How does the surplus ammo/gun market work ?


July 28, 2009, 12:53 PM
I'm trying to find a way to word this, but do the importers have a contact in Russia, Yugoslavia, etc and they just contact the importer when they have 15,000,000 rounds of surplus ammo or 10,000 guns they want to sell ? So the importers go to the other countries to see what's available or what they're willing to sell. I'm assuming the importers make a good deal of money as a bunch of Mosins is probably pretty worthless to the Russians. I guess my question is more about the logistics of it all.

Also, do you guys think there's much more suplus guns ans ammo in the world or is it running dry ?

Sorry I worded it so poorly, I can't think of the way to explain it. I talked to a guy locally and he said when they get wolf ammo off the ships, it's usually 600,000 rounds per pallet. I'm assuming the guns are the same way, they probably ship in huge quantities.

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July 28, 2009, 02:54 PM
I have no idea about your first question, but I'll try to answer your second one. "Surplus" is a really generic term that really depends on a lot of factors. Eastern bloc countries have made good money on selling otherwise unwanted or hard to move firearms to the west, but it's all relative to supply and demand. Remember when Wolf ammo was ridiculously inexpensive? The general shooting public was unsure of it - Was it corrosively primed? Will steel cases hurt my firearm? How accurate is it? Now that people know what they're getting, demand has gone up and the price has too. Wolf has figured out now that all they have to do is be a little less than the cheapest brass cased ammo and it will still sell well. In the same way, at some point the overabundance of surplus arms will end and prices will go up. At what point will that happen? - who knows - I guess you could call CAI and ask. A lot of it depends on what you're looking for. Supply for certain guns like turkish mausers, K-31's, and others have seemingly dried up. In the same way, M1 Garands fetch a premium price now. If our government would ever bring back the Garands in storage around the world, the price would certainly fall. Pending governmental intervention, what I foresee is going to happen is that importers will continue to tap new sources of surplus arms, but the market is in the process of "righting" itself. We've seen the prices of surplus arms and ammo go up and some are starting to test what the upper price boundary is for these firearms. The other factor is that some of these imported surplus arms may not be classified as curio and relic, which has a effect as to how well they sell. As for ammo, anything that is currently in use will have a lot longer supply than calibers that are not currently used. But there are a lot of factors to this as well. One more illustration and I'll stop. Why are 1895 Nagant revolvers and 7.62x25 ammo so cheap? Supply and demand. Nagant revolvers are inexpensive because they look strange, they operate differently than other revolvers, the ammo availability is a lot less than other calibers, and the price of that ammo is more expensive (even though it's starting to come down). 7.62 Tok ammo is inexpensive due to the amount and availability of firearms chambered for it. If Nagant ammo suddenly became $12/box or a major manufacturer started to make new firearms in 7.62 Tok, demand would go up and so would the price.

July 28, 2009, 03:01 PM
lso, do you guys think there's much more suplus guns ans ammo in the world or is it running dry ? One of the problems with surplus guns is most of what we have seen were WWII designs that were used in reserve during the cold war. Those guns were replaced with select fire weapons. Most of those we will never see. Some of those have been chopped and imported as parts (FALs and AKs mostly), but even that has resulted in a lot of political turmoil.

Surplus ammo has been bought up by warring nations as much as they have been by us. This has led to a lot of political pressure in some countries to just destroy the ammo rather than sell it.

I'm sure the politics in many of these countries are like ours where something is threatened, a lot or arguing and posturing goes on and then nothing comes of it. But some countries have banned exports of anything that could be war related.

July 28, 2009, 03:51 PM
hope someone "in the know" actually answers your question. I'd like to know how that works too. I wonder if there are any other military arms out there by the hundreds of thousands like the SKS and Mosin Rifles which may hit our shores sometime in the future.

July 28, 2009, 04:25 PM
I guess that's the question. Let's say there's 15,000 SKS's and 20,000,000 rounds of 7.62x39 sitting in a bunker in Russia. How does does a company go about locating that and bringing it into the U.S.

Also does every round of ammo have to be declared and every serial number tracked ?

Also regarding the M1 Garands, surely there's more out there than we know about currently. Also If one were to buy a Mosin and the supply of surplus ammo dried up, so would a huge reason for owning the gun.

July 28, 2009, 05:52 PM
Century International arms would buy them, import them, and then sell them. This assumes that they've settled things with the Russians over the $3.5 million dollars that Russia says they owe...

kansas coyote
July 28, 2009, 06:17 PM
The arms trade is a very secretive very tight lipped society they are unlikely to let the secrets out that you are asking . If you have the lemonade stand in town that everyone comes to are you going to give out your recipe ?

July 28, 2009, 06:25 PM
The word "surplus" brings to mind a pile of well used/abused items that someone no longer wants. They are willing to sell these items at fire sale prices just to get rid of inventory before it becomes worthless. If some of it suddenly becomes useful again up go the prices! In this neck of the woods you buy low and sell high for a modest profit. If you do the homework the real deal will be yours first but you have to go out and get it before the rest of the heard get there at the same time. I wish I had the forward thinking gene in my makeup as I would most likely be worth considerably more than I presently am. Should have bought a warehouse of primers!! OH WELL:D

July 28, 2009, 07:15 PM
If anyone is interested, the article I linked to is an address to a world organization discussing the problems of illicit procurement and use of arms by criminal, terrorist, or rebellious entities in third world countries.

The article gives some mention to the fact that the U.S. has sold weapons to many countries, and in the Cold War provided them to nations we supported. Millions of them. It mentions giving weapons to Mexico at least twice, as well as several other South American countries who's arms were never tracked by the U.S. to be sure that they went to the intended end user. Some very interesting things can be deduced from information contained in that article.

July 28, 2009, 07:43 PM

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