Copyright 2022 – Stephen Redgwell
What we used to call bulk bullets.
Back when there weren’t many premium bullets around, Remington and Winchester offered cup and core bulk packs in many of the popular diameters and weights of the day. Most gun shops in my area had big sales of Core Lokts and Winchester bulk bullets twice a year.
They are still around, but not in the weights and diameters of the past. The fact is, the last 30 years have not been kind. They are primarily used in factory cartridges these days. As well, there’s more competition and this has reduced their popularity. The factories stopped selling some bullets. Certainly, there is more profit selling cartridges than components.
Stores ordered thousands in heavyweight, cardboard boxes. Most were repacked into bags of 100. Some were available in quantities of 500 and 1000. The high rollers could buy the boxes the way they got them from the factory, in quantities of approximately 6000. My gun club used to do this, making repackaged bullets available to members. It was a cheap way to buy varmint bullets and helped the club. I wonder if some places are still doing this?
A quick look at the Remington website shows they still offer them for some of the popular diameters, but nothing like in past years. https://www.remington.com/handloading/bullets/
Winchester also has a “Where to Buy” area in the upper right of the page. Canada can be searched there as well. Here are their available bullets. https://winchester.com/Products/Ammunition/Components/Bullets
What I found interesting is that now, Remington has made it easier for Canadians to find bullets. The provinces appear in their website search list. That doesn’t necessarily mean the bullets will be in stock, but they can be ordered. The last time I purchased Remington CL bullets from a local store, the price wasn’t as good as the past. In order words, Remington bullets were almost the same as Hornady and Speer. That might be their undoing. It’s best to wait for sales.
Living in Canada means we miss out on the great deals available in the US. It’s obvious when you consider the market size. A quick look at Midway USA and Midsouth Shooters Supply shows they have hundreds of .224s listed. It makes you want to cry. For example, inexpensive, store brand 224 bullets are shown in various weights for as little as 10 cents USD apiece. That’s about 13 cents CDN, or $13 per hundred. Canadian varmint hunters would have a field day. I know I would!
I used to order Remington and Winchester bulk varmint 45, 46, 50 and 55 grain bullets from several stores, two or three times a year. SIR, Le Barons and a couple of others used to get almost all of my bulk business. My last order of big game 150, 165 and 180 grain Remington CLs were packed into three boxes that weighed close to 150 pounds. Wholesale Sports had a big pre-hunting season sale. The postal clerk complained about how heavy they were, but he still helped me to the truck with them.
Sadly, Wholesale Sports closed for good in 2017.
I am glad that other companies have made “budget bullets” available again. Hornady bulk, Nosler Varmageddon and others are great for varmint shooting and casual trips to the range. But while they are cheaper than Sierras, Bergers or Barnes, it seems the glory days of cheap varmint bullets are behind us.
I wish those days were still here. I don’t begrudge the advancement of bullet technology, but you don’t always need the latest high tech projectile to take down a deer or reduce the coyote population.
I’d like to hear from you. What are your memories of either bulk bullets or the stores that sold them?