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why is .38 special so expensive??


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Good morning all. I receive emails from PSA and yesterday they had 300 rounds of .38 132 gr FMJ for $239.99 that is $0.80 each. They also had .40 S&W 165 gr. PMC brand 300 rounds for $179.99 or  $0.60 each. It doesn't make sense to me that .38 would be that expensive. I would have posted this, but when I saw the ad it was sold out. For you folks that don't reload, this is a fine reason to start. Any day of the week you can load 38's for $0.12 or less, I cast my own lead bullets and can do it for under $0.06. I really feel sorry for folks that pay $0.80 for a fmj .38.

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1 hour ago, Dirtshooter said:

... It doesn't make sense to me that .38 would be that expensive. I would have posted this, but when I saw the ad it was sold out....

This is the reason .38 special is expensive.

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The .38 Special is likely the most common handgun cartridge in this country.  Low supply + huge demand = high prices.  Even those folks who only have the one old revolver stashed away in the sock drawer are realizing that ammo is scarce. They're out there looking too. 

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Posted (edited)

I think it is economies of scale.  Producing butt-loads of 9 mm is much cheaper to do per round than tooling up for smaller lots of .38 spl.

Me personally, I don't shoot that much .38 although I have the means. Mostly  I burn through 9 mm when doing centerfire. And this is probably no different than most folks.

Edited by Swamp ash
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What is even more strange is the fact that almost all the companies that sell brass are out of .38 special brass. But I will say they are out of most brass at this point. A local range said they have lots of .38 brass and said if you want 9mm brass it would take 2 .38 special brass to trade.

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Good points all. I agree, especially with @Grayfox54. Ubiquitous guns, but produced in low volumes for the past few decades as there was the financial incentive to produce a greater volume. 

Those of us that actually shoot .38 spl and .357 to any degree tend to cast and reload those rounds. I shoot my .38's weekly, but I shoot 9mm 10:1 or greater.

I handload all of my target ammo.

While I am fine on components for the foreseeable future, I dread what the replacement costs will be down the road for powder and primers.

We, as a shooting community, are under fire from the left more vehemently than I can recall for the past 40 years. With our current political situation the possibility of more difficult and expensive access in the future is very real.

Things change, I know. But I still dread what it'll cost to replace what I'm shooting and the stores I now have. It'll be some time before that's a concern for me, but the eventuality is there. Couple that with a fixed income and, well it sucks...

I did pick up everything I need to start casting over the past couple of Black Friday sales. As soon as I finish the long list of remodeling tasks my Missus has for me I'll start the casting.

For now I'll remain focused in my practice sessions and maybe include more .22 LR as was already mentioned.

I'm certainly working more dry fire than I was...so that's one positive to come out of this mess.

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Jamie I am totally with you on the dread of what components if/when they become available again will cost us. But the bright side is no matter how expensive they get, it will always be more affordable than factory ammo.

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51 minutes ago, Dirtshooter said:

Jamie I am totally with you on the dread of what components if/when they become available again will cost us. But the bright side is no matter how expensive they get, it will always be more affordable than factory ammo.

Amen brother, Amen 

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Posted (edited)

Where will you turn to for lead ?  Since wheel weights dried up and roofing lead is getting scarce, what else is left other than foundry lead?

 I was fortunate to get into casting when lead was free and or cheep enough to acquire.  The thought of having to buy factory Ammo really makes me sick.

I think many new shooters especially women and older folks purchase revolvers for the fact they are easy to handle and shoot. With the amount of firearms sold and new permit holders this past year, I would presume 38’s dried  up and manufactures are playing catch up. The high cost in my opinion is supply n demand based.

As far back as I can remember when 9mm fed or win was $4.99 bx/50 ,CCI blazer aluminum  was $3.99,  38’s were $6.00 ? Im talking just plain Jane fmj’s not hp flavor’s. The demand was low but it was still higher than 9’s. More brass and more powder than 9 ? 

Either way, I feel for the next generations that have no clue what’s going on yet.

 

 Mike

Edited by myg30
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17 minutes ago, myg30 said:

Where will you turn to for lead ?

Lead's still fairly easy to get at $2.00 lb.  You can go on eBay right now and buy all you want. And, for once, shipping's pretty reasonable with the post office's flat-rate boxes.  The person who delivers your mail won't like it, though.

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A better question is. "Why is all Ammunition expensive." I never thought it would get this bad for prices on ammo. Yesterday I went to a local Gun shop and they had a bunch of AR-15's all reasonably priced at $795 for S&W MP15, almost bought one but stepped back and said to myself buy it but were are you are you going to buy ammo at, hell it costs more than the AR. It just doesn't make sense to me, I know that this Covid-19 pandemic has caused a bunch of shortages in every industry, but maybe it will get back to some type of normalcy, but I don't see supply out way demand anytime soon.

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7 hours ago, myg30 said:

Where will you turn to for lead ?

I shall turn to my barn where buckets of wheel weights are awaiting going into the smelting pot and then to be turned into ingots whereby all the lead projectiles are cast, along with 00 buckshot.  I have been at this game awhile, used to have a church friend that was manager over a big tire store and I didn't even have to load them up in my truck, we bought all our tires there anyway, but it sure is nice. Speaking of that I need to get the fire lit and do some smelting if I can catch a non rainy or windy day!!

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A couple weeks ago I saw 100 rounds of new Winchester 44 mag JSP close at over $300 bucks on GB.  This may be a symptom of rouge Democrat liberals scarring the crap out of "normal" democrats? IDK but its pretty freaky.

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5 hours ago, xtriggerman said:

A couple weeks ago I saw 100 rounds of new Winchester 44 mag JSP close at over $300 bucks on GB

I call that non-sense, in that they have NO sense. I may shoot less, shoot .22 and pellet guns, but I refuse to pay stupid prices. I thought the last go round in '08 I had seen some crazy stuff, but this out does it. I have seen 30-30 for over $4 per round, SPP at $325 plus shipping, plus lots of common ammo go for crazy prices. I really feel sorry for the new gun owners that for whatever reason age etc, they didn't get to enjoy the cheap prices of yesteryear. I know things will never be as cheap, but hopefully one day this storm will pass and some normality will return.

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1 hour ago, Dirtshooter said:

but hopefully one day this storm will pass and some normality will return.

I do believe it will eventually. However, I am really starting to question how long that's gonna take. Its already gone longer than I expected and there's really no let up in sight. 😟

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If you thought the 38 was crazy you completely overlooked the Standard CCI 22lr they were selling for $0.40 a round 😳.  Gun owners at large on the left and right are their own worst enemy.  It appears no one bought the last 10 years things have been dirt cheap and now it’s conspiracy theory after conspiracy theory in gun forums like this one driving typically sane people to justify spending exorbitant prices for ammo instead of just sitting and waiting for prices to come back down as they always have. Practice your dry fire, take up a different hobby, go dust off the red Ryder or that old paintball gun you used to love but for the love of money please stop buying right now..until us as a gun community stops paying these crack head prices we won’t see any relief.  

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2 hours ago, Raoul said:

It's pointless to tell people to be prepared.

Sort of like you can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink.  Just like you can't motivate people, only they can motivate themselves. We can encourage, but that is about it.

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20 hours ago, Nikiski Dave said:

unless China invades us. 

I don't know about you, but the .38 ammo will be some of the last used. Although my 1894 Marlins will sling the lead out there a few yards. Besides if they have any sense they will look at what the Japanese said about a gun behind every blade of grass, now there are 3 guns behind every blade.

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Posted (edited)

Midway has some Federal 38 Spec. 158 Lead round nose. $55 a box. Nope sorry I can not bring myself to pay those prices.  I will just conserve what little I have. 

I think $ 30 was the highest I paid during Obama panic. And I didn’t buy much. 

Edited by kentmck
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10 minutes ago, kentmck said:

Midway has some Federal 38 Spec. 158 Lead round nose. $55 a box. Nope sorry I can not bring myself to pay those prices.  I will just conserve what little I have. 

I think $ 30 was the highest I paid during Obama panic. And I didn’t buy much. 

That seems pricey.

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