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How to Buy Ammunition

Whether purchasing bullets wholesale or for use as an individual, you can hit your target when buying ammunition.


  • : Firearms are extremely dangerous. Handle them with caution, keep them away from children, and be sure you know the gun laws in your area.
  • Step 1: Know the law Have proof of age: federal firearms laws require individuals to be 18 years old to buy ammunition for rifles or shotguns and 21 to buy bullets for handguns.
  • TIP: Federal law prohibits convicted felons, illegal aliens, and people with a history of drug use or a dishonorable military discharge from buying or possessing ammunition, regardless of age.
  • Step 2: Know your target Consider what you'll be shooting -- competitive shooters need ammunition geared for accuracy, while hunters should measure effectiveness based on specific game.
  • Step 3: Match bullets with guns Examine the gun or guns you're buying ammunition for -- different caliber arms require different sized bullets. Use the letters after the number, or caliber, to ensure you're buying the appropriate ammunition for your specific gun's barrel length.
  • Step 4: Measure performance Visit a gun shop and test the ammunition that fits your gun. Judge ammo based on its ability to penetrate a target without deflecting off or passing through -- both can cause collateral damage. Examine the bullet’s casing and the amount and type of material at its tip; these factors affect expansion on impact.
  • TIP: If you’ll be shooting at night, consider how much residual flash a bullet causes, which can affect your ability to fire multiple rounds.
  • Step 5: Buy online Buying in bulk? Go online to buy ammunition. Be advised: while internet retailers may offer competitive prices, many have strict rules about selling large quantities of bullets. They and all gun owners are responsible for ensuring people who purchase guns and ammunition behave safely and responsibly.
  • FACT: The Gustav Gun, the largest gun ever built, weighed in at 1,344 tons and required a 500-person crew to operate.

You Will Need

  • Proof of age
  • Gun
  • Internet access (optional)

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