from my friends at GunsPros.com:
As great of a hobby and sport that shooting is, firearm lovers all know how expensive it can be. Guns themselves are expensive, then you have the ongoing costs of ammo and range time.
In this article, we’ll cover 5 tips to save money so that you can spend more time shooting!
1) Factor in All Costs Before Buying Your Firearm
Many people buying their first firearm don’t factor in all of the costs to maintain their firearm and regularly feed it with ammunition. If they have $1,000 to spend, it’s too common that they spend nearly all of this on the firearm itself. Often, they then can’t afford to actually go shoot it at the range.
Not only does this deny them the chance to enjoy a great hobby, but it also prevents them from becoming competent with their firearms. It’s all too common for people to buy firearms intended for serious use like home-defense, then not properly familiarize themselves with the gun.
In the example above where someone has $1,000 to spend, I’d instead recommend spending $500 on the firearm itself, then the rest on ammunition and supplies to maintain your gun like a good cleaning kit. This will allow you to familiarize yourself with the gun, internalize proper firearm safety, and learn how to handle common firearm malfunctions.
2) Choose Your Calibers Wisely
With ammo being the biggest ongoing cost for regularly shooting your firearm, you should carefully consider the caliber your firearm is chambered in. If possible, go with an option with cheaper ammunition, so long as that caliber is sufficient for the needs of your firearm.
Here are some rough estimations of ammunition cost per round for practice ammunition by caliber:
- .22 Long Rifle (LR) – $0.05-$0.07
- .32 ACP – $0.38-$0.52
- .380 ACP – $0.29-$0.43
- 9mm – $0.19-$0.24
- .40 S&W – $0.29-$0.38
- .357 SIG – $0.42-$0.50
- .45 ACP – $0.28-$0.34
- .38 Special – $0.32-$0.40
- .357 Magnum – $0.42-$0.68
- .44 Magnum – $0.54-$1.05
If you’re looking for a handgun to used for concealed carry, choosing one chambered in 9mm is a great choice. While there’s endless debate over what is the best handgun caliber to use for self-defense, the majority of military and police forces use 9mm.
Not only is it relatively easy to handle the recoil of 9mm, but it’s also significantly cheaper than other common self-defense rounds.
If you’re determined to use a more powerful round, choosing 40 S&W or 45 ACP will save you on reoccurring ammunition costs compared to the more obscure 357 SIG.
Unfortunately the cheapest caliber ammunition, 22 LR, isn’t powerful enough for purposes of self-defense or hunting anything outside of varmints. With that said, if you’re just looking to shoot regularly as a hobby, it’s a great option.