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Powder shortage

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by marchboom, Dec 7, 2013.

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  1. marchboom

    marchboom Member

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    Have been going to the Post Falls, ID Cabela's looking for reloading powder and they have not received any powder for about 3-4 weeks. Heard other customers at the store blaming the gov't for buying up a lot of the powder. Others say that people are hoarding it. But how can they hoard it if they can't buy it from a store that hasn't received it in a month or so? Also heard the the ammo making companies have been buying up a lot of powder for their products. It's not that bad when you have powders, other than your favorite, to chose from. You just work up another load. But ALL the powder is gone...nothing!

    Does anyone know the REAL story?
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2013
  2. ole farmerbuck

    ole farmerbuck Member

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    I dont know the real story but around here I can get anything I need except for Alliant RL 15.
     
  3. Marlin 45 carbine

    Marlin 45 carbine Member

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    you might check for an online supply. powder valley had about anything needed, no HazMat on powder alone.
     
  4. morcey2

    morcey2 Member

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    Ammo companies don't buy canister grade powder. They buy bulk powder that is within a specification range and work a load for it that matches the specs of the round they're loading. Hodgdon says that only 20% of their production goes to ammo companies and the other 80% is canister powder.

    The government doesn't buy canister powder either. I don't know if they even buy the powder that goes into military ammunition because that probably is up to the contracting company. So see above. We've started getting quite a bit of powder here lately and things are definitely getting better. I think it's just residual effects from earlier combined with the upcoming SHOT show. Things seem to get a little tighter this time of year regarding anything firearms related.

    Matt
     
  5. Reefinmike

    Reefinmike Member

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    what? PV is out of 95% of their powders... and yes you do have to pay hazmat for just powder.

    Im starting to finally feel the hit from this panic, im down to my last few hundred grains of hp38. here soon im going to have to load 38 and 45 with either the two pounds of BE I found in august or the pound of unique...
     
  6. oneounceload

    oneounceload member

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    Absolutely FALSE. Powder and primers are subject to Hazmat fees.
     
  7. bob4

    bob4 Member

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    Persistence. Any time I have a few minutes and I'm passing by I'll pop into Bass Pro and have a quick look. Sometimes 3 or 4 times a week sometimes maybe once. But on occasion they get powders in. Just be in the right place at the right time. You can bet everybody and their brother knows what they and their friends wants. If it sits on the shelf 30 minutes it's getting old. ;) With the holidays here I'm sure it'll go quicker.
     
  8. Dudedog

    Dudedog Contributing Member

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    Last time I looked, Yesterday PV was about out of everthing, 3rd Generation, Recobs Target shop had a few powders available. Primers seem to be getting easier to find at least.

    I heard rumors that the powder/primer shortage was due to Homeland Security contracting for a massive amount of ammo, but I don't believe that there is a goverment conspiracy. I am more inclined to believe that it is a simple case of demand exceeding supply and the manafactures are not easily able to gear up production to meet the demand that exists because people are stocking up. It would seem reasonable to assume they would like to sell as much as possible in order to maxmize profits for the owners/shareholders.
    A lot of powder is imported so there may be outside factors at work as well.

    I guess maybe in this day and age we are getting spoiled (I am sure if my grandfathers and grandmothers who went thru the depression and WWII were alive they would agree) by expecting to be able to get what we want when we want it. It pains me to admit it but I have always expected if I need something like .22 LR I could just drive to the store and pick some up and if by some chance one place was out another would have it in stock.
     
  9. OldRook77

    OldRook77 Member

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    Cabelas in Dundee MI had a good selection of powder today.

    I picked up 2 lbs of IMR4831. And 2k small rifle primers. They had a good variety.
     
  10. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Member

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    Bass Pro Shop east of Knoxville, TN was stripped bare of powder except for a few cans of 2400 ($30/package), a few cans of IMR4064 and a few cans of LeverRevolution, or what ever it is called.

    Where i usually shop for powder, it has been hit or miss since the first of the year. Inventories are improving slowly though
     
  11. jcwit

    jcwit Member

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    And we wonder how rumors get started.
     
  12. AABEN

    AABEN Member

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    WE the people have cawed this to happen. Some people have hog a lot of powder and primers!! I think some dealers are holding it back to get more money per pound!!
     
  13. Sagetown

    Sagetown Member

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    Family and friends of shop employees get the highsign when shipments of powder and ammo will arrive. First come first served. Also read that the manufactures of such aren't that big. Thus, keeping up with demand is impossible.
     
  14. ngnrd

    ngnrd Member

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    There's a whole lot of unsubstantiated speculation in this thread regarding the supply of powder. The reality is that demand has gone through the roof and the supply chain can't keep up.

    How soon you find what you're looking for is directly proportional to the effort you actually put into trying to find it, relative to the collective effort of everybody else that's also looking. If you need it, keep looking. It'll show up eventually. You just have to be the first one there when it finally does arrive.
     
  15. Jcinnb

    Jcinnb Member

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    Not seen any RL 15 since last December. Have found EVERYTHING else over time and mostly randomly. To me it is wierd.
     
  16. Lj1941

    Lj1941 Member

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    The manufacturers say they are at full capacity. My personal opinion is panic buying along with hoarding because of another term of "Hope & Change".It is not just powder that is in short supply but projectiles and especially primers.
     
  17. ole farmerbuck

    ole farmerbuck Member

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    I agree! I emailed Alliant and was told they ship it out frequently. Just how frequently I don't know.
     
  18. docsleepy

    docsleepy Member

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    We produce roughly 1/2 billion loaded rounds per month in the USA, maybe more. Worldwide production is 1 billion loaded rounds per month. I think about half goes to the USA.

    Since normal suppliers are unable to keep it on the shelf, that means it is all going straight to homes. This has been going on for 12 months now, at least. And there isn't that much shooting going on at the ranges I'm going to -- down significantly.

    So I'm estimating 4-6 BILLION rounds of ammo are stockpiled in private homes, just since the last election.

    The same thing is probably happening with powder. Heck, I've taught a DOZEN people how to reload, and of course every one of them wants a pound or two of powder AT LEAST once they learn how to do this, and a thou or two of primers.

    I supply them with maybe 1/2-1 lb of powder and a few hundred primers (often free) just to get them into reloading -- but I make darn sure that they recognize how incredibly hard it is to find product right now.....

    You could say that I am CAUSING a panic. I think of it differently: I am EDUCATING people who are of a certain mindset, to see reality, and to prepare much better for it, the next time they have opportunity. I think of one fellow who learned how to reload for an antique russian rifle, whose ten year old kid was really enjoying the process with his dad -- and his neighbor, a policeman, asked for help getting his old press (unused for decades) going again. We found him some 748 at a local pawn shop and some primers. That's two right there. There's a gal at work that did the NFA paperwork to get a SBR -- and bought presses to match. A fella with a 9mm who got a Lee classic whack-a-mole kit. And on and on and on. I taught one guy and he filled a storage shed with components!!

    I know this is painful, but I think it is a process that is helpful for our nation. Surely the powers that be are recognizing what is happening in their populace.

    No man ever armed a nation, in all the history of the world, like this before.
     
  19. Sagetown

    Sagetown Member

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    Quote docsleepy: "No man ever armed a nation, in all the history of the world, like this before. "

    Yep; draw the attention of the public at large about a good product that may be discontinued, and you've got yourself a whole new customer base that's growing every day, and we oldtimers wonder 'where has all the ammo gone?'
     
  20. rfwobbly

    rfwobbly Member

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    There's the normal reloaders, and, now due to the ammo shortage, a whole new crop of reloaders. This new crop may be the biggest influx to our hobby in its entire history. I moderate an ammunition forum on another much smaller board. I'm seeing 4X to 5X the number of novice reloaders over the same time period just 4 years ago..... and that's just the ones that ask questions. A new "lurker" speaks up every 5 days or so, and they most always say "I've been reading the instructions and posts for several months now..."

    A board this size could clearly have 1000 "lurkers".... who are all buying components at their local Gander Mtn, Bass Pro, or LGS. And there are 15 or more boards this size. That's a lot of new reloaders.

    When I got back into reloading in 2001, I was chastised numerous times that, "it's not worth reloading 9mm". BO certainly fixed that !!
     
  21. docsleepy

    docsleepy Member

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    Yes, that he did!
     
  22. coonan1911

    coonan1911 Member

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    WOW, I am just shocked at the response from members in the USA. About shortage of powder & Primers. I thought you fellows had plenty over there.
    And here i am winging about our plight here down under in Aussie land were we have none in the way of pistol powder and don't see any in the new year 2014 unless something from the manufacture happens.
    I guess we are all in the same vote.
    Regards
    coonan1911
     
  23. HEAVY METAL 1

    HEAVY METAL 1 Member

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    I seem to recall some powder I bought was made in Austrailia. I could be wrong though.
     
  24. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    This is a large part of it, along with those reloaders whose first "shortage" this is, who have learned their lesson and are buying enough to try to avoid running out next time. With a little panic buying thrown in on top for good measure.
     
  25. oneounceload

    oneounceload member

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    Hodgdon has powders made there
     
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