Supply and demand...

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Rick Courtright

Hawkeye
Joined
Mar 10, 2002
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Redlands CA USA
Hi,

Don't want to hijack any other threads on this subject, and certainly don't want to take any wind out of the sails of the conspiracy theorists. Just some observations...

The fellow I get most of my reloading supplies from has a small shop in an industrial park where nobody would even recognize from appearance or name of business what he sells. How low key is he? He's been in business 16 years, and I only found out about him two years ago when my previous supplier passed away, and his daughter and brother decided it was time to put their business to rest after 50+ years. She sent me to the "new guy."

Now my new fellow keeps as close to a "live" inventory on his website as practical, updating daily and sometimes more frequently, his powder, primer and bullet inventories by actual count and shot by "these sizes in stock" status. He's had no full powder shipments in 5-6 weeks, and it's been well over 2 months since a "full" order came in. He finally got one Wed. morning last week (he's open Wed-Sat.)

I hadn't checked the website for a couple of days, and Thursday night I checked to see what he had. Wow! A full powder order was in. I figured I'd go visit Saturday morning. When I left the house, he had 90 lbs of one powder I wanted, and 13 lbs of another. It takes an hour to get to his shop, and I arrived before noon. I expected he'd be out of the one, but I could fill in with the other. No such luck.

Guess what? His ENTIRE load was sold by the time I got there. I asked him how much came in. 1000 lbs! Gone in three days! And at $25-$29/lb for most, depending on the size jug. About a dollar a pound over pre-pandemic pricing. Certainly no gouging!

I wonder what kind of an uproar there will be whenever primers reappear?

Just a side note on Remington ammo: he handles a lot of Remington shotshells, mostly target loads. His ammo racks have been empty for a while, too, but the distributor told him he'd be seeing some Gun Clubs (Rem's promo tgt loads) "one of these days." I pallet.

For reference, I was in Yuma, AZ for the dove season opener Sept 1. They've got a huge gun store--Spragues--which managed to acquire a good inventory of dove loads for the opener. They were letting people buy one flat (10 boxes--250 rds) at $8.99/box (about $2 more than last year. That was quite reasonable all things considered (my shooting buddy had paid $15/box for the two boxes he could find on the way to where we met!), and there were long lines behind three cash registers. The guy with the pallet jack had brought in two pallets in maybe 15-20 minutes of my browsing (checking out at the register was the bottleneck there!)

Supply and demand? It's real. ;)

Rick C
 

Johnnu2

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I keep thinking about the 'supply and demand' theory as it relates i.e. to diamonds.

I've mentioned this before, so please excuse me, but, the DeBeers family controls the supply of diamonds (even 60 Minutes did a spread on their market control practices). They only release diamonds to distributors et al based upon the "diamond price" that they want to preserve. The rest of their mining cache remains in their vaults.

When the supply is restricted (somewhere up the line), the demand increases exponentially IMHO. I know of two hoarders who buy ALL the avail .22LR, 9mm, shotgun shells etc stock at several big box stores every week. They shoot every day, but nowhere near what they buy; they store much of it in a 'hazmat insured' facility (I'm told) just to be sure they don't run out.

J.
 

kmoore

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Mar 29, 2017
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Location
Idaho
Does anyone remember the toilet paper shortage?
Is the ammo supply any different? Yes somewhat a major player went out of business and 10 million new consumers showed up wanting their share.
Supply and demand, add hording and some who look at those events to buy at retail everything they can to resell and get rich.
 
Joined
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The same when lumber prices were going up. Then around the middle of August I believe it all started to crash. Turns out some big companies were hoarding lumber, and they didn’t want to get stuck with a huge inventory so they sold which further dropped the prices.

Primers could be the same. It just doesn’t make sense there are no primers to be had. Although I do suppose the primers they are making are being installed in factory ammo.

I went to the gun store yesterday, Scheeles, they had s full stock of ammo, but zero primers or powder. Their glass case with pistols was also full.
 

gunzo

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Joined
Sep 8, 2010
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1,626
Location
Kentucky
Some folks still grabbing & snatching for supplies. But I believe some inventory is being held back at this time. To try & stabilize future prices maybe?

Just this month I've watched a small on line dealer receive & offer over 150,000 bullets of one brand & one caliber. Bullets that have been some of the scarcest of all. Yet big sellers still listing them as out of stock with no back orders. Something fishy there IMO.
 

gunzo

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Kevin said:
The same when lumber prices were going up. Then around the middle of August I believe it all started to crash. Turns out some big companies were hoarding lumber, and they didn’t want to get stuck with a huge inventory so they sold which further dropped the prices.

Primers could be the same. It just doesn’t make sense there are no primers to be had. Although I do suppose the primers they are making are being installed in factory ammo.

I went to the gun store yesterday, Scheeles, they had s full stock of ammo, but zero primers or powder. Their glass case with pistols was also full.

The lumber thing was a near hoax IMO as well. While my wife was having minor out patient procedure done I had to wait in the surgery centers parking lot instead of the waiting room due to the germ thing.
The parking lot was next to the back lot of a Home Depot, after the lumber shortage had started & prices had gone up. I watched truck after truck make full 50' trailer load deliveries of lumber. The lift truck driver was having problems tying to find a place for each stack he took of a trailer. He'd have to stop unloading & re-arrange the outdoor storage area to make room. The back doors of the warehouse were open, & from what I could see from my vantage point was lumber stacked to the ceiling in there. I though then, lumber shortage my a$$.
 

Johnnu2

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gunzo said:
Kevin said:
The same when lumber prices were going up. Then around the middle of August I believe it all started to crash. Turns out some big companies were hoarding lumber, and they didn’t want to get stuck with a huge inventory so they sold which further dropped the prices.

Primers could be the same. It just doesn’t make sense there are no primers to be had. Although I do suppose the primers they are making are being installed in factory ammo.

I went to the gun store yesterday, Scheeles, they had s full stock of ammo, but zero primers or powder. Their glass case with pistols was also full.

The lumber thing was a near hoax IMO as well. While my wife was having minor out patient procedure done I had to wait in the surgery centers parking lot instead of the waiting room due to the germ thing.
The parking lot was next to the back lot of a Home Depot, after the lumber shortage had started & prices had gone up. I watched truck after truck make full 50' trailer load deliveries of lumber. The lift truck driver was having problems tying to find a place for each stack he took of a trailer. He'd have to stop unloading & re-arrange the outdoor storage area to make room. The back doors of the warehouse were open, & from what I could see from my vantage point was lumber stacked to the ceiling in there. I though then, lumber shortage my a$$.

AMEN my brovva... I still believe it's "contrived"; we just have to wait them out.... it may take lotsa time, but it will be worth it ONLY if the newbies and suckers stop buying....
IMHO of course,
J.
 
Joined
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Dallas, TX
Oh, I'm still buying. I generally reload for 9mm and the other pistol calibers I shoot. But I've got one 9mm that I can't get to work with my reloads. It's a revolver, perhaps that's why. I've just regulated myself to shooting new ammo through that gun and reloads through all the others. So I'm only buying 9mm and 22's.

I've got more than enough, but in 3 years, this will start all over again.

As I said, I imagine most of the primers must be getting used up in all the factory ammo. I can't imagine there is some warehouse full of brand new primers. What a fire hazard that would be.
 

sixshot

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soda springs, idaho
There's something else in play here. I just returned from Africa 2 weeks ago & one of the guys there had mentioned he had been in 2 gun stores in the area that had every kind of powder, primer, bullet, etc that we could get here in the states, everything. I didn't go check it out for myself but one of my neighbors that was hunting with us did go & he said he saw Speer, Hornady, Nosler, Barnes, CCI, Winchester, Berger, Remington, Federal. Every powder, primer, bullet that we can get here, they had it & the guy behind the counter said, if they didn't have it they could have it in 3 weeks. STRANGE!

Dick
 

blammer

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Joined
Oct 6, 2007
Messages
248
Location
Nebraska
OP: your experience is like mine. Mine seems on a smaller scale at my 'main' LGS. No primers since March, 2020 (I lucked out and happened to pick some up just before they got scarce). Powder was pretty good until Summer, 2020, though there's maybe a third of the shelf space full and over half of that is kegs of 4 pounds or more. Bare ammo shelves (except 50BMG's) until this summer. Starting this summer, a pallet of 9mm would arrive, be parked unpacked on the floor, and be gone in a few hours. Now, they are getting single pallets of 9, 45acp, 556, 762x39 and some 380 auto that don't get completely depleted between the two-week trips I usually make to them.

I did notice that some of the brands they were getting were ones they've not had before. I recognize the brands, just never saw them at this LGS before.

On primers, LGS said they were being told by supplier that there might be some but not until November of this year.
 

Johnnu2

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sixshot said:
There's something else in play here. I just returned from Africa 2 weeks ago & one of the guys there had mentioned he had been in 2 gun stores in the area that had every kind of powder, primer, bullet, etc that we could get here in the states, everything. I didn't go check it out for myself but one of my neighbors that was hunting with us did go & he said he saw Speer, Hornady, Nosler, Barnes, CCI, Winchester, Berger, Remington, Federal. Every powder, primer, bullet that we can get here, they had it & the guy behind the counter said, if they didn't have it they could have it in 3 weeks. STRANGE!

Dick

You are right on the money Dick....I keep telling people that we're being played..... I cannot be convinced that there is anything going on beyond the supply chain holding back in order to beat us into super high prices as the new 'normal'. The ONLY way to beat them is to NOT BUY. I haven't even been inside an LGS in almost 2 years and certainly don't shop the internet. I just shoot less and clean my guns more.
IMHO,
J.

J.
 

bisleyfan41

Blackhawk
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Jul 13, 2007
Messages
550
Location
People's Republic of Maryland
I just thought of another possible explanation for the primer shortage. Go to ammoseek.com and look up 9mm loads. Up pops more than a dozen ammo companies nobody has EVER heard of. Making and selling 9mm ammo, new and reman.

Maybe everybody and their brother who saw the crazy ammo prices last year decided to hang out their shingle and become ammo manufacturers. And they need primers, too. Its not just Federal,, Winchester, and Federal in the ammo game anymore. Would explain the virtually nonexistent SPP.
 
Joined
Dec 22, 2017
Messages
42
Location
Missouri
If you search for commercial reloading equipment, I don’t believe you can buy any for delivery any time soon. Same for commercial bullet casting machines.
I recently saw Cheddite 209 primers on the shelf at Sportsmans Warehouse at a reasonable price. I bought 1,000 and there were 25,000 still on the shelf when I left. There were zero the next morning.
I heard they got spp about a month ago and they were all gone quick.
I have heard of primers sold by sporting good stores at $100/1000. I saw a pawn shop with primers at $200/1000. The proprietor said, “That is what gunbroker is selling them for!”

I don’t claim to know the real story. I do know many people are buying their first guns. I suspect new gun owners have no clue what a fair price is, so they will pay asking price and not question it. Could there be enough new gun owners to raise demand by five times?
Could commercial loaders have a priority on deliveries? Could there be enough new commercial reloaders to raise demand by five times?
 

NikA

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Nov 2, 2014
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Yrisarri, NM- high in the Manzanos
I've said it before and I'll say it again: much like the last few shortage cycles, everybody is buying anything they think may have value, whether or not they intend to use it immediately. Lots of new gun owners, lots of new reloaders.

As the price of ammunition comes down and availability gets better (already happening, looks like 9mm is about where one would expect given raw material price increases, I don't doubt other common calibers will follow soon), most people that bought reloading supplies and tools will realize the significant time investment to reloading and divest. It may take several years for folks to be willing to sell those 200$ bricks of primers at the 35-40$ market price, but it will happen. That glut will be the time to buy.

The process is almost inevitable given the runaway success of the current presidential administration.
 

woodperson

Single-Sixer
Joined
Sep 27, 2004
Messages
417
Location
Knoxville, TN
Heaven help me. I have to purchase 3 sheets of plywood today. I hope they can make a small business loan on site.

What we have is now is high demand and short supply for a lot of things. When you pass out money and nobody can work what else is going to happen?

I do not think reloading is a significant part of the powder and primer industry. Certainly not the part they will serve first.
 

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