My go to ammo stores have always been bitethebullet when they have stuff in stock, walmart, and ventura munitions. Shooting and training are expensive hobbies. Dry fire practice is a great alternative if you can't make it to the range. I think ammo is more expensive for you because of your caliber of choice. I think 9mm would be a better budget friendly round.
Crossroads show doesn't charge for parking anymore in Vegas.
There are usually several different ammo sellers at the shows, some are real businesses that do everything by the books, some "are priced with tax included". End of the show crossroads people come by to collect the sales tax "Here is $8.25 I only sold $100"
38SPL is about twice the cost of 9mm but if 38SPL is what works for you then it is what it is.
I've been hand loading multiple pistol and rifle calibers for the past 10 years. Yes it does take time but I keep my times to 30 minutes to an hour each session and just keep what I need moving through the loading process. Each time that I bought equipment the savings on ammo cost paid for the equipment usually within 6 months.
Per US Supreme Court, online sellers now have to charge sales tax.
If you can order online with free shipping, that's probably the best. Just recognize if you're not at home they're going to leave a box with a huge ORM sticker on it. That's what happened last time I bought on line. Nice advertising for any neighborhood thieves.
Yes. Gun shows collect tax..also, add in the cost of admission. Last time I went to a "gun show"(western trails gun show) the entry was $24 for the wife and I. Wasn't much to look at and prices seemed to be full retail.
Wow, quite a few replies for such a specialized forum! That's very good to see! Thanks for all the help everyone. Here are my main takeaways, and my responses. But I read everyone's post and took it to heart.
Yeah, expos aren't a new thing to me. I run an exotic pet shop on the side, breeding and selling roaches/tarantulas/geckos/etc., and people always expect amazing deals at expos. I tend to give a small discount for cash bulk orders just because I don't have to claim it, but that's all. People think these booths are free, when in reality I've spent almost $1k just to set up. I haven't been to a single gun expo so far, and I doubt that'll change any time soon. Guns may not be cheaper, but what of ammo? Surely there are a lot of reloaders there?
Do retailers sell this kind of ammo? I assume it'll be clearly marked? And the way you phrase it, I'm getting the impression that it's not quite as safe to use reloads on semi-autos?
There are a lot of suggestions on getting a 9mm, which is absolutely part of the plan. When my shooting gets up to par, I plan on getting my CCW with a subcompact 9mm. Just need to wait awhile, build up funds, you know the drill.
I buy reloads in case lots at shows but, I have a hard time figuring the cost of going to the show into that price because I go to the shows to enjoy walking around not to just buy ammo. I enjoy shooting a lot of 22 LR but, I also shoot other guns with very expensive ammo and have a few that can shoot a box of ammo in 3 seconds... I am always on the look out for ammo deals and buy a lot when the price is right.
Try using gunbot.net for on-line shopping. It does a good job for price comparison of what's out there. I probably shoot more .38 than anything else and you're going to pay around 30 to 35 cents per round for target ammo. If you just enjoy going out and blasting away, get a .22. By far the cheapest ammo to shoot and there's a wide selection of guns to choose from.