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Price Gouging or Market Reality

I know some of you laddies...and maybe lassies...have personal protection devices which fire a projectile after the timed and precision ignition of a propellant.

There is a NC/SC “Firearms Blog” that gets as “spread out” as we do.  Photography, gunsmithing, sales, trades, social commentary on just about every current event item.

One caught my eye.  A firm in High Point, that appears to be an Ammunition Distributor (Buys from Manufacturers) also has a “store front”.  Many of the long time blog members and owners appear to know him personally.  He does not, to the best of my knowledge, advertise there.

To set the stage, in mid 2019, you could purchase 9mm 115gr ball ammo for maybe $0.20...or LESS.   There were some rebates so the prices were approaching $0.13 - $0.15 per round.  I over ordered and decided to make my own, more efficiently, and ordered a nice semi-automatic reloading machine.  So, I peeled off 28 boxes or 1,400.   Sold in the $0.17 range.  Many folks bought 1000 round cases in the low $0.20 range in December.

The thread on the blog was about the High Point distributor selling through his store front.  He sold 87,000 rounds...all he had...I think... in 24 hours.  That was at $0.80 per round...3-4 times what the late 2019/20 prices were.  He grossed $69,600.

To keep this broad, DW is seeing grocery prices increase.  Even the GK’s are commenting on food prices...at the store or when they get takeout....

Just a topic that picqued my plate this morning....


  • ryebreadryebread Posts: 2,233PFN Referee
    edited August 17
    The stock market is similarly inflated.

    I think it's pretty simple.  You don't dump all of this printed money in the economy and not see inflation.
  • ^This. Demand is probably driving gun and ammo sales. But demand isn't driving food inflation at this point. I haven't really seen any evidence of hoarding or shortage since May, except for maybe particular commodities on an occasional visit. But you are seeing some food supply dry up due to closures, which is leading to price pressure. Stocks have been inflated for some time. That's not new.
  • TexpackTexpack Posts: 2,628
    Ammo is inflating due to the fear of ammo and gun sales being banned after the election. We see this frequently around transitional elections. 
    As for inflation in general, I’ll agree that too much money chasing too few goods is responsible for a portion of that. There are also real distribution and manufacturing disruptions that are driving some of it as well. Soda sales in restaurants, which represent the largest share of that product’s sales all but disappeared. Only so much production has shifted to the home market because they don’t have enough cans to absorb the fountain production volumes. Lots of flavors have gone away or been cut back to match container availability with purchases. This drives up prices. Closing food processing plants for COVID outbreaks and/or additional sanitation precautions also boosts prices. The extra unit costs associated with cleaning and spacing are being passed along as well.  
    The line between gouging and what is truly demand/scarcity driven is a bit more blurry in situations like this than it is when people sell bottled water for $50/case after a hurricane 
  • RickRick Posts: 2,484PFN Referee
    I think I have posted this before but I have been buying a box of ammo a month for 4 or so years. I have several thousand rounds of .40 and 9mm. 
  • Hogw1ldHogw1ld Posts: 217
    Rick said:
    I think I have posted this before but I have been buying a box of ammo a month for 4 or so years. I have several thousand rounds of .40 and 9mm. 
    I buy a case when I catch a good price.  I don't get to shoot near as much as I used to (frickin' kids man), so at this rate I have more 9mm, .45, .223, and .22LR than I could ever shoot.  I'm sure I'll get back into it when I'm done chasing kids around the ballpark.

    As far as ammo prices right now, it's all about supply and demand.  Shelves are empty cause people are panic buying.
  • AdventurooAdventuroo Posts: 2,793
    Got a email from a COMPONENT supplier.  This guy both makes and also purchases Bullets.   NOT AMMO.  His market is for folks like me that handload their own ammo.  Typically as we are more precise in our powder charges....but it is cheaper.  We can also tune or find a load that is more accurate for a specific gun.

    a few weeks ago, he got in a shipment or had 5,000,000 5MILLION bullets or “projectiles” in stock and had to raise his prices as his raw materials, lead and copper, went up and his large producers (cold headers spitting out almost 1,000 bullets per MINUTE had gone up.

    today, he has less than 10,000 in stock.  Again....for the serious shooter and not ready to shoot ammo.  

    A buddy went to a local range in North Raleigh yesterday to sight in a small carbine that we put new optics on.  He said the had to wait a while.  Range was full.  Half Caucasian and half “off color...but predominantly AfroAmerican.

    he was shooting at the max range, 25 yards.  We typically are shooting our handguns at that range now as we have “been practicing” and improving.  These were people with new guns.  They were shooting at 5 and 7 yards and flaying shots.  They were lucky to get 3 or 4 on the man target out of a mag of 10 - 17.  He had some “stray” holes in his down range target...

    I just report things....no comments are necessary.  All 9mm and AR ammo is priced 4-5 times what it was in February....IF YOU CAN FIND IT...
  • packplantpathpackplantpath Posts: 28
    edited August 19
    I don't think this is a typical election year fears gun and ammo increase in sales.  There is real, though I think misguided, fear of complete societal breakdown in some areas and I know some people who are stocking up.

    As for price inflation in general, I don't think this one has much to do with the huge cash injection's by the fed.  There is an effect from the stimulus payment but I think not much.  The big issue is labor making things scarce.  We have a huge supply shock in food because the people that pick, pack, process, and slaughter are not working.  Some of that is due to shutdown, some to people making more on unemployment, some to the huge numbers getting sick.

    I know for a fact that Smithfield's plant in tar heel cancelled 40 loads of hogs in one weektweek were scheduled because they didn't have enough staff to do the work. A local pickle company on the corner of cucumber and vine has seen demand skyrocket.  It's a weird time.

    I think the only thing preventing short term  price deflation right now is the fed.  As for asset prices on the stock market, I largely sold my stakes a few weeks ago.  At some point the market will correct and I do fear this one being worse than and correction in decades.  Hope I'm wrong and lost a bundle by selling instead of staying in.
  • Hogw1ldHogw1ld Posts: 217
    I agree that this isn't your typical gun/ammo buy and definitely not your typical inflation.  Supply things were/are pretty disrupted.

    We sold a load of light weight market hogs for 9 cents in May and were really happy to get rid of them.  We haven't had to euthanize any, but it's been close.

  • I think the cheapest we have sold so far was $.09 as well.  I think the load we delivered last week averaged $35/head so that's in the ballpark of $.11-$.13/lb but I haven't looked at the final tickets.

    So far Smithfield has taken everything we have, though we did have to wait 10-15 days one time and they were creeping up on a 330 avg.  Glad the weigh man didn't pull that load over.
  • Hogw1ldHogw1ld Posts: 217
    We are a research institution and only farrow 20 litters per week.  Don't have a lot of finish space so we sell a lot of feeders.  Keep some around for research purposes and sell light.  Most of them go to California, I think.  I work in pigs, but research, not day to day operations.  

    I think the feeder pigs have been OK to get rid of, if cheap.  Unloading light finishers and cull sows have been problematic.
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