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While visiting the land down under, I visited Tamworth Firearms, in Tamworth New South Wales to check on the prices of .22 ammunition. There was a plentiful supply, and the price for the Federal bulk pack of 525 wasn’t too bad.

At $42 (Australian) for 525 rounds, that may sound high. But the exchange rate of about 78 U.S. cents for an Australian dollar, that’s about $33.00 here in the northern hemisphere or about .06 per round.

Tamworth Firearms is laid out much like an American gun shop with one thing missing. There are no pistols to be seen. Oh, and airguns are treated the same as firearms.

The .22 magnum cartridges were much higher priced. At $23 Australian a box, that’s about 34.5 cents in American dinero. At the Eycamp farm, officially known as Medway, I was shown a carton of .22 magnum ammunition with a price of $75 per 500 rounds. That’s only 15 cents a round. Perhaps it was an old box, before the ammunition bubble, or when the exchange rate was more favorable to Australia.

The sales tax in Australia is figured into the display price. In Arizona it’s added at the cash register so customers can see how much tax is being added on.

I visited the Cal Farms Store in Arizona shortly before I left for Oz. The Federal 525 value pack was on the shelf at $24.95. With the sales tax, the Federal .22 Long Rifle ammunition comes to $26.70 per 525 bulk pack, or 5.08 cents per round compared to six cents per round in Australia.

The .22 magnum CCI ammunition was listed at 29.98 cents per round in Arizona.  With the sales tax, that comes to 32.1 cents per round. That’s only a couple of pennies per round less than the magnum in Australia at Tamworth.

Ammo prices in Australia are reasonably close to those in the American market. Australia does not seem to have suffered from the bubble as much as shooters in the United States. That might be because the Australian shooters are just a small part of the overall market. Or because so many of them had already turned in their guns before the last ammo crisis hit.

Prices in general are much higher in Australia than in the United States. Gasoline is above $5 U.S. dollars per gallon. Food prices are higher. I paid $10 for a McDonalds Quarter Pounder meal with fries and a drink. With no refills on the drink. But for ammunition, at least, at the current exchange rate, .22 prices are comparable. Assuming you have something that will shoot it.


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

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  1. Prices in general are much higher in Australia than in the United States.

    As they are in most of Europe as well. Socialism isn’t so great after all, eh?

    • And to which capitalist country are you referring Hank? Australia? Malta? Peru? United Arab Emirates?

      In case your country’s capitalist education system was lacking here is a list to choose from. Capitalist Countries in Asia: Bahrain, Georgia, Hong Kong, Isreal, Japan, Kuwait, Macau, Mauritius, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and United Arab Emirates
      Capitalist Countries in Europe: Albania, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Luxemborg, Macedonia, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Romania, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and United Kingdom
      Capitalist Countries in Africa: Cape Verde, South Africa and Uganda.
      All North American Capitalist Countries: Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, Canada, El Salvador, Guatemala, Jamaica, Mexico, Panama and United States of America
      Capitalist Countries in South America: Chile and Peru

  2. “Gasoline is above $5 U.S. dollars per gallon.”

    What percentage of that is in taxes?

    I know in Europe their high gas prices are due to it being heavily taxed…

    • What percentage of that is taxes?

      Almost all. Oil is easily (and cheaply) moved around the planet, everybody pays the same price (still mostly in USD) as everybody else.There are some minor variations with exchange rates and such, but the harsh reality is that most countries charge ridiculous amounts for their oil products.

      Because taxes.

      • Last i checked australia is also a net exporter of oil. Also they have the light sweet crude that is easier to make into gasoline.

      • Actually the majority of it is excise… which isn’t a tax – or that’s what they will tell you, because its an excise.

        Its designed to artificially increase the cost of fuel to limit consumption.

        Because its not a tax, when GST (not VAT as someone else commented) is applied, its also applied to the excise (because remember, its not a tax 🙂 ), so, they (effectively) tax a tax.

    • If petrol cost $1 per litre at the bowser, and it does occasionally, the fuel itself costs 35c, the federal government fuel excise costs about 60c, and the rest is GST.

      The federal fuel excise was a national fuel tax imposed in the 1970s when residents in rural Tasmania complained about spending 5c more for petrol than residents of Melbourne (then paying 20c per litre). The tax is supposed to pay for transport infrastructure but was quickly allocated to general revenue instead. The tax by design increased year by year until it added so much to the cost of fuel it was politically embarrassing, so the excise was capped, for now.

      The cost of rimfire ammunition did not increase much because most stock was bought before the shortage and the exchange rates were better. But replacement stocks have sometimes jumped about 50% over previous prices.

  3. The best price locally on Remington 36 gr HP Goldens is at, surprisingly enough, Dick’s, at .066 per round, and at least it is in stock (according to the internet anyway; but strangely the internet would not allow me to purchase and pick up at the store, which would give me an additional $10 discount on 1100 rounds). [I picked 36 grain HP Goldens since that is the round my Savage bolt action rifle favors the most.] Still, that is more than 300% higher than what they were before Obama was elected the first time.

      • Surprising?

        Only if you believed a bunch of the propaganda nonsense spouted about Australia’s guns and laws.

        Yes, we have to jump through more hoops (licensing, registration).
        Yes, the range of firearms is very limited.

        However, if you are keen to be a hunter or shooter then it is all possible.

    • I paid $7.98 for 525 rounds of Federal .22LR before Obama was elected at Walmart, and still have several bricks in my ammo cabinet. It became cheaper to cast .30cal, 180gr bullets, and load them in 30’06’s, than to buy .22’s @ .10 cents a round…and I can shoot them at 300 yds to boot!

  4. Burger King you pay about the same for the meal with fries and drink and you get refills…. so far.

    And gas prices… I paid $9 per liter in Portugal and $6 in Japan. Most places are in liters, not US gallons. Some places are in Imperial gallons.

  5. Interesting that prices aren’t much different than home.
    Gonna have to remember to do something like this when I travel abroad.
    One thing I do remember is the price of an OK silencer in South Africa. About 48 bucks. At a hardware store.
    No paperwork.

  6. As mentioned here before Winchester makes .22 and 12 gauge here in Australia.

    .22 is actually cheaper in many places than what Dean mentioned.

    Fat person not sure what your point is.? Have known Ron Owen for 40 years and he is a keen, rational gun rights campaigners.

  7. Just for some up to date comparison shopping, just scored some Federal AutoMatch Target 22LR 40 grain lead round nose at Wallyworld in SE CT USofA…. They had plenty of remington and CCi 22lr too

    325 box for $17.42

    • It isn’t bad however it can be expensive to get the good stuff and many places are hit and miss when it comes to food so when on the road in an unfamiliar town then a known quantity like Maccas is the way to go to ensure you get edible food.

  8. The Federal 525 value pack was on the shelf at $24.95.

    I would be quite happy to see a Federal 525 round value pack of .22 LR on the shelf for $24.95. In my area I am seeing 500 round value packs selling for closer to $33.

  9. Don’t forget we pay for the Pittman-Robertson Tax every time we buy ammo. It’s supposed to go to conservation and building new shooting facilities but it’s used more to take away your rights than to expand them.

  10. Of note for the author:

    There are more legal guns owned in Australia than there were before the 1996 steal back so there are plenty of guns left to shoot off all the ammo laying about. We are a rounding error in terms of the global firearms market so we suck hind tit when it comes to supplies. The ammo bubble didn’t hit prices over here it just made some stuff impossible to purchase. At one point there was nearly 50 million Federal small pistol primers on back order because we didn’t get any (as a country) for about 3 years. When you guys have ammo shortages we have droughts. These sort of shortages occur over here reasonably often so most shooters will stock up with a few years worth of components when they are available.

    I’ve only just shot through my stockpile from 2012-14 when I stocked up for the looming primer shortage. I have recently gone out to get more (now that supplies are returning) and I’ve noticed primer prices have jumped about 50-100%. We also have very few importers and distributors of that sort of stuff so we are at the mercy of a few large companies/people (some of whom appear to take personal pleasure in screwing over gun stores and the end customer). There are now some smaller stores banding together to import their own supplies, circumvent the distribution monopolies and supply components at affordable prices.

    Pistols don’t appear in most country gun stores because there is a requirement in legislation to participate in a certain number of shoots per year in order to keep a pistol licence and thus there are way less pistol shooters out there in general (and in country areas in particular where there are less pistol clubs about) and the market is way smaller. Most gun stores are also limited in the number of guns they can have on the books at any one time so quite often pistol stock remains at the importer and the shops get it in for customers when they pony up the cash while keeping the majority of their store stock focused on rifles and shotguns (which also have less restrictions on ownership).

    Country town ammo prices can be way lower than in the cities because they have low turnover and may still be selling stock that was purchased when the Australian Dollar was stronger than the US dollar a few years ago and most of the owners aren’t pricks so they don’t raise the prices until they buy new stock and are forced to put up prices. It’s not uncommon to see 2 wildly different prices on the same product in the same store because they are selling the old stock at the original price and bringing in new stock at the higher prices. We also have wild variations in prices between different states due to rather crazy transport rules for dangerous goods (including ammo and components) that can boost the price substantially the further west you travel.

  11. Okay…reading this, now I’m completely confused (not an alarming or unusual situation, mind you)! I was of the belief that in Australia, firearms were illegal for the hoi polloi to own “at all”, “period”… What part am I missing or misunderstanding?

    • Never was illegal just strongly discouraged by the various governments we have. The bastards in power keep adding BS rules and restrictions but it has never been illegal just expensive and time consuming to get your hands on guns (assuming you do it legally of course).

      Both sides of the gun rights debate in the US seems to use Australia as an example/cautionary tale and seem to get the information completely mangled along the way which is kinda stupid because all of the legislation is publically available (even if it is very dry reading material) and there are “helpful” summaries provided by the various police units in each state and territory about the most common points of contention. It seems boths sides like to warp the truth in order to motivate (or scare) their adherents with the Australian “solution”.

      While nobody on this site, except for the occasional troll, needs any info about how useless gun control laws are here is an example from a few years back:
      The perpetrator of our last terrorist incident (who was a criminal and was on bail for accessory to murder charges) got his hands on an unregistered (which is illegal), sawn-off (also illegal) pump-action shotgun (very restricted access for law abiding folk and obviously illegal for criminals) for under $400 (nearest legal, non-sawn off equivalent was about $600 second hand and the second hand pump action shotgun market is very depressed due to how few people there are with the relevant licences) apparently inside of a few days of deciding he wanted to commit an act of terror (usually a 28 day minimum “cooling off period” on a legal purchase of that type). He then took a bunch of people hostage (that’s illegal), made terroristic threats (illegal again), executed a hostage (there is that illegal thing again) and was killed by police shortly after (who also killed a hostage with ricochets). Proving of course that our comprehensive framework of firearms laws does f**k all to stop nutbags and scumbags from getting their hands on guns and killing people.

      This attack was used as an excuse to review firearms laws around the country and of course new rules were brought in that only affect law abiding firearms owners. The fact that we are law abiding means that those other laws about terrorism, unlawful detention and murder already stopped us (as if our own morals didn’t) from doing shit like that but they felt we needed more laws to stop us doing something crazy.

    • In short you believed lies intended to misinform you. The big question is this: Now that you know the truth will you still continue to believe the sources that lied to you and told you Australians can’t own guns?

      I had a similar revelation about 10 years ago on a business trip to the UK. I brought up how I like to shoot and it was too bad that the UK had banned gun ownership. Needless to say I was a bit taken aback when I found out there were 4 passionate gun owning Brits sitting at the table with me!

  12. There are plenty of great gun stores down here, check out Gun World and Cabelas in Queensland, Horsley Park gun shop in Sydney, they have a massive range of top end rifles and pistols, mind you firearms have a fair amount of mark up compared to the prices inthe US.

    Ammunition has never been a problem to sorce, and is usually well priced, the only thing that hurt shooters was when they changed the rules around the shipping of gun powder interstate, so foreign powders are hard to come by, so I have just stuck with ADI.

    To own a firearm, you have to obtain a licence, and wait the mandatory waiting period for a permit to accuire, which is 28 days, then only four day for every consecutive firearm in the same catagory.

    • Dingo, I don’t know what state you are in with 4 day waits for subsequent PTAs but don’t forget that our National Firearms Agreement allows for “uniform laws” so every state is different. For instance in Vic subsequent guns in the same category are an almost instant approval via an electronic portal to dealers, WA just says no, SA has no cooling off period but the dummies at the registry are 3 months behind on processing permits, the ACT is always 28 days per gun and NSW allows to to get your permits before you decide on the gun you want to buy with it.

      Also the dangerous goods transport laws mean that moving powder across state lines in a vehicle is verboten without the relevant permits and thus all law abiding shooters are technically required to stop at the border, unload their powder to the road side, drive 1 metre across the border, transport the powder by hand across the border and then load it all back into their vehicles otherwise they are breaking the law. This is particularly important for those living in the ACT (a territory completely surrounded by the state of New South Wales for those reading in the US) when all the good gun stores are on the NSW side of the border and a large number of shooters refuse to do business with the 2 stores inside the territory due to the owners of those shops.

      • UnPc
        The last rifle I bought in Qld this year was 5 days including weekend

        Was in USA for part of this year and it is easier to buy rifle in Australia than California and some other states

        Two new gun shops in Brisbane and one on the Gold Coast in the last year so plenty of interest in firearms still

        • Yeah down here in South Australia (“Welcome to SA turn back your watch 30 minutes and 25 years”) we can only dream of 3 working day turn arounds. Our entire system is paper based and there is no ability to actually go and talk to the registry face to face (submit all paperwork at your local cop shop). It seems like our registry does deliberate go slows to reduce their output of licences and permits. Our licences are also printed in Vic (because our state government is too broke to own and maintain a card printer) so we can go up to 3 months on a 28 day paper licence after renewals before our actual licence arrives and if you don’t notify them that they are useless and haven’t sent it to you and a random copper pulls you over (or does an audit) you are up shit creek for not having a valid licence…

        • CA may be harder than Oz to buy a rifle. But here I get one safety card and I can buy Semi and pump rifles. And the same with shotguns without any extra licenses or paperwork.

          That same card allows me to buy any number of handguns without having to belong to clubs or worrying about barrel lengths. We have the roster. But i still have a safe full of handguns including semi’s in spite of the roster. All legal.

          There’s no household inspections here and as long as a minor child doesn’t get my weapon there’s no problem of leaving guns out or the safe open.

  13. Qld system is online for PTA and renewals. Much faster than old paper based. Took under a week in February to get import permit to bring new stuff back from USA.

    Would still prefer what I grew up with of no license at all. No licenses here until the first gun grab in 96.

    It it ok here to have renewal receipt plus expired license for hunting, range etc. Only a problem when I go inter state hunting.

  14. Airguns, too?

    Am going out on a limb… the country founded as a penal colony is, still, a penal colony.

    It is estimated that about 20 percent of people in Australia are descended from convicts.

    Maybe they have a reason to be afraid of themselves.


  15. Not only do we have guns, but we have some great places with lots of feral animals to shoot.
    We even have several Australian makers of guns.
    We can’t own them for Self-Defence or Handgun hunting, but pistols are available if a member of club.
    Most dealers have them or can get them.


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