The State of the Industry As Seen From Deep within the Heart of Flyover Country

Boch Ammunition shelf
A scene from Wally World in The Time Before (Image by Boch)

Here in the midst of America, these of us in our regional Guns Save Life group hear a variety of views from native gun trade insiders. Some have shared their observations up to now few days on gun and ammunition availability. Much of it’ll scare the empty brass off of people that prefer to shoot – or who want to shoot.

If you’re like anybody who’s been paying in the slightest degree of consideration for the final 12 months, you already knew ammo was scarce. But chances are you’ll not have identified in regards to the value hikes. Or how these valuable few who’ve ammo secured it.

Hopefully this can assist on a regular basis folks perceive simply how voracious at present’s client demand for ammunition is true now.

Ammo: Supply & Demand Economics

Welcome to the most important scarcity of client ammunition since World War II. You thought ammo provides appeared scarce in early 2013 and once more early in 2020? Welcome to 2021, the 12 months of the empty ammo cabinets – for many.

Gun things to eat in shops stays someplace between extraordinarily scarce and non-existent. Just a few retailers have ammunition, however you because the client, can pay dearly for it.

Meanwhile, some retailers do have ammo in inventory. Those retailers that shaped buy agreements straight with factories obtain their product by the pallet on a reasonably common foundation. Other massive, cash-flush gun retailers have teamed up with their friends to purchase imported ammo by the transport container as a part of group buys.

Yes, most of the gun store/indoor vary services earmark much of that ammo for vary and sophistication use, however a few of it’s accessible to the general public, normally with buy limits to make it last more.

On the opposite hand, sellers who all the time relied on distributors for his or her provide should get by on the dribs and drabs that come by the system, a case right here and a case there. Sure, distributors have agreements with factories too, however with a whole lot of shops wanting each spherical that’s accessible, 100 instances of ammo don’t go far.

Gun retailers which have maintained their pre-”market rush” revenue margins are rationing product to clients to maintain provides from promoting out in mere minutes. Other retailers have hiked costs dramatically to counter the hoarding.

At the identical time, producers have reportedly utilized at the least three separate 15% value hikes on their merchandise over the previous six months or so for one native gun store. That’s roughly a 52% enhance within the wholesale value of ammo for them.


As an instance, 9mm is the most well-liked caliber of handgun ammo. The days of $10 or $12 bins of 9mm follow ammo are gone, a relic of The Time Before. Anything underneath $25 per container of 50 rounds is a downright cut price at present, in response to one in every of our sources.

Just a few retailers have 9mm with out buy limits – however they’re asking at the least $1 per spherical.

And then there’s this . . .

100 rounds of 9mm Winchester White Box for $119.89. Plus $16.95 for transport and your state’s gross sales tax. Call it $1.50 per spherical.  Screencap from Cheaper Than Dirt web site.

Online, for in-stock product, costs begin at about $.70 a spherical or so earlier than transport prices and gross sales tax. Meanwhile, self-defense rounds are promoting for about $2. Each.

Rest assured manufacturers continue pumping product out as fast as they can, however the demand outstrips manufacturing by a large margin.

It’s nearly like gun house owners have grow to be piranhas.  An e-mail from Fenix Ammo in Michigan describes it completely.  But first, who’s Fenix Ammo?  The firm achieved some national notoriety recently by refusing to sell to Joe Biden voters.

They additionally had been cited for failing to wear masks in Michigan.  Their response:  “Guess who isn’t doing business with law enforcement agencies ever again?”

They sent this out in an email to customers in late February:

Q: Did you truly checklist something yesterday? Or, ever? I by no means appear to have the ability to get any ammo.

A: On February 25th, we listed 300,000 whole rounds at 10AM EST, simply as we stated we might. 100,000 9mm 115gr had been offered in underneath 60 seconds; 100,000 9mm 147gr had been offered in underneath 110 seconds; 100,000 9mm 124gr had been offered in 2 minutes and 45 seconds.

Our final stock replace on February 11th took roughly 5 minutes to promote an identical quantity of ammunition. So far in 202[1] we’ve posted 4 separate stock updates totalling 1.2 million rounds which have lasted a mixed whole of 20 minutes. We don’t anticipate issues to vary within the close to future.

That ammo wasn’t low cost, both. Fenix charged $31-34 per box of 50 rounds of that aforementioned product. And that they had a complete lot of patrons. One man didn’t say, “I’ll take all 100 cases of that.”

Meanwhile, follow rounds of one other fashionable caliber, .223/5.56 ammo are promoting for wherever from $.80 to $1.50 per spherical what place accessible. If you need to luck out and see some for 50 or 60 cents per spherical, you actually ought to purchase all the shop will let you’ve gotten.

Image by Boch

Got an ammo fort?

Do you’ve gotten an ammo fort in your basement? Are you contemplating promoting some ammunition to pay on your child’s faculty tuition?

Think lengthy and laborious. It could also be a lengthy time earlier than you should buy a case of ammo at something that was thought of an inexpensive value once more. Or even choose up a number of bins in a single excursion to the shop on account of strict rationing in most shops that really have product.

“Normal” ammunition inventories gained through a win’t return any time quickly and once they do, our sources inform us you’ll yearn for the costs you had been paying a 12 months or two in the past.


At final, firearms have begun to reach at sellers in bigger numbers. But in lots of instances, there’s catch.

Distributors, looking for to unload slower-moving merch from their warehouses are continuously bundling the hottest-selling, most fascinating firearms with much less fascinating product in package deal offers. While his helps distributors clear their cabinets, it burdens native retailers with stuff their clients don’t actually need.

Not solely that, however the wholesale firearm costs proceed to climb. For occasion, these semi-automatic pistols that offered for across the $500 mark simply earlier than COVID at the moment are $600-700 weapons in lots of locations, if you will discover them. Remember that fashionable SIG P365 you noticed for $499 in early 2020? It’s in all probability promoting for nearer to $599-$649 today. Or extra.


Thankfully, one vibrant spot in the meanwhile entails magazines. Most forward-looking retailers have stocked up on mags. For now at the least, they continue to be plentiful. Unlike ammo and weapons, costs haven’t (but) spiked, however that may change quickly if the “high capacity” journal ban makes progress in Washington.

The US House will take up gun management laws quickly, and can probably move a ban on manufacturing of ordinary capability magazines and possibly some semi-auto firearms. That will kick off yet one more shopping for frenzy, particularly for AR-15 magazines.

If you want magazines that might be coated by a “hi-cap” ban, now could be the time to top off.

Scarcity to the horizon

Given the Democrats’ and the BidenHarris regime’s eagerness to embrace gun management measures, excessive volatility, shortage and better costs will probably stay the norm for fairly a while to come back. A 12 months from now, a greenback a spherical is perhaps the brand new regular.

Here’s some sage recommendation: If you discover ammunition accessible for something approaching a sane costs in shops, purchase it. Even for those who don’t want it, there’s a robust probability somebody in your circle of mates does. Do them a sq. they usually’ll probably reciprocate down the street.

In the approaching weeks and months, look ahead to tales about native regulation enforcement businesses scrambling for ammunition for coaching and qualification. At the speed it’s going, they are going to be begging, borrowing, and stealing from members of the group to have sufficient ammo to do their legally-required trainings and certifications.

Those departments which have constructed quite a lot of goodwill amongst their communities will in all probability have a better time getting ammo from inside their jurisdictions than departments that deal with gun house owners poorly.

Here’s the high-res model of the featured picture if you wish to have a look at costs from The Time Before. Note that these 100-round Winchester White Box 9mms had been on sale at a Walmart for $17.97…or about $100 much less, per container, than Cheaper Than Dirt offered them earlier than keen customers purchased all of them.

Image by Boch. September 3, 2019. Pontiac Illinois.  Right-click “view image” to see full measurement.

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