Are Primers getting easier or harder to find?

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bchannell

Bearcat
Joined
Mar 12, 2003
Messages
14
Location
Parkersburg, WV USA
I recently bought 5K LP primers, but had to buy on an aution site. Everyone in our club is wanting primers but none to be had and we're getting some disgruntled members who we can't fill their needs. Seems everyone wants a couple thousand. How's it looking elsewhere?
 

slippingaway

Blackhawk
Joined
Oct 19, 2007
Messages
525
Location
Strum, WI
Same as it has for the last 9 months, except when it comes to Wolf primers. There the only ones to be found. Luckily, they seem pretty good.
 

sixshot

Buckeye
Joined
Aug 20, 2006
Messages
1,835
Location
soda springs, idaho
Me & a couple of buddies just got 35,000 pistol primers, $28 a thousand, they're starting to show up, you just have to keep beating the bushes to find them.

100_2147.jpg


Dick
 

jimbo1096

Buckeye
Joined
Jan 10, 2005
Messages
1,937
Location
Alexandria, LA USA
They are way overpriced, still somewhat scarce and I won't buy at those prices listed above. I can still find a dealer or two that hasn't tried to scalp their customers. Still the difference from $14.95 a thousand to $39 is still a hefty price increase.
 

Yosemite Sam

Hunter
Joined
Mar 18, 2002
Messages
2,113
Location
Cape Cod, MA, USA
They're back in my local chain store here, at $3-$3.50/100. Limit 4 per person, per visit. I've seen both CCI and a Remington brand the store never carried before (green and orange). According to the manager, they've all but given up on AllSport, the big distributor, and are beating the wholesale bushes themselves to get stock in. They recently started carrying Blazer and B. Brass ammo, which they never carried before.

Commercial .38 special is now going for $17/50. Ouch.

-- Sam
 

volshooter

Buckeye
Joined
Apr 12, 2002
Messages
1,524
Location
EAST TN, USA
Gun show in Knoxville TN last week end primers were fetching $35/1000. I suspect panic buying is over and prices will come down.
BTW componets, bullets and powder were almost back to January 2009 prices.
I would strongly suggest no of us give in to panic buying.
 

Rick Courtright

Hawkeye
Joined
Mar 10, 2002
Messages
7,821
Location
Redlands CA USA
Hi,

I went to a local gun show in June where they had a long line at the primer tent. They were charging in the range of $30/1000, but imposed a limit of 2000/person. They ran out about midday.

Since then, I haven't seen anything locally. I checked Powder Valley the other night, and they said they're not taking any more primer orders until they can start clearing some of their existing backorders--about 50 MILLION!

Dunno if it's "panic" buying now, or just the "be prepared" mentality starting to take hold?

Rick C
 

Rclark

Hunter
Joined
Jan 1, 2009
Messages
3,286
Location
Butte, MT
Hasn't changed around here.... Shelves are not even coming close to filling.... Bullets, powder, primers, cases .... Dust is starting to accumulate I think!
 

mt

Single-Sixer
Joined
Dec 22, 2008
Messages
290
Location
Rocksprings, Texas
I ordered 5k Wolf Large Pistol and 5k Wolf Small Pistol from Wideners a couple days ago. I've never used Wolf but I'm not out yet and I've no intentions of being out.

mt
 

Yosemite Sam

Hunter
Joined
Mar 18, 2002
Messages
2,113
Location
Cape Cod, MA, USA
Oh yeah, forgot to mention: We can get primers now, but now powder is hard to find.

Geez, first the "metals market" driving up the cost of components, then a primer shortage, then a powder shortage. Sure feels like a rigged game to me.

I have heard that S&B, as well as a couple other companies, are now looking at importing primers since CCI/Olin apparently don't want to sell to the consumer any longer...

-- Sam
 

Rclark

Hunter
Joined
Jan 1, 2009
Messages
3,286
Location
Butte, MT
since CCI/Olin apparently don't want to sell to the consumer any longer...
Now where did you hear that?

FYI, I just stopped down at the local Bob Wards and they had both Large and Small Pistol primers on the shelf. CCI and Federal. Not stacks of it (less than 10 boxes). I bought a 1000 Small Pistol Primers as I was getting low. $35! :eek: .

Won't buy the powder though.... $27 a pound for Unique. :eek: .
 

slippingaway

Blackhawk
Joined
Oct 19, 2007
Messages
525
Location
Strum, WI
I picked up primers and powder from Wideners about a month ago. Wolf primers, 2k LP and 2k SR, along with 8 lbs of Win AutoComp and 8 lbs of H322. It's irritating that my normal pistol powder (w231) is never available, but I just took it as an opportunity to use a new powder that I've heard good things about.
 

Yosemite Sam

Hunter
Joined
Mar 18, 2002
Messages
2,113
Location
Cape Cod, MA, USA
Rclark":2uvizsbf said:
since CCI/Olin apparently don't want to sell to the consumer any longer...
Now where did you hear that?
I didn't mean to imply the company was "officially" taking this stance, it just seems to me that if they were actually interested in this market they'd increase production. Things have been artificially tight for over a year now, so long that other companies are stepping up to service consumers. You can only squeeze the market so much.

-- Sam
 

Rainman

Blackhawk
Joined
Mar 13, 2009
Messages
505
Location
Land of the Cherokee , Georgia
Sportsman's Warehouse in Chattanooga gets a few 1,000 on the truck on the weekend but they are gone by mid day Sunday. No powder or bullets to speak of at all except rifle calibers (not .224).

Primers in the small LGS are non-existant and have been that way for awhile.

Some Alliant and Winchester powders are surfacing in the the small shops.

Very frustrating for those of us searching for SR primers and Varget.

Dan
 

Rick Courtright

Hawkeye
Joined
Mar 10, 2002
Messages
7,821
Location
Redlands CA USA
Yosemite Sam":1lscbqrn said:
it just seems to me that if they were actually interested in this market they'd increase production.

Hi,

Let me toss out some random thoughts I've had over the years... not that I'm gonna be right on any of 'em, but they've kept me thinking.

Some 25 or more years ago, my brother and I were headed to a club skeet shoot, and we were talking about the fact there was a "shortage" of primers or powder and prices were going up way faster than they should. He was wondering out loud why they didn't step things up just as Sam did.

I made the off the cuff comment that I thought the American ammunition companies only stayed in business for the civilian market to give them something to do in between wars, when military contracts became Job One.

Today, we see a certain amount of that in play w/ respect to certain ammo. It might be a world wide problem, too: at the same time we couldn't get .223 or 5.56x45 ammo not so long ago, neither could we get 7.62x39 cuz our factories were feeding "coalition" demands, while somebody else's were providing for the various "bad guys" we've been involved w/ for a while.

So, if a plant can be kept occupied full time making military ammo, and has to let the civilian market lapse a little, I can see the bean counters telling the production managers "Let 'er rip" w/ the military ammo, and when that demand's satisfied they can get caught up w/ civilian demands. I'm sure the military contracts are more lucrative, too: even if the Army and Marines pay exactly what we might for the same round, there's an economy of scale involved in keeping the line set up for a single round and making kazillions of 'em versus making a couple million of one caliber, switching over for the next and so forth.

Right now, it looks like our factories have a big commitment to military ammo, w/ SOME overflow capacity for civilian ammo, but they're not looking to expand because they haven't a clue what the demand's gonna be once the "panic buying" settles down. And even if it's not "panic" buying, how much is being purchased right now just to "be prepared?" For example, I used to buy primers by the 100 at the LGS or maybe 1000 at the range, cuz I knew I could go back to the store the next week and get another 100 (or 1000), no problem. Today I'll try to buy several 1000 if possible, because I don't know what's gonna be on the shelf next week, next month or whenever. It's not that I'm loading more or shooting more, I'm just inventorying more, getting away from my former "just in time" mentality. The time will come that I have enough "stuff" I won't need to be buying for quite a while. I've never had an original thought in my life, so I know someone else out there's doing exactly the same. It doesn't take too many of us to overwhelm the system.

Then, if the words from Ruger management mean anything in the ammo biz, which I think they do (Ruger paid its first stock dividend in some time earlier this year, but mgmt's position in announcing it was "Don't expect this surge to last"), nobody wants to jump into a big expansion right now because of the fact that "panics" tend to blow over and the market rights itself. If I ran a plant, and looked at the guys who managed to get that 35k primers in another post, one important question would cross my mind: "When will they need more?" If the answer's not soon enough, I'm likely to be hesitant to expand when I might have to continue paying for that expansion in a down economy.

If the answer's next month, my plans will certainly be different than if the answer's sometime in a year and a half!

We also need to look at how big OUR demands are in the grand scheme of things. I mentioned in another post that Powder Valley's backordered some 50 million primers. That's a big enough number to keep most of us busy for a long time, but if the total production of primers in this country's measured in the BILLIONS, how big is our "need?"

I heard our Federal rep put something like this in perspective once as the trap shooters at our range were expressing their indignation at a proposal to drop one of their favorite Federal target rounds. The rep tried to explain that even though we shoot millions of them, it's not enough to attract the attention of the bean counters. As he put it, "We sell more shells for the first three hours of opening day of dove season than we sell trapshooters all year!" I got out my calculator later, and it appeared he could easily be spot on...

And finally, just how big are the ammo plants? Are they similar in size to the gun companies? I once read an article about S&W that said they had about 600 employees just a few years ago, and I believe Federal Cartridge has about 1000. It wasn't that long ago that Ruger was at around 1250. Even if they've all grown a bit since these numbers were valid for sure, these are NOT big companies! Look around you at other industries: after massive layoffs before the bankruptcy, GM was expected to lay off ANOTHER 20k in the b/k! I have a feeling our gun/ammo guys could fit their entire operations in the broom closets of many "big" industries...

I also have a feeling we're just gonna have to ride this one out and make do w/ what we have and can get for a while longer, because I think the mfrs are looking at forces we might not, and their decisions are more far reaching than our immediate wants and needs.

But don't get me wrong: I'd LOVE to see 'em ramp up the production of components, but if they're already running 24/7 at full capacity, I don't expect to see it happen except incrementally.

Let's hope I'm wrong on all my thoughts this time, eh?

Rick C
 
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