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Why is 9mm always the cheapest ammo?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by BigBlock, Sep 12, 2008.

  1. BigBlock

    BigBlock member

    Aside from .22 anyway, I'm sure you all know 9mm is generally the cheapest ammo you can find. A large local place sells American Eagle 9mm for about $11. A box of American Eagle .38 specials will set you back about $16. Same can be said about other brands and other stores.

    WHY is that? I mean, as far as production goes, .38 and 9mm are essentially the same, aren't they? Similar amounts of brass, lead, powder, and primers. I'm thinking maybe because 9mm is more popular, but it ain't like .38 specials are rare. ***? :scrutiny:
  2. 19-3Ben

    19-3Ben Well-Known Member

    Bingo. Economy of scale.
    They can sell more. So they can buy more components. Buying large quantities of components means they buy them cheaper.
  3. twoblink

    twoblink Well-Known Member

  4. tinygnat219

    tinygnat219 Well-Known Member

    Volume baby simply volume.
  5. Lookn4Brass

    Lookn4Brass Well-Known Member

    Cheap ol' 9mm...hmmm...

    Here's some food for thought. Ask several people that you know who own guns, and ask them what caliber handgun(s) they have. In most cases they own at least one 9mm, in my experience. 9mm is also used worldwide in alot of military/police applications more than any other handgun caliber. The same goes for submachineguns too -the very popular HK MP5, the UZI, the British Sterling, the MAC-10, etc. Remember also that years ago most people owned a .38 special revolver - it was the most common handgun around for most households. Police departments used it as well, for a LONG time. The trend is now a semi-auto 9mm and yes, even the .40 S&W is well known now too. The trend and times have changed. The supply and demand issue, I would say: There is an abundance of market space for the 9mm ammo components (bullets and brass -the most expensive part of a cartridge-powder and primers are insignificant in cost comparison), so therefore the industry cost of making it is probably lower, therefore it is still OK for the industry to sell 9mm for less. Hope this info helps.
  6. Norstrog

    Norstrog Member

    I've fought buying a 9mm for several years now because I'm one of the guys who feels the .45 ACP is where it's at, especially for self defense. However, I recently purchase a Sig P239 9mm because of the fact that other than .22LR the 9mm is exactly as you said, the cheapest round you can buy. Haven't had the opportunity to shoot the gun yet but love the feel and trigger of it.
  7. jameslovesjammie

    jameslovesjammie Well-Known Member

    Demand is there. My buddy I shoot with empties a magazine or two of his 9mm before I fire 1 cylinder of .38's. He has 16 round magazines. From my own personal experience, many noobs like to just pull the trigger than to take the time and concentrate to shoot small groups. Many noobs shoot 9's because they are cheap.
  8. Guillermo

    Guillermo member

    being a NATO round means that there is TONS of supply
  9. Luis Leon

    Luis Leon Well-Known Member

    Because they sell tons of it, I don't believe it is cheap, or inexpensive. Within the last 5 years it went from $10.96 per 100 of WWB at Walmart to over $18 dollars per 100. So the 9mm ammo isn't as inexpensive as it used to be. It all depends on how many rounds you send downrange per year.

    best regards,

    Luis Leon
  10. hardwarehacker

    hardwarehacker Active Member

    Supply and demand, but it goes a bit beyond that. 9mm has been a military round for most of a century, and many of the countries which use(d) it set up local production capabilities so that they could never be cut off and would not have to buy from some other country they were not on good terms with.

    After the end of the cold war, many of those countries no longer needed all of their production capacity, so they started selling it on the commercial market. They had essentially zero startup costs since the factories and machinery were already in place, and legal liability is not much of a concept to them. They started selling boatloads in order to raise hard international currency, which forced everyone else to at least lower their prices.
  11. Elvishead

    Elvishead Well-Known Member

    9x19mm has less metal weight, generally 115g, plus volume production.

    9mm 115g-125g small shorter shell, 20-25 cents
    45cal 180g-240g bigger shell 35-40 cents
    38spl 125g-158g small but longer, shell 28-35 cents
    .357 same as 38spl but more powder and longer yet shell. 35-40 cents

    And don't bring up .380's as a case in point. Much lower production numbers than all those above.

    These are my own general figures, if you care to dispute it.:banghead:
  12. 45Guy

    45Guy Well-Known Member

    Of course it isn't as inexpensive as it used to be, nothing is be it milk, bread, cereal, gas, or ammo. That's why it's called inflation.

    And definitely if you shoot at least 200 rds of 9mm and 100 rds of .38spl every range trip like I usually do, it isn't going to be cheap.
  13. woad_yurt

    woad_yurt Well-Known Member

    9MM is the cheapest for the same reason that aftermarket Chevy small block parts are: Because they're so popular. They make more at a time so the cost per unit is cheaper.

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