Shooters and police departments from coast to coast are seeing higher prices and, depending on what they're shooting, shortages or lengthy delays in getting ammunition. Media reports inevitably cite the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as possible culprits, but there's no denying that higher component costs--particularly copper, which is used for both bullets and cases and has jumped in price nearly three-fold in the past three years--are putting a bite on shooters' wallets.
For instance, in the Oshkosh, Wisconsin, area, one law enforcement training officer reported a 40 percent increase in his .40 S&W ammo cost. (By the same token, another department there that uses .357 Magnums is finding it easy to get ammo, according to website www.thenorthwestern.com.) Other agencies from Seattle to New Jersey are experiencing shipment delays.
On September 1, three ammo makers announced price hikes for their products:
€¢ Remington: 5 percent on Remington and UMC-branded rifle and pistol fodder
€¢ CCI and Federal: across the board 15 percent hike on all its handgun ammunition brands
€¢ Winchester: 12 percent on centerfire handgun loads
Remington and Winchester also announced 10 percent jumps in component bullet prices. In early September, Hornady reported that it has no plans for a 2007 hike but left open the possibility of an undetermined price increase sometime in 2008.