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December 26th, 2020

Primers — Why There is a Primer Supply Shortage

primer shortage availability CCI Federal small rifle pistol Wolf Tula
Photo courtesy UltimateReloader.com.

Editor: This article is from the Powder Valley Website. The original release date was in October, 2020, BEFORE the election, so some factors have changed. But we are still seeing extreme shortages of primers.

primer shortage availability CCI Federal small rifle pistol Wolf Tula

If you’ve tried to purchase ammo or reloading supplies lately, you’ve probably noticed a lot of products are out of stock. Of all the components needed to reload ammo, it seems primers are the toughest to find, prompting many reloaders to refer to the current crisis as “The Great Primer Shortage of 2020″. The primer supply shortage doesn’t just affect reloaders, though. It’s also limiting the production of many popular types of ammunition. This can be frustrating for shooters and hunters looking to keep their edge on the range, and can be concerning for preppers, survivalists, and others who are concerned about their safety.

We are in the midst of the greatest primer shortage of all time, and we don’t see things getting better anytime soon. Read on as the experts from Powder Valley delve deeper into the primer shortage of 2020.

A Massive Increase in Demand
Like any other product in a market economy, primers are subject to the whims of supply and demand. As far as demand is concerned, a perfect storm of factors has caused a run on the ammo market like we’ve never quite seen before. A mix of the Covid-19 pandemic, civil unrest, and the possibility of an anti-2nd amendment President and Senate has caused demand to skyrocket. The pandemic specifically has incentivized shooters to learn how to reload their own ammo.

We have an extremely large number of new reloaders who have entered the market. The NSSF estimates that first time gun owners has increased to 6.2 million people over the past few months. [Editor: Vista Outdoor says the number may be 7 million by the end of 2020.] Unfortunately, many of those reloaders entered the market anticipating that it would be easier to make their own ammo since readily available ammunition was so difficult to find. With shortages of bullets, powder, brass and primers, that has simply not been the case

Since so many people have lost a chunk, or all of their income, it makes sense that reloading, which saves on the cost of ammo at the expense of time, would become more popular than ever. Even if you’re financially stable, reloading and shooting are great socially distant activities you can do while the movie theaters, bowling alleys, and bars are shut down. With little answers on the virus, it’s hard to see when these closures and limitations will end. This is why we believe this could end up being the greatest primer shortage of all time.

CCI PrimersHoarding of Primers
When there is a primer shortage the first thing people normally point to is consumer hoarding. We believe this is having an impact on availability, but probably not to the extreme that many think. There are definitely some profiteers who buy primers and then sell them on auction sites or other multi list sites. This is why many online retailers have now chosen to limit the purchase quantities to an extreme low level in an effort to reduce this.

Disruptions in the Supply Chain
Demand, however, is just one part of the story. Disruptions in the supply chain have also made a big impact on the availability of primers. When it comes to ammunition supplies, bullets are easy to manufacture, brass can be re-used, and powder is generally stockpiled by companies (though perhaps not the kind you’re looking for). This leaves primers, which are relatively difficult to make, as the component that causes the bulk of ammo shortages.

In the USA, only four companies (Winchester, Remington, Federal, and CCI) manufacture primers for civilian use, law enforcement, and the military. Even under perfect circumstances, there’s only so much they can produce at once, and needless to say, circumstances have not been perfect during the pandemic. People getting sick, missing work to take care of their kids, and self-quarantining – from factory workers to delivery drivers, and all throughout the supply chain – caused a lull in manufacturing this spring.

primer shortage availability CCI Federal small rifle pistol Wolf Tula

The Remington bankruptcy has had a large impact on the shortage of ammo and primers. With Remington in a state of financial insolvency for the past two years, suppliers were demanding payment upon delivery for products. Remington simply did not have the financial capabilities to have an abundance of raw materials on hand and had to shutter some of their production capacity. Barnes bullets and primers were hit particularly hard in the reloading market. With the recent purchase of Remington by Vista Outdoor, there is a good chance that Vista will be diverting CCI and Federal primers that would typically go to reloaders to Remington ammunition production. Remington primer production capacity has never been great. The hope would be that Vista will place more emphasis on getting the Remington primer production capacity increased substantially and quickly. The best news coming out of this is for Barnes fans. With Sierra’s purchase of Barnes we anticipate the availability of Barnes bullets to increase substantially in a very short period of time.

Reduced Supplies of Foreign-Made Primers
In 2008 we saw a huge influx of Russian primers. We are not seeing that this time as the Murom Apparatus Producing plant is only producing at partial capacity due to the COVID-19 restrictions. On top of that, there have been changes in upper management at Murom which have caused further disruptions. But, we are very hopeful that these changes will have a positive effect on production and distribution in the long run.

The situation has been worsened by dramatically reduced imports of Russian primers.
Russian Wolf Tula primers

With import restrictions out of Russia, we do not anticipate seeing the help we had from them in 2008-2012. We had also seen S&B, Unis Ginex and other foreign brands of primers enter the market during the shortages to relieve some of the pressure, but aren’t seeing that influx of primers this time around. The lack of foreign primers on the market is a major reason we believe this shortage is going to last for quite some time. We may see some help from foreign primers, but we don’t anticipate the large volumes we’ve seen previously.

What Should You Do?
CCI PrimersAs an individual, as of right now, there’s little you can do in the face of the reloading equipment supplies shortage. Keep checking your trusted online distributor Powder Valley for new arrivals of primers from all four manufacturers.

We have created some very stringent limitations on the purchase of primers in an effort to help as many people as possible work through this extremely tough time. Normally, we would say “stock up”. But that time has passed, and I would encourage everyone to learn from this. Stock up in times of plentiful supply so that you are not affected as greatly during these times of extreme shortage. In the meantime I would encourage everyone to pray for our country and our leaders[.]

Permalink - Articles, Bullets, Brass, Ammo, News, Reloading 4 Comments »
June 3rd, 2019

Bargain-Finder 193: AccurateShooter’s Deals of the Week

Accurateshooter Bargain Finder Deals of Week

At the request of our readers, we provide select “Deals of the Week”. Every Monday morning we offer our Best Bargain selections. Here are some of the best deals on firearms, hardware, reloading components, optics, and shooting accessories. Be aware that sale prices are subject to change, and once clearance inventory is sold, it’s gone for good. You snooze you lose.

1. CDNN — Winchester XPR Rifle, $50 Off Plus Free Scope

winchester xpr rifle sale

Simple and reliable rifles can be found in just about any safe and if you’re like us you can never have too many of them. If you’re looking to grab something for hunting season or maybe a teen’s first gun, CDNN has a great deal going on. You can pick up your choice of Winchester XPR rifles in a variety of calibers, all with a $50 Factory REBATE. Plus you also get a Weaver 3-9x40mm scope and rings for FREE. Each XPR is now just $319.99 after rebate, complete with scope and rings.

2. Grafs — Berger Bullets 10% Off + Free Hat

berger graf sons hybrid match bullet sale

We’re entering the competition season which means you can never have enough bullets. With that in mind we found a killer deal on Berger Bullets at Grafs.com. This sale applies to all Berger bullets in stock, including the most popular calibers. When you buy at least three (3) boxes you even get a FREE Berger Hat. With this 10% OFF discount and free ballcap, we think it’s smart to stock up on Bergers this week.

3. Amazon — MTM Cleaning Rod Case, $22.89

mtm cleaning rod case discount

Good cleaning rods are expensive and can be easily damaged if you’re not careful. To protect those valuable cleaning rods, we recommend the MTM cleaning rod case which holds four rods as well as cleaning supplies. This case protects your rods both at home and while traveling. With this handy, durable case you can stop worrying about bending or breaking those important cleaning rods.

4. Midsouth Shooters — Speer 20% Cash Back Rebate

20% speer bullet sale rebate cash back

Speer bullets have a good reputation for quality and consistency so when we saw this sale we had to share it. For a limited time Midsouth is offering 20% cash back on purchases of $100 or more with a maximum rebate of $100. To get your 20% Cash Back after ordering Speer bullets, you must fill out Speer’s REBATE FORM or submit INFO ONLINE. This offer is for bullet purchases made from 4/1/2019 through 6/30/2019.

5. Grafs — Peterson Brass, 10% Off Promotion

Cartridge brass Lapua Peterson Creedmoor case large rifle

Over the past few years, Peterson Brass products have become very popular for many shooting disciplines, including ELR competitions. Peterson brass is strong and durable, and Peterson offers many hard-to-find cartridge types, such as .375 CheyTac. Head over to Grafs.com this week to save 10% on ALL Peterson brass. This is your chance to grab some great brass in calibers such as 6mm Creedmoor, .284 Win, or .375 CheyTac at very attractive prices.

6. Powder Valley — Winchester Primers, 25% Off

winchester primers sale

Winchester primers work great in pistol, rifle, and shotgun handloads. Because they are both affordable and very reliable, Winchester primers are our favorite for most pistol reloading. And now you can save 25% off the price. Buy Winchester primers from Powder Valley and then complete the REBATE FORM and get 25% back by mail. There’s never been a better time to stock up on WW primers. Stock up now and save.

7. EuroOptic — Leica Geovid LRF Binoculars, $1999.99

Leica binoculars laser rangefinder LRF Sale discount

Leica Geovids rank among the very best rangefinding binoculars you can buy, no matter what the cost. EuroOptic.com is making that purchase a lot easier by offering the Leica Geovid 10×42 HD-B Edition 2200 Rangefinding Binoculars for $1999.99. That’s $1000.00 less than the original list price. These premium rangefinding binoculars may not suit everyone’s budget but this is still a great deal. These Geovids combine superb glass with outstanding ranging performance.

8. Amazon — Range Station for Pistol Shooters, $29.99

Pistol Case rolling matt ammo holder handgun range kit

The Range Station combines an ammo compartment with a roll-out mat. Some gun ranges only have concrete benches, or shooting stations with horizontal surfaces covered with dirt, powder residues, and other debris. You don’t want to put your $2000 blued Colt Python on that mess. The 12″x24″ Padded Gun Mat stays put on the counter-top and holds guns and gear. The case snaps to either the right or left side of the mat. Interior trays are sized for standard ammo boxes and magazines. Separate compartments hold smaller range gear such as rulers, pens, target markers, and more. When finished, the mat can be rolled and stored neatly and compactly in the case. Buy now for $29.99 at Amazon.

9. Amazon — Caldwell Front and Rear Bag Set (Unfilled), $15.19

Caldwell deadshot front rear bag sandbag sale varminter

Insanely cheap! We noticed this sandbag set when it cost around $25.00. Now this handy bag duo, an Amazon best seller, costs just $15.19! Varminters can keep these bags in a vehicle for deployment any time. Act quick — this is a special sale price at Amazon.com. This unfilled bag combo sells for up to $33.00 elsewhere. This inexpensive system works surprisingly well, particularly with “standard” rifles with narrow fore-ends. Rather than sand, you can fill with rice or media to make the bags lighter. This system features a heavy-duty clip and D-Ring for linking the two bags. Bag dimensions (filled) are: FRONT 11″ x 8.5″ X 6″; REAR 5″ x 5″ x 4.5″.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Handguns, Hot Deals, Hunting/Varminting, Optics No Comments »