Online purchase of ammunition is gaining more popularity; gun owners can even buy bullets in bulk. While there are some controversial and legal issues surrounding online shopping for firearms and ammunition, there are benefits to buying bulk ammo online.
Who is Buying Ammo Online?
Who actually buys ammunition online? The shooting industry is growing quickly, and an ammunition survey conducted by Southwick Associates shows that more people shop online for ammo than you might think:
- 53% of gun owners purchased ammo online between 2011-2012
- Over 80% said they were likely to purchase ammo online again within 12 months
- 54% buy 500 rounds or more per purchase
- 86% of online buyers do so because of lower prices and quantity discounts. For instance, bulkammo.com offers discounts when you buy more ammo.
Types of Bullets
Before you can purchase any bullets online, you need to know what kind of bullets you need for your gun. Bullets come in different diameters, cores, and lengths and are measured under the metric system.
Bullets can have either a lead or copper core, with lead bullets typically being cheaper than copper ones. In addition to different materials, there are different types of bullets, including full metal jacket, open tip, hollow point, soft point, ballistic tip, frangible, steel core, and tracer.
The type of bullet you purchase obviously depends on your shooting purpose. You could be using the bullets for target practice, hunting, or self-defense. Consider this when deciding upon the quantity and grain of the ammunition you’re purchasing.
For target practice, you can use almost any kind of ammunition based on your personal preference. There can be exceptions, however, if the gun range you visit has any gun or ammunition restrictions, such as prohibiting lead bullets.
For hunting, expansion and penetration are very important since you typically will only get to hit the animal once and want a quick kill. Expansion creates wider wound channels which displace more tissue and results in more blood loss.
For defense, dependability is most important when picking ammunition as no matter the size or caliber, misfires can’t defend you in any way.
How to Purchase Bulk Ammo Online
Purchasing bulk ammo online isn’t very different from any other online purchase. Once you know what kind of ammunition you need to purchase for your gun, you can search for it online.
You may want to research online stores before making a purchase to avoid scams, and also to compare prices for the best deal. Look at store reviews online and the Better Business Bureau to make sure the store is reputable.
Once you’ve found a store you are comfortable buying from, you select your ammo and quantity size and then the ammunition ships to your door. One final note before making your purchase: be sure it is legal to make the purchase in your home state.
Some states have laws regarding ammunition in addition to the federal firearm laws. The convenience of purchasing at home is one perk of buying bulk ammo online, but there are other benefits, as well as drawbacks to buying ammo online.
- Ammo ships directly to your house
- Unlimited selection
- No limits on the amount of ammo you can buy
- More cost-effective to buy bullets in bulk
Drawbacks to Buying Bulk Ammo Online
- Shipping can be expensive due to weight
- You have to wait on shipping
- Poor handlers could lose/damage your package in the mail
- If you aren’t home to collect your package it could get stolen
- Similar to buying clothes online, you can’t try the ammo before buying it
Federal Laws About Ammo Purchase
The federal laws for ammunition prevent those who are prohibited from buying firearms from buying ammunition. However, there are no additional restrictions.
Those prohibited from purchasing firearms and ammunition include those with violent crimes or gun charges, drug and alcohol abusers, convicted juveniles, and those with mental illness. The minimum age requirement to buy ammunition is the same, however, ammunition sellers don’t have to verify the age of the purchaser. State laws have more variance, so you must be aware of state firearm and ammunition laws.
State Laws About Ammo Purchase
Some states have more restrictions on ammunition sales and vary depending on each state legislature’s preferences. These laws can affect your ability to purchase ammo in bulk, online, or both. Therefore, you must be aware if your home state has extra laws regarding ammunition.
- As of 2013, all commercial purchases of ammunition require a background check.
- Sellers of ammunition must register with the state police department if they don’t already have a firearms dealer license.
- The 2013 law also mandates all ammunition sellers must keep records of sales and send these records to state police. The state police can keep these records for up to one year.
- There are two minimum ages for ammunition purchase, 21 years old for handguns and 16 years old for all other firearms.
- Exploding ammunition or projectiles designed to explode after impact are illegal.
- It is illegal to have ammunition unless you have a registration certificate for a firearm.
- The ammunition caliber or gage must match the firearm.
- Only licensed dealers can sell ammunition and may only sell to registered gun owners.
- There is a record-keeping requirement for ammunition dealers in the area; all ammunition must be on an inventory list. When someone buys ammunition, dealers must note the brand, number of rounds, and the registration number of the purchaser’s firearm. The police department has access to the records and the purchaser must also sign a receipt, which the dealer keeps for one year.
- In addition to record-keeping, dealers must keep ammunition displays out of windows visible to the street or sidewalk.
- Unless you have special permission, you must be 21 years old to buy any type of firearm.
- The District of Columbia also bans the sale, purchase, or possession of armor-piercing bullets. In addition, the possession or sale of ammo for 50 caliber rifles is not permissible.
- According to Conn. Gen. Stat. § 29-38n – 29-38p, anyone who possesses or buys ammunition must have an ammunition certificate. These certificates require a background check and you must renew them every five years.
- You must be 18 years old to purchase ammunition for any type of firearm.
- Armor-piercing bullets and 50 caliber bullets are also not legal in Connecticut.
- In order to purchase or own ammunition, you must have a Firearm Owner’s Identification card, which requires a background check.
- You must be at least 21 years of age to buy ammunition for any type of firearm.
- There are several types of illegal ammunition including exploding ammo, flechette (shells that release wire or dart projectiles), dragon’s breath (spews fire) and bolo shells (releases metal balls connected by a solid metal wire).
- In order to own or buy ammunition, you must have a firearm permit and different licenses to possess different types of ammo.
- To sell ammunition, dealers must have proper licensing.
- The minimum age to buy a firearm is 18 years old for long guns and 21 years old for handguns and large capacity weapons.
- Currently, there are no laws restricting certain types of ammunition.
- No one without a permit can buy ammunition and they must present the permit to the dealer before the purchase.
- Through administrative regulations, dealers of ammunition must have a license to sell ammo and must keep records of sales.
- To buy bullets for handguns you must be at least 21 years old.
- Bullets prohibited from purchase or possession include hollow nose or dum-dum ammo, which expands on contact, and armor piercing bullets.
- California had a law requiring records of ammunition sales, however, the court ruled it was unconstitutionally vague in Parker vs California and overturned the law.
- Similar to other states, the minimum age to buy ammo for long guns is 18 years old and the minimum age for handgun ammo is 21 years old.
- Prohibited ammunition in California include armor piercing ammo, exploding bullets, 60 caliber ammo, and flechette ammo.
- Vermont has the lowest minimum age requirement to purchase ammunition for any type of firearm, which is 16 years old.
Some cities in California have enacted laws to monitor the sales of ammunition. For example, the city of Sacramento requires dealers of ammunition to have a license from the chief of police and they must keep a record of sales. The log must include contact information, a government issued ID card number, signature, thumbprint of the purchaser, the date of the sale, brand, type and quantity of ammunition, and the name of the dealer.
In conclusion, buying bulk ammunition online is a personal decision and you must be very knowledgeable before making a purchase. Get as much information as you can about the ammunition laws in your state to make sure you can purchase ammunition online legally. Once you are aware of the laws and know what type of bullets you need, shop around to find the best deal for your needs. It’s best to look at a few different retailers before making a purchase to find the best deal.
Article written by Rory Bagley for Prepper’s Will.