(GSL) – At GSL, we hear a wide range of perspectives from gun industry insiders. Some have shared some of their observations in the past few weeks with our members at meetings and to GunNews.
You already knew ammo was scarce, but you may not have known about the price hikes and how those who have ammo secured it.
Welcome to the biggest shortage of consumer ammunition availability since World War II. You thought ammo supplies seemed scarce in early 2013 and again in 2020? Welcome to 2021, the year of the empty ammo shelves – for most.
Gun food in stores remains somewhere between scarce and non-existent. A few shops have some ammo, but you as the customer will pay dearly for it.
Meanwhile, some shops do have ammo. Those gun shops who formed purchase agreements directly with factories receive their product by the pallet. Other large, cash-flush gun shops teamed to buy imported ammo by the shipping container as part of group buys.
Yes, they earmark much of that ammo for range and class use, but some is available to the public, usually with purchase limits.
On the other hand, dealers who always relied on distributors must get by on the dribs and drabs – a case here and a case there.
Some shops that have maintained their pre-”market rush” profit margins are rationing product to customers to keep supplies from selling out in minutes. Other shops have hiked prices dramatically to counter hoarding.
At the same time, manufacturers have reportedly put not one, but at least three separate 15% price hikes on their products over the past six months or so. That’s roughly a 52% increase in the wholesale cost of ammo.
As an example, 9mm is the most popular caliber of handgun ammo. The days of $10 or $12 boxes of 9mm practice ammo are long past. Anything under $20 per box of 50 rounds is a bargain today.
A few shops have 9mm without purchase limits for $1+ per round. Online, for in-stock product, prices start at about a dollar a round before shipping costs and sales tax.
Yes a George Washington per cartridge. Or a Loonie if you’re from north of the border. Meanwhile, self-defense rounds are selling for about $2. Each.
Rest assured manufacturers continue pumping product out as fast as they can, but the demand outstrips production by a wide margin.
It’s almost like gun owners have become piranhas. Here’s something our friends at Fenix Ammo in Michigan published online at the end of February. This company achieved some national notoriety recently by refusing to sell to Joe Biden voters.
Here’s their post:
On February 25th, we listed 300,000 total rounds at 10AM EST, just as we said we would. 100,000 9mm 115gr were sold in under 60 seconds; 100,000 9mm 147gr were sold in under 110 seconds; 100,000 9mm 124gr were sold in 2 minutes and 45 seconds.
Our last inventory update on February 11th took approximately five minutes to sell the same quantity of ammunition. So far in 202 we have posted four separate inventory updates totalling 1.2 million rounds which have lasted a combined total of 20 minutes. We do not expect things to change in the near future.
That ammo wasn’t cheap, either. Fenix charged $31-34 per box of 50 rounds of that aforementioned product. And they had hundreds of buyers. One guy didn’t say, “I’ll take all 100 cases of that.”
Meanwhile, practice rounds of another popular caliber, .223/5.56 ammo are selling for $1 to $1.50 per round where available.
If you luck out and see some for 50- or 60-cents per round, you really ought to buy all the store will let you have.
Got an ammo fort?
Do you have an ammo fort in your basement? Are you considering selling some “bullets” to pay for your kid’s college tuition?
Think long and hard. It may be a long time before you can buy a case of ammo again. Or even a few boxes in a single trip.
Ammo inventories won’t return any time soon and when they do, you will yearn for the prices you paid even two years ago for the stuff.
At last, firearms have begun to arrive at dealers. But in many cases, there’s catch.
Distributors, seeking to unload slow-moving “merch” from their warehouses are bundling the hottest-selling, most desirable firearms with “less desirable” product in package deals. While his helps distributors, it burdens local shops with stuff local gun stores don’t really want or need.
Not only that, but the wholesale firearm prices continue to climb. For instance, those $500 guns just before COVID hit are now $600-700 guns if you can find them. Remember that popular SIG P365 you saw for $499 in early 2020? It’s selling for closer to $599-$649 today. Or more.
Thankfully, one bright spot at the moment involves magazines. Most forward-looking shops have stocked up on magazines. For now at least, they remain plentiful. Unlike ammo and guns, prices have not (yet) spiked, but that will change soon.
The US House will take up gun control legislation soon, and will likely pass a ban on production of standard capacity magazines and probably some semi-auto firearms. That will kick off yet another buying frenzy – and create magazine inventory scarcity.
Given the Democrats and the Biden regime’s eagerness to embrace gun control measures, extreme volatility, scarcity and higher prices will remain the norm for quite some time to come.
A year from now, a dollar a round might be the new normal.