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Old May 19, 2012, 09:58 PM   #1
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Ammunition price history?

Hi all

I am trying to find a resource regarding the historical pricing of ammunition. I figure I've got a 50/50 chance of having the folks who reload their own on this forum being the most sensitive to this issue. Either that, or because you reload, you don't care.

I found a thread here on TFL but there wasn't a ton of info.

I found a much more thorough post over on Calguns.net - which had excellent detail. But, that one is about 5.5 years old, and consequently does not have recent years' data reflected in the info they had available.

Love to get some good info and trying to figure out where to look.

ZAG
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Old May 20, 2012, 09:07 AM   #2
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Although the results would not be 100% accurate, could you use an inflation calculator to get you in the rough neighborhood?

http://www.westegg.com/inflation/

I plugged $10.00 in and chose 1890 - 2010. That $10.00 in 1860 came out to $239.72 in 2010. It also has a reverse feature that said the same $10.00 in 2010 would be .42 cents in 1890.
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Old May 20, 2012, 11:05 AM   #3
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The old ammunition catalogs from UMC and WCC, USCC, KINGS, PETERS, etc etc always listed the costs per 1M cartridges. These catalogs have all been re-printed.
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Old May 20, 2012, 04:34 PM   #4
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Thanks for the ideas

Hi guys

Thanks for the ideas.

The inflation angle is a good method for overall commerce, but doesn't reflect the vagaries of supply & demand. So it can be significantly off for any given commodity, even when viewed over a long period.

As for the catalog approach, do you recommend any particular source for the reprints?

Thanks,
ZAG
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Old May 20, 2012, 07:24 PM   #5
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Hello, Zombie. Try abbybooks@comcast.net. They have copies of most of the ammunition company catalogs, and all of the old Ideal handbooks. Very high quality!
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Old May 21, 2012, 06:37 AM   #6
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What time frames are you trying to nail down, or are you trying to paint a broad picture?
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Old May 21, 2012, 10:58 AM   #7
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In the last three years, 100 round 9mm Winchester White box has varied from $17.98 to $26.98 to unavailable at the local Wally World. Current price is $23.98 (they just added $1 in the last month).
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Old May 21, 2012, 02:31 PM   #8
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I have a partial box of 20 Western Super X 270 cal x 150 grain Power Point (soft point) that was purchased circa 1965 that has a price sticker on it of $6.99.
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Old May 21, 2012, 08:53 PM   #9
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Academy used to sell Blazer Aluminum 9mm for $3.86 a box and Winchester Brass for $4.99 a box. Those were sale prices in maybe 2003?

I've still got a lot of it, but don't have the receipt to verify the date.
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Old May 22, 2012, 01:13 PM   #10
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Ammo price history

I am looking at last 20 years as a whole. I can use inflation over that time to make a comparison to the catalogs. That should at least partially isolate the supply/demand element.

I will try abbybooks.

Sport45 - what case qty was your example?

I am looking mostly at extremely common calibers. 9mm, 40 and 45. I figure 223 and 7.62 would also be useful.

One last question. Based on the 1965 ammo mentioned, it sounds like shelf life not a significant issue if stored properly. Correct?

ZAG
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Old May 22, 2012, 01:40 PM   #11
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Quote:
Based on the 1965 ammo mentioned, it sounds like shelf life not a significant issue if stored properly. Correct?
Correct. Ammo stored in cool, dry conditions will last a long, long time. I have fired shotgun shells that were older than I am, and I'm over 50 years old. For a while, in the service, we routinely fired ammunition that was over 20 years old.
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Old May 22, 2012, 04:10 PM   #12
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I've been reloading since '65 so I don't much care. I do know prices have fluctuated but the trend has always been UP. All prices. (And the more Gov. 'helps' us, the higher prices go. If they 'help' us much more I'm gonna starve... while sitting in the dark at my old home in foreclosure beside an auto with an empty tank.)
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Old May 22, 2012, 07:44 PM   #13
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Quote:
Sport45 - what case qty was your example?
That was the price per box. They didn't care how much you bought.
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Old May 23, 2012, 06:44 AM   #14
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Post 1986, when large quantities of surplus military and foreign commercial ammunition was again allowed in the United States, ammo prices started a protracted decline.

In 1983 I was paying upwards $20 a box of 50 for American Eagle 9mm, about the cheapest I could find, and the selection wasn't exactly great.

By 2000 I was finding that I could buy a similar 9mm cartridge for as little as $5 for 50.
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Old May 23, 2012, 04:08 PM   #15
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I've been a reloader / off and on / for the last 50 yrs....so I don't really watch retail prices that much....

But over the last 20 - 30 yrs ....I think the price is also based on popularity of the caliber you're looking at ....with calibers like 9mm ...growing a lot in the last 10 yrs ...and a lot more companies getting into the supply chain, like S&B a few yrs ago, it drove the price on 9mm down a lot about 10 -12 yrs ago.../ where in the early 80's the cost of 9mm ammo was partly up - because the demand was probably way less...and fewer companies were probably producing it.

I know calibers like .357 mag....that were really popular in the 60's and into the 80's ....kind of went out of favor ...and I see a box of .357 mag is now up over $ 25 for a box of 50 again ..( and I reload it with a premium bullet for about $ 7 for a box of 50 ).

So I think somehow you have to account for the trends in the ammo business on the retail side ...and popularity of calibers...and how it varies as new mfg's came into the mix - especially as suppliers like S&B, RIO, etc came into the picture worldwide...and even old line companies like Federal ...expanded some of their product lines to be mfg'd overseas....and sometimes they are marketing ammo that is shipped in today under names of their affiliates.

Its hard to track what some of these companies are doing ...who owns who...and somehow figure that into the mix for your analysis.
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Old May 23, 2012, 08:49 PM   #16
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All good info thanks

Hey all

Thanks for the great ideas. Yes, the vagaries of supply & demand are precisely what I am trying to illustrate. If I can get a history for even a single manufacturer for one caliber listed (ideally 9mm or 223) then I think I have a winner.

ZAG
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