Price of Factory Ammo


May 5, 2007, 01:58 PM
I just went to Wal-Mart today to do some shopping. I happened to stop by the ammo counter to check out some prices. 100 rds of Remington 125g HP was over 37 dollars. The 100rds Winchester 9mm val pak was over 15 dollers. The guy I spoke to says it is because of the cost of fuel. I have only been shooting for about 6 years and I remember when you could buy 100rds of 9mm Winchester for under 10 dollars. The last time I was at my local gun store 44mag was just under 30 dollars for 50rds. That is almost 60 cents per bullet. What the heck is going on? Thank god for reloading. Just wanted to vent a little.:cuss:

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Car Knocker
May 5, 2007, 02:19 PM
What the heck is going on?
The price of everything is going up - cooper, brass, lead, primers, etc. China is spending those WallyWorld dollars and improving the infrastructure. India is spending those Call Center dollars and improving the infrastructure. There's a war going on that is using a boatload of the same stuff civilian ammo uses.

May 5, 2007, 02:34 PM
Yeah, it's definitely the commodity prices going up. china, katrina, ... a lot of cranes, electric wires, phone lines, pipes, brass fittings, etc...oh and cordite in mid east.

May 5, 2007, 02:38 PM
Did the cost of ammo go up during the first Gulf War then come down? I know China and India are using alot of raw materials but are we not recycling alot of copper and lead?

May 5, 2007, 02:51 PM
Wasn't watching ammo back then. But last 5 years, it's nearly everything, especially since katrina. REcycling helps, but still costs money. Good for environment though. Go to and lookup prices of GLD, SLV, Cemex (cement company), building supplies indexes, ... they're off the charts.

May 5, 2007, 03:29 PM
Check this site out. Look at the historical cost of lead and copper. Lead was about 20cents per pound 5 years ago now its at 95cents per pound.

Ed Gallop
May 5, 2007, 03:40 PM
I bought some 45 Colt and it cost over $1.00 per shot. So... I bought a Lee Handloader last week and in the process of making my own. I haven't reloaded since I was a rookie cop in the mid 60s having to buy my own practice ammunition so have a lot to learn. I goofed and bought the wrong bullets on line at Cabelas (didn't realize the quantity was 20 and not 50). Goofed again and bought 2,000 primers (thinking I was getting 200). Don't know anyone locally to share with. I need a good inexpensive source for round point lead bullets.

My local gun shop said it was the extreme jump in the cost of brass that drove ammunition prices out of sight, not just the cost of gas. Steel and other metal manufacturers have moved to foreign countries that are now booming on our imports. The USA has more foreign enemies than ever and our economy has become increasingly dependent on them. So much for independence. Our population increases (immigration), we continue to export jobs, we continue making enemies, and we become increasingly dependent on them. Scary!

And we believe the wealthy benefactor's false claims to line their pockets. The last 5 to 6 years has generated more than doubt about our future... Hope I'm wrong.

Average Joe
May 5, 2007, 08:50 PM
I shoot a lot of .22 these days.

May 5, 2007, 09:00 PM
I love reloading, and am wondering if I should get into casting, now. Even cheaper, if I can get the wheelweights local.:)

May 5, 2007, 10:25 PM
And eventually, they too will go up. Then something else will start the cycle all over again. Ge used to it, it's called economics.

Those of us who are old enough can remember when everything was a lot cheaper. But we made a lot less money, in dollars. Don't bother to look at the dollars, look at the value. How many hours do you have to work for what you buy.

On the other hand, the delay between price increase and wage increase is what makes some people rich, and makes the working poor suffer. My job is exactly the same as it was 25 years ago, but I get paid three times what I made then, in dollars. My buying power is about the same though.

May 5, 2007, 10:32 PM
Yes. My local shop said price increases went into effect on May 1st, 7% increase. They were informed that ammo would continue to increase every quarter until materials were readily available again. Though on that note, I did score some Monarch 50 round box 9mm FMJ for $7 at Academy, and Winchester FMJ 50 round for $8. And while there cleaned them out on Monarch 7.62x39 at $4.32 a box, got all 4 boxes they had left. They had Remington UMC value pack 250 rounds for $34.95. Cheaper to buy 5 boxes of Monarch.

May 5, 2007, 10:43 PM
I've noticed this too, federal xm193 is up to $7 a box or something. Big game ammo is totally outrageous too.

May 5, 2007, 10:46 PM
Hey, Beantown, nice site. I've seen that one before, but don't use it much at work. I had forgotten about it.

May 6, 2007, 09:09 AM
"My job is exactly the same as it was 25 years ago, but I get paid three times what I made then, in dollars. My buying power is about the same though." 44AMP

Hey there 44, glad someone else here can understand simple logic. I get so pissed off every time I hear someone whine about gas prices. You always get the "I remember when gas cost .xx a gallon". They never stop to think how many gallons they could buy with an hour's wages at that time compared to now. When gas was 25 cents a gallon, there probably weren't many blue collar workers making over a buck an hour. That's 4 gallons an hour. I'd say that $15 is a pretty average rate for a blue collar worker today. At $3 a gallon, that's 5 gallons an hour.

People are conditioned to whine about gas prices like women are conditioned to fear for their life over a furry little gray thing that weighs mere ounces.

beaucoup ammo
May 6, 2007, 09:35 AM
I agree. There are times you either fill the tank..and eat beans and rice..or cut the driving down to a minimum. I'm able to both eat and drive right now, but if this keeps up (escalating gas prices) that may not be the case.

Anyway, to the topic. I went to Academy with my wife a while back and WOW! While she shopped for shoes, I gravitated to the other side of the store. The sporting goods dept. had more guns..of all varieties..than many guns shops I've visited! I had not expected this..a gold mine really. I wish they would expand to more areas of the country.

That day they had a sale on "Remington UMC 115gr. 9mm Luger ammo." Not the greatest granted..but it'll do. They were selling 250 round "Mega Packs" for $34. I bought several.

You bet I "whine" about gas prices. I also "whine" when I'm being held up by a gang of punks. Opportunistic thungs in 3 piece suits jack prices up as the average Joe starts his once a year vacation with the kids. "Whine?" You damn right!

May 6, 2007, 11:45 AM
I haven't bought any factory ammo in many years, with the exception of rimfire mag ammo. The price of compom\nents keeps going up, and I keep stocking up,ON BULLET MOLDS, as well as powder and primers.
I started casting so I could shoot my .44 mag more. Now I cast for everything but .30 caliber. Thirty cal bullets are still cheap enough to buy.
If the orice of gas is enough to keep you from going on vacation, you really couldn't afford to go.
Try this scenario; You drive a real gas hog that only gets 15 miles per gallon. A trip of 1500 miles takes 100 gallons. At $2.00 per galloon, that costs $200.00. At three dollars per gallon, it only adds $100.00 to the cost of the trip.
"High" gas prices are the focus because we all see them every day. I drive about 200 miles, four days a week. I see and complain about gas prices just like everyone else, but really, they are not high enough to keep me from going to work.
The wife and I are going to take a trip of over a thousand miles to see our oldest Grand-daughter graduate from high school. We will do the same when our other Grandkids graduate. The cost of gas for the trip is inconsequential when compared to the rest of the trip.

May 6, 2007, 02:41 PM
Of course we whine about gas prices. When I bout my first diesel in Oct. 01, it cost $1.12 a gallon. It is right now $2.65 a gallon. That is a huge increase.

A decent home in my area in '01 was about $110,000 now the median is over $250,000.

45acp was $20 for 100 at Wally World last year, now its $28. WOW!

I think everyone "here" understands inflation and the devaluation of the dollar. However huge fluctuations in needed goods affect people's quality of life substantially. I know my income and 99% of every other american's income hasn't doubled in the last 6 years for the same job.

Because a huge chunk of the world is modernizing, we will continue to see construction materials and metals increase in price for the distant futures. This is inevitable.

What is not inevitable is the continued exportation of jobs, manufacturing, and our money to other nations. "Free trade" is a farce, and has only weakened our economy made us inmport the same goods we used to make and buy them for the same price we used to or even more now. No one seems to address NAFTA or now CAFTA to. We "you know the people of the USA" are the losers in these agreements. Everyone else wins. We can stop this!!! But, we won't. This is the downfall of our republic.

Sorry for my rant. I truly hope ammo prices go down along with other price too, but they aren't going to, so buy as much as you can now. It's a better investment than gold or silver for sure.

Ed Gallop
May 6, 2007, 08:38 PM
I have never seriously been into reloading, only a hand loader 40+ years ago, but I plan to get serious now. I tested the water by buying a hand loader and loaded some Colt 45s last week. It was fun. I am going to get a better loader and dies for my other guns as well. I'll also get some bullet casts. It shouldn't be much different than casting round balls, which I've done. I used to get lead from garages for free (ballancing tires). Can't do much about the cost of gas but shooting doesn't have to be expensive. Ed.

May 6, 2007, 11:01 PM
Certainly a lot of the reasons for the huge increase in ammo is because of base metal price increases, the increase in energy prices, the slide of the
value of the US dollar and the pressure to curtail the importing of MilSurp
ammo by the evil UN.

However, one big factor is the bottomless pit that American shooters
have created in the market. Regardless of how much the manufacturers have
raised ammo prices the shooters have kept on buying. Thats called an inelastic market in economic terms and that means the the market will continue to bear further price jumps.

Until the Amercian shooters quit buying that overpriced ammo can the market
ever allow the price to level off. And hopefully, even drop back just a little.

Ala Dan
May 6, 2007, 11:05 PM
as the new case price for PMC 55 grain JHP .223
ammo just went thru the roof~!

$325+ tax Per Case~!:scrutiny: :eek: :uhoh: ;)


$6.99 @ box of 20~!

May 6, 2007, 11:10 PM
WOW. Good thing I've been saving brass for when I take up reloading. Looks Like I'll be soending time reading the Handloading & Reloading threads. I've only been saving my 7.62 & .45 brass but you can bet I'll be picking up the .5.65 & .223 as well.

May 6, 2007, 11:12 PM
Reload ammo at my range went up $1.00

May 6, 2007, 11:48 PM
I've been shooting steel-cased .223 for a while to save money, but have been scrounging brass left in buckets where possible. Even stuff I don't shoot or reload, I've been saving (if I end up not reloading it, I can sell it for scrap). I've got 500 rounds of 9mm, but no gun that shoots it. I've held off buying guns for the time being, and have been buying ammo with quality brass (usually CCI Blazer Brass handgun stuff -- Natchez had a great sale on 9mm and .45 a few weeks ago, just bought a 960 round case of LC M2 Ball from the CMP). I even ordered a 5,000 round case of Winchester Dynapoints -- they're the cheapest subsonic ammo for my suppressed 10/22, and they're pretty accurate too. Rimfire's still damned cheap, but it doesn't hurt to stock up -- 5,000 rounds is only about $145 delivered from Grafs with the dealer discount.

Spend some cash on a decent reloading press (I've been looking at the Lee Load Master for handgun ammo and some rifle rounds), a boatload of powder and primers, and make your own for less. Scrounge brass where possible -- remember, the case is the most expensive part of the cartridge and it's foolish to just throw it away (or leave it at the range) when after one use when you can reuse it. You can buy cheap cast or plated bullets or cast your own; for me it's better to buy them because I live in a small apartment and don't want to deal with all the lead fumes and whatnot.

Prices keep rising, but I don't think it'll keep going up as it has been forever.

May 7, 2007, 09:14 AM
I havn't bought anything but rimfire and the speer lawman that was tossed in with my last revolver in over a decade... Only bullets i buy are for the rifle when reloading... otherwise i have, as my records reflect, nearly 1000 lbs of WW ingots in the barn... When i run out of handgun boolits i just fire up the lee pot and make some more... keeps me occupied on those cold winter nights...

May 7, 2007, 10:05 AM
If the orice of gas is enough to keep you from going on vacation, you really couldn't afford to go.
Try this scenario; You drive a real gas hog that only gets 15 miles per gallon. A trip of 1500 miles takes 100 gallons. At $2.00 per galloon, that costs $200.00. At three dollars per gallon, it only adds $100.00 to the cost of the trip.
"High" gas prices are the focus because we all see them every day

It's refreshing to find someone who actually understands economics

May 7, 2007, 12:11 PM
An older guy where I work told me years ago that he used to cast lead and had about 3,000 pounds he had melted into ingots. I heard he was moving recently from property he had leased for 30+ years and had to clean up. I asked him about the lead and he told me I was too late, he had just sold it to the local scrap yard for 15 cents a pound! I missed out on a lifetime supply and then some!

As to the price of metals affecting the price of ammo, it's easy to assume that's the #1 big reason, but the math says otherwise. When you look at the trends in copper, lead, and zinc over the last couple years, this can only account for about two to four cents a round increase (depending on the size of the round). That adds about a dollar to a box of 50 9mm's. The actual increase seems to have been at least double that. I suspect demand accounts for the rest, whether it's the war or people getting paranoid and buying 25 cases to stock the garage.

As to the cost of fuel affecting the cost of ammo, why hasn't everything else gone up as much? Ammo isn't the only thing shipped across the country. It would have some effect but very minimal.

Creeping Incrementalism
May 7, 2007, 12:53 PM
fatelk, are you sure the price of lead hasn't insreased substantially over the past two years? According to post #5, it has increased 5X over the past 5-6 years, so I think a large portion of that could be over the past two years. Most of the weight of most cartridges is lead, so it would be the overwhelming factor.

Someone also mentioned inelastic demand for ammo. I think it might even have negative elasticity for a large segment of the shooting population. The price of ammo seems to jump at least every six months (if not more often, based on the "FACTORY PRICE INCREASE SOON" emails I get on the email list). So many people buy a large amount at the current inflated prices, because they know it will only increase in the future. Once people need more ammo, or just get worried about further price increases, and so they keep buying more and more at higher and higher prices.

I wonder where the ammo prices will top out. I suspect there might even be an ammo "crash". Ammo gets to the point shooters throw their hands up in disgust, and just start shooting less (or concentrating on low-volume, high-accuracy shooting, and have finally stocked up to a satisfactory amount). As the factories are forced to drop their prices, people delay ammo purchases because ammo keeps getting cheaper and cheaper.

One argument I don't fully believe is the indistrialization of India/China et al. The 3rd world and former Com-Bloc have been rapidly industrializing for at least 15 years now. Why is everything going through the roof in only the past 2-3 years?

Ala Dan
May 7, 2007, 01:08 PM
Yep, for instance when I started in the firearms business in Sept of '04,
lead shot was $18.95 per 25lb bag; today its $32.95, and may not stop
here~! :eek: :(

May 7, 2007, 02:49 PM
The only way to beat inflation is for your earnings growth to outpace the cost of living growth. The problem is that it is nearly impossible to do that on a consistent basis. Even with rapid career advancement, you eventually run out of promotions. At the very least, the periods between promotions tend to stretch out the further up the ladder you go. At some point, we all reach a place where we are lucky just to tread water and we really aren't even doing that anymore because retirement benefits are non-existent for most people, health costs go up every year and we actually make less in absolute dollars than our parent's generation did. Did I mention that we also work a lot more hours and get less time off?

May 7, 2007, 05:26 PM
fatelk, are you sure the price of lead hasn't insreased substantially over the past two years?
The price of lead has most definitely increased, dramatically. I only meant to say that the value of the lead content is a very small portion of the cost of the round. For example, a 9mm bullet contains somewhere around 100 grains of lead (125 FMJ). At .20/lb, that is just over 1/4 cent. At .95 cents/lb, it is about a penny more. The rise in the cost of lead is responsible for an increase of about a half dollar a box in the price of 9mm, as an example. The increase in the cost of copper has slightly more of an effect, because it is a more expensive metal but has increased less, percentage wise.

May 7, 2007, 11:13 PM
I have hit 9 Walmarts in 4 days,all have pistol .223 nowhere.Yes its gone up yet the value packs are still within reason.Its rifle ammo that's scarce everywhere,or at extreme prices.Why is this?I hear variuos opinions Im not sure.

Rant?One thing to pay higher but I've been trying to get health insurance and just because I had a melanoma 5 years ago,cut it off end of story and Im healthy and still rather young ,every insurance company has rejected me.

Gas...I see various opinions on that,but in the last 2 years it has fluctuated so wildly that I can only see profiteering happening,much like homeowners insurance.When customers and employees are hurting in a certain industry,how can it be that the CEO boasts a record profit for the year?When times are good everybody should profit and when times are bad everyone should feel the heat.

May 7, 2007, 11:25 PM
I have hit 9 Walmarts in 4 days,all have pistol .223 nowhere.Yes its gone up yet the value packs are still within reason.Its rifle ammo that's scarce everywhere,or at extreme prices.Why is this?I hear variuos opinions Im not sure.

I'd propose the following:
- There are only a very few major pistol calibers: 9mm, .40 S&W, .45 ACP, .38 Special, and .357 Mag come to mind. Sure there are others, but I'd say that these five calibers make up the bulk of centerfire pistol ammo produced and consumed in the US.
- There are a huge number of major rifle calibers: .270, .30-30, .223, .308, .30-06, 7mm Mag, .300 Win Mag, and so on. Rifles are much more commonly used in hunting.
- Manufacturers have a limited number of production lines, and while they can dedicate a few lines to making 9mm, .40, and .45 all the time due to their popularity, they might not have that flexibility with rifle calibers due to the number of calibers they have to produce.
- There's a large and growing number of .223 rifles on the market (AR-15s, improved Mini-14s, .223 pistols, etc.), a growing number of shooters using these calibers, more competitions, training courses, and activities other than just target shooting involving such rifles. Shooters readily consume large quantities of .223 (the rounds-per-year-per-person of .300 Win Mag or 7mm Mag are likely to be quite a bit less). This, combined with people stocking up when shortages and price hikes seem to be occuring or soon to occur (rumors of impending bans), contributes to greater demand than the manufacturers can produce.

My advice? Find a good price with an online vendor that does backorders, and place an order for a large amount of ammo. If they don't do backorders, see if you can get notified when the item gets in stock. Be sure to get brass-cased, reloadable ammo and buy the necessary gear to reload. Sure saves money and helps ride out periods of high demand and shortages.

May 8, 2007, 09:57 AM
Inflation relative to the overall "value" of the dollar isnt really what concerns me. I expect prices to rise, gas, cost of ammo, etc. My concern is that rising ammunition prices creates a greater risk of making shooting a sport that only the wealthy or upper middle class can afford to engage in. Remember, being proficient requires practice, and practice requires frequent trips to the range.

I already spend more on ammo than I do on food, and I only can afford the range fees once or twice a month...

Cato the Younger
May 8, 2007, 10:22 AM
I spend about $24/week on food.
I spend around $25/ week on Ammo.

This is why I have begun to get into reloading, so that I can practice shooting more, in order to increase my proficiency, while keeping costs down.

100 rds of 38 Special cost $22 at my local shop.
100 rounds of 357 Mag cost $38 at my local shop.

To reload, with lead bullets, costs around $11/ 100 for 38, and $13/100 for 357 mag.

I try to shoot 200 rounds a week out of my revolver. It takes alot of practice to master DA shooting, I have been told- thus I shoot alot. Also, I have found reloading to be enjoyable and relaxing.

Just my $.02.

Malone LaVeigh
May 8, 2007, 11:20 AM
Thanks for the update, folks. I stocked up on ammunition for most of my guns about 9 months ago, mostly Brit, Guatemalan and SA milsurp for the .223 and .308's, Russian for the AK and SKS, and Miwall reloads for the handguns. I've been busy getting settled into a farm lately and haven't been shooting in a while, so I guess I've been inadvertently conserving.

Phaetos, I'm in shock over your reality check on the 7.62x39. The last boxes I bought at Academy last summer cost about $2.50.

Tin Gizel
May 8, 2007, 02:50 PM
In fear of the price of White Box Winchester increasing at my local wally world, i picked up 4k rounds today @ 14.56/100

.357 sig was $18.12/per 50!!!!!!!!

.45 was $26.97/100

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