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Thread: The high cost of being RUGGED!: ammo prices rising

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    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    The high cost of being RUGGED!: ammo prices rising

    Supposedly, one of the side effects of increases in metal prices worldwide is that ammunition prices are also going up, especially for large and exotic caliber bullets. I'm also hearing about "brass hunters" disturbing the activity at public ranges, some even going downrange to retrieve metal. .22 ammo is still cheap, but that's no fun, right?

    Shooters of Cyburbia: are you getting to the range less frequently than in the past?

  2. #2
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Higher ammo prices make it all the more important to hit one's target the first time successfully! (so you should go to the range now to get your practice in before the price of ammo goes through the roof)

    This bad economy seems to be hitting the RUGGED maybe harder than most. Not only is ammo getting more expensive, but filling up the tank to drive out to the store is getting ridiculously expensive too.


  3. #3
    Cyburbian WSU MUP Student's avatar
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    While the costs of ammo and fuel may be increasing, the truly rugged make up for it by killing and growing their own food and clothing.
    "Where free unions and collective bargaining are forbidden, freedom is lost." - 1980 Republican presidential candidate Ronald Reagan

  4. #4
    moderator in moderation Suburb Repairman's avatar
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    The 9mm bullets for my Glock 17 haven't gone up that much, but they have gone up. It's not nearly as bad as rifle bullets though. The cops I go shoot with have said that ammo prices have gone up enough to impact their department budget.

    I don't really shoot enough for me to care all that much about the cost of ammo.

    "Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

    - Herman Göring at the Nuremburg trials (thoughts on democracy)

  5. #5
    Corn Burning Fool giff57's avatar
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    My PD budget has been hurt bad. I was looking at a gun earlier and the guy was telling me about the problem. It's not only the metal prices, the manufacturers are busy supplying the troops, so supply is also a problem. We have had long wait times for some calibers.
    “As soon as public service ceases to be the chief business of the citizens, and they would rather serve with their money than with their persons, the State is not far from its fall”
    Jean-Jacques Rousseau

  6. #6
    Cyburbian illinoisplanner's avatar
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    Now that I'm 21, I was planning on purchasing a handgun, but due to things such as high gas prices and other costs that have affected my budget, it looks like that may have to wait a bit. Maybe once I get my student loans in the fall, I will buy one.

    As far as ammo goes, my dad and I have noticed that the new Cabela's store near me reduced their selection of ammo, and we can't even find certain kinds anymore. Most of the good stuff they do have is pretty high priced. As a result, we haven't gone shooting lately.
    "Life's a journey, not a destination"
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  7. #7
    Cyburbian Random Traffic Guy's avatar
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    On the bad side, ammo is about about 3x the cost in just a few years. I used to buy cases of 5.56 ammo at $160 per 1000 rounds, which was for the good stuff. Russian or third world surplus was $120ish at the time. Now the good stuff is $400-450 per case, and bad stuff is in the $300s. Bigger ammo and any hunting loads are up even more. This is not a big deal for a hunter who only shoots a couple boxes per year ($50 more for the year, say), but for plinkers and competative shooters it is a real hassle. Pistol ammo also up about 2x, and even .22LR is up about 50% from last year alone. This is not only metal prices, but for military calibers there is alot of demand and not many suppliers. Not only war usage and replacement, but alot of former Warsaw Pact countries are switching to US calibers and need to stock up. The Lake City ammunition plant, and other big makers like Federal and Winchester, used to run their lines for military contracts and then sell the extra to the public. Now there's much less extra to be sold.

    On the good side, that means my net worth has gone up significantly, as I had bought alot before and just sitting on it now. Haven't really bought ammo except for special deals in about 2 years.

    There's still a few bargains out there, specifically 5.45x39 ammo that is used by AK-74 and other Russian designs. Lots of Russian and ex-Warsaw Pact surplus on the market for about $120 per case. Good cheap shooting, I bought a rifle just to shoot it. $500 for a rifle can be made up in just 3 cases of ammo, and then it is positive cash flow compared to my usual rifles. It will be going up too in the future, stock up now.

    For the impacts of this, I think recreational shooting is down in quantity a little, with hunting unchanged. Tons of interest in .22 guns and special adapters to shoot .22 in regular pistols and rifles. Makes the same function, just less power and cheaper. But 6 months backlogs on the adapters. Lots of interest in reloading (manufacturing your own ammo at home), but individual components (brass cases, primers, powder, projectiles) are creeping up in price as well. Used to be I could reload for 1/3 to 1/2 the cost of factory ammo, if I didn't count my time (I don't, it's fun). Now it is the same 1/2 to 1/2 the price, but the total cost is basically equal to the old cost of factory ammo.

    Oh well, going to the range this weekend.

    To answer the OP's comment, I pick up discarded cases at the range as a matter of course. Some ranges do it and resell as extra cash flow. Generally brassers are not a problem as any spent brass is right around the firing line. As with anything, people can be jerks if they are stepping outside their bounds, like trying to pick up another person's brass. It's only fair game

    As for the projectiles, there can be quite a bit of money in the berms or backstops. Lots of copper and lead. Occasionally you will see a range call in earthmovers to "mine" the top layers of a berm to retrieve the savalgable metals, and rebuild the berms. This is even easier in an indoor range since they generally have a system to slow down and collect the projectiles. But watch for lead exposure, the dust can be pretty bad especially indoors. Lead projectiles are essentially inert in a berm or on the ground, it is only the dust that gets into your lungs and then the bloodstream.
    Last edited by NHPlanner; 11 Jul 2008 at 4:19 PM. Reason: double reply

  8. #8
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    So how are those ammo prices doing? Why the spike in price?

  9. #9
    Cyburbian wahday's avatar
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    I haven't shot at a range since I was 17, so I have no reference point for ammo prices. All I have now is a .22 rifle single shot and no ammo at all. Maybe I'll get a box.

    I have had my eye on a little pellet pistol for shooting cans and for hikes (our land sees cougar, bear and, more recently, a pack of wild dogs). Its not going to kill anything, but they do hurt and so should be an effective deterrent if necessary. Anyone have experience with these? I was looking at an Airsoft (spring loaded, no cartridges - I hate the litter - nor electric) that is a military issue M1911 replica. Shoots 300fps which is pretty good for a little pellet pistol. Takes 6mm BBs which you can also get in plastic, so metal prices shouldn't impact costs.
    The purpose of life is a life of purpose

  10. #10
    Cyburbian Random Traffic Guy's avatar
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    Ammo prices have moderated a little (in bulk, not individual boxes in retail stores) compared to 2008/2009 and supply is much better. Spike was due to huge increase in demand in 08/09, coupled with supply limits due to other demands on the ammo factories. Much less stress on the network now, and shooters are shooting more. I've even been buying some lately when I see a good deal.

    In the past couple months prices are starting to creep up again due to energy prices and dollar weakness. I have started several coworkers on the path to being enthusiastic shooters rather than gun owners, but I really feel for them when they have to buy at the current prices. But, in 20 years I've found that today is always the good old days of tomorrow, so you might as well buy now.

    Wahday, the airsoft guns are fun for screwing around or cheap practice. Deterrent, not so much. Don't write checks you can't cash. And animals are not intimidated by fake weapons...
    The spring guns are pretty weak and not usually very durable. The gas guns are much better built and much better performance in my experience. You can get them that uses green gas (essentially propane) in the magazines, so there's no disposable parts other than the pellets. I actually prefer the ones powered by 12-gram CO2 since it is much easier to find. They get at least 50 shots from a cartridge, usually more. Throw the empties in a pocket and recycle.

  11. #11
    Cyburbian imaplanner's avatar
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    Its pretty bad. Ive taken to digging the bullets out of my victims to recycle the metal.
    Children in the back seat can cause accidents - and vice versa.

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    Cyburbian otterpop's avatar
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    As Chris Rock pointed out - maybe the solution to the violent crime rate is for bullets to cost a thousand dollars. Then you would have time to cool down while you saved up for bullets and shooters would be real careful about not wasting shots on innocent bystanders.

    Waiting list to buy a gun + time for bank loan for ammo to clear = fewer fatalities.
    "I am very good at reading women, but I get into trouble for using the Braille method."

    ~ Otterpop ~

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