Ammo Vending Machine?!?

Okay, I stumbled upon this article about an Ammo Vending Machine today. At first I thought it was a spoof. Apparently not, though.  And I have to say, I kinda like the concept.

The machine is run from a private club, and it appears that it doesn’t violate the law (though there may be some speculation that you need to have an attendant present to verify that someone under 21 is not buying handgun ammo).  That said, there is some precedence with the BATFE and tobacco vending machines (in places like VFWs, etc) that get away with a stern sign.

Personally I wouldn’t mind seeing something like this at ranges, and I think you could even branch it into vending certain common repair components that could ruin a day at the range if you don’t have one on hand (I had an O-ring go out on my Rem 11-87 that pretty much shut me down once).  I get that logistically that may be hard to pre-determine but a small parts kit that it readily available could be a useful item.

What do you readers think?  Good idea?  Terrible idea?

Tom is a former Navy Corpsman that spent some time bumbling around the deserts of Iraq with a Marine Recon unit, kicking in tent flaps and harassing sheep. Prior to that he was a paramedic somewhere in DFW, also doing some Executive Protection work between shifts. Now that those exciting days are behind him, he has embraced his inner “Warrior Hippie” and assaults 14er in his sandals and beard, or engages in rucking adventure challenges while consuming craft beer. To fund these adventures, he writes medical software and builds websites and mobile apps. His latest venture is as one of the founders of; a search engine for all things gun related. He hopes that his posts will help you find solid gear that will survive whatever you can throw at it–he is known (in certain circles) for his curse…ahem, ability…to find the breaking point of anything.


  • Matrix3692

    I was wondering, would anyone make one that dispenses full pre-loaded magazines?

    • Ethan

      For those of use who are too Operator to re-use magazines, or are from California where they don’t know magazines can be reloaded. 😛

    • Kelly Jackson

      For Democrat controlled states where magazines are one use/

  • Darhar M.

    Reminds me of the beer machines on Canadian Military Bases back in the 80’s,
    Whenever we were up in Nova Scotia to work with the RCN we would hit the base laundry
    facilities and wash clothes and have some vending machine ale.

  • atm

    In manufacturing we use vending machines for all types of items – medicine, safety items, work gloves, spare parts for machines, etc. Loading one up with safety glasses, ear plugs, AR parts kits, magpul magazines, etc, would be a great idea for a gun range or gun club.

  • Allan Segal

    What has caused the controversy is the fact that the owner of the service is running for county sheriff. Someone must have decided to make an issue of this in order to place the candidate in a bad light. The maneuver backfired, since nearly all the comments have been positive! The candidate is Sam Piccinini, an experience law enforcement officer, police academy teacher, SWAT and Sniper instructor, and class 6 ammo provider. This machine is at the range to which I am a member. You need a pass card to enter the range and again to enter the building, then a credit card to purchase. Video is present. The ammo is leaded non-jacketed non-magnum because that is what is needed in order to use the indoor range…no other ammo is allowed indoors: And we all know that this stuff is hard to find commercially. Having this machine is a God-send, esp. when bringing guests to the range. (Full disclosure: I am a supporter of the candidate and collecting signatures for his ballot.)

    • Doc Rader

      I really like the idea. I think it is a great addition and can really value add to a club.

    • Don Ward

      Thanks for the background information and the forthright response!

    • n0truscotsman

      Damn you for those inconvenient facts! you know it is much easier for anti-gun sensibilities to generate controversy when there is none…

  • Nicholas Chen

    I am a member of this club. I dont see a problem with it even though I never use it.

    • Been there. The vending machine is most assuredly real. At least it was there in August.

  • You know what this remind me of? The ammo machines from Borderlands, just….not as colorful.

    • Doc Rader

      Yes. Or even better–the Bioshock Ammo Bandito. Now that would be awesome!

  • Jack

    I hate this idea. I get furious when my bag of chips sticks in the machine. I would be livid if my 9mm hung up.

    • Jow Blow

      I’m guessing the added weight would help it fall, instead of it being trapped by the amount inflated air in the bag(or shape) . Which the chip bag oversizing causes it become wedge without the ammo’s heavier mass to pull to pull it downward.

      • Sam Pensive

        would help it fall..

        what are the chances you’d get a round firing with
        the primer hit just so on impact?

  • Wayneregina

    What a great idea! the club that I belong to sells range use ammo by stacking wooden pallets of it on the floor; effective enough I guess, but it doesn’t look great, since they have generally got a wide variety of stuff (.38spl, 9mm, .40, .45, .223, 7.62, 12ga. slugs & 00). a pallet for each calibre takes up a lot of floor space that I’m sure they could fill up with other things for sale. It would add some work for the sales staff keeping the machine stocked up, but it wouldn’t be too onerous.
    Does anyone know if this is just a repurposed machine used for selling candy bars & chips, or is it modified to carry the much heavier weight loads of ammo?

    • Supporteroftheowner

      The machine was beefed up to handle the extra load of the loaded bags of ammo. And it will not charge if it does not successfully vend the product.

  • Tom

    I think its a great idea but I am not sure I would want to be the test case in case should the BATFE decide it wants to make an issue of it. I guess as long as the club keeps unsupervised minors and other undesirables out they should not have a problem.

    Slightly off kilter but cigarette vending machines were once common in UK pubs and clubs but as technical under 18s could enter they were all removed a few years ago despite the over 18s only signage.

  • Darren Hruska

    Personally, I’d rather see a newer style vending machine used for such (the ones with the little elevator). Watching live cartridges fall from a height can be quite “intense.” Otherwise, I actually quite like the idea!

    • Southpaw89

      Just what I was thinking, even if the risk of a primer being struck on impact is low there is also the possibility of a case being damaged causing feeding problems. Still, its better than using a gumball machine.

  • Amsdorf

    They should drop a bag of Doritos on top of every bag of ammo dispensed.

  • Grindstone50k

    So my future dream of operating a gun range just got a new idea…

  • USMC03Vet

    Japan just lost its vending machine crown.

  • gunslinger

    now if we could get the gun vending machine…

    • Isaac FluffyWolf Rader

      Only if we can stock them the way they were in Borderlands 1. You could actually buy Legendaries out of there, not a bunch of white-quality guns nobody ever liked.h

      • kevin kelly

        White quality weapons?

        • Isaac FluffyWolf Rader

          Long story short, that’s the worst quality weapon in Borderlands, with purple and over being the best.

  • Aaron E

    Awesome, I love it!
    However, the drop of the bags from the top row would make me cringe a little bit. I’ve seen rounds cook off simply by guys downloading magazines from a standing position into an ammo can on the ground. That fall is a bit more, and with more rounds bunched together.

    • Sam Pensive

      would make me cringe a little bit. …

      true blood! i cringed and puckered at the thought.

  • MrBobBarker

    In my city there’s a pot store that sells their weed in a vending machine. You need to be a member at the club to use the machine as per local laws.

  • Jacob Gonzales

    Heh. Must be for ‘Double Deckers’

  • Tothe

    Great idea.

    Of course, I’m one of the people who also thinks the BATFE needs to be abolished altogether anyway.

  • michel Baikrich