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The Bullet Bubble: Is Ammo The Next Bitcoin, Or Gold In The 1970s?
Forbes ^ | April 9, 2013 | Daniel Fisher,

Posted on 04/11/2013 1:10:34 AM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet

Try going to your neighborhood Wal-Mart to buy some .22 bullets for target shooting, or a couple of boxes of shotgun shells, and you’ll discover what hunters and gun enthusiasts have been muttering about for months now: The shelves are bare.

Manufacturers are operating flat-out but can’t keep up with demand, as consumers snap up every box of ammo as soon as it comes on the market. Wal-Mart limits buyers to three boxes when they’re available, and Cabela‘s is limiting online orders to one box per day of the popular .22 long shells increasingly used as cheap ammo for target rifles and pistols.

The buying frenzy is understandable here in Connecticut, where the General Assembly recently tightened gun regulations in response to the Newtown school massacre. The new law includes a $35 permit to buy ammo that requires a background check and is good for five years — until the legislature decides it can shorten the term and increase the fee as a new source of tax revenue.

But why the national shortage? Here’s my theory: Bullets are easy to store, non-perishable, and they hold their value or even increase in times of crisis. So they’re a lot like gold or any other commodity that has served as hard money through the ages (or even the canned mackerel fillets that serve as currency in U.S. prisons....

(Excerpt) Read more at forbes.com ...


TOPICS: Extended News
KEYWORDS: ammunition; banglist; economy; gold; guncontrol; obama; secondamendment

1 posted on 04/11/2013 1:10:34 AM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
A 2011 survey of retailers found they reported 25% of their customers appeared to be new gun owners, Bazinet said, and the most recent Gallup poll found that 47% of Americans reported having a gun in the home.
“The demographic is spreading out,” Bazinet said, and gun ranges “are busier than ever.”

The good news about all this public awareness of scarcity of ammo and guns, and the public awareness of the growing cost and difficulty of acquiring these goods, the more the cool factor, the competitive factor, the collector factor enters the picture and the more non-gun owners are drawn to the field.

Guns and gun ranges are becoming hip, and kind of special, this is good news. The more suburban and city cocktail parties involve bragging about a new gun acquisition, or ammo purchase, or a day at the local range, or the wife's new holster, then the better for us.

2 posted on 04/11/2013 1:33:41 AM PDT by ansel12 (The lefts most effective quote-I'm libertarian on social issues, but conservative on economics.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Are the manufacturers really running full out?

They may say they are, but are they?


3 posted on 04/11/2013 1:39:12 AM PDT by Jonty30 (What Islam and secularism have in common is that they are both death cults)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Soon they will have ammo boutiques, ammunition with the names of our fascist politicians engraved thereon?


4 posted on 04/11/2013 1:47:52 AM PDT by Candor7 (Obama fascism article:(http://www.americanthinker.com/2009/05/barack_obama_the_quintessentia_1.html))
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To: Jonty30

Yes they are.

There is big money to be made and they are making as much as they can while they can


5 posted on 04/11/2013 1:53:21 AM PDT by rdcbn
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Be great to see ammo made south of the border come flooding in.

Unmarked, untaxed.

US ammo guys have picked the DHS over the people.


6 posted on 04/11/2013 1:53:50 AM PDT by NoLibZone (History teaches us that every nation's electoral process is as free & fair as its press.)
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To: rdcbn

From a business POV, is it better to really pump out everything until the demand is finally sated, or is it more profitable to keep manufacturing quotas just short of what is needed to continue the shortage and keep the prices up?


7 posted on 04/11/2013 1:59:00 AM PDT by Jonty30 (What Islam and secularism have in common is that they are both death cults)
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To: Jonty30

What the manufacturing folks have said....is that they haven’t downsized....same number of employees....and they are making the same number of bullets as they did in the past.

Historically....at least since World War II....things have been stable and I think local gun shops would all say that up until 2008....they could predict what they’d sell each quarter with good accuracy. Since 2008...they can’t predict because of the current trend.

All this said, if a guy could get the manufacturing equipment, in a gun-friendly state, and start a small production line...over the next five years...just max out your production, you’d make enough to retire for the rest of your life.

The question I would have....across the nation (because no one is reporting this)...how much have ammo prices changed since 2008. It would be curious to see local prices and how they have changed.


8 posted on 04/11/2013 2:00:35 AM PDT by pepsionice
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To: rdcbn

I’m only asking because the length of time of the shortage seems to be getting a little long in the tooth for it to be a real shortage.


9 posted on 04/11/2013 2:03:15 AM PDT by Jonty30 (What Islam and secularism have in common is that they are both death cults)
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To: pepsionice

All this said, if a guy could get the manufacturing equipment, in a gun-friendly state, and start a small production line...over the next five years...just max out your production, you’d make enough to retire for the rest of your life>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Thats a fact, and one could accomplish this in making just .45 ACP alone.


10 posted on 04/11/2013 2:04:09 AM PDT by Candor7 (Obama fascism article:(http://www.americanthinker.com/2009/05/barack_obama_the_quintessentia_1.html))
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To: Candor7

If you could get your hands on raw material. If it is a real shortage, there’s a good chance the manufacturers have all the raw material locked up.


11 posted on 04/11/2013 2:07:08 AM PDT by Jonty30 (What Islam and secularism have in common is that they are both death cults)
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To: Jonty30

Most ammo makers are producing as ammo fast as they can and prices at their level have increased as much as the rest of the supply chain.

People are buying up ammo faster than it can be made.

This will probably go on for a good many months.


12 posted on 04/11/2013 2:34:35 AM PDT by rdcbn
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To: pepsionice

I bought 525-ct .22LR in Feb for $25 a box from a private seler. The price tag on the box said $12.99 from its’ original sale. That box is now selling for $150 online.


13 posted on 04/11/2013 3:05:10 AM PDT by ez (Laws are for little people. Criminals, politicians, police, and David Gregory are exempt.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
...bullets have a shelf life of about 10-years, meaning eventually the ammo that doesn’t get shot or sold will have to be disposed of some other way.

First he says ammo is non-perishable. Then he lifts the quote above from a Federal Premium website and doesn't bat an eye. Did the contradiction just fly over his head like a bat out of hades with its butt on fire?

I don't mind that he got contradictory input from various sources. But you'd think a pro would dig a little deeper to resolve the issue and not use contradictory claims to support different parts of his theory; namely, that we're in a bubble.

It's just sloppy, I-don't-care journalism. I don't care that my article makes no sense and I don't care whether my readers are confused by it or not. Par for the course nowadays.

If there are any liberals out there who believe everything in this article and are terrified that that properly stored box of 10-year-old ammo in their nightstand might blow up any minute and level their entire block, please drop it off at my house and I'll be sure to properly dispose of it, per EPA regulations, yes I will.

14 posted on 04/11/2013 3:23:59 AM PDT by LibWhacker
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To: LibWhacker

That leaves an interesting thought, if you think about it. Although I know that ammo, that is kept dry, is good for longer than 10 years, if that were the case anyway, it makes one think about when the feds intend to use the 1.6 billion rounds they are currently purchasing.


15 posted on 04/11/2013 3:38:01 AM PDT by Jonty30 (What Islam and secularism have in common is that they are both death cults)
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To: LibWhacker
"If there are any liberals out there who believe everything in this article and are terrified that that properly stored box of 10-year-old ammo in their nightstand might blow up any minute and level their entire block, please drop it off at my house and I'll be sure to properly dispose of it, per EPA regulations, yes I will."

Indeed; the one place where you can still get a bargain is with cans of MilSurp Eastern Bloc ammo from the 1960-1980ies.

16 posted on 04/11/2013 3:42:54 AM PDT by Truth29
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To: pepsionice; Jonty30
What the manufacturing folks have said....is that they haven’t downsized....same number of employees....and they are making the same number of bullets as they did in the past.

What they've said is that they are way ahead of last year's production (which was way ahead of the previous year's production,) have added people, equipment, and shifts so that they're running 24 hours.

Ammo Manufacturers Producing ’24 Hours a Day’ to Match Demand

17 posted on 04/11/2013 3:58:33 AM PDT by Yo-Yo
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To: Jonty30

After The Won was first elected in ‘08, it was several years before supplies got back to normal, particularly for primers.


18 posted on 04/11/2013 4:04:27 AM PDT by DuncanWaring (The Lord uses the good ones; the bad ones use the Lord.)
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To: LibWhacker

Shelf life depends mostly upon WHICH powder is used. And perhaps what primer formula for the older formulas.

I’ve fired lots (As in Lot number ####, AND ‘in significant quantities’) of military ammo 50 + years old that mostly functioned just as intended when it was manufactured. Maybe a few duds, but I’d bet that it was probably due to storage conditions that weren’t optimal, rather than just age.

Lately I’ve popped off some stuff I handloaded 27 years with commercial components that were a few years old even then.

Things loaded with 296 and Unique powders functioned just as they did back then... But interestingly, the ones loaded with Blue Dot powder GAINED in power... Enough to show some significant pressure problems.

But become unstable to the point that it goes off on its own? Only if you are storing it in the oven, and turn it on to broil.


19 posted on 04/11/2013 4:04:40 AM PDT by LegendHasIt
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To: Yo-Yo

Keep in mind, you don’t need to OWN a gun to purchase ammunition and shooting supplies. Even the demodummies can purchase the same stuff thus, helping to keep the shelves bare. (Probably a waste of their own money but if it hurts a gun enthuiast no big deal, it’s just part of their “cause expense”.


20 posted on 04/11/2013 4:04:57 AM PDT by DaveA37 (I'm for HONEST government)
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To: LegendHasIt

....stuff I handloaded 27 years AGO with.....

Left out a word.

Doh!


21 posted on 04/11/2013 4:08:11 AM PDT by LegendHasIt
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Gimme some of dem “popular .22 long shells”! I’m guessing the Forbes guy doesn’t do much shooting.


22 posted on 04/11/2013 4:16:01 AM PDT by zagger
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

The situation is dire, an experiment by the gov’t that has proven to be most successful, next on the agenda will be food, Homeland Security at every store armed and ready enforcers.

Already we see this in the works, small independent producers regulated out of business, even personal gardens will be regulated...Monsanto will rule the world.

I ridiculed conspiracy theorist for many years...Now I am one.


23 posted on 04/11/2013 4:18:56 AM PDT by PoloSec ( Believe the Gospel: how that Christ died for our sins, was buried and rose again)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

The new law includes a $35 permit to buy ammo that requires a background check and is good for five years


My predictions have become absolutely true. For years I have commented on FR that they would come for the ammo if they could not actually take our guns. Now, it has become fact.

The Second Amendment states we have the right to keep and bear arms but it does not say we have the right to keep and bear ammo.

Our forefathers never imagined that the Second Amendment would be parsed by legal experts and most of all, parsed down to the wording to differentiate between arms and ammo.

Well, it’s finally come to this.


24 posted on 04/11/2013 4:19:20 AM PDT by DH (Once the tainted finger of government touches anything the rot begins)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

This reminds me of the Johnny Carson Late Night show joke about a toilet paper shortage in response to Jimmah’s gasoline shortage. The next day, grocery stores across the country ran out of all toilet paper stock.


25 posted on 04/11/2013 4:19:41 AM PDT by BerryDingle (I know how to deal with communists, I still wear their scars on my back from Hollywood-Ronald Reagan)
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To: Jonty30
From a business POV, is it better to really pump out everything until the demand is finally sated, or is it more profitable to keep manufacturing quotas just short of what is needed to continue the shortage and keep the prices up?

If you were the only ammo maker, then yes. But there are lots pf ammo makers in competition, so they're all going flat out.

The perception that this is a short-term bubble is stopping ammo makers from putting a lot of money into expanding facilities, buying equipment, or hiring a lot more people. If it continues much longer, we will see ammo makers buying new equipment earlier.

26 posted on 04/11/2013 4:20:24 AM PDT by PapaBear3625 (You don't notice it's a police state until the police come for you.)
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To: Jonty30
Are the manufacturers really running full out?

I think so. We have had a start up company in our area start making their own ammo. It appears they quickly gave up trying to show stock for internet orders and appear to be selling all they can make locally.

27 posted on 04/11/2013 4:54:24 AM PDT by thackney (life is fragile, handle with prayer)
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To: LibWhacker; All

Furthermore, the jack-ass author does not understand the difference between bullets and ammunition.


28 posted on 04/11/2013 5:20:20 AM PDT by Cobra64 (Common sense isn't common anymore.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

DoD’s decision to stop recycling used brass is a big deal, impacting ammo availability.

They now scrap, rather than make available for reloading.


29 posted on 04/11/2013 5:39:16 AM PDT by G Larry (Darkness Hates the Light)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
A 2011 survey of retailers found they reported 25% of their customers appeared to be new gun owners, Bazinet said, and the most recent Gallup poll found that 47% of Americans reported having a gun in the home. “The demographic is spreading out,” Bazinet said, and gun ranges “are busier than ever.”

Then why the hell aren't we hearing about new ammo plants being built?? The market has grown way past what it was. They should be springing up all around like rose buds this time of year.

Sure I know there are permitting and environmental issues, but my state is building not one but 2 new refineries - it can be done.

Are the execs who manage these companies really that risk adverse?

30 posted on 04/11/2013 5:44:00 AM PDT by Last Dakotan
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To: Jonty30

It is a real shortage, caused by a perceived shortage.

http://www.todayifoundout.com/index.php/2011/01/johnny-carson-once-caused-a-month-long-toilet-paper-shortage/


31 posted on 04/11/2013 5:46:59 AM PDT by MrB (The difference between a Humanist and a Satanist - the latter admits whom he's working for)
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To: Last Dakotan
Then why the hell aren't we hearing about new ammo plants being built?? The market has grown way past what it was. They should be springing up all around like rose buds this time of year.

Probably because most successful investors see this as a bubble, as I do.

Where I used to keep a few months of ammo on hand, I've bumped up my purchases to keep a few years on hand. I'm not shooting more. I've bought more in the last few months than the couple years before. But I don't plan to keep buying at this rate, and if prices stay this high, I will probable shoot less and buy less ammo in the future.

32 posted on 04/11/2013 5:50:00 AM PDT by thackney (life is fragile, handle with prayer)
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To: zagger

Not much call for .22 Longs. I don’t think they even make BB Caps any more. Pity, they were cheap and you could shoot them indoors.


33 posted on 04/11/2013 5:55:42 AM PDT by Dedbone
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
The new law includes a $35 permit to buy ammo that requires a background check and is good for five years — until the legislature decides it can shorten the term and increase the fee as a new source of tax revenue.

Meanwhile the Democrats to fighting voter ID laws across the nation scream that any fee to obtain a ID is equal to a poll tax and therefore unconstitutional.

34 posted on 04/11/2013 5:59:54 AM PDT by listenhillary (Courts, law enforcement, roads and national defense should be the extent of government)
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To: Jonty30
...or is it more profitable to keep manufacturing quotas just short of what is needed...

so that your competitors can continue to sell as much as they possibly can?

35 posted on 04/11/2013 6:46:15 AM PDT by Darth Reardon
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To: thackney
“The demographic is spreading out,” Bazinet said, and gun ranges “are busier than ever.”

If they think this is a bubble that will pass, they are misreading their market. Happens quite frequently.

36 posted on 04/11/2013 7:04:42 AM PDT by Last Dakotan
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To: thackney
Probably because most successful investors see this as a bubble, as I do.

Unless this cold civil war goes hot... then the 'bubble' was only an indicator of rising demand.

37 posted on 04/11/2013 7:07:31 AM PDT by OneWingedShark (Q: Why am I here? A: To do Justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with my God.)
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To: G Larry
DoD’s decision to stop recycling used brass is a big deal, impacting ammo availability.

Your information is at least 4 years old and incorrect.

http://www.ammoland.com/2009/03/dod-demil-order-on-used-brass-reversed/#axzz2QADOPr9d

38 posted on 04/11/2013 7:10:08 AM PDT by Last Dakotan
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To: Darth Reardon

It wouldn’t be the first time competitors colluded for mutual benefit.

I wasn’t being accusatory, it just seems that there should be some increased inventories by now, even if it’s a small gain.


39 posted on 04/11/2013 7:10:16 AM PDT by Jonty30 (What Islam and secularism have in common is that they are both death cults)
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To: G Larry

Check local metal recyclers for range brass.

In my area, you can buy scrap range brass for $3/lb. Most of it is popular calibers, i.e., 9MM, .40S&W, .223, .45 Auto, etc. Less than 10% in calibers other than the popular ones. It comes out to less than 3 cents for a 9MM case and less than 5 cents for .223.

Reloaders already know this and buy the scrap to turn into ammo.

The nationwide shortage is starting to abate. Last week’s gun show had plenty at higher, but still reasonable, prices. They never ran out of premium, expensive stuff like CorBon.

Relax and wait for prices to stabilize. Then stock up on a regular basis.

Right now there are bargains on excellent deer rifles because people are spending their money on ARs, AKs, overpriced ammo, etc.


40 posted on 04/11/2013 8:00:12 AM PDT by darth
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

I’ve heard it said many times that ammunition will be used like money after the collapse (TEOTWAWKI), but I have never heard what the exchange rates are. How many .22LR for a .357 Magnum? Or for that matter, a 30-06? Does anyone have a chart?

Interesting that I have heard this same thing from people here who deride others for having gold (you can’t eat gold). Its pretty hard to eat ammunition, too. After all the game is slaughtered very shortly after TEOTWAWKI, the only way to turn it into food is to use it aggressively (not in self defense which is what everyone says they would use it for).

BTW, if stored properly, the 10 year limit for .22LR ammunition (read the article), is totally BS. I got a really great birthday present from my father back in 1963. It was 10,000 rounds of Federal .22LR. I shot up most of it before I went away to college. I put the remainder in a government .30cal ammo box and stored it in their basement, up high on a shelf.

I found it about 35 years later. I have been shooting up a few chambers full every year since then to see how long they will last. I am still shooting them (they are almost gone) and have not had a single misfire yet. I will probably run out before they age out.

Just remember, store them properly. Away from heat, cold, and wet. If it ever does become money, I am rich.


41 posted on 04/11/2013 9:31:16 AM PDT by jim_trent
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Just thought of something. By purchasing bonds the FED is driving the bubble in assets like real estate and stocks.

By purchasing ammo the Feds are driving the bubble in ammo.

In some ways these are opposites - in the first case they are producing a surfeit of dollars and in the second a shortage of ammo - but in both cases it sure seems like deliberate market manipulation on a very large scale that has the effect of disrupting how markets normally function.


42 posted on 04/11/2013 9:36:03 AM PDT by 2 Kool 2 Be 4-Gotten
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

The ammo bubble will pop...Loud...Most already have all they’ll need and then some...Many have horded to the point they’ll probably attempt to sell some off for a profit at some point, but may find by the time the do, prices will have dropped like a rock.

This kind of thing happens will all types of products, homes etc. When the demand starts to subside...Whammo..

Not if, it’s a matter of when..


43 posted on 04/11/2013 9:37:50 AM PDT by dragnet2 (Diversion and evasion are tools of deceit)
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To: jim_trent

I found a brick of ‘Mowhawk’ 22lr just yesterday. I took all of the rounds out of the little boxes and combined them into a single container. ... The little green and yellow boxes are collectibles.


44 posted on 04/11/2013 9:47:04 AM PDT by MHGinTN (Being deceived can be cured.)
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To: Jonty30

Yup, sure sounds like the Drone King may be furthering a little surprise he has in store for us, and soon — especially since he’s made it known that we absolutely, positively must have a civilian auxiliary force that’s as strong and capable as the army or marine corps (and, I suppose, is answerable only to him). If that doesn’t scream he’s planning a coup, I don’t know what would!


45 posted on 04/11/2013 12:05:13 PM PDT by LibWhacker
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To: LegendHasIt
Things loaded with 296 and Unique powders functioned just as they did back then... But interestingly, the ones loaded with Blue Dot powder GAINED in power... Enough to show some significant pressure problems.

THAT, and your whole post, is very interesting information, thanks. Hadn't heard that about Blue Dot before, but then, I'm not a real reloader. I've only just recently tried to assemble an inexpensive and easily portable kit I could use to hand reload in the field, if that ever became necessary. Unfortunately, purchasing powder and primers at the moment seems to be a real problem and everything is on hold.

Anyway, I wonder if Federal Premium is admitting they use such unstable powder and priming in their ammo? If so, I'll just make sure I shoot up all mine in the next ten years and not buy any more of it! I have a quite a bit, but not so much it'll be a problem sending all of it downrange over the next decade.

46 posted on 04/11/2013 12:38:26 PM PDT by LibWhacker
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To: LibWhacker

I doubt that Federal is using Blue Dot for any of their ammo (I don’t know that for an absolute fact though)

Most of the time, the factories use different formulations than what is available to us peons.

Don’t know why that would be, but that is the generally accepted ‘truth’ on the reloading forums


47 posted on 04/11/2013 1:09:12 PM PDT by LegendHasIt
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To: LegendHasIt

Blue Dot powder GAINED in power... Enough to show some significant pressure problems.


Experienced same with +/- 20 yr. old Blue Dot loadings. Also BD is influenced by elevated ambient temps in the same manner (Arizona is like that).

As a result load the Blue Dot using 88% of max. published loadings as MY “red-line”. It’s a Safety thing I figure. Gauge guns, rifles, and pistols don’t seem to mind.


48 posted on 04/11/2013 2:34:00 PM PDT by S.O.S121.500 ("Line; meet Sand"...ENFORCE THE BILL OF RIGHTS... It's still the law.)
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To: Jonty30
"If it is a real shortage, there’s a good chance the manufacturers have all the raw material locked up."

Brass, lead, and copper. I sort of doubt it. You'd need a supplier of powder, and either primers or the chemicals to make them. I suspect that given the "explosiveness" of the intermediates, one would need to find/hire a genuine expert in handling of same.

49 posted on 04/11/2013 6:25:53 PM PDT by Wonder Warthog
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