Best Places To Buy Ammo Online: Your Ultimate Guide

by David Lane

July 5, 2022

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Most things may come and go in life, but the need for more ammo is forever!

In times like these when stock is running low and prices are running high, finding good places to buy online is critical to keeping our magazines full. Here are some of the best places to buy ammo online!

Best Places To Buy Ammo Online

Brownells
  • Good selection
  • Good prices
  • Great customer service
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Lucky Gunner
  • Everything from shotgun to pistol ammo
  • Fair prices
  • Fast shipping
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Target Sports USA
  • Subscription membership discount
  • Free shipping on cases of ammo
  • Decent selection
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Palmetto State Armory
  • Great for testing ammo
  • Good selection of defensive loads
  • Fast shipping
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Milehigh Shooting
  • Match grade ammo of every kind
  • Stocks hard to find long range ammo
  • Great customer service
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Sportsman’s Guide
  • Reliable source for odd ammo
  • Spam cans!
  • Club members can pay in installments
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Bass Pro/Cabelas
  • Always has things in stock
  • Wide range of common ammo
  • Easy to use website
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Best Places To Buy Ammo Online

  1. Brownells
  2. Lucky Gunner
  3. Target Sports USA
  4. Palmetto State Armory
  5. Milehigh Shooting
  6. Sportsman’s Guide
  7. Bass Pro/Cabelas

Best Place To Buy Ammo Reviews

Now we’ve had an overview and looked at our list, let us take the time to individually review each store. In this section, we’ll be looking into the store and outlining the pros and cons.

1. Brownells

Editor's Choice
Brownells

Brownells

The retailer with everything, Brownells is the number one choice for almost anything firearms related from tools to books to guns and more!

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  • Current Stock B+
  • Customer Service A+
  • Shipping A+
  • Prices A

Our Grade

A

Reviewed by David Lane

Reader’s Grade

A+

Based on 1 Reviews

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Brownells Review

Brownells has long been one of my go-to first stops for literally everything firearm-related. From tools to books to firearms and especially ammo. 

Sometimes the inventory is a little hit-and-miss, but that is mostly because of how popular Brownells is with everyone. 

I strongly recommend using the in-stock notifications and jumping on them when you get the email. Great deals won’t last long, but Brownells does its best to keep things in stock for as long as possible.

Sometimes that means there will be limits on what you can buy, but a little is better than nothing. 

Brownells Edge is a great membership program that Brownells offers. For $50 a year you get free 2-day shipping and a huge discount on overnight shipping. 

However, because ammo needs to be shipped differently than most other packages — Brownells can’t actually overnight or even 2-day ammo. The shipping is still free, but it goes by ground instead.

What really makes Brownells stand out is their customer service. I love their instant chat and I’ve always gotten my questions answered quickly and accurately. 

If you’re not sure about anything, just hit their chat and find out.

Brownells Pros and Cons

  • Awesome customer service
  • Brownells Edge membership
  • Good stock of common ammo
  • Runs out of stock fast
  • No oddball calibers

2. Lucky Gunner

Lucky Gunner

Lucky Gunner

The same people behind some of the most comprehensive and useful ammunition testing done to date, Lucky Gunner keeps the lights on by selling boatloads of ammo.

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  • Current Stock A-
  • Customer Service A
  • Shipping A+
  • Prices B+

Our Grade

A

Reviewed by David Lane

Reader’s Grade

A+

Based on 1 Reviews

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Lucky Gunner Review

I used to love Lucky Gunner — mostly because I have a huge amount of respect for the testing they’ve done on a huge range of topics. Everything from testing steel Vs brass-cased ammo, .223 Vs 5.56 NATO, and a long list of defensive ammo tests, Lucky Gunner has put a huge amount of great science into the shooting community’s hands.

The selection of ammo they carry is huge, the stock they keep is normally very deep, and they have bulk pricing on almost anything that knocks the price down greatly.

However, I have to admit, I don’t actually buy from Lucky Gunner anymore. Not because I don’t want to, but because they won’t let me.

I live in California and a couple of years ago California passed more infringement laws and made buying ammo online more complex.

It is entirely legal, but it takes a little paperwork and it can only be mailed to an FFL.

Most of the huge retailers changed their policies and still ship to CA, they simply have to send ammo to an FFL.

Lucky Gunner chose to abandon us and refuses to ship any ammo to anyone in California, no matter what.

Other states they’ve written off include Alaska, Hawaii, and Massachusetts. They also won’t ship to NYC, the greater Chicago area, and the District of Columbia. 

The rest of the USA they ship to, for now.

If you can buy from Lucky Gunner, I recommend them. If you’re in one of the areas where they won’t, try one of the other options on this list.

Lucky Gunner Pros and Cons

  • Large bulk packs
  • Good shipping rates
  • Huge ammo selection
  • Won’t ship to California even when legal

3. Target Sports USA

Target Sports USA

Target Sports USA

If there was a Costco of the ammo world, Target Sports USA would be it! With the most valuable membership program around, TS USA also lets you buy ammo by the case with free shipping all the time!

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  • Current Stock B+
  • Customer Service A
  • Shipping A+
  • Prices A

Our Grade

A

Reviewed by David Lane

Reader’s Grade

C-

Based on 1 Reviews

Your Grade

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Target Sports USA Review

The stock and selection at Target Sports USA is normally pretty awesome but has been lacking since COVID hit.

That said, what makes me keep ordering from them is their Prime Membership.

Membership gets you two huge things — free shipping on any order and a flat 8% off all ammo.

The price reduction means you’re literally paying wholesale prices on anything you buy, from single boxes to huge cases. 8% might not sound like a ton, but it adds up FAST.

Now granted, I buy a lot more ammo and in a stranger selection than most people, but between the 8% off and free shipping, I saved over $600 in the first two years. 

Prime does cost $95 per year, so really I saved $400. But that still means the membership paid for itself multiple times over and I’m very happy with that.

If you’re in the market to buy a lot of ammo, you should run the math and see if a membership like this will work out for you. If the numbers make sense, I highly recommend it.

The freedom of being about to order anything and not get screwed over in shipping is a huge benefit also.

Target Sports USA Pros and Cons

  • Membership gives 8% off and free shipping
  • Always free shipping on cases
  • Strong selection of ammo
  • Birdshot ammo selection is very limited

4. Palmetto State Armory

Palmetto State Armory

Palmetto State Armory

One of the largest retailers in the USA and one of the top few manufacturers by volume of AR-15s, Palmetto State Armory has anything and everything you need.

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  • Current Stock B
  • Customer Service B-
  • Shipping A
  • Prices B+

Our Grade

B+

Reviewed by David Lane

Reader’s Grade

A+

Based on 1 Reviews

Your Grade

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Palmetto State Armory Review

Sometimes no one else carries what you need, in times like that I check PSA and 8 times out of 10 they have what I was looking for.

They also get some really random things that are a great deal — spam cans of 5.45 Russian are hard to come by, but PSA gets their hands on them fairly commonly.

Other times PSA runs sales where they package ammo and magazines together, perfect for the new shooter.

Otherwise, you can count on PSA to have a good selection of a lot of everything.

Almost every time I order defensive ammo, I get it from PSA simply because they have a wide range of options in stock. Not just brands but grains also. 

If I want to do a test of 115gr, 124gr, 147gr 9mm — I know that PSA will almost always have all three in the brand I want to try.

Now things have gotten crazy since COVID, but if anyone is going to have what I want — PSA is normally the one that comes through.

Their stock notifications are also very robust and actually work as you would expect. I’ve scored some nice deals because of that.

Palmetto State Armory Pros and Cons

  • Good for small packs of ammo
  • Cool package deals of ammo and magazines
  • Good shipping
  • Prices aren’t amazing sometimes

5. Milehigh Shooting

Milehigh Shooting

Milehigh Shooting

A big name in a small pond, Milehigh Shooting is one of the go-to shops for PRS, NRL, and F-Class shooters for everything from barrels to bullets.

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  • Current Stock A
  • Customer Service A+
  • Shipping A
  • Prices B+

Our Grade

A

Reviewed by David Lane

Reader’s Grade

C-

Based on 1 Reviews

Your Grade

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Milehigh Shooting Review

Most competition shooters that are really into the sport hand-load their ammo, but if you’re new to the sport or just don’t have time to do it yourself — you need ammo.

The only ammo acceptable for the competition is match-grade ammo. Ammo that you know will work, that will be consistent, and super accurate.

In times like this, your average bulk pack just doesn’t cut it.

Milehigh Shooting is a big retailer when it comes to the competition space, especially for F-class and PRS. 

From match grade .22 LR to match grade .338 Lapua, if anyone has it — Milehigh is likely where it’s at.

Best of all they don’t charge you a huge premium because they know they got you.

Sure, match ammo isn’t cheap — not by a long shot, but Milehigh doesn’t rip you off. 

They carry other ammo and their customer service is outstanding, but what makes me recommend them is how they are set up for the long-range community. 

Milehigh Shooting Pros and Cons

  • Outstanding selection of match ammo
  • Large calibers available
  • Great customer service
  • Limited selection of ammo in general

6. Sportsman’s Guide

Sportsman’s Guide

Sportsman’s Guide

From normal firearms stuff to some really strange surplus from around the world, Sportsman’s Guide never fails to have a great selection.

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  • Current Stock B+
  • Customer Service A
  • Shipping B+
  • Prices B

Our Grade

B+

Reviewed by David Lane

Reader’s Grade

A+

Based on 1 Reviews

Your Grade

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Sportsman’s Guide Review

From normal types of ammo to spam cans of really weird stuff, Sportsman’s Guide has it!

This isn’t my normal stop for most of my ammo needs, but they are a great one to check in on when you need something and especially if you need something odd or surplus. 

From 7.62x54r to 8mm Mauser to 5.45 Russian, Sportsman’s Guide has a lot of stuff that you just can’t find anywhere else outside of GunBroker.

Something that can really help out is their club membership that lets you break orders into 4 payments.

You get what your ammo now, but they break the cost into 4 payments with zero interest or fees.

If you’re trying to stock up on cheaper ammo by buying in bulk but you don’t have the spending power to do it all at once, this can be a huge game-changer for you.

I’ve used this service a few times to really stack things deep and I highly recommend it.

Sportsman’s Guide Pros and Cons

  • Great for MilSurp ammo
  • Large selection of cheap steel case ammo
  • Club members can pay in installments
  • Stock is low

7. Bass Pro/Cabelas

Bass Pro Cabelas

Bass Pro/Cabelas

From boats to bullets to boots, Bass Pro and Cabelas has just about everything an outdoors person could hope to get their hands on. 

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  • Current Stock A
  • Customer Service A
  • Shipping B+
  • Prices B+

Our Grade

A-

Reviewed by David Lane

Reader’s Grade

A+

Based on 1 Reviews

Your Grade

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Bass Pro/Cabela’s Review

So I rolled Bass Pro and Cabela’s into one entry because Bass Pro owns Cabela’s. Since Bass Pro bought them out a few years ago, Cabela’s has been slowly morphing into basically being Bass Pro but with a different name.

In most cases, their inventories are even linked so while you might pay Bass Pro, your box might get filled by Cabela’s.

The good news is that this means they have a HUGE selection and stock of things and even during panics they tend to get a LOT of inventory moving through them.

Both online and in stores, Bass Pro/Cabela’s makes it easy to get what you need even in the worst of times.

The prices aren’t amazing, normally, but some good deals can be had if you look out for them. I’ve never felt like I overpaid at Bass Pro/Cabela’s, but I’ve come close a few times.

Something that I want to point out in their favor is that they were really slow to raise prices during the start of the pandemic. While my LGS was selling bulk 55gr 5.56 NATO for $1 per round Bass Pro/Cabela’s had it for 30 cents per round — the same price they had it for before COVID and the ammo panic.

Prices eventually went up, but it took a long time. Sadly, scalpers made it hard to buy even when they had it.

But hey, they tried and I respect that.

Bass Pro/Cabela’s Pros and Cons

  • Great selection of common types
  • Wide range of other goods and services
  • Store to store shipping
  • Not always the best prices

Best Places To Buy Ammo Online – Buyers Guide

These are all brands that I’ve ordered dozens of times. I’ve ordered a lot of ammo from a lot of people, but these are the brands that have always done right by me and that I keep returning to.

They have long-established reputations, they treat you well, their customer service is kicking, and the prices are normally very fair.

Each and everyone on this gets my stamp of approval!

In-Stock Notifications

Before COVID I rarely used in-stock notifications because I didn’t need to. When I needed ammo, I just bought it.

These days… set them up, set them up early, and set them up everywhere you can.

Ammo is going in and out of stock so often that most of the time you might not be able to just pop on a site and buy what you want.

Getting notifications, either by email or by text, will greatly increase your chances of buying the right ammo at a good price before it goes out of stock.

Right now I have over 2 dozen set up across 5 sites. I get maybe 1 notification per day on average. That’s how very much out-of-stock everything is.

Hopefully, by the time you’re reading this the ammo shortage is over and this is just a funny reminder of the dark times!

Subscription Services & Club Memberships

A few of the brands on our list offer a club or subscription service, basically think of it as their version of Amazon Prime.

Some of these work out great, and some don’t. It’s really up to you and how much you buy to tell if something is worth it or not.

Normally, I had memberships with Target Sports USA and Brownells. I used to have one for Sportsman’s Guide a long time ago but I let it fall off.

TSUSA gives you a major discount on ammo with their membership and gives you free shipping on everything. Between the discount and the free shipping, the membership paid for itself 2 or 3 times over every year for me, but I buy a lot of ammo in a lot of flavors because of being a firearm writer.

Brownells Edge is another good program that gives free 2-day shipping (when available) and discounted overnight shipping, plus they wave their FFL processing fee on firearms you buy. Again, for me, this program worked out really well. I often have a critical need for a firearm part and the cheaper overnight shipping is amazing. That on top of the free 2-day shipping makes things a lot easier and cheaper for me in the long run.

I can say that my experience with all three of those programs has been great. The companies have done well by me and I can attest to the value of the programs. 

But they really only make sense for people that can get value out of them.

If you buy a lot of ammo, you might want to look into them and run the numbers for yourself.

Avoiding Scams

Something that has exploded since 2019 and the ammo shortage is the number of scam sites trying to sell ammo.

To be clear, these sites are fake. They are not selling 5.56 NATO for 20 cents per round. They are never going to deliver the ammo they claim they will.

These sites are also everywhere. I’ve seen astroturfing accounts on social media trying to shill for them, I’ve seen ads for them on some well-known firearm websites, and I’ve even gotten direct messages from these fake brands or shills for them over social media.

Many of these sites look very professional and like they are real storefronts, but they aren’t.

Always be suspicious of sites you’ve never heard of. Be VERY suspicious of sites you can’t find reviews of.

There are three easy-to-spot major red flags that all of these sites have in common:

  1. The ammo is too cheap.
  2. They have everything, or almost everything, in stock — even ammo that no one else has.
  3. They only take Zelle, PayPal, Venmo, or crypto as payment. They do not accept major credit cards or debit cards.

The first one is easy to see in the first few seconds. Prices are high right now, this is a universal fact. Nothing is “normal” priced. If you find a site selling ammo for “normal” or lower prices, it’s a scam. 

Everyone is out of stock of major ammo types and brands, no one is keeping perfect inventory right now. Some sites are better than others in that they have access and buying power to get more of the good stuff, but most sites don’t have that kind of weight to throw around.

Some random site you’ve never heard of before that has everything in stock is a scam.

Credit and debit cards offer a HUGE level of buyer protection whenever you buy anything. Some cards are better than others, but they all offer something. Paying for things with a major credit card is the safest way of doing business. Most credit card companies are hyperaggressive when it comes to issuing chargebacks, in even cases of scams.

Zelle, Venmo, and cryptocurrency offer zero protections. Ever. Zelle and Venmo have it in their terms of service that you’re on your own and crypto is literally built around the idea that there is no way to claw it back.

PayPal is slightly different. Most people think PayPal is safe, but it isn’t. While PayPal does normally offer buyer protection, using PayPal for guns, accessories, and ammo is against their terms of service. Once you break their ToS the buyer protections no longer apply.

Paying for scam ammo with PayPal and trying to get your money back will most likely result in PayPal telling you to pound sand and might even get your own account locked.

If you stick with major retailers like the brands I’ve listed here then you’ll always be safe.

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About David Lane

Learning how to shoot at a young age in the Boy Scouts, David now spends most of his time working on or with firearms. Be it shooting, upgrading, building, tinkering, or writing about them -- sharing his passion and knowledge of firearms with others is an everyday occurrence.

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