Are you looking for cheap, high-quality 12 gauge ammunition for your shotgun? Whether you're looking for ammunition for home defense or planning to head out and practice target shooting to hone your skills, finding high-quality ammunition is critical to keeping your gun firing smoothly. Locating it, however, can prove difficult, especially if you're trying to find high-quality ammunition in a hurry. 

Fortunately, we’ve researched the benefits of using high-quality ammunition and compiled the best resources for finding high-quality shotgun shells at reasonable prices. Check out our top tips below! 

The Importance of High-Quality 12 Gauge

Choosing the right high-quality ammunition is critical for any gun, including your shotgun. While less expensive 12 gauge can allow you to practice more often, tightening your groupings and improving your targeting, high-quality ammunition ensures that your gun will keep firing smoothly. Below are the top reasons to use high-quality ammunition in your shotgun. 

1. Quality shotgun shells can help keep your gun firing smoothly longer.

The more low-quality ammunition you shoot, the more problems you may have with your gun. When you choose low-quality ammunition, you're more likely to leave a great deal of gunpowder and even plastic behind in the barrel of your gun over time, creating not only the need for more frequent cleaning but also more struggles with jams. 

2. Choosing high-quality shells can help improve your aim and grouping.

When you shoot,  your goal is to keep your groupings as tight as possible or to hit your target as effectively as possible. Low-quality shotgun shells, however, could decrease your aim and lead to larger groupings. On the range, you can usually adjust accordingly for lower-quality shotgun shells, assuming that you will shoot better in practice. However, when you're out hunting or shooting in a competition, you may find that those low-quality shells harm your aim. 

3. High-quality shells will help ensure that you have the right amount of stopping power.

Imagine that you're out shooting skeet. You feel great about your shot. It seemed to go off perfectly. Unfortunately, when your target hit the ground, it was intact. Why? It could be, of course, that you missed your shot, but your ammunition could also be to blame. 

While budget matters, especially during periods where ammunition prices are high and quality ammo is hard to find, you may be tempted to choose lower-quality ammunition, especially for target practice. Choosing low-quality ammunition could have an impact on your gun's longevity, your ability to use it effectively, and even your aim. By choosing high-quality ammo, you can ensure that you have the stopping power you need behind your shots. Not only does it benefit you on the range it can also prove to be the difference between taking down your target or not while you're hunting. 

When you're headed out to hunt or planning for a competition--or using your shotgun in a self-defense scenario--it's important to have it loaded with ammo you can trust. At the retailers below, you'll find high-quality ammunition options that fit within the needs of your budget. 

The Best Places to Buy Cheap, High-Quality 12 Gauge Ammunition

Looking online for ammunition can prove incredibly frustrating. Have you found a trustworthy retailer? How do you know that a specific provider will offer the service and support you need? At these seven retailers, you'll find high-quality ammunition at reasonable prices that will allow you to disaster prep, practice, or head out for your next hunting trip with confidence. 

Top Pick
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OpticsPlanet Visit site

OpticsPlanet is one of the biggest online ammunition stores. It offers everything you'll need for hunting, shooting, and protection, including 12 gauge shells. OpticsPlanet regularly offers deals on accessories and ammunition and always has free shipping available for purchases over $49, which means you can get the ammunition you need for a price you can afford. With stock from brands like Coyote, Browning TSS, and Winchester, you'll get a clean-burning shotgun shell that will keep your shotgun running like new. OpticsPlanet is highly involved in the shooting community and frequently offers deals and promotions that can help you make your ammo purchase at a reasonable price. 


Brownell's Visit site

Brownells offers firearms, rifle parts, reloading tools, ammunition, and more. As a company that notes it has been "serious about firearms since 1939," Brownells has history on its side and a strong commitment to both high-quality products and a high standard of customer service. Brownells stocks brands like Challenger, Federal, and Winchester--high-quality brands you can trust--at reasonable prices that will allow you to stay in practice or have the right ammunition on hand for your next hunting trip. At Brownells, you can expect to pay $4.95 for shipping on orders less than 1 pound and $6.95 on orders that weigh more than a pound. If you're an Edge member, however, your orders will ship free--which means you can continue your regular ammo investment. Orders ship out fast at Brownells so that you can get your ammo in your hands sooner. 

Lucky Gunner

Lucky Gunner
Lucky Gunner Visit site

Lucky Gunner prides itself on having cheap, high-quality ammunition in stock, with new rounds coming into the warehouse every day to help more customers get the ammo they need in their hands quickly. Lucky Gunner keeps a range of brands in stock, including Federal, Hevi-Shot, and more. Lucky Gunner is a great place to look for hard-to-find ammunition, whether you're looking for 12 gauge for your shotgun or trying to pick up the ammunition you need for a handgun or rifle. While Lucky Gunner does not offer free shipping on its orders, it does have reasonable shipping prices that are lower than those of other sellers on the market, making it the perfect place for you to look the next time you need ammunition.

Midway USA

Midway USA
Midway USA Visit site

Midway USA stocks a wide range of shooting, hunting, and outdoor products. If you're looking for hunting gear, including 12 gauge ammunition for your shotgun, MidWay USA is a great online ammunition shop. Midway USA stocks brands like Hornady, Federal, and Winchester at reasonable prices and has free shipping on many of the products in its store, which means that you can get the rounds you need delivered to your door at a price you can afford. Midway USA also offers what it refers to as "nitro fast" shipping, which can help get the shotgun shells you need in your hands faster, whether you're getting ready for the start of hunting season or preparing for a last-minute shooting class. 

Cheaper Than Dirt

Cheaper Than Dirt
Cheaper Than Dirt Visit site

Cheaper Than Dirt prides itself on offering some of the cheapest ammunition options online, including 12 gauge shotgun ammunition. Designed to offer bulk, one-stop shopping options that will allow customers to find everything they need for survival planning, hunting season, or simply stocking up on the ammunition you use most often, Cheaper Than Dirt stocks quality brands like Hevi-Shot, Winchester, and Fiocci. While standard shipping is $16.95, Cheaper Than Dirt ships most of its orders out within 24 hours, which means that you can get your rounds in your hand--and down range--faster. Cheaper Than Dirt also offers bulk or large quantity options, which are ideal for many people who are looking for ways to increase their ammo stash without breaking their budgets. 

Rural King

Rural King
Rural King Visit site

Rural King, also known as America's farm and home store, contains a wide range of options that incorporate everything you need for your hunting or shooting expedition. If you're planning to stock up and you have a local Rural King, you can even purchase 12 gauge shotgun shells in the store, which will allow you to get the ammo in your hands faster and more effectively. Rural King has an entirely separate online store for its gun and ammunition purchases, which stocks brands like Winchester, Federal, Remington, and more. Rural King online does have an extended shipping time related to delays across the country. 

Academy Sports + Outdoors

Academy Sports + Outdoors

Academy Sports + Outdoors offers a range of sporting equipment and shooting and hunting gear, including the ammo you need for your shotgun. At Academy, you'll find popular brands like Hevi, Winchester, and Remington. In addition to the ability to order online, if you have a local Academy store, you can arrange for pickup inside the store or head in to pick up the ammunition you need at reasonable prices from a convenient location. Academy offers free shipping on orders over $25, which makes it the perfect opportunity for hunters or hobby shooters who are planning to order in bulk. 

Before ordering 12 gauge ammo online, make sure you take a look at your local and state laws and know whether you can legally have shotgun shells shipped to you. You may also want to consider how soon you need your ammo and what brands your store of choice has in stock since those factors can have a huge influence on the quality of your shooting session. 

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