are unnecessarily flashy or gimmicky ammunition types. Eccentric rounds such as “zombie loads” or tracer rounds have little or no practical value and may actually be banned from several practice ranges. Online forums and message boards contain a wealth of information and discussion from experienced shooters that can help guide prospective ammunition buyers in this regard.
Paul Cochran is the guy who runs http://www.9mmammoforsale.com, a website that helps people find the best deals on 9mm ammunition. He also writes from time to time about firearms, ammo brands and anything related to 9mm ammo on the website’s blog. You can easily reach Paul on Google+.