Cheapest Rifle Cartridges to Shoot (In a handy table)

It’s no secret to anyone that the price of factory ammunition has skyrocketed over the last few years–like most everything else in life due to inflation and lockdowns.

Selecting a rifle cartridge that has cheaper ammunition means you can train more and shoot more. Right now, ammo price is one of the first things I look at before purchasing a rifle. It has me shooting a lot more .308 Winchester and 6.5 Creedmoor.

The following lists and table contain the average pricing of various rifle cartridges. Hopefully, it’ll help you to pick a cartridge that meets your needs while also saving you some money.

Overall, the cheapest centerfire rifle cartridges to shoot are:

  • .223 Remington
  • .222 Remington
  • .22-250
  • .243 Winchester
  • .22 Creedmoor

If you’re looking for the least expensive big game hunting rifle cartridges, they are:

  • .308 Winchester
  • .30-30
  • .270 Winchester
  • 6.5×55 Swedish Mauser
  • .30-06 Springfield
CartridgeAverage Current Price (Box of 20)Price Increase from 2019Average 2019 Price (Box of 20)Percent Increase
22 Long Rifle$10.24$2.98$7.2641%
22 Winchester Magnum Rimfire$25.66$8.80$16.8552%
223 Remington / 5.56$28.66$5.96$22.6926%
222 Remington$31.49$8.50$22.9937%
22-250 Remington$37.49$9.50$27.9934%
22 Hornet$39.66$15.46$24.1964%
22 Nosler$43.99$11.40$32.5935%
22 Creedmoor$52.32$13.33$39.0034%
220 Swift$52.99$22.33$30.6673%
243 Winchester$47.99$17.50$30.4957%
6mm Creedmoor$53.99$24.80$29.1985%
240 Weatherby Magnum$73.49$23.50$49.9947%
6mm Remington$53.66$23.22$30.4476%
25-06 Remington$49.32$18.58$30.7460%
257 Weatherby Magnum$93.32$45.33$47.9994%
6.5 x 55 Swedish Mauser$47.41$17.22$30.1957%
260 Remington$51.62$14.30$37.3238%
264 Winchester Magnum$65.28$14.29$50.9928%
6.5-284 Norma Match$76.99$13.40$63.5921%
6.5 Precision Rifle Cartridge$77.99$30.33$47.6664%
6.5-300 Weatherby Magnum$77.99$21.75$56.2439%
6.5 Weatherby RPM$96.66$39.17$57.4968%
6.5 Creedmoor$54.66$26.92$27.7497%
26 Nosler$95.99$32.20$63.7950%
6.8 Remington SPC$37.49$14.50$22.9963%
270 Winchester$46.74$19.75$26.9973%
270 Winchester Short Magnum$71.66$31.17$40.4977%
270 Weatherby Magnum$82.32$37.33$44.9983%
27 Nosler$103.49$43.90$59.5974%
7mm-08 Remington$53.66$23.92$29.7480%
7mm Remington Magnum$59.66$11.07$48.5923%
280 Remington$61.66$29.82$31.8494%
280 Ackley Improved$74.66$27.42$47.2458%
7mm Weatherby Magnum$85.99$32.33$53.6660%
28 Nosler$97.99$38.40$59.5964%
7mm SAUM$99.32$42.33$56.9974%
7mm Winchester Short Magnum$102.99$63.50$39.49161%
7mm STW$107.32$42.73$64.5966%
7mm Mauser$61.32$31.33$29.99104%
7.62 x 39mm$24.32$18.25$6.07301%
300 AAC Blackout$33.32$3.87$29.4513%
308 Winchester$38.32$3.67$34.6611%
30-30 Winchester$42.32$8.13$34.1924%
30-06 Springfield$47.66$13.00$34.6638%
300 Winchester Short Magnum$61.66$13.95$47.7129%
300 Winchester Magnum$63.66$11.63$52.0322%
300 Ruger Compact Magnum$72.99$33.00$39.9983%
300 Precision Rifle Cartridge$77.99$21.75$56.2439%
300 Weatherby Magnum$83.44$23.05$60.3938%
30 Nosler$98.66$34.55$64.1154%
300 Remington Ultra Magnum$106.99$32.60$74.3944%
30-378 Weatherby Magnum$143.66$38.27$105.3936%
338 Federal$77.66$43.07$34.59125%
33 Nosler$98.32$30.78$67.5546%
338 Winchester Magnum$100.99$46.56$54.4386%
340 Weatherby Magnum$113.99$37.80$76.1950%
338 Lapua Magnum$115.99$21.80$94.1923%
338 Remington Ultra Magnum$129.99$58.92$71.0783%
338-378 Weatherby Magnum$159.66$40.66$119.0034%
50 Browning Machine Gun$89.99$36.33$53.6668%

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  1. Jayson Anton says:

    You’re one of the few sources that lists it in that table format!
    Honestly makes it easier on the eyes, rather than searching the entire text, thanks Jim

  2. I was considering a handful of cartridges for my first “North America rifle” for game up to Elk size. You’ve shown me which cartridges will be affordable. Thank you.

  3. I have the Grendel and wanted something for big game when I get more comfortable. Grendel wasn’t gonna do it…so this helped me decidee between 308 and 30-06 which my buddy has! I’m saving way more especially for hunting specific rounds. Thanks again for the details you do on everything! Trust me it made me get rid of just about all my stuff and get a Leupold VX Freedom and a Burris! I almost got the Sig Cross, but the ammo picky really bummed me especially since I no longer reload…

  4. Rob rossow says:

    Looking for 44 40 rifle ammo

  5. Chris Genge says:


    I have had my grandpas model 99, 300 savage and wanting to use it for whitetail. Looking around my area (Denver) to buy what I can find. Very hard to find this ammo and have heard that a 308 can be trimmed down to fit. I really appreciate your videos on the reloading part and wanted your thoughts on this. Thank you.

    1. Jim Harmer says:

      Hmm…. I’m very sorry to disappoint, but I’ve never worked with 300 Savage so I’m honestly not sure. Wish I could be of more help.

    2. Chris Elliott says:

      Hey Chris,

      I’ve shot my great grandfather’s model 99, 300 savage for almost 20 years. It is a great short range deer and elk rifle (250 yards and closer). The big box stores will carry it on their shelves periodically. Cabelas in Boise has been carrying some from time to time. If your are reloading, like me, I would look at purchasing brass online from opticsplanet or gunbroker. Mine gun like IMR 4064 and 4895 powder. I have also heard that you can trim 308 cases to fit, but have never personally tried it. Hope this helps.

  6. Ralph Pardue says:

    Jim, thank you for your hard work. Much appreciated.
    Very interesting topic.
    I bought my last 1000 round box of Tiger 7.62X39 ammo on 02 FEB 2020, from Cost $202.00, delivered to my front door.

    My how times have changed.

    Keep up the great work!

    Ralph from Jacksonville, FL.
    30 years served and retired; US Navy FCCM(SW)