Getting a new firearm for your hunting or survival needs isn’t – and should not ever be – an impulse purchase. On the contrary, you should see it as a decisional process whose conclusion will have an impact not only on your performance but also on your budget. We all know hunting firearms are expensive by default. When you decide you need a new or better one, you should factor in more than its sale price. Today, let’s learn how to go through the buying process and learn something about saving money at each step. At the end of this guide, you might not only have a new firearm to shoot with but some savings you could redirect towards other critical purchases for your hunting needs.
1. Research Prices and Understand Them
Researching the prices of an item you want to buy is standard practice and common sense for any product, from USB memory, sticks to cars. However, when it comes to the guns and ammunition market, things are different and complex. For instance, you can buy a .22 shooting rifle online, from a dedicated brick-and-mortar store, or at an auction.
The gun and ammo commerce behaves more like an after-sale market, often involving person-to-person transactions. For this reason, you need to make sure what is the real cost and worth of a specific weapon you want to buy.
One method to save money when buying a new hunting rifle is to understand that some sellers ask too much for it. If you get your firearm through a broker, you also need to understand the extra costs involved. As we said initially, the price of a gun covers more than the eye can see. Here are other expenses you need to consider when you plan your budget:
- The commission taken by the auctioning platform or broker;
- Shipping costs if you want the seller to send the firearm where you live; shipping costs apply when you buy from a dedicated online store, through a broker, or from an individual;
- The Federal Firearms License (FFL) holder’s fees that you have to pay for completion of the background check and other paperwork;
- The costs involving the firearm maintenance, including a matching cleaning kit, the necessary accessories (such as a proper rifle bipod or a rangefinder), and more.
2. Keep Track of Your Other Spendings
If you wish to own a highly performing hunting rifle, but you realize you do not afford it yet, it means you might need a new system for saving some money. Let’s say you have $2,000 to spend on a new rifle. Our advice is to use a savings system, so you do not just get an almost useless $2,000 firearm to look at, but a $1,300 Anschütz 1416 HB, for example, with all the trimmings.
If you are not keen on putting money aside, digital tracking apps like Qube Money will literally take care of everything for you. For those with little experience with saving up for a big purchase, this smart, digital wallet will definitely make things easier and Qube Masters can teach you how. You’ll be able to sort all your expenses into categories and see where your spendings go a little bit overboard. By minimizing the amount you spend on items you don’t need as much, you could get to purchase your new firearm in no time. It does take some strong will to put that much money aside, but this app should actually make things more pleasant for you. Turn it into a personal challenge, rather than a compromise. After all, it’s all for something you are passionate about.
3. Buy Ammo in Bulk
Ammunition is the highest ongoing cost you will have to pay throughout the hunting season – or when you shoot your gun at the range regularly. As long as you get the caliber right, you can try cheaper ammunition to buy in bulk. Moreover, experts in the field recommend you buy ammo online. Here are two issues to factor in at this point:
- Whether you buy your ammo from your local range or store, keep in mind that you also have to consider taxes.
- Make sure you calculate the online shipping costs and taxes when you buy ammo in bulk online.
However, some specialists say that you can save almost $400 for ammunition if you shoot around 5,000 rounds a year with all these aspects considered. If you hunt regularly, you will soon learn that at the end of the season, the extra money you spend on ammo could have gone to a better rangefinder, a two-way radio, gas, and more. For this reason, we cannot emphasize enough the importance of having a money-saving system to help you track all your crucial and unnecessary costs.
As long as you have a dry and safe place to store your ammo, you can buy it in bulk and save a lot of money in the long run.
4. Find Deals and Negotiate the Prices When You Can
There is no shame in negotiation, especially when you want to buy your desired firearm from a gun show or a gun auction. These are the best places to find deals too. Of course, most of the arrangements and negotiation rounds occur at your local range, on hunting forums, and on the hunting grounds. They are person-to-person deals that save you money with shipping, taxes, and paperwork. Moreover, if you trust your hunting companions, you probably trust them to sell or swap good shooting rifles and accessories too.
However, finding deals and even bargaining for them is a common practice among hunters and survivalists. Most people pay the first sum they hear, but it is how you lose money.
- Instead, visit gun shows, become a member of gun brokers’ forums, hunting forums, and websites, check the best pawnshops, and subscribe to online sellers’ newsletters. It may take time to browse all offers, but if you can save a couple of hundred dollars or your firearm or ammunition, it is all worth it.
Other Factors to Consider When Saving Money for Your Next Hunting Firearm
We have seen a few tips on how to save money when you want to buy a firearm. However, besides the rifle itself, the ammo, and the deals you can land, you have other ways to save money on hunting in the long term. Armed with a money-saving and tracking system, a few true-and-tested tips, and some tricks we are about to share, you can significantly cut the hunting costs in general. As we know, shooting and hunting are expensive practices, and it is always best to save money without trading on quality, safety, or performance. Here are some other things to consider maintaining a healthy budget:
- Take advantage of holidays and year periods known for commerce deals and discounts;
- When you choose a new riflescope for your new gun, give a chance to entry models. Many of them feature high-end optics at very affordable prices. Don’t fall for the label trap and check out tech specs mindfully. You will find dozens of excellent hunting riflescopes or night vision binoculars even if they do not sport German glass or big brand names.
- If you and your hunting partner need a gundog, consider co-owning one. The expenses cut in half, and the dog will always have an owner, no matter how long one of you two leaves town.
- Mind the hunting fees if they are too steep and search for more affordable public land. Hunting forums and publicly available data will help you find overlooked hunting land that is more affordable and even closer to home.
We hope this guide helped you develop a powerful tactic for saving money when you plan to get a shooting firearm. Besides searching for the best prices and deals for the weapons themselves, you should employ the same strategies when buying ammunition or accessories. A money-saving system and some negotiation skills will take you far as well without setting back your budget.
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