I've started up New Vegas, and exploited the shop glitch to get some caps. (SO glad they didn't fix that bug.) So I got some decent weapons and ammo, but saw some things in the shop that I wasn't sure what they were for.

Under Miscellaneous (not ammo), there were ammo boxes. They had weight. (I'm not playing in Hardcore mode, maybe my next playthrough.) They weren't in the ammo section.

If I were to buy ammo boxes, what can I do with them? Can I use them somehow to give myself ammo?

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    If you are after a challenge: maybe next time instead of playing hardcore mode you just don't cheat to get caps and buy good weapons. Just a thought :)
    – David
    Oct 26, 2010 at 0:26
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    @David: Exploiting a glitch isn't cheating. It's taking creative advantage of the rules as set forth by the simulation. Huge difference! :) (Or as Mister Burns put it so eloquently, "Cheating is the gift that man gives himself!")
    – John Rudy
    Oct 26, 2010 at 1:07
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    @John Rudy I hope you don't apply that same logic to multi-player games. Nov 4, 2010 at 18:00
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    @robert: I don't play many multiplayer games, and there's it's different.
    – John Rudy
    Nov 5, 2010 at 14:47
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    Define "cheating" and you should see that exploiting a bug conforms to that definition. Play the game like you want, it's your fun. But don't twist the truth.
    – adf88
    Dec 12, 2010 at 9:19

4 Answers 4


Ammo Boxes are essentially a source of cheap bulk ammo. If you'll notice, each one mentions that it's a particular kind of ammunition. If you buy an Ammo Box, drop it on the ground, and then interact with it (Not sure if there's a smoother way to do this, but it's how I figured it out), you'll get a whole lot of ammunition. For reference, the box of Bulk Energy Cells sold by Chet in Goodsprings contains 100 cells. Unfortunately, being Bulk ammo, each one does 85% of normal damage. Good enough for cash-strapped Couriers, but far from ideal.

Also, be sure to distinguish Ammo Boxes from Ammo Cases - the latter are weightless, and are used in crafting for the production of new and specialty ammo.

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    For me, when I bought the ammo boxes, they immediately converted into ammo. Sweet! :)
    – John Rudy
    Oct 20, 2010 at 2:49
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    The difference could be that I'm playing on Hardcore where there's a weight difference between the box and the ammo. Oct 20, 2010 at 3:44

Ammo boxes are exactly what they sound like: boxes of ammunition. When you see ammo in the wasteland, it's never sitting around in the form of individual bullets; you always pick up little boxes or magazines that look like these:

screenshot of ammo boxes

(sorry, Xbox 360 + digital camera + MS Paint; if there's a better way to get a screenshot, let me know)

The same graphics are used for equivalent ammo types (e.g. .38 Special / .357 Magnum), alternate versions of the same ammo, (i.e. hollow point and armor piercing variants) and bulk/surplus versions of the same ammo.

Some, but not all, ammo boxes contain bulk ammo. Look for the word "bulk." Here's what I got with my bulk energy cells: Gun CND × 0.85 / DAM × 0.85. In other words, bulk energy cells do only 85% of the damage of regular energy cells, but also only degrade your weapon 85% as quickly.

To make things even more confusing, there's also surplus ammo. I'll let Chet from Goodsprings explain:

"You'll be cleaning and fixing your gun a lot more than usual when you use [surplus ammo]."

For example, the "effects" for surplus 5.56mm ammo compared to regular 5.56mm ammo are Gun CND × 3.00 / DAM × 1.15 So you get 115% damage output, but your weapon degrades at 300% of the usual speed. You get what you pay for.

Note that I have not tested all bulk/surplus ammo types, and others may have different ratios for condition or damage or other effects.

  • paint.net ( getpaint.net ) is free and quick way for editing screenshots...also, the default ms paint has text and shape tools to edit images...better than to scribble em :) Nov 8, 2010 at 5:31
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    @Samrat The freehand editing was done by popular demand.
    – badp
    Nov 13, 2010 at 14:50

If you only buy one ammo box, it automatically converts into the specific ammo type in your inventory. If you buy more than one in a single purchase (ie 3 energycell ammo boxes) then all three boxes go into your inventory intact and must be dropped and picked back up in order to convert them.


The box probably reduces or negates the weight of ammo stored in the box in hardcore mode. If the box weights 5 pounds and you have 8 pounds of ammo it would make more sense to put the ammo in the box and save yourself 3 pounds or something to that effect. I have no way of testing this theory at the moment but it would seem reasonable to me. If you test my theory and can confirm or deny let me know.

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    That would be some weird physics... I'd wager it has more to do with quantity of items rather than weight (or there wasn't a limit for this? I don't remember)
    – juan
    Oct 19, 2010 at 15:22
  • Bulk ammo boxes do seem to way less than unboxed Ammo. The case I purchased in my example weighed 5 pounds. I'm playing on Hardcore Mode, and when I 'unpacked' it, the 100 rounds worked out to 8 pounds. (100*.08 to be exact). But that doesn't really seem to be the purpose of them, since you can't put ammo back into a box. Oct 19, 2010 at 19:29
  • @LessPop That is interesting actually. My initial guess seems to be sort of half right. I hope you find a use for that empty box.
    – Bravo840
    Oct 20, 2010 at 12:53
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    You don't have an empty box left in your inventory. When you 'unpack' an Ammo Box, the 'box' as a distinct item disappears. Oct 20, 2010 at 13:49

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