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What is cheaper to shoot, handgun or shotgun?

i want another gun and am leaning toward handgun and shotgun most. Now, i want something that i can use for defense, but also can be fun at the range without breaking the bank.

so what's cheaper to shoot? a 12 gauge pump or a 45acp?

i know initial costs, the shotgun wins because you can get one for about $200. handguns cost more, but i think ammunition is cheaper. and idk what the price is on clays, but paper targets are very cheap.


caliber for handgun isn't too specific. as long as it's very common and easy to find. i just picked 45acp cause it'll be the more expensive. 40 and 9mm and any revolver ammo will probably be cheaper than 45acp. so i can just use logic from there

Update 2:

why are some people talking about 22lr...? i never once mentioned that in the question.... i already have a 22 and i know how much it costs

11 Answers

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    ok cost per round is what you're asking

    .22lr - 2.3 cpr (cpr = cents per round) - handguns & rifles

    7.62x25mm - 6.3 cpr - TT33 or CZ52 military surplus handgun

    5.45x39mm - 12.6 cpr - AK74 type rifles & one AR15 upper

    7.62x39mm - 15.7 cpr - AK47 type and SKS rifles. also AK pistol

    7.62x54r - 18.3 cpr - mosin nagant, Romanian PSL, Russian SVD-type.

    9x19mm (9mm Luger) - 19 cpr - handgun & rifles

    12 & 20 gauge birdshot shells (walmart) - 20 cpr

    40 S&W - 22 cpr

    .223 Remington - 23 cpr - AR15-type rifles, various bolt actions, AR15 pistol & kel tec plr16 pistol

    45 ACP - 27 cpr

    .308 winchester - 29 cpr - rifles

    shotgun clays are $9.97 per case at walmart. a case has more clays than you can shoot in a day.

  • Anonymous
    5 years ago

    Remember, shotshells are 25 to the box, 9mm usually has 50. Comparing inexpensive practice ammo in both, I think you'll find 9mm cheaper round for round. The least expensive 9mm runs $10-$12 for 50. I don't think you'll find shotshells for $5-$6 for 25. Correction: I found some, so they are about the same. Shotgun may be a tad more but not enough to matter.

  • mumm
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    Shotguns For Cheap

  • WC
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    The .22LR caliber in both handgun and rifle is the cheapest to shoot. Ammo cost about $13-$15 per brick (500 Rds).

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  • 1 decade ago

    Well 12 gauge per box of 25 in a box costs average $5.00 Dollars.* 45acp box of 50 rounds costs average $34.10, 44 Magnum box of 50 rounds costs average $43.00 Dollars.* Do the Math.* The shotgun will always be less expensive to shoot.*

    Source(s): * Run like a Deer.*....................Fly like an Eagle.*~~
  • Karle
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    well depends on what type of shotgun shells u want to shoot.....

    also depends on .45 ammo ur talking about...

    lets give u a rough estimate sells birdshot for 5 dollars for 25 rounds....that's .20 cents each...and sells .45 ball ammo for 17 bucks per 50...which is .34 cents per round....

    9mm is about 11 bucks per box of 50 which is .22 cents.....

    if ur just plinking/buying bulk ammo then shotgun is slightly cheaper...

    now if u get into hunting rounds for shotgun ....or SD rounds for handgun the price can go either way depending on what exactly u buy.....

    Source(s): this is all VERY general since u might be able to find better deals on either ammo...
  • TDM
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    Usually shotgun. 12 or 20 gauge value packs are cheap at WallyWorld.

  • 1 decade ago

    Shotgun shells run about $7-9.00 per 25 rounds.

    Centerfire pistol cartridges run from $18.00-50.00 per fifty rounds.

    .22 LR ammo runs about $15.00-20.00 per thousand rounds.

    If you reload, you can shoot cartridges like the .38 S&W Special for little more than the cost of .22 LR ammunition.

    I'd recommend you purchase a good .357 Magnum revolver, an RCBS RockChucker Reloading Kit, and purchase a large quantity of .38 S&W Special brass.

    Doc Hudson

  • 1 decade ago

    low brass bird shot will not go threw the walls and kill your family. but a 45 round can go through the kids then walls and into the neighbors house.

    I have a shotgun with 2 low brass rounds then buck.

    but a .22 will do fine at the range. my grand pa carried a .32 for paydays at his job.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    well you can reload handgun ammo (filling the casing with powder and lead and putting a primer at the bottom) that saves you more money than if you were too buy a lot of shotgun shells

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