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Ammo Prices/Shortage

Discussion in 'General Firearm Discussion' started by aslinged, Nov 8, 2008.

  1. aslinged

    aslinged Southern Oregon Well-Known Member

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    I'm about to go on research tear concerning ammo prices.

    The main story seems to be that Iraq is draining the supply, but prices started increasing pretty dramatically even prior to 9-11.

    I thought I saw a link on here about the condition of ammo supplies in the US. Does anyone have that?

    Any hypotheses?

    Chris Rock has a joke where he says basically "Forget gun control. Let them have guns. Just make bullets 1000 bucks a piece."

    Am I a little paranoid or does this seem to be exactly what's happening?

    The common response is 'just reload yourself.' But this doesn't cover it because the supplies to reload might just follow the same trend of inflating prices resulting in the same problem. More to the point, most shooters don't reload and so the market exists regardless of that option.

    It strikes me, following basic economics, that in a market where the demand is constant and high for a product that needs replenishing (ammo is consumed by most and not recycled) then some smart business man or woman steps in and finds a way to undercut the competition by lowering prices. Think Walmart, which does have decent prices on some calibers but not great and not in large quantities.

    Any of you long time shooters want to fill in the gaps in this story?

    Because it seems to me that having your right to bear arms is great but without the market to supply ammo, dreams of defense against tyrannical govt. etc, become just that...dreams.
  2. wichaka

    wichaka Wa State Well-Known Member

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    Talking with the reps at ATK, the makers of CCI, Speer, and Federal ammo, the war in Iraq is not the main source of ammo depletion in the U.S.

    It started with the 9/11 incident, where most every LE agency in the states increased their level of firearms training, 25-50% more. Which in turn means, that more ammo is needed. Plus you have the new agency of Homeland Security, and added LE personnel as a whole, you can see where the ammo is going.

    The Fed's and LE get put to the top of the list of ammo needs, the public comes last. So there's the story on that.

    As for prices raising etc. I think there's some very shady dealing going on right now with some retailers seeing the handwriting on the wall, and want to make as much as they can while the gettin is good! I think you'll start to see that in every facet of the firearms world. It's sad, but me thinks we'd better get used to it.

    The other half of the story about ammo and related components........me thinks the Dem. Gov. knows it won't be able to outlaw guns as a whole, but if they tax the snot out of ammo, related components, and firearm sales, that will slow things down.

    I don't think that will happen on Jan 21, but think that by this time next year, we will either have something like that passed, or on the way to getting something of the like.
  3. RockKrawler

    RockKrawler Gresham Member

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    Another thing to remember,China was buying up as much metal as they could there by driving up costs.
    With the decrease in Asian countries buying metals you would think we would see some sort of price drop,but don't hold your breathe.
    Look at the price of scrap steel,it was going for over 300.00 a ton just a few months ago,now it isn't even worth draggin a car over the scales.
    Nope,the writing is on the wall,buy what you can in the next couple months,it is only going to get more costly.
    If you see a good deal,don't wait.
  4. Oohrah

    Oohrah NorthwestSouthern Oregon Coast Member

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    The reason makes no diference, it's here. Without ammo, firearms
    are expensive clubs without it. Control ammo and you pretty much
    control the firearm:paranoid:
  5. Aristotle13

    Aristotle13 Kent, WA Member

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    The rising price in ammo is directly related to material costs. As explained in post 3 was the increased demand by forgein countrys. All you have to do is look at the current lead index and you can see how that can affect their bottom line.


    I hate to say it, but I have also spoken directly to a local ammunitions component maker whom I get my bullets from and she explained this is directly what affects their pricing.

    Here's the kicker, like most manufacturers they purchase materials in lots. And what ever they purchased that lot of material for, is what they must sell for. So even though the index on Lead is going down and has been on a downward path the past few months, the price for ammo will not go down until that lot is sold and the cheaper lot is manufacturered and distributed.
  6. Oohrah

    Oohrah NorthwestSouthern Oregon Coast Member

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    You may be right about the cost of materials; however, not so long
    ago, the company with the contract for our military ammo working
    24/7 could not keep up with demand. Israel filled that gap. Now that
    is scary! Not sure China is the blame game, even though it has been a
    major user of natural resources. More likely profit is the name of game.
    Example oil price drop. Alaska oil presently being mainly exported during
    the shortage ??? time. Who holds the minerals to where the prices can
    be determined, and why are not our needs not taken care of. It has been
    told that an unreal amount of ammo expended in sand country and weapons
    and ammo to replace those countries worn out stuff to add to defense
    shortages. Just so many tales that perhaps a little bit of all is involved.
    When one brand of non military bullets price has tripled in a year some
    thing more than materials has to be a factor. Sad, the prices will probably
    never come down as oil is. Still wonder what's up with that, as there is
    always the demand, but prices continue to drop:confused:
  7. wichaka

    wichaka Wa State Well-Known Member

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    What company has the contract for the Military 5.56 ammo?
  8. Oohrah

    Oohrah NorthwestSouthern Oregon Coast Member

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    Federal...However, it's getting to be a conglomerate on firearms
    and ammo. Sometimes owners end up being outside of the US.
    Blount is a big one who owns CCI, RCBS, and a bunch of other things
    firearms related. Last contract when the .223 was in serious, not
    even talked about low supplies. I would say there may never be a
    surplus supply I don't believe. 7.62X51 is pretty much dried up as
    far as surplus, and is still commonly used in some NATO countries.
    Ammo is definately the factor that turns a $99 club into a rifle as
    a weapon. I'm not certain if Federal may also be under CCI's roof.
    A great many people have been employeed by this Minnesota based
    ammo producer, that goes back at least to the WW2 era.:thumbup:
  9. wichaka

    wichaka Wa State Well-Known Member

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    Just to give you an update......

    ATK owns Federal, Speer & CCI.........as well as parent companies, Outers, RCBS etc. and has since 2001. Been working with the company since 2005, as an outside test source.

    Federal's Lake City Kansas plant is fulfilling all the of the Gov. contracted ammo, for .223/5.56 It however uses the Minnesota & Lewiston plants now as well.......and are all owned by ATK
    The plants have added a few more lines the last couple years, and runs 24/7.

    Yes, there is no stocked ammo anymore at ATK, the supplies are dry. The public gets last shot at ammo, because the Gov and LEO's get first choice.
  10. Oohrah

    Oohrah NorthwestSouthern Oregon Coast Member

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    Thanks for the update. I was kind of sort of in the ball park of many changes
    and conditions are not all that great for consumers at this time. After you
    pointed that out, that can't remember crap kind of lifted. Can remember as
    a kid back in Minnesota only three shot shells on that market. With a
    single shot Iver Johnson ( Damn that hurt to shoot) 12 ga, many Federal
    shot rounds fired. Corp headquarters in the Foshay Tower in downtown
    Mlps. Hunting after school was a must do. Off season .22s were the fun
    until the season started again. Used some of the Twin City 30-06 ammo in
    a well used 03. Should have known of the change of ownership with the
    last two boxers of Gold Dots purchased for my 40 S&W a bit ago. AND,
    who owns ATK?
    Anyhow with so many companies in the mix, I often wonder what controls
    can be had besides the profit part. Also concernment of that not being a
    US ownership in many cases that were strickly owned and operated here
    only! Not sure it makes a difference, as it is what it is:paranoid: Guess
    if we are not the world suppliers, they will some day catch up. Not to the
    point of a huge surplus, but at least a supply:thumbup:
  11. dragonsden73

    dragonsden73 Salem, Oregun Active Member

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    Not long ago American Handgunner had an article comparing the rising cost of ammo to other goods such as food, cars, etc. In all cases the OTHER goods increased percentage wise considerably more than ammo itself. (Were talking back in the 60's and 70's compared to now.) Only problem is.......it doesn't make it any easier on the pocket book , that is if you can find it.
  12. Oohrah

    Oohrah NorthwestSouthern Oregon Coast Member

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    I agree with what you say, and even recall buying a 65 Chev Impala, new
    for $2500 out the door. However, prices increased gradual over the years.
    If the present tend on ammo prices continue with shortages, it could become
    unaffordable. Just have a real difficult time justifying the amount of increase
    with the blame game on material cost. Yeah, the above car burned under
    a dollar gasoline and recent climbs, to over $4.00. Now back to under $2 in
    many places. Same gas doubled in that time era. Shortage in raw material
    probably not. Double costs and more, in less than a year, something else
    is going on here besides the increase in metals and speculation:huh: Like
    mentioned above is military gets first crack, citizens second, and misc.
    sporting get tooling up for runs lastly.