The Soaring Cost of Ammunition

300 AAC Blackout Ammo

Blame it on the weakened dollar, the worldwide demand on metals, the demand on existing stocks of ammo, or all of the above. The fact is ammunition is getting much more expensive.

How much more expensive? Well, I pulled out one company’s catalogs and looked at the numbers. Here is what I found:

ManufacturerLoadJan '07Mar '08Apr '08
Sellier & Bellot9mm 115 gr FMJ$8.97$9.79$11.49
.40 S&W 180 gr FMJ$12.97$14.79$15.97
.45 ACP 230 gr FMJ$13.97$15.95$17.97
.223 55 gr FMJ$6.29$7.97$8.97
7.62x39 122 gr FMJ$9.97$9.23$8.78
Federal American Eagle9mm 115 gr FMJ$8.32$12.97$12.97
Remington UMC (green box).38 Special 130 gr FMJ$11.06$16.30$16.30
.40 S&W 180 gr FMJ$12.44$18.90$18.90
Wolf.223 55 gr FMJ$2.48$5.97$5.97
7.62 x 39 124 gr FMJ$2.27$4.59$4.59

As you can see the prices have gone up significantly across the board. What you may also notice is the price increases are not done yet. The Sellier and Bellot ammo showed a noticable increase in cost from the March to April catalogs.

The price increases match what I have seen in the local gun stores, other catalogs, and even at the local Walmart.  I talked to one local dealer who said his wholesaler has been increasing prices, and he (the retailer) in turn has to increase prices to maintain the ability to make a profit.

The bottom line is you should buy what you can now, because prices are not going to be dropping in the near future.

November 2008 Update

Back in March, I wrote about the soaring costs of ammunition.  Later the same month, I let everyone know about the pending price increases by ATK, the parent company of Speer, Federal, and CCI.  Now that a few more months have passed, I thought some of you would be interested in seeing how much prices have increased since the first half of 2008.

Ammunition Cost Increases 2007-2008

As you can see, price increases continue at a staggering rate.  The prices were all taken from a major vendor’s monthly catalog and I used cartridges that I could locate in all three catalogs for the comparison.

Now, think about this.  Ammunition prices are driven by two factors: scarcity and demand.  With President-elect Obama coming to power in about two months, I guarantee that demand for ammunition is going up.  This will increase prices, as will the shortages experienced by your dealers because of the demand.

I hope you already have the ammunition you need.  If not, keep an eye out for deals, but I imagine they will be few and far between.  Not to be alarmist, but ammo shortages could be a reality.  Get what you need plus a little more.  If things get really expensive, and shortages start, you will be very happy you invested now.

I do not think we will see sub-$10 boxes of handgun ammunition again, but I really hope I am wrong.  If the economy is hurting, inflation starts to hit and we have an anti-gun president in the White House, ammo will be darn expensive.  Whatever you buy now and store will be good in five, ten or even 20 years.  Ammo does not go bad, and ammunition price increases are coming.  Do not doubt that.

January 2009 Update

I documented the rising cost of ammunition in November when I compared prices of various brands and loads from a major ammunition supply company to their prices from March 2008 and January 2007.  Many of you said prices would fall for a variety of reasons.  The good news is that, in some cases, you were right.  However, the bad news is many of the loads are out-of-stock and you just can’t buy them.

Ammunition Prices Increase Expensive Ammo

Obviously, shopping around is always to your benefit.  For example, Natchez Shooters Supplies just sent out an e-mail this morning stating the American Eagle 9mm 115gr FMJ is in stock and on sale at $9.99/50.   Similar deals can be found on other brands and loads by taking a few minutes to hit all of your favorite online gun shops to compare prices.

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About Richard Johnson

Richard Johnson is a gun writer, police trainer and really bad joke teller. Check out his other writing in Combat Handguns, Guns & Weapons for Law Enforcement, on The Firearm Blog and at BlueSheepdog.