TFB Reader Help Needed: Historical Price Of Ammo


Readers of The Firearm Blog, we need your help to quantitatively track the historical price of ammunition. What we’re looking for is the historical yearly data over the past 20 to 30 years of the price of these popular handgun and rifle cartridges:

*Note that we’re more interested in the cartridge than the manufacturer.  If you have this historical data for any well-known manufacturer – as long as that manufacturer has not materially changed what goes into that cartridge & load for the past 20 to 30 years – please share.

To find this, we’re looking for someone who has access to old print catalogues which has consistently published their prices for rounds in these two calibers.

If you have access to this data (whether it comes from the print catalogues or other sources), please email steve@thefirearmblog.com with the subject “Historical Ammo Prices”.  Also, please leave a comment in this post if you have other ingenious ideas about where this data could accurately be found.  Thanks for helping TFB!



This article was written by a Guest Author. The views contained in this article reflect that of the author and not necessarily that of The Firearm Blog or TFBTV.


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  • Lance

    The sad thing is 10 years ago Wolf 7.62×39 was $2.50-$3.50 a box.
    Winchester white box 5.56mm M-193 ammo on sale was $2.75 a box of 20.
    Remington .308 150gr SP was $5 a box.

    They are well tippled over price and its sad seeing ammo companies ripe gun owners off again and again for once cheap ammo. Military 5.56mm and 7.62mm is NOT worth 50 cents a round!

    Time for some outrage and to stand up against inflated prices.

  • MikeJ

    How about asking Sportsman’s guide or Cabelas? They might be able to just dump it from a database.

  • The Shotgun News may have an archive of back issues, and Everything ever sold on the gun market is likely in there somewhere!

    I remember getting a 1,100 rd case of 7.62×39 Norinco ammo in stripper clips for $99 back in 1995 or 96. Nine cents a pop, wish I could find that now……..

    I used to have some old catalogs somewhere, I’ll let ya know if I run across them.

  • erwos

    If they hadn’t banned ammo imports from China, you’d probably still be buying it at that price.

  • Johnny Abacus

    The data seems a little spotty, and it only goes back a few years (at least for Cheaper Than Dirt… didn’t look anywhere else), but the wayback machine seems to have reasonable coverage.

    http://web.archive.org/web/20100420093722/http://www.cheaperthandirt.com/ItemListing.aspx?pagesize=1000&catid=736

  • Well I don’t have a print ad, but I remember 9mm at walmart for $4.88 per 50 not 6-7 years ago. They are now $10.00+ on a good day. Sad. 1,000 9mm reloads were $99.00 at the gun shows in Vegas, now the same is at least $165.00.

  • tincan

    Try the ATF and other government agencies – seriously, they probably study this stuff and keep long historical archives. If they don’t respond, try approaching your member of congress or senators to get the data from them on your behalf.

    I’d also ask the NRA, but I wouldn’t expect them to provide the data. After all, they’re in the same business as the ammo and gun manufacturers: scaring gun owners into opening their wallets.

  • armed_partisan

    I’d also encourage people to look in their ammo storage places to see if they have any old boxes of ammo. I have stuff I’ve been given in the original boxes that still has their price tags from when it was bought in the 70’s, but I don’t think anyone’s ever given me any old 9mm or .223.