Current ammo prices are painful. If you’ve been shooting for a while, you understand this all too well. The shortage of essentially all common calibers has been absolutely rampant for months, and the basic laws of supply and demand are being felt across the industry. Demand has spiked, supply has dropped, and so costs are soaring. Unfortunately, 2020 saw a perfect storm of logistical, social, and political pressures that put an unsustainable strain on essentially all ammo manufacturers operating in the US market. At the time of this writing, even the cheapest steel-cased .223 ammo is often selling in excess of $0.60 cost per round – and even then, it’s selling out fast.
Many companies have been forced to institute price hikes over the last year or so, and contrary to common rumors, these increases have not been a matter of gouging. In most cases, if not all, this has sadly been necessary to sustain what levels of production that are still possible. Unfortunately, it looks like there’s not much light showing at the end of the tunnel quite yet. On March 22, 2021, Winchester and Browning Ammunition released the following announcement detailing another upcoming set of price increases taking effect May 1st.
March 22, 2021
To All Winchester Ammunition Customers:
Thank you for your commitment to Winchester and Browning Ammunition in support of our legendary products.
Due to the increased cost inputs for manufacturing ammunition, it is necessary to increase ammunition prices for all shipments, including backorders, beginning May 1, 2021.
Ammunition will be subject to the following price increases.
- Shotshells + 5%-12%
- 22 Magnum Rimfire ammunition +10%
- Hunting Rifle ammunition + 5%-15%
- All Centerfire Rifle FMJ ammunition +8%
- All Centerfire Pistol ammunition +8%
- Components +10%
- Primers +25% (Due to our current backorder situation, until further notice, Winchester is not accepting new orders on primers)
These May 1, 2021 increases will affect all pack size3s, sub-brands and special make-ups.
All existing orders and future orders shipped on or after May 1, 2021 will be shipped at the new prices unless you notify us requesting cancellation. Procedures for repricing back and future orders will be issued with new pricelists and programs in the coming weeks.
To put these supply chain issues in perspective: during the recent Virtual SHOT Show 2021, Winchester remarked that if they immediately stopped taking all new orders for .22LR, it would take them approximately two years to fill all existing backorders. On his quarterly earnings update call in November, Vista Outdoors (the parent company of several major ammo makers including Federal, CCI, Speer, and Remington) CEO Chris Metz said, “We currently have over a year’s worth of orders for ammunition in excess of $1 billion. With demand far outstripping supply and inventory levels in the channel at all-time lows, we see strong demand continuing, and this metric informs our viewpoint of what a recovery or normalization could look like.” In short, unfortunately, it looks like we will have no choice but to simply continue bearing greater ammo costs for the time being. Time to tighten up your dry fire training, use low round count drills, and maybe invest in some laser practice systems like the Mantis X or Strikeman options. See you at the range!