New ammo paradigm?

Discussion in 'Caliber Corner' started by Deputydave, Sep 30, 2020.

  1. Deputydave

    Deputydave Millennium Member

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    So pre-panic the 9mm was pretty much the top dog in popular service calibers. The 40 S&W had seen a decline in popularity due to the FBI switch (which I have always maintained was not wise for people to emulate). The 45acp was still hanging in there. The 10mm and 357sig were popular niche calibers but not really that main stream. And for the most part rounds like 38 Super and 45 GAP were all but forgotten by the masses.

    With the panic however we've seen 9mm go from an increase of $5 a box to some folks wanting $1.50 a round at some gun shows and on Armslist and other sites. May as well have gold bullets. And of course it has become more difficult in a lot of locations to even buy 9mm and when it does appear it sells out quickly. The other service calibers have been effected but not to the extent and not as fast. When 9mm was getting more difficult to find I was still finding 40 S&W and 357sig. I picked up a box of 45acp at a local shop and he had plenty on the shelf. I haven't checked in the last couple of months because I'm fine with what I have but it seems like 10mm and 357sig was still available and the prices were fairly around the norm. And conversations about calibers like GAP and Super have resurfaced.

    I started to wonder about this about 6 months ago. Pre-panic 40 S&W platforms just weren't moving all that well. Those that understood the ebb and flow of things knew they could pick up new 40 S&W pistols for a song and trade-ins for a steal. Some shops had 40's sitting on the shelf collecting dust. Into the panic and 40's are flying off the shelf like any/everything else. On AL I've seen 40 models that a year ago you probably would have had a hard time selling at giveaway prices now selling for more than top dollar.

    So what I'm wondering is if this panic will elevate some of these less often bought calibers up a notch or two in popularity in the mass consciousness? Will it breath a little new life into 45 GAP? Will folks rediscover 38 Super? Will folks start to realize that while 9mm is a great caliber it's also the first to get hit with price increases and availability issues? Will folks start to think that maybe it's a good idea to diversify a bit into less popular calibers? I'm not suggesting that 45 GAP is going to suddenly surge to the #1 spot on the flavor-of-the-month chart for calibers. But will a lot more folks start to take interest in it and other calibers that they may normally not have looked sideways at? Or will there be a glut of new/used pistols on the market next year after things return to normal? I suspect that will happen to an extent but also that many folks will figure out it's a good idea to hang on to that pistol they just bought.

    On the flip side, calibers like 357sig and 10mm while popular are still pretty much niche rounds. Even more so, rounds like GAP and Super are even harder to find, more expensive when you do and lack the variety of the other calibers. Will ammo companies start to pump them out in greater numbers making them more available, perhaps less expensive and even offer some additional variety? They would have to, imo, if any of them are to see an increase in interest/popularity.

    It will be interesting to see if things simply return to normal or if there is a bit of a shift in the ammo world and what folks are interested in.
     
  2. fredj338

    fredj338

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    I think the point many miss is ammo isnt manuf in the same amounts for all calibers. The produce on runs & the most popular get the longest runs. If 40 drops in popularity, they'll drop production accordingly. If the 357sig over takes the 40, then you'll see more ammo being made. Rounds like the gap & 38 super probably get one short production run a year. Its a balancing act for the manuf.
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2020
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  3. cowboy1964

    cowboy1964

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    People will still prefer and want the 9. And at this point, all calibers are Unobtainium pretty much.
     
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  4. ejs54

    ejs54 Member

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    From my understanding most gun buyers right now are first time and they will likely flock to the one caliber everyone knows about 9mm

    With the run on ammo I'd assume shops will try to talk customers into .40 since this cal is still holding on from an ammo-in-stock perspective.

    I agree there is some strategy in getting 357 sig or lessor known calibers due to ammo in stock; however the folks making these decisions will be more of a minority like enthusiasts like us. I don't see a noob getting a LWD 357sig barrel for their G27. Plus I don't see any agencies adapting these calibers. But I'm no expert.

    I wonder if some ammo mfg might go tunnel vision on the popular calibers and smaller cals could become more scarce?

    I'm a little afraid "back to normal" that we saw in the past might not be able to be seen again.
     
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  5. M 7

    M 7

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    Nope, it'll come back. Just gonna take a lot longer since the shock to the system was a multiple ''gut-punch'' to the system made up of the COVID19 pandemic, economic upheaval, an unusually contentious presidential election, and the TGTT2020* driven by AntiFa and the BurnLootMurder mob.

    *The Great Temper Tantrum of 2020
     
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  6. MtnBiker

    MtnBiker NRA Member Millennium Member

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    Last time I went to Cabela's there were no 9mm, .40 cal, .38 spl.
    I bought the last 2 boxes of 45 ACP.

    They had a fairly good selection of .41 mag and .44 mag still in stock! Oh yeah, and some .32 cal.
     
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  7. CDW4ME

    CDW4ME Enigma

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    If there is ever a stupid nationwide AWB 10 round mag limit and no grandfathering, I anticipate that 10mm & 45 acp will become more popular, maybe 40.
    During the pointless 94-2004 AWB the 1911 experienced a surge in popularity.
    Many folks think, if I can only have 10 rounds, may as well have bigger and/or more powerful bullets.
    In 1911 platform, 10mm offers an additional round capacity.
    Glock 29SF and 30SF were designed for 10 round mags.

    I like my Glock 23, but I like it with the 13 round mag it was designed for, not an artificially limited 10 round mag; I just won't carry a pistol designed for 13-15 round mag with a 10 round version.
    If that asinine crap ever happens (10 round limit, no grandfathering) I'm ready, I've got 1911's in 10mm (and 45 acp) as well as Glock 29SF and 30SF.
     
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  8. PeterG

    PeterG

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    AmmoSeek is still showing.40S&W as low as .46 a round for fmj.

    I started my plan in January, it was to have a big and small CC gun in both .40 S&W and 9mm

    I got both ammo and firearms covered before the insanity buying started so now it’s just sit back and let it play out.

    If and when I need to restock ammo I anticipate it’ll be .40 I’ll be buying.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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  9. fredj338

    fredj338

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    The AWB/mag ban also sparked the subcompact 9mm market too. If only ten then lets make the guns smaller. I would expect not much change in that area if we get another Biden/Beto AWB/mag ban.
     
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  10. fastbolt

    fastbolt

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    This is one of those cyclical ebb & flow trends that was unexpectedly compounded by a couple of fear-inducing events, meaning covid and the opportunistic rioting violence that surged out of protests.

    Combine that with the usual "follow that guy" knee jerk reaction among LE when the feds started to return to 9mm (again), and the tendency for many private owners to emulate what the police do in firearm and ammunition selection .... and things rapidly escalated into a situation where manufacturing capability (covid precautions), marketing and distribution pipelines were caught off guard.

    Ammunition manufacturing capability - and production scheduling - don't change overnight. Even if the major makers are using automated equipment that can pump out 1 million rounds in a 24hr period, it's going to take time to meet existing demands, let alone the new demands and market panic buying, and that doesn't take into consideration the disparity of caliber demand, popularity and already-scheduled production plans.

    I suspect this was an ideal time for gun sellers to offload some old stock in which they had cash invested (.38Super, .45GAP), as new first-time gun owners flocked to stores and, like a swarm of locusts, devoured everything in front of them.

    This may not be an ideal time for the niche caliber shooters who want to buy factory ammunition, and especially if it's a caliber that's seeing steadily diminishing LE/Gov orders (looking at you .357SIG).

    When you see some of the premium JHP pistol (and .38SPL revolver) ammunition going for 24-38 cents/ea in LE contracts, but for $1-$1.50/ea for commercial sales, it can be ... disheartening.

    Personally, I'd not invest to try and build a collection at scalped pricing, though. I'd probably look to save in the bargain basement lines of the major makers for any range use, and keep the more costly JHP's (incl polymer plugged designs) for putting away (albeit do some limited random live-fire checks for feed & function, as well as the usual visual checks for any obvious QC issues).

    I look at this as the time to sit back and wait out the market. Paying too much now is only going to be money thrown away when the availability returns and the cost drops again.

    Naturally, having anticipated such inevitable market upheavals, and having already prepared by building up a prudent inventory of the ammunition you normally expect to use and/or need, is likely the best outcome. However, that's not something all the new buyers are in the position of having done. They'll pay for their sudden interest (or reawakened interest, for some) by having to forage for product availability, and pay whatever the market will require. Cycle of life.

    Me? I've curtailed some of my shooting, and I haven't bought new ammunition since before the covid issue hammered stores, the manufacturers and everyone else. I'll wait this out. Again.

    Luck to everyone.
     
  11. TNOUTDOORS9

    TNOUTDOORS9

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    I do agree that the paradigm has been altered forever and that 9mm availability will be spotty for months, if not years. And overpriced relative to the other primary service calibers. Due to the election alone I began a stock-up program in 2018 focusing on 9mm, .40, and 357 SIG. That continued through July as I felt the convergence of events warranted it and I shoot those calibers regularly.

    The past couple of months....due to availability, price, and priorities.... I'm buying only .40. This past week I've added 1000 rds of 180 FMJ for the purpose of running the G23 for target drills. Planning to buy .40 until I just can't stomach the price increases because inevitably the .40 fans will consume inventory. I'll continue to EDC a G19 but not opposed to the G23 or G32. .40 is allocated for the range until I feel comfortable that 9mm has pivoted back into mainstream availability and I can run 100's of rds a month. Shooting .40 consistently will only improve my abilities.

    As for where 9mm prices land, we've seen the last of 50 rd boxes of FMJ going for $12-15. Even when inventory returns to 2019 levels the panic buying will likely continue to some degree. I just hope that the 5 million new gun owners in 2020 have a basic sense of economics and are not discouraged from continuing their interest in personal protection, hunting, etc. We need them for the long haul.
     
  12. GunsNweights87

    GunsNweights87

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    I’m glad for the shortage it made me buy more 357 sig instead of taking it for granted


    Sent from my iPhone using Glock Talk
     
  13. 8X8

    8X8

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    I got mine. A ton of it, literally.
     
  14. Railsplitter

    Railsplitter

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    It's what has been preached for the past 12 years, diversify in calibers cover all your bases prepare for possible future shortages. My .40 357 Sig conversion barrels looked good before but look better even better now as they allow me to still be able to purchase ammo on line. The 9mm's popularity is what kills it in a shortage and this shortage could end up being permanent.
     
  15. Speleothem

    Speleothem

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    Sandy Hook was the last panic I ever will ever endure.
    My daughter will most likely inherit a pretty nice stash. :D
     
  16. Kentguy

    Kentguy

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    DeputyDave: "So what I'm wondering is if this panic will elevate some of these less often bought calibers up a notch or two in popularity in the mass consciousness? Will it breath a little new life into 45 GAP? Will folks rediscover 38 Super? Will folks start to realize that while 9mm is a great caliber it's also the first to get hit with price increases and availability issues? Will folks start to think that maybe it's a good idea to diversify a bit into less popular calibers? I'm not suggesting that 45 GAP is going to suddenly surge to the #1 spot on the flavor-of-the-month chart for calibers. But will a lot more folks start to take interest in it and other calibers that they may normally not have looked sideways at? Or will there be a glut of new/used pistols on the market next year after things return to normal? I suspect that will happen to an extent but also that many folks will figure out it's a good idea to hang on to that pistol they just bought."

    The way things are right at this moment, first time buyers will have no choice but to pick up what is left on the shelfs - guns & ammo respectively. Having said that, let’s hope that when this settles down a bit, this does move us into a "new ammo paradigm". Diversifying does require some critical thinking on our part so we don't let ourselves get caught up into the same predicament twice. This is not only good for the individual but for the gun community as a whole.

    I have several calibers but the three calibers I maintain for CCW as well as sport shooting are 38 special, 9mm and the 380 acp. Ammo for all three of the calibers have come a long way in the past 20 years and in a pinch, will serve me well. Long term planning and buying is a must when going down this road.

    My final thoughts on diversifying is not just to obtain several different firearms & ammo but to be proficient with each. Having a ton of "stuff" means little if you can't hit the broad side of a barn with any of it.

    Just my 2 cents, ok, I’m stepping down off my soap box now.
     
  17. Syclone0538

    Syclone0538

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    I've been all in on 9mm since my first pistol. I always considered it powerful enough, it was available in more small carry guns, and the price was right.

    Shortly before the pandemic I started thinking about diversifying into either .40 or .45. Once the pandemic hit I assumed I'd be waiting a long time, as I don't buy anything when prices are high. I recently stumbled on a pre pandemic deal/pandemic steal on a .40 in a pistol I wanted to try anyway.

    I just wish I'd have known if I was going to end up with .40 or .45 when Wal-Mart had their clearance...

    I've been able to buy plenty on 9mm fmj at my self imposed limit of $.18 over the last decade or so, now I have to figure out what I'm willing to pay for .40.
     
  18. 0311INF

    0311INF

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    A very many people had consolidated into primarily 9mm and 5.56 over the last 5 years or so, which (unless they're hording a decent stash) is about the worst place to be right now.
    I can find almost any caliber locally, but the 9mm and 5.56 prices are outrageous and in many cases eclipsing .45 and 7.62x51 respectively.

    I can still find .357 magnum, .30-06, and other old-timey ammo for respectable prices. However, .30-30 is gone.
     
  19. fredj338

    fredj338

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    It isnt the time t the moment, but many of you that fret over ammo availability should be looking into reloading. Right now all primer production is pretty much going into new ammo, but when things calm, reloading is really where it is at for availability of ammo. I can stock a lot more primers than ammo for the same money. I can shoot any service caliber for 10-11c a round if buying bullets. If making my own, then I am down to 4-5c per round, any service caliber.
     
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  20. Kentguy

    Kentguy

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    I agree 100%! Although I didn't specifically mention reloading, this is one of the thoughts behind my statement above; "Diversifying does require some critical thinking on our part so we don't let ourselves get caught up into the same predicament twice."

    A little investment in time and money now, will pay huge dividends (all the ammo you can make & shoot) later.