Monday, June 01, 2009

Scalper's market...

Some people at the gun show this past weekend were so optimistic that they'd dragged old boxes of .380 out of their basement or off back shelves in the stockroom and had them sitting on their tables for forty or fifty bucks a box.

Needless to say, there weren't many takers at that price point, but it's good to want things, I guess.

Meanwhile there was a trickle of various small-name local and regional reloaders selling every box they'd brought at $25.00-29.00/50. There're a whole bundle of little Econ 101 lessons in pricing signals and the Greater Fool Theory buried in there, but a lot of gun show vendors couldn't spell "Economics" (or "Customer Service" or "Salesmanship", for that matter) if you prompted them with a Taser.


Anonymous said...

"but a lot of gun show vendors couldn't spell "Economics" (or "Customer Service" or "Salesmanship", for that matter) if you prompted them with a Taser."

Now, you are talking about gun shows SOUTH of the Ohio River, right? All the stool sitters, er, dealers, I saw at the show in Indianapolis were well-educated, well-dressed, scrubbed and shaved, sparkling conversationalists, and insightful businessmen as well.

(Mocking gun dealers--now that just low hanging fruit, Tam, but I love it!)

Shootin' Buddy

Anonymous said...

While visiting family in eastern NC this weekend, we took in one of the local gun gunshows. Ugh, I wish I hadn't bothered. Ammo and reloading supplies were priced out of sight, with one table asking $90 for 100 38special reloads in a ziplock baggie. Yeah, I'm going to pay scalper's prices for ammo reloaded by someone I don't know and trust (I wouldn't pay $90/100 for 38spec regardless of the source). Primers were in the low $40s/1000, powders were all above $20 (including those normally in the mid teens), etc. Guns weren't priced too high, but I wasn't looking at evil salt rifles, just older S&W revolvers, various shotguns, and older hunting rifles. Being an out of stater, the only thing I could possibly buy were guns that fell into the C&R range.

Word Verification: stunn. Appropriate...


Tam said...

Ammo was fairly widely available, if spendy, at the Indy 1500.

PMC and American Eagle 9mm and .45 was everywhere, running ~$19/50 for 9mm and ~$28/50 for .45.

I saw one big local/regional reloader were selling .38 Spl plinking ammo for ~$38/100.

Primers were scarce and spendy.

the pawnbroker said...

curious, tam...what would you say the ratio of ffl's (bricknmortars and kitchentabletypes) to "private collectors" selling their cherished heirlooms (snicker) at that bigshow?

the larger shows in central fla had become pretty much licensed dealer only in the last decade or so, but the last time i hit the suncoast show in lakeland (march) the salesman of the year seemed to have brought the privateers back to the tables...that would have brought out-of-state chris back into the game.

as for ammo, at least there was some; i hit dicks while wifey shopped at the target at i-4 and us 27 on saturday and they none...i mean pistol calibers. plenty of scattershot and rifle cals., but zero for handguns...i would have thought production rampup would have trickled through the pipeline by now.


Ed Foster said...

Primers running $28.50/thou here in CT, but all you can carry out the door. Retail powder is up into the $20's, but for rifle stuff the surplus bulk is still less than $80per 8 pound caddy, and surplus 7.62and 5.56 bullets are three to four cents a pop plus shipping.

Let's see, 30 225 gr., 45ACP cast bullets per $.25 a pound chunk of linotype, less than a penny per projo.

1,400 shots per $23 can of Unique (the new stuff is COOL, same ballistics as the old stuff but totally clean). So far, we're up to about two and a half cents per shot.

Throw in the cost of a primer and bullet lube (I cut standard Lyman Lube 50/50 with a mix of beeswax and water pump grease), and we end up with a tad less than six cents per shot for full power, extremely accurate pistol ammo. Call it $3 per box of 50.

So I can shoot about 475 rounds of handloads for the cost of 50 factory rounds, with essentially no barrel wear.

One weekend of casting per year, and one Sunday afternoon of loading per month. No visitors, no radio, I'm way too ADD to handle the distractions, but there is a Zen to it when you get into the swing of the thing, and I feel like Midas counting his gold when I rack and stack several thousand rounds of nice shiny ammo.

Make the jump folks. A big part of owning firearms is the pleasure we get from having some control over our environment. You have more of it when you're your own ammo factory.

And you can tweak the loads to tune your weapon's accuracy, plus get hooked on the gearhead aspect of all the neat clickety-thump toys on your bench.

It rocks softly, with a mellow feel to it.

The Duck said...

I just sold 200 rounds of factory ok well Spanish 380 surplus for $40 & they acted like I was giving them a bargin, at the prices you listed I guess I was.

Rabbit said...

I saw 10 boxes of Fiocchi .380 FMJ at a well-known store in Ft. Worth Saturday. Priced at $49.95 per box of 50, they hadn't sold a box in 2 weeks, although prior to that, they had one person buy 5 at that price, plus a new .380 pistol.

I heard the store was getting in a truckload (semi) of ammo this week, and that their retail price is going back down when it hits the shelf.


wv=leadises: Leadises me to better priceses, pleases.

TJP said...

Ed, I don't know where you're finding primers for that price, but I'd recommend keeping it quiet. Someone took pity on me and I managed to get 1,000 primers for the 45s. I intended to buy more, but when I saw the total inventory, I thought of Tam and her encounter with the 9mm ammo, and decided against it.

Lead was so bad that I considered a non-ferrous metals dealer, but then a local club happened to be cleaning out their traps. Phew, that was a close one.

Anonymous said...

The local Wally World got in the first .380 I've seen in 3 months, Winchester White Box 95 gr FMJ, for just under $34 for a box of 100, but limit one per person (The only time I've ever seen our local store limit ammo sales). Over the past 2 months, I've seen Blazer Brass .40 S&W & 550 round bulk packs of Federal .22LR seem to turn up at least once a week. Last week, I saw the first .45ACP, .357 Magnum and 9mm I've seen on their shelves in months, along with 100 rnd Federal .223 bulk packs for $39.99. Oddly enough, they have never ran out of .44 Magnum and .357 SIG. Sure, everything other than .44 Mag and .357 SIG still leaves fast, but I'm starting to wonder if 9mm, .45, et al actually starting to show up again, even briefly, after nothing for 3-4 long months, are the first few sputtering starts of the ammo shortage bubble getting ready to pop way sooner than I thought possible. I can only hope…

atlharp said...

Gun Shows at this point are a waste of time. You may find some deals, but everybody has got dollar signs in their eyes. Give it some time and the market will adjust.

All I want at this point is primers......that's it. I got powder, I got crap loads of brass, and bullets thanks to my sainted father.

I haven't been shooting the last few days after being stricken with Shingles. I might go tomorrow if time permits.

Michael in CT said...

I agree with Ed (and by the way, Ed where are you getting your primers and why haven't we run into each other before, I'm in central CT ) you really need to start reloading, if not everything, then at least for the less common, more expensive, harder to get cartridges. I'm loading 38 Special for about $9 per 100 right now ($50/1000 for lead bullets, $30/1000 for primers, $10 for the 1/2 pound of powder). I didn't include brass because that is all brass I saved when I shot commercial ammo and I have gotten a minimum of a half dozen reloads per case. So start saving your brass, worst case you can sell it to your fellow shooters who reload.

Firehand said...

Last couple of shows here in OKC, .380 was going for $45-50/box. And sitting there.

Salesmanship? You mean like the clown marking bricks of primers $45 and getting all irritated when someone dared to ask "$45? Is that right?"

Ed Foster said...

TJP and MichaelInCT, it's the going price at several local shops for Winchester Large Pistol and Large Rifle (non-magnum) primers. Dave at Riverview doesn't seem to have any problem selling at under $30 per thou., and I bet Roger out at Hoffmans on the Berlin Turnpike isn't charging more than that either.

Michael, drop into Riverview and tell Dave it's O.K. for him to give you my cell number. We can burn a few pounds of lead at my club, only three or four minutes of off I-91 in Windsor.

If I don't pull my thumb out and answer you right away, it means I'm playing workaholic (dammit). Leave a message and I'll get back to you.

High Power Rifle in the open (bench and NRA match shooting)and pistols to 50 yards on the covered firing line, running boar @ 65 yards, plus trap if we want to lug the club trap machine down from storage two miles away.

Top of the Chain said...

Sounds like they were bitterly clinging to their beans and bullets...

Ed Foster said...

P.S., I have a buddy in the printing business who's sitting on a couple of tons of virgin linotype in 30 pound ingots. It's perfect for semi-auto handguns as is, or most rifle bullets, although I've been known to throw a bit of wheelweights in if I'm loading for some rifle bullets that need it.

Cut half and half with straight lead or old .22 rf bullets from the club backstop it would kick for 38 Special.

WV is porcwzx. I always thought the Polish word for pig was schveenya.

Anonymous said...

I feel for you ATLHARP. I had shingles for my 29th birthday.
I paid the $45 for large pistol primers at the Indy 1500, but I was running low on 45acp so didn't have much choice. The primers plus some venison summer sausage are all I walked out with. I didn't see any great deals, though I almost picked up a pink Beretta Neos for my girls.
I did see a Mare's leg, but it was priced out of my reach.

Michael in CT said...

Ed, I don't get up to Riverview that often, so if you want, shoot me an e-mail at Chantry36 at yahoo. My club is in Berlin and is about 10 minutes off 91. More of a plinking club, we don't have the space yours does.