Tuesday, August 05, 2014

.22 Ammo; $49 per Brick

At Centerfire Systems this week. It's ARMSCOR, which is pretty good stuff!


Jonah said...

It is still over priced. The industry is doing a disservice to the shooters.

Michael Bane said...

Demand determines price...that's pretty much the basis of capitalism. If I may quote Adam Smith from "The Wealth of Nations...", written the same year as America's birth:

“It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker that we expect our dinner, but from regard to their self interest.”

Simply put, the function of ANY industry, any company, to to make a profit for its owners and shareholders.

That includes both firearms and ammunition manufacturers. The ammunition industry has been beset by worldwide "megatrends" that I've identified before — soaring domestic demand as more shooters pour into the gun culture, existing shooters simply shooting more rounds than in the past, the explosive growth of the shooting sports, [totally legitimate] fear of increased government intervention and restrictions, continued military demand from both overseas actions and replenishing the national reserve after more than a decade of war, increased social "tensions," [which always translates into greater purchases of what the market views as "indispensable," basically "beans, bandaids and bullets"], international tensions, which siphons ammo out of the commercial market to countries preparing for war, the depletion of the great stocks of World War 2 and Cold War surplus ammunition in Europe, tensions with the Russians, which threatens the Russian ammunition pipeline that basically provides the lower half of the market, American environmental laws and opposition to the firearms industry in general that turns the permitting of something like a new ammunition plant into a years-long grueling marathon, huge increased demand on commodities like lead and copper from China, India, Brazil and other expanding economies, which in turn drives up the price of those commodities...

Heck, I'm surprised that the ammo market is doing as well as it is!

As I said at the beginning of this comment, the market ultimately sets prices...if you offer to sell a gun on GunBroker, you don't start out by saying, hey, I won't take ONE PENNY MOORE than $100 for this S&W Registered Magnum .357 N-I-B, all accessories, with box and papers, because I want everyone to have a chance to own one of these fine guns!

Rather, you say, "Bidding starts at $5000, and may the best person win!"

If you think that $49, or $59, or $69 is too much for a brick of .22, by all means DO NOT BUY IT! Reach out to your friends and urge them not to buy it at that price [and many people on various and sundry forums have done just that]. If the sales decline precipitously, the market will have spoken, and manufacturers will take one of 2 actions — cut the prices, lowering not only their margins, but the margins of everyone in the manufacturing chain, or make something else that provides a higher margin.

Keep in mind that ammo is very Old Skol Manufacturing...it doesn't lend itself as well to advances in manufacturing technique as, say, chip manufacturing...or even building 1911s.

All that said, a caveat...ARMSCOR and Hornady are sponsors of my shows. Make of that what you will...


Sheepdog1968 said...

Hi Michael,
Louis Awebucks passing has been tough on me. He came to my local range about a dozen times a year and I took many classes from him over the years. I feel very fortunate to have trained with him. His death made me realize that there others of his generation that I have wanted to take but have been putting off for no great reason.

I have signed up for classes from Scott Reitz (shotgun) and Clint Smith (urban rifle). Massad Ayoob (Mag 40) I will be taking as soon as the enrollment opens next year a range with one days drive of me.

Who else should I take classes from that is now in their 60s or older?

Also, most places shoot no matter the weather. I am fine for hot or dry cold weather. What gear can you reccomend for wet training weather? I don't have any good gear for that. Many thanks.

CJ said...

I'll sell my .22s before I pay that much for a brick of 22lr.

I paid $2.79 for a box (50) of American Eagle 40 gr. at the beginning of the summer. Ten boxes, $28 = a brick. Still overpriced, but not $50 per 500.

Anonymous said...

wet weather gear: Non-exclusive source is cabelas.com

Columbia also makes some great light wet weather gear. amazon.com


Vince Warde said...

Although Armscor is based in the Philippines, their .22 ammo is made here by BVAC. The headstamp and even the packaging is basically the same. IMHO, it is very good stuff. I laid in a good supply @ 20-23.00 a brick, pre-panic.

Michael Bane said...

Sheepdog...wow, that's depressing! I would strongly recommend Bill Rogers at Rogers Shooting School (http://www.rogersshootingschool.com). Period. Exclamation Point! If you have not taken a class at GUNSITE, you're missing something. There are some amazing instructors there with "grey hair" — Ed Head, Chris Weare, Charlie McNeese, Bill Halvosen (who has occasionally yelled at me a lot), Ed Stock, Lamonte Kinstel and Larry Mudgett pop to mind, but I'm sure I missed someone. Rogers and GUNSITE might be a reach, but they are the best in the world.

CJ, I remember "high octane" gasoline at the lordly sum of 25 cents a gallon...what I paid when I street-raced my Ford factory rocket Mercury Cougar as a kid, but I didn't give up driving when the price went up...although my current 2004 Honda Element probably isn't going to win many $25 off the line, $25 at the end of the quarter, challenges!

Sheepdog...layer layer layer...most of my wet weather gear is from REI...Also have Columbia...I usually go for as light as possible, but refuse to pay Arc'teryx prices! Expedition gear is from Marmot, a high price I was willing to pay. Hats are important...Tilleys work, or any kind of water-resistant hat you can snap up at REI...although to be honest my — SPONSOR ALERT! — Rand "Sporting Clays" hat has been soaked and brutalized many times...it's been rebuilt by Ritch Rand twice. Bring some kind of headband to keep your ears warm, too, or a watch cap... all last winter I used a Tactical Solutions swag watchcap for training. Unconditionally recommend Lowa Boots -- not a sponsor, BTW -- especially the various GTX lines in Gore-Tex. Mine are absolutely waterproof. I wear them hiking in the snow al the time. Smart Wool socks. Several pairs of gloves, from liner gloves to Duluth Trading work gloves to really warm mittens. I have used various "tactical" gloves, which aren't worth a crap in the cold.

Vince, can't speak to that. I've been to the ARMSCOR (sponsor) rimfire ammo factory in the Phillipines, but I don't know what goes where...


PS: BVAC (not a sponsor) makes great .22LR. I bought a bunch of it when it was DIRT CHEAP (hoarder alert!) and it runs great int eh semiautos and is very accurate. I hate their plastic packaging, though, since I manage to break open every single brick in about 2 minutes...

kmitch200 said...

Some of the golf wet weather outer layer gear is very lightweight, and easy to move in. (duh)
Prices vary from reasonable to are you f$%^& nuts?
Also, rain w/o a hat brim means you see only what the water on your eyepro lets you see.

Sheepdog1968 said...

Thanks Michael. Gunsite is on the list for 2016. I see that as sort of a pilgrimage and will probably start with pistol 250 and take it such that when it finishes on a Friday the alumni shoot is on the Sat. I will go to Bill Rogers in 2015.

Thanks for wet weather suggestions. Sounds like an REI visit is in my future.

Anonymous said...

Proud to have two classes from Louis.

Check out Randy Cain and Bill Jeans.

Bill Rogers and Randy Cain top my list. Some of the stuff Rogers does is just amazing.


alfsauve said...

Before the ammo crisis, CCI .22lr was selling at just under $9 per 100 in the local store. It's back now and still at that price. Which works out to $45/500(brick). Still don't see any CCI Standard velocity, but the "regular" (non HV, non Maxi-mag) will do.

What we really need now is reloading powder.

Vince Warde said...

I trust you 100%, so if you have seen Armscor producing .22 RF in the Philippines I'm sure that they are indeed doing so. That said, I have bought a lot of Armscor and BVAC. They look identical, have the same headstamp (which references to BVAC), are packaged in the same card stock boxes with a target on the inside, and shrink wrapped in the same way. In addition they shoot to the exact same point of impact. Now I have bought any in a while, so Armscor could be importing their own production now - but I do think that BVAC made the Armscor I currently have on hand.

Anonymous said...

Who are BVAC?

Vince Warde said...

BVAC = Bitterroot Valley Ammunition Company

Anonymous said...

Great site!