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Thread: Gun Economics: Ammo Supply 101

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    http://nationalgunrights.org/blog/?p=195

    Consider economics: $10,000 invested in the Stock Market in mid-2008 is now worth maybe $5000; $10,000 cashed out before the obamination and invested in guns, ammunition, and related products is now worth about $30,000. Many have made such an investment for lack of anything nearly as good.

    Cost of production has increased but that is not why primer and ammunition prices have increased so markedly since the obamination. Many manufacturers and customers in the chain are engaging in free-market profiteering. Just last month, for example, a friend of mine sold 10,000 primers for eleven cents apiece!

    For the foreseeable future, we will continue to face difficult times when it comes to simply continuing to enjoy the freedom to pursue our hobbies.

    Similarly, any shortage of any particular component or type of cartridge requires no conspiracy. During a demand-side run, manufacturers that are selling every cartridge they can make of any given type have a significant negative incentive to shut down production long enough to gear up to make some other type of cartridge. Doing so can cost more than $25,000 in lost profits. The best economic approach is to gear up to manufacture the most profitable cartridge types and to continue to produce those until either:

    • The market is saturated (which will never happen under present demand), or
    • Something breaks and requires retooling.

    If you were running Remington’s centerfire metallic ammunition factories, and if standing orders for 9mm Luger and 5.56mm NATO (223 Remington) rounds exceeded production capacity, what ammunition types would you produce? So, the next time you cannot find a box of 380 ACP, remember the law of supply and demand. Conspiracies need not apply.

    Whose fault was the toilet-paper shortage? A foolish rumormonger.

    Whose fault was the first primer shortage? A foolish rumormonger.

    Whose fault was the gun and magazine shortage? Politicians and those who voted for them.

    Whose fault is the current shortage? We–the–People — for continuing to support those who conspire to take our freedom. We–the–People got exactly what we wanted, and We–the–People got exactly what we deserve.

    Never forget that any vote for the lesser of two evils is also an explicit endorsement of evil — consider how Jesus would view such behavior.

    Mic McPherson is author of the best selling gunsmithing manual “Accurizing the Factory Rifle”, an avid shooter and instructor, and regular firearms writer. He lives in Southwestern Colorado

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    State Researcher HankT's Avatar
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    I don't know that there is a shortage of ammunition.

    I can buy as much as I want...





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    I don't know if I'd say "shortage", as much as a lack of selection. Two years ago, I could walk into any gun store, sporting goods store, or WalMart and buy just about anything I wanted in any quantity my wallet would allow.

    These days, most places have less selection, and don't have the sheer bulk they used to.

    I think a lot of the blame that retailers and the media for the "shortage" that is being put on "hoarders" is outright BS. I've talked to several retailers, and they all say that the shipments they get of ammo are tiny these days compared to years past. The local WalMArt gun counter guy told me yesterday that 2 or 3 years ago, when they got handgun ammo shipments, it would be a full case (or two) of several calibers in each shipment, which were every month or so. These days, IF they get a shipment, it's usually half-cases or even 2 or 4 boxes, and even those are only coming once a month or less frequently.

    I try to limit my range time to 2 trips a month, and only shoot 50 rounds a trip bcause .45acp ammo is sometimes tough to find here in NC. I looked for 3 months for one of those bulk 250-round big yellow boxes of UMC, and FINALY found one at Gander Mountain in Fayetteville (their last one on the shelf) last weekend. My local WalMart hasn't had any .45 ammo for almost a month...

    However, yesterday, on the way home from work, I stopped into WalMart and lo and behold, they had received a shipment of Winchester ball ammo in .45. They had 6 100-rd boxes, and 1 50rd box of hollowpoints (white box). I was tempted to buy all the ball ammo, but since I'd recently got the UMC bulk box, I just got 2 of the 100rd boxes. The guy behind the counter was shocked I didn't buy him out. But I told him I didn't want to be greedy, and I thought I'd be nice, and leave some for someone else. He thought that was awfully nice of me. I'm sure some other .45 owner in town will appreciate it too...

    So, what it gets down to is sure, there IS a shortage. But "hoarding" and "buying it all when you see it" are not making things better, and are not fair to shooters on a budget or who can't constantly comb the shops for new shipments. So I have mae it a policy to NEVER buy all a shop has when I see it--I always leave a few boxes for the next guy...

    Eventually, the shortage will end. There were a lot of new ammo contracts awarded to government contractors this year--DOD, DOJ, State and local LE--and there is no sign whatsoever that the war in Iraq/Afganistan is letting up (in fact, if anything it's being RAMPED up, which means more demand from the DOD, and therefore less production capacity for civilian and LE ammo).

    On an interesting side note, Shotgun ammo is plentiful. My local WalMarts and Sporting Goods stores have so much 12- and 20-ga ammo in ALL configurations (including buckshot defense rounds and slugs) that they often have it discounted...

    It's not just us civilians that are feeling the pinch with ammo, folks. LE agencies are having to cut WAY back on allowable range-time for their officers which is VERY bad, and they are having a heck of a time getting stockpiles of service ammo too. If the proverbial domestic @#$% hits the fan like the DOD has been projecting for the last 5 years, the fact of the matter is that state and local LE agencies just don't have the ammo, training, or gear to deal with it, and you all know what that means. In steps the only organization that DOES--the DOD, and then we can all wave the Posse Comitatus goodbye...

    So if you are REALLY upset about the ammo shortage, call your Congressmen and Senators and tell them to get our troops out of Afghanistan and Iraq ASAP. If our military weren't so busy delivering lead, copper, and brass to the Middle Eastern landscape in 3-round bursts, there would be a LOT more ammo on the shelves here at home...
    It is our cause to dispel the foggy thinking which avoids hard decisions in the delusion that a world of conflict will somehow mysteriously resolve itself into a world of harmony, if we just don't rock the boat or irritate the forces of aggressionand this is hogwash."
    --Barry Goldwater, 1964

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    State Researcher HankT's Avatar
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    Dreamer wrote:
    I was tempted to buy all the ball ammo, but since I'd recently got the UMC bulk box, I just got 2 of the 100rd boxes. The guy behind the counter was shocked I didn't buy him out. But I told him I didn't want to be greedy, and I thought I'd be nice, and leave some for someone else. He thought that was awefully nice of me. I'm sure some other .45 owner in town will appreciate it too...
    Yah, a tip o' the hat to you.

    Some gun guys have been frantic lemmings buying everything they can get their hands on--just to hoard it.

    I see signs of the ammo run starting to dissipate. I went to a gun show a couple weeks ago and one guy was selling WWB .45 ball ammo for $30 for a box of 100. That's a good price.

    Some (most) sellers were still high on ammo prices. But it didn't look to be selling fast...

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    Kind off thinking about itnow, I did stumble upon an article on the main page of Yahoo, it did say something about a "historic bullet shortage."It also mentioned something about how "manufacturers work around the clock and still can't meet the hungry demand for ammo." This article was posted sometime last week, if someone is interested in the article be my guess and look it up because I can't actually remember the exact date....sorry

  6. #6
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    It is our cause to dispel the foggy thinking which avoids hard decisions in the delusion that a world of conflict will somehow mysteriously resolve itself into a world of harmony, if we just don't rock the boat or irritate the forces of aggressionand this is hogwash."
    --Barry Goldwater, 1964

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