Cowboy Blob's Saloon and Shootin Gallery

I'm not a real Cowboy, but I play one in the movies.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

From the Cactus MailBag

This is a reply posting that I made to the cast bullet e-group I am on, but some of the info may be of interest to all shooters.

David, did you get any explanation of why the prices on primers is
going to go up significantly??


Alex, I'm not David but just one of those evil gun dealers that are raising the prices that I charge my customers. In a word, everything is rising very fast, price wise and availability is going south. Every time I reorder anything, the price has increased and I get fewer items on my orders. And I can do nothing other than to raise the prices that I charge for what I do get.

This is a 2 part problem as I see it. First, raw materials such as steel, copper, lead and gunpowder is going up, largely because red China and India are buying everything in sight. They are using all of the 'dollars' that we have been sending them in exchange for all the dodads we buy at the great wall of china mart and are spending them back to buy raw materials to do the building and modernization in 5 years that the US took 50 years to do, and on a much larger scale. Take a look at the market prices for these things and compare them to even just a year ago. HUGH increases across the board. Go down and buy some lumber, concrete or other raw material and compare the prices to a year ago. It will shock you if you haven't done this recently. In addition, shipping costs are going up due to increased oil prices.

Two, the US and other world gov'ts are buying ammo like there is no tomorrow. Commercial ammo that is 'always' available isn't this month. Winchester, Federal and IMI are filling a new, LARGE contract for .45, .223 and .308 ammo. 762x39 was not coming into the country for several months, and is only now trickling in. Russia has been filling military orders in other countries instead of shipping it to the US commercial market. An industry insider friend of mine is telling me the smaller ammo makers are already finding shortages as well and expect it to get worse for the rest of the year. They buy their brass 'cups' once a year from Olin Brass Mills and can't increase production this late in the order year since they can't get more raw materials. Magtech was going to introduce .223 and .308 this year but sent out an announcement this week that it will not be coming until AT LEAST mid-2007 due to foreign military orders. ALL ammo makers had an 8% across the board increase on April 1, with another rise of about the same coming in June or July.

I've been stocking up in my shop, where I can, but that won't last long. I'm already the only shop in town with 762x39 in stock, and I'm down to my last 3 cases or so with not much hope for resupply. I haven't been able to get 380 or 45 ball ammo for weeks, except for a little bit of the higher priced varieties. Personally, I've been buying lead and have stashed about 350 pounds in addition to what I had already. That should keep me shooting for some time, with the limited amount of time I get to bust caps these days. I don't have any local scrap yards that will sell it anymore, being a 'hazardous material' and all. I've also struck out at the tire shops I checked with. I am in Las Vegas, a fairly large city, and have been buying it on ebay instead as my only source, since I can't get down to visit Bill in Aridzona. Primers are stored up and powder the same to a much lesser level of course. I bought a few bullet moulds to fill in some calibers I didn't have a mould for and will be casting up and loading for personal use.

So in short, blame it on rising raw materials due to a demand never before seen and competition for primers, powder, brass and bullets with gov'ts that are hell bent on getting us into WW III. That and an increasing demand for guns and ammo from the general population like I have never seen before, in my 25 years of being a gun dealer. Well, except for the rush just prior to the brady crap going into effect, when I had several months of the craziest buying spree I have ever seen. Every day I get in a number of customers that have never had a gun before and are looking to buy their first one. All of my best selling models are harder and harder to get, especially if it is chambered in .45 acp, and often my replacement costs are higher than they were just the month before. I guess the gov't doesn't include gun, ammo and component costs when figuring that there is no inflation. But on the brighter side of things, our IRA's have almost doubled the last few months, since we are totally invested in metals, raw materials, natural resources and energy funds.

[Name and address redacted]


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