We can buy sodas, night crawlers, and condoms from vending machines, so why not ammunition? That’s the question that Sam Piccinini asked—and answered. Federal law stipulates that a person must be 18 years old before he or she can purchase long-gun ammunition, and 21 before buying handgun ammunition. Some states have further restrictions. Piccinini, though, found that cigarette-vending machines, which used to be as common as soda vending machines, have had numerous restrictions put on them over the years to keep those under 18 years old from buying cigarettes. However, cigarette-vending machines can still be found in many private clubs—and that’s precisely where Piccinini took aim. Piccinini is a former police officer. He now who owns and runs Master-Ammo Company, an ammunition manufacturing and wholesale business in Rochester, Penn. About two years ago he created his ammo vending machines and put them at private gun club in Pennsylvania.
“The machines are well thought out,” says Piccinini. “The ammo drops onto a cushion. It’s safe. I also keep the prices very competitive and stock ammo types particular clubs want.” The machines, which dispense everything from .22 LR to .45 ACP ammunition, are popular, says Piccinini—so popular that other clubs have been calling to ask him to put ammo-vending machines in their clubs.