Introduction: How to Get Free Gun Magazines

Picture of How to Get Free Gun Magazines

Go where they buy lots of guns and dig in their trash.
Your local police department for example.
You'll find much cooler magazines than at the 7-11, and it's totally free!!

Excellent photos by Saul Griffith

Step 1: Jackpot!

Picture of Jackpot!

Here's the tip of a really tasty iceberg. We got about 50 lbs of 20 or so different magazines.
For those of you not familiar with the genre, think "holy shit".

Step 2: An Elevated, Modified Standing Position

Picture of An Elevated, Modified Standing Position

So what's this gun loving lifestyle all about anyway?
Opening one of a magazines (Guns Magazine 2006 Combat Annual) at random, here's what we find.
The caption reads: "An elevated, modified standing position".
For your subscription, go to


tatiannastevenson (author)2016-09-22

For free magazines you can go to freebizmag or and sign up for free subscriptions to different stuff like outdoor life, etc.

dfc849 (author)2011-06-15

Great write-up, fairly simple but informative! A few tips I have for fellow 'instructors'

Ask local businesses for the "hobbyist specials" as some people will sell their cars as "mechanic's specials". This really is more of a local business thing, usually they will direct you to the dumpster, parts bin, etc. For larger, corporate businesses, observe state laws and local ordinances set in place. Dumpsters are private property.

Try to make as many social connections as possible, resources become more abundant this way.

My town has "junk week" every year in late spring for people to set unwanted stuff at the curb, it's accepted and VERY common for people to sort through and take stuff. At the end of the week, the city takes any remaining trash free of charge excluding demolition material and home appliances.

Unfortunately, my town does also prohibit anyone from sorting through material at the public recycling center. So be careful even on public property.

nanaverm (author)dfc8492016-01-19

I pick up magazines from the city recycling dumpsters. Have also gotten nice paper which an office store discarded, from the office paper recycling section of the dumpster. Just can't scrounge metals from there.

Zaphod Beetlebrox (author)2012-09-24

I though you meant Magazines as in the clip that holds the bullets. I was really surprised to see you dumpster diving for such a thing.

'sok, I thought the same thing. Didn't think they would throw bullet magazines away, though I guess you never know.....

Wait, how did you get that username?

Oh wow I'm an idiot. If an Admin could delete these two comments that would be great, it won't let me remove them.

Yeah the place to put those comments was you're orangeboard.

Flag the comments you want gone.

I'm "Beetle" brox. I spelled it wrong.

Gabedini (author)2016-01-19

Top kek

Manny_Bones (author)2016-01-19

I think I see what you did here.

bluelantern (author)2015-01-23


Snakefangox (author)2014-05-23

you will also get free bullets when the cops start shooting at you.

Jacknitro (author)2014-04-16

i think they do but you would not want to get caught pulling that of

jbaily (author)2013-10-02

Me too

shizumadrive (author)2013-03-24

Hmm at first I thought this meant the police throw out ammo mags in the dumpster.

punk91903 (author)shizumadrive2013-04-11


Yes, I also thought the same thing.

that guy chaz (author)2009-03-04

just thought you might want to know because its kinda funny, i'm from new zealand, and not that long ago there was a article on the front page of the news paper saying a man had been arrested for theft doing this.... i've done "dumpster diving" loads of times and its really good! go to electronics stores, and check the dumpsters behind them, they through out any slightly damaged electronic gear, ps2 games, cameras, etc, hope this helps (not sure how)

seriously???!!! sweet i need to try this out !! sounds awesome best buy here i come

mntbkrguy (author)sniper4life2009-05-12

unfortunately if they are anything like other big warehouse stores like Home Depot they render any merchandise unusable before throwing it away. Home depot wouldn't even let employees have returned stuff bound for the trash. :(

Shades of Grey (author)mntbkrguy2010-12-05

I used to work at Home Depot and I asked about giving the slightly damaged or still useful but incomplete(half full lightbulb pack cause someone shoplifted the other half) to charity(goodwill, habitat for humanity). The store manager asked the district manager or whomever above him and was told that the company is concerned about people bringing the items back and trying to return them. Since the store will take anything back (I've seen used lawn mowers get returned because it was the end of summer!) I can see this as a valid concern. I guess if there was a standard way of marking and tracking the items it would reduce this possibility but no one in corporate seems to care that much about it. It's cheaper and easier for them to compact it then donate it I guess.

Hmm couldnt they deface the label or something? So they couldn't? Home Depot is good though I had lumber I never used and I told them this might even be from Lowes. They didn't care if it was in good shape and unsawed they gave me some store credit.

drusilla (author)Shades of Grey2011-06-12

A friend of mine went 'freegan' (only eats free food) for a while. He noticed that the California Pizza Kitchen throws away those sandwiches packaged in a plastic box that they sell at the end of the day.

He tried to ask for them and they refused. He tried to retrieve them from the dumpster but the dumpster was locked.

My guess is that if they did give away the food, they'd be responsible if it was poison or something. Even though it's a boxed, freshly discarded sandwich.

However I did manage to salvage some really cool old audio-visual equipment from a dumpster near a construction site on my campus.

shizumadrive (author)mntbkrguy2013-03-24

Yeah I used to work at kroger and the bundler pretty much destroyed all paper material before it went out. No free boxes, no free magazines.

LawnBoy1991 (author)mntbkrguy2009-05-26

Very true my friend, I wasn't even permitted to keep some broken tiles that a client dropped on the floor. I pains me every time that I have to throw good plants tiles and other items in a compactor. Best buy probably do the same.

dphc (author)LawnBoy19912010-10-04

Yeah, when I used to work at Best Buy, a number of returned items such as air conditioners & headphones, or store demo units etc. couldn't be re-sold or returned to the manufacturer. These were placed in the 'junkout' area. I asked the store manager what they did with this stuff and he said it was sold to "someone" for like $0.15 per pound. So I asked him if I could get in on that, but he said no :(

I'm pretty sure they end up in the hands of unscrupulous power-sellers on eBay; I've purchased headphones on eBay that still had the Best Buy return tape on them, and I spent way more than $0.15 per pound >(

A good name (author)LawnBoy19912009-07-23

Hmmm... That's terrible... do I hear a petition anyone?

RoBear613 (author)that guy chaz2009-05-27

The dumpster is private property so, yes, it is illegal. It's called trespassing. And since you're paying someone to haul away your trash, the courts don't considered abandonded like your bag of trash at the end of the driveway. That said, my sister used to live in an apartment building that attracted a lot of newlyweds. When they split, there'd be a lot of brand new stuff in the dumpster.

alancj (author)RoBear6132011-06-17

Just doesn't make sense to me. We place our trash in plastic carts we pay for, and place them on the sidewalk that we are responsible to maintain. Then we pay to have a truck come-by and pick the bins up and dump them into the truck. And yet it is supposed to be legal to rummage through OUR trash. I can see trespassing for dumpster diving, but not theft of services, cause fundamentally, the person who throws it out doesn't care where it goes! (save things like hazardous / medical waste etc. that can get you serious legal trouble for improper disposal, but I doubt anybody dumpster dives for that!)

AlternativeSpeed (author)alancj2012-07-12

Ever seen Fight Club?

Ishoda (author)RoBear6132011-07-22

Legal in some parts of California actually labeled as public property behind store and in unenclosed areas odd huh?

gell7 (author)RoBear6132009-11-19

damm man i lkie u  LOL

Kryptonite (author)that guy chaz2009-03-27

XO Omg must try.

onrust (author)2013-01-24

There is "risk" in every dumpster you dive into. "Risk" like filth or a trespassing charge. Folks, please be careful and timing is everything ;)
Awesome cover photo!

Lotsa Bad Luck (author)2012-08-01

You might be surprised what you find in a dumpster, especially here in America. We live in one-time-use country.

cody27 (author)2012-03-28

Yea it definitely rubs me the wrong way how some of these places dispose of perfectly good merchandise, i use to work at a warehouse for a major grocery store and someone would drop a flat of something on the floor while picking and damage say 50% of the individually packaged goods and they would throw it out........when in reality you could remove the other 50% from the flat and donate it to a charity but nope, it just boggled my mind especially at the time as it was a few years ago when the economy tanked and food banks were taking a serious hit as people just didnt have the extra to spare.

mind you on the other hand i had a buddy who worked at best buy and he realized that they were tossing perfectly good but slightly damaged merchandise in a compactor for reason like above, floor models, displays returns and such, all they would do is scan the item and toss it so he ended up with several goodies as he would just scan it and throw the package in the compactor.......was it could say no but does it make sense to create so much waste just because its not good enough for going on the shelf.

curious youth (author)2012-02-08

great idea but i found the title as a bit misleading thinking you meant actual mags. otherwise great idea. but i dont think i would do it behind a cop shop lol

ProjectZro (author)2009-04-04

lol i though you meant magazine as in a clip.

clip =/= magazine
a clip is used to quickly reload a magazine

catmen (author)corey_caffeine2011-08-21

actually clips are to quickly reload ammo into a magazineless gun such as an M1 carbine.

silencekilla (author)ProjectZro2009-07-13

lol so did i. i was like thats awsome. then i clicked it and i was like bummer lol

prestonm (author)ProjectZro2009-06-12


rab236 (author)ProjectZro2009-06-04

yeah. same here

1spartan95 (author)ProjectZro2009-04-13


bounty1012 (author)ProjectZro2009-04-04

Same here and I thought "Oh really? I didnt think those could be found in the garbage" XD

Funk_D (author)2010-01-07

Hahaha. I thought you meant "gun magazines" as in ammunition clips.

Kasm279 (author)Funk_D2011-06-12

Same, although clips aren't the same as a magazine >.>

Scarecrows-laugh (author)Funk_D2011-06-10

Ditto here!

About This Instructable




Bio: Tim Anderson is the author of the "Heirloom Technology" column in Make Magazine. He is co-founder of, manufacturers of "3D Printer" output ... More »
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