Trigger Warning: Your Ammo Budget May Not Survive 2024

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Vista Outdoor, the parent company for over 30 companies, many of which are in the firearms business, informed its distributors and retailers that ammunition and gunpowder prices would be increasing significantly. The decision to increase prices was made due to the high domestic demand and global shortage of powder.

Vista Outdoor is the umbrella company for several major companies in the ammunition industry. Federal Ammunition is one of the most well-known and largest ammunition manufacturers in the world. These companies sell more than just ammunition. They also manufacture gunpowder and primers for ammunition cartridges.

The price of ammunition, reloading materials, and other items like primers and powder have risen steadily over the years. However, prices have exploded in the last 20+ years.

In 2008, the index of small arms ammunition manufacturing prices rose by 23%. The index rose 14% in the year before, which was the second-largest increase. Between 2004 and 2015 ammunition prices nearly doubled. In recent years, there have been significant price increases. Ammo production costs increased by 7% in 2020 and 8% in 2015.

When I first started shooting competitions in 2006-2007, I bought cases of 1,000 rounds of 5.56mm ammo in bulk at a very low price. At that time, the cost per round was between 15 and 20 cents. Today, however, it is between 60 and 70% cents. Cost increases for ammunition and reloading materials are usually tied to rising inflation and supply and demand. Statistics show that costs tend to spike in times of panic, whether it’s due to political unrest or mass shootings. The price of ammunition increases dramatically when people panic buy ammunition.

Between 2019 and 2022, ammunition costs have increased by 19%. This is higher than inflation which has risen 14% in the same time period.

The trend of rising ammo costs in the pandemic period began well before the current inflation crisis. From 2000 to 2022 the price of small arms ammunition jumped 157%, while inflation rose by only 70%.

In 2008, the index of small arms ammunition manufacturing prices rose by 23%. The index rose 14% in the year before, which was the second-largest increase. Between 2004 and 2015 ammunition prices nearly doubled. In recent years, there have been significant price increases. Ammo production costs increased by 7% in 2020 and 8% in 2015.

Costs for reloading materials are also on the rise. Since the advent of cased ammunition, reloading ammunition has grown steadily in popularity. Reloading was not popular until the last 20-30 years. Reloading has become increasingly popular since the early 2000s. This is largely due to cost savings compared to purchasing factory ammunition. Reloading was a great way to save money. I began reloading back in 2010. I was able to load a round of 5.56mm ammunition for about 10 cents a round, as opposed to purchasing factory ammunition in the same caliber which costs around 40 cents. Reloading components is also more expensive due to the current political climate and the panic buying. However, the average cost of reloading your ammunition remains roughly half that of factory ammunition.

The wars in Ukraine, Israel, and other countries have caused a massive demand for gunpowder. This has led to a shortage in the world of powder, affecting both the production of factory ammunition and the supply of reloaders. The panic buying is made worse by the fact that consumers are easily influenced by rumors about plants closing or slowing down production. There was a recent report that the Lake City Army Ammunition Plant has stopped commercial production or sales due to wars, political pressure, etc. LCAAP is a major manufacturer and supplier of ammunition for the civilian market. It sells ammunition under the Federal Ammunition name. This caused panic buying to occur on the 5.56mm/.223 caliber, 9mm and.45 caliber handgun, as well as 12 gauge shotgun, rounds.

Vista Outdoor has announced that prices will continue to rise and won’t come down any time soon. The vicious cycle will begin again, as people panic buy ammunition to make sure they have enough before supplies run out. When prices rise due to panic buying, it seems that firearms enthusiasts shoot themselves in the foot (again figuratively).