Ammunition Prices: An 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.


  1. people better start buying as much ammo as you can get.before these next four years are gone you wont be able to get it at all.And you sure are going to need it

  2. You guys should relaize that price has not risen becasue of the president. It has risen because of the price of materials needed to make the ammo.

  3. while I do agree now that ammo stockpiling is on the rise, It was the president {Candidate at the time}who wanted anything above Grandpas 410shotgun considered a possible assaujlt weapon.

  4. Steve Scott says:

    Well, aside from people stockpiling, there’s this to consider:

    Zinc and copper (components of brass) and lead prices are up. In 2008 they were double what they were in 2005. Production of these metals hasn’t always kept up with demand over the last five years. China has announced that they’re tripling their copper reserves, and copper is also slated to go up after a very recent drop in price (when it was high for some time).

  5. F N Disgusted says:

    I can’t believe how gullable most of you people are? Someone says higher taxes on ammo or rising metal costs and it’s a mad dash to the sporting goods store. The ammo company’s and a few politicians are laughing all the way to the bank and getting rid of there stockpile of ammo. Funny thing the only ammo thats really flying off the shelves is the handgun ammo. Why not the rifle and shotgun as well.

    Those of you who are buying into this obvious fear tactic and buying up all the ammo as soon as it is in stock you are the ones who are creating the shortage.

  6. Thanks for stopping by, Disgusted.

    I guess things may be different in the Charlotte area, however, here in Florida (and in many other areas of the country) it is very difficult to find any ammunition: handgun or rifle. In fact, 30-06 and 308 are two of the most popular selling right now…when you can find it.

    As far as these “stockpiles” you are referring to, please let me know who has them. Not the ammo companies I can assure you. I’ve been in contact with most of the major manufacturers of ammunition, and everyone of them has empty warehouses. As soon as the ammo is made, onto the truck and out the door it goes.

    If you know of a manufacturer with a stockpile, let me know. I have a AR-15 magazine test coming up and I am having a hard time locating enough .223 to do the evaluations.


  7. Bobbye and Steve,

    You are absolutely wrong. Prices on components have dropped dramatically sense 2005. Copper and brass have lost 50% or more of its value sense then. This is all a manufacture scare to do just what is intended, make you go buy ammo at inflated prices. Richard, if ammo companies are finding it hard to produce ammo, then why have the MFG. been laying people off? I hate to put the tin foil hat on but here it goes. This is a ploy pure and simple to make less product and more money. Now, as far as the new administration is concerned, I am sure they want to ban/tax ammo to the extreme but I need some to explain why Winchester, Remington, or any other MFG is not running 24/7 to make product? Why are we not hearing about a new plant opening to keep up with the new demand? Look at the cost increase. I would say its on avg. of 100% to 150% and in some case (5.56 for instance) its as much as 300%. This increase took place in a matter of about a 3 to 4 month span and you cant tell me the cost increases in making ammo is that radical. No commodity in the world moves that fast. $10 and $12 bucks for a box of wolf .223 ammo…..thats retarded. We are getting ripped and thats all there is to it.

    • In many cases, the manufacturers are increasing production, but they have to realistically look at things. They know that sustained demand is likely to wane…but they don’t know when. It is not good business planning to spend millions on a new factory that will take months or years to build for a demand that will likely fade before the factory is complete.

      Also, the ammunition companies are making money in this business climate (as well they should!), but demand at the local level is what is driving a lot of the prices upward. For example, here in my area, WalMart may receive 10 boxes of .223, which they sell for $18. One of the local gun dealers has a guy waiting at the sporting goods counter when the trucks come in. As soon as the ammo comes out, he buys it, and then the gun store sells the same box for $35.

      So, please, leave the tin foil hat in the drawer. It is all simple economics: supply and demand are at work. Yes, demand is being driven by valid concerns about the current administration and a government that is not responsive to its people. But, if you do not buy ammunition at prices you think are too high, you cannot get “ripped.” It is up to the individual to make a determination of he or she wants to pay today’s prices. The prices next week may be lower…or higher.

  8. Folks…a LOT of ammo is currently being used. Thousands and thousands of rounds are being shot every day. There are currently more Mercenaries in Iraq than there are military armed forces. The military produces its own ammo…the mercenaries do not, they buy from retailers at wholesale levels…and they’re buying it by the truckload as fast as it can be made. Mercenaries do not abide by ROE and shoot just about anything that moves. Manufacturing resources are geared toward supply of the most desired calibers so the manufacturers make whatever caliber they have the most orders for. This is business 101. Hence, NATO calibers are the most likely to be found on store shelves…at inflated prices, no doubt. I travel the country and shoot about 200 rounds every other weekend and have no trouble finding .223 or .40 ammo. I just have to pay exorbitant fees for them.

    Now, pass me my tin foil hat so I can blame this on some government conspiracy (chuckle).

  9. Too funny, admin. I like that (chuckle).

    Let’s not get our panties in a knot. Read this:

    And if you’re looking for .223 by the case, try Dong’s on Admiral in Tulsa, OK – or Gary’s Gun Shop in Vidor, TX. If you can’t get it, it’s you’re fault because I certainly have no problem at all. I bought two cases last week along with half a case of .40. Even picked up 3 boxes (20 to a box) of Remington .35 for my Marlin.

  10. Thanks Earl, I hadn’t seen that write-up. Makes sense. I couldn’t figure out why surplus ammo was so high if it was a matter of rising raw material costs since most of that stuff was manufactured in the 50’s-80’s. So everyone stop buying ammo for a month so they can catch up and the prices can come down!!

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