The National Firearms Survey reports that 38% of American households possess at least one gun. Every year, the American gun and ammunition industry generates over $6 billion in revenue, according to Time Magazine. Some of these expenditures are no doubt made by governments and armed professionals, but the hobbyist also contributes billions to the industry. Between the cost of firearms, accessories, ammunition, and range fees, guns can be an expensive hobby. Here are three ways you can reduce your gun hobby costs.
1. Find an Affordable Range
With a little planning, you can reduce your range fees. Don’t just go to the closest range. Shop around to find the most affordable deals within commuting distance, and seriously consider purchasing a membership that can reduce your range fees each time you visit. Sometimes states and municipalities own gun ranges, and these are often your least expensive options. Check for ranges in state and local parks. Additionally, research your zoning laws. It might be possible for you to shoot on private property if you or a friend have sufficient land.
2. Practice Outside the Range
Consider purchasing an airsoft rifle or B.B. gun to practice shooting when you are not at the range. These weapons can often be used in private settings, so you’ll avoid range fees and the expensive ammunition. Dry firing is another way to become comfortable with your gun without going to the range or using ammunition, and the practice can be done in the privacy of your own home. Be sure to purchase snap caps so you don’t damage your firearm with dry firing.
3. Make Your Own Ammunition
The cost of ammunition is on the rise. Forbes Magazine has even referred to this phenomenon as “the bullet bubble.” Prices are being driven up by an excess of demand, while supply is not rising to meet demand. This means ammunition could easily become the most expensive component of your gun hobby.
There’s a way to reduce your ammunition costs, however: make your own. Reloading has become an increasingly popular practice among gun enthusiasts. Although you will have to outlay some cash upfront to purchase reloading equipment, this investment will pay off in the long run. After shooting, you can gather your brass and reload it at home in your garage or basement. If you find the initial investment off-putting, consider going in with a friend or neighbor and sharing the equipment. Additionally, you can buy the equipment used to save money. Keep an eye open for moving sales; people often decide not to cart reloading equipment with them when they move from one state to another.
If you follow these three easy tips, you’ll be well on your way to reducing the total cost of your gun hobby.