Component Prices and Time

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RCB

Bearcat
Joined
Jun 12, 2022
Messages
3
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United States
I'm just getting started with reloading (thanks in part to a new LCR .327) and have a question about component prices as I consider buying the components I can get now or waiting it out until we, hopefully, go back to better market conditions.
Sorry if my questions are too basic for this group. Feel free to tell me this is not the place for this post.

I've mostly been looking at components on Midway and Brownell's. What I've been seeing is:
-most powders at in the $30-40 per pound range depending on brand and quantity
-Winchester primers at 8-9 cents each with CCI No. 41 5.56 and No. 34 7.62 primers at 12 cents each
-.355 XTP's for 22 cents/bullet, .312 XTP's for 25 cents/bullet and .357 XTP's and FXT's for about 28-29 cents/bullet
-Hornady flat tail soft point .308's for 35-36 cents/bullet
-New Brass: .327 Mag at 35-40 cents/each, .30-06 at 70-85 cents/each, .357 Mag at 20-40 cents/each (I already have more 5.56 and 9mm brass than I will need in the next decade if I practice like I should)
Some prices are product on clearance (edit: and some currently unavailable).

I only know what 9mm factory prices were like pre-pandemic (17 and ~35 cents per round for my preferred budget WWB115gr FMJ's and JHP's, that was great). So my question is, are these prices worth jumping on now (were there's stock) or do you more experienced members suggest waiting it out? I'm in it for the long-term, so I'm generally able to wait the market out if necessary. Except for .327, I'm probably willing to buy at somewhat silly prices there because I have no stock.

Your wisdom is much appreciated.
 

NikA

Buckeye
Joined
Nov 2, 2014
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Yrisarri, NM- high in the Manzanos
These are the prices I remember from the 2016-2020 period. I don't really expect most of them to come back (can't reverse inflation from a practical sense) buy some things like primers are clearly panic priced versus more normal increases.

Primers: 40-50$/K, occasionally on sale for less than 30$/K
Powder: 20-25$/lb, cheaper in quantity
XTPs: 16-28$/box of 100. Low end corresponds to light .32 or .355 versions, high end to the .44/.45 heavies with thicker jackets for high velocity
Hornady .30 rifle bullets: 30$/box of 100 for middling weight (175gr or so)
Starline brass: 17$/100 for 357, 25$/100 for 327. 30-06 brass, guessing 50$/100 new? I've always bought once-fired for 30-06 as there's plenty around.

There are still some deals around, particularly in reman/pull-down components. I haven't found anything from Midway or Brownell's to be a good enough deal since before 2020.
 

NikA

Buckeye
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Yrisarri, NM- high in the Manzanos
In reply to whether anything is worth jumping on now, if you have a need, that's your call. In terms of stocking up, I consider buying things that are increasing less than inflation in the metals/durable goods market (~10% at least).
 

contender

Ruger Guru
Joined
Sep 18, 2002
Messages
21,207
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Lake Lure NC USA
I started handloading long ago to help me shoot more ammo for a lesser expense.

The current atmosphere is so weird,, I tell people I look at in a different way. If I have a gun, and can't get ammo,, it's just a paperweight. If I want to shoot a LOT,, I prefer to load my own,, as I control how & what my ammo is & what it'll do.

I'd say, buy some stuff,, "just in case" you have a hard time finding ammo. Shop judiciously, and build a stock of components.

Never let your guns become paperweights.
 

Biggfoot44

Blackhawk
Joined
Sep 6, 2009
Messages
805
My take is to buy what you will actually use in forseeable future , but not yet time to stock up .

With .327 , you have greater incentive to load , both because Handloading is inherently need to have loads of your prefered configuration , and .327 isn't one of the calibers that is being oem prioritized for increased availability .

Powders have been relatively available , and with shopping around , mid $30's isn't that bad for relatively small charge handgun . Primers remain the limiting factor .
 

XP100

Single-Sixer
Joined
Aug 28, 2003
Messages
475
Location
Florida
I have been reloding for 40+ years. After the Obama shortage I bought components when ver I could afford them. Now we have the Biden shortage It has not affected me at all and I still have enough components both rifle and handgunt o probably load as long as I live. A lot of brass, many lbs. of powder, 1000's of bullets and primers.

I say go for it and buy all you can afford. You never know when it could or will get worse.
 

gunzo

Buckeye
Joined
Sep 8, 2010
Messages
1,586
Location
Kentucky
We're at a crossroads with component pricing at this time. Panic/supply & demand pricing were gradually settling down only to run head on into rapid inflation.
Seems you have a pretty good handle on pricing & it doesn't seem that you're in a great hurry. So I'd look around some more. Midway has big inventories, Brownells a big company as well. But many sellers prices are lower.

May I suggest, Midsouth Shooters Supply, Natchez Shooters Supply & Blue Collar Reloading. There are many others but I'm most familiar to those mentioned.
 

Uncle Howie

Buckeye
Joined
May 28, 2004
Messages
1,149
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MN
RCB, I’m just slightly ahead of you, timing-wise.

My thought: gather enough components for a “comfortable“ stash, then refill that stash as you shoot it up, OR as you find the occasional “bargain.”

Slowly build your component stash, OVER TIME. That’s how most of the long-time handloaders did it. I just bought 2K Large Pistol primers last week. Local store had a modest selection of various primers at a “reasonable“ price (for today’s market), so I bought 2K of one variety.

They had lots more, but I didn’t go nuts. My loading/shooting skills aren’t at a point right now that I “need” “Benchrest” primers, so I didn’t buy any of them. I bought what I had a reasonably foreseeable need for.

When the latest round of madness started a couple years ago, I was just getting started in reloading. I was fortunate to get a couple of presses (one used), a bunch of die sets, and a few thousand primers before everything went nuts. I had to buy "a little of this, a little of that" to round out my stash. I bought what was available. As time goes on, I plan to winnow the variety of my stash down a little, to maybe a half-dozen powders.

I’m a “reloader,” not really a “handloader.” I don’t need two dozen powders on hand. The modest selection of cartridges that I plan to load for (haven’t even loaded for all of them, yet!) does require all four common sizes of primers, though- large/small pistol, and large/small rifle. Go figure! :p

I like Contender’s idea about never letting your guns become paperweights. On the other hand… I don’t personally “need“ 10K of 9mm on hand, either.

Primers are “small” to store, and you can’t make a centerfire cartridge go “Bang” without one. Powders can be substituted to some extent, (USING A MANUAL!!!), but every centerfire cartridge needs a primer. Something to think about, as you prioritize your spending while building your stash…

Politics and the economy are always the elephant in the room. “You pays your money, and you takes your chances.” ;)
 

arcee

Bearcat
Joined
Nov 9, 2014
Messages
11
If you are going to shoot your LCR for you CCP class and maybe a couple of training classes, then carry it but not do much shooting other than a requal each year, then you might get by with just some boxes of the "factory" ammo.

Look at the price per round and the availability.

I have dies and bullet molds for every caliber I shoot. This is part of my personality problem. I hate the word no.

Just my 2 cents. v/r
 

contender

Ruger Guru
Joined
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Lake Lure NC USA
Lots of good thoughts here.

Another consideration. Different people, have different requirements for their shooting purposes.
A casual plinker,, or a handgun hunter, or a rifle hunter, or a CCW practice type,, or competition shooters. And even competition shooters vary. Some try & shoot a match every weekend,, while others shoot one a month or so.

I like to think that each person will evaluate their NEEDS,, vs their WANTS,, and get the supplies necessary to fulfill their needs first,, then work towards their wants as conditions permit.
 

XP100

Single-Sixer
Joined
Aug 28, 2003
Messages
475
Location
Florida
My train of thought now is if you shoot 100 bullets and primers buy 200 of each, Buy 2 lb's.' of powder for everyone you load and scrounge brass if possible at the range you shoot at.
 

RSIno1

Hunter
Joined
Sep 17, 2013
Messages
2,220
Location
Southern California
These are the prices I remember from the 2016-2020 period. I don't really expect most of them to come back (can't reverse inflation from a practical sense) buy some things like primers are clearly panic priced versus more normal increases.
I think primers are supply/demand priced not panic. In a panic the item is available but at a higher price because you want it. Primers today are scarce and people are willing to pay more because they need them.
 

Ka6otm

Blackhawk
Joined
Dec 21, 2002
Messages
562
I have been reloding for 40+ years. After the Obama shortage I bought components when ver I could afford them. Now we have the Biden shortage It has not affected me at all and I still have enough components both rifle and handgunt o probably load as long as I live. A lot of brass, many lbs. of powder, 1000's of bullets and primers.

I say go for it and buy all you can afford. You never know when it could or will get worse.
I saw the writing on the wall after the first primer shortage which happened when Bill Clinton got elected the first time. I was down to a couple of thousand primers when primers came back and Mrs. Flash bought me 12,000 for Christmas.

After that, I got serious about stocking components and haven't bought any components for myself in well over 2 (except for some shotgun primers I got a deal on) years and I shoot at least twice a week.
 

NikA

Buckeye
Joined
Nov 2, 2014
Messages
1,407
Location
Yrisarri, NM- high in the Manzanos
I think primers are supply/demand priced not panic. In a panic the item is available but at a higher price because you want it. Primers today are scarce and people are willing to pay more because they need them.
My pushback to the current price of 9mm. If it were really costing 10c/ea to prime the cases, smaller manufacturer like Freedom Munitions wouldn't be able to sell bulk 9mm in new cases for 30c/ea. Something is preventing primers from getting out to the handloading market, and as a result the market price is artificially inflated beyond the limits of normal supply and demand.

The bright light on the horizon for me is I'm already seeing folks locally selling due to financial hardship, and with the current tack of the economy, the whole thing will correct before the next presidental election.
 

Snake Pleskin

Buckeye
Joined
Mar 26, 2022
Messages
1,465
Location
Aiken, South Carolina
I have reduced calibers drastically for reloading and only use a few that have interchangeable components, like powder ,primers or bullet. I load .308, 7.62x39, .223, .38/.357. That is it. I do not load for auto pistols and never have. Revolvers are more forgiving. (IMHO).With these rounds I can cover everything on the Continent from long range (900meters) to short range (100-300 meters), and everything in between. I have a round that will take varmints, small game, small deer, .223 and the .308 will handle the rest. The .38/.357 combo can be loaded to achieve what ever i need from a handgun. From small game(.38) to larger game (.357), personal protection, it will do the job, and several lever guns up the velocity and power in the .357 to allow me to stretch it to100 yds. if needed. Just one mans opinion.
 

XP100

Single-Sixer
Joined
Aug 28, 2003
Messages
475
Location
Florida
I load for 32, 38sp. 357, 40S&w, 44 Mag, 9mm, 45 ACP & 35 Rem handguns. 22 Hornet, 222, 223, 243, 244, 270, 308, 30/06, 7MM Mag, 338, 375 H&H, and 45/70. Have enough components to last as long as I do. That doesn't include stuff for my 45 ans 50 cal muzzleloaders.
 

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