Saturday, June 10, 2006

The Great Ammo Drought of '06.

SayUncle mentioned the rising cost of 7.62x39mm ammo, and offered an explanation.

While the order of a bazillion rounds of 7.62 for the Afghanis might mean the supply of commercial Wolf/Barnaul ammo remains scarce, it doesn't account for the fact that it has been scarce for almost a year now, and that the scarcity of imported Russkie 7.62x39 is not necessarily directly linked to the price of its domestic alternatives.

Here's a typical conversation I have with a supplier:

Me: "Get any Wolf 7.62x39 in yet?"

Wholesaler: "Hahahahahahahaha!"

M: "Okay, what's the next cheapest thing you have? PMC? Got any of that?"

W: "Nope, we ran out of that, and we won't be getting any more, now that PMC is out of business."

M: "Crap. Okay, what's the next cheapest? Winchester Q3174? American Eagle?"

W: "All I have left is a couple of cases of American Eagle."

M: "I guess I'll have to take it, then."


Thing is, the domestic companies never loaded all that much 7.62x39, since most shooters simply burned up cheap imported Wolf by the case. Then Venezuela bought 100,000 AK's and the ammo to feed them last summer, and that dried up the Russian ammo flow like somebody turned off a tap; the domestic production never really caught up to the increasing demand. If this Afghan contract happens, it'll be another long drought until we see more cheap imported ammo. 'Til then it's going to be brass-cased domestic stuff or nothing, and with metals prices and fuel costs both up, ammo is more expensive than ever. I've seen two or three price hikes from every manufacturer and distributor since last October, with some brands and calibers going up by as much as 20%. Of course, this affects all ammo, not just 7.62x39mm. Combine that with the shortage of Winchester .22 ammo caused by Winchester moving rimfire production to a new facility in Arkansas, and you have a recipe for scarcity and high prices all across the ammunition landscape.

Hoard you some ammo today. :)

11 comments:

LawDog said...

PMC went Paws Up? Is someone else going to be making the StarFire line of ammo?

Heartless Libertarian said...

Still no shortage of surplus 7.62x54R.

All hail the Mosin-Nagant!

Ow, my shoulder hurts.

Porta's Cat said...

I have about 2500 rounds stashed, but I guess this means (in typical fashion) I will now be afraid to shoot any of it!

BobG said...

Time to start reloading.

BryanP said...

I've got maybe 500 rounds of wolf around here for the AK. Not that I shoot it much these days. Thank god for .22lr.

T.Stahl said...

My local dealer told me that the owner of PMC changed and the new one is against selling ammo (and components) to the civilian market.

Fairlane64 said...

I'm still kicking myself for not purchasing more of that $70 per 1000 rounds of Wolf JHP you could buy just a couple years ago.
Now if only my wages could keep up with the gas prices and ammo... :(

Gewehr98 said...

Gotta love my Dillon RL-550B and 7.62x39 dies. Ammo shortage? What ammo shortage?

Fairlane64 said...

Yes Gewehr98, I'm starting to think that might be the solution. I currently reload all my own 9mm and 45ACP, might was well get the stuff I need to start loading 7.62X39 too I guess...

Diamondback said...

I've recently started reloading 45 Long Colt for cost reasons myself. the advantage of being able to try different loads is an added bonus.

Anonymous said...

Now for more bad news. Winchester has also told it's distributors to not expect any .223 for the rest of the year. 9MM and .45ACP will continue to be sporadic, cowboy rounds will be hard hit, though American is suppose to be gearing up for rifle and pistol calibers. Alot of the smaller manufacturers are getting hit hard to, Corbon/Glaser and Strike Three are non exsistant, and Fiocchi and Magtech live container to container. I've been told by a couple of the manufacturers that some rounds are on allocation, and everyone get's a sribble and that's it.
We live in interesting timss,...remember that is a curse in China.