Buyer Beware: Non-Standard Boxes (Quantities) of Ammo


Buyer Beware: Non-Standard Boxes (Quantities) of Ammo

Yesterday, I opened an email from an online retailer advertising ammunition for sale. It promised 22 Ammo and more–and the “more” took up most of the email.

At the very bottom, looking rather lonesome, were a pair of photos. Almost identical at first glance, they advertised 22 Long Rifle (LR) ammo–round nose lead on the left, and plated hollow point (HP) on the right.

Both ads carried the same price. Well heck, a no-brainer, right? Same money, might as well grab the HPs just in case I want to do a little squirrel hunting, right?


Turns out, looking a little closer revealed that the HPs only come in boxes of 40 rounds, rather than the eternal standard of 50. So instead of costing a little more than a nickel per round, they’re 6.5 cents a pop.

In other words, you get 20% less for your money.

That’s dirty pool.

By the way, I’m not trying to blame the seller, who I’m not going to mention (I removed the price from the image to help keep them anonymous). I found the same 40-round boxes listed for sale on another site as well.

By the time I wrote this article, both types of ammo were sold out. I hope the buyers of the HP groceries knew what they were getting when they made the purchase.

Yeah, I know, buyer beware! Caveat emptor! And all that. But still, we consumers should be able to count on some standards. Most rifle ammo comes in boxes of 20. Handgun ammo is generally in boxes of 50. Shotgun shells in boxes of 25–except for those mortgage-your-house specialty loads.

Which reminds me of something that happened to an uncle some years ago. He had taken a notion to shoot a game of skeet, so he bought a box of shotgun shells, dumped them into his pockets, and hit the range with a friend.

Imagine his surprise and disgust when he ran out of ammo before he was done with his round! Yep, the manufacturer (I don’t recall which company it was) had begun shorting consumers by selling bird shot in boxes of 20 instead of 25. Naturally, my uncle was unhappy, and he let the manufacturer know, in no uncertain terms.

He must not have been the only one to complain because I’ve never seen any of those short boxes. Good thing, too.

Now I’m not here to slam Federal for trying to make a few extra bucks. I love me some free enterprise. I’m just saying that, as far as I can tell, they’re the only ones putting 40-round boxes of 22 LR ammo out there, and I wish they wouldn’t.

Fifty-round boxes are what shooters have come to expect, and here’s no reason to change that. Heck, even those 50-round boxes run dry pretty quickly.

Anyhow, take care when buying ammo these days. I guess we need to start reading ammo boxes more closely.

Avatar Author ID 61 - 21807383

Editor & Contributing Writer Russ Chastain is a lifelong hunter and shooter who has spent his life learning about hunting, shooting, guns, ammunition, gunsmithing, reloading, and bullet casting. He started toting his own gun in the woods at age nine and he's pursued deer with rifles since 1982, so his hunting knowledge has been growing for more than three and a half decades. His desire and ability to share this knowledge with others has also grown, and Russ has been professionally writing and editing original hunting & shooting content since 1998. Russ Chastain has a passion for sharing accurate, honest, interesting hunting & shooting knowledge and stories with people of all skill levels.

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