Armory, Self Defense, And EDC > Modern Rifles, Shotguns and Carbines

Why NOW is the time to buy AR's and 5.56x45 ammo:

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The Professor:
The next three years are going to be very interesting on more levels than we probably know.

Not only are we in for a Socio-Political ride unlike any we've seen before (and let's not forget the Damoclean economic sword hanging over our heads), but the world is going to change in many other ways, as well.

For example, many people don't realize that the US Army is actively seeking a completely new primary firearm for soldiers. . .and it WILL NOT BE the Stoner-designed AR-style military rifle!  A complete redesign is in the works (no indication, yet, if the XM8 project will be revived. . .and it won't matter for civvies if it is).  The biggest change is that the caliber will be changing. . .as well as the TYPE of ammunition.

The new caliber is what portends a significant change for civilian shooters.  There are MILLIONS of AR-style .223 Remington and 5.56x45mm rifles in the hands of Americans.  Each shoots a brass-cased cartridge with a 0.224" bullet. But, the new rifle the Army wants may well be a paradigm shift in ammunition with polymer cartridges being researched due to their light weight and production speed.  SOCOM is currently testing a Polymer 6.5 Creedmore round, as we speak with two other prospective calibers being .260 Remington and .265 USA.

Why does this affect the average Joe?  Simple, most military or civilian-related calibers are loaded by companies who have military contracts.  Those rounds are often filled with powder and primers made by subcontracted companies who have government contracts to provide the same to the military ammo makers.  It's economically cheaper to make a .223 Remington with a 55-gr round when all the components are military over-runs and when you can leave a few steps out (like crimping primers).  What happens when those big contracts go away?

As I mentioned in another recent post, right now is Golden Period.  Ammunition for (current) military calibers is abundant.  Prices are, in my opinion, at an artificially high cost because the average consumer doesn't know any better.  It's highly speculative, but I foresee a brief, but significant drop in ammunition prices for military rifle calibers in the next two years.

Were it me, I would plan on investing a significant amount in those calibers. 

The ammo companies see the writing on the wall.  They will have to invest in new equipment for the polymer ammunition.  While demand will still remain for the military calibers by civilian shooters, they will NEVER sell those calibers at Carl Sagan levels (". . .billions and billions. . .").

The argument could be made that foreign militaries will still need ammo and many countries (such as the UK, Israel, China and South Africa) will still be producing the calibers, but the prices will still be higher than they are today.

So. . .the Golden Question:  How much is enough?  Well, my general answer (and the formula I am using to determine our own purchase/storage levels) is to determine how much ammo  you used in the past five years and divide that by five to get an annual average.  Then, multiply that answer  times the number of years you foresee continuing shooting.

Then again, perhaps higher prices won't affect the average shooter, too much.  Most people I know, despite their professed extensive knowledge of shooting, equipment and techniques, barely put 100 rounds downrange in a given year. . .if any at all.  For them, I suggest just latching onto about a thousand rounds (or 840 in stripper clips, bandolier and ammo can) and tossing it in the back of the corner along with their NVD's, Body Armor and Noveske Rifle.

Just some thoughts, worth exactly what you paid for them.

The Professor

Smurf Hunter:
An important piece of intel, would be to know the time frame between the .mil choosing a new rifle/cartridge and the same being physically replaced in the field for all applicable missions.  While your point is very valid, my guess is there's be some significant latency between the "decision" and the "deployment".  Maybe that's several months, or a few years.  And initially there should be a wave of surplus ammo/mags.  So in the near term that might be a boon for 5.56 civilian shooters.

As long as there are active duty infantry units fielding 5.56mm weapons, I don't think the supply economics will change too drastically.

If any insiders can give an estimate on the timing, I would appreciate it.

CPT Morgan:
That makes a lot of sense Professor, thank you for sharing your insight.

TNVolunteer:
Interesting thoughts.  I've started buying again now that the prices are "down" .... relative to where they have been the last 6 years.  I am running into a problem though.  Regrettably, my wife knows what an ammo can is and long ago, learned how to count.  You can figure out the rest.   ;D

Post

The Professor:

--- Quote from: Smurf Hunter on May 13, 2017, 04:14:12 PM ---An important piece of intel, would be to know the time frame between the .mil choosing a new rifle/cartridge and the same being physically replaced in the field for all applicable missions.  While your point is very valid, my guess is there's be some significant latency between the "decision" and the "deployment".  Maybe that's several months, or a few years.  And initially there should be a wave of surplus ammo/mags.  So in the near term that might be a boon for 5.56 civilian shooters.

As long as there are active duty infantry units fielding 5.56mm weapons, I don't think the supply economics will change too drastically.

If any insiders can give an estimate on the timing, I would appreciate it.

--- End quote ---

In this particular case (IMO), the complete timing of the changeover isn't all that important.

It's like this:   The situation we're currently in originates back as far as 2012.  When Obama's second term started, everyone thought he'd go after guns.  At that time, ammunition manufacturers received a RIDICULOUS number of orders from existing FFL's in preparation for the purchasing onslaught that did happen. . .for a while.  They are just now getting caught up to those orders. . .BUT. . .a lot of the FFL's that ordered are no longer in business.  Remember, in 2012, it was almost impossible to find ammo and stayed that way for 3 years, in some cases.

Now, we're seeing a glut in the market.  This is for TWO reasons. . .the first is that all those orders are in and the second is that Hillary didn't get elected.  We'd be talking about a completely different problem, right now, if there was a second Clinton in office.  This is also the reason you see major AR producers, such as Colt, dropping their prices significantly.  They, too, prepared for the worst and are now swimming in stock with no "fear-driven" purchases in the marketplace.

The Golden Period to which I earlier referred is the time it's going to take for this surplus to be bought up.

Now, there are two other issues that will feed into this that only solidifies my Golden Period belief.

In about two years, the 2020 elections will be in full swing.  If you think Hillary was scary, imagine what's going to be on the Democrat's Candidate list for the next election?

We will, once again, be thrown back into Panic Mode as all the late-comers, who got comfortable with Trump in office, feel their rights are threatened, once again.

So, at THAT time, ammo demand will begin to go up and supply will begin to go down, leading to higher prices.  How many ammo manufacturers will fall by the wayside in the next two years due to lack of demand and high on-hand stock?  They have to survive the next two years somehow.  We're already seeing drops in prices to keep the cash flowing.

The industry is teetering, right now.   Major firearms, and firearms-related, companies will be closing their doors.  Olympic Arms has closed.  Remington closed a major plant in Mayfield, KY, ammo manufacturers are already dealing with major problem sourcing lead due to the previous administration closing the Herculaneum smelting plant.

With the additional threat of losing 5.56x45 military production, it just pushes the window closed a little more.

Please understand, I'm not saying you won't be able to purchase current military calibers ever again, I'm just saying NOW is the time to do it if you want to get them at the cheapest prices in the foreseeable future.

The Professor

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