Weapons are everything in Grand Theft Auto. They are used for everything from robbing stores to pulling off heists to defending cargo from other players. Without a good gun at your side, you are as good as dead. And without explosive ammo, you’ll be fighting others at a huge disadvantage in GTA 5 Online.

Explosive ammo makes a great counter to aircraft, and it’s also good in PVP. Because of this, it’s one of the most valuable and sought-after weapon mods in the game. So then, how do you get explosive ammo in GTA 5 Online? And how do you apply it to your weapons? We’ll be going over everything you need to know in today’s walkthrough!

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How to Unlock Explosive Ammo

So without further ado, let’s get right into this guide on how to get explosive ammo in GTA 5 Online!

Buy a Bunker

Image: Rockstar North, Rockstar Games via HGG / Koby Gibson Ross

The first step to unlocking explosive ammo is purchasing a bunker. Bunkers are a type of property that can be used to manufacture illegal weapons. But in addition to the production of weapons that can be sold for profit, you can also order your staff to research new weapon mods for you, such as the explosive rounds.

You can go to the in-game website Maze Bank Foreclosures to purchase a bunker. The two best ones are the Chumash bunker and the Farmhouse bunker. They cost $1,650,000 and $2,375,000, respectively. Once you’ve purchased a bunker, you will need to do a setup mission for it, which is pretty straightforward and easy to do. As soon as you do so, the bunker will be fully operational!

Start Research on Upgrades

Now that you’ve purchased and set up your underground facility, it’s time to start doing research! Inside the bunker will be a laptop computer that you need to interact with. Register as a VIP, CEO, or MC President in order to sit down at your desk. Once that’s done, you can navigate to the tab that says “Manage Staff.” From here, you can have your staff either produce product, conduct research or do a mixture of both.

How to start research on explosive ammo
Image: Rockstar North, Rockstar Games via HGG / Koby Gibson Ross

We recommend just doing research until you have the explosive rounds. Once you’ve assigned your staff to research, they will automatically begin studying a new technology! The one they unlock when their research is complete is random, and you’ll have to just hope you get lucky that you unlock explosive rounds. To increase the speed of this process, you can spend money to “Fast track research,” which will cause whatever tech they are currently researching to immediately be finished.

This is great if you have money to spend and want to speed through the process of unlocking new tech. We recommend doing this if you can afford it. The sooner you get explosive rounds, the sooner you can switch over to producing product for your bunker to sell. You can also call Agent 14 from your phone and request a mission from him that, when completed, will give you a boost toward whatever technology you are currently researching.

Regardless of what you do, you will need to make sure your bunker doesn’t run out of supplies. Supplies are needed to keep your staff busy either making product or researching. You can return here periodically and interact with your laptop to purchase them or to launch a source mission.

How to Put Explosive Ammo on Weapons

If you didn’t unlock the explosive rounds with your first batch of research, you will get it eventually with enough time. Once that does happen, you can visit a weapon workbench to upgrade your weapons with the explosive rounds. Weapon workbenches are found inside of the MOC, the Kosatka, the Agency, and many other properties (as long as you get the right upgrades).

Applying Explosive Ammo to Weapons in GTA 5 Online
Image: Rockstar North, Rockstar Games via HGG / Koby Gibson Ross

Note that you cannot fit every weapon with this special ammo type. First, only weapons that have Mk II variants can have special ammo. Even then, only some Mk II weapons can be equipped with explosive ammo. The two guns that we recommend you upgrade with this ammo type are the Pump Shotgun Mk II and the Heavy Sniper Mk II. Simply purchase the base versions of these weapons from the store. Then you can interact with them in the weapons workbench to upgrade them to Mk II.

After that, you can apply the explosives ammo type from the same menu. We recommend upgrading these two weapons in particular. The Pump Shotgun Mk II becomes amazing for PVP encounters with explosive ammo. It can deal high damage and send enemy players flying! Meanwhile, the Heavy Sniper Mk II with explosive rounds makes a great anti-aircraft weapon — perfect for dealing with griefers in jets (an all-too-common sight in GTA 5 Online).

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Happy gaming!