In general, discount ammunition offers no difference in performance from regular brand-name ammunition as long as the buyer does his research before purchasing. Discount ammunition can be divided into subcategories: surplus, remanufactured, and value brand, such as UMC or TulAmmo.
The most important factors to consider when buying discount ammunition are the age of the ammunition, the condition of the packaging and the origin of the ammunition. Overseas military surplus ammunition may produce more barrel fouling and corrosion due to the use of corrosive primers. Hang-fires are possible if the ammunition was stored improperly or for a long period of time. Steel-cased ammunition may lead to more feeding problems and malfunctions compared to brass ammunition. Likewise, remanufactured, or factory-reloaded, rounds tend to have more defects since the casings have already been fired at least once. Discount ammunition is best suited for practice rather than critical self-defense situations.