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  #1  
Old 02-27-2013, 07:37 AM
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Powder Shortage?


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As i sit and nurse this mornings coffee, i have to just wonder where in the **** is all the powder going? I am currently on the waiting list of several of the top names in sales...
Surely with todays modern manufacturing techniques, we shoudlnt be running out of powder?
Look online at about any of the major comps..and no one has hardly any powder...It has been this way for over 2 months....Thats a long time for empty shelves...So where is it all going? Are the Powder comps. spending all their time concentrating on powder for bought ammo or what? I have been told that factory ammo comps. use a special blend, that is not sold to the public....More or less venting guys..lol, any ideas?
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  #2  
Old 02-27-2013, 08:35 AM
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I don't have a clue where all the stuff is going other than horders snappng it up. New production on things like primers, bullets and brass will go toward filling government orders first, loaded commerical ammo second and handloaders last. For those who didn't set up some reserves when available, I'm thinking it's gonna be a long dry spell.
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  #3  
Old 02-27-2013, 12:42 PM
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Just before retiring in 2000, decided to lay in a supply of powders, bullets, primers and brass that would last me the rest of my reloading life and several cases each of .22LR, 22WRM and .17HMR. Wise decision. Still working with the stock and seems to be plenty for foreseeable future.

I am amazed at the prices being asked, but remember the last shortage in the "Billery" era when really old stuff was being peddled at the gun shows for black market prices, too.
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  #4  
Old 02-28-2013, 12:39 AM
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In October or November I ordered a box of Nosler Custom 130gr AccuBond for the 6.5-284 Norma, it was $48 or $49 without shipping at Midway. Yesterday I was on Brownell's website and saw the exact same ammo and their price is $104.97 !! I sent them an email and asked if this was really the price or a really bad typo !!! Haven't heard back as of this post.
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  #5  
Old 02-28-2013, 08:23 AM
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I am hearing from a contact in PA that 5.56MM is a buck a round and not even MILSPEC.

I haven't even heard what M118 Match is going go lately or 30.06 MATCh.

I have a dealer friend who says Davidson's is slam out of every Ruger made and they are their biggest distributor.Was looking for a SP101 3" mag.

Same thing for Glock 26s. Not even police supply houses can get them.

I saw a thread the other day where a 30 round AR mag went for 100.00.
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  #6  
Old 02-28-2013, 11:48 AM
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Five years ago I saw the "writing on the wall" and laid in stores in great plenty. At the gun shop today the few items were grabbed up during our weekly "Militia Meeting" of older folks. We call ourselves "The 20 Brick Club" as in bricks of primers, .22 ammo, etc. More is better, but all have enough on hand.

Eventually the shelves will fill up again. The "Militia" just wants to live long enough to use up stocks on hand.

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  #7  
Old 02-28-2013, 12:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Humpy View Post
I saw a thread the other day where a 30 round AR mag went for 100.00.
At the gun show a week and a half ago there were several hundred available among several vendors for $45 each.

A magazine manufacturer located in Colorado has told the state legislature that if a bill limiting magazines to 15 rounds is passed they will be leaving the stae with several hundred jobs - supposedly several states including Wyoming and Texas have told the company they would be welcome there.
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  #8  
Old 02-28-2013, 12:46 PM
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There's no shortage of powder, or bullets, or primers, or guns, or magazines. There's just a massive overabundance of wild-eyed idjuts buying up all they can find - at any price asked.
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  #9  
Old 02-28-2013, 03:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kdub View Post
Just before retiring in 2000, decided to lay in a supply of powders, bullets, primers and brass that would last me the rest of my reloading life and several cases each of .22LR, 22WRM and .17HMR. Wise decision. Still working with the stock and seems to be plenty for foreseeable future.
Kdub is one wise dude.

On the first iteration of "Obamination", I doubled all of my trigger point levels for reorder. Primers, powders, brass and RF ammo. Then I doubled my standing inventory. I am lean by many guys standards, but I'm guessing I can pull the trigger on my entire collection about 30K times.

It will let up slowly, and I'll double that again by end of year. When I drop dead, my daughters will still have a way to minimize liberals and democrats.
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  #10  
Old 02-28-2013, 04:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xcalibor67 View Post
Surely with todays modern manufacturing techniques, we shoudlnt be running out of powder?...More or less venting guys..lol, any ideas?
I don't know details of powder manufacturing but here's what I would guess:

I'd expect that the major ammunition manufacturers use as narrow a variety of powders as they possibly can, ordering quantities that provide them just enough to meet normal predicted demand, and little more. No one want to maintain any inventory of any kind, and especially not inventory of something that takes relatively expensive real estate to store.

As for the propellants offered to the consumer market, there it's a matter of small quantities of a huge variety, trying to fill every niche as best as possible. There, demand for any one propellant across the entire market is probably quite predicable, and relatively small.

In either case, when demand increases by a factor of 10, 20 or a 100, the manufacturers have to look at the cost to ramp up production. I would guess, again, that doubling production of a single selected propellant would be practical, and maybe even larger ramp-ups are doable. But, that would be for a few propellants at most, I'd think. So that would mean doing it only for the commercial customers.

It seems to me it would be big risk for a manufacturer to ramp up enough to even come remotely close to meeting current demand, and it's really hard to imagine doing that for even a 10th of the product line. Then, poof, the bottom drops out of the demand and you've incurred a considerable expense that's hard to recover. I don't know.

I have to think that, from the manufacturer's perspective, it's a small bump in the demand curve that's difficult and expensive to respond to, and the return on the short-term volume doesn't come close to meeting the cost of changing production. They may simply not have to ability to produce much of the product line in quantity--just a few select products that happen to also be made for the commercial customers.

My assumption also is that the consumer market for propellants in tiny to begin with...I'll have to see if that data is available in any SEC filings. I'm guessing it's a few percent of the revenue stream, and not even the most profitable. Dunno.
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  #11  
Old 02-28-2013, 05:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rocky Raab View Post
There's no shortage of powder, or bullets, or primers, or guns, or magazines. There's just a massive overabundance of wild-eyed idjuts buying up all they can find - at any price asked.
Yep.

At the local pawn shop where I get my powder and primers, prices aren't going up. The proprietor says "I'm not going to raise prices, I need my customers." So he's only tacking on his usual percentage whatever that is. I picked up one (not being a pig) "brick" of CCI large rifle primers for $34, because he had them and because he said I needed them.

RJ
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  #12  
Old 03-01-2013, 04:20 PM
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Modern manufacturing and sales companies use something called "just in time." Basically you only produce as much as people are buying and only have in stock what you need for short periods of time. This saves by reducing costs involved with excess manufacturing and warehousing capacity. But what it doesn't do, is allow the supply to meet the demand when there is a sudden increase in it. There aren't warehouses full of stock and there aren't idle manufacturing lines waiting to fill the demand. I doubt that there's much incentive for companies to spend the money to increase manufacturing capacity or warehousing capacity when they know that this increase is only temporary and likely to be followed by a huge drop in demand once any legislation to ban guns/ammo either passes or fails.
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  #13  
Old 03-01-2013, 06:27 PM
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I stored up the last go-around. My m-15, I shot 200 to 300 rds on days off just for fun at rocks with a white spot on them in the desert. Geez, now it is like throwing a dollar bill out the window with every trigger pull. I think it will get caught up and ammo will be more available but stock up the next time. As a friend of mine said "enjoy it today, because this is as good as it is going to be".

Last edited by attaloss; 03-01-2013 at 06:37 PM.
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  #14  
Old 03-01-2013, 07:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TMan View Post
Kdub is one wise dude.

On the first iteration of "Obamination", I doubled all of my trigger point levels for reorder. Primers, powders, brass and RF ammo. Then I doubled my standing inventory. I am learn by many guys standards, but I'm guessing I can pull the trigger on my entire collection about 30K times.

It will let up slowly, and I'll double that again by end of year. When I drop dead, my daughters will still have a way to minimize liberals and democrats.
I retired in 1970 from the army I decided I would never hopefully be caught short so I stockpiled my ammo need to fits the profile I will always be
vigillent ot hr . Anyway it's a gtreat
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  #15  
Old 03-01-2013, 07:39 PM
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Here's my take on it: The panic buying of ammo has triggered the shortages in powder and primers. The panic buyers found out that they can't get loaded ammo, now all of the sudden they're "taking up" reloading, but now have found that that's a dead end as well as far as supplying their so called "needs". The real shortage as I can tell is in components needed to load 223's. I walked into a local gun shop a few weeks ago and you could buy all the powder you wanted.............for 30-06. I walked out with 3 pounds of 760. There were another 6-8 pounds of that still on the shelf. Plus even more of the slower buring powders.
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  #16  
Old 03-02-2013, 10:20 PM
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I check Midsouth every day. Each time I've decided against buying, the product has gone out of stock in a few days at most. The last thing I passed up was SR4756 and I had several chances at it, but kept deciding not to buy--now the decision isn't mine.

But, today I noticed they had a half-dozen powders available including Clays, Universal and HS-6...so I bought all 3. I think you just have to be patient--folks are receiving product, but it's a trickle coming in to each retailer. As for price, including HAZMAT and shipping today's order came in at $18/lb for 24 lbs...quite a bit less than the $20-23/lb I've paid at the gun show even during good times.

Bullets is the real problem, and even if you cast if you have to buy lead I see people paying well over $1.60/lb now for it online. I used to have my sniping tool set to $1.25/lb and I'd win 1/2 the auctions I went after, but now I'm losing 8 of 10 auctions with it set to limit at $1.50/lb, shipped. But I do win enough to have 500 lbs on the floor right now, and that's bullets at about $40/1000...which is nice.
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Last edited by Bongo Boy; 03-02-2013 at 10:27 PM.
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  #17  
Old 03-03-2013, 07:00 AM
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You can buy thru Midsouth at any time and backorder it. I did this about a month ago with an 8 lb can of 748. I ordered it, paid online and it arrived at my door about two weeks later. There's no need to keep watching and waiting for it to be in stock before ordering.
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  #18  
Old 03-03-2013, 09:21 AM
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I can understand 223 and pistol powdwes flying off the shelves, but I've been looking for R19 all over my area for 2 months with no luck. That one puzzles me a bit.
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  #19  
Old 03-03-2013, 01:49 PM
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Lean MFG

Quote:
Originally Posted by myt-bird View Post
Modern manufacturing and sales companies use something called "just in time." Basically you only produce as much as people are buying and only have in stock what you need for short periods of time. This saves by reducing costs involved with excess manufacturing and warehousing capacity. But what it doesn't do, is allow the supply to meet the demand when there is a sudden increase in it. There aren't warehouses full of stock and there aren't idle manufacturing lines waiting to fill the demand. I doubt that there's much incentive for companies to spend the money to increase manufacturing capacity or warehousing capacity when they know that this increase is only temporary and likely to be followed by a huge drop in demand once any legislation to ban guns/ammo either passes or fails.
It's called lean manufacturing ....We are in the process of implementing this where I work .You only keep on hand what you need for 2 weeks or a month or whatever is the most practicle ....it is a good cost saving measure all around.But if you get a run on a product that last more than the alotted inventory it creates the shortages that we are seeing now.
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  #20  
Old 03-04-2013, 06:33 PM
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i was at the gun store yesterday and bought all of the 22lr they had (5 boxes) all of the imr 4198 (4 lbs) and the last of their large match rifle primers (3 boxes). but i just started reloading and dont have a stock pile yet so can ya blame me?
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