Is This The Resurgence of Cheap Ammo?

Posted: April 11, 2013 in .223 / 5.56, .40 S&W, .45ACP, Ammunition
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

I went to Walmart today and was shocked to see some .223 ammo on the shelf.  I walk past the cabinet every time I go in there but its usually just a waste of time.  Today was different.  There wasn’t a lot of ammo on the shelf, but there was a bunch of Russian TulAmmo.

Some people might not like the stuff, especially since its steel cased, but if you’ve been following my blog for a while then you know I love the stuff.  Its cheap, reliable, and very accurate for $0.25 a round (as of last year).  So when I saw 20 boxes of .223 on the shelf, I bought my limit of 3.  Might go back tomorrow as well.

The price has gone up, I’m sure you had guessed that.  But I think I can swing an extra $0.30 a box.  That extra 1.5 pennies a round certainly isn’t going to bother me at all.

And now you’re saying, “sure, they had some .223, but tomorrow there will be none left”.  To that I say, 20 boxes isn’t a lot, but its far more than we’ve seen in the past.  And in addition to .223, TulAmmo was also available in .40 S&W and .45ACP.  Each of those sections were full as well.  There were virtually no other manufacturers present anywhere else on the shelves.

This could mean two things:

  1. TulAmmo has upped production or began exporting more to match the increased demand.
  2. Walmart finally received an order they placed back in December before the Great Ammo Drought of 2013 went into affect.

The reason I don’t think this is a back-ordered shipment is because my local Walmart has told me they never stopped ordering.  They continued ordering and everything they put on the shelves sold the same day.  While I never saw that with my own two eyes, I can’t call them liars either.  Local rumors spoke of lines in sporting goods every morning when the shipments were scheduled to be put on the shelf.  Most of the ammo never even made it behind the glass.

But this is all just speculation.  I’m no expert on business or firearms and I don’t claim to be.  I can only make statements based on what I see and experience first hand.

Regardless, this is a positive thing.  Local shops are still struggling to get ammo on the shelves, but cheap ammo is unheard of.  Everything I have found locally has been high dollar brass stuff, and for me that’s just not appealing.  Is this a sign that cheap (inexpensive) ammo is once again a possibility?  I don’t know.  All I know is I now have 60 more rounds of my favorite brand of rifle ammo.

  1. rmactsc says:

    Tula Ammo is great stuff. Before the shortage a 20 round box of Tula .223 used to retail in my area for about $6.99 a box. Lately it’s been running about $18.99 a box.

  2. Libertykev says:

    I would agree there might be some loosening as Walmart here in the triangle of NC seems to be getting some calipers in with better frequency. I saw .223 tulammo as well, plus .357,.380, .40 and .45 boot too mich 9mm though. Gander mountainof you have one seems to get regular inventory but it does not last long and is more expensive. Maybe things are looking up. I got some .22 on midway last week with shipping .10 per round.

    • Thanks for the comment, I’m glad to hear others are seeing a change as well! I wish we had a Gander Mountain around here but the closest is over an hour away I believe. We have a Dick’s Sporting Goods though and they seem to work the same: Regular stock orders that are expensive and disappear quickly. My favorite part of your comment is where you mention the .22 ammo. Seeing that return to shelves will be the ultimate sign that things are recovering.

  3. Maybe, just maybe we are seeing saturation of the amateur hoarders. I was able to pick up six boxes of 22lr @ 225 rounds earlier this week for about $60. Granted, they were hollow-points so it was a little more than normal 40gr lead but still a pretty decent price. Now, in all honesty I was there at 0700 when the store opened but at least they had some ammo in the shipment. Also, it looks like the auction price for on-line ammo is down to the ~$65 for a brick of 0.22 plinking-grade plus shipping. I am seeing similar drops in the auction prices for other calibres and the less popular calibres such as 300 WM are not always, but frequently on the shelves at the local stores. Like I said, I wouldn’t hold my breath but we may be past the worst.

    Of course this could all change with one executive order.

    • Thanks for reporting what you’ve seen. I like hearing what its like in other places. And you’re right, any and all progress could be reversed in an instant. Hopefully it wont go that far . . .

  4. […] Is This The Resurgence of Cheap Ammo? […]

  5. William says:

    Ammo is coming back down because company’s have increased the amount of production and its renewable unlike gas…the prices will continue to stay high as long as people are paying double the price for it because what’s happening is people are buying it up as soon as it hits the shelves and reselling it so until we stop paying double the price it’ll continue to be hard to find!!!!!!

    • You’re absolutely right. That’s one reason I’ve refused to buy ammo that has been marked up considerably in the past few months. If we’re willing to pay for it, why should they be motivated to lower prices? That’s one reason gas prices go up in the summer and around holidays. People are willing to pay the price so they can travel, visit family, etc.

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