How could ammo be made cheaper?


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Mooseman
March 16, 2009, 10:58 PM
Some of the components used to make ammo are expensive. I wonder if alternatives could be chosen to really bring the cost of ammo down. For sake of argument say the ammo is for rifle or pistol and would have to work in existing firearms.

I remember a while back someone was making cases out of polymer, haven't heard any recent mention of that idea.

Anyone have some good ideas?

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Cannonball888
March 16, 2009, 11:01 PM
How about outsourcing to China? I hear they are good at producing lead products.

geronimo509
March 16, 2009, 11:04 PM
lol thats funny, and sad but true. Also, another sad but true is the cheap labor

crazy-mp
March 16, 2009, 11:15 PM
I think China had a problem with using steel bullets, they only use lead in toys!

Guns and more
March 16, 2009, 11:21 PM
How about outsourcing to China? I hear they are good at producing lead products.
You hit the nail on the head. Just think how much labor costs and government regulation have added to a product when it is cheaper to ship LEAD halfway around the world to save money.

4Freedom
March 17, 2009, 03:30 AM
Everything else is made in china, why not guns and ammo? Actually, I hear the chinese make some pretty dang good AKs.. One chinese product, I definately would advocate us importing.

shooter429
March 17, 2009, 05:21 AM
and their ammo sucks.

You can lower the costs by reusing the brass and casting lead bullets. Simple and effective.

As to plastics or the like, I doubt it, but who knows. I will stick with brass for now.

Shooter429

KevinAbbeyTech
March 17, 2009, 06:01 AM
You can lower the costs by reusing the brass and casting lead bullets. Simple and effective.

Yeah, but you still have to buy bullets if you want FMJ's (If you can even find them.)

TAB
March 17, 2009, 06:02 AM
If the demand would go down, the prices just might. Its all supply and demand.

LightningCrash
March 17, 2009, 06:19 AM
In order for ammunition to be cheaper, commodities pricing has to go down.
Lead and copper are on the downtick lately, lead is about $.50/lb at the moment. Compare that to over $1.60/lb during Dec 2007.

IIRC Most of the processes in manufacturing ammunition are completely automated. Labor is not a big factor.
I know someone who worked at Lake City, I can ask him for more details.

Smokeless powder manufacturing may be more labor-intensive than the cartridge assembly though, who knows.

Speedo66
March 17, 2009, 06:58 AM
Yes the prices of metals have gone down, but that's had no effect on prices on the shelf as supply and demand problems continue.

What's the incentive to a manufacturer or distributor to lower prices when they can't keep the items on the shelves?

People here whoop and start posts when they find any ammo at Wal-Mart, that should tell you there's a problem.

Until the panic hoarding stops, prices will remain where they are.

Don't count on the Chinese ammo ban being lifted any time soon either.

Sixtigers
March 17, 2009, 07:02 AM
Why not a plastic case?

For that matter, why a case at all? How about the case is the propellant?

Bullet is shot from gun, nothing to eject--case consumed during firing.

If it's plastique-based, the rounds would even be waterproof.



Maybe it's time to rethink the whole cartridge issue, and come up with something new.

foghornl
March 17, 2009, 08:02 AM
IIRC, Daisy (Yes, the BB gun maker..THAT Daisy) at some time in the '60's had a .22 that they called the VL. There was no case, just a blob of some sort of propellant on the back of a .22LR-size bullet. Spring/piston-compressed air heated and set off the propellant.

Also in that time frame, I seem to sort of very vaguely remember an all-plastic 12-Ga shotgun shell...perhaps Alcan brand? The shell was full-length, no crimp, tapered a bit at the end with sort of a cap/plug over the shot.

CoRoMo
March 17, 2009, 08:54 AM
I'm surprised that nobody here has yet mentioned that this 'alternative' idea has already been tried. Blazer aluminum? Wolf steel? They are the least expensive for a reason.

I'll choose brass because I reload. My ammo is extremely cheap and plentiful.

servantofinari
March 17, 2009, 05:08 PM
For that matter, why a case at all? How about the case is the propellant?

Bullet is shot from gun, nothing to eject--case consumed during firing.

If it's plastique-based, the rounds would even be waterproof. look at the H&K G11 and you will see why. i personaly think a polymer would be a posible alternative, hell for all i know you could use cardboard.

bigfatdave
March 17, 2009, 07:20 PM
For that matter, why a case at all? How about the case is the propellant?
Bullet is shot from gun, nothing to eject--case consumed during firing.
If it's plastique-based, the rounds would even be waterproof.
Maybe it's time to rethink the whole cartridge issue, and come up with something new.
Caseless Ammunition (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caseless_ammunition) isn't a new idea.
Making it tough enough to be cycled in existing firearms is one of the harder parts.

Lightninstrike
March 17, 2009, 07:56 PM
Rail guns, that's the ticket. A little electricity, some magnets, voila!! No primer, powder or case.

:evil::evil:

JohnKSa
March 17, 2009, 07:59 PM
How could ammo be made cheaper? Lift the import bans that are currently in place.

catspa
March 17, 2009, 08:20 PM
Wuuulll...

This sounds kinda stupid, but I think it's pretty cheap already, especially for a reloader.

If there were no ammo or components right now and I had to start from scratch, it'd be forever before I could manufacture even one workable round myself. Yet here it all is, boxed up and everything for 25 cents a round. And if I buy the components I can cut that darn near in half. Not to even mention .22's...

Parker

Speedo66
March 17, 2009, 08:53 PM
That's assuming of course you can FIND the componants to reload.

Presently, I can't.

TAB
March 17, 2009, 09:08 PM
I'm not having any probs getting them for 10 mm or 45 acp.

Even primers are just a trip to the gun store... never had a single prob finding them.

Mt Shooter
March 17, 2009, 09:15 PM
A plastic case bullet has been done before. I believe it was called a tround.

-v-
March 17, 2009, 09:46 PM
Plastic case has been done in all the major calibers, but it has disappeared for some reason. I recall some company was marketing some polymer .308, .223 and a few other rounds. This was back in early 2000, '02 or '03? The draw-back was non-reloadability. The upside 40% weight reduction and a decrease in chamber heating due to the significantly worse thermal conductivity of high strength plastic versus metal.

Seems that their product never took off, and since been buried off the face of the internets.

servantofinari
March 17, 2009, 11:03 PM
I think there is a PCA sold in .223 Rem. Don't know the price but the only complaints i have heard is some of the lower grain rounds have week atachment at the neck.

raz-0
March 18, 2009, 01:45 AM
Plastic case has been done in all the major calibers, but it has disappeared for some reason. I recall some company was marketing some polymer .308, .223 and a few other rounds. This was back in early 2000, '02 or '03? The draw-back was non-reloadability. The upside 40% weight reduction and a decrease in chamber heating due to the significantly worse thermal conductivity of high strength plastic versus metal.

Seems that their product never took off, and since been buried off the face of the internets.


At least for the polymer .223, it didn't take off because it wasn't particulalry hot (little slower than wolf), wasn't great in terms of accuracy, wasn't tons cheaper, and if you rapid fired a bit and left one in the chamber, you might not get it out without tools due to the case deforming.

It did, hoever, have some of the cleanest burning powder I have run across. Only some of the non-toxic ammo seems to beat it.

evan price
March 18, 2009, 03:41 AM
In the 80's there was a company that made all-plastic shotshell hulls- I htink they had a metal washer embedded in the rim to aid extraction. Can't remember the name right now, but I picked up a couple at the range back in the day because they looked different than the other hulls. Probably somewhere in my stuff at my folks' house.

servantofinari
March 20, 2009, 05:19 PM
NATEC makes a .223 PCA that doesn't seem to melt in the chanber and is very reliable.

everallm
March 20, 2009, 05:28 PM
The upside 40% weight reduction and a decrease in chamber heating due to the significantly worse thermal conductivity of high strength plastic versus metal.

The issue was the opposite, INCREASED chamber heating as the brass acts as a heat sink which on ejection gets rid.

fireman 9731
March 20, 2009, 05:38 PM
I think that the most expensive part of ammunition is the powder.

Cast lead bullets can be made for less than a penny a piece sometimes, Primers are just a few cents a piece, and brass can be reloaded several times....

Powder is my biggest cost as a reloader... make powder cheaper and then ammo will be cheaper.

JohnKSa
March 20, 2009, 10:37 PM
As a reloader, that's true. However, the REASON you're reloading is because it saves you the cost of the brass which is actually more than the powder.

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