Ever since the Dark Days of December, 2012, 5.56mm ammo has been scarce as as TTAG post without a link to an Israeli supermodel. Through this past winter and spring, shoppers would arrive hours before opening to wait in at local sporting goods stores on the rumor that a few cases of 5.56 might briefly hit the shelves. They rarely did. But that’s all ending. Five weeks ago a thousand rounds of steel 5.56 cost $480 plus shipping, and now it’s $400. If you can stand to do business with CTD, they’re advertising the same ammo for $360 . . .
Nick reported last month that the AR-15 market was collapsing like a circus tent with the poles pulled out. Last week I forwarded Dan and Robert a link to Bushmaster ARs for sale for $750 new.
When the guns start getting cheap, it’s a clear sign that everyone who needed them has by now gotten them. And when ARs start getting cheap, the stuff that ARs eat (5.56 ammo) will start getting cheap too.
Prudent shooters bought cheap ammo when they could, in those happy 18 months between the end of the first Obama Ammo Panic and the beginning of the Second. They were more or less immune to the gouging that CTD and every other retailer was inflicting on the desperate.
The Desperate, in the meantime, have grown weary of shelling out upwards of $1 a round for 5.56 that used to cost half or one-third that much. And at the same time, every ammunition manufacturer has been running their production lines three shifts a day for seven days a week.
And it’s starting to show in the increased inventory and lower prices we’re seeing. Forty cents a round for steel-cased Russian 5.56 may not seem like the deal of the century, but the return of bulk 5.56 ammo at any price is no small cause for celebration.
Here’s my advice: don’t start to party just yet. If you have no ammo you should grab yourself 500 rounds for $200, but don’t dial in your 5,000 order because prices are going to continue to fall until they reach *something like* the equilibrium they found last autumn. Tula 5.56 was $0.22 a round delivered, and 9mm was about the same.
They might not fall back there in the next two months, but I’m waiting until 9mm and 5.56 fall to $300 per thousand delivered before I add to my stockpile. It will get there, fairly soon, unless the unthinkable happens before then.