Feeling The Pinch

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  • Last Post 22 July 2022
Aaron posted this 19 June 2022

I can't speak for the rest of us but I am really feeling the pinch now on reloading components. In the last decade, prices have almost tripled for powder, primers, and brass if you can locate it without a 1-year wait. This transcends standard and incremental price increases that we have all experienced over our lifetimes. Prices tripling in a decade is, as Eyegore states, abbynormal.

2013: $35 at your LGS

2022: $115 w/Hazmat $ shipping

That is a whopping 230% increase in cost of primers alone. Powder and brass are similar. New tooling is equally elusive as are standard bullet molds (not custom).

What the heck is going on? On a fixed income, my shooting has all but stopped.

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Ed Harris posted this 19 June 2022

Greed. Pure and simple.

73 de KE4SKY In Home Mix We Trust From the Home of Ed's Red in "Almost Heaven" West Virginia

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Wm Cook posted this 19 June 2022

When they did become available a month or so ago I followed along like a docile sheep and bought 5m sr Fed 205M’s for something like $630. When LR 210’s become available I’ll probably do the same. I think I’m down to about 3500 LR primers.

The only positive perspective I have is that I’m head over heels for shooting cast and I can pick up any of my long guns and get hundreds of hours of fun developing subsonic loads. Hand gun shooters get a break there too, at least on the powder side.

Chasing cast accuracy gives me a lot of hours in the shop getting the package (rifle, mold, load development) figured out and then at the range all that fun “shop time” gets tested in 50 to 70 shots.

And we can still buy custom molds for $125.

But if I were hand loading for a semi and putting a couple hundred jacked rounds into a berm on a normal range trip using full cases of slow burning powder I’d be putting a pretty big dent in my grocery money.

If you’re idea of pleasure is simply to fill the berm with alloy it’s hard times for sure.

Haven’t seen Vita Vouri on the shelf in forever. And I understand that a jug of N135 is going for what I paid for my first car. Bill Cook.

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foesgth posted this 19 June 2022

Greed. Pure and simple.
I don't think it is greed as much as hollow dollars.  They have printed so much money we are going the way of Zimbabwe. 
I wish I was living on a fixed income!  I am just some poor stupid fool who saved up for retirement.  The money I have in the stock market has tanked and CDs are paying .025%.  I'm livin' high on no income.  
I did buy one of the tools to make caps and I still have 10 pounds of BP so I'm still shooting when I can afford the fuel to get to the range.

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John Carlson posted this 20 June 2022

I can still buy powder for prices only modestly higher than 2 years ago and it's availability is improving.  The little brass I have bought has been reasonable.  While I have only purchased one box of centerfire rifle ammunition in the last 50 years (and regretted that) the prices on the shelf seem to have gone up around 50%.  Primers are the one commodity in my world that has been almost totally unavailable and has seen price increases approaching 300% retail and as much as 800% on the auction market (recently saw LR primers go for $250/brick).  We've started seeing small rifle and some pistol primers at the local Scheels at $90/brick, I heard they are $70/brick down the road.  Perhaps there is hope.

Meanwhile I've noticed the prices for flintlocks rising.

John Carlson. CBA Director of Military Competition.

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RicinYakima posted this 20 June 2022

Meanwhile I've noticed the prices for flintlocks rising.

As well they should, as if you can find a rock that sparks, you can shoot. Making you own black powder is laborish, it is not hard. 

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Buttersdad posted this 20 June 2022

For me the only thing that has gone up extensively is primers. I have plenty of brass and powder, and cast my own pills. When powder is available it's not much more than pre virus. My only trouble is the unobtainable primers. When they come available I pick up what I can. 

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MP1886 posted this 20 June 2022

Another alternative to a flintlock is one of the very high pressure air rifles.  I have a friend that has a friend who has one of the Airforce brand in 357.  He has killed a few deer with it.  All you need with them is lead and air compressor.  You can get a hand pump but the are slow to charge the cylinder.

[The political conspiracy theory part of this post has been removed.  John]

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sluggo posted this 20 June 2022

I also use an air rifle to stay in tune and control vermin. I do not have to go to the range because of its low report. It will do a job on rats and skunks (the four legged variety) etc. While not the same as a powder fueled firearm it does help to fill the void. Reloading components are still scarce by me. One interesting thing is that a lot of reloading equipment is for sale in my area. I guess their owners got tired of waiting for components and are opting out of the hobby.

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Rich/WIS posted this 20 June 2022

I did stock up before this started, although not a huge amount (maybe 10K of LR and LP) and still have about half of my stock left.  Think the days of $30-35 for a brick of primers are gone and will not return.  Have plenty of powder for what I load and cast my own, which cover 99% of my shooting.  J bullets on hand are for full power hunting loads and don't have a lot, but enough to last for the hunting I do and still leave a few for my son and grandson.  Even with primers at $80-90 a brick and powder at $40-50 a pound it is not the end of the world if you reload and  cast your own.  Using the prices I paid for my stockpile 45ACP is about $2.50 a box, most of my rifles at 12-13 cents a pop.  Under the new normal 45ACP will be about $5 a box and rifle about 20-25 cents a pop. Hopefully none of us are so poor we have to give up shooting over component costs.

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David Reiss CBA Membership Director posted this 21 June 2022

I think there is a clear difference between stocking up, hoarding and those that buy in bulk for resale. 

Buying for resale is just capitalism. These guys are just looking to make a profit, many who I believe don't even handload. They can be looked upon as the "scourge of the earth, but again it is just capitalism. 

Hoarders are those that buy everything in bulk whether they need it or not, amassing large stockpiles they will probably never use. 

Last are the guys and gals that have been through the shortages before and can see it coming. They say, "never again". They take advantage of the sales, buying a case here and there to stay ahead. They add primers to their orders of powder. There is no shortage at the time, everyone has them for sale. These people never feel the pinch. 

Those feeling the pinch right now will probably never let this happen to them again. 

The days of the $30-35 bricks of primers are gone. I knew this was coming when I read press releases from the manufacturers 3 years ago. However increases were said to be about 15-20%. I realize that raw material shortages have increased the cost. But that should get back to normal soon (you pick the definition of soon). So I would have to agree the cost for primers now is based on greed. If powder and bullets can be sold at the same prices before the shortage, then primers could be also. If you are paying large increased costs for powder and bullets, look harder. Normal prices are out there. Brass is another story, worse than primers in most cases, shame on those sellers, you will not get my cash.  

David Reiss - NRA Life Member & PSC Range Member Retired Police Firearms Instructor/Armorer
-Services: Wars Fought, Uprisings Quelled, Bars Emptied, Revolutions Started, Tigers Tamed, Assassinations Plotted, Women Seduced, Governments Run, Gun Appraisals, Lost Treasure Found.
- Also deal in: Land, Banjos, Nails, Firearms, Manure, Fly Swatters, Used Cars, Whisky, Racing Forms, Rare Antiquities, Lead, Used Keyboard Keys, Good Dogs, Pith Helmets & Zulu Headdresses. .

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JeffinNZ posted this 21 June 2022

It's also a factor of perspective.  

When I was a kid my mother shopped once a week and kept a health stock of staple foods on hand.  20lb flour, 10lb sugar etc.  Today that is considered hoarding.  Mother considered is prudent.

Cheers from New Zealand

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Eutectic posted this 21 June 2022

Mom and Dad grew up in the depression. Most people today do not have any idea how bad government economic ignorance can make life. We kept staples in stock, wasted little. 

A greenie friend saw the multiple cases of engine oil in my garage. What do you need all that for? Answer: "It was on sale and it will not go bad, and I will use it". It has increased in value faster than my bank account! 

I kept about 3 years of components in stock. Probably should have kept 5. My powder planning could have been better, I will correct that when supplies improve.

Newbie reloaders will learn or run short. 

Steve

Steve  

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MP1886 posted this 21 June 2022

Jeff, it's true what you said, but today things are different.  Remember when we were kids the grocery stores had 50lb or more bags of flour, potatoes, etc., not today because many have turned to fast foods and TV dinners rather then cook their meals like our folks did.  

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max503 posted this 21 June 2022

I'm still shooting........for now.

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358156hp posted this 22 June 2022

Greed. Pure and simple.

Now that it is known that buyers will pay this price, it will now become the price.

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Ross Smith posted this 22 June 2022

Wait till Lake City cuts back 1/3.

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Tim DeMarais posted this 22 June 2022

Given the current cost of living and value of the dollar I expect expenditures on all hobbies, shooting included, will be down. Some people will pay the current prices, but I think more will not, or will buy reduced quantities. Prices should come down over time although they never completely recover due to the increased cost of production.

I find it helps to have relative comparison on prices. When something seems expensive I compare it to the cost of gasoline. So at the moment a box of primers is about the same as a tank of gas! Now I feel much better. Then again, I am not driving much either.

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Brodie posted this 29 June 2022

They don't want you shooting and they only want you driving an electric vehicle.  We all should have gotten that message by now.

B.E.Brickey

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JeffinNZ posted this 30 June 2022

Bought 1000 Federal 209A shotgun primers yesterday.  NZD200.00.  That's approx. USD125.00.  

 

Alliant rifle powders.  NZD134.00lb.  Approx. USD83.00.

Cheers from New Zealand

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rhbrink posted this 30 June 2022

Another alternative to a flintlock is one of the very high pressure air rifles.  I have a friend that has a friend who has one of the Airforce brand in 357.  He has killed a few deer with it.  All you need with them is lead and air compressor.  You can get a hand pump but the are slow to charge the cylinder.

[The political conspiracy theory part of this post has been removed.  John] 

Check out https://rockymountainairgunchallenge.com/rmac2022 look through that and see what the first place winner received for the first place finish $20,000 bucks! Another class was $20,000 to but not sure just what that class was. Second was $10,000 in both! Maybe it's time to start a CBA Air rifle Class, I have a 30 cal pellet mold but have not had much success with it yet but have not spent much time with it yet either. I've been spending most of my time trying to get my cast bullet rifle up to speed and worrying about primers and powder!

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Wineman posted this 03 July 2022

As a spry youth in the 1960's a dollar bought about $0.90 of stuff. Today it buys $0.29 worth of things. In addition the cost of everything has escalated by 4X. The days of supporting a family on an entry level job are far behind us. Still we have it better than many other places, but the tea leaves seem to say that lean times are coming. Zombies are not the issue. People who want your stuff are. As Ed says: "have good neighbors and make sure you are watching each others backs".

Dave C

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Rich/WIS posted this 04 July 2022

Did a bit of calculating and using current prices and assuming primers at $100/K and powder in the $50/lb range and J bullets at $30/C can hunt with my 30/40 for about $15-16/box of 20. Roughly half of what factory ammo costs now.  My cast 30/40 loads would run 25 cent each with the same numbers.  Shooting my 45 ACP or 38 Spcl would cost about 13 cents each.  Certainly a lot more than the "good old days" but still not a lot of money for a helluva lot of fun.  Pricier yes, but hardly the end of the world, and would not be surprised to see prices drop some before they finally stabilize. OTOH I don't burn up a lot of ammo on my once or twice a week range trips and my heart goes out to those whose ammo consumption, rifle or pistol, is a lot greater then mine.

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Clod Hopper posted this 05 July 2022

Supply and demand set prices.  We have had an enormous increase in demand of primers and ammunition in the last few years.  According to my sources, primer manufacturing requires an enormous up front investment and takes years to get on line.  Primer manufacturers have to ask themselves will the market still be there in that period of time?  As we have seen with Lake City, the Government may try to ban or limit ammo to the private sector.  

And I admit that I have hoarded more components than I really need for the foreseeable future because we may be trading ammo for food and other necessary items in a few months.  I have an 85 year old buddy who flatly states he will be arming the younger generation when the time comes.

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John Carlson posted this 06 July 2022

Even if Jason Vanderbrink of Vista is being honest about the inability of his industry to ramp up production in response to the demand it doesn't explain the prices.  While availability of powder tanked for quite a while what I did see was not priced exorbitantly higher than I expected.  As availability has improved I have bought the powder I've "needed" at a lot closer to $30 a pound than the $50 mentioned a while back.  When I started to load for a new-to-me cartridge I was able to acquire the brass and dies for normal prices.  While there are signs of recovering availability and some price moderation, primers remain the outlier.

On a brighter note a company called Expansion Ammo seems to think the market warrants investment in converting an old army ammo plant to primer production.  Even if they only produce shotgun primers it has to help some.

In the mean time I'll keep watching for a good deal on a flintlock.

John Carlson. CBA Director of Military Competition.

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RicinYakima posted this 06 July 2022

Flintlock, a mould, wheel weights and a fire. You can make your own black powder. 

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Eddie Southgate posted this 19 July 2022

As a spry youth in the 1960's a dollar bought about $0.90 of stuff. Today it buys $0.29 worth of things. In addition the cost of everything has escalated by 4X. The days of supporting a family on an entry level job are far behind us. Still we have it better than many other places, but the tea leaves seem to say that lean times are coming. Zombies are not the issue. People who want your stuff are. As Ed says: "have good neighbors and make sure you are watching each others backs".

Dave C

 

Dave C ,

You might want to adjust your figures . In the '60 s I bought gas for .29 or less per gallon, yesterday it was $3.99 down from the $4.09 that it was on Sunday at the same station. In the '60 s and '70 s a pack of Camels cost .27 , now they are more like $8.00 . In the '60 s I gave less than $5.00 for the only box of .357 Magnum loads I ever bought , now it's more like $50.00 . All of those things are government controlled and heavily taxed.  Some people want all three items to go away period .

Grumpy Old Man With A Gun......Do Not Touch .

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John Alexander posted this 19 July 2022

Do you remember what you got paid per hour in the 1960s? 

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delmarskid posted this 19 July 2022

I got .50 for mowing a lawn. My brother and I split 15.00 for baling hay for a week.

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Aaron posted this 19 July 2022

If memory serves me, I made $1.49/hr at Gino's flipping burgers in High School.

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Boschloper posted this 19 July 2022

I was making $1.75 an hour when I bought my first can of Red Dot. I think it was $4.69.  That would have been 1973.

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John Carlson posted this 20 July 2022

All those numbers from 50+/- years ago are interesting but irrelevant.  The point is the disparity in the prices and availability over the last couple of years.  Pretty much every class of merchandise has experienced unprecedented volatility.  In the ammo/components world we live in primers have been the glaring outlier.  Brass, bullets, powder, reloading tools, all have seen modest price increases and improving availability.  Loaded ammunition saw shortages similar to the last episode of panic buying and hoarding.  The highly sought after 9mm and 223 ammo disappeared for a time but is now available albeit with a price increase around 50% at least in my neighborhood.  Primers are still quite scarce and those I do see come with price increases approaching 300%.  Hopefully as Expansion Ammo gets its operation up to speed the introduction of new competition to the industry will have a positive effect.

 

John Carlson. CBA Director of Military Competition.

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lotech posted this 20 July 2022

What is "Expansion Ammo" ?

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John Carlson posted this 20 July 2022

What is "Expansion Ammo" ?

 

Ammo production company in Texas (naturally)

 

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=2ahUKEwiKwqKUvYb5AhX7nWoFHUygCNMQFnoECAYQAQ&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fexpammo%2F&usg=AOvVaw2BygsxuGZ1MGJcuLSg_THO

John Carlson. CBA Director of Military Competition.

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JimmyDee posted this 21 July 2022

Bought 1000 Federal 209A shotgun primers yesterday.  NZD200.00.  That's approx. USD125.00.  

US$100 per 1,000 primers face-to-face is what they were getting at last weekend's meeting.  I'm tempted to break out the improvised munitions field manual and read-up on re-manufacturing primers.

Alliant rifle powders.  NZD134.00lb.  Approx. USD83.00.

That seems very high.  Sorry for folks in NZ but I'm glad I don't need any.  For now...

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Ken Campbell Iowa posted this 21 July 2022

...about 1956 i re-capped shotshell primers ... made a little split tool to center the anvil and pressed in new primer caps ... from ( i think ) Alcan ... worked fine, about half the cost of new ones ...  

cokes were a nickel ...

ken

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RicinYakima posted this 22 July 2022

I have a large lot of 1918 Western 30/06 cases that were made to shoot grenades; they take the primer from the center of the shotgun shell. They are available for postage!

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hporter posted this 22 July 2022

Ric,

If those take the 209 primers, I would love to have them.  I have a couple thousand 209 primers and have sold my reloaders.

Harold

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RicinYakima posted this 22 July 2022

No, they take only the center primer, not the whole cup. I don't load shotgun shells, so have nothing to measure them by. You are welcome to them for postage. Ric

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hporter posted this 22 July 2022

Thank you.  I will send you a PM.

I will have to study up on how to disassemble a primer safely.

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