After the election ammo has pretty much dried up making it difficult to find in any common caliber. This is caused by three key factors. First based of reelection campaign remarks it seems tighter gun laws will be coming down the road, and while the constitution protects our right to own firearms it does not protect the ammo, or taxing the ammo. Second new gun ownership is at an all time high. People who have never owned a gun before are now owning guns. This means more people consuming what ammo is available. The third factor is governmental big quantity purchases. The last statistic I head was that 12 billion rounds of ammo are produced each year by our ammo factories. Recently department of homeland security had placed an order of nearly 1.2 billion rounds of assorted calibers. Now imagine how many round of ammo are being ordered for the military given both their training and combat needs.
So right now low cost ammo is in short supply for common calibers, while you can still get defensive rounds at a cost of one dollar per round find cheap target ammo is not as easy. So I highly recommend you keep your eyes on the ammo cases at walmart and as ammo shows up, buy it without hesitation. While you can’t find ammo when you want it overtime and patience you will find it.
The common calibers
I use the term common calibers to describe the calibers that are most popular and also have the most rounds produced.
For rifles the list of common caliber are simply .22 Long Rifle, 223 Remington/5.56 Nato, 7.62×39/Russian Short, and .308 Winchester/7.62 NATO. With the exception of the .22LR the others are all considered military calibers and due to military usage of this ammo it produced in higher quantities . This brings cost down to 20-40 cents per round, compared to the 75-100 per round you might pay for 30-06, 30-30, or other non-military cartridges.
For Handguns the list of common calibers is larger, .22lr, 380 ACP, 9mm luger, 38 special, 357 Maginum, 40 S&W, 45 ACP. I might even go as far as to remove 380, 38 special and 357 from the list as while these are commonly used their demand is not as high as the others. The pistol rounds are more frequently bought up by the new gun owners, while a prepper is interested in having ammo for their sidearm their long gun is most important as it will have greater range and velocity.
Where to find ammo
There are no great places to go right now that are always stocked so you need to have a long list of places to check when you are purchasing more ammo. Besides walmart, local gunshows and stores here are some good places to check.