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Old November 27, 2020, 09:16 PM   #51
Road_Clam
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Commander47
seems to me that if the demand is that high, the manufacturers would be running the mills day and night. Better is more, and more is greater profit. Basic business.
That's a wonderful couch assessment of the ideal business strategy, but the reality is that manufacturing plants only have "X" amount of employees that can work "x" amount of hours. To INCREASE production takes ADDED worker resources. There's only two options, have established workers work longer overtime hours, or hire new inexperienced workers. Training new hires takes established workers away from their normal productive tasks, which actually LESSENS production, and takes months to effectively train new hires. All this is not even factoring in the adverse employee affects that Covid19 places on manufacturing facilities. Health comes FIRST, not product production. Plain and simple the established primer manufacturing industry was blindsided by this abrupt current panic, and they are not going to substantially increase production to meet a proven in the past volatile "here today, gone tomorrow" type of demand.
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Old November 27, 2020, 09:42 PM   #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Commander47
I just can't help believe this shortage crises isn't a bit contrived.
I don't think it (the shortage) is contrived. I think it's the result of a perfect storm: the convergence of an election that holds gun rights in the crosshairs, the coronavirus, and the "mostly peaceful" riots in major cities such as Seattle and Portland.

I had a chat today with a recently-retired FFL. He still has contacts at the BATFE. He said there are more than 5 million new gun owners in 2020 -- and the year hasn't ended. Numerous other sources agree with that estimate. So let's assume that each of those 5 million new gun buyers each bought two 50-round boxes of ammo. That's 250 million rounds of ammunition -- over and above what all the existing gun owners (many of whom sought and are seeking to stock up because of the election) bought.

The ammo makers are running at full capacity, but because they got burned the last time when they increased capacity and then demand dropped off, this time around they are consciously deciding NOT to expand and add new capacity. They'll do the best they can with their existing capacity, but they aren't planning to increase capacity.

The biggest bottleneck is primers. As I posted above, even small ammo manufacturers can't get primers. If you can't get primers, you can't make ammunition.
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Old November 27, 2020, 10:15 PM   #53
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"If you can't get primers, you can't make ammunition."

Beware that the Democrats pick up on that - great silent move for gun control. Have Fed Govt buy all primers and/or tax them heavily to increase prices and decrease demand.
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Old November 27, 2020, 10:19 PM   #54
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I cant speak for the ammo industry but if it is anything like the construction industry we are having a helluva time putting out product because of material shortages due to covid and trucking employee issues related to the china virus, and plain ole employee shortages because of the china virus, those who actually have it, and those who are afraid to come to work and risk getting it, I haven't been able to get my favorite soft drink for nearly a year now.
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Old November 28, 2020, 03:58 AM   #55
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As a last resort--I just discovered I had a "lost" stash of 209 primers--I have enough of them to use them in my muzzleloaders for at least several years.
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Old November 28, 2020, 06:00 AM   #56
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Quote:
"If you can't get primers, you can't make ammunition."

Beware that the Democrats pick up on that
They had it all laid out in (IIRC) 1972 when Pat Paulson was doing his Presidential run on the Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour.

Paraphrasing now, it has been a while!, when he was talking about gun control, Pat
said 'I not gonna take away your guns, just your ammunition'.

Although the show was in jest, it did strike me that he might have a valid workaround for restrictions.

Been stocking up (or keeping myself in supplies) ever since.

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Old November 28, 2020, 08:15 AM   #57
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"While I also have been thru all those previous shortages and agree with "Stop panicking", I'm afraid the "eventually" will be a long time in coming."

Yes, just like it has taken SEVERAL YEARS for every one to settle out and things to return to normal supply chain.

The early 1980s, the mid 1990s, etc... every one of them took 2 to 4 years for people to settle down, production to come back on line (when caused by production interruptions), and the supply chain to re-establish itself.

Every time I've seen people yelling 'AH MAH GERDS! THIS IS END TIMES! PRIMERS/AMMO/POWDER/WHATEVER WILL NEVER BE AVAILABLE AGAIN! GET USED TO PAYING $50,000 FOR A SINGLE PRIMER!" and so forth and so on.

Quite simply, it doesn't matter what the root cause of the supply problem is, it only matters that it will eventually settle down.

So, once again, people need to stop panicking and get used to the fact that it's going to be kind of tough to get some things for awhile, and prices are going to correspondingly high for awhile.
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Old November 28, 2020, 08:23 AM   #58
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"You would think 9mm, 223 and .45 would be in short supply.

That is not the case, .380 and .38 are critical. That is absurd, in my opinion. Someone is providing 7.62x39, 40 s and w, 12 gauge, 22 LR, 223, .45 and 9mm.

Some others are driving up the price of .380 and .38."

Because ammo manufacturers are concentrating on producing the rounds with the highest demand.

.38 and .380 aren't rounds with the highest demand, so lines producing them have been switched over to... 9mm and .45... you know, the rounds that have the highest demand.


Back in the mid 2000s, when Obama was rattling on about gun control, rounds that I like, like the .32-20, the .44 Special, the .41 Magnum, pretty much disappeared...

Because manufacturers switched their production lines to the ones with the highest sales demand.

You think any manufacturer is different?

Hey, we have a daily demand for 5,000 pickup trucks and only 400 sedans. If we switch sedan production over to pick up trucks we can just meet the demand for pickups. Otherwise, we over produce sedans and wildly underproduce pickups.

You think the auto maker is going to keep churning out sedans that don't sell and not supply the demand for pickups using available production capacity?

That's what ammo manufacturers are doing right now, readjusting their lines.
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Old November 28, 2020, 09:17 AM   #59
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Ironically, this chat started with the "supposed" shortage of primers.

There are really only two sizes of primers. It's not like you have to be an atomic scientist to run the primer line.

I would submit that the "shortage" of .380 and .38 is definitely contrived.

.380 and .38 are in "tremendous" demand. Of the hundreds of different calibers available why is it that two of the top 10 calibers in America are in short supply?

The .380 shortage started before the current shortage. Every gun show I go to I run into folks searching for .380.

I believe it is because the profit margin on .380 and .38 is not high enough for the manufacturers. Just like .22 used to be.

Why would .22 ammo EVER be in short supply? But it was.....when it was .05c a round. Now it's 15c and seems to be everywhere.

Same with .380 and .38. If you find ANY .380 for less than $1.00 a round these days that is considered CHEAP.

These are small pistol primers. But the shortage started before that, and now is just worse.

IMHO, part of the problem is that a lot of folks use .380 and .38 as self defense rounds, and don't tend to shoot as much as us avid devotees of the sport.

Now, with the current climate, a lot of folks are dusting off their pocket pistol autos and revolvers to hone their skills and stock up.

But the shortage of those two calibers started before this current crises.
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Old November 28, 2020, 11:28 AM   #60
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I scored a 1000 count brick of CCI large pistol primers at Scheels All Sports last week for 40.00. No other primers were available. hdbiker
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Old November 28, 2020, 01:16 PM   #61
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Scene: A good local gun shop, with an 'adequate supply' of reloading components. A guy walks in the door, loudly proclaims to the owner - "I want to buy 60,000 primers, any kind." -- Owners reply - "Go right back out the door - I'm not selling any primers to you gougers." -- True story - upstate NY.
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Old November 28, 2020, 05:29 PM   #62
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Awesome...now if I could find some down here...
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Old November 28, 2020, 07:26 PM   #63
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Commander47 View Post
.380 and .38 are in "tremendous" demand. Of the hundreds of different calibers available why is it that two of the top 10 calibers in America are in short supply?

The .380 shortage started before the current shortage. Every gun show I go to I run into folks searching for .380.
I don’t understand your post. Every caliber is in short supply right now. You could buy cases of .380 or .38 Special back in February for under $250 delivered to you door. I have emails from vendors earlier this year with these prices. Every caliber from .22 Short to 50 BMG have jumped 300% or more in price.
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Old November 30, 2020, 05:14 PM   #64
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Commander47
There are really only two sizes of primers. It's not like you have to be an atomic scientist to run the primer line.
Four physical sizes, as large pistol are 0.009" shorter than large rifle. Thirteen types that I have noticed; twenty-six when you count lead-free "green" versions of each, and I haven't included the five or so different sizes of Berdan primers or the various special military odd temperature range ones used to ignite special pyrotechnics, like aircraft ejector seats:
  1. 209 Shotgun primer
  2. Small Pistol Standard
  3. Small Pistol Magnum
  4. Small Rifle Standard
  5. Small Rifle Magnum
  6. Small Rifle Standard with military sensitivity spec (Federal)
  7. Small Rifle Magnum with military sensitivity spec (CCI)
  8. Large Pistol Standard
  9. Large Pistol Magnum
  10. Large Pistol Standard/Magnum combined (Winchester)
  11. Large Rifle Standard
  12. Large Rifle Magnum
  13. Large Rifle Magnum military sensitivity spec (CCI)

Several deadly explosion accidents at primer facilities have occurred over the last decade. Very expensive to set up to manufacture and comply with regulations and afford the insurance. It took CCI eighteen months to set up the last additional primer line they built. Forbes says none of the manufacturers believe the current panic buying is going to be permanent, so they aren't making the investment in more facilities as they got burned last time they employed that strategy.
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Old November 30, 2020, 06:04 PM   #65
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Quote:
so they aren't making the investment in more facilities as they got burned last time they employed that strategy.
Makes sense..but I wonder if that strategy can come back to haunt them--we will all remember this forever and change our buying habits to laying in a horde to last years, and at some point demand could nosedive once the public has more ammunition stockpiled than all the ammo used in WW2.
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Old December 1, 2020, 09:21 AM   #66
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One piece of good news, I read that Vista was hiring back furloughed workers for the Remington ammunition plant. Under prior mismanagement it was down to 400 from a normal of 700 and a peak of 1000.
So there's an increase in production without buying new equipment or training new people.
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Old December 1, 2020, 09:31 AM   #67
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Since it is the case that primer manufacturers are funneling all their primers into ammunition manufacturing (meaning reloaders cannot get replacement product), where is the manufactured ammunition?

I haven't checked lately at my LGS, but is the ammo supply picking up?
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Old December 1, 2020, 10:06 AM   #68
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Read the Forbes article I linked to in post 26. Then read this one. It's not just a matter of supplying ammo makers and it isn't just that demand is high (read this one, too), it is also that COVID-19 has resulted in a large reduction in the amounts of ammunition and primers and powder that are normally imported. Especially ammo from Russia and other inexpensive sources that normally supply a substantial portion of the market. Take that supply away, add an NSSF estimated 7 million first-time gun owners stocking up because they finally saw on TV for themselves that even if the police want to protect you from rioters, a lot of politicians won't let them do it and instead want to defund them. So, they finally figured out they have to protect themselves.
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Old December 1, 2020, 11:13 AM   #69
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I bought the max allowed (200) SPP at Scheels MN two weeks ago for $3.49/hundred. I have a Scheels within five miles of my house so it was easy to go in once per day. They must have received a large supply because I know a number of people that did the same.
I stopped at 800 just to let others that were in need pick some up.
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Old December 1, 2020, 11:50 AM   #70
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I back off the contrived statement.

This is 100% our own fault: gougers and hoarders.

It is total insane madness.

It's way way beyond ridiculous.

https://www.gunbroker.com/item/885807300
https://www.gunbroker.com/item/885588582
https://www.gunbroker.com/item/885877747
https://www.gunbroker.com/item/885769564
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Old December 1, 2020, 01:11 PM   #71
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Those prices are certainly the result of market forces reflecting the desperation of some handloaders. Of course, there are probably some sellers who are out of work and genuinely need the money to keep their families fed, but I would guess they are mainly just opportunists.
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Old December 1, 2020, 02:33 PM   #72
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What primer shortage, i'm well stocked. i have a couple thousand primers from the "Clinton will outlaw reloading" panic.
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Old December 1, 2020, 02:52 PM   #73
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Well stocked means different things to different people. I compete in IDPA and USPSA with at least one and usually two matches a week. In good weather, a couple thousand primers is a couple of months' supply. So when I bought 15,000 primers last fall when Winchester was giving rebates, I wasn't hoarding, I was buying in reasonable quantity to spread out the shipping and hazmat.
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Old December 1, 2020, 03:38 PM   #74
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Yes, the term "hoarding" seems to mean different things to different people. The people without something seem to use hoarding as a derogative term against people who had the foresight to obtain things when they were readily available.

Don
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Old December 1, 2020, 07:16 PM   #75
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Irwin View Post

Back in the mid 2000s, when Obama was rattling on about gun control, rounds that I like, like the .32-20, the .44 Special, the .41 Magnum, pretty much disappeared...
Actually during the start of the Obama/Sandy Hook shortage was the first time I saw more than one brand/load of .41 Magnum on the shelves locally, for a while at least. I watch it but basically only hand load .41 because the prices are obnoxious at best.

Now .25-20 was another story.
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