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We’ve been waiting a loooong time for 5.56 ammo prices to fall back down to pre-Newtown levels, but it looks like we’re finally getting close. Case in point: steel-cased 5.56 plinking ammo can now be found at less than $300 per thousand before shipping. AIM Surplus currently has scads of steel-cased Wolf on hand for $.29 a round plus shipping. This isn’t the pre-Newtown cost of $.22 per round, but it will get you back practicing run-and-gun drills without breaking the bank . . .

I’ve shot mountains of Wolf and Tula over the years; it’s not terribly accurate but it’s totally reliable. I can’t recommend it for target or varmint shooting, but for quick offhand shooting out to 100 yards only a pro like Larry Vickers or Jerry Miculek will notice the diminished accuracy.

The better news for most shooters is that better brass-cased 5.56 from PMC and other manufacturers can be had for an extra $.06 per round.

Why is the price dipping a little bit right now? It could have something to do with the unusually crappy winter weather we’re having, or the all-corruption Sochi Olympics keeping people glued to their  TVs. Whatever the specific reason, demand seems a little bit off right now because this just isn’t the best time of the year for most of us to go shooting.

So keep your eye on Gunbot and Ammoseek and AIM Surplus, and strike while the iron is hot.

And while we’re all celebrating, Atlantic Firearms has ATI Omni reinforced-polymer ARs (the whole gun) for under $600. A new AR and a thousand rounds of ammo for about $1000 including shipping? If you’ve been frugal during this post-Newtown panic and you need an AR, this is a great time to pat yourself on the back and tool up.

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      • I picked up some Federal 855 a while back for ~$.35 and just grabbed some Federal 193 for $.38. Once prices dropped down to about $.40 for brass cased ammo the recovery kinda shut down. Prices seem to be trending downward still, just very slowly. If Federal is ever headed back to $.30 territory, it’s going to take months.

        The real crime (like Nick pointed out below) is the complete lack of .22lr. There were pallets of the stuff around for holiday doorbusters, now it’s non-existent. It’s cheaper to feed an AK these days!

        • I can wait. 🙂 Fortunately, I stocked up before the panic. I predict that ammo prices will not only drop to previous levels… They’ll drop BELOW pre-panic levels. Why? Because most of us have closets chock-full of ammo. Personal inventories are (or will soon be) SATURATED. So, demand is going to fall off a cliff. Prices will necessarily drop off that same cliff. When? I don’t know. But, it IS a matter of WHEN.

          In the mean time… I can wait.

      • For laughs a couple of months ago I went and looked at the very FIRST purchase of ammunition I ever made – basic American Eagle .223.

        It was around 6 bucks a box from Brownells, of all places. Oh, how little did I know.

      • Agreed, the 9MM Tula is decent plinker ammo, no problems at all with it. The Armory had it for 13.00 per 50 rd box last week but ran out. Still missing the 9.47 per box WWB at Walmart good ole days.

    • Pass on Tula? Why?

      Buy it now and wait till Hillary is elected. Once the price jumps to $1 a round you’ll make a killer profit.

    • Sadly I think most of the .22 shortage now is due to people who are buying up every box to resell at a profit. You can find it online for a reasonable price if you’re diligent. I picked up 1k of it last week from Cabela’s online.

  1. Bought a complete NFA lower during the panic for only $170 shipped, mainly as insurance against a ban, didn’t actually complete it til last month when I got a PSA upper with a Vortex strikefire included for $458. Total cost with a flip up BUIS, shipping, transfer fees? $698. Just ordered a thousand rounds of ammo with the tax return. In case you ask, yes, I’m pretty damn pleased with myself.

    • I bought a GPI lower from Centerfire systems for $54, bought a CMMG LPK, A1 buffer system, F/A for upper, and dustcover kit- $128 shipped. Bought an AR15 brick blem upper for $45 shipped, a Mas Defense 8 inch barrel, gas block , and muzzle device and free float handguard for $290. Now I have a 300 blackout pistol for like $560 including transfer fee and shipping on the lower. Much of this was bought over black friday and cyber monday. It is indeed a good time for guns.

      I did cheat cause I already have a BCG and flip up sights so if those were included we’d be looking at $700 or so.

    • I’ve been able to shoot 7.62×39 pretty affordably throughout this whole mess. Who would’ve guessed that in 2013 people would be reaching for x39 firearms to do some cheap shooting, rather than .22s?

      • I never jumped on the AR bandwagon mostly because I hated cleaning them and prefer the punch of the commie round. And like you said, AK ammo has been relatively left alone in the post Newtown debacle, the highest it went was 299.00 per 1K and its now hovering at around 225.00 per 1K, basically the same as pre Newtown.

        • The low cost of 7.62×39 has impacted the price of the AKs.
          People needed a gun to fire that cheap ammo.

        • More like: people discovered in the last couple years that AKs actually aren’t wildly inaccurate bullet hoses. I still can’t believe how many people I heard just as recently as a couple years back say things like “you can’t hit anything with an AK past 50 yards, why would you want to own one?” Now they all seem to own at least one.

      • Lol. Yep me too

        I’m like “hmm should I break into to the ..22 stash? Nah, I’ll just shoot the AK. “

    • Yep, Ammoman has that for $225 delivered I believe.

      I don’t think I’d trust Wolf in my AR, but the SKS was designed for it..

      Also, decent pricing for Wolf in .45ACP, which I have not had any problems with in my CZ.

  2. I’m voting for the crappy weather. MINUS 21F this morning. Who goes shooting when it’s 21 below?

    • One more reason I love AZ. I went to school in crap weather like that. No thanks! I’d rather shoot in 122-degrees with a hat and a big bucket of ice water for drinking and wearing. 🙂

      • Lived in Michigan my whole life, now residing in Ohio….the people that claim cold is better because you can layer can kiss my frozen blue ass.

        • That’s the general region where I went to school. First winter was ’93/’94, and I had made the fine mistake of buying my “winter” clothes in AZ. We had a whole week in January where the temperature never made it above 0, and the low reached -22 with a wind chill of -60 or so. I didn’t even have a hat. That might have been the toughest lesson I learned in school, lol.

          Anyway, I’m right there with you on the usefulness of “layering.” Stay warm, friend!

      • If I had my way I wouldn’t stick my nose out the door until it hit at least 20. At least in AZ you can go out in the morning when it’s 75 degrees out. I’m not sure 122 would be all that much better though.

        • I suppose you’d have to prepare for getting burned by every exposed bit of metal on your firearms if you went shooting in 122. Yes, that’s a thing. Gotta be careful with seatbelts out here in the summer, but it beats starting your car 30 minutes before you go anywhere, breaking your door handle off or corroding your ride with road salt.

          I walked 4 miles round trip to an arcade in 122 as a teen, and it was exhausting, but nothing like my -22 day described above. I’ve spent afternoons hiking through open desert in 110+. Water management and sun screen are important, but you can cool off in minutes with AC or a swimming pool. It’s nothing like treating “chilled to the bone.”

        • Some love the heat here. I’m not one of the guys that likes shooting in the triple digits. I usually take my shooting indoors if it passes 100 degrees before 9 am.

  3. Now is a good time to quietly stock up on .223 and 5.56. The next A-hole who shoots up a “Gun Free” Zone will cause more panic purchasing and prices will blow through the roof.

    It’s also a great time to stock up on mags.

    • I’m saving my pennies for the Crossroads of the West show next month. Best ammo prices I’ve seen in months, and mags stacked two stories tall.

    • True that. Literally after reading your comment, I bought some more 9mm and .223. Not a lot, the wife gets mad when I order 500 – 1000rnds at a time. So I keep it below 500rnds per order and just order again after a couple months. Then keep it all out of sight, out of mind, save the occasional trip to the range to keep up the fundamentals, make sure the gats are still good, and reconfirm zeros. I have plenty of mags for all my firearms, but I did order a handfull of springs for my Glock 19 and 17 mags, and AR mags.

  4. It also could be that one of the most populous states is now precluded from purchasing ammo online as of the middle of January, thereby decreasing demand. You can thank our emperor Andy Cuomo for decreasing the cost of shooting for the rest of the country.

    • Yeah, it’s real easy to forget that. I was caught with my pants down on 9mm ammo. Not .223, I had a crapton of steel case that I was selling to friends for more than what I paid for but less that the current market price for steel, so we both won.

    • Like two boxes worth. Mine was reliable, slightly underpowered (as is Wolf and Tula to begin with) and a bit more accurate than standard Wolf and Tula. I’d guess 2-3 MOA, but then again, that’s from about 40 rounds. YMMV

      I’d buy it if you can get a good price and pass if you can’t.

      • The Armory has Wolf Gold .223 Rem for 339.00 per 1K + shipping. From what I see its actually made in Taiwan, not Russia, so it should be very good quality stuff. (and no I am not an employee of The Armory, they just have the lowest prices on the Right Coast and very fast shipping and low shipping costs.)

        • The Armory is where I’ve been looking, and I did see the video from MAC. Even called Sig to get their take on the ammo in their firearm, they said that as long as it’s Sammi or Nato approved, it’s good to go in their weapons. Just thought I’d see if anyone here had ran it through their AR’s, and what they thought. Thanks

  5. “I’ve shot mountains of Wolf and Tula over the years; it’s not terribly accurate but it’s totally reliable. ”

    I once bought a 1000rd case of Tulammo (Herter’s rebranded) that was completely lacking in polymer coating. Most of the cases had enough surface corrosion that many stuck in the chrome-lined chamber of my Saiga .223. The extractor would rip the rim right off of the case, and I’d have to knock it out with the cleaning rod. There were hundreds of similar complaints at the time from shooters with various different types of firearms.

    Many of the cases also had large variations in neck length.

    I’ve had OK luck with Tulammo since then, but if I’m buying Russian .223, I prefer to find those headstamped from Barnaul – e.g. Wolf, Brown/Silver Bear.

  6. I’ll pass on Tula…the only failures I’ve ever seen with my Del-Ton upper we’re 2 FTE’s running the stuff. Both needed to be punched out with a cleaning rod. Wolf, however, has never skipped a beat and was good enough for 39/40 hits at a KD Appleseed last summer (out to 400 yards). In my RRA Predator, it’s about 1.5-2 MOA. If you can’t swing $400/1000 for brass cased yet, Wolf isn’t a bad way to go.

    Plus, they are starting to sponsor and support shooting programs like Appleseed…free ammo to shoot said Appleseed last year.

    • The Tula stuff won’t reliable cycle my heavy bolt. Wolf does better, but Tula is pretty much a FTF, FTE, double feed every two or three rounds.

  7. It’s been a race with everyone to ramp up and ship out as much as possible since 2012. Don’t expect prices to collapse entirely, but they will surely continue to fall well into the $300’s for brand name brass .223. I’d keep waiting it out rather than getting excited now and stocking up.

  8. I sincerely hope the hoarders who stocked up 223/556 ammo at well over $500/K are bleeding heavy red right now.

  9. Shipping, cost before shipping?

    Live in NY – there is no shipping… be safe – don’t ship ammo… that’s our motto. I have the statistics that clearly show the majority of mass shootings were completed with ammo that crossed state lines at some point after it was mined out of the ground… everyone knows that. Come on TAGG readers – that’s some common sense ammo shipping ammo rules right there… No Bullet Left Behind, kind of common sense!

  10. Got some new Tac Strike steel and 500 rounds of some steel garbo to shoot this weekend. Cant wait!!!!!!

  11. Some of the comments made me go and look………………

    Still have 10 of the 2880 rd IMI SPAM cans of SS109 (M855 green tip) that I paid $208 each DELIVERED via drop ship in late 2004…

  12. The problem now is that if you reload, brass 5.56 is cheaper than .22L R in quantity.

    Sure, I can sometimes find .22 LR as low as 10 Cents a round for one 50 round box. I got three boxes at Walmart one day at 6 cents a round, but I’m used to buying 500+ rounds at a time.

    150 rounds isn’t even a day at the range, and it’s rare I’m finding .22 LR even in that quantity at an acceptable price.

    Paying 29 cents per round for .22 LR is simply crazy.

  13. I do have to say I also think I’m beginning to see some prices going down. I have picked up non-corrisive 7.62 x 39 recently for right at around .20 cents a round recently.

    But I too would ask: where’s the .22LR?

    • “But I too would ask: where’s the .22LR?”

      just follow the oxygen delivery trucks around town and you’ll find the guys who will sell it to you for 3x-4x MSRP right at their front door. don’t try and haggle though, since they have all the time in the world. that’s why they’re on oxygen.

  14. If you really want to shoot some junk, there is 25 cent a round steel case with zinc wash bullet under the Colt brand name floating around in cyber space.

  15. I went into a Gander Mountain this weekend. They had pallet after pallet after pallet of ammunition in every conceivable caliber except .22 LR. They even had .22 WMR!!! However, everything was about 50% higher than prices of 18 months ago and they did not appear to be selling any of it.

    Further, I went into a Cabellas and saw hundreds of boxes of .223 Herter’s steel cased, non-corrosive ammunition for $6 per box of 20. (That works out to 30 cents per round.) And I didn’t see anyone purchasing that, either.

  16. Somehow, I don’t think you’re quite accurate in this posting.

    You’re confusing “Tula” with ammunition. Tula is many things, but “ammunition” it is not.

  17. SS109 has been $350/1000, Wolf Gold $339/1000 SHIPPED for a couple months now.
    Tula/ Herters has been $250/1000, Wolf $280/1000, so a lot better than it was….but would love to see the brass cased under 300. Maybe itll happen soon, maybe not

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