Midway vs. Grafs


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bfox
December 6, 2006, 02:07 PM
Hi

I really like Midway , never ordered from Grafs .
Never ordered primers or powder before online .
Do I have this right ? Midway won't ship primers and
powder together . Charge $20 hazmat plus $9.99 handling fee
plus shipping .
Grafs charge $20 hazmat , shipping is in price and
can ship powder and primers together .

Do I have this right ?
Thanks , Bill

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ocabj
December 6, 2006, 02:15 PM
Incorrect on Midway shipping costs. It is $20 hazmat and $9.99 flat rate shipping for powder only. If you add non-powder items to the order, then they add shipping. You can order up to 48lbs of powder with Midway and it will still be $20 hazmat + $9.99 flat rate shipping (handling). That's it.

As a regular customer, yes, the shipping for Graf's should be free (included in price). I can't tell you if they allow mixing powder and primers. If you have a dealer account with Grafs, then you have to pay shipping.

sargenv
December 6, 2006, 02:39 PM
Might also check on T&TB reloading.. If you spend $200, they pay half of hazmat, if you spend $400, they pay all of hazmat, however I did the numbers recently and it was slightly cheaper going to a different vendor. It came back to bite me on the rear end since the primer packages (Federal) are huge and it needed 2 boxes.. yep, they doubled hazmat on me.. Still worked out to less than $1.50 per k for hazmat and shipping.

Vince

ReloaderFred
December 6, 2006, 03:54 PM
Graf's will pay the hazmat fee if you order 32 pounds of in stock powder. I've made several orders from them that way. If you don't need that much, check with your reloading friends and perhaps go in together to make an order.

Hope this helps.

Fred

1911user
December 6, 2006, 05:20 PM
Midway doesn't seem like a very good deal for powder and primers since they won't ship them together and they can't ship other items with a powder or primer order. I understand they are shipping from 3 locations and have to charge seperate shipping/hazmat fees, but it's nice to order bullets, powder, and primers from one location with only 1 hazmat fee plus shipping on the order.

I know they can ship everything together since powder valley has been openly doing it for years. Maybe midway will move the powder and primer shipping to where they ship everything else; it would seem more competative that way.

RustyFN
December 6, 2006, 05:33 PM
So if they won't ship them together does that mean you have to pay hazmat on powder and also hazmat on primers?
Rusty

Branspop
December 6, 2006, 06:05 PM
www.powdervalleyinc.com

DWARREN123
December 6, 2006, 07:22 PM
For things like primers and powder it is cheaper to go to a local store if one is near.

cloudcroft
December 6, 2006, 07:39 PM
I'm not sure about that.

Seems like too many gunstores jack up the price on these HazMat items and make WAY too much profit off them. I'm sure they get much more off those sales then they should, i.e., getting back WAY more than THEY paid in HazMat fees when THEY ordered the stuff. Pure price-gouging.

You can't win.

-- John D.

ocabj
December 6, 2006, 07:46 PM
Seems like too many gunstores jack up the price on these HazMat items and make WAY too much profit off them. I'm sure they get much more off those sales then they should, i.e., getting back WAY more than THEY paid in HazMat fees when THEY ordered the stuff. Pure price-gouging.

You do realize that these gun stores have expenses. Employees and rent are big factors. Plus they do need to actually turn some sort of profit.

Yes, $25 a lb for powder is expensive, but that's what they need to do to cover their expenses and then some. Do I pay the retail prices? Rarely and only in a pinch. But does that mean they're gouging? Probably not.

You also realize that these stores can only keep a certain amount of powder and primers in their retail location, right? Some of the smaller stores can't afford to purchase enough in bulk from the distributors to make things cheaper for them to pass savings to the customer.

I agree that powder in retail is more expensive than online, but to say that it is simply price gouging is competely offbase.

Tomekeuro85
December 6, 2006, 08:27 PM
WHen I ordered powder from Midway, the box it came in was from Powder Valley, Inc. I checked their site, which is listed above, and their prices are way lower than midway's for powder and I think primers as well. Also, they dont have the 9.99 special handling charge.

I think it was something like $5 cheaper per pound than midway.

If i need powder, I'll go straight to powder valley. No need to go through midway and pay extra fees and get teh same powder anyways.

Ndenway
December 6, 2006, 10:08 PM
look at natchez also, they were having the $10 hazmat fee special last time I bought powder there.

loadedround
December 7, 2006, 11:07 PM
Bfox: I see you are from Pa also and as the others have said, it is much cheaper to buy from a local retailer than thru a catalog supply house like MidwayUSA. Pa seems to have a gun store in almost every small town and thats your best bet. Are you close to Cabelas? :)

Clark
December 8, 2006, 10:58 AM
I have bought from ~100 gun suppliers from the Internet and Shotgun News.

Midway is at the bottom of my list.

Graf and Sons is at the top of my list.


That said, one could get by with Midway, the problems are tolerable:
1) Those answering the phone do not know what a gun is.
2) Minimum order + handling + premium retail shipping rate + retail prices
3) Defective material is sold on sale without disclosing that it is defective.
4) Defective material? You pay to ship it back.
5) Constant "churn'em and burn'em" sales instead of constant low prices*


*The US has a median household income of $46k.
There may be people so poor, it pays for their time to read all the sales and shipping charges of Midway.
But if you bought 1000 shares of Microsoft stock in the early 1990's, just toss the Midway fliers in the recycling.

cracked butt
December 8, 2006, 03:52 PM
2) Minimum order + handling + premium retail shipping rate + retail prices


That I don't like about midway- there are items that cost $7-10 that I can't buy locally and would need to buy a bunch of other items to avoid the minimum order fees+ make the shipping costs somewhat worthwhile.

5) Constant "churn'em and burn'em" sales instead of constant low prices*


I throw midway flyers in the garbage myself. They have my C&R license on file so I get the sale price on everything, always;) I sent A C&R license to Grafs, they never responded to whether or not they received it despite several contact attempts, so I've never ordered from them.

michael_aos
December 8, 2006, 04:05 PM
I've ordered a lot from MidwayUSA over the years. I looked through my order-history at one time and was AMAZED how it all added up.

Anyway -- I do tend to shop around and I'll buy things elsewhere if they're less-expensive.

But overall, MidwayUSA is comparable in price to what I find locally. Shipping -vs- sales-tax is often a wash.

MidwayUSA prices aren't "bad". Their selection is good. They used be better about keeping items in-stock. They ship quickly. The site is easy to navigate, so I can find what I want without a lot of hassle.

I normally get my powder and primers a most of my bullets from Powder Valley, but now there's a Sportsmans Warehouse in town.

Mike

NVMM
December 8, 2006, 04:09 PM
Grafs = Great customer service.
Good people to deal with plus fast shipping.

cracked butt, if you need a small item, get it from Brownells.
Usually 3.95 shipping and its at my door in 3 days.

Sometimes price isn't everything. Customer service means alot.
I've been lucky I guess. No complaints.

The last thing that went wrong was a bullet order from Precision Delta, they sent the wrong weight. I called them and no hassel, 4 days latter my bullets were at my door and the next day UPS was picking up the mistake.
I like that!

RustyFN
December 8, 2006, 04:12 PM
Does anybody know if you can get a discount at Powder Valley with a C&R license? Powder Valley is $8 per pound less than the local store for Titegroup.
Rusty

RexDart
December 8, 2006, 06:07 PM
I just called them, and no, they don't offer a discount for any kind of FFL, C&R or otherwise. They do, however, require a copy of an FFL or DL for anyone they ship to.

cloudcroft
December 8, 2006, 10:06 PM
ocabj,

We have differing definitions of price-gouging.

Regardless, at MY local stores, that's what they do.

-- John D.

Japle
December 11, 2006, 07:59 PM
If my local reloading den has what I want, I'll buy it from them. I'll always give a small, local shop my business over a national, mail-order place.

It's worth it to me to support the local economy. WalMart, etc., has driven enough small businesses under already. Midway and Grafs are good people, but they have plenty of customers.

In fact, I just ordered some 7.62X54R brass from Grafs. Couldn't get them locally. But the powder, primers and bullets I'll get from Space Coast Bullets.

John
Cape Canaveral

cloudcroft
December 12, 2006, 12:02 AM
I support local stores, too. Sometimes.

But there's a difference between doing that and wearing a t-shirt saying "Please rip me off."

If they still insist on doing that, then the Internet nowadays is the second "Great Equalizer" when it comes to overcharging locals.

There's reasonable profit and then there's just plain greed.

Too bad you can't order gasoline over the Internet.

-- John D.

callgood
December 12, 2006, 04:33 PM
I use Powdervalley for bulk amounts. I try to use my local guy for trial purchases (powder I've never used). He's my gunsmith and runs a range as well. When he and his family pass on I don't know of an alternative in the area.

I've used Grafs in the past. Good experience. Brownells once or twice- do they still charge 15.00 for their catalog? I intend to use Grafs more in the future- it IS easy to log on and order at Midway, out of habit, I guess. I've spent a bundle at Sinclair, which has the best product mix - customer service out there, but an infuriating website. I have to scout the product # in the catalog and sometimes THAT doesn't get it. Wideners, good. AIM, good. CDDN, good. Lot of good companies out there.

NVMM
December 12, 2006, 04:40 PM
If you have an order with Brownells they will send a catalog at no charge.

callgood
December 12, 2006, 05:41 PM
If you have an order with Brownells they will send a catalog at no charge.

NEAT! There must be something I need....... That IS the one that's the size of the Los Angeles phone directory? I thought it was free to FFLs etc., but still a charge for peons. I think I got some Arisaka repro parts from them a couple of years ago. I'll check them out.

lamazza
December 12, 2006, 08:24 PM
i just checked out Graf's as I have never heard of them before...
The prices are almost the same as midway, and in some cases $1 or $2 higher.

Branspop
December 12, 2006, 10:15 PM
Brownells is awesome. Even if you just pay outright for the catalog. It's kind of like parts porn.

callgood
December 14, 2006, 01:51 PM
i just checked out Graf's as I have never heard of them before...
The prices are almost the same as midway, and in some cases $1 or $2 higher.

But there is this aspect. I'm looking to load 7.7 Jap for an Arisaka. I priced the dies, etc. at Midway. Brass is Norma- pricy. I was flipping thru the Graf's catalog and saw their house brand. mfg. to spec, at a substantially reduced price. Of course this isn't an apples-to-apples comparison, but as with most things, it pays to shop around.

Sport45
December 14, 2006, 04:32 PM
But there is this aspect. I'm looking to load 7.7 Jap for an Arisaka. I priced the dies, etc. at Midway. Brass is Norma- pricy. I was flipping thru the Graf's catalog and saw their house brand. mfg. to spec, at a substantially reduced price. Of course this isn't an apples-to-apples comparison, but as with most things, it pays to shop around.

Check out Factory Sales (http://www.factorysales.com/) for good prices on LEE dies and equipment. 7.7 brass can be formed from milsurp 30-06 if you really want to save money. Get a LEE case trimmer, chuck it in your drill press and get after them.

Liberty4Ever
December 15, 2006, 02:26 PM
I've placed quite a few Midway orders.

Pros:
Reasonable prices
Sale prices are a little better, sometimes a lot better
The customer reviews are a great online shopping resource, and much better than marketing sales hype
Fairly easy to shop online, find what I want and make an order
Their online Wish List allows me to keep a list of low priority items and scan it to see what's on sale

Cons:
Shipping cost is a bit more than it should be ($10+)
Sometimes receive obvious returned items that weren't checked, just restocked
They always try to send a catalog I don't need with every order
I HATE THE DAMN STYROFOAM PACKING MATERIAL

I do not buy powder or primers from Midway because the added hazmat and shipping costs are just too high. I usually buy powder locally for $16-$20 per pound, or $85-$125 per eight pound jug. Supporting local gun shops is good, unless they are seriously ripping you off. I may start buyng powder from http://www.powdervalleyinc.com if local supply becomes problematic, but so far the cost difference + sales tax is about the same as hazmat + shipping in the quantities I buy.

I found a new supplier for reloading supplies. I placed an order for $211.05 worth of stuff, and it was a good deal on good stuff, and the service was top notch.

http://www.hi-techammo.com

They specialize in disassembled military ammo components. I bought 3000 pulled .223 M193 bullets from them for 3.1 cents each. Shooting .223 just got cheaper than 9mm! They also have brass, and a few oddball powders at very good to great prices. My order included 6000 CCI primers, and the prices were very good. When comparing prices, go all the way through their checkout process to see the total including shipping and I think you'll be pleasantly surprised if you're buying primers and not powder. Buy a full case of powder (four jugs, mix & match), and they pay the hazmat fees, which is great if you're going in with friends and each want a jug or two.

lamazza
December 17, 2006, 07:50 PM
^^ thx for that hi tech link -they DO have good prices.

Nhsport
December 17, 2006, 08:43 PM
The one trick I have used from time to time is if I find myself able to use one certain powder quite a bit It is much more economical to buy the 4 or eight lb jug. Your local store generally doesn't want the bigger ones sitting forever on their shelf but they usually can get you one. Doesn't hurt to ask

fog
December 17, 2006, 09:52 PM
id use grafs over midway any day any time
midway people are rude just plain rude and i dont understand it ive bought from them before and i for some reason cant get a catalog from them and i call them and they say they send it out but i never receive it Grafs on the other hand after i ordered from them the first time they always send me a catalog whether i have ordered recently or not.
i have a ffl and i would love to support local gun store but they only want to handle what powders they think are important and only 1 or 2 brands(find out later that they only carry what the in town wholesaler has so they dont have to pay hazmat)so i order what myself and some others need
the price that they charge is i think gouging to a point because all thay have to do is drive across town and get what they need
oh i forgot grafs is very friendly for in store pickups too!

Liberty4Ever
December 18, 2006, 02:01 AM
fog,

I think we have very different experiences, based on very different interactions with these companies.

You thought Midway employees were rude. I place all my orders on the internet and neer talk to them. I have emailed a product suggestion or two, and I always receive a prompt and courteous reply.

You have trouble getting Midway to send you a catalog. I never use their printed catalog because I always shop online. I place about two orders a month, and every time, there is one page in the too-long process of completeing the order where I am asked if I want a catalog. Their full catalog is about half an inch thick. I have to uncheck the box every time so they don't throw a catalog in the box with my order. As if having a printed catalog would convince me to buy more stuff than I already do.

Isn't it odd how two people can see the same company so differently based on how we interact with that company?

Barr
December 18, 2006, 03:47 AM
I have dealt with both but I tend to prefer MidwayUSA. They have the best selection of products and the best laid out website. My primary gripe is it takes forever to surf the MidwayUSA site for whatever reason. Click on the same link 3-4 times when I am in the Reloading Sections of the site. BTW, the catalog makes a great drool item when you need to kill a little time and not anywhere where there is a computer nearby.

Most of my lead shot, powder, and primers I buy at Wideners because they are just 25 miles up the road.

Liberty4Ever
December 18, 2006, 09:38 AM
+1 on the MidwayUSA page loads taking too long.

Their site sees a lot of traffic. Most servers would have trouble serving static pages with small graphics during peak times, but the MidwayUSA site is so handy because they allow dynamic pages so you can search their database for your own search criteria and that adds a lot of processing to the server or whatever back end computing is searching the product database.

Most of the time I try to search using their prescribed search methods, using the tabs at the top to pick a category and work my way down their menu items to eventually pick a page of products that interest me. Sometimes there's a competitive product that is better than the one I wanted. But sometimes, usually for oddball stuff, the custom searchng can be handy, even if it brings their website to a crawl.

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