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How scarce was ammo during the 94 ban?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by radiotom, Jan 5, 2013.

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  1. Kramer Krazy

    Kramer Krazy Member

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    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
     
  2. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    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.
     
  3. JohnKSa

    JohnKSa Member

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    If that executive order is ever rescinded, the prices will drop like a stone when Norinco starts hitting the market again.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

    Trent Resident Wiseguy

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    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?
     
  5. danez71

    danez71 Member

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    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
     
  6. Onmilo

    Onmilo Member

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    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.
     
  7. xfyrfiter

    xfyrfiter Member

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    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?
     
  8. 762gunr

    762gunr Member

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    +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.
     
  9. 762gunr

    762gunr Member

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    To be fair SA was in 140 round BP's not 200.
     
  10. 6.5x55swedish

    6.5x55swedish Member

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    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...
     
  11. JohnKSa

    JohnKSa Member

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    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.
    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.
    There clearly is, or we wouldn't be seeing repeated and extended shortages of ammunition.
     
  12. Onmilo

    Onmilo Member

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    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.
    standard.gif
     
  13. JohnKSa

    JohnKSa Member

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    Some was, however, as I said in my post, "it was primarily new commercial and competed directly with U.S. commercial makers".
    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?
     
  14. 1911 guy

    1911 guy Member

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    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.
     
  15. Rollis R. Karvellis

    Rollis R. Karvellis Member

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    The ChinaSport .223, and the Norinco .45 was good stuff. I, still have some of the .45 brass in my bucket.
     
  16. Killian

    Killian Member

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    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.
     
  17. Onmilo

    Onmilo Member

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    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.
     
  18. Blackhawk30

    Blackhawk30 Member

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    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.
     
  19. JohnKSa

    JohnKSa Member

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    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.
    If it's made for the commercial market, it's commercial ammunition whether or not it is made to conform to military standards.
    Ok, but the question and discussion is specifically about the AWB timeframe. That was significantly after the American market opened to Chinese products.
     
  20. tarosean

    tarosean Member

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    Dont forget 60 dollar SKS's




    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.
     
  21. obx-shooter

    obx-shooter Member

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    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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