Why Is Ammunition So Expensive?

23 responses

  1. avatar
    Don Gammill
    February 19, 2010

    Regardless of the reason(s), the current ammo situation has had a very real effect on the average gun owner vis-a-vis the probability of practicing and remaining proficient.

    In 2002, I regularly bought 165-grain .40 S&W FMJ re-loaded practice ammo for $6.95 per 50-round box from a reputable website. For about a dollar more or less per box, I could have selected re-loaded hard-cast lead, total copper jacket, or even jacketed hollow point rounds, available in 155-, 165-, and 185-grain bullet weights.

    Around 2003, Walmart started selling brand-new Winchester “white box” Target/Range ammo (.40 S&W 165-grain FMJ) for $15 per box of 100, so naturally, I left the re-loads behind.

    Of course, the Winchester ammo at Walmart has doubled in price over the past few years, so I went back to that aforementioned re-load website the other day just to see how bad things had gotten in the re-load world.

    Very bad, as it turns out. They now offer only one re-loaded ammo option for .40 S&W: 185-grain total copper jackets at $13.85 per box of 50. This represents zero savings over my best local retail option once you factor in shipping and the higher incidence of failures-to-feed I always experienced with 2-3% of this company’s (or anyone else’s) reloads.

    The net result: I now go to the range twice per year versus the four to six times per year I did in the past. My enjoyment of shooting hasn’t changed, but neither has my financial situation with regard to my disposable income.

    While sending a hundred rounds down range once every six months might be all that’s necessary for me to remain minimally proficient and capable of defending myself and my family, I would definitely feel much more confident were I able to afford twice as much practice.

  2. avatar
    Donal
    February 19, 2010

    I gather also that those who remain well-to-do are arming themselves in fear of those who no longer have jobs.

  3. avatar
    Brad Kozak
    February 19, 2010

    Just as I was about to get into reloading, the primer/lead/copper/whatever I needed shortage hit. Things seemed to have settled down a little, but it's still waaaaaay too expensive to do the 50 rounds a week plus one night a week IDPA practice I was doing. So I'm now looking at acquiring a .22 semi-auto pistol. .22 ammo is still dirt cheap, (at least compared to .45s) and will give me the reps I need for accuracy. I think I'll still shoot a magazine of .45s, just to stay in shape with the additional recoil/heft of my 1911, but the .22 should help in the financial department.

    • avatar
      John
      December 31, 2011

      Wally World no longer offers inexpensive .22 rounds. A box of 550 that used to retail for about $9 became scarce despite purchase limitations and then, when manufacturers had begun to catch up with demand, the price is hovering around $20 for that same box. The new strategy at Wally World is to match local competition prices but the local Wally World is always “out” when other, more distant sporting goods stores have sales.

      • avatar
        Garras Porgratix
        March 29, 2013

        Around here they just don’t order any. Why waste time selling something that must sell cheap b/c if you don’t then the shoppers will say that you are price gouging and not come to the store to buy other things? At my store, they simply haven’t stocked anything for like a month, maybe more. They lie and say that there is a shortage and they can’t get any. Bull****! I used to work in retail and I KNOW how this works. The manager simply didn’t put in the orders. The warehouse didn’t know we were out as the computer still showed we had some in stock which ‘didn’t sell’ for some odd reason.

  4. avatar
    shawn Allen
    August 20, 2011

    The one thing people don’t seem to bring up is the reason for the second admendment, was written so are leaders would have a healthy fear of the people. I know so many people think it is unthinkable for a american to raise arms against thier government. This is you’re responsiblity that the creaters of our goverment trusted with the people. The goverment is making it to expensive for the average American to be capable with a firearm so the can keep taking are rights from us leaving the common man as nothing but a slave to the rich and powerfull. They wrote that law to give us the power to take are county back.

    • avatar
      Garras Porgratix
      March 29, 2013

      You clearly have no idea how capitalism works. Its like this: people sell ammo at $9 and it flys off the shelf so they see an opportunity to get rich so they increase the price to $30 and peple STILL buy it and it runs out. What do you think they are going to do? Limit supply to 3 boxes, claim a shortage and charge a whole heap. You will STILL buy it. You may complain to the internet like this page, but you will ultimately bite the bullet and pay. As they say: There is a sucker born every minute. Guess who that sucker is?

      • avatar
        Trueness
        January 11, 2014

        Obviously, the sucker is you. You’ve got your head so far up your butt in response to what was said in that post, you’re licking the back of your own eyeballs.

  5. avatar
    John
    December 31, 2011

    This is the most complete explanation that I have seen since reading “Supply Chain Management 101: on the ammunition shortage.” written by Grant Cunningham in 2009 (http://grantcunningham.com/index.html) . We’ve had similar situations since in response to bird flu (shortage of N-95 masks) and other potential disasters. We’re starting to see it in commodities as well.

  6. avatar
    Scott Battles
    May 11, 2012

    Check out BlackGunAmmo. Currently carrying 5.56 and 9mm at very reasonable cost.
    The ammo I have personally fired is very accurate.

  7. avatar
    gameseed
    December 20, 2012

    My father was a national guard of China in the 1970s. He told me that he shot probably like 100 rounds of ammo in his LIFE. That includes 3 years of national guard service plus a few years para-military service (less than 10 rounds per year).

    I am going to a gun range (in WI) this weekend and shoot probably 100 rounds.

    You see, China is not to blame. Any gun owner in US shoots more than a Chinese soldier.

  8. avatar
    river
    February 25, 2013

    well i thank the reason all of this is happening is because the pries of ammo of cheep. then everyone decided to but it. then the it started get worse and worse. then everything got back orated and now theirs a shortage !!

    • avatar
      Garras Porgratix
      March 29, 2013

      There is no real shortage. The sellers just say that to jack up the price from $9 a box of 9mm to $40. People beleive everything they see on tv. If they say there is a shortage, people beleive it. After all, like the internet, people on tv can’t say anything thats not thruth can they? Bonjour, my friend. HA HA HA HA!! Look, if you will pay $40-60 for a box, do you really think that gunshops will cut you a break when they are getting rich? Who doesn’t like to be paid more? Who does’t like to be rich?

  9. avatar
    Sam
    April 14, 2013

    Actually you idiot, Barack Obama is to blame for rising gun and ammunition prices. The reason it is so high is because he is trying to stop us from owning guns. Im actually doing a project on this right now. But this will not pass, because less than half of the Senate disagrees with this act, so it is a failure anyway. Im only in the 10th grade and know more than you, and yes I’m white.

  10. avatar
    Mr Ron
    June 3, 2013

    The fear of the public that ammo will become scarce, anti-gun nuts, manufacturers and suppliers, cost of materials, military are all factors that has driven up the price.

  11. avatar
    Joe
    June 17, 2013

    Who wrote this article? Not a gun owner. NO I will NOT gladly pay high prices for ammo. I simply won’t shoot if that’s what it means. I would say majority of gun owners are pissed about the high prices and many of us including myself are boycotting the gouges. Yah I said gouges! Have you seen cheaper than dirt??? Tell me how that’s not price gouging. Cheaper than no one else is their new motto and they lost millions of customers. It’s simple. Quit buying the shit . Although its hard to make a difference when our own local shops are selling a good portion of their shipments on gun broker. Raking in the profit. Trading our ammo over seas to countries who literally have no ammo. I’ll tell you the exact reason there is high prices . I Guarantee your support on this one…. GREED

  12. avatar
    Ron
    June 22, 2013

    I believe that Wayne Lapierre, president of the NRA caused the problem by spouting off about how Obama and company are lusting to take away our guns. Allot of gun owners bought into his ranting and just like the gasoline “shortage” in the ’70s (no real shortage, just people panicing), it became a self fulfilling prophacy. That may have been Mr. Lapierre’s plan all along as he is a lobbyist for the ammo & gun makers. I really believe he is being well compensated for this work. It doesn’t take much to start a stampede and Mr. Lapierre knows his herd.

    • avatar
      charlie
      March 29, 2014

      Wayne Lapierre, president of the NRA caused the problem
      ( AMMO SHORTAGE)
      DO YOU REALLY BELIEVE THAT??
      i think the federal guberment, congress, and state legistlatures are more to blame than Lapierre.

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    January 14, 2014

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  15. avatar
    Carol Anderson
    January 18, 2014

    We used to shoot. 22 for fun all the time. Now in order to buy Walmart Ammo for 550 for $25 you have to be there at 1am when it comes off the truck and there is still a line.
    We bought some high powered pellet guns but I just paid $900 for a decent powerful rifle. Can!t win. Super quality pellets cost 20 cents a piece.

  16. avatar
    Rushing
    February 11, 2014

    Where I live the workers at Wak Mart call all their friends when ammo comes in. They run buy all of it within 30 minutes.

  17. avatar
    Tim
    February 19, 2014

    Please update and run another more current and informed version. You seem to be a very balanced reporter, and thank you for that, however I believe new information, much more enlightening information, has come to light and could reveal more serious political implications.

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