Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Pinching Pennies At The Range: Tips From Those That Have Done It

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In a matter of just a couple of years, we’ve seen the price of ammo double, and in some instances double again. There are calibers and cartridges that are selling today for 4 times or more what they were selling for in early 2019.

It is, in a word, ridiculous. This turn of events (and many others) have culminated in conditions that make it absurdly expensive for your average shooter to enjoy range therapy the way they once did.

It’s at the point where those who used to go to the range for enjoyment or stress relief are incurring stress at the mere thought of burning all that money!

Well, here are some tips to help you pinch pennies, wisely, at the range. You can have your range time and enjoy it too.

Be Smart About Buying in Bulk

One quick way to save a buck or two at the range is by buying ammo in bulk. After all, buying in bulk is the best way to get a lower per-round cost on your favorite ammo.

There are two caveats here. One is to buy smart – get an appropriate round for high-volume shooting. Don’t just buy any round because it is cheap.

The other is to be smart about your choice of caliber, especially if you have multiple guns. For instance, maybe you love your .300 BLK – but maybe don’t go to the range and waste money shooting that?

Those are relatively expensive rounds. Switch over to something smaller like .223 Rem or 5.56×45 NATO ammo and use that for high-volume target shooting. If you buy .223 bulk ammo that’s cheaper, anyway. Save the .300 BLK for competition and a smaller caliber for range therapy.

Save That Brass

Invest in a brass catcher, or, since that is another line item (and therefore an expense) just be conscientious about saving your brass.

One good reason to save your brass is that if you take care of it and clean it you can reuse it. If you’re a reloader, you can drive down costs at the range simply by making more of your preferred ammo.

The other is that you might be able to sell off some of your old brass and use that to fund additional purchases of bulk ammo.

Many recycling and scrap metal centers will accept spent brass if it is in good condition – so look into some of these around your area after you bought .223 bulk ammo, if you don’t reload.

Skip the Store-Bought Targets

It might sound ratchet and cheap (it’s definitely the latter) but think about it for a second. Do you want to spend money on something that you’re literally going to shoot full of holes?

Why do that when you can make your own targets. Either use a compass to trace your own targets on paper and apply spots, or just improvise your own from paper dinner plates. They’re way cheaper than paper targets and (don’t tell anyone) they work just as well.

Learn to Shoot for Free

Most states’ divisions of fish and game (or whatever your state calls it) operate and maintain hunter training areas that allow hunters and their guests to shoot for free.

Granted, shooting clubs are a whole lot of fun to join and may offer you perks that free ranges don’t, but can you argue with the cost?

If you’re really on a budget, look into the free facilities your state offers and make a point to shoot at those, where legal. These savings alone won’t be minimal, and you can roll them back into your shooting hobby.

Get Out There

You should be able to put most if not all of these pointers into practice today – and you know what that means.

You can save money doing what you love. So get to it!

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