How scarce was ammo during the 94 ban?


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radiotom
January 5, 2013, 01:49 PM
I'm sure conditions were similar to what they are now right before the ban 94 happened, but how about during the ban?

Please share you experiences, I'm too young to know.

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readyeddy
January 5, 2013, 02:02 PM
Ammo and primers have gone scarce about a half dozen times since 94. As soon as someone says the words "gun ban", "democrat" or "shortage", people run to panic buy. Always has been, always will.

Trent
January 5, 2013, 02:03 PM
There were no ammo shortages during the ban that I can recall. In fact, from 1997 through 2002 I remember buying imported 7.62x39mm for under $80/1000 (Wolf)

Drail
January 5, 2013, 02:40 PM
I was mainly only buying reloading components in 94 and they were being bought in large quantities and hoarded. Factory ammo was still available but the prices went up some. Prices at gun shows got stupid for a couple of months. From reports I have seen it's already worse now than it was in 94. People are buying everything and dealers can't get any more stock or very little.

rcmodel
January 5, 2013, 03:22 PM
+1

Ammo was never affected during the 94 ban that I know off.

The biggest shortage of reloading components I can recall was the time during the Clinton administration, probably about '94.

Some SOB started a rumor about the government was going to make all manufactures use lead-free primers and ticking clock "taggerts" in ammo with a shelf life of one year.
That was so people couldn't stock-pile ammo according to the rumor.

You couldn't buy a primer for a long time there, but it didn't have anything to do with the Crime Control Act.

rc

cfullgraf
January 5, 2013, 03:46 PM
My memory is similar to others.

I never buy much factory ammunition so there could have been a shortage and I would not see it.

I remember primers became difficult to buy on occasions in the 90s but never flat out unavailable. Around that time I changed my practices of buying a few hundred primers at a time to buying them by the brick of 1000. It would get me over any shortages without me really noticing them.

There are always some spot shortages from time to time with components that might have seasonal runs at the factories.

gp911
January 5, 2013, 03:51 PM
I don't recall any major shortages, just some minor ones, but magazines... Oooohh how I hated seeing "pre-ban" standard capacity Glock mags for $79.99.

Onmilo
January 5, 2013, 04:35 PM
My memories are similar.
Ammo started to climb in price AFTER the 1994 ban was lifted in 2004.
I do remember 30 round AR mags @ $45, 20 round AR-FAL-M14 mags @ $30-$50 each
Glock pre bans @ $125 and Beretta mags at $75

MBaneACP
January 5, 2013, 05:03 PM
I was shooting USPSA Limited at the time, and I remember changing my buying habits on primers, picking up a thousand (or more) at a match or gun show when I could afford them or they were available instead of the hundreds I used to buy at the LGS. I remember shooting a lot of really crappily cast bullets! LOL!

Michael B

CapnMac
January 5, 2013, 05:08 PM
Ammo was never much an issue back then--but, in some fairness, DoD was not buying 1500 million rounds a year, either; DHS did not then exist, with their purchases furhter depleting production, too.

Lake City Match ammo went from 25-50 per round to 60-75 ($1 each for Cal..30 173gr FMJBT Match at the very end of that decade).

$5 magazines went to $15 pretty quickly. Then, to $25, $30, and $40-50, depending upon the type and time.

It was a stupid time in many ways. It was far easier to get those clunky 27-30 round Glock mags than to get 17-19 round standard capacity ones. Drop-free reduced capacity Glock mags were as hard (or expensive) to find as standard-cap ones.

AROTC changed their inventory, so it was a buyer's market for good Mossberg M-44s, but not for the (unbanned) magazines for those (which are still around $49.95 even today).

Oddest scarcity was in links for M-60 MGs. BATF amd Sarco went back and forth for 5 years on how to make compliant "ammunition feeding devices" whihc pretty much put production on hold for a while. This was very odd.

SilentScream
January 5, 2013, 05:13 PM
Yeah I remember mostly the cost of magazines being the real killer. Ammo always seemed to be available, as well as reloading components. The funny thing to me is I remember thinking to myself that AR/M16 mags would never get as cheap as the AK mags were back then; between $6 & $15 (this was the '97 thru '04) after the ban sunset it pretty well did a 180* flip on me.

The Lone Haranguer
January 5, 2013, 05:46 PM
I never had any trouble finding ammo.

6.5x55swedish
January 5, 2013, 05:54 PM
94 was pre-internet sales. From what I see, most of the shortages now are not due to hoarding, but due to people buying in bulk and re-selling at higher prices...

HorseSoldier
January 5, 2013, 06:11 PM
As far as ammo goes, the AWB was a happy time (unrelated to the ban itself) -- my overly rosy memories are that the market was so glutted that local gun stores would practically pay you to haul South African battle packs of 7.62x51 off their property and other NATO or Warsaw Pact mil-surp calibers were equally plentiful. The only ammo scarcity I recall from the second half of the 90s was for a .380 PPK I had for a while, which was harder to find and spendier compared to the mil-surp calibers, but that's still true today.

Trent
January 5, 2013, 06:56 PM
Oh man I miss those South African 200 round battle packs of 7.62!!!! Man I miss the days of 15c/shot in 308.

This shortage has me going through old boxes and taking inventory. I just found an old ammo can in the garage from circa 1997. I'd bought several thousand lake city 308 cal 168gr blemishes for .2c each. The can was filled with them! I'll have some cheap shooting 308 for awhile now. I'll have a whopping 17 cents a round wrapped up in next summer's ammo for my 308's. :)

Man I miss those days. You could blow through a case of 7.62 in a weekend and pay what it cost to shoot a couple of MAGS at today's prices.

What really irks me is the metal prices have not gone up THAT damn much since then. Lead is still the same as it was.

Copper is at, essentially, the SAME price as it was in 2008 right now, and the LME warehouse levels are almost 2x as high (sitting at 320,000 tons right no).

Yet ammo is 3x as high.

You can NOT blame the retention of high prices post 2007-8, on the metals.

We're getting scalped, somewhere.

CharlieBT
January 5, 2013, 07:07 PM
I concur -- ammo was not "scarce" or supply interrupted by end user hoarding after '94.


Post 2012 general election/Sandy Hook is worst in my lifetime, IMO. Second worst was months following 2008 general election.

I think Internet, social media, change in electorate are drivers for market reaction this time, not to mention certain political demand for restrictive federal gun control measures and media obsession with the same.

Trent
January 5, 2013, 07:22 PM
Yeah, I agree Charlie.

I walked my wife through some of the stuff I bought and set aside last weekend.

After going through some of the stuff, what I'd bought 15 years ago or so, and what it's selling for now... I said "You say I'm a hoarder; I agree; but it's justified."

She agreed.

1911 guy
January 5, 2013, 07:28 PM
There were no shortages, except in my wallet after buying cases of ammo.

.22LR was around 99 cents for a box of 50
7.62X39 was around 200 bucks for a case of 1,000
5.56 was even cheaper, if you found the right sale going on.
.45ACP was stupid cheap, by todays standards. About 8 bucks for 50FMJ, IIRC
Shotgun ammunition, however (and interestingly) has come down in price over the last twenty or so years.

Rollis R. Karvellis
January 5, 2013, 07:39 PM
The ammo wasn't hard to find like others have said surplus was cheap, and plentiful. But finding some powders were a chore for a while, and I, paid the outrageous sum of $50.00, for a sleeve of primers.

Even though internet sales was just starting, shotgun news had been around for a long time selling ammo.

1911 guy
January 5, 2013, 07:50 PM
Curse you, Trent!

I had just gotten over pining away for those 200rd packs of .308. :D

TheCracker
January 5, 2013, 07:54 PM
I started buying guns during the AWB. I don't remember ever not being able to get ammo.

I remember a box of 20, 55 grain UMC, 223 was $2.96 at Wal mart

550 round box of 22lr was $5.96!

Gas was under $1 a gallon.

I made less money back then but didn't have sky high insurance and fuel bills not to mention food.

That money went much further and I was defiantly better off financially during those days. Inflation is killing us all.

ccsniper
January 5, 2013, 08:01 PM
one thing I want to know is why in the world is .22 being bought up so much! I know of a little girl that got a .22 for Christmas and the only way she got to shoot it was because I gave her a 50 round box of Federal. I can't find a single box of .22 LR in my area!

bdmac
January 5, 2013, 08:17 PM
Same here in SE PA, no .22LR 'anywhere'!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

danez71
January 5, 2013, 08:27 PM
I lived in So CA. at the time and I dont remeber ANY shortage at the time. At most a small price increase. I remember Turners having stacks and stacks on tables & displays. More then, than now.


Different time though.... in 94, zombies were pretty rare and despite the new AWB/mag ban, far fewer pieces of sky were falling and generally a lot less panic hoarding.

lionking
January 5, 2013, 08:53 PM
Ah the mid 90's where does time go? Ammo was never a problem but most people bought as they needed to shoot, most people I knew didn't keep cases upon cases of ammo around and most people with even a AR didn't go bam bam bam bam with 400 rounds a range trip either.

Never thought back then I'd see the day Colt and Winchester would become rare....

Back then, a Colt Cobra was $350 new
A Colt Anaconda $550 new
A Winchester 30-30 $300 or less new
A Ruger Mini 14 $350 to $400 new
Beretta m92 $450 new
Marlin 60 $100 new
Romanian AK SAR 1 $300 new
French MAS new in wrap $100
Glock $350 to $400 new
Ruger Blackhawk $250 to $300 new
Ruger MK2 $200 new
S&W 686 .357 $350 new

And if you want to go back to 1988 lol.. Norinco AK $300 new, H&K 91 $750 new, Colt 1911a1 series 80 $475 new

Now these days a Winchester or Colt is over a $1000 in many cases:(

Kramer Krazy
January 5, 2013, 10:20 PM
Oh man I miss those South African 200 round battle packs of 7.62!!!!
I miss those, too. Fortunately, I was cleaning a section of my basement and found five battle packs that I forgot I had. IIRC, I paid $29 each for them from Aim Surplus around 2004. I also "found" 200 rounds of linked 7.62x51, 500 rounds of new Winchester 308, and a 1000-round case of Wolf 7.62x39 that I think I paid $90 for at a gun show in Charlotte, NC in 2006. Now, I think I need to start cleaning some other sections of my basement. :D

hso
January 5, 2013, 10:29 PM
I didn't see an ammunition shortage during it and purchased thousands and thousands of rounds brought to my door by UPS.

I pulled one of the Aim SA battlepacks out from under my bench today.

JohnKSa
January 5, 2013, 10:37 PM
Ammo was never much an issue back then--but, in some fairness, DoD was not buying 1500 million rounds a year, either; DHS did not then exist, with their purchases furhter depleting production, too.AND, Clinton's Executive Order halting all imports of Chinese Small Arms & Ammo hadn't gone into effect yet. Ammo prices were as good as I've ever seen, probably better than I'll ever see again, even corrected for inflation.

You could get U.S. new commercial 9mm ammo in small quantities (i.e. a box or two--50 to 100 round quantities) for under 10 cents a round without shopping around that carefully, and buying in bulk, you could do better. 7.62x39mm was cheaper than that, and 7.62x25mm pistol ammo was down around 5 cents a round in bulk.

If that executive order is ever rescinded, the prices will drop like a stone when Norinco starts hitting the market again.

Trent
January 6, 2013, 09:40 AM
AND, Clinton's Executive Order halting all imports of Chinese Small Arms & Ammo hadn't gone into effect yet. Ammo prices were as good as I've ever seen, probably better than I'll ever see again, even corrected for inflation.

You could get U.S. new commercial 9mm ammo in small quantities (i.e. a box or two--50 to 100 round quantities) for under 10 cents a round without shopping around that carefully, and buying in bulk, you could do better. 7.62x39mm was cheaper than that, and 7.62x25mm pistol ammo was down around 5 cents a round in bulk.

If that executive order is ever rescinded, the prices will drop like a stone when Norinco starts hitting the market again.

Why would you assume that?

Throughout the 90's and early 2000's we had many ex-Warsaw Pact countries joining NATO and standardizing ammunition.

It's no coincidence that Bulgaria, Poland, Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania, and now parts of the old Yugoslavia are all the primary sources of our surplus. We had, for 20 years, almost a constant supply of parts kits, "obsolete" ammunition, and so on getting sold off and bought by voracious hoarders in the US :) as those countries standardized and adopted NATO doctrine.

We also saw surplus old stock entering the country from Malaysia, India, and other eastern countries.

There's plenty of competition for ammunition from various sources; ranging from parts of the old old Soviet Union (Wolf, Brown/Silver Bear, Tula, etc), Czech Republic (Privi Partizan), Switzerland/Germany (Ruag), FN Herstal, and so on.

Plus dozens of commercial manufacturers right here in the United States.

There's no shortage of ammunition suppliers.

There's no shortage of metals. And metal prices aren't much different than they were 10 or 15 years ago.

So ... why is ammunition 3x as expensive as it used to be, and rising?

danez71
January 6, 2013, 10:47 AM
There's no shortage of metals. And metal prices aren't much different than they were 10 or 15 years ago.


The two main components of brass is Copper and Zinc.

Copper is about 4x what it was in the 94-99 time frame
Zinc is about 2x what it was in the 94-99 time frame

Lead is about 5x what it was in the 94-99 time frame

Onmilo
January 6, 2013, 11:02 AM
My friends in Canada are still getting Norinco ammo and it has increased in price.
7.62X51 that was selling for 10 cents a round down here is running about 50 cents a round up there currently.
Based on current pricing, that would make the stuff about 40 cents a round at current market now.

xfyrfiter
January 6, 2013, 11:17 AM
A loaf of bread was around 50 cents and a gallon of milk about a dollar. Inflation has just about done us in folks and don't look for it to get any better in the short run, maybe down the road, who knows?

762gunr
January 6, 2013, 12:19 PM
one thing I want to know is why in the world is .22 being bought up so much! I know of a little girl that got a .22 for Christmas and the only way she got to shoot it was because I gave her a 50 round box of Federal. I can't find a single box of .22 LR in my area!
+1
Shooting and weapons went from fun and relatively cheap to just not very fun. I try and buy/reload more than I shoot but having to monitor my round count is just disturbing.

762gunr
January 6, 2013, 12:23 PM
I miss those, too. Fortunately, I was cleaning a section of my basement and found five battle packs that I forgot I had. IIRC, I paid $29 each for them from Aim Surplus around 2004. I also "found" 200 rounds of linked 7.62x51, 500 rounds of new Winchester 308, and a 1000-round case of Wolf 7.62x39 that I think I paid $90 for at a gun show in Charlotte, NC in 2006. Now, I think I need to start cleaning some other sections of my basement. :D
To be fair SA was in 140 round BP's not 200.

6.5x55swedish
January 6, 2013, 05:18 PM
I was poking around a few country hardware stores this weekend and found plenty of 223 and 22 lr, looked like it had been on the shelves for 20 years though...

Makes me wonder if some of the shortage is being created by retailers holding back supplies? I know that the Cabela's here in Hartford CT removed all of their Black rifles from the sales floor and are not selling them right now...

JohnKSa
January 6, 2013, 10:39 PM
It's no coincidence that Bulgaria, Poland, Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania, and now parts of the old Yugoslavia are all the primary sources of our surplus.The Chinese ammo coming in wasn't surplus, it was primarily new commercial and competed directly with U.S. commercial makers, not merely on the surplus market.My friends in Canada are still getting Norinco ammo and it has increased in price.Sure, metals have gone up, and that's going to drive ammo prices up too. But metal prices alone won't account for the price increases we've seen over the years since the import ban went into effect. Nor will inflation.Plus dozens of commercial manufacturers right here in the United States.

There's no shortage of ammunition suppliers.There clearly is, or we wouldn't be seeing repeated and extended shortages of ammunition.

Onmilo
January 6, 2013, 10:53 PM
the Chinese ammo coming in wasn't surplus
Yes it was, I still have some of it.
The .308 my Canadian friends are buying is actually surplus, dated 1990, that has been packaged for commercial sale.

Case in point. This is surplus Military 918 Makarov.
Stuff on the left is Russian, center is Czech Military commercial repackage and on right is Chinese Military issue.
http://www.fototime.com/D3F457DDC1F4B1C/standard.jpg

JohnKSa
January 7, 2013, 10:52 PM
Yes it was, I still have some of it.
The .308 my Canadian friends are buying is actually surplus, dated 1990, that has been packaged for commercial sale.Some was, however, as I said in my post, "it was primarily new commercial and competed directly with U.S. commercial makers".The .308 my Canadian friends are buying is actually surplus, dated 1990, that has been packaged for commercial sale.If it is truly surplus, that means it is left over from ammunition made for China for use by their own military.

Which begs the question--what .308 caliber weapons was the Chinese military using in 1990?

What .308 caliber weapons did China EVER issue to their military?

1911 guy
January 8, 2013, 01:52 AM
The chinese stuff that came in then was, by a vast majority, commercial. It was labeled "Norinco Sport" and came in green and white boxes. I've still got a few of those and some of the German surplus that came in the white boxes, exported after the reunification.

Rollis R. Karvellis
January 8, 2013, 08:43 AM
The ChinaSport .223, and the Norinco .45 was good stuff. I, still have some of the .45 brass in my bucket.

Killian
January 8, 2013, 11:57 AM
Ammo might be in short supply. A lot of the stuff coming into the US during the 1990's years was left over stocks from when the Iron Curtain fell. I think it very likely the importation of foreign made arms and ammunition could be effected by a ban. Probably as an afterthought or as a "protection for US manufacturers". Which would put big ammo producers on the same side as the government. "Don't do away with guns!...but do stop foreign made ammo from coming in, we'll provide all the US needs domestically." Bigger profits for them.

Onmilo
January 8, 2013, 05:06 PM
JohnKSa, China doesn't just produce Military ammunition for its own Military, they produce for export all over the world.
China never produced "Commercial" ammunition prior to the opening of the American market, all the stuff they made went to Military or paramilitary buyers.
Whatever kind of commercial box they chose to repackage the ammunition in doesn't change the fact it was initially produced for military sales.

The cases of 7.62X51 ammunition I have are packaged as two 720 loose rounds in paper bundles in sealed tins in a wooden cases.
By the way, regardless of what the commercial boxes say, i.e. ",308 Winchester", the ammunition is dimensioned to military 7.62X51 standard it is NOT commercial .308 sporting ammunition.

They began repackaging the ammunition in 20 round commercial boxes at the request of importers, still doesn't change the fact the ammunition was initially produced for Military sales.

Blackhawk30
January 8, 2013, 06:07 PM
There was way more ammo around.The surplus ammo has disappeared.All there is is 7.62x54R,5.45x39 and 7.62 Tok.
Back in the day there was tons of surplus 9x18
9x19
.45ACP
Port .308
556 from 1/2 dozen countries.
7.62x39 from 1/2 dozen countries.
All kinds of stuff.From allover the world.
All of that has dissapeared.
This why prices have climbed.
Not enough flexability in supply.

JohnKSa
January 9, 2013, 01:00 AM
China doesn't just produce Military ammunition for its own Military, they produce for export all over the world.Ok, strictly speaking, then, what you're talking about is contract overruns, or perhaps even runs made specifically for commercial sale after military contracts were fulfilled. That's not actual military surplus ammunition. The purchasing country might sell some of their ammo as military surplus, eventually, but that's not quite the same thing as the original maker selling new ammunition (whatever spec it's made to conform to) on the commercial market.

However, that's still not evidence that all the Chinese ammo on the U.S. market during the AWB was military surplus.By the way, regardless of what the commercial boxes say, i.e. ",308 Winchester", the ammunition is dimensioned to military 7.62X51 standard it is NOT commercial .308 sporting ammunition.If it's made for the commercial market, it's commercial ammunition whether or not it is made to conform to military standards.China never produced "Commercial" ammunition prior to the opening of the American market...Ok, but the question and discussion is specifically about the AWB timeframe. That was significantly after the American market opened to Chinese products.

tarosean
January 9, 2013, 01:22 AM
Back then, a Colt Cobra was $350 new
A Colt Anaconda $550 new
A Winchester 30-30 $300 or less new
A Ruger Mini 14 $350 to $400 new
Beretta m92 $450 new
Marlin 60 $100 new
Romanian AK SAR 1 $300 new
French MAS new in wrap $100
Glock $350 to $400 new
Ruger Blackhawk $250 to $300 new
Ruger MK2 $200 new
S&W 686 .357 $350 new

And if you want to go back to 1988 lol.. Norinco AK $300 new, H&K 91 $750 new, Colt 1911a1 series 80 $475 new


Dont forget 60 dollar SKS's




94 was pre-internet sales.

Yep back then it was only locals buying or mail order.. Now someone from the other side of the US can clean your local store out in a click in his/her PJ's.

different landscape entirely.

obx-shooter
January 9, 2013, 03:41 PM
Back then I was an avid reloader and only bought ammo if it was near as cheap as I could reload...and there was a lot of military rifle caliber that met that criteria.

When I got too busy to reload I got in the habit of keeping a minumum of 500 or so rds of stuff I don't shoot much and 1-2,000 rds of stuff I do plus about 3-5,000 of .22 which I shoot every time I go to the range to "warm up". I can "weather" this shortage for quite a while before dusting off my progessive reloader...

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