Thursday, November 5, 2009
Americans Buy Enough Ammunition In 12 Months To Equal Two Boxes For Everyone In The USA
A record setting 12 billion rounds of ammunition have been bought by Americans in the last 12 month That's up two to five billion over a normal year.
With a U.S. population estimated at 305 million at the beginning of 2009, the ammo sales in the last year amount to almost two 20 round boxes for every man, woman, and child in America.
Many anti gun groups are calling ammunition purchases and shortages "Paranoid."
But, there are a lot of reasons why ammunition sales are high. Some are economic reasons, and some are government related. In addition to two wars going on, there's target shooting, hunting, and Law Enforcement use where department's orders have increased 40% this year. And, yes,
The U.S. Government has a lock on priority as first in line for ammunition purchases. All ammunition government contractors must provide for the military first. With two wars going on, that calls for lots of government purchased .308, .223, and 9mm.
Ammo sales have been good for commercial manufacturer's bottom lines. In addition to sales to the public, commercial manufacturer have government ammo contracts that take ammo out of the commercial market. Winchester reported a 2009 3rd quarter profit of $23 million, up from $9.8 million in 2008.
Commercial manufacturers are running 24/7 to try to keep up. Many people have been added to the payroll. These are verifiable jobs "saved" or "created" by Obama. Americans should give him credit for job growth here. David Axelrod would be proud.
There are pure economic reasons to buy too. The supply is low, and the demand is high, and the prices are rising proportionally. The cost of metals used in ammunition and other components are going up.
Some approximate examples from the surplus market are:
7.62X39... old price $1.99 or less for 20...current price $4.99 to $6.99 and more per box
7.62X51... (.308) old price $15-$19 for 140 South African manufacture...
current price $ $70.00-$90 and more when it can be found
The same calibers made by by commercial manufacturers have risen correspondingly.
Here are some approximate prices for commercial handgun ammunition...
.45 cal ball... old price at discount stores 100 @ $21.00 or thereabouts...current price
100 @ $46.95..when you can find it.
.38 Special...old price for 50 $12.99...current price $29.99 up to $39-$43.00 when it can be found.
Investing in ammunition beats investing in your 401(k) or the stock market, except for arms and ammunition manufacturing stock. Perhaps every investment portfolio should include some investment grade ammunition.
Additionally, people who never thought of buying a firearm have decided to do it now. People are even buying ammunition for calibers of guns they don't even own yet. They want to get the gun in the future, but want to buy ammunition now while they can afford it, or while they can get it.
And, of course, there's the ever present Obama factor. He's had several false starts that made gun and ammunition purchasers jittery.
On February 25, 2009, just days after Obama's inauguration, Eric Holder said there are a few things Obama would like to do. He said, " Well, as President Obama indicated during his campaign, there are just a few gun-related changes that we would like to make, and among them would be to reinstitute the ban on the sale of assault weapons." Holder really stepped in it with this remark. Nancy Pelosi went ballistic with the fervor of a menopausal hot flashed rabid bat, for the sake of appearances. Obama told Holder to back off.
As if crushing ammo cans and shredding camouflage netting, taking them off the surplus market wasn't enough for the government to do, on March 13, 2009, Obama ordered that all spent military brass ammo casings were to be crushed and sold as scrap metal. Many reloaders depended on spent military casings for reloading. As do many police departments. Police complained that the cut off of components would mean less practice time on the firing range for police officers. Less time means safety concerns for the officers. There were predictions made that this action would make ammo prices rise as fast as a 100 story elevator. And, they did, even though Obama quickly rescinded his edict.
And, there is the matter of Obama's anti gun rhetoric over the years.
Ammunition manufacturers believe that some day they will catch up with the demand, but that date is not in sight now.