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  1. #1
    lewisipso's Avatar
    lewisipso is offline Injustice/Indifference/In God we trust
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    U.S. shooters feel pinch as ammo costs soar

    By Tim Gaynor Mon May 19, 8:12 PM ET


    TOMBSTONE, Ariz (Reuters) - Gunslinger Bob Krueger blasts away at his outlaw rivals at a tourist show in this storied Old West town, although rising ammo costs may force him to choose his shots.
    Krueger and his gnarly band of pistoleros are among millions of shooters, hunters and even lawmen across the United States feeling the pinch as sky-high metals prices and demand from wars abroad are driving up the price of bullets.
    Ammo prices for many popular guns have more than tripled in the last three years, driven in large part by surging demand for metals in rapidly industrializing China.
    As the Asian giant becomes wealthier, millions of tons of copper, lead and zinc, which are also used to make bullets and brass shell-casings, are being snapped up.
    Shooters, gun dealers and sheriffs say the impact has been further aggravated by competition for limited ammo stocks with the U.S. military, currently fighting wars on two fronts in Iraq and Afghanistan.
    "Everybody is feeling it," said Krueger, a Stetson wearing cowboy whose show blasts through hundreds of rounds of blank ammo each week at Six Gun City in Tombstone.
    "If things get bad enough, we may all just get one bullet each," he said, to laughter from his grizzled buddies.
    HUNTING FOR AMMO
    Dealers complain that the cost of rifle ammunition has doubled and even tripled in the past two years, with similar increases for some hand gun ammunition.
    Lynn Kartchner, a gun shop owner in nearby Douglas, Arizona, says he now pays $250 for a case of 1,000 rounds of assault rifle ammunition, up from $80 two years ago, while a box of popular 9 mm shells has jumped to $17 from $10.
    "Price rises have been accompanied by scarcity for certain kinds of ammo," Kartchner told Reuters in his shop, which is packed with rifles, pistols and shooting paraphernalia.
    "There isn't as much variety, and a lot of people snap up whatever they can get their hands on," he added.
    Increased costs and competition for ammo is also being born by police forces across the United States, among them the sheriff's department in Cochise County on the Arizona-Mexico border, which faces incursions from armed smugglers and even bandits from south of the line.
    Last year the department faced a four-month delay acquiring rifle cartridges and had to dip into ammo reserves, rousing the concern of Sheriff Larry Dever.
    "We do face people in this environment down here who are heavily armed, sometimes with higher capacity armaments than we carry," Dever said.
    "The last thing we want do is find ourselves in a situation where we are not training sufficiently so that (deputies) can maintain those very important proficiencies," he added.
    HOARDING, RELOADING

    Demand for metals is tipped to stay strong in China for the next decade.
    Cowboy shows and lawmen aside, high ammo prices are being shouldered by millions of target shooters and hunters across the United States, many of them working people on a limited budget.
    "If you have three of four children, and they all go out on a hunting trip, the cost of ammo can be a bit of a burden," said Luis Hernandez, a keen deer, bird and varmint hunter from Douglas.
    To keep costs low, many hobby shooters are now scouring gun shows, gun shops and the Internet in search of cheap ammunition, which some then buy in bulk and hoard against further price rises.
    Others either shoot less, switch to smaller caliber ammunition such as .22 which is cheaper, or are increasingly turning to reloading their old shell cases.
    "The main saving is in the brass casing, which is the most expensive part," said Hernandez, who reckons on saving up to $20 on a box of some premium rifle cartridges by reloading.
    Other shooters and dealers are holding out hope that ammunition manufacturers will develop cheaper alternatives. "High cost drives innovation," said Kartchner. "There has been some interest in plastic or aluminum cartridge cases in the past, so I'm hopeful they will come up with something. We'll just have to see."
    Do not war for peace. If you must war, war for justice. For without justice there is no peace. -me

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  2. #2
    TXCharlie's Avatar
    TXCharlie is offline Former & Future Reserve Officer
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    Academy stores here used to have the aluminum-case Blazer 9mm for $80 for a 1000-rd case for years. Now last time I bought a case, it was $120.

    I load my own normally - A LEO friend makes bullets commercially under the "Kead" brand. But I've been lazy lately.

    Pretty soon I may have to start making runs to the scrap metal dealer and melting down wheel weights if prices go up much more, though

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  3. #3
    The91Bravo's Avatar
    The91Bravo is offline Deputy Sheriff
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    Reloading is my best friend.

    I sell 1000 .45 ACP to other deputies for $235, and .40 S&W for $185. May have to go up some, soon. But so far that's fair for me. I make about 35-45 profit per batch and me and my single stage just pump them out in the evening when I get off shift....

  4. #4
    Xiphos's Avatar
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    I have cut back on my shooting this spring. Between gas and the higher costs of everything else, it's harder to justify buying a few hundred rounds of ammo to blast away with.
    Pleasing nobody, one person at a time.

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  5. #5
    sgtbear111's Avatar
    sgtbear111 is offline retired
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    re-defined future

    Expect the Democrats to go after reloading components, the quantity you can keep on hand, and lead - all under haz-mat regulations. Ammo may be re-defined as an explosive.....however it goes they dont want you to own a gun, or have the ability to feed it.

    These rules can be passed by an administrative panel at 2:00AM w/o any prior notice or public scrutiny.
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  6. #6
    CT209's Avatar
    CT209 is offline Once..... Forever
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    And they'll pass a bill involving some type of cartridge marking sysytem, so all of that ammo you've hoarded will be illegal.
    "When a crime is committed, liberals blame society. Conservatives blame the criminal." -Debra Saunders

    Old Scottish Motto- "nemo me impune laccessit". It still holds true today.

  7. #7
    armsmaster270's Avatar
    armsmaster270 is offline Ret. Sac. P.D. - 270th M.P. Co., Now with D.H.S.
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    Quote Originally Posted by The91Bravo View Post
    Reloading is my best friend.

    I sell 1000 .45 ACP to other deputies for $235, and .40 S&W for $185. May have to go up some, soon. But so far that's fair for me. I make about 35-45 profit per batch and me and my single stage just pump them out in the evening when I get off shift....
    What type of bullets do you use for that price?


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  8. #8
    The91Bravo's Avatar
    The91Bravo is offline Deputy Sheriff
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    I hate to let out my classified source... LOL, but here it is:

    tjconevera.com

    I get 1000 .40 165 grn FMJ for $93 (Winchester brand)

    I get 1000 .45 185 gr FMJ for $114 (Berry's brand)

    Range (indoor brass) for the 40, and I purchased 2400 45 for $110, primers for 2.8 cents apiece, 1200 charges from one pound of powder (5 gr charge each) comes out to about 2 cents a round for powder, then I just load while I relax at night...

  9. #9
    TXCharlie's Avatar
    TXCharlie is offline Former & Future Reserve Officer
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    I usually use the hard-cast Kead lead bullets when I reload target rounds for my XD9 - Of course I'd never use them as a defensive round.

    They WERE about $35/1000 last time I bought some, $16/1000 for primers, powder is almost nothing buying it in 4-lb jugs, and 9mm brass is nothing - So I can reload 9mm for around $60/1000 - Or could. I see now on Kead's web site that their prices have gone up, but not by a lot.

    Soft lead bullets are dangerous in Glocks. Hard cast lead like the Keads are less dangerous, so I do it anyway, just keep check on the fouling, which can cause high preassures in the polygonal barrels. Normally a Glock is more expensive to reload for, using plated or jacketed bullets than an XD9 where you can more safely use lead.

    Also if you crank the power factor up, lead bullets start fouling the barrel even with the XD, so you can make them "warm" like a standaard load, but definitely not "hot" like a +P.

    There's a bore cleaner I use that eats the lead out pretty good - I forget the name, but it's a blue gel and smells like ammonia. It also eats up the brass bore brushes, so you can't use those to apply it with - I've got several "nubs" to prove it.

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