I know when I buy powder or primers from Cabella's they charge a hazmat charge of $20, they will only ship it ground. If it isn't a requirement I'd like to know as that is a steep charge. Must be different for ammo as the rounds I purchased from Reeds Ammo in OK never had the hazmat charge.
WD - That $20 is the normal hazmat fee. I don't think that its set by the company you're buying from - I believe its set through gubment regulation but I've been wrong before.
The best way to minimize that is to buy as much as you can in bulk ... find out how much you can order and still only get one hazmat fee and then max it out. Even if you need to get a couple of other guys together and pool your orders. BTW - I've never found Cabela's to have decent prices for ordering components on-line. Not enough selection and too high of prices ..... there's much better options out there - IMO.