gunwatcher

One of the more ingenious inventions to come out during the Great Shooty Things Panic of 2013 was GunBot — a handy little website that trawled through all the online stores to find who had ammo and how the prices compared across different sites. I used it constantly that year, and still use it when I need to find ammo. One website trying to replicate and improve on that site is Gunwatcher. But it’s more than just being a GunBot clone. They’ve gone and done something particularly slick: give them your address and they will tell you if your local Walmart has ammo in stock . . .

Gone are the days of roaming like a nomadic horde from one big-box retailer to the next looking for ammunition. Now Gunwatcher will let you know if the local Wally-world has a specific type and caliber of ammunition in stock before you leave the house. It’s a nifty improvement, and definitely something that we haven’t seen before. Naturally there are still some issues (the site only updates once a day at noon), but it’s something I would love to see incorporate all of the gun food purveyors in the area.

Oh, and they also aggregate tons of online gun selling websites to let you find cheap guns for sale, all in a spiffy UI. FYI.

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40 Responses to Gunwatcher Shows You What Ammo is In Stock at Walmart Before You Go

  1. When it comes to fetching Walmart ammo info, it sounds pretty similar to BrassBadger.com and Ammo-can.net, both of which I’ve been using for quite a while.

    I’ll give this new site a test-run and see if it suffers from the same problems as those other sites; whatever third-party connection that is used to get the inventory info is updated less regularly than I’d like (sometimes, not for days at a time). When .22 ammo is evaporating within hours of being shelved, daily updates aren’t particularly useful.

  2. I just wanted to clarify a couple of things… GUNWATCHER updates all the time — actually every 15 min there are a lot of ways the site can get new information the best is store feeds, our bot is always crawling sites looking for updates. Walmart updates once a day at midnight — however it has been my experience that they are really good about being accurate with inventory updates.

    • My experience using those other two sites, is that updates are often posted at times other than right after midnight. Now, I don’t know if this is truly an update at a time other than midnight, or a delay by the site, a delay by the vendor feeding info to the site, a delay by Walmart, or something else.

      I do know that when one of those other sites first went online, you could query (force) an update, and get near-real-time info. That option stopped working reliably within a few months (I imagine it caused a quickly-noticed drain on Walmart’s servers, and they somehow shut that option down), and ever since, inventory updates have been coming slower and slower. Unfortunately, as the info gets older it gets far less useful, given the level of demand.

    • Gunwatcher works awesome in my area, San Antonio, TX! I use it all the time to find the best deals on guns. It’s very simple and easy to use. I highly recommend the site to all my outdoor and gun enthusiast!

    • Yeah, something to track reloading components would realy come in handy lately… Having a hell of a time finding pistol powders!

        • We are aware of the reloading issue — that is something we hope to address. As for the number of sites we track I can say that it is more then ironsights also our system is faster and easier to use.

          We feed on competition — compare for yourselves ironsights.com vs gunwatcher.com

          Do guns, ammo and accessories — do a class-3 search — I know you want a real mp5 — search for the same key words and see what website gives better results… I cant wait to get feed back on this!

      • Brian,

        I’m pretty sure you’re not being honest about the number of sites you track. Anyone can see what sites we’re indexing by going to http://ironsights.com/listings and checking the size of the “Seller” pulldown. Do you have a similar way to verify the number of sites you index? Are you willing to go on record with that number and prove it?

        I’ll grant that your UI is better, but that’s an easy fix and we’re working on it. What you’ll never replicate is our distributed crawling platform and our index. We’re at almost a million listings and 220 sites, and we (and will) can scale up to 5X that without much added cost.

        • Well i have to say that i like Gunwatcher a lot better. The UI is 100x cleaner and easier to use and the prices are actually correct. Doing a quick search of 9mm on ironsights sorted by price per round gives a lot of results that the price per round would be a god send for shooters such as 500 rounds of wolf 9mm for 39 dollars, yes please? So after doing a little test i have to say that everything that i buy gun related will be going through gunwatcher. I look forward to what the gunwatcher guys will be adding next!

        • Here is the deal — we will never publish a list of stores ever. I will go on record saying that you have been working on your site for a long time and you’re correct, our interface and brand new site is much better. I am not going to reveal the numbers nor do I have to prove anything to you. The proof is in the traffic — I wish you the best of luck in your endeavors.

        • Brian, you seem to be insinuating that IronSights is older, and GunWatcher is newer better. Which one is better remains to be seen, but I recall that we both launched around Thanksgiving a little less than a year ago. Anyway, best of luck to you, as well.

  3. They never seem to be able to find any of it showing as in stock when I go to Wal-Mart so I don’t bother anymore.

    • Not in my area.

      It is only fairly recently that I’ve found ANY ammo of the same brand/caliber/bullet-weight priced cheaper than WM at another store. I still consider that one incident a fluke (Winchester value-pack bulk-boxed .40, found a couple of bucks cheaper at a local farm store), until I see it demonstrated more widely.

  4. If this proves reliable, I’ll check it like people vote in Chicago, early and often, even if they’ve been dead for years.

  5. Thanks Nick. I’d read something about this awhile back and couldn’t find it.
    Now I feel like a true insider in the Ammo Wars.

    Gonna give it a try, at my local WallyWorld.

    Good prices, and good people watching, and only slightly less fascinating than standing in line at my favorite local incarnation of how the State of CA serves its citizens, the Department of Motor Vehicles…

  6. There are two Wally Worlds in my area, and both get their deliveries once a week. At one store, I was told by an employee that there are a group of old men who line up at 5 a.m. awaiting the 6 a.m. delivery–and the .22 never makes it to the shelves. It is just about as bad for 9 mm (but strangely, not .40). Under which circumstance, this crawler would always come up with a big fat zero every day of the week.

    • Mark N:

      Thanks for update, I’d heard similar stories a couple years ago. For budget reasons I haven’t been shooting as much lately, so I’m not tuned into the LGS status, or gun show gossip, but I do note that the status of SB53 is only one vote in Assembly session before going to Governor, per Calgus.net
      http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=967495

      This establishes an ammunition purchase permit and registration system, to check purchaser vs prohibited persons list, like handguns permits. What is alarming is language requiring CA to share info with US DOJ, and develope enhanced mental health record checks. Knowing how The POTUS Prettiest State AG has operated in past, on the Roster of Handguns, and Peruta, which IMHO is effectively extra-legal executive action, in contravention of 2A rights, until she loses in the courts…(which means years of rights denied to the law abiding, while those same laws do nothin to impede the law breaking…from using guns, and now bullets)

      I am not surprised at all that a subset of gun owners would be looking ahead to when this kicks in, in July 2016, to be stocking up at Walmart in particular, to save on shipping costs, by retired folk on a fixed income with free time on hand.

      As well as those free market traders in the ammo selling cottage industry that seeks to arbitrage low discount store prices, vs future scarcity driven higher prices, later.

      Here is the legislative update website, for anyone interested in the details.

      http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=201320140SB53

      I’m a bit surprised there is not more of a stink about this…

      Daniel S, if you are reading, any comment? You seem to have had inside info on Sacramento in past. Is Governors office sending signals in the tea leaves? Is this DOA or a sneaky move under the radar?

  7. Hmm, I get off of work at 11pm, I’ll have to give this a try to see if it’s legit or horsecrap. Though to be honest, given the character of walmart employees at the local store it wouldn’t surprise me one bit if the ammo was disappearing before it got to the sales floor or right off the back of the truck…

    • Keep in mind this article is off a little. Walmart updates their online inventory at 12 midnight eastern time every night. Gunwatcher will be the most accurate at 12:01 am since Walmart updates once a day. 11pm would mean the inventory is 23 hours old.

      • Oh I understand that. Its just easier to go to Walmart an hour after work, when I’m already awake and dressed as opposed to having to wake up at some odd hour to go.

  8. I have followed gunwatcher for about 6 months now and use it almost daily for gun searches. They just added ammo a few weeks ago. I was able to grab a remington 333 round pack when i got off work yesterday thanks to gunwatcher. Most sites just search stores, i like being able to see not only stores but auction sites as well as classifieds for every category. Keep up the good work!

  9. The actual wal-mart android app does the same thing. I used it during the entire ammo panic last year.

    Here in Az all stores get their trucks in around 2pm. You can check the app at 4pm and see what’s in stock and what they’ll be putting on shelves at 7am the next morning.

  10. Not accurate at all in my area (Central VA). Entered my area code, the site returned 3 local WalMarts. Drove to all three, none had any 22LR and replies from all clerks was that they had not seen any in 3 weeks..

    • Please let us address the issue — everyone that is involved with gunwatcher wants it to be returning the correct results. If you could contact me at gunwatcher.com or sitebiz.com that would be fine.

      • Brian, as I understand the problem, your info is only as good as Walmart’s inventory allows it to be. I regularly see .22 ammo sold in smaller-quantity boxes (50 rounds) shown as in-stock (using ALL of these inventory-check programs/sites), despite the fact that in-person checks have verified that none have been available for MONTHS (or if they did get any in, it was sold-out in hours). If WM “loses” 3 boxes of Federal Lightnings out of the last shipment of 1000 boxes, then those 3 boxes stay on the inventory until the next department audit or store inventory clears them out of the computer.

        Here’s the short version: “Shoplifters suck”.

        Run your program for any zip code with a WM store in Minnesota, searching for .22LR ammo, and you’ll likely get a positive hit for Federal Lightnings, CCI Stingers or other .22LR ammo in 50-round boxes. Given the current level of demand for rimfire ammo, I can guarantee that these are not just languishing on the shelves — in the real world, they don’t exist.

        • I’m going to concur with what DJ9 has said as well.
          Whatever info it Gun Watcher is pulling up for my local Walmart is incorrect.
          There hasn’t been any 22 ammo in stock at said location in sometime (re-verified today).

        • same here, looked for lightening today in local store due to this site showing inventory, but no dice.

  11. So…. you put in your address and it tells you what ammunition you’re looking for is available? I have to wonder who else has access to that site and to what extent… SO…Bill T. who lives at (1313 Mockingbird Lane)is looking for .40 Hollowpoints,huh? Sounds alot like the provision in NY’s Unsafe Act.Wanting to know who buys what for ammo so they can more or less figure out what you own…. Think I’ll just look while I’m there,thank you.

    • Why not even check to see how it works first. You enter your zip code not your address and it searches what looks like a 25 mile radius. If you are that worried why not enter a neighboring zip code even though i don’t see the need. Loosen that tin foil hat up a little bit….

    • Buddy G — That is some left wing conspiracy think — our team is extremely PRO privacy and is a PRO Gun – PRO Hunting – PRO CLASS-3 organization — all of the team members enjoy and own guns, most of us hunt and fish in our free time — there is not one of us that thinks NY’s unsafe act is a good thing. — NY Safe Act was a political tragedy in response to a human tragedy.

      If anything — our team wants the american people to own more legal guns, buy more legal ammo and enjoy the gun freedoms we have.

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