PRIME Club: Guaranteed Ammunition at a Fixed Price

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Over the last few years, ammunition prices have been insane. Where 5.56 NATO used to be dirt cheap just a few short years back, prices went through the roof and have only recently started to come back to reality. While .22lr remains relatively inexpensive, finding it is as difficult as finding a gun rights advocate married to a Mom demanding action (for gun sense in America). Meanwhile, here’s an interesting new service that has been set up to get you as much ammunition as you can use at a guaranteed price and a guaranteed quantity . . .

It’s called the PRIME Club, and it’s a strange cross between Costco and a commodities market. Here’s how it works: First, you buy a membership (a la Costco). Once you have a membership, you buy a “shootscription” that dictates the terms of your guaranteed ammunition supply. The shootscription dictates how many rounds you are guaranteed over a given time period, but you can buy more rounds than the guaranteed quantity at the same price if they stay in stock. Shootscriptions range from 500 rounds per year to 10,000 rounds per year, and all are guaranteed for a period of 12 months (like a commodities future).

The real benefit from this arrangement is that you get quality ammunition (like from RUAG) at a guaranteed price and quantity no matter what happens with the market. You’re on the hook for the monthly orders that you organize, but that ammo is guaranteed come hell or high water. For those who can forecast their ammunition usage for the year and know that they will need a certain number of rounds in a certain time frame, it makes a lot of sense as a hedge against future market spikes.

This definitely isn’t for everyone — the average recreational shooter won’t really benefit from this kind of arrangement. But for competition shooters this is a beautiful thing. Guaranteed quality rounds delivered wherever you want (pre-shiped to the destination range for you if wanted for your next competition) at a known price? It sure makes budgeting for the year a whole lot easier. It’s a novel approach to the ammunition market, and I think it’s brilliant.

comments

  1. avatar Dr. Kenneth Noisewater says:

    Ammo futures! I like it!

    1. avatar Nick D says:

      It’s like the opposite of the idiots at unload your 401k. They want you to divest all funds from gun companies, and this is how you directly invest in ammunition as a commodity. I wonder which will end up doing better?

  2. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

    I’ll have to check pricing on some of my obscure calibers.
    This is intriguing.

  3. avatar Gray05 says:

    The prices aren’t particularly good. In fact, I don’t consider them good at all.

    They don’t have 10mm which is the caliber I need a lot of and on a regular basis.

    If you competitively shoot, you should be reloading. I’d rather invest in reloading gear, buy compenents and powder in bulk, and load my own. In the long run that is the best way to guarantee your supply and save money.

    1. avatar Evan in Dallas says:

      Well they can’t easily guarantee you a supply and also guarantee a rock bottom price. They have to secure themselves against another potential price spike otherwise they would be losing money.

  4. avatar Todd Moriarty says:

    I realize a set price for a year is a great concept, but Paying 3x Market Rate for it?
    http://www.primeclub.com/collections/5-56mm/products/5-56-mm-swiss-p-target-69-gr

    at almost $1/round (Member price, $1.13/rd retail) It kills the idea of saving any money. There would have to be a SEVERE market spike to justify it

    1. avatar Sian says:

      To be fair that stuff isn’t range/blasting away ammo. It’s srs bsns maximum accuracy stuff, ballistically matched to the styx action and tactical rounds designed for social use. Comparing it to FMJ range fodder just isn’t honestly valid, especially when $.35/rd stuff is also available (non-member price) on the same site. Swiss P is super-expensive ammo. Complaining about retail $1 a round for ammunition that’s $900 a case DEALER PRICE doesn’t create a strong argument.

      1. avatar Todd Moriarty says:

        I can still reload it cheaper than their best price for 55gr .223

        Here’s to hoping for sanity returning in 2 years or so…

      2. avatar int19h says:

        Well, they still want 50c/round for the cheapest brass-cased .223, and 35c/round for steel-cased .223. Given that you can buy .223 (and even 5.56 if you shop around) in bulk for less than either of those right now, it’s decidedly not impressive. Meanwhile, AIM is selling Wolf Gold .223 (which, to remind, is actually close to 5.56 in velocity, and otherwise is high quality ammo) for $340/1000 shipped to your door, all included.

  5. avatar Curtis in IL says:

    ” the average recreational shooter won’t really benefit from this kind of arrangement. But for competition shooters this is a beautiful thing.”

    Huh? C’mon Nick.
    2,500 rounds per year is less than 50 rounds per week. Maybe enough for some recreational shooters. For competition shooters it’s a drop in the bucket.

    Not a bad idea to hedge with a “shootscription,” as long as the price you lock in is reasonable. But 2,500 rounds wouldn’t last long for many of us.

    1. avatar TJM says:

      Not to mention 95% of competition shooters reload. Of the other 5%, probably 1/3 of those have an ammo sponsorship of some sort. Now if this was for bullets, primers, and powder, then competition shooters would be interested.

      1. avatar Curtis in IL says:

        Especially POWDER.

        1. avatar CentralIL says:

          This.

  6. I am sticking with just checking Gunbot and AmmoSeek regularly.

    1. avatar Bad-Timing says:

      I had never even heard of Ammoseek! Thanks for a new one. Now I’m up to four websites I check constantly… Wikiarms, Slickguns, Gunbot, and Ammoseek.

      1. avatar NWGlocker says:

        That’s 2 more sites for me…thanks for the FYI’s

  7. avatar Grumpy F'er says:

    Nick-

    “…finding it is as difficult as finding a woman who actually wants to date me.”

    Have you considered dating men? You would probably have more dates at the range…

  8. avatar Michael B. says:

    I’d like to submit this story to TTAG:

    http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-long-beach-burglar-pregnant-20140724-story.html

    Where do I send this to?

      1. avatar Michael B. says:

        TY

    1. avatar CGinTX says:

      Michael B – that’s an interesting story that should probably be filed under “for heaven’s sake don’t talk to the police until after you get a lawyer.” The “money quote” is not a happy one, and will come back badly in any court proceedings.

  9. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

    Holy Crap! Fifty bucks for a brick of .22?!?

    1. avatar Clark45 says:

      Sadly, I watch guys plop down $69.95 + tax for a brick every week at the one LGS that has ’em. And it’s not the good stuff, either – it’s just crappy plinking stuff. The LGS will sell ’em out as fast as they can put them on the shelves. I usually drive to another town, maybe 30 or 40 minutes away to buy ammo. The LGS there sells the same brick for $34.95, and somehow he rarely runs out of .22LR.

      I miss the days when nearly every hardware store around here had boxes of 50 for 49¢…

  10. avatar former water walker says:

    +1 rev. It sounds suspiciously like the alternative energy delivery companies. Sign up for a guaranteed price…and end up paying up the wazoo. And my local Indiana Cabelas runs sales oh pretty much all the time. But then I don’t shoot 50000 rounds a year…

    1. avatar neiowa says:

      Guaranteed? By whom? Has be based in South Florida, California or Vegas.

  11. avatar UofUDavid says:

    Ammo Art! So inspirational!

  12. avatar Ryan says:

    Really? I don’t see the point and if anyone wants to complain about not being able to find ammo, you can always find stuff instock on websites like MidwayUSA, Cheaperthandirt (as much as I and everyone else hates them), and Bulkammo. I’ve never had to worry about box limits or anything.

  13. avatar JoshinGA says:

    So I have to pay for a membership, then pay for a subscription, and THEN I get to pay what is probably higher than market price for ammunition? No thanks, Ill continue to buy cheap and stack deep what I dont already reload.

  14. avatar Tommy Knocker says:

    Next option arbitrage. Pay them in Polish hams or cigarettes. Sweet.

  15. avatar E_chin says:

    i’m not a fan of how you can’t get into the shootscription builder unless you purchase the membership, so it makes it difficult to actually price it out.

  16. avatar velillen says:

    Its an interesting idea. At this point in time though it wont seem like a good deal to very many people. The market is generally coming down price wise and you can (within reason) find any ammo you want (minus bulk 22).

    But in another few months with elections coming up and again in another year once the presidential election come up….both of those could cause more panic buying (like they have in the past) and could turn this into a fairly decent deal. Knowing you have 2.5k rounds available to you at not to absurd prices…..9mm at ~30 cents and 223 available around ~30 cents. I know tons of people would paid a hell of a lot more than that a year ago….

    Its a hedge against the future. Nobody knows what will happen in the future. All i know is if past elections are anything to go by theres generally some panic buying going on then….

  17. avatar Renegade Dave says:

    Handgun ammo is magnetic… not nice for those who shoot indoors.

  18. avatar Alpo says:

    Their member price for 357mag, 38 & 45acp is lower than I’ve been seeing online, much lower than local.

  19. avatar Jack says:

    Guaranteed. Until they run out. Then what?

    I’m sure some large chains are guaranteed ammo all the time. But when push came to shove last year they were out like everyone else.

  20. avatar mike says:

    A futures market for ammo. Very interesting. A little too late to be of any good though. New price levels have already been discovered by the market. You’re better off just buying during sales around any holidays.

  21. avatar C Squared says:

    The ShootSciption values listed in the article are actually “per quarter (3 months)”. I have the platinum and get 2,500 rounds per quarter for a total of 10,000 per year.

    I’m not sure if links are allowed, so just go to their website. During the day they usually have online help you can message about the program.

  22. avatar C Squared says:

    GECO 22lr is target/match standard velocity ammo meant to compete with Wolf, SK, Eley and others. It isn’t bulk pack plinking ammo

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