There are so many places to buy reloading supplies.
Our recommendations come from years of personal experience and asking high-output reloaders (think fully-automated presses) where they get their stuff.
Ready for picks of the best & most affordable places to buy powders, primers, brass, and bullets?
Let’s get started, but first…a little disclaimer that this is purely educational. Take care in reloading since it could be a potentially dangerous hobby.
Table of Contents
Got Everything You Need?
Now that we got that out of the way…do you have everything you need before looking for supplies?
You’ll first need to know the basics of reloading. Our handy Beginner’s Guide covers all that.
Then you’ll need a press. We’ve also covered that with our recommendations for the Best Reloading Presses.
And reloading dies! You can learn more in our guide!
And finally, I recommend getting a reloading manual that lists the best powders and initial starting grains for your specific caliber and bullet weight.
I’m all for info on the internet, but for stuff that goes boom in my hand, I prefer something from a trusted source (at least to start).
Best Place to Buy Reloading Powder
In an ideal world…whatever powder you want would be readily available and cheaply shipped to you.
BUT depending on the current state of laws or current events, you might have some trouble finding your specific powder.
However, I’ve found by using both Cabela’s and Natchez, you’ll have the best mix of availability, shipping, and price.
Best Place to Buy Primers
Primers are usually easier to find than powder since each size works for a variety of calibers.
However, there still are differences, such as primer hardness. If you’re really competitive shooting and have lightened your hammer, you might want a softer primer such as Federal compared to a harder one like CCI. Learn more about optimizing your load in our guide (coming soon).
Otherwise, I’d say go with the cheapest primer in the size you want.
I’ve only used “hard” primers such as Tula and Sellier & Bellot just because I found a killer deal on them (from Cabela’s).
And primers are like powder.
Since they go boom, you’ll have to spring for the Hazmat fee of around $30 even if you order one.
I recommend buying a bunch and likely combining it with your powder order. There’s usually a total pound limit for retailers, but it’s something pretty high (like 48 lbs). Again, same recommendations as above.
If you’re having trouble figuring out how many primers to buy…look in your reloading manual for the average weight of charges for your caliber/bullet.
Then remember that there are 7000 grains in 1 lb.
Do some math to determine how many rounds you can make with your powder, and buy the appropriate number of primers.
Best Place to Buy Brass
You’ve been keeping your spent brass, right? Don’t worry if you haven’t…we’ll go over that too.
But if you have…make sure you have the right stuff to clean and prep. I use the following:
- Frankford Armory Brass Tumbler Kit ($102)
- Flitz Tumbler Polish ($17)
- Walnut Media ($28)
As for prep…it’s different for each caliber so consult your reloading manual.
So you need to buy brass. You can choose either new brass or “once-fired/remanufactured” brass.
I’d recommend shooting new brass only for precision rifles.
Or if you’re a big baller since it’s going to cost a bunch if you use it to reload for common calibers. So just get some brass ammo, shoot, and pick up your brass!
I’ve only bought new brass for my long-range .308s.
I like Winchester for semi-auto, but for my bolt guns, I go for the best…Lapua.
The price will make you cry. But you’ll likely never lose your brass, and you can use it for many reloads as long as you take care of it.
Again…look at Cabela’s and Natchez, and Brownells for new brass.
You’ll find slightly better deals if you go with cleaned and resized brass.
But to get the best deal, you’ll have to get some dirty brass and do it yourself!
If you don’t have your own brass…I would suggest Graf and Sons.
Note that if you buy “NATO” or “military” brass (especially for 5.56)…you’re going to have to do some extra case prep since they use crimped primers that don’t easily allow you to re-prime them without making the primer pocket bigger.
Best Place to Buy Bullets Online
There are lots of types of bullets and even more calibers. The short answer is I like buying again from Cabela’s and Natchez.
But I’ll offer some suggestions on the ones I personally use for my reloads.
I reload/shoot 9mm the most and have tried a bunch of bullets. My go-to is Xtreme Bullets, with a close second being Berry’s Bullets.
They are the most affordable and shoot more accurately than me.
As for weight…I recommend trying out 115/124/147 gr. I personally like the heavier 147gr since it feels more like a “push” instead of a “snap.”
If you read around, some top shooters will say since they are “plated,” they are inferior. Maybe…but I’m not good enough or shoot fast enough speeds for it to matter to make the switch to more expensive “jacketed” bullets.
I’m sure their stuff is great for other pistol calibers…I just don’t reload anything besides 9mm.
For my general plinking round, I go with Hornady 55gr FMJ/BT bullets, while I like the 75gr for more precision loads.
I like the ones with “cannelure” (the little ridges that grip the case) since it gives me a quick reference point if I’m loading at the correct length.
For my .308 reloads, I go with the gold standard of Sierra MatchKings (SMK). I tried a couple of weights but settled on 175gr, but many people like 168gr as well.
They should be awesome for other rifle calibers too.
That should be it…the best places online and even some suggestions for what I use. The combo of Cabela’s and Natchez should serve you well.
Need a refresher on reloading, or still looking for a press? Or did we scare you off, and now you just want to buy pre-made ammo from the best place online?
34 Leave a Reply
I like Midway for Diez and Tools. Also whenever they have Factory Second Bullets, I'll spring for some depending in price and caliber. Most of the time the bullets are seconds because of blemished finish on the jacket, but I've gotten some killer deals.
I tend to buy powder and primers local, because I despise the Haz Mat Charges, and being retired, I don't order in sufficient quantity to offset the Usurus Haz Mat Charges.
Midway for dies and misc tooling. Don't forget to try your local gun shops. Often carry commonly used powder, primers, projectiles, etc. And the money supports local business. It's worth paying a few bucks more to support a local shop.
Hi Eric, I'm a nube at reloading. Trying to find all the components I need for 9mm and 223. Would you revisit this article written in 2016 and is it even worth reloading now? Accuracy and recoil management. Thanks, Luis
Hey Luis! Thanks for reading and commenting. We are currently working on updates on older articles like this one, but I will make sure this gets put in the to-do pile!
Powder valley, being the biggest seller of gunpowder in the USA, has far better prices than anyone. Sportsmans Warehouse has the best price on primers, starting at $23.90 per K. However it doesn't matter since no one has any. Gunbroker has them from rip off artists for 2 to 3 hundred dollars a K. Things will ease up, so I suggest you do not let these thieves rob you. Most manufacturers are producing at 150%, so the supply will catch up with demand. Federal said they had produced more ammunition last year than their previous 98 years of existence.
If the manufacturer's are producing them why can't you ever find them. Never, not even backorder's? Looked for month's, nobody has them.
The factory is using them all, since the nation is arming its self. There's a couple of new primer manufacturers out there and that should ease things up a bit.
A couple years ago I was entertaining the idea of reloading but did the "math" and found that there really wasn't a savings of reloading vs. buying new. Granted, my math could be off.
But I was also thinking about a skill learned that would keep me shooting should there be a shortage (which there is / was).
Long story short: I have not practiced with live ammo since about Jan. of '21, as I've kept back my stock due to shortage / high prices. As of right now, a 1000 round box of 5.56 x 45 is at least $500 per box from Bulk Ammo is minimum (used to be about $330 ... shipped). I'm now re-entertaining the idea of purchasing reloading equipment and supplies and learn to reload.
So, a couple questions:
As of the time of my posting here (Jan. 18, '22), are reloading supplies readily available? And has anyone an idea of the cost of reloading vs. buying new at this point in time?
Thanks in advance for any help!
It depends on what caliber you plan to reload. Brass for some calibers and primers can be hard to buy.
Primers are extremely scarce and expensive. So before you invest a bunch in hardware for reliading be sure you will have the basics to start reloading with. Brass, primers powder ,micrometer and projectiles. Be patient. You won't be reloading in a week but when you get started you will love it and it will be worth it.
Once you get into it, reloading will be less expensive . Also with experience you will be able to fine tune yourself some very accurate ammunition.
2uears later still no primers
Hi just like to kno if you guys have primers
Like many others, I go where what I need is. Powder Valley, MidSouth Shooters Supply, and Selway Armory are my usual haunts. I used to use Midway USA, but things have changed for the worse lately, a shame as I was a 30 year customer. Brownells has always been too slow for my liking. For cast bullets, I go to Missouri Bullet Co. or Rim Rock. I've walked into Rim Rock, great people, very friendly and helpful. We all have our favorites, and we've all had issues at times with somebody, but the "Big Boys" generally cost more for the same things from smaller businesses.
Powder valley is far and away the cheapest place t shop. They also carry Zero bullets which are a great bullet at great prices.
Majority of my powder and primers come from Powder Valley.
Best prices and great service. My go=to place as well!
There are a lot of good (at least decent) places to buy reloading components. Just bought two kegs of powder from Graf & Sons because they were the only ones in stock. They have free hazmat currently too. Some others besides what have been listed is MidwayUSA(I get regular UPS next day from them), Mid South Shooter Supply is one that we have used with no problems. When we go to make a purchase, we check multiple sites to see which is the cheapest, hazmat fees, shipping, and who has the most items that we want in stock.
Got primers from Cabelas or Bass Pro online, when they get them in and have them shipped to the store near me. This way it is shipped free to the store and I do not pay the hazmat fee if it was shipped to my house. I would think the same thing would apply to powder if I got it through them also.
Cabela's "Use" to have good sales and shipping offers (I'm a "black card" holder). Since their merger (take over) by/with Bass Pro Shops their components selection has diminished and their prices have risen. Local store never has powder or primers or brass. They do offer orders "for store pick up" and eliminate the haz-mat fee if you pick up your order "in store". Starline Brass has excellent brass at very competitive pricing. Free S/H too. Grafs & Sons has excellent selection for powders, primers and bullets. They regularly run specials where they remove the haz-mat fee and only charge a flat fee of $9.95 per order. Target Sports USA has the best price for case qty. of factory loaded ammo "hands down". Buy a case you receive free S/H. Creedmoor Sports (out of Alabama) sells a wide variety of shooting supplies and caters to the advanced bench rest shooter. I use to buy from Bullets.com (Grizzly Imports) but they decided to quit the shooting sport supply business. Ended up buying a whole lot of lead "Berry's Bullets" for my .45 and .357 magnum loads at a 50% or more discount. Gonna miss those guys.
lots of good info,thankyou
Another online bullet and brass. Sages reloading. Good prices weekly deals. And has put special packages on sale. They good to go to place for me. Several deals for me on asked what package deal looking for. Reload .38 9mm .40 about start .223/5.56 soon
I like your article. It gives good info on bullets and powder. Best of all you speak of Nachez and Cabellas’s as places to purchase. Boy are you on point..
I normally load one bullet, powder for each like, 308, bullet such as 168 gr. Hpbt with Standard powder charge I keep these in the back of my sierra loading manual I know how many rds I get per pound of 748 powder. I try to buy powder and primers locally to keep a local supply flowing. Bullet can be an issue so I will buy some mail order and some local when I can find them. I do have a large inventory on hand but I restock as I consume the product.
Eric, I enjoy the web site. The comments, tests and products are simple, to the point and
worth reading. Keep up the work because it is paying off.
Eric,you need to do more research for shopping. Midway,Midsouth shooters, Natchez are fine, but pricing is varied on some items and in line f0r others. One needs to shop around.
do a google search to find these out. I have over 2 dozen sites that are used for certain
items. Cabelas is to expensive on most things, like Brownells of which I don't use. by once
fired brass, it won't hurt. remington primers are faultless compared to what you bought.
I've been reloading for almost 40 yrs., a retired police officer, have 2 college degrees,
you need more experience and exposure to products and reloading. I have to wonder
about someone who buys lapua brass for 40-45 dollars for 20 pcs.
Will do, thanks Dean! I'm trying to remember but I think I bought the Lapua for way less...at least for my 308.
Eric, give the Frankford Arsenal Platinum Series WET tumbler a try if you haven't already. The ultrasonic cleaner (it comes with a sample) they make, makes brass like brand new. You will need to get the Frankford Arsenal brass dryer too. Each can process a 1,000 rounds of .223 in a total time of 4 hours. With the ultrasonic cleaner and stainless steel media tumbling around with the brass for three hours you won't believe what the brass looks like when it comes out. Put it in the dryer for an hour and you're done. People I show the brass to, have a hard time believing it's once fired brass.
Hi Ron, will do if I ever up my reloading volume!
Don't forget Midsouth Shooting Supplies. Great pricing and they run free hazemat shipping from time to time
I prefer to buy at my local gun store since their prices are competitive and I save on shipping. Doesn't hurt that they know me by name and the dollars I spend there stay in my community.
Natchez will only sell to licensed dealers if you live in TN, GA, AL,or Fl. I live in Ga,so Natchez will not sell to me. I prefer MidwayUSA or Brownell for powder,primers and bullets.
Thanks for bringing that up...didn't know that!
Federal primers are the softest
Hi, you're right, thanks for catching that. Updated!