I’ve stopped getting it

I got it earlier. It made sense earlier. It was predictable. In the fall of ’08 when a certain someone was promising to Fundamentally Transform America, and Spread The Wealth Around, it made sense that people began buying guns and ammo in huge quantities, bracing for a new round of restrictions or worse.

That was six years ago. That’s longer than the time between the attack on Pearl Harbor and the A-bombing of Nagasaki, with all the design, procurement, tooling, production and logistics efforts involved in fighting and winning a highly mechanized, all-out war over most of the planet.

So why is there still almost no powder or 10 mm bullets on the shelves?

Yes, I’m venting, and yes I’m sitting on the sidelines complaining while doing nothing about it.


15 thoughts on “I’ve stopped getting it

  1. I had a smart Customer Service agent at MidwayUSA give me the lowdown on powder. Essentially, powder production is only available to the ammo makers now, because they are the only ones who can get variances on the VERY restrictive hazmat shipping rules. For example, a single UPS hub may only keep 50# of powder in transhipment, even if they constructed the required powder magazine to store it. No courier truck may carry more than 10#. The reloading industry is thus throttled down to a nonfunctional level.

    I dunno about 10mm bullets, suggest you change barrels and shoot lead. Oregon Trail makes some very hard gas checked boolits (“TrueShot”) which can take pushing to 2200-2300 fps in the 30 cal versions. I’ve pushed some of their .44 /310s out of my Colt Anaconda @ 1200 fps. If you insist on 10mm jacketed, Lyle, there are swaging dies that use a lead-filled 9mm hull and shape it into a 10mm JHP. Corbin makes those dies, according to blogger PawPaw’s House.

    • I have a Wolf barrel and cast the RCBS 200 grain SWC, which works OK. I still want some jacked HPs, and since I’ve developed a nice load for the Hornady 180 XTP I’d like to stick with it. I just haven’t seen any on the local shelves for months.

  2. I’ve heard people who should know assert that manufacturers won’t build new plants because this is a bubble and they don’t want to be standing when the music stops.
    We have how many new shooters in the US? And how many experts (were) saying get a 22 because cheap practice?

    • I understand the shyness about tooling up for more production capacity, but you make the good point– so many new shooters and new reloaders will have to be fed ammo and components for the long haul. Several companies have increased their capacity, and so, hopefully, this un-filled demand will soon be filled.

      It was kind of funny; this Big New Ammo Company was advertizing big time on the Blaze network, so I went to their web site and found nothing in stock. Well there was one pallet of .223 for something like 40 thousand dollars, but that was about it. Otherwise they listed dozens of calibers and multiple loads in each caliber, all unavailable.

      I am reminded of a situation in the musical instruments industry from the late 1980s to 1990s. There came a time when so many kids wanted to learn saxophone that we couldn’t find them for sale at the wholesale level. Same story– The established manufacturers were extremely shy about investing in more production. So what happened? A BUNCH of new companies sprouted up to fill the demand (bubble though it may have been, there were millions of un-spent dollars to be had), and now some of those previously well-established, secure, solid, good-o’-boy manufacturers are getting their asses pounded by the new competition. Some of those start-ups went on to produce truly superior saxophones, and naturally they have since branched off into making other instruments as well.

      Hear that, Ammo Makers?

      On a similar note; more new shooters need more places to shoot. Around here, there are actually fewer places to shoot than we had ten years ago. There’s an un-served “market” that I don’t see being discussed.

  3. I don’t get it either. A year ago I was still telling people this was a bubble and would eventually work its way through the system. Now I’m not so sure. Maybe demand is going to stay high and regulatory barriers to expanding the ammunition supply are going to keep prices up and availability down for a long time to come.

    • This essentially echoes my thought.

      That was six years ago. That’s longer than the time between the attack on Pearl Harbor and the A-bombing of Nagasaki, with all the design, procurement, tooling, production and logistics efforts involved in fighting and winning a highly mechanized, all-out war over most of the planet.

      Yes, but during WWII, the United States Government wanted those things to happen. On the contrary, there is a lot of institutional resistance to an expansion of the ammunition industry. Not even necessarily because it’s the ammunition industry (although I’m sure that doesn’t help) but simply because there’s a lot of institutional resistance to the expansion of almost anything industrial in this country. “Propellants are dangerous” “Woriking with chemicals” “Working with lead” “You’ll need an EPA study for that” “OSHA needs to approve your facility”

      And on and on and on and on and on.

      • So you’re saying it’s a conspiracy, and you’re right of course. That’s definitely part of it.

        • EPA, OSHA, FDA, BATFE, BLM; all these departments, bureaus and agencies are weapons. It has been said very recently that they have been weaponized, but I say that’s been their purpose all along.

  4. Powder Valley has a selection of Barne’s and Zero bullets. I’ve recently purchased Berry’s from Grafs. Powder is a problem.

  5. Well, the millions of 40 cal rounds DHS bought explains why there aren’t any 10mm bullets on the shelves, but I’ve been scratching my head about the powder situation too.

    Two years ago I got two 8lb kegs of Power Pro 2000-MR from Powder Valley, and I don’t remember any extra special hazmat issues with getting it delivered in one shipment by UPS.

  6. Because the status of the U.S. dollar as the world’s reserve currency is not going to last. When it goes, so will the floor from under everyone’s feet in this country. Most people don’t know why, but they have a general sense of malaise since the crash in ’07-’08. Fractional reserve banking coupled with the exponential curve is why. This goes back way further than the Great Recession. Although most people don’t understand or care about currency and finance, they can feel it in the air. I don’t know how it is going to play out, but given the American spirit, I know that it is going to be a wild ride.

    • Good point. So we each have a choice; if there’s going to be a really nasty depression and collapse of the dollar, are we as individuals going to participate in it, or innovate and adapt as necessary?

      Since most of our manufacturing has been out-sourced overseas, actual American production capacity, at all levels from mining to finishing, is going to become extremely valuable at some stage.

      I wanted a new orbital sander a while back, so I looked at all the American, Japanese and European brands (DeWalt, Milwaukie, Bosch, Makita, et al) and they were ALL made in China. I was ready to buy the first American-made sander I could find, but I couldn’t find one. Also I could NOT find a single, regular, plain old metal spatula for the kitchen that wasn’t made in China. Damn… And have you looked closely at food labels recently? A lot of that is Chinese also. So the majority of our manufacturing is done by a communist country that hates us, and also happens to hold the biggest share of our debt. What could go possibly wrong there?

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