Ammo Demand Falling?

Vista Outdoor provides a large proportion of the North American ammunition market with its CCI and Federal brands. Most of the production is at plants in Lewiston, Idaho and in Anoka, Minnesota.

The Anoka facility laid off 130 employees in March. Lewiston laid off 15 salaried employees in February, and dropped 10 more positions through attrition. Now eight more salaried employees have been laid off. From 4-traders.com:

June 27–Eight more Lewiston Vista Outdoor positions have been cut, casualties of a decline in ammunition purchases following November’s presidential election.

The salaried employees were in operations support and customer service, said Amanda Covington, a spokeswoman for the company, in an email Monday.

The company will be finishing a $70 million rimfire manufacturing plant in Lewiston, but has stopped a $29 million additional phase for now.

Centerfire ammunition is now plentiful in stores, but rimfire ammunition is only beginning to catch up with demand.

©2017 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included. Gun Watch

comments

  1. avatar rdsii64 says:

    Now is the time to stock up. The pendulum will swing the other way soon enough. One day the anti guns president will be back in the white house, and one chamber (or both) will be controlled by the democrats. DON’T GET CAUTH WITH YOUR PANTS DOWN!

    1. avatar Matt S says:

      Paranoia, the gun and ammo manufacturer’s best friend.

      1. avatar Big Bill says:

        “Paranoia, the gun and ammo manufacturer’s best friend.”
        You’re not paranoid if they are really out to get you.
        And the antis are really out to get you.

        1. avatar Michael B says:

          I repeat…….paranoia, the gun and ammo manufacturers best friend. Thanks for proving my point.

        2. avatar Big Bill says:

          “I repeat…….paranoia, the gun and ammo manufacturers best friend. Thanks for proving my point.”

          Am I right, then, to assume you’re one of the many who think the antis don’t want our guns, despite what they tell us?

        3. avatar Michael B. says:

          The “antis” have never in the history of this country taken guns from law abiding citizens and they never will because they know it would be political suicide. It’s the fairytale that they will take your guns that is perpetuated by the right that keeps people like you buying guns and ammo in mass quantities. The gun and ammo makers LOVE the “antis” because they are making them tons of money.

        4. avatar Big Bill says:

          They want them, and you know it. I have no idea why you continue the fiction that no one wants our guns.
          One example:

  2. avatar Nigel the expat says:

    Rimfire chair campers still camping WM ammo counter at 4AM here in Vegas. Wankers.

    1. avatar Drew says:

      Have these people not heard of the internet and know that 22 has been available online at reasonable prices for two years?

      1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

        Prior to the Sandy Hook attack, you could purchase basic bulk .22 LR in 500 round bricks for about 3.5 cents per round. As late as this week, most sources seem to be selling it for about 7 to 8 cents per round. (Online vendors who are selling bulk .22 LR for 4.5 cents per round actually cost around 7 to 8 cents per round when you add shipping cost.)

        When I can purchase basic bulk .22 LR in 500 round bricks for 4.5 cents per round at my local gun store (or online including shipping cost), I will say that .22 LR is once again inexpensive.

        1. avatar TX_Lawyer says:

          The cheapest I have been able to reliably get has been 5.5-5.7 cents. Academy. “The right place, the right price.”

        2. avatar Justin says:

          5K Rounds of Aguila Super Extra High Velocity Lead or Copper for $249 shipped. Bought 20k rounds. Each. Still need more (40K more to keep up with shooting habits….)

    2. avatar larrylarry says:

      oh well, i got 5000 rounds of CCI 22LR last week for $399. Free shipping, no hazmat, delivered in 3 days from Natchez shooter supply. I’m set for a while.

      1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

        That works out to 8 cents per round which I think is steep … see my comment above

        1. avatar Roger Johnson says:

          I’ve been buying CCI Blazers for $329 delivered. Check around.

  3. avatar Big Bill says:

    The fact that a company is cutting their manpower doesn’t always mean a gut in production.
    Computers were a major factor in the reduction of middle management in actuarial business, and productivity went up.
    Salaried workers don’t make stuff, they manage people. Personnel costs are high, finding ways to lesson them is a major contributor to profits (the whole reason companies exist, BTW).
    A far better indicator of a lessening of the ammo “crisis” would be seeing more product on shelves, with prices inching downwards.
    As far as “demand” is concerned, demand would logically be falling after the binge buying during the previous administration’s rather vocal pleas for more gun control.

    1. avatar BLoving says:

      I think you’re on to something:
      In Houston, .22lr is plentiful. .17 hmr. never really was a problem and .22wmr is… getting better…
      After bringing on extra hands to increase output to make up for the Great Ammo Drought, they’re just cutting them loose now that demand is back to “normal”.

  4. avatar Geoff PR says:

    “The company will be finishing a $70 million rimfire manufacturing plant…”

    This is serious good news. That will go a long way towards easing rimfire demand, and since it’s a new plant with modern production controls, they should be capable of producing ammo of very tight tolerances once they shake out the bugs.

    Cheaper tack-driver rimfire ammo in quantity…

  5. avatar jimmy james says:

    So what party will the NSSF and other industry trade groups and associations be donating to before the 2020 election?

  6. avatar Ralph says:

    My LGS has good prices for all kinds of ammo, although .22LR remains a bit overpriced even in bulk. Full-price retailers in SE MA are offering some good deals on bulk purchases of common brands and calibers of centerfire ammo, and there’s plenty of .22LR available in those stores for people who don’t mind overpaying.

    I don’t know whether demand is falling or whether supply is catching up. Maybe there’s a bit of both.

    One thing I do know. After years of shortages, this is a good time to be a buyer.

    1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

      Ralph,

      I believe that centerfire ammunition demand is somewhat lower and production capacity is somewhat higher. Thus, we are now seeing bulk 9mm ammunition available for 20 cents per round and bulk .223 / 5.56 x 45 mm NATO for about 28 cents per round. I am still waiting for both to fall a little bit more. I believe both were about 20% less expensive before Sandy Hook.

      1. avatar Ralph says:

        Sandy Hook was a game-changer, and a lot of people tried to get rich off it. The Dems used it to promote gun control and Hillary, speculators and profiteers used it to turn a quick buck, the ammo manufacturers used it to jack up the price of ammo, Shannon Watts used it to make herself a central character in the gun ban movement and eventually Bloomberg’s pet, and on and on and on.

        The Sandy Hook effect on ammo prices is ebbing, but very slowly.

  7. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

    i can’t see how it could be.
    i demand more ammo!

  8. avatar uncommon_sense says:

    Over the last four years, beginning immediately after the Sandy Hook attack, I have searched long and hard for special sale pricing on the calibers that I own. When I found a great price, I would purchase ammunition.

    At this point I have enough ammunition to comfortably carry me through any 36 month period of distress. Nevertheless, I would like to have some more on hand so that I can really enjoy some extensive recreational plinking! Therefore, I am sitting back a bit and waiting for prices to come down a bit more. If prices drop another 15%, I will probably purchase a fair amount of ammunition at that point.

    1. avatar Geoff PR says:

      Each time the price drops, *miraculously*, demand rises. It’s what SpaceX is now experiencing with their lower cost-to-orbit. Suddenly, they have a launch backlog of *70* launches booked. Launch demand and ammo demand is not infinite, there’s a balance. As long as the price drops, I’m a happy guy.

      I’m psyched about that new rimfire line, lower costs running it will force prices down.

      I can see one potential problem, what happens to the market when an existing rimfire plant pulls up stakes and moves to Meh-he-co with their lower production costs? Will others follow suit?

      1. avatar TX_Lawyer says:

        “Each time the price drops, *miraculously*, demand rises.” I can’t tell if you’re being sarcastic, but that’s Econ 101.

        1. avatar Geoff PR says:

          My error – Forgot the sarc tag…

  9. avatar Ing says:

    Where I live, the post-Newtown ammo drought hit HARD. For three years there was basically no .22 lr to be found locally, and for the last year and a half it’s been hit or miss. When my brother-in-law gave me a 500 rd. brick two years ago (which he bought for $45), I almost cried. I’m still nursing the last of that brick. It’s precious to me.

    Now .22 lr is finally showing up on shelves (and staying there for a day or two), which is a good sign, and prices are no longer prohibitive, also a good sign.

    But I won’t believe there’s falling demand or excess supply until I can buy a 500 rd. brick for $20 again. That’s when my own demand will return.

    1. avatar Button Gwinnet says:

      You won’t see $20. There’s no reason to go that low, the market has been conditioned to think that $40 is a good price. My bet is $30 bottom. Maybe $.058/round in buckets.
      If I’m wrong, I’ll buy you a box. I’ll be able to afford it .

      1. avatar Brian says:

        I would almost agree with you if I hadn’t bought 525 Federal bricks at Walmart a month or two ago for $20.97. Granted, they haven’t had them since that time – but at the time, all the stores in our large city had 10-30 boxes.

  10. avatar Montesa_VR says:

    When the hoarders and resellers that camp at WalMart at 4AM finally run out of storage space, or finally decide that they paid more for the 50,000 rounds they are sitting on than they can get in resale, there will be huge oversupply and the prices will drop. I have given up predicting when that will happen.

    1. avatar Ardent says:

      I having thought out why exactly, but I crave buying up some of the hoarded ammo at prices that make the hoarder cry. I suppose it’s as if I actually feel a bit of animosity for the .22 hoarders.

  11. avatar matty 9 says:

    I haven’t had any issues getting .22 LR or short for about a year now. Every other caliber has been back to normal for as long as I can remember. ….32Rimfire on the other hand……..

  12. avatar former water walker says:

    Just got back from the gun range(Debs/Hammond,IN) and it was greatly improved! Shot nearly 200rounds of 9mm and the only misfire-you guessed it-was FEDERAL Champion. Oh well. The lowly and CHEAP Herters was perfect as was the Sig HP. Also cheap…no I don’t use 22 and no plans to…

  13. avatar D. in OR says:

    I doubt the ammo demand is falling in general. Why would anyone buy VO products when they can get equal or better quality ammo for a lot more reasonable prices ?

  14. avatar jwm says:

    Here in CA we face another sort of ammo ban. All mail order ammo stops in January. And we have to get an ammo permit from the state to buy locally.

    I’m ordering every chance I get from different mail order houses to stock up. Especially shotgun shells. Since I started hunting again I tend to use my shotguns more than my rifles or pistols.

    1. avatar Button Gwinnet says:

      Psst! Hey, man. Reloading supplies? Need powder? Primers? I got what you need. Just come on back here behind the shop…

      1. avatar jwm says:

        The very first thing you learn in CA is never go into alley’s with guys you don’t know.

    2. avatar miforest says:

      seriously, buy a lot , it keeps pretty well

  15. avatar fteter says:

    I’m seeing 22LR prices both locally and on-line (after shipping) hovering at around 8 cents per round. While there’s certainly more availability, the prices have yet to come back down to acceptable levels. If demand really has dropped off, that should happen within the next few months.

  16. avatar IdahoBoy says:

    The above picture of Lewiston is much prettier than the smell. The wood pulp plant makes the air stink if the wind is blowing the wrong way. We call Lewiston “The Armpit of Idaho”.

  17. avatar FlamencoD says:

    My local Cabela’s is selling Federal .22lr at about 7 cents per round with some a bit lower. They have many thousands and thousands of rounds of .22lr. They even had dozens of 50 rd CCI Velocitor packs at $7.49 each. I have a few hundred rounds of Velocitor at the moment so I didn’t buy any, but sort of regretting not picking up a box or two at that price.

    Non sale price on .223 stuff is still high (~40 cents/round), but their sales run the price for FMJ down to about 33 cents per round. I usually buy a couple of boxes at that price if I’m in the store, then stock up on plinking ammo with Freedom Munitions a few times per year with a combo of reman and new.

    9mm is $13 a box for 50 FMJ, not on sale. Way too much, I only buy 9mm FMJ for 20 cents/round or under. They did have some 9mm on sale for $10.49/box. Not the worst price to pay if you need a couple of boxes.

  18. avatar gof says:

    Aim Surplus has Aguila .22 for as low as .0498 per round (before tax) if buying a 5000 round case. I am lucky enough to live close enough to do a pickup order.
    Cablea’s last year and this year have had OK prices on Federal in the 325 round bulk boxes. I think it was around .06 per round.

    I won’t say I have enough to last for a 3 year drought but I don’t feel the pressing need to buy as much as I can afford right at the moment.

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