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What's going on behind the scenes

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by LocknLoadPA, Apr 2, 2014.

  1. LocknLoadPA


    May 4, 2013
    that powder is being hoarded now? First it was primers but for the past year it seemed like every time I went into my favorite shop the powder was back close to pre-Obamascare levels. Now it's scarce, but there's a bunch of primers both Winchester and CCI.

    Blue Dot used to be the "redheaded stepchild" as far as powder was concerned nobody wanted it yet my G23 loves it. Now I can't even find that.

    I still have yet to see a steady supply of Gold Dot HPs in .40.
  2. Angry Fist

    Angry Fist Dehumanizer® Lifetime Member

    Dec 30, 2009
    Hellbilly Hill
    What is this "powder" you speak of?

  3. WeeWilly


    Nov 12, 2011
    Only mokes believe in conspiracy theories.

    The powder shortage is simple supply and demand imbalance.

    Think about it this way. You have a number of factories that produce a commodity. It is a relatively steady state kind of economic process. This commodity is not particularly difficult to make, but as the industry is pretty steady state, nobody is going out and building new factories and in any case, no community wants to hear about the new Nitroglycerin factory going in down the street...

    Now in a relatively short period of time, mainly because of a bunch of mokes who think the government is out to get them (which unfortunately it is, just not in the way they think) you get a real demand spike. Due to being a bunch of mokes who believe in conspiracies, reloaders all of sudden change from thinking a few month's worth of powder was adequate supply, to a mindset that says at least a year's worth of powder is not enough. This dynamic makes the demand look like it outstrips supply by a factor of 4-5 times.

    The dearth of supply, due to this "adequate stock" mindset shift, increases the fear among existing users who then again up what they think is adequate supply and the cycle intensifies.

    This kind of behavior happens in all markets from time to time, it is human nature based. The recession in the industry that is likely to happen after everyone's new "baseline stock" is fulfilled is understood by the manufactures, so nobody is going out and building five new factories for the bubble in demand, so it takes a while for this drama to play out.

    This phenomenon (and many others like the nonsense the Fed is peddling right now) are all well documented in Adam Smith's seminal work "The Wealth of Nations", nothing much has changed in economics since he wrote it. Give it a read and you won't be a moke. Nobody wants to be a moke. ;)
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2014
  4. Taterhead

    Taterhead Counting Beans

    Dec 13, 2008
    Boise, Idaho
    I think there are a lot more loaders now. Action shooting, USPSA, IDPA, 3Gun, etc. is all seeming to grow. All of that increases the demand for components. That is causing shortages. That causes many of us to re-evaluate what are acceptable inventory levels. We are increasing. That has increased demand too, and so it continues. People are buying powders that they never would have considered before, just cuz it is on the shelf. 4 years ago it was primers so many of us way upped stocks of those so we are still sitting ok.

    This is probably getting to be close to a bubble about where ARs were a while ago. Production caught up. People were finally well stocked to higher inventories than ever before, and sales will slow down once personal inventories are attained at new comfort levels.

    EDIT: my post came in after Willy's. He basically stated my thoughts a little more adequately. Smith is a great study. I have read it several times with great benefit.
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2014
  5. WeeWilly


    Nov 12, 2011
    I was typing maybe a little sooner is all. I think your observation on new reloaders was accurate as well. I think the dearth of ammo, and resultant scalping of what was available drove a lot of people to start reloading which did place additional stress on the supply system.

    I think in addition, conglomerates like ATK who are their own biggest customer, also placed demands on the powder supply as they likely make more margin on finished ammo than canister powder, and even if they don't, have customer contracts that they do not want to lose, so finished ammo gets what is needed first to catch up.

    In the end, I believe the biggest factor in the current powder mania is the "adequate supply" viewpoint of existing reloaders. I don't know anyone in our hobby that thinks a few months supply is adequate. That will change after supplies return, but like the real estate bust, will be a long time returning to normal.

    On Adam Smith, everyone should read his work. Published around the time of our own Declaration of Independence, it is all anyone needs to know about economics, human nature and why governments always end up devaluing their currency. I loved the way he described this process "pre-central banking" when he points out how The Crown would always put a little less silver in each coin over time. Nothing under the sun has changed.
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2014
  6. Colorado4Wheel


    Nov 2, 2006
    Good Post.
  7. fredj338


    Dec 22, 2004
    Totally diff comparison to a gun shortage & a ammo/component shortage. Once the gun is bought, it isn't going to be bought again by the same person, mostly a one time vent. Ammo & components are consumables, need to be bought monthly or so. It takes very few new reloaders to decimate powder supplies or shooters ammo supplies. As noted, no new factories are going in, most are running 24-7 shifts to keep up.
    At some point thing will settle down, but IMO, not until our political climate changes. When the anitgunners have been neutered, then things may settle down. When that happens, be a buyer, 1-2yrs supply, & then be a buyer at least biannually to maintain that 1-2yr supply. Then you'll never be short. This is by far worse than 08-09, hopefully if all of you don't stay home in Nov, we take both houses & the fear level will drop.
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2014
  8. Boxerglocker

    Boxerglocker Jacks #1 Fan

    Mar 6, 2003
    Lynnwood, WA
    I agree. Thinking the days of the 3-4 guy group buy are gone. I just got a order in at Graf’s this morning for a limited 5 pounds of CFE Pistol and 5K of CCI SPPs. I could of gotten more different powder or primer but honestly don’t need any. I just wanted to try out the CFE and get a little cushion on my stash. All is all $32 a brick of primers and $28 pound for the powder was my overall cost including Hazmat and fees.
  9. WeeWilly


    Nov 12, 2011

    Thanks Steve, I appreciate it.
  10. F106 Fan

    F106 Fan

    Oct 19, 2011
    With Hillary the presumptive next President, I don't think the fear level will drop a bit. I don't think we'll see daylight for the next 11 years. But I tend to be pretty optimistic. Who knows what we'll get after Clinton. Probably somebody even worse.

  11. WeeWilly


    Nov 12, 2011

    I am very interested in CFE Pistol. Looking at the numbers it seems to hold a lot of potential. In calibers I am interested, it seems to really shine.

    Of course, that could just be numbers to make people want it... uh oh, that sounds like a conspiracy, man, I hate sounding like a moke...

    Please keep us up to date on how it performs.
  12. PCJim

    PCJim Senior Member

    Aug 4, 2008
    I can tell you that my stock has increased due to two primary reasons. First, I'm shooting a LOT more than I used to, both thru IDPA and good ol' range time. Secondly, due to the previous shortage that we incurred in '08-09 as Fred mentioned. I'm not going to go thru that worry again and have no need to now.

    I still can get a group buy together within an hour or two (did it two weeks ago) which works for primers but currently not for powders. If I happen to find powder, I'll order extra and either stock it myself or resell it to fellow members of my club at my cost.
  13. PCJim

    PCJim Senior Member

    Aug 4, 2008
    Let me add this observation. Has anyone else noticed that there has been sporatic deliveries of every manufacture of powder except Winchester? Makes me wonder if Hodgdon may be planning to put the brand to rest, or maybe if Winchester powder is one of the primary components of factory ammo? Either way, while others have posted glimpses of powder seen as available on internet sites, no Winchester has been.
  14. Pat T

    Pat T

    Nov 6, 2004
    NW PA
    Wish Hodgdon made an equivalent of Winchester Supreme 780 which they just eliminated. I agree that they seem to be wiping out the Winchester brand powders.

    Just ordered 4 pounds of IMR4064 from Mid South SS, wish I had ordered the 8# of IMR4831 when it was still available last week. I may be a hoarder, but I'm a hoarder that doesn't see an end to the threat to availability from the anti-gun politicians.
  15. snowwdog

    snowwdog snowwdog

    Nov 30, 2011
    i dont really understand the whole not building a new factory. .22lr was just getting regular from 08-09 when this all blew up again. .22lr before this was hit or miss at wall mart. It never really sat on the shelf. you had to go by a couple times a week to find it. So the manufacturers have been running capacity for 6 or 7 years and they wont build more production capability? doesnt make sense to me. Ive been in business awhile and if i was running capacity for a year id be building. It doesnt cost that much to put up a new building and machinery. Dont bull **** a bull****ter. If we can all reload at home they can dam sure put in a machine in a building and pump out .22lr. Something is not making sense here. A big company like CCI should be able to easily build out another production building. It just doesnt make sense not to. If there are no .22lr on any retailer shelf's it would take a year for CCI just to fill the shelves and that is if no one bought anything. Something stinks here.
  16. Taterhead

    Taterhead Counting Beans

    Dec 13, 2008
    Boise, Idaho
    In this regulatory climate, it isn't easy to build anything in the US any longer. Permits. Environmental assessments, zoning, etc. It is risky and takes too much bureaucratic capital.
  17. G36_Me


    Aug 4, 2009
    This is a good thread. What us your acceptable level of primers and powder and bullets. I know mine has gone up. Tell me yours has not and I won't believe u.
  18. Steel Head

    Steel Head Tactical Cat

    Jan 1, 2010
    A cat box in WA

    I've seen some 748, 760 , and 296 lately.
    I've seen a bit of everything but WST, 231 and clays and a few other common pistol/shotgun powders.

    I'm actually doing good on powder.
    I would like to get some more w748, 8208XBR and WST in 8#'s
    I'm pretty well settled on those and would like to get a good stock built up upon those.
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2014
  19. steve4102


    Jan 2, 2009
    Where did you read that 780 has been discontinued?

    Got a Link?
  20. attrapereves


    Sep 11, 2011
    Interestingly enough, rifle powders in my area seem to be fairly well stocked. I could go out right now and grab 4064 and 4198. Pistol powders are really difficult. My local gun shop can only keep magnum powders in stock. Everything else sells out quickly.

    Primers on the other hand, are plentiful.

    I think another problem with powders is supply. Most are made in Europe and they simply can't keep up with demand. It also seems that they ship them in large batches instead of a constant stream.

    One positive thing about this shortage is that I've been forced to try other powders and primers that I would have never tried before. I don't see the need to spend $30+ for a box of CCI primers when the $25 Wolf or Tula work just as well.
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2014