How and Where to Buy Ammo Online

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Last Updated on May 22, 2021.

Writer for Minuteman Review, handgun aficionado and artisan firearms reviewer. 

Whether you’re an experienced shooter or one of the 8.4 million people who have recently become new gun owners, you may have noticed that finding a good place to buy ammunition can be challenging.

How and Where to Buy Ammo Online

Due to the ongoing ammo shortage, expected to continue until summer, many local stores seem to run out of stock routinely, and when they do get some, it seems to be gone as soon as it lands on the shelf.

But what about online sales? Find out about the best places to buy your ammo online and learn a few tips and tricks to make your online ammo shopping experience easier.


Why Buy Online?

There are many good reasons to buy online rather than in a brick-and-mortar shop.

No federal laws prohibit online sales and purchases of ammunition, and when you order ammo online, it will ship directly to your house. This process is much unlike buying a firearm online, which requires transferring it to an FFL then picking it up in person.

The only restrictions in place are age-related (you must be 21 to purchase handgun and rifle ammunition, or 18 to buy shotgun ammunition) and those imposed by your state of residence.

Certain states like California and New York require your ammo to be shipped to an FFL first, requiring you to pick it up in person, just as with firearms.

It is also critical to remember that most carriers will not ship ammo by air, limiting customers to those residing in the lower 48 states. Residents of Alaska, Hawaii, or Puerto Rico must buy locally or pay out of pocket for a freight forwarder.

Ensure to consult all your local laws regarding purchasing and online ordering firearms and ammunition before proceeding.


Where to Buy Ammo Online

If you’re asking yourself, “Where can you buy ammo online,” our website guide can ensure you have the best buying experience.

The one-stop-shop: Brownells

As their slogan states, Brownells has been serious about firearms since 1939, and it’s easy to see why. They offer a large selection of guns, magazines, parts, accessories, and of course, factory ammunition in different calibers.

One of the main reasons you should shop at Brownells is to order all your gun-related products in one place. They have almost everything you could find in a large gun store, and they often offer package deals, such as bulk ammo plus magazines.

Brownells is also known for producing and selling a range of other quality firearm products, such as the Brownells Retro Rifles series or their store-branded gun parts. For the reloader who enjoys making their bullets, Brownells also offers bullet casting materials, such as lead alloy bars.

The well-organized shop: OpticsPlanet

OpticsPlanet was founded in 2000 with the original mission of providing gun owners in the United States with the finest selection of rifle scopes and other optics for firearms.

Since then, the store’s selection has significantly expanded from optics, now offering nearly everything short of guns, including a wide selection of ammunition for pistols, rifles, and shotguns, both centerfire and rimfire.

The main advantage of shopping for ammo and other products at OpticsPlanet is the ease of navigation and the thorough categorization of their products. You can refine your search through hundreds of criteria and categories, allowing you to find the ammo and accessories you need within seconds.

The choice for bulk: Palmetto State Armory

Palmetto State Armory is not just an innovative firearms manufacturer and one of the first to offer affordable US-made AK rifles (PSAK, AK-V); they are also an online retailer of ammunition, magazines, and other gun parts.

The best reason to shop for ammo at PSA is bulk ammunition. The company has historically been one of the best retailers for bulk ammo purchases, offering the best prices. 

Although current ammo pricing remains higher than usual across all retailers due to the current shortage, PSA remains one of the best choices if you want to score deals on large quantities of ammunition.

If you’re also in the market for an affordable AR-15, AR-10, or US-made AK rifle, including parts and accessories for these guns, PSA has you covered for these as well.

The best shipping deals: Rainier Arms

Like PSA, you may know Rainier Arms as a firearms and parts retailer specializing in the AR-15 platform, but did you know you can also buy ammo from them?

Not only can you buy ammo online from Rainier Arms, but they offer guaranteed free ground shipping for bulk orders of rimfire and centerfire ammunition (minimum 250 rounds).

Don’t forget to browse Rainier’s selection of AR-15 pistols, rifles, magazines, and parts while you’re shopping for ammunition.


Tips and Tricks for Buying Ammo Online

One of the most significant advantages of shopping online is the array of convenient features you can use to make your shopping experience a little easier.

Finding ammunition under the current shortage is a challenge for shooters of all categories. If a particular product you need is out of stock at your favorite retailer, don’t hesitate to use email alerts and insert your email address into the Notify Me field (or equivalent).

Email alerts may be a little old-fashioned today, but they’re still one of the most efficient ways of receiving notifications that your ammo is back in stock the moment your favorite shop has received it.

If you want a more proactive method of looking for ammunition, you may want to use ammo search engines, such as AmmoSeek or AmmoBuy. These sites serve as price aggregators for ammo currently in stock across hundreds of online stores and retailers, making them a great way to know who has the calibers you need for the lowest prices.

Don’t forget to order your ammunition in bulk if you can, especially for the calibers you often shoot. Bulk orders almost always lower the price per round, letting you acquire more ammo for less than if you had ordered each box individually.


Shopping for Ammo Online is Smart and Easy

It’s no secret that buying ammunition online has been one of the best and cheapest ways to keep your firearms fed for over 20 years. While they don’t replace the social aspects of brick-and-mortar gun stores, online retailers, especially today, are simply faster and more convenient.