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Thread: Ammunition Shortage

  1. #1
    Boolit Master Handloader109's Avatar
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    Ammunition Shortage

    You guys think that there there isn't a lot of folks buying ammo? I'm posting an email from Fenix Ammunition up in MI, they were the ones who were asking is you were a Biden voter and not letting you buy ammo if you answered yes. Got an email saying they were updating their stock yesterday and I went out there 20 minutes after 10 am and stock was zero....
    Here's why. And his numbers add up.

    [https://ecp]TrainingCompetitionDefensiveFrangible

    A Quick Follow-Up on Yesterday’s Inventory Listing

    Considering the current demand and the number of customers who were not able to complete their purchase yesterday, we wanted to provide some data as to the size of the problem we are trying to solve as well as answer some basic questions:

    Q: Did you actually list anything yesterday? Or, ever? I never seem to be able to get any ammo.

    A: On February 25th we listed 300,000 total rounds listed at 10AM EST, just as we said we would. 100,000 9mm 115gr were sold in under 60 seconds; 100,000 9mm 147gr were sold in under 110 seconds; 100,000 9mm 124gr were sold in 2 minutes and 45 seconds.

    Our last inventory update on February 11th took approximately five minutes to sell the same quantity of ammunition. So far in 2020 we have posted four separate inventory updates totaling 1.2 million rounds which have lasted a combined total of 20 minutes. We do not expect things to change in the near future.

    Q: There must be a small number of wholesalers buying up all the ammo to resell at higher prices. Can you put a limit on quantity?

    A: We could, but this is not what is happening. Yesterday we processed 568 orders, which means the average order was approximately 500-750 rounds. Even if we limited orders to 1,000 rounds it would not have changed the outcome in any significant manner. Our in-stock notifications had more than 50,000 signups in February alone and there is simply not enough to go around.

    Q: I think there are people using bots or automated accounts to check out quicker than other people. Can you put a stop to this?

    A: We know some people are quicker than others, but we have no evidence that they are using bots or automated tools. Even if they are, we are not sure how to solve that issue aside from adding more layers of onerous check boxes or captcha-type security to our checkout process. Unfortunately, our ecommerce platform does not offer this type of security and we are not going to move our website to a different platform just to solve this issue.

    Q: How can I speed up the checkout process?

    A: There are two things you can do – first, create an account on our site. When you are logged in, your shipping information will be pre-loaded in the checkout process. Second, use Google or Apple to save your credit card information on your phone, tablet, or computer. This way, you can eliminate having to manually enter the information. For security purposes, we do not have a way to save payment information on our site, so you will need to use a third party service on your device to do so.

    Q: I had ammo in my cart, and before I could enter my credit card information, it disappeared. What’s the deal?

    A: The shopping cart does not “protect” your purchase until payment has been processed. We do not have the ability to add a protection timer to our website. We are a small business, not Ticketmaster or Bud’s Guns. We don’t have a full-time staff of web developers. At this time we do not have a solution for this problem and we do not anticipate having a solution in the near future.

    Q: Can’t you guys work faster, put out more ammo, update inventory on a more regular basis, etc.?

    A: Guys – if we could, we would. We are working on automating our quality control process to a greater degree and we are working to eliminate some inefficiencies in our process, but the supply chain is still a limiting factor and it will not be resolved any time in 2021. Rest assured we are not sitting on a warehouse full of ammo or components, just waiting to see people struggle. Component prices have gone up on EVERY SINGLE ORDER WE HAVE PLACED with our suppliers in the last eight months. We are a small company, and we can only control a small part of the manufacturing process.

    Q: Can I just give you my credit card information NOW, and you can ship me ammo when you have some available?

    A: Sorry, we really wish we could take pre-orders, but we cannot. If we took a pre-order from every person who has asked us to do so, we would never have anything to list on our website. We get hundreds of these requests every month and all of them get turned down. We are trying to keep the playing field as level as we can.

    Q: Where is the defensive 9mm ammo?

    A: We likely will not have defensive ammo available for at least a year. We cannot get the projectiles we need from Speer. We are looking into sourcing our own independently manufactured projectile, but this is a process that will take time, and we have many other issues that require our attention at this moment.

    Q: I used to be able to buy your ammo for much cheaper. Why are you guys “price gouging”?

    A: If you think ammo prices are going up for no reason, we are not sure what to tell you. The demand is outrageous – worse than the industry has ever seen. The supply of components is nearly nonexistent, and thus, the prices of those components have gone up significantly to the manufacturers. We are paying six to seven times the price for primers that we were paying in February 2020 – IF we can get them at all.

    We really wish we could get back to normal, but that is not likely to happen any time soon.

    We thank all of you for your support and continued patronage during these crazy times.



    Sent from my SM-G892A using Tapatalk

  2. #2
    Boolit Master

    Rcmaveric's Avatar
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    They are having the same problems the rest of are having. If we can't find primers odds are they can't either.

    Sent from my SM-N970U using Tapatalk
    "Speak softly and carry a big stick; you will go far."
    ~Theodore Roosevelt~

  3. #3
    Boolit Bub


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    So this begs the question... if a FFL licensed manufacturer of ammunition is saying that the reason for their higher ammo prices is because they are paying six to seven times the price for primers... then the primer manufacturers are the ones driving the price increases.
    And if you are listening to the primer manufactures, they are saying they are doing everything they can to meet demand, practically running 24-7. Well, if they suddenly have a 600% profit margin, why aren’t they reinvesting that into increasing production capacity?
    Something ain’t right in this equation... somebody is getting over someplace.
    Heck, why aren’t importers cashing in and importing primers, powder and other components from overseas?
    73’s DE
    Matthew

    “Those who give up essential liberties for temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.” – Benjamin Franklin

  4. #4
    Boolit Man


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    You guys realize this is cyclical and gets worse everytime right? Trust me... its industry wide. The bug guys are cranking out at max capacity. The average Joe is panic buying and the middle man is getting rich. In 2-3 years, they'll be giving stuff away again. We did this in 2015. I work first hand with the ammo industry. I deal with this daily. I promise you, no one is holding back, and the only price gauging is taking place at a local store near you.

  5. #5
    Boolit Buddy
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    Just glad I learned from some of the last ones and have enough to do mostly what I need and can mostly trade for the rest. Hope it gets better and cheap again!

  6. #6
    Boolit Master Murphy's Avatar
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    I'm not surprised that 300,000 rounds of 9mm sold out in 6 minutes or less. I realize that not everyone is a fan of Gunbroker, nor cares to buy or sell on there. However, it seems to be a good gauge as to what is happening in ammunition pricing and availability, or the lack there of. Over the past 5-6 months, I have watched the prices climb, and climb, then after the election it sky rocketed.

    I was having a hard time trying to wrap my mind around who would pay $650-$700 per case of 1,000 for simple ball 9mm? Apparently, a lot of people were and are. Not everyone reloads their own, and seemingly the majority of them do not cast their own. I can't see a recreational shooter spending that much for a case of 9mm. If they were worried about civil unrest, what are they going to do? Fight a war with a Glock?

    And then there are the gun ranges who will not allow handloads on their range. Kick, cuss, scream all you want. It's their stick and ball, if you want to play it will be by their rules. And yes, they were making money off the ammunition, the same as it cost to rent a shooting lane. And a lot of those, will not allow people to police the very brass they just bought. I'm not sure how well the gun range business is going for some these days. But they're feeling the pinch the same as the rest of us, you can count on that. Fortunately, I live in a rural area and this is not a problem for myself and many others.

    I was just thinking of the Tulsa spring gun show the past few days. I live in Oklahoma and have only been twice. It's more than I care to walk through in a day, yes, it truly is that big. I wondered what if 1 million primers were available at that show at a decent price how long they would last? Even if limited in quantity? I'm thinking about as long as a stick of butter tossed on a red hot frying pan. Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas and Kansas have 513 combined counties. And, there's someone in every one of them right now who would jump on a 1000 primers at $150-$200 a brick.


    Murphy
    If I should depart this life while defending those who cannot defend themselves, then I have died the most honorable of deaths. Marc R. Murphy '2006'.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mmacro View Post
    So this begs the question... if a FFL licensed manufacturer of ammunition is saying that the reason for their higher ammo prices is because they are paying six to seven times the price for primers... then the primer manufacturers are the ones driving the price increases.
    And if you are listening to the primer manufactures, they are saying they are doing everything they can to meet demand, practically running 24-7. Well, if they suddenly have a 600% profit margin, why aren’t they reinvesting that into increasing production capacity?
    Something ain’t right in this equation... somebody is getting over someplace.
    Heck, why aren’t importers cashing in and importing primers, powder and other components from overseas?
    Its the middle man charging those prices. Not the manufacturers. Shipping is also getting tough for hazardous materials.

    Sent from my SM-N970U using Tapatalk
    "Speak softly and carry a big stick; you will go far."
    ~Theodore Roosevelt~

  8. #8
    Boolit Buddy
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    So how much was/is Fenix charging for 1000 9mm 115 grain cartridges?

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    Some people view paying $1 or more per round for 9mm, .223, .45 etc. astronomical and beyond their budget. Others view it as a minor inconvenience and will gladly pay that and more. I see people on various car forums who own expensive exotic cars buying up every case they can lay their hands on.
    On another hunting forum I visit one member mentioned his father in law buys every box of ammo he can find no matter what the caliber. You will not see this shortage getting any better for at least the next 18-36 months. Because once the prices do drop then the average blow will buy it all and the richer guys will continue to stock because the price has gotten better.
    Reload and stop worrying about it.
    East Tennessee

  10. #10
    Boolit Master

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    Something I noticed:

    The full story is over on the rimfire page, but today I was in at our local guy selling some factory .223.
    He had a better than average stock of ammo, but it was all different brands and odd & old labels.
    Sure it was at 'modern' prices, but he had a bunch in most of the favorite calibers.
    He was buying anything and everything he could get, and where ever he could get it from.

    Since getting back into reloading and having free range brass, catching powder & GI bullet pulls, or factory seconds
    at a good price, over the last 2-3 years I've loaded up all the .223 I'll ever shoot.

    I figured it'd be a good time to sell the 900 factory, bulk packed FMJ ammo
    I had left from a case I'd bought when I acquired the old Colt SP1, and wasn't reloading any more.
    It's decent stuff, but I'll never shoot it anyway since I have the slightly tuned down reloads that I like better.

    I went in and asked if he was interested in buying it. I really didn't think he would, sealed boxes or not.
    I could have gotten more by 'marketing it properly', but I really wanted a 'once & done' deal I could live with.
    I fully understand he isn't a retail buyer, but he jumped all over it and his first offer was $200 more than I thought I could get.
    Last edited by Winger Ed.; 02-27-2021 at 01:06 AM.
    Political Correctness and the cancel culture is only allowed to exist because of the coward culture.


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    In life: We are given tests, and learn lessons.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master


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    I've watched Fed 9mm HP go for more than $3 a round on Gunbroker lately.

    This is the fourth or fifth shortage I've seen. Anyone that thinks this is going away in a few years is kidding themselves. They always take a while to calm down, and that's after the pressure's off. The pressure won't be off for all of Uncle Joe's term and if we get a decent President after that it'll still take better than a year to come back to something resembling normal. If.


    Cat
    Cogito, ergo armatum sum.

    (I think, therefore I'm armed.)

  12. #12
    Boolit Master

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    I won't argue any of the points made. All I want is a level playing field. I can't sign into my account and get my CC out of my wallet before 800 gazillion (fill in the blank) get bought up. The market is rigged, like shills at an estate auction.
    You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life.
    Winston Churchill

  13. #13
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by monadnock#5 View Post
    I won't argue any of the points made. All I want is a level playing field. I can't sign into my account and get my CC out of my wallet before 800 gazillion (fill in the blank) get bought up. The market is rigged, like shills at an estate auction.
    But the playing field is level, other folks are just faster than us, have better intel or invested in technology to help. We can up our game, or choose to pay the higher prices.
    Sorry, it’s just the free market at work in a bit of a crisis.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master Garyshome's Avatar
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    I don't think production capacity can be increased over night. Most likely very specialized equipment and fed. regulations.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master Garyshome's Avatar
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    OK another Cycle of higher ammo costs? So how long have WE been reloading? Why was it that a slew of members are complaining of A lack of components? Why weren't the components purchased when readily available? Wasn't most or all of this stuff available in 2019 for reasonable costs? What were members spending their $$$$$$ on when they could have been purchasing primers/Powder/brass/boolitz?

    Anyone have a reply? I don't want to hear it because I purchased stuff when it was available

  16. #16
    Boolit Master Shawlerbrook's Avatar
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    Agree that we went through this before and we should have been prepared ( I am), but the shortages and gouging was never this widespread ( I mean just about every component, reloading equipment and every caliber of loaded ammo). Also, I do not believe that this will ever get to the point where( as someone above said)..”in 2-3 years they will be giving the stuff away”. There are just too many factors at play here, the virus, the urban racial strife and most impactful, the Democrats have a monopoly in DC.

  17. #17
    Boolit Man


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    I can you assure that more ammunition is being made than ever before. Now everytime I go to the range, it looks normal, if not fewer people due to price increases. It's simple supply and demand. Everyone bought everything they could get their hands on in '15 and then my company had lay offs in '16 because no one was panic buying anymore and most folks had stockpiled.

  18. #18
    Boolit Master
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    To be fair, in my 20’s I’d probably have spent my money on other things too and then complained about the result.

    I also think that inflation is going to catch us. Cheap energy and cheap labor have kept it in check, with various costs and benefits, but now we’re gonna be trying something new.

  19. #19
    Boolit Master
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    Primer loading is totally by hand, in an 80% humidity environment, ankle deep in water wearing conductive rubber boots. The process is tedious. Yet there are still accidents.
    QUIS CUSTODIET IPSOS CUSTODES?

  20. #20
    Boolit Master uscra112's Avatar
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    Having been deeply involved in engineering automation for the auto industry, it pains me to see that the primer making process is still done by hand. This is a prime candidate for robots with vision systems if nothing else.
    Eleutheromaniac

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check