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Reader John D. Dingell III writes:

Unnoticed in the firearms press: the prices of copper, lead, and zinc have been trending upwards over the last year. Long term forecasts within the metals industry expect this trend to continue. Although prices are not expected to reach their mid 2000’s levels, they could ascend to five-years-ago levels.

This doesn’t appear to be a consequence of American politics. Rather it reflects the closures of higher cost (and politically disfavored) mines and the consequent declining inventories. Lead and zinc stocks are disappearing at an alarming rate. Copper stocks are undergoing a mild decline. The Chinese have also embarked on intensive economic stimulus during the first half of 2017, which has hiked Asian demand.

If this upward price trend continues, ammunition prices should soon start going back up, due to cost-push inflation. Time to stock up?

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  1. Primarily China propping-up commodity prices in advance of the communist party congress this fall. Watch for a dramatic slide before 2018.

  2. It is comforting that the rise is due to closing of politically disfavored mines is not a “consequence of American politics.”

    I never attribute randomness, accident, stupidity and incompetence when political chicanery is the most likely culprit. For instance, raising prices of metals that are used to manufacture ammunition is probably another gun control effort; the result of company officers kneeling to politically correct pressures, “for the children”.

  3. A 20-25% rise in the cost of raw material? Pish posh. Even if materials costs double, it’s a rather insignificant cost part of the product – and can be readily adjusted for by raising the price of a box of ammo from cents to maybe a dollar of so. There just isn’t that much metal in anything but maybe a high-brass shotgun slug – and even then it’s still a tiny part of the cost of goods sold. The machines, building, building expenses,floor staff, benes, overhead staff, marketing, etc – that’s where the costs are. Lead, brass, zinc and the rest? Pissing in the ocean.

    Will it allow manufacturers to dramatically increase prices for those who don’t understand manufacturing? You betcha.

  4. Doubt we’ll really see much of an increase. What I can garuntee is 10x the fear mongering with ammo and gun costs in terms of manufacturing, such as this, manufactured crisis. The political situation has left it a buyers market. The sellers need to drum up fear in other areas to try and push more panic buying. Every time an article like this comes out, a few thousand people buy a case of ammo, “just in case.” I stoped falling for it long ago. There’s such a glut right now, look for prices to remain low until 2020.

  5. There is a bright spot in commodity metal price rise.

    The rising price is usually an indicator of a stronger economy as the demand for manufactured goods rise.

    It can also be a political weapon, such as China and ‘rare earth’ metals.

    (*Note* – This is unless it’s the early 80’s, the metal is silver, and someone named ‘Hunt’ is buying all he can find…)

    • It’s a good time to learn how to put together your own AR. Lowers are cheap, lower parts kits aren’t that pricey, and decent complete uppers can be had for around $300 – $400. (I’ll be helping a friend assemble his first AR, and just finished putting together a shopping list.) Total price is around $600 – $700 including sights. A “generic” upper and standard parts can put it around $450, I’d guess.

  6. Hot damn, all that 223 brass that’s accumulating everywhere just became a mother lode! Time to grab a pickaxe & head to the range!

  7. This is nothing but a panic buying article. Ammo prices will continue to drop. The current political climate has created a glut of supply. Relax friends the good times will be around for a long time.

  8. I’m still looking for these “low prices” I keep hearing about. Ammo’s up dramatically over the last several years– still well above pre-Sandy Hook prices.

    $100 for 1000 55 gr. FMJ slugs? That’s not cheap.

    • I don’t know where you’re buying your ammo from, but just about everywhere I buy ammo from it’s not only lower than pre-Sandyhook prices, but also pre-Aurora prices. I’m not sure if you are referencing component prices when you reference “slugs”, but complete assembled ammunition can be had for 28 cents a round shipped for new manufacture 1000 rds of brass cased 55 gr FMJs. In late 2011 and early 2012 you would lucky to find it at 30 cents per round shipped

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