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Scoob
LSU Fan
Near Exxon
Member since Jun 2009
15049 posts

Ammo price observation...
I enjoy shooting, so I frequent several other boards. A few have international members, and it's interesting to get perspective from folks from other countries.

Yesterday, on one of these forums, a member from Belgium asked whether the Biden ammo ban extended to other countries besides Russia, and asked about the Eastern European brands.

He then listed the price (with conversion to US dollar) of Sellier & Bellot ammo, which I noted:

He's paying $236 a case for S&B 9mm (1k). He asked what our prices were.

I responded that before 2020, we'd see that for under $200, as I'd often buy it at/under $180. But obviously, it's at/over $400 a case now, if you can find it.

Another guy, from Switzerland, a few months back also noted similar pricing (and in his case that included Winchester too). A bit over $200 a case, a little higher than we used to pay here but way below what we now do.

I've heard some folks speculate that the Europeans "haven't run out of old stock yet", as explanation why theirs is so much cheaper (and so similar to the older price). I don't know that I buy that, as it's a given we Americans buy a lot more ammo to begin with... we'd have been getting the lion's share of the production. If they don't shoot as much, they likely didn't have a huge reserve available; would make no sense for shops over there to have warehouses of ammo stored for years.
They simply would have bought less than we do from the manufacturers.

I'm waiting on the poster to reply back to confirm date of manufacture, but it makes me wonder- if S&B is selling their ammo to Belgium at this price, are they also selling it to US dealers at this price too?
That would destroy the "cost of production has risen" argument, and expose the US sellers as greedy gougers, doubling their profits.

Don't give me the "it keeps things available" argument- buyers don't work quite that way. They relax when they see normal prices on goods, they panic when prices rise (gotta get it before it goes higher).
I know the initial surge last summer did create shortages, and the election did too. But I don't know anyone still looking and buying... they're either stocked up, or sitting out.


Shut Up Mulllet
Member since Apr 2021
22 posts

re: Ammo price observation...
Interesting. I don’t have any answers , but following along.


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seawolf06
LSU Fan
Raleigh, NC
Member since Oct 2007
7894 posts

re: Ammo price observation...
quote:

"haven't run out of old stock yet"


This would not be a valid reason. Unless mandated by some law, the dealers will sell at the market price, regardless of the manufacture date.

A major issue regarding imported anything is going to be supply chain costs. These have increased massively since Covid and continue to climb. Ocean, Air and Ground transport are all experiencing much higher demand than they have supply.


jimbeam
US Army Fan
University of LSU
Member since Oct 2011
73066 posts

re: Ammo price observation...
Yeah “selling based off of production date” and not “market price” only works the other way. And Not in the buyers’ favor


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Scoob
LSU Fan
Near Exxon
Member since Jun 2009
15049 posts

re: Ammo price observation...
quote:

A major issue regarding imported anything is going to be supply chain costs. These have increased massively since Covid and continue to climb. Ocean, Air and Ground transport are all experiencing much higher demand than they have supply.
while I do acknowledge that as true, and that shipping from the Czech Republic to Belgium is going to be cheaper than to the US, would that not be offset by sheer bulk? I mean, I would guess that our market is conservatively 100x as large, and S&B isn't new here (they'd be maintaining, not filling new orders).

Seems like the Russians were able to ship things here pretty cheaply

In point of reference, I am 99% certain (I don't have the posts pulled up to confirm right now), that before 2020, this ammo WAS cheaper to buy in the US, than in Europe. My understanding is that the European prices are relatively constant, whereas ours have doubled.
And this includes Winchester over there, which would face the same shipping issues.



Hurricane Mike
LSU Fan
Member since Jun 2008
14548 posts
 Online 

re: Ammo price observation...
quote:

That would destroy the "cost of production has risen" argument


I don't know where this argument came from, prices went sky high well before Biden's communist administration took office. I'm seeing cases of .223/556 in stores for $700 and I laugh at them, they still think it's 6 months ago.


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TheDrunkenTigah
Syracuse Fan
Baton Rouge
Member since Aug 2011
16446 posts

re: Ammo price observation...
No idea where it stands now but Canadian stores had shelves full of ammo, primers, and powder at normal prices not that long ago. Searching primers online you’d find retailers based in Canada with pre-shortage prices and big bold letters “we cannot ship to the US”.

The shortage was a run in new US gun ownership as much as covid shutdowns. Then scarcity breeds scarcity. There’s cost associated with importing and shipping costs are through the roof for everything, so I’d imagine the truth is a little of everything adding up.


Scoob
LSU Fan
Near Exxon
Member since Jun 2009
15049 posts

re: Ammo price observation...
I don't think shipping is an issue for bulk amounts. S&B is the same price as Winchester White Box, both here and there. BOTH are twice the price here.

If shipping was an issue, then the Winchester would cost more in Europe.

The answer is really, simple economics. The price is what people demonstrate we will pay. If I'm selling something, and I discover that I can DOUBLE the price (and profit), and people still buy it as fast as I can list it, you better believe I'm keeping it up. These guys aren't running charities.


TheDrunkenTigah
Syracuse Fan
Baton Rouge
Member since Aug 2011
16446 posts

re: Ammo price observation...
quote:

If shipping was an issue, then the Winchester would cost more in Europe.



You’re making a lot of assumptions here. The shipping crisis is not a matter of cents per mile, it’s in labor shortages that are going to vary by direction and amount of changeover.

You keep using the word bulk as if it’s a magic wand, bulk shipping is every bit as effected and sometimes more by those labor shortages. There are containers that are sitting at port that have been in line to unload for months, of all sorts of products.

A single box of ammo is going to pass through several layers of distributors before it touches a shelf. Are they marking up more now? Wouldn’t surprise me. More likely, they’re maintaining a % margin above costs and those costs have increased at every level. That’s simple economics.


Scoob
LSU Fan
Near Exxon
Member since Jun 2009
15049 posts

re: Ammo price observation...
When I say "bulk", I mean that S&B ships a shit-ton of ammo to the US. It's not a couple cases, it's a huge amount.

Ok, remove them from the equation, if that bugs you. Why is Winchester White Box cheaper in Europe, than here? Shipping costs for Winchester would be cheaper to send domestically. And yet, again we see prices nearly double in the US, while in Europe they are ... at/near the same prices as before 2020.



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TheDrunkenTigah
Syracuse Fan
Baton Rouge
Member since Aug 2011
16446 posts

re: Ammo price observation...
Because, again, the majority of the markup is likely in the distribution network. A factory does not send a case to your local shop. S&B is going to sell bulk lots to an importer, that importer will then sell to regional distributors, who will then sell to box stores or smaller local distributors, and then your local shop. Prior to the current labor shortage, that network could get it to you cheaper than to Belgium, because European labor has traditionally been expensive and the US imported more.

The fact that Winchester is cheaper in Europe than here proves that it’s a function of labor downstream. Once it leaves the factory Olin never gets another dime. Exporters and European distributors are paying distribution costs in Europe. American distributors are dealing with $600 unemployment and $3 gas.


Scoob
LSU Fan
Near Exxon
Member since Jun 2009
15049 posts

re: Ammo price observation...
Distribution costs... we both know there's more than that in play.

It's called capitalism, profiteering, whatever you like. It's the same reason that the case of Tula 7.62x39 I bought a month ago for $270, is now almost $200 more.

Biden announced a ban... the import licenses are in place and the ammo continues to come in. Will continue for awhile, until those licenses expire.

Oh BTW, I'm also seeing surplus Yugo (corrosive), which was NOT covered in the ban, has jumped from about $320 then, to $599 for a crate. This is stuff already sitting in the warehouse.

Retailers are taking advantage of the market's anxiety, plain and simple.


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deltaland
Mississippi St. Fan
Member since Mar 2011
65050 posts
 Online 

re: Ammo price observation...
Shipping overseas is outrageous right now. If Eastern European brand is selling for that in Europe add at least 100 for shipping here. Cost of shipping a container of product has gone from 5k to like 25-30k


Scoob
LSU Fan
Near Exxon
Member since Jun 2009
15049 posts

re: Ammo price observation...
quote:

Shipping overseas is outrageous right now. If Eastern European brand is selling for that in Europe add at least 100 for shipping here. Cost of shipping a container of product has gone from 5k to like 25-30k


I don't doubt that shipping is expensive. Why is WWB so much cheaper in Europe? Don't they pay the same shipping fees? Why aren't we seeing that at a lower price here?

The fact that you have S&B and Winchester, at the same price as each other (within a dollar or so per case), on both sides of the Atlantic... that doesn't make sense.

If Winchester can be sold that cheap after shipping overseas, it should be cheaper than S&B in the US. If you can sell S&B at the same price as WWB over here, it should be cheaper than WWB over there.



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Da #1 Stunna
LSU Fan
985
Member since Oct 2012
979 posts

re: Ammo price observation...
They are definitely cashing in and playing the supply and demand game. It has been going on forever.

If we had an honest government, this is a consumer protection issue that Congress should take up, but there is no way ........ they would make this issue 1000x worse if they were involved. They would want to limit, skim profits, control every aspect of who can purchase & charge so much only the elite and the government could afford ammunition.


thejudge
USA Fan
Westlake, LA
Member since Sep 2009
11631 posts
 Online 

re: Ammo price observation...
Recently someone in the area found 1000 rounds of 9mm on the side of the interstate in a damn crate.

I'd say that was a good price...


Scoob
LSU Fan
Near Exxon
Member since Jun 2009
15049 posts

re: Ammo price observation...
quote:

Recently someone in the area found 1000 rounds of 9mm on the side of the interstate in a damn crate
I wonder if that's where one of my orders is going to end up.

I got some Red Army Standard 308 on August 25th from GlobalOrdnance (which is in Sarasota Fl). It keeps rolling back and forth on I-10, was in Houston Sunday.

I bought it the night the ban was announced; 223 and 7.62x39 had already skyrocketed, but their 308 hadn't been raised yet. It let me order, and then they went "out of stock" afterwards

Hope this lacquer sealing is good, it's been in 2 damn hurricanes now


seawolf06
LSU Fan
Raleigh, NC
Member since Oct 2007
7894 posts

re: Ammo price observation...
quote:

In point of reference, I am 99% certain (I don't have the posts pulled up to confirm right now), that before 2020, this ammo WAS cheaper to buy in the US, than in Europe.


It is possible that there are factors in Europe which dictate a "minimum" price. It could be regulations, taxes, competition, demand, etc.


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Scoob
LSU Fan
Near Exxon
Member since Jun 2009
15049 posts

re: Ammo price observation...
quote:

I got some Red Army Standard 308 on August 25th from GlobalOrdnance (which is in Sarasota Fl). It keeps rolling back and forth on I-10, was in Houston Sunday.

I bought it the night the ban was announced; 223 and 7.62x39 had already skyrocketed, but their 308 hadn't been raised yet. It let me order, and then they went "out of stock" afterwards

Hope this lacquer sealing is good, it's been in 2 damn hurricanes now
Just for purposes of disclosure-

my order finally arrived today. Undamaged, box appears dry (and never wet). I opened a box, looks fine. I will set this out in my den with the AC on, near a dehumidifier awhile just to make sure; then will drop it into am empty ammo can for longterm storage.


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