Ammo sold in gun shops vs. general retail stores


Active Member
A friend at work asked me if I knew about the difference between the ammo that gun shops sell compared to what you can by at at retail store. I told him other than the different types of ammo such as bullet weight for the same caliber , no. He was told by a gun shop owner that what they get is superior (even though it's the same brand) to what you can find at a Walmart or maybe Academy. I told him it sounds like the gun shop owner is trying to justify his high prices. Am I on the right track? Now that I think about it, where can you buy ammo that's not at a gun shop or online, other than Academy, is Walmart still selling ammo?

Jeff T.

Active Member
Wal-Mart said they were getting out of the ammo business or at least they were only going to sell certain ammo. They said hunting rifle and shotgun ammo was all they were going to sell. Last time I went to Wally World, they had almost no handgun ammo and very little rifle ammo on the shelf.

The question about different ammo for different retailers could be true. Many manufacturers across almost all lines of merchandise, manufacture specific items for specific retailers, sometimes changing minor things about the item as they put a different "name" on the item. The only real way to know if that is true is tobuy some UMC, or Winchester whitebox or whatever ammo from Academy and a couple other retail outlets and then run them through a Crono and break a couple cartridges down and see if they have the same case, bullet, powder and primer.


Staff member
I mean the logic holds true for outlet stores and flagship stores such as Levi jeans, or suit is it possible for ammo? You'd hope not as this could run the risk of life and death.

I'm going to lean towards no, until I learn otherwise. The mom and pop stores charge higher prices, as they simply do not have the buying power of other big box stores.

Jeff T.

Active Member
...The mom and pop stores charge higher prices, as they simply do not have the buying power of other big box stores.
I believe that this is the biggest issue of the price difference. just like when we have done group buys of ammunition and gotten a price break when we reach a certain volume, I believe the "Big" stores have better bargaining power simply by volume.


Active Member
I don't have a problem with a gun shop selling at a higher price for reasons stated, I would have a problem with a shop owner giving me false information as to why they have higher prices. I have been in that place before a few years ago and apparently he thought there was still panic buying on AR and pistol mags as well as reloading supplies which is about the only thing I paid attention to or knew about.


Active Member
With ammo I highly doubt there is a quality difference, I think it is more in lines with what was stated above that the big box stores have more buying power than mom and pop shops so they are able to sell at lower prices without hurting their profit margins.


This is a big internet BS issue.
I've contacted different manufacturers of both ammo and gun manufacturers over the years.
They build guns according to some some sellers like walmart and so on for furniture only. I have a Ruger 10-22 that was a walmart special with some seriously incredible laminated stock, but the action is the same as all others
. Walmart is not going to alter operation of the firearm beyond the manufacturers specs.They specify different furniture

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