I came up with the idea during the Great Comrade Barry inspired ammunition shortage of 2016, that was the second one; Ammo Swap Saturdays: Organizing Ammo Box Swaps. *Note: The first ammo shortage was in 2013. We talked about it on the very first episode of SOTG radio.

“We can do one of two things; Sit around and complain about the cost and lack of availability of ammunition or come up with creative solutions.” 

What in the world is ammo swap Saturday? If you will allow me a moment, I will explain in detail. This just might be the win/win solution for which you are looking.

Ammo Box Swap

What is Ammo Swap Saturday? Not Just an Ammo Box!

First of all, you don’t have to wait until Saturday to participate in an ammo box swap. Saturday seemed like the best day to organize an event at your local gun club or range. Historically, Saturdays are the busiest days at public and private shooting ranges.


Low estimates say that there is at least one billion rounds of ammunition in the hands of American citizens. There is ammo out there, you just need to find out who has what and what they are willing to trade. There are plenty of ammo boxes to swap.

If you have been a gun person for most of your adult life, there is a good chance that you have ammunition; new in the box, for guns you no longer own. Let’s face it, ammunition has always had value, you don’t throw it away. Today it is easier to get cash money than it is to come by ammunition.

The suggestion is quite simple. If you are a member of a gun club or members only shooting range you can organize your own ammo box swap. Get your club leaders to post a notification announcing Ammo Swap Saturday. This is not a flea market or a gun show, it’s all about trading ammunition. Invite people to bring in the ammunition of which they are willing to trade and then engage in a barter system.


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Gathering of Like Minded People: Organizing Your Ammo Box Swap

Let’s say you are not a member of a gun club or members range. Are you planning to take firearms training any time soon? If you are driving to the training course, the weight of a few hundred extra rounds of ammunition is no big deal. 

Put the word out to other class members (Instructors, are you listening?) and have them do the same thing. During a lunch break or after class, you can all gather around the tailgates of your trucks and swap ammunition.  Maybe you have a lot of .45 acp but you need 9mm or vice versa. Did you sell your .204 Ruger rifle but you still have 200 rounds of ammo? Trade that ammo box for something you can use.

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Parting Shots

We can do one of two things. We complain about the cost and lack of availability of ammunition or we can come up with creative solutions. The high cost and limited availability of ammunition is expected to continue for at least another year. Then, who knows what the future will bring.

Ammo Swap Saturday, or Friday or Monday or whatever, is all about good people helping out other good people. We are not trying to gouge our neighbors or cash in. We are simply offering to trade valuable ammunition that we might not need or want for something we do. The choice is up to you. With a little motivation and communication, you can create a situation that is a win/win for your fellow patriots.

Airsoft Training During the Ammo Shortage

Airsoft for training during the ammo shortage - ammo box swap

The idea of airsoft training or using airsoft pistols for inexpensive practice is not exactly new. I wrote an airgun column for a print firearms magazine for several years and wrote dozens of articles extolling the virtues of using airguns for inexpensive and convenient practice tools.

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Paul G. Markel has worn many hats during his lifetime. He has been a U.S. Marine, Police Officer, Professional Bodyguard, and Small Arms and Tactics Instructor. Mr. Markel has been writing professionally for law enforcement and firearms periodicals for nearly twenty years with hundreds and hundreds of articles in print. Paul is a regular guest on nationally syndicated radio talk shows and subject matter expert in firearms training and use of force. Mr. Markel has been teaching safe and effective firearms handling to students young and old for decades and has worked actively with the 4-H Shooting Sports program. Paul holds numerous instructor certifications in multiple disciplines and a Bachelor’s degree in conflict resolution; nonetheless, he is and will remain a dedicated Student of the Gun.

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