Available at Walmart? The Walmart Ammunition Test


Civil Unrest
Most WalMarts carry 9mm, 38Spl, 45ACP, 223, and 308, and even when you’re desperately sifting through the smoldering rubble of what used to be a Wall Mart, you’ll probably find at least some of the above.

Ft Collins, CO –-(Ammoland.com)- Available at Walmart?

My recent Quip with regard to the current domestic mini-renaissance of the 10mm pistol cartridge generated much comment, and I sincerely appreciate all who took the time to remark.

Many 10mm advocates insist that the 10mm is every bit as reliable as any other pistol cartridge.

That has surely not been my experience, but my perspective may not be typical. Again, I must say I was surprised at the number of fans the 10mm has.

In my Quips I express opinions, some of which are right! I am one of the “seniors” in this Art and industry, but I don’t claim to have seen everything.

All of which brings me to the follow-on subject:

Serious guns that I carry, and particularly those with which I travel, need to pass the “Walmart Test.”

When Walmart doesn’t routinely carry ammunition for a gun, I’m not interested it it. When on the road, I need to be confident that I can find ammunition that will fit in my guns nearly anywhere I go.

You’ll find 10mm, along with 45GAP and probably 41Mg too, at Cabelas and many other big gun retailers, but you’ll not likely find any of that at WalMart.

Most Walmarts carry 9mm, 38Spl, 45ACP, 223, and 308, and even when you’re desperately sifting through the smoldering rubble of what used to be a Walmart, you’ll probably find at least some of the above, and you’ll then be mighty glad that you have guns with you into which they’ll fit.

Less-popular calibers, wonderful though they may be, are hard to find even in “normal” times, and thus do not represent good choices for travel-guns.

When I go to Africa, they never heard of 357 SIG, nor 10mm, but there is lots of 9mm around (there, and most other places in the world where you’re going to need guns), mostly hardball, and it runs just fine in just about any pistol chambered for it.

It is truly said:

“The Art of Tact is best defined as the ability to make a point, without making an enemy”

I trust points I try to make I do so with sufficient tact and diplomacy so as not to offend the majority of those interested and kind enough to read them.


Defense Training International, Inc

About John Farnam & Defense Training International, Inc
As a defensive weapons and tactics instructor John Farnam will urge you, based on your own beliefs, to make up your mind in advance as to what you would do when faced with an imminent lethal threat. You should, of course, also decide what preparations you should make in advance if any. Defense Training International wants to make sure that their students fully understand the physical, legal, psychological, and societal consequences of their actions or in-actions.

It is our duty to make you aware of certain unpleasant physical realities intrinsic to the Planet Earth. Mr. Farnam is happy to be your counselor and advisor. Visit: www.defense-training.com

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Dave Dino

Do not shop at Walmart until they rescind their age 21 policy for ammunition purchases. I happened to be. Using shotgun rounds just hours before they announced their unconstitutional biased rule. Never again and his retir d Green Beret knows when an entity is becoming oppressive.


Some wheel weights are now made of zinc. Cheaper than lead I suppose.
Drop one of those in your melting pot and you will spoil the whole batch.

They can be recognized as they are shinier than lead.

Longhaired Redneck

About a year ago I went in to a Wal-Mart and they had multiple 10 round boxes of Federal .50BMG in the cabinet. No big fan of Wally’s am I, but I bought a box “just cuz”. I don’t own anything that uses .50 cal, but just the fact that they even carried it made me a little bit warm and fuzzy. Hint: It wasn’t in California…


Put away in the good times for the lean times. Granted, if you are down to your last magazine, it is time to scavenge. But ultimately, if you’re resorting to torched Walmarts for your ultimate back up, you aren’t a good prepper to start with.


WaMart? Really? That is the “standard” you wish to judge our unalienable Rights against? Just because of the ammo they carry? The company that has a tyrannical policy of of discriminating against people based on their age! Well, Mr. Farnam, you have certainly scraped the bottom of the barrel on that one. Shortly after I heard about their “new” store policy I was in one of their stores getting needed some needed items that is hard to find elsewhere. I decided to purchase a couple of boxes of ammo since I was already there. The clerk asked me for my… Read more »

Dave Dino

I’m with u and see that others just don’t quite grasp the ramifications. Did the same thing and wonwont ever go back to Walmart until they rescind their age 21 rules. Too many young adults won’t have that venue available and who knows how many victims might result due to none availability of firearms to assure their protection under the 2nd Amendment. It’s much deeper given these recent times than duck hunting.


When I decided to begin paying the premiums on my “insurance policies” and started deciding what iron I’d buy, I considered commonality of rounds chambered. I cionsidered some of the fun “interesting” but unusual ones. Decided I’d mostly stick with the readily available ones. Bought a Smith J Frame in .32 Mag, brand new gun in box, for a song…. then I tried to find the now-rare ammo for it. I’d find an odd bag of reloaded at a gun show for fairly cheap, NEVER ONCE saw any in any gun store. My other J is a .38 Sp. I… Read more »

Don Alan Settie

Order on line.


I dont have any desire to leave this country. Not for vacation or a hunting trip. Everyone hates Americans. And i won’t fly with a firearm any longer. If im going hunting. Im driving there. Don’t have to deal with lost or stolen items or other airport hassles.

Clark Kent

Might as well claim everyone hates Glocks. Or pastors. Or both. Generalize much?


Pastor, I agree. There is something drastically wrong when the government’s immediate, kneejerk, gut-level reaction to any problem is to instantly distrust its own people… and there’s a profundity if there ever was one. I won’t fly, period. I will not be treated like an already-convicted criminal (by any bureaucracy) and I easily discovered that I do not need to be in any location to which I cannot drive. [How’s THAT for “good english”? LOL ] Nor do I give a tinker’s damn if the entire airline industry ceases to function. My real attitude (and they very much deserve it)… Read more »


Wal Mart and their ID requirements are not a problem. I use my CWP. No magnetic strip to scan and they take it. Argue no DL to show (matters not if you have one anyway) and the will likely take it.

Had the manager for that half of the store, security manager and dept manager involved. The cashier who initiallly refused CWP was livid and totally outraged when I smiled at her as she was ringing it up.

Gregory Greenwood

I think his comments are valid if you are going on an African safari. So you might be thousands of miles from home and somehow the airlines lost your ammo and you are on the expensive trip of a lifetime and yet your rifles are all custom wildcats, etc. And I can see how it would apply to someone like him who travels the country so something like airline shipping or customs or whatever could result in a problem. However, for Joe Average, I can’t really agree. I’ve been carrying a .357 SIG for ten years or so. That’s after… Read more »

Jerry S.

I reloaded for many years, but I always bought factory for the brass to reload later. I also keep the number of calibers down so as to maintain a decent supply on the most readily available on the market. In some cases I have firearms that can shoot multi-cals with a quick barrel change….just in case.

Missouri Born

Wal Mart has ran many mom and pop stores out of business over the years and If old Sam was still alive he would have a fit over the way the company is doing business, I try not to spend anymore money than possible with them.


I don’t think Farnam is endorsing Walmart here, but rather using it as an example and/or litmus test to illustrate that for serious use firearms, only the ubiquitous calibers should be considered. Lots of folks in the comments section think the Walmart reference was a recommendation on where to shop.

Clark Kent

And I am sure your disapproval will hurt their bottom line. NOT! P.S. Nice to know you know the thoughts of a dead man.

Adrianne Kendrick

It appears that a lot of people are complaining about Walmart,remember they are in business to make a profit. Walmart has done a lot of questionable things. Yes, they ran a lot of mom and pops out of business. But you forgot the prices and the quality of service some of them were offering. and I guarantee you could not return anything without question. And also look at the number of people they hired and the taxes and insurance they paid. Go to any other big retailer and compare the price. And as for the gun laws, that’s on you… Read more »


If you buy ammo at Walmart, they not only require your Drivers License, they enter your DL number into their computer system with each ammo purchase. No more ammo purchases at Walmart for me.


Now that’s strange. I have never been asked for my DL at any WalMart. Do you live in a communist state?


Mike is correct. I had the same experience some time ago at my local Wal-Mart. They also wanted my DL when I tried to buy two small cans of Acetone, and I was limited to one. I’ve never been back! Wal-Mart is a strange business.


That’s because Acetone is used to make Meth with. The Idea is to track people who purchase large amounts of Acetone.


Walmart is a great place to buy ammo My local Walmart Supercenter is open 24/7 So if you need 7.62 x 39. .223, .308, 9 , .45. 38, .380 or 12 gauge , you can it at 3am They sell it at a great price by the box The only way to beat it is to order a case off the net with free shipping and no tax The only problem is they only sell “ plinking” ammo No match grade ammo I make sure to always buy one extra box of 50 Tula 7.62 x 39 no matter what… Read more »

Stu Johnson

I have tried to comment on this site several times and I amm always ignored, THAT PISSES ME OFF…..

Wild Bill

Well, I don’t want to say anyone is going about things backwards, but if someone is buying a gun to fit available ammunition, then you don’t have enough calibers and gauges. Of course, this is Texas (which might seem foreign to some people) so I have an advantage. At the height of the .22LR shortage, I got five thousand rounds at a yard sale. Every church participates in a baked goods and ornaments sale around Christmas time. The Baptists had Christmas stockings with cookies, an ornament, some little toy, and yep a box of .22LR in it. Not every little… Read more »

Clark Kent

‘If I owned Texas and Hell I would rent out Texas and live in Hell’ – General William Tecumseh Sherman. ‘Nuff said.


Yeah, I agree. For handgun, my primary is 9mm. Ammo is ubiquitous here and around the world. My home defense/vehicle gun is chambered in 300blk (for many different reasons). I have enough ammo available to get through ANY domestic situations. But, if large scale civil unrest breaks out? I’m grabbing one of several of my AR’s chambered in 5.56/223. Again, ammo is ubiquitous and is more than likely being fielded by those on my “side” and those we’d be fighting. Also, both calibers, 9mm and 5.56 are primarily in use by our military and the overwhelming majority of law enforcement.… Read more »


Well said!! Your approach to this problem is quite sound.

(Even my bolt-action Savage Axis is chambered in .223 Remington.)

Robert Stewart

If you read the article carefully then you should understand that the author describes places and situations that preclude “Internet purchases.” If you are traveling in certain countries or facing civil unrest you don’t have the ability to order online. There is a limit as to how much ammunition you can carry away from home. Many years ago an old-timer cautioned me that someone who drives rural areas for a living should buy a Ford or or a Chevrolet. His rationale was that if you have a breakdown in a small town they are more likely to have a part… Read more »


stopped shopping for ammo w-mart when aholes said they needed my DL


@M, its not that big of a deal, Here in Illinois when you go to the range everyone who shoots has to put up their drivers license, and foid card for the time you shoot. nobody logs any of it, its just for safety on their part, so if you get shot by someone, or you snap your cap and start shooting people, they know who you are. I buy ammo at Bass pro from time to time when its on sale, they ask to see my foid card, and make sure its up to date, give it back, ring… Read more »

Clark Kent

Now THAT will show them! NOT!

Ansel Hazen

For true safety against ammo shortages invest in a Dillon. Nothing gives you that money under the mattress feeling more so than the ability to load up whatever you need, whenever you want it.

Clark Kent



Go one step further Ansel, and invest in bullet casting molds for each caliber you own. A lot of what runs through my Dillon 550B are handloaded cast bullets. You will never have to worry about running out of lead so long as lead continues to be use for wheel weights. http://rotometals.com is a great place to buy pure lead or alloys if you want to stock up ahead of time. Their price on a 50 lb block of pure lead (shipped in two pieces) is quite reasonable, and I’ve bought it on sale there for even less. If times… Read more »

John Dunlap

Mr.Farnam, I hate to be the first to disagree this time, but I must point out that the Walmart Test is not always valid. Of course, if one is in a foreign country or otherwise dependent on locally available commercial supplies, it makes great sense to stick to the most readily available calibers. Now for the “however”. The World Wide Web and the proliferation of custom ammo makers has made it fairly easy to find anything we need. Even rounds like .35 Winchester and 8mm Nambu are relatively easy to find, it’s just a matter of how much you’re willing… Read more »

Bill N.

Dunlap, of the ammo you mention, you failed to mention 9mm. My Walmart always had it, both FMJ and hollow point. Never have 10mm though. I buy my 10’s online.

John Dunlap

The Walmarts around me also have 9mm – now. During the so called shortage, none. Even after they started getting some ammo in again, and rationed it, usually no 9mm. If there was, it was snapped up by the scalpers, practically right off the truck (the local Bass Pro had to put security on their loading dock to stop that sort of thing). Oddly enough, the store nearest to me did have two boxes of .45 GAP sitting by themselves in the otherwise empty section of the case reserved for pistol calibers. Where they got it, I don’t know. Those… Read more »


I didn’t know Walmart had stores in Africa. Good to know for my next trip.

Mr. T

I wholeheartedly agree. Save the modern “oddball” calibers for playtime. Don’t figure extented use beyond whats in the firearm and your pocket, should any type of shtf happen.
Same can be said of shotguns too.
Any backwoods old time hardware store, or farmhouse might have a box of 12 g shells, laying around, same can probably be said about 30-06. In the last “shortage” could find 30-06 on the shelf a bit longer than 308. So 308 is common, but has been around only half the time..If you have an 06, I’d hang onto it..
Just in case.