Better And Better

If you don't draw yours, I won't draw mine. A police officer, working in the small town that he lives in, focusing on family and shooting and coffee, and occasionally putting some people in jail.

Monday, March 24, 2008

When did I lose track?

The new spring pistol match season begins this week.

Oops. I'm about out of ammo.

Time to reload some .357 Sig.

Oops. I'm out of brass.

Time to check around. Nope. I got nuthin'.

I called the good-good people at Dillon Precision, dialing their excellent 800 number from memory, even though I haven't called those folks in 10 years. I had memorized their customer service number the first time I ever saw it, about 20 years ago: 800-223-4570.

I identified myself and asked about .357 Sig brass. The tech named Mike (not the Mike at Dillon; the other guy) apologized and explained that they had, at present, NONE in stock. (At this point he asked if I still lived at an address that I haven't lived at for 9 years. Nope. Ah. That's why I haven't been receiving the Blue Press.)

He referred me to another distributor, Powder Valley. I called them, and they reported that 100 pieces of unprimed brass would cost $23.46. That's twenty three and a half cents a case. Plus shipping. Dayum. Was there a reduction in price for a larger order? Well, it's $112.59 for 500. That's 22 and a half cents apiece. For 1000 pieces, it would be $220.68. That's still over 22 cents apiece. And at that price, they only had 20 bags of 100 left.

What the hell is going on?

Even with money coming in, the product isn't available. The good folks at Dillon frickin' Precision can't even come up with a 100 pieces of this very common brass, at any price. 13 years ago, I bought 1000 pieces of primed new Remington .45 acp brass --shipped-- for $125.

Yeah, I learned a lot about the economics of ammo pricing a year ago from Dave here, (thanks, Tam), but this still boggles my mind. There is demand. Why isn't there supply?

Copper and tin and zinc and nickel are expensive, but not nonexistent.

Somebody is missing a bet.

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At Monday, March 24, 2008 2:36:00 PM, Blogger Matt G said...

Oh, as an addendum: I can get .357 Sig brass this weekend-- that's not a big problem. I can solve the problem, eventually-- I'll just have to buy pre-manufactured ammo for the match on Saturday.

I'm just shocked and amazed that, while I have primers, bullets, powder, and dies, I can't load.

At Monday, March 24, 2008 4:02:00 PM, Blogger Old NFO said...

Matt, this is due to the massive orders placed by the government. Lake City is producing something on the order of 1,000,000 yes, 1 million rounds a month of .223 ammunition. This has lead to a shortage of brass, primers, and lead/copper for bullets. When you add in the doubling price of lead, and quadruple price of copper, everybody jumped on the military feedbag and left us poor civilians hanging. I was talking to a local LEO I shoot with, he was told the department has been told 9-12 months to fill their .223 order and 6-9 months to fill their 9mm order...

At Monday, March 24, 2008 4:49:00 PM, Blogger Matt G said...

It's more complicated than just "there's a war on," NFO. That economics of ammunition link that I hotlinked gives more on the factors, but that was a year ago. I'd be interested in how it's changed since then. My sources say everything goes up next week.

At Monday, March 24, 2008 5:22:00 PM, Blogger Rabbit said...

I could spot you probably 200 rounds of WWB if you need it. Maybe more if you don't mind mixed factory loads. I can't pull the exact inventory of 357sig out of memory at the moment.


At Monday, March 24, 2008 5:33:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just looked at Midway and they seem to be out of stock on a lot of brass,just bought 500 6.5x55 swedish mauser and glad i got those brass is getting hard to get in the UK as well.

At Monday, March 24, 2008 9:07:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another flop on futures bubble, IMHO. Prices drop, but there is no product to buy. Ha!

At Tuesday, March 25, 2008 6:20:00 AM, Blogger Old NFO said...

Understood Matt, I probably wasn't clear enough in my response. It really hasn't changed since those comments were written. One thing I did not put in my original post- Due to the 'politics' involved, even though IMI (Israel) has a contract to mfg .223 for US, NONE of that ammo is being forward shipped to the sandbox. Only US mfg ammo is resident over there for US troops. The points both dealers made are still valid and as we know, the price of oil keeps going up...

At Tuesday, March 25, 2008 3:10:00 PM, Blogger Arthur said...

Have you tried Starline Brass directly? Maybe that's changed, but I used to order right from their website.

At Thursday, March 27, 2008 10:18:00 AM, Blogger John B said...

What Arthur said, I was also cruising for brass. For my 45-70. Ironically the reason more or less that we met on the net was I was chasing down a 45-70 reference. I found Starline. It is obtainable locally in town. Since I'm the only one of a couple of dozen shooters that reliably patronize the store, They hold back a spare thousand in 45-70, 45 long colt, and a couple hundred in .44 mag and .357 calibers. I do use more of those, but, I also have a backlog. If I had enough friends using .357 sig, I'd probably order a square deal B in that caliber.

I'm feeling the pinch in my pocketbook though. I do demonstrations of solar power by using a solar oven, lenses and mirrors to melt down key brass, and I've gotten copper fairly soft, but never melted. I have also managed to cut car bodies using a fairly complicated array of lenses and mirrors.

Now all the brass, and copper I melt, or try to, I'm keeping to barter with the bullet brass companies. It may not be patriotic, but I'm feeling like I'm quite Thoreau with this war...

Sorry Matt, really couldn't resist.


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