In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, ammunition has been hard to come by. Gun sales are up by more than 100% in recent months and are continuing to rise. Ammunition sales have also skyrocketed leading to the major shortage. While some people are hoarding ammo, a vast majority of ammo sales are coming from the high number of new gun owners.

This isn’t good news for hunters and sport shooters. While you can find some ammunition, it may not be what you need. Or, you might find it at high prices. For example, if you’re lucky enough to find 9mm ammo right now, you can expect to pay at least $2 per round.

If you’re looking for ways to get ammunition as cheaply as possible, here are 6 tips to get it now before prices go up even more.

1. Buy your ammo online

Ammo is scarce, but you’ll have a better chance at finding what you need by checking out online gun stores. Primary Arms, for example, has a broad selection of ammo available at very reasonable prices that you probably won’t find at your local shop.

Buying your ammunition online is better because you don’t need to leave the house and risk your safety by being out in public. You’ll also save time and gas by not having to leave the house.

2. Ask around for miscellaneous ammunition

You might know people who have random stashes of various types of ammunition lying around. Sometimes people hang on to ammo after selling their firearms and you might score something good. 

3. Post wanted ads online

Post ads wherever it’s legally permissible to buy and sell ammunition. If you can’t find the specific caliber you need, you may want to start collecting anything you can get. In the future, you might be able to trade what you have for what you need.

4. Buy firearms that work with the ammunition you can get

Can’t find even the cheapest type of ammo in the caliber you need? Consider seeking out some cheap ammo and then buying a firearm that used that ammunition. For instance, you can still get .224 and .308 rounds cheaply. If you can get your hands on a bunch of .224 ammo, you may want to buy a .224 Valkyrie. 

If you’re moving from .223 to .224, you might be surprised at how well the .224 Valkyrie performs.

By sourcing a firearm to fit the ammo you can find, you may end up with a firearm that isn’t your first choice. However, it’s better to have something usable rather than having your favorite firearms and no ammunition.

5. Get on wait lists

While ammo in general is in short supply, 9mm ammunition is almost impossible to find. Whether you’re looking for 9mm or any other caliber equally hard to find, start getting on waiting lists. If the online store you visit has an option to be notified when new stock comes in, sign up and make sure you whitelist all emails that come from that store’s domain name.

6. Bookmark online store pages

Once you’re on all the waiting lists you can get on, start bookmarking the webpages for online stores that carry the ammo you want. Every day, open those pages to see if anything has been restocked.

If it’s too much to reload those pages every day, do it once every few days to a week. You can’t rely on an email to notify you of new stock. It’s quite possible that a store will restock their inventory, update the website, and send out emails afterward. If you’re regularly refreshing the pages, you have the best chance at knowing when your ammo is back in stock. This way you will have the opportunity to buy ammo that you need at a potentially cheaper price, as soon as it goes online.

Stock up on your ammo, but don’t hoard it

It’s good to stock up on ammo, but hoarding is unnecessary. Many people are hoarding as much ammunition as possible in response to civil unrest and uncertainties, which is understandable. However, hoarding is part of the reason the demand is so high. 

Hoarding ammo creates a false demand, which causes prices to rise unnecessarily. If everyone stopped hoarding ammo and bought what they need (and even a little bit more), the price would eventually come down and it wouldn’t be so hard to find.

To make ammo available once more, avoid hoarding and only buy what you will reasonably need in the near future.