Ammo Shortage Insight


June 19, 2006, 03:40 AM
I was searching for some light 357 Mag target loads to came stress down on my new (to me) S&W M66 K Frame. This really caught my attention when I ran into it:

AFI asked, “How’s your supply?”

Lana, “Frankly, I think all the ammunition manufacturers are slowly falling behind. The shortages are building, slowly, but they are building. The brass, even the primers are going into tight supply. We’re okay here at Ultramax for the time being because we order way into the future, but in 2006 I wouldn’t be surprised to see some serious ammunition shortages. We might see some ammunition shortages for years

Here's the link so you can read the whole interview from 28 July 2005:

Is this a sign that more folks are shooting, the same folks are shooting more, the Brady Bill sunset has rekindled semi auto rifle interest, a combination of factors? It makes me wonder.

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June 19, 2006, 08:06 AM
Price on bullet jackets has gone WAY up...

June 19, 2006, 08:18 AM
Thanks to the comodities boom, the prices of copper,zinc and lead are all up, so you may also see a slight price hike from that angle.

1 old 0311
June 19, 2006, 08:25 AM
America would never stand for a ban on firearms, but it you SLOWLY make ammo unavailable you have done the same thing.


June 19, 2006, 08:29 AM
Yep. the commoditites boom is driving basic metal prices higher and higher.
I wouldn't be surprised to see it squeeze a few manufacturers of both ammo and guns out of business since it'll take a lot of the margin out of their already slim profits.

America would never stand for a ban on firearms, but it you SLOWLY make ammo unavailable you have done the same thing.

It's like that Chris Rock routine where he says "let anyone buy a gun. But charge $5000 for a bullet. Next time you see someone get a driveby done to them, you know they really deserved it."

Time to start rolling your own.

June 19, 2006, 09:04 AM
Is this a sign that more folks are shooting, the same folks are shooting more, the Brady Bill sunset has rekindled semi auto rifle interest, a combination of factors? It makes me wonder.

I wonder how many more of me there are? This time a year ago, I had my long possessed 10/22, and a few hundred rounds for it from many years ago. Hadn't bought ammo for it in years.

Today, I have stockpiled several thousand rounds of ammo purchased in the past year in a variety of calibers: .22, .223, .38, 9mm, 12 gauge (not to mention the guns purchased to go with the new calibers).

I'm betting there was a significant bump in the number of people like me who, after Katrina, suddenly took an interest in owning and shooting firearms, and stockpiling ammo against an increasingly uncertain future. Add that to other factors that are said to be contributing to the shortage (wars, and rumors of wars), and I think you have your answer.

June 19, 2006, 09:13 AM
I see this current situation with ammo prices as a combination of effects.
1) One would be commodities prices as everyone says.
2) Next might be the supposed 'shortage' due to the wars we are fighting.
3) Another would be transport/shipping costs & the high price of gas & diesel.
4) Last, i see some old fashioned all american profit-taking in the retail sector.

I do not see some vast conspiracy to deny us ammo thru making it too expensive to own. However it would not take a lot for me to be convinced that #4 above is out of all proportion to #1 thru 3, and that some of the retailers are taking full advantage of us thanks to those excuses.
If a seller knows he can get anywhere from fifty cents to three bucks a box more for the same ammo by holding some of it in his back room for a day or two, well, that's just supply and demand being manipulated in his favor. Sort of like what we all go thru every week @ the gas station, no?

June 19, 2006, 07:03 PM
I have two observations to make. First, Wolf has invented a shortage in order to rip off we the consumers. I see no legitimate difference between that and Enron's rolling blackouts, aside from the fact that Wolf isn't making billions, only millions. It wouldn't surprise me if other ammo companies followed the leader here.

Also, I was informed at work today that copper scaps are going for 2.50 a pound. As was already indicated, many types of metal costs are going up, including those used to make ammo. I thank Bush for that.

June 19, 2006, 07:06 PM
I have adequate supplies on the mil surp calibers I shoot, and a pretty fair supply for the sporting rounds (loaded over 500 30-30 last summer). In the safe, are primers, bullets, powder and unprimed cases. No shortage here. I stocked up knowing the price increases were coming this past April.

Headless Thompson Gunner
June 19, 2006, 07:56 PM
I haven't noticed any shortage of ammunition, nor any increase in ammunition prices. Availability of milsurp and foreign imported ammo comes and goes, just like it always has. Domestic ammo and components are just as cheap and available as ever.

Perhaps you should verify whether or not an ammo shortage exists at all, before speculating about the causes of the shortage.

June 19, 2006, 08:15 PM
You must not have needed to buy any domestic ammo in a while. While it may depend on what area of the country that you're in, if you haven't noticed an increase in domestic ammo prices and some spot shortages yet, you almost certainly will soon.
Prices have been rising slowly but steadily for the past few months, and have suddenly risen anywhere from 10 -20% in the past month alone in the tri-state area of NY, NJ, & PA. I have heard similar reports from most other areas too. I suspect you'll notice price increases the next time you shop, or shortly thereafter, as well.

June 19, 2006, 08:46 PM
Price hikes due to the cost of energy at all levels of production and transport make sense to me, however, at some point demand slackens, inventory tends to accumulate and...eventually prices drop.

Not sure how to account for prices hikes associated with ammo that is not in demand by the military if it's not energy related.

Temporarily higher prices for centerfire ammo is the markets way of telling you to shoot more 22LR.


June 19, 2006, 08:51 PM
CCI Blazer {aluminum} went from 3.83 per box of 50 in December to 4.94 per box in February at Academy.
This is what led me to searching and finding the Winchester 115 FMJ for 4.63 at Wally World. Hated to do it but as much as I shoot.....
Anyway, WM only orders this ammo 10 boxes at a time, so I visit the store a couple of times a week and buy every box they have on hand. The theory being eventually they will realize that this is some kind of pricing error{as the "value pack " of 100 rounds sells for 11.98} and jack up the price.

Headless Thompson Gunner
June 20, 2006, 12:31 AM
I buy reloading components pretty regularly, just about every 4 months. My last order arrived about 3 weeks ago. I've not noticed any significant change in prices.

I also buy winchester white box from wally world, when I'm too lazy to handload. Again, I've not noticed any significant increase in prices.

Mebbe inflation is the cause of your mysterious price increases. Depending on whose numbers you take, Inflation tpyically runs 3% to 5% per year. A $10 box of ammo should be expected to increase 30 to 50 each and every year. Often times the prices don't rise steadily each year, but rather hold steady for several years and then make their inflation correction for each of those years in one big jump. Nothing sinister about that, it's just the way things are.

In any case, the sky is NOT falling. No nead for everyone to freak out.

June 20, 2006, 12:58 AM

I never said the sky was falling, simply siting a reference that may help explain the recent ammo shortages/price increases. Do a search on the topic and you'll find numerous observations from fellow members. On a personal note, one the new NCOs in my workcenter, who just returned from a year in Korea couldn't believe the price increase on primers since he was gone. I also think we can't downplay what a rep at a large ammo supplier said. I found the interview rather insightful and chose to share it.

June 20, 2006, 04:47 AM
Kevin Quinlan nailed it. Sarah Brady once remarked to an NRA spokesman during a heated exchange: "We may not get your guns, but we'll damn sure get your bullets!" (sic)

Remember that the power to tax is the power to destroy, and that taxation can come in several ways...and from several directions. A heavy tax imposed directly on ammunition sales isn't even necessary. Price hikes on metals...Fuel price and tax hikes...sales tax hikes...excise tax...Ammunition "use" tax....Licensing and "arsenal" fees. It can easily add up to put the cost of a box of pistol ammo into the 2-dollar per round neighborhood, and beyond.
These tools are available to the antis at the stroke of a pen.

Rolling your own helps defray the cost of our disciplines. Bullet molding reduces it even further...but even that can come under fire with a simple
legislation to force the handling and disposal of scrap lead to come under federal guidelines for Haz-Mat.

My grandpappy used to tell me that "Coming events cast their shadows before them." The shadows are looming. The time to see to your ammunition stocks is now. It'll be too late after the door slams.

June 20, 2006, 05:14 AM
Sarah Brady once remarked to an NRA spokesman during a heated exchange: "We may not get your guns, but we'll damn sure get your bullets!" (sic)She can have 'em. ;)

Something tells me that one should also pick up a few thousand rounds in common calibers that they don't own as well... .22lr, .223, .308, 7.62x39 (if they can find any), 12 ga, 9mm, .40, and .45 ACP.

For the Milsurpers out there, a good dose of 7.62x54R, 8mm, and whatever's left of the 7.5x55 Swiss would be good, and a little 7.62x25 Tok with a side of 9x18 Mak. Prices are as low as they'll ever be from here on out.

Let's face it... I've got 8mm from 1941 that still fires just fine. If this does turn out to be just a scare, then you've got two great things: 1) Bargaining chips at gun shows, and 2) another reason to get a "new" gun. :)

Invest in ammo! :D

June 20, 2006, 05:23 AM
Although Sarah Brady and Company epitomize the silliness that is creeping into the political scene, be aware Teddy and Chuck...she is not a joke. Completely serious and dedicated to her goal...albeit misguided and pointless...she is relentless. If the coming elections go badly for us..she'll be emboldened, with the backing of people in places of influence...I predict that she will emerge as a force to be reckoned with.


June 20, 2006, 10:20 AM
Aren't there any cheap man-made materials that can replace economically lead and copper in bullet manufacturing?

Need dense/heavy material to replace lead, but what? How about a cheaper material than copper for the jackets?

June 20, 2006, 11:33 AM
A copper penny is worth 2+ cents. A zinc penny is worth more than a penny.
It looks like steel jackets and cases are not such a bad idea. :neener:

I'd not blame any administration for the current commodity prices. China is sucking up a vast amount of *everything* oil, copper, zinc, steel, it's unreal. Try buying scrap steel, you can find it in dribs and drabs but in mega ton lots. Uh Uh.

June 20, 2006, 11:35 AM
there will be an ammo shortage and price increase if everyone and their brother starts stockpiling ammo to "prepare" for the ammo shortage and price increase, especialy if people start stockpiling for calibers they don't have.

Bart Noir
June 20, 2006, 02:53 PM
It's based in California, I think but I may have the wrong state. The company contracts with ammo manufacturers in Russia and what remains of Yugoslavia. So don't be blaming any danged shifty ferriners.

Bart Noir

June 20, 2006, 09:20 PM
Re: Wolf. They're from California. What's the difference between Russia and California?

Russia used to be communist. ;)

And I used to feel silly for buying all those cases of Wolf .22 at $15/brick. Not to mention all that 28 ga. AA-HS for as little as $4.49 a box. Wish I'd bought more, lots more.


June 20, 2006, 10:11 PM
:) if scrap metal is getting that high, the south will rise again.

there's a lot of junk cars laying around here.

a guy down the road has about 15 acres of 40's, 50's, and 60's cars just laying there.

they've been there so long, the trees have grown around them.

Ala Dan
June 20, 2006, 10:47 PM
You know, I have been watching this developing story very closely;
as everyday I see more and more ammo leaving our shelves and not
being replaced. In particular, Wolff 7.62 x 39 and Mag-Tech handgun
ammo. We can still get plenty of the REM-UMC stuff in all handgun
calibers, and a few cases of other brands here and there. Also, the
.223 mil surp ammo seems too be drying up. Luckily, I have a very
adequate supply of .223, 12 gague, and handgun ammo on hand
for my personal use; + I have 'bout 50 lbs of .45 ACP brass on
hand, with a bunch of Magnus 200m grain L-SWC bullets, Federal
(few Winchester) primers, and several pounds of powder. I guess
you might say that I'm preparing for our future~!:uhoh: :cool: :D

Oh, I forgot~! I also have plenty of .22 LR ammo on hand too.

June 21, 2006, 02:39 PM
ala dan... how much is your umc L44mg7?

i like that ammo. it's loaded kinda hot. thanks, craig

June 22, 2006, 05:41 AM
PMC is scarce in certain calibers...notably .45 ACP. Nine is fine and .40 is abundant. Revolver calibers...depends on which store your're in.

Primers and problem. Pistol bullets...cast and jacketed...are vanishing. Cast Bullets used for CAS shooting seem to be faring a little better...a little. Cost of raw materials cited.

Higher-end and premium rifle ammo and bullets seem to be okay for now.
Low-end mil-spec rifle calibers are drying up. 7.62X39 are all but gone. .223/5.56 seems to be holding its own.

June 22, 2006, 07:31 AM
Time to fire up the furnace and buy more moulds if you ask me. Besides, jacketed bullets are for sissies.

June 22, 2006, 07:43 AM
HiWayMan...Just used up the last of my lead yesterday and put the moulds away. About burned out on castin' though...Roughly 50,000 since last September.:rolleyes:

Apple a Day
June 22, 2006, 08:13 AM
Venezuela contracted with the Russians to buy a huge amount of their production for several months along with 100,000 Kalashnikovs to update their equipment. Chavez has been talking up an American invasion to scare the yokels. If you've been wondering where all the Wolf stuff went, there you go. It's supposed to be trickling back in to the U.S. but I've noticed something: they're trying to go a little more upscale. They've come out with a new line of "Gold" ammo which uses brass instead of steel cases. The steel cased stuff they are marketing in new boxes as "Classic Military" or some such.
I'm still hoping some third-party country gets wise, starts buying cheap ammo from the Chinese, sticking it in different boxes, and shipping it here for the milsurp crowd.

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