Bullets are, by far, the most common type of ammunition. Small arms calibers range from .17 up to .50. Airguns and BB guns use a .177 caliber bullet. 38 Special Ammo is one of the most popular in use in the United States. Despite its name, it’s actually a .357 caliber bullet (the .38″ refers to the approximate diameter of the loaded brass case). Because this ammunition works in 357 revolvers, more shooters are opting for it due to the cost savings and reduced recoil (in Europe it is known by its metric designation 9×29mmR).
You might be surprised to learn that people from different walks in life are interested in ammunition – from bear hunters to full-time experts in 303 British ammo ballistics, forensics, metallurgy, chemistry, and manufacturing disciplines. Obviously, there’s the current and former law enforcement and military professionals. Those not engaged in the active use of firearms include historians (particularly of the Civil War) and hobbyists interested in the evolution of ammunition, and the amazing variety of creative designs that have been tried.
Building a collection of militaria and weaponry is some people’s hobby, rather than being active hunters or shooters. Since the end of the Second World War a great many surplus military rifles have been imported and sold in the United States. A few models are still being imported as various militaries around the world, particularly in the smaller nations, clean out their reserve stocks of obsolete rifles.
Hunters favor a range of rifles with the New England Firearms Handi-Rifle being one of the most popular (though it can be hard to source due to that popularity). New rifles can be quite expensive and it’s worth your time to check if there are used firearms for sale either online of in your local gun stores.
Traditionally, when you wanted to buy ammunition, you’d visit your local gun store. Of course, these days you have the option of getting ammo for sale online. But you need to be sure you know what it is you’re looking for. There’s more to buying ammo online than simply looking for the cheapest prices. Other factors should be considered so you’re certain you’ll get precisely what you require – the type of ammo you require is determined by what you intend to shoot or hunt.
You also need to think about how much ammunition you require. Find a source, such as military surplus ammunition, where you can get replacement stocks easily of the same ammunition so you don’t end up switching types and having to head down to the target range to sight in the new ammunition. Zeroing in a rifle takes time and ammunition isn’t that cheap, even if you’re buying surplus ammo. So save yourself some time and money.
Military surplus ammunition is, essentially, the ammo that the various armed forces (Marine Corps, Army and Navy) have an excess of. In the past, it also included ammunition that soldiers returned home with when they were discharged, and then later sold. Now, such things are more rigorously controlled and ammunition and weapons must be handed back before a soldier leaves military life. Military surplus ammunition is one of the most popular types of ammunition simply because the cost savings are usually pretty decent when compared to the prices offered by hunting and outdoor specialty stores and more generic large sporting stores.
Surplus ammunition isn’t just limited to the U.S. forces, however – it can also come from outside the U.S. An example of that is the cartridge first used in the SKS carbine by the Soviet Union in the Second World War – the 7.62x39mm rifle cartridge.