Bulk ammo vs. More expensive ammo choices

I’ve taken a many squirrel with ammo that cost less that $.02 a round.  I remember heading up to the lake, over Thanksgiving, when I was in my teens, and stopping  into the Wal-mart to pick up a 500 round brick of bulk ammo for $9.97.  Boy do I miss those days.  Daddy, my brother, and I would all shoot from this 500 round brick.  Those were some inexpensive times and I wish we had them back now, being in the current ammo crisis we’re in.

The Federal 500 round pack always seemed to be the best for us.  My Ruger 10/22 and Remington 597 seemed to shoot it very well.  At that point in my squirrel hunting career I wasn’t concerned with major accuracy.  As long as I could manage an inch group at 25 yards, I was in good shape.  I had been using bulk ammo up until 2010, until my focus turned to being as accurate as I possibly could.  That really depends on how much you want to pay per round.  I’ve certainly got a price limit, although some of the really expensive ammo choices (Eley tenex, Lapua Midas +) turn out some incredible groups.  My current accuracy requirements are being able to cover my 5 shot group @ 50 yards with a nickel.  That’s a dead squirrel every time you pull the trigger if you do your part.

bulk ammo

From the squirrels aspect, they have no opinion on how much the ammo you shoot them with costs.  They could care less if it was $.03 a round or $.30 a round.  It’ll be the last thing that runs through his/her mind.  I’m now at the point in my squirreling that I like a nice bolt action rifle, good glass, and quality ammo.  I want to be as accurate as possible on the bench, so that if I am a little off in the woods, at the moment of truth, I can still make an ethical kill.  I prefer every shot at a squirrel be one shot, one kill.  Once you add in the human factor though, it can be difficult to maintain that effort for the whole season.  It’s like pitching a no hitter.  At the moment my current threshold is $.20 a round.  Trust me that’s expensive ammo for this ole boy.

Let’s do the math on this, so you can see my reasoning on more expensive ammo.  So Eley Subsonic 40gr. HP cost around $9.20/50 rounds currently.  So that’s about $.19 a round, if I shoot 100 squirrels that season, at 2 shots per squirrel I’ve spent $38 for a season worth of squirrel hunting.  To me that’s an inexpensive season of squirrel hunting.  The least expensive round I currently shoot is around $.07 per round and the most expensive is $.19 per round.

Premium ammo

If bulk ammo is working for you and it’s in the right price range, that’s excellent.  However, if you’d like a little more accuracy and don’t have a problem spending a little more money per round, I think you’ll be very satisfied with the results.

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7 thoughts on “Bulk ammo vs. More expensive ammo choices

  1. Nate, I just ran across several articles/entries on line about Federal hunter’s match ammo. I was going to get a few boxes and try in the CZ 452 and Ruger 77/22. Have you any experience with them? Thanks. Jim C

  2. Agreed. If you are going to spend time and money on decent equipment, why skimp on one of the most important things of all…your ammo? Sure Eley and Lapua Sk costs a bit more, but unless you are going to stay at the range all day, you’re really only to shoot a few boxes a year at game including some sighting in time. Hunting with cheap ammo is like running a marathon and deciding to walk the last half mile.

  3. right on pat. i don’t mind spending more on quality 40 grain hp subsonic ammo. i have eley,sk, and winchester sshp in the stable right now. my goto ammo is winchester sshp 40 grain with that beautiful deadly truncated hp. i will only shoot subsonic hp at squirrels due to the relative quietness of the roumd and its way better when you have a suppressor attached. i’ve come to see that you get what you pay for in rimfire ammo. usually,but not always, the group size will shrink as the ammo price climbs.
    good luck,

    1. The last line sums it up nicely. A well placed shot has to do with you, and your equipment for sure.

  4. A little more math
    5 squirrel Limit.
    2 rounds per squirrel.
    10 rounds X 0.19 cents per pound equals $1.90 for the day.
    Maybe closer to $1.50 for the day.
    Compare that to your gas, valuable and sometimes scarce time afield, other equipment expenses.
    The memory of a 40 or 50 yard head shot is worth $1.90 to me compared
    to the few cents that I might have saved otherwise.

    Just picked up a CASE of Lapua SK Match Rifle.
    That should account for a few squirrels.
    Love the website and youtube clips.

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