The Absolute Essentials to Stock Up on During a Gun Craze!

Sam Jacobs

Ideally, we would have stocked up on firearms, ammunition, and accessories before prices went through the roof. However, for many of us, that isn’t the case. 

Over the past decade and a half, I’ve witnessed gun-related products skyrocket in price, which has led many of us to cut back and only purchase the essentials, but what are the essentials? 

For me, firearms, ammo, reloading supplies, and a few accessories are the essentials but which specific ones? 

Keep reading to find out!

Firearm Accessories

I’m in the process of building an AR and decking it out with some accessories. However, I’m not one to cram everything I can onto my rifle or pistol. Call me old school, but I still enjoy the clean, limited accessory look.

Here are several accessories I consider adding to a new rifle or pistol.

  • Flashlight / Laser
  • Red Dot / Scope
  • Suppressor
  • Sling
  • Gun Safe
  • Extra Magazines

A flashlight is a must if you plan to use your firearm for home or self-defense. Not only does it help you see, but it will also temporarily blind or disorient an intruder, giving you the upper hand. I also recommend adding a laser, enabling you to get on target faster in a high-pressure situation.

All of my pistols have iron sights; however, depending on the application, I always add a scope or red dot sights to my rifles. I slap a red dot for close quarters; if I plan to shoot 100 yards or further, I install a scope onto my rifle.

I must admit I didn’t understand the craze about suppressors until I shot one. While they never sound like the movies, unless you’re shooting a .22 LR, they will still help protect your hearing if you’re forced to defend yourself and your loved ones. I think a suppressor mounted on a concealed carry handgun is not viable, but it’s necessary for a home defense rifle.

As a hunter, I understand the importance of a rifle sling. Once, I forgot to put a sling on my gun before I went on a 2-day hunting trip. After lugging my rifle around without a strap for two days, I vowed to always install one on my hunting rifles and shotguns. I also have one installed on my AR because it helps me stabilize the gun while I’m shooting.

Some states are passing or attempting to pass laws that require you to lock up your firearms when not in use. While I agree with this to a point, I don’t want my guns falling into the hands of the wrong person; I also need quick access to my weapons to protect myself. That’s why most of my firearms are secured in a gun safe. 

If you can only afford one accessory, make it an extra mag. You can never have too many magazines because they break and make it much easier to carry spare ammo in your plate carrier, tactical backpack, or while concealed carrying.

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Speaking of mags and spare ammo, you can never have too much of either. Yes, ammo prices are still expensive, but you can do a few things to help lower the cost of ammo.

  • Purchase Ammo in Bulk
  • Wait Until There is a Sale
  • Reload Ammo

When you buy bulk ammo, the manufacturer and retailer take off a significant amount per round. Yes, taking $0.05 – $0.10 per round doesn’t sound like much, but the savings begin to add up quickly when you consider purchasing 1,000 rounds of ammunition.

I only mentioned waiting for a sale to buy ammo because I’ve gotten ammo on sale in the past, but it’s been a while, so this is one I don’t count on but take advantage of if the opportunity presents itself.

Handloading and reloading ammo is the cheapest way to stock up on ammo after you purchase all the reloading supplies, which we will discuss next. 

Reloading Supplies

If you’re a dedicated shooter who plans to train regularly, as you should, then learning to reload spent brass is a must. The most significant pain is the learning curve and the initial cost of buying all the reloading equipment and supplies.

Here is what you’ll need to get started handloading.

  • Up-to-date Loading Manual
  • Reloading Press
  • Primers
  • Priming Unit
  • Primer Tray
  • Powder
  • Powder Scale
  • Powder Trickler/ Dribbler
  • Powder Funnel
  • Bullets
  • Deburring Tool
  • Brass
  • Shell Holder
  • Reloading Die Set of Desired Caliber
  • Case Lubricant & Pad
  • Two Loading Blocks
  • Caliper
  • Case Trimmer

Several nice-to-have items make reloading go faster and smoother, such as,

  • Brass Catcher for Your Firearm
  • Case Cleaning Equipment
  • Scale Weight Check Sets
  • Automatic Electronic Powder Scale
  • Turret Presses
  • Flash Hole Uniformer
  • Primer Pocket Cleaner
  • Primer Pocket Uniformer
  • Primer Pocket Reamer

After the initial sticker shock from buying everything you need, you’ll be able to save money on ammo for years. 

Reloading is an investment that will take a while to begin paying you back, but once you’ve developed a system, you’ll start saving lots of money because ammo prices will only continue to rise.


New gun prices fluctuate only a little; generally, the prices of private and custom firearms rise and fall with demand. So, as long as you don’t purchase a gun at the market’s peak, you should get a good deal. 

The problem is that we never know when the peak will occur. I’ve been on the short end of a few gun deals, but as I’ve been in the market longer, I’ve learned to spot the best deals and pass on the ones I might regret. 

To my wife’s dismay, I’m a bit of a gun collector, so I purchase a variety of firearms. However, I try to keep my purchases in calibers I already own for three reasons. The first is that I already have ammo for my new gun, and the second is that I already have reloading supplies for it. Lastly, I know I enjoy shooting that caliber.

I also only purchase firearms I know I’ll use. Pistols, handguns, and shotguns are generally used for self-defense, while rifles and some shotguns are used for hunting. Even if you buy a new gun because it’s pretty or looks cool, at least you have a reason!

Parting Shots

Now that you’ve finished reading about the firearm essentials worth stocking up on, it’s time to begin saving and purchasing those items. I recommend taking your time and searching for the best deals instead of rushing out and buying it all at once unless you have money burning a hole in your pocket!

Stay safe out there, and always watch your six.

In partnership with the Government Training Institute. The Government Training Institute (GTI) was founded in 2003 to address needs of state and local law enforcement agencies throughout the United States with research-based training. GTI’s multiple courses contain a cooperative curriculum base and ongoing research from staff with extensive operational military and law enforcement experience.

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