Wednesday, May 8, 2013

The Ammo Scare of 2012-2013

I know I'm not the only one of us that gets Cheaper Than Dirt! emails, but I was just astounded at this offer.  Graphic picked out of their sales flyer;  I know I have some of that same exact ammo that I paid about $12 a box for. 
While nobody predicted the incredible run on guns and ammo that started as soon the anti-gunners started talking new controls and a new AWB, I started hearing about potential shortages back in February of 2012.  Anti-gunners started talking more restrictions as soon as there was blood on the floors at Sandy Hook to dance in and that's when the buying curve went vertical. 

It's starting to look as if the prices and quantities of some items are starting to catch up.  30 round metal AR magazines are back in the $15 range, instead of the $100 Cheaper Than Dirt was asking in January.  I see PMags at $20.  As I write this, Natchez has 230 grain, FMJ, .45 ACP Remington UMC in stock at $40 (limit 5).  If you want a better price on that PMC 9mm 115 grain, Surplus Ammo has it for $40, much less than the CTD ad.  On the other hand, while .223 is hard to find and expensive, even a good old standby like .30-06 is around and more or less normal price.  (And from Surplus Ammo...)

I'm hearing that AR pattern rifles are showing up in the $800-$900 range again, and there are good numbers at our local shows. 

There's a phenomenon that shows up in panic markets.  Some percentage of people say "it's going to be scarce so I'd better stock up".  That causes a run on the product which reinforces the idea that it's scarce, which causes more people to buy more "just in case".  We've been going through quite a bit of that in the gun and ammo markets this year.  I hear stories about guys who can be at Walmart when the ammo shows up buying it up and selling at 2 or 3x the price at shows.  The best thing that could happen here is nobody buys their ammo. 

It's easy to say chill (I have "notify me when in" emails at two places for this), but we know there's a real surge going on and all we can do is wait it out.  If you absolutely need a box of 9mm 115 grain, you can order that $60 box from CTD; it is there.  If you can hold out until more is available, well, the market price correction worked, didn't it? 

(usual disclaimer - no connection to any of the sellers other than just buying from them)


  1. More often than not, my semi-local gun store has HPR 124-grain 9mm JHP ammo on the shelves at $30.95 per 50-round box. That's a much better buy than what Cheaper Than Dirt ^h^h^h^h Your Mom Guns & Ho-Made Beef Jerky is asking for FMJ ammo....

  2. My local G&A here in Ky. has plenty ammo. In fact many of the "panic buyers" are trying to dump the ammo they have before the price crash.

  3. I stocked up before, and after, the 2008 ammo shortage.

    After this one passes, and the prices drop, I'll re-stock on when I've used in practice, and add some more for the next scare.

    Plus I've got a nice set of reloading equipment I bought before the price of that stuff went through the roof, and I've have a good supply of new and once-fired brass, and primers.

  4. CTD leads the league right now in gouging. They're off my "preferred vendor list, likely for all time, because I don't plan to forget this. The price from PMC and the other manufacturers didn't go up the way that CTD's resale prices have and I'm not about to reward that sort of behavior. There are way too many other dealers out there who know how to play nice with their loyal customers.

  5. Yeah, I have to agree about CTD.

    I like Bulk Ammo, but I haven't checked they're prices lately.....

  6. CTD had a fifty round box of .22LR for $24.99 the other day. That is the definition of price gouging.

    They can kiss my ass from now till hell freezes over before they get one thin dime out of me.

    I thought it was outrageous when I paid $7.50 for a box two months ago at a gun show.
    .22LR has been non existent around here since Christmas.

    30 ought 6 I haven't had any trouble finding locally and prices were normal.
    .30.30 was hard to find and forget anything else that wasn't some oddball caliber. Empty shelves everywhere and I live near a major metropolitan area in the Pacific NorthWest with literally hundreds of possible sources.Even 12 gauge shells were hard to find and all you could get when the did have any was target loads or bird shot.

    No loading supplies, nada, not a primer to be found nor powder either.

    I got lucky and found a stash of both .22LR and shorts I had put up when I moved and started feeling better about the whole situation, about 1200 rounds each.

    Eventually this shortage will ease up and when it does I hope the prices come back to normal. Until then I am still getting what I can at reasonable prices and the price gougers can eat theirs.

  7. I go to my local gun shop. While supplies are limited, 50 rounds of 9mm still goes for less than $20.00.

  8. This price action is covered in most econ 101 classes, at least when I went to school. The supply-demand curve determines price. Gouging is a point-of-view, not a economic factor. Price is a "natural" regulator of a market, sellers holding to low prices during high demand are poor businessmen. Buyers are paying because of they want the product even at the higher cost.

    More importantly, the demand reveals Americans voting with dollars to arm themselves, for what, to later register and give up the weapons?

  9. I really can't say that I am in favor of "price gouging" laws, because it is your stuff, and you can sell it for any price that you wish. It IS supposed to be a free market, after all.

    In the short term, selling at high prices in response to temporary market forces when you can get away with it, like CTD and this local gun store did will get you quick profits. However, that is not a wise move if you want to generate goodwill from your returning customers once the temporary market forces subside. Those several quick weeks of profit taking in response to a temporary increase will cost you years of repeat customers.

    And so it is with me that I will never again shop at CTD or L&R Armory.

  10. Yep Cheaper Than Dirt is anything but.
    Lucky Gunner has this same exact ammo for $38.75
    But I too had stocked up prior and will stock up more after the current price surge drops back down.

  11. CTD can kiss my business good-buy forever. They might make a few dollars now but like Dicks they will have poisoned the well.

  12. I think we're all on the same page. I don't want price controls because they're bad policy and self-defeating in the long run. The free market is, without doubt, the best way to address the shortages.

    I've only rare bought from CTD and won't until they start pricing competitively.

    When Dicks shafted their customers and vendors, I swore them off, too.

  13. Dry fire for the practice. And in a real life scenario, make every shot count. I have lots of ammo, but not so much that I can afford to waste any.

    That might just be one of those unintended consequences that pop up because DHS is buy up all the ammo - we all become better shots.

    OOPS. Bey they didn't see THAT one coming...

  14. remember the price gougers when price drops