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Got a Brick of .387 Boomenlouder?

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Get 'em while ya can't!

Folks, I’m baffled by the ammo craze. Unusual things have happened in the arms industry, for sure- but it’s not what you think. The silliest I’ve heard is that “da gummit’s buying it ALL UP so we CAN’T!!!” Now, the Obummer administration knows about as much about Economics as- well, they’re dumber’n a bag o’ hammers, ok? But decreasing supply by increasing demand? There’s an interesting concept.

There simply is no such thing as “buying it all up,” they’ll just make more. May not be today, may not be this week or this month, but they’ll get caught up. I like a scary story as much as the next guy, really I do. And, with this administration’s lack of knowledge of economics and misguided blaming evil deeds on inanimate objects, I wouldn’t put it past them. But let’s try a little less scary version of events and see if it passes muster.

It helps, too, that I have sources in appropriate places- military, gun distributors, ammo manufacturers, etc.

This ammo shortage actually started back at the beginning of Gulf II- what was that, 2003? Mobilizing an army to go halfway around the world is no mean feat. To save ourselves some time and effort, we called on our allies. One thing the Middle East is already set up for is war, right?

We borrowed 2 billion rounds of 5.56 from Israel alone. That manuever saved something on the order of a Panamax cargo ship’s worth of logistics. Ever been on a Carnival cruise? That’s a Panamax ship. Picture one full of .223’s. The deal we made with Israel was that we would replace their ammo with US made ammo as soon as possible. That’s one deal, for one caliber, with one ally. God knows what else we swiped from whom.

The American factories have these contracts with the government that mean selling a chunk of ammo each year, but also obligate them to give priority to government demand. So, all the US plants went into overdrive making 5.56 to repay Israel while our troops were using German and Lithuanian ammo over in the sandbox. That was just one of the deals that was made- now add in 7.62, 9mm, .50 BMG, artillery, missiles, …

It’s fun to think that the ammunition factories make “a product.” Like there’s a plant for .30/30s down the street from the .22 Hornet factory. .380 ACP must come from a little back room in one or the other of them, not getting too much respect, but like The Little Engine That Could, ‘Department 380’ and both people that work in it just keep cranking them out, slowly but surely. The truth is much more mundane- if you reload, you have to change your setup for each different caliber. So do the big boys. One particular manufacturer used to change over one of their factories for one week every other year to make a run of .380s that would last them for two more years. Not surprisingly, a good part of that week was the setup for the different round and the change back. The Army needs more 9mm’s? Let’s just skip .380 this time. Nobody will notice, right? Ya, right!

Ok, so DHS put in a large order. Good news? Not really, nor bad news. 1 billion rounds is only 3 rounds for every legal American. I can hear you already- “they only need one round for every American!” Do you think we’ll go down like that? Or that they can shoot that well? My point was that I might shoot, in a typical year, my 3 rounds. And the neighbor’s 3. Oh, and the other neighbors’ 12 rounds (mom, dad, kids). Hell, I might shoot the whole neighborhood’s allotment! As if I’m the only shooter around here! I’m sure that some of them want their share, too! American sportsmen are by far the largest consumers of American ammunition.

So my point is, there has been a decade of demand pressure on the ammunition manufacturers that has led to some outages and upward pressure on prices. Combine that with the political climate and a couple of “mass murders” and we have the recipe for hoarding and panic buying.

Look at this point- Lee Precision. Never made a cartridge. Not a single bullet, or primer. No cases or powder. They make reloading equipment- presses, dies, lead melters. My local gun shop had not been out of the Lee Turret Press in 30 years until this spring. Check Midway or Graf- lead melters are on backorder. Did Lee slow down? Are they all on vacation? No. People who last month couldn’t mold their own freekin’ ice cubes are now concerned that they won’t be able to mold their own bullets after “the apocalypse” or whatever.

Also note that .40 S&W (the object of the DHS contract) has had some of the least outages. The government doesn’t use .30/30 or .22LR (rimfire plants do not convert to other production) but you can’t find either of them! Uncle Sam hasn’t bought any bird shot in a long time, so why does it go out of my local store as fast as they can order it in? Really, the only two that I think I have seen -zero- problems with are .270 Win and .300 Win Mag.

Panic buying has certainly gripped the American public. Anything that goes “bang” is in vogue. This could be a bad thing, if the manufacturers expand production then demand suddenly collapses. So far, they seem reluctant to do so, but if there’s honest-to-gosh higher demand going forward, they may. This would be good, as it would indicate more people becoming active participants in the Second Amendment. Next thing you know, responsibility might be seen in the American people!

So for now, I can’t get ammo for my .387 Boomenlouder but I want to go hunting. I think that’s a good excuse for me to get that new .293 Zapfaster. Whaddaya mean they’re on three months backorder?!? Oh hell, then, I’d better buy your entire stock of whatever ya got!

Music that does not suck- I don’t listen to pop radio much, but heard this tune a couple of days ago that caught my attention. It almost sounded like… talent? So I searched using some of the lyrics and found out that Duran Duran is still with us in some form!

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19 Comments

  1. Inagada…

    My gosh…that’s one of the best posts here ever in more ways than one via my viewfinder in life. – Enjoyed the tune/vid at the end as well.

    Please don’t stay away so long…we need ya here, tonight’s proof of that!

    • Inagada Davida

      Well, thanks for the compliments, biggie! :blush: Hope you had a good mother’s day. I’ve been here, just lurking.

  2. 79firebirdman

    Hmmmmm. Interesting take on the upside down ammo market, Inagada. I just hope that you’re right and that the gubmint indeed doesn’t have nefarious plans with all the rounds that DHS has ordered. I do not trust our government any at all.

    • Inagada Davida

      79, it just isn’t enough ammo to carry out a nefarious plan.

      I meant to mention this above, too- governments can bend the markets, for a while, but market forces always win. Two crappy things about that, though- gov’t distorts markets using our (taxpayer) money, and markets tend to snap back rather violently. Lets hope the industry keeps its wits about it.

      • Come on man…..

        The government made a big ammo buy in the middle of a big ammo run because of Sandy Hook and a potential ban…..

        Constricted and/or dried up the supply…..

        Now we’re coming out the back side with ammo starting to become available at the NEW INFLATED PRICES…..

        Classic supply vs demand.

  3. Around these parts, ammo doesn’t even get the chance to hit the shelves. The vultures are waiting for the stuff to come out on the pallets when the orders come in to the retailers. They scoop it up and then wait for the gun show to hit town and then sell it for 2 to 3 times its original price.

    Capitalism I guess.

    Still some 7.62X54R available though but amazingly even THAT is getting scarce and a Mosin Nagant 1891/30 that I looked at a month ago at $119 was $169 today.

    • gunbot.net

      http://gunbot.net/ammo/762×54/

      Brown Bear 7.62 x 54R Ammunition 7.62x54mm 203gr SP 20rds 12.99 in stock 1 hour ago

      $0.65/rd

      [$12.99]

      [in stock]

      [Gander Mountain]

      Brown Bear 7.62 x 54R Ammunition 7.62x54mm 174gr FMJ 20rds 12.99 in stock 1 hour ago

      $0.65/rd

      [$12.99]

      [in stock]

      [Gander Mountain]

      Wolf Polyformance Ammunition, 7.62x54R, FMJ, 148 gr 3 hours ago

      $0.55/rd

      [$10.99]

      [in stock]

      [Gander Mountain]

      Winchester Target Ammo 7.62x54R 180gr FMJ 20/bx 5 hours ago

      $1.15/rd

      [$22.99]

      [in stock]

      [Brownells]

      Winchester Target Ammo 7.62x54R 180gr SP 20/bx 5 hours ago

      $1.20/rd

      [$23.99]

      [in stock]

      [Brownells]

      Tula Ammo 7.62x54R Rimmed Russian 148 Grain Full Metal Jacket Box of 20 Rounds 7 hours ago

      $0.65/rd

      [$12.99]

      [in stock]

      [TargetSportsUSA]

      Prvi Partizan Ammunition 7.62x54mm Rimmed (7.62x53mm Rimmed) 182 Full Metal Jacket Box of 20 7 hours ago

      $0.80/rd

      [$15.99]

      [in stock]

      [TargetSportsUSA]

      • Most if not all that ammo is steel in one form or another. Not range friendly here in Co. Only places you can shoot steel is at outdoor ranges and even then some have a fear of fire from sparks from steel hitting rock.

        Besides, I have absolutely NO intention of paying $1.00+ per round.

        Glad I bought what I did when I did.

  4. Great post AWD and I totally agree with it. I dont buy the government buying it all up bullshit either. Calibers they never use or will use are hard to get so that means its millions of folks panic buying it all up. I think it will wind down soon as people start to realize things are downright stupid right now. I refuse to pay a buck a round for any pistol caliber. I have two presses and load my own anyway. Even the parts are impossible to get. Too many fools buying up all the reloading stuff too.

  5. Very interesting post Inagada,

    Conspiracy or Market Forces? If I apply Occam’s Razor, the correct answer is….

    Mr. Mittens wants to party on a Panamax ship full of .223′s

    The unfortunate consequence of the buying frenzy is the price of Ammo has reached a new plateau, and now that manufacturers know people will pay higher prices it is unlikely we will ever see a rollback.

    That’s called capitalism.

    Of course this means very little to me personally because I am deathly afraid of guns and refuse to own one,

    But Mr. Mittens is livid about the price and availability of certain calibers of ammo and is very willing to blame Obama.

    Good to see ya again Brah

  6. SPURWING PLOVER

    Emporer Obama the Fink and his Imperial Storm Troopers buying ammo for when he declars himself EMPORER FOR LIFE

  7. SPURWING PLOVER

    Joe the Schmoe Biden realy needs to stop shooting off his mouth he starting to annoy me with his hypocracy

  8. Think I’ll toss this in the thread too…just for the heck of it.

    http://dailycaller.com/2013/05/13/obama-hopes-for-extended-crisis-atmosphere/

  9. One good thing. Some in Congress are asking about the large purchases and Govt is not saying same as you, they are spinning it. HMMMM still do not trust this administration, makes Nixon look like a Boy Scout. Spin = lies. Congress approves of expenditures, its about time they actually looked at them, READ THE BILLS before passing them. I assure you DHS does not need 5017 up armored vehicles, no one is going to invade us. This statement is as true today as when spoken. We are no stupid as a people! Something is up! IRS, Benghazi? I prefer to trust the hair on the back of my neck, its always been a life saver.

    “When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty.”
    Thomas Jefferson

  10. I guess I can quit napping my own arrowheads.

  11. Don’t forget all that ammo going to the Muslim Brotherhood and Al Qaeda in Syria (just like Libya). You are aware the U.S. is arming Al Qaeda (again)

  12. Inga, glad to see you back in action. Hope the edumacation’s going well. Great writeup btw!

  13. Hasn’t every gun owner in this country heard, known, been often told, to have ALL the ammo you need stockpiled and just work it like long-term storage food? I’ve been hearing this for twenty years at least, you know, get your 5,000 rounds of .22LR, x number of 12 ga., x number centerfire pistol, x number of .223 or whatever. So prices go up and down, so what’s new. Anyone who has half a brain has long since prepared for an ammo supply problem.

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