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Crowdfunding Ammo: Will Price Win?

Here is the question: If you could save 15-20% on match-grade ammo, but you had to wait 4 months for it to be delivered – Is it worth it?

I wanted to let my readers know about a unique opportunity for low-cost match ammo, and what I think is a very interesting social experiment – and potentially a new buying model that could save us all money.

Frankly, I love disruptors! Most companies play it safe and simply make incremental improvements – but then there are a few disruptors willing to take risks, set a new course, and they push the industry forward. Several years ago, the market was trending towards match-grade factory ammo being priced at $40/box – and then Hornady disrupted the market with the release of the 6.5 Creedmoor along with match-grade factory ammo priced closer to $25/box (around $1.25/round). Thank you, Hornady! Masterpiece Arms has been a major disruptor when it comes to competition rifle chassis. Kestrel and Applied Ballistics were disruptors when they put a ballistic engine in a handheld weather meter. Horus did it with reticles. Both MagnetoSpeed and LabRadar did it with chronographs. GunBroker.com did it for gun sales. Disruptors don’t just look at what is out there and offer an incremental improvement – they try to pioneer a new path, and hope customers see the merit or value.

I think PRIME ammunition may be a disruptor. They were one of the first large-scale ammo companies to depart from the traditional distribution model and sell direct to the consumer. PRIME is non-traditional in a few ways, including the fact that over their first year in business they called over 8,500 of their customers after they placed an order to tell them thanks and have a quick conversation to understand who they were. Jim O’Shaughnessy, the founder/CEO of PRIME Ammo, personally made many of those calls. I can attest to that, because I was one of the surprised customers who answered his call. That had nothing to do with me being the author of PRB, because a friend of mine had already ordered some PRIME ammo, and he also got a call from Jim.

In a traditional ammo distribution model, companies like Hornady or Federal sell their ammo to distributors, who then sell it to local retailers, and they eventually sell it to the end user. Not only is there incremental markup by the two middle men (which is reasonable for their contribution), but that also means the manufacturers don’t know exactly who is buying their ammo, much less have a chance for those customers to give feedback to the CEO directly. The direct to consumer model is a disruptor in the ammo world, not only because it eliminates the middle men (along with the incremental markup), but it also allows guys like Jim to know his customer. I’m not saying companies with traditional distribution models are clueless about their customer (they may do focus groups and get out in the community), but guys like Jim who have a direct connection to all of their customers should be more in-tune and able to respond to their needs – at least in theory.

Through the 20 million rounds of ammo that PRIME has sold, there is one thing they heard time and time again: We all want good ammo – actually great ammo, capable of using in a match – and we want it cheap!!! How cheap? Is free too much to ask? Better yet, would you pay me to shoot it?! 😉 In the precision rifle community, we’re willing to invest in our rifles and optics, but we see ammo as a consumable, so we hope to save money there.

The hopes of reducing ammo cost is what draws some guys into reloading, although in my experience it rarely ends up saving money if you are using quality components and tools. I’m not looking to spark another debate on this (like I did when I posted The Cost of Handloading vs. Match Ammo), because that typically just results in an argument over the proper way to account for someone’s time. But, earlier today I was reading through the latest issue of RECOIL Magazine (Issue 46), and it had an article on this exact topic! No lie! The article does lightly touch on the fact that reloading can require more time than you think, but they also had an interesting table showing the component costs for reloading 6.5 Creedmoor ammo:

RECOIL is saying that even if you exclude your time, the cost of one loaded round of 6.5 Creedmoor is about $1.27 purely based on the components involved. Their prices are based on quality components, but notice they aren’t using Lapua brass and A-Tip bullets, so they didn’t bloat the numbers to the max possible. Now, if you reuse the same cases multiple times, you can get that lower (and I do that math in my article). But think about it: Factory ammo has the cost of these same components and they can’t reuse the brass. They also have to include the labor to assemble the components and perform quality control (factory workers aren’t volunteers), PLUS they take on a ton of liability for selling live ammunition to thousands of customers. So is it even reasonable for us to ask for factory ammo made from quality components for less than what it would cost us if we performed the labor and took on the liability ourselves?

And here is another major cost/limitation ammo manufacturers face that I was unaware of until recently: Their cost of capital is very high, and access to capital is extremely limited. There are very few banks in the United States that will give a business loan to an ammunition company, at least at reasonable interest rates that are available to most businesses. In our litigious society, most banks simply prefer to distance themselves from ammo companies. At the same time, ammo manufacturers typically have a few months of lead time from when they need to buy components and when they receive the money from the distributor or consumer for the finished product. Most companies need loans in order to bridge that gap, and many struggle to find adequate capital or they’re forced to pay sky-high rent on the money they are loaned, which drives up prices.

Crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter and GoFundMe strictly prohibit “ammunition, firearms, or other weaponry or accessories.” Services like PayPal can be used to buy all kinds of things, including some products/services that most of us would see as immoral, but their terms of service don’t allow it to be used for ammo. Ammo and firearms companies are banned from using some credit card processing services. Bank of America shut down the payment service for McMillan stocks simply because they were related to the firearms industry (read the story). Amazon seems to sell everything under the sun, but they absolutely don’t sell ammo – and probably never will. Markets and services are simply hostile to ammo companies, which sure doesn’t help get costs down.

Lastly, we’re all well-aware of the high cost to ship ammo, which further inflates ammo cost.

Well, that recap was depressing! Seems like the deck is stacked against ammo manufacturers. So what now?

Often times, when an industry is disrupted it takes most people by surprise. Established companies are terrified of it, and fear it could be lurking around every corner. But it is this kind of messed up system that makes an industry primed for disruption! Think about it:

  • Netflix did not kill Blockbuster, ridiculous late fees did.
  • Apple did not kill the music industry, being forced to buy full-length albums did.
  • Uber didn’t kill the taxi business, limited access and fare control did.

In each of those cases, the industry was built around something that was good for someone other than the end customer, and customers were forced to pay for it – “because that’s just the way it works.” Primed for disruption!

You can’t play by the rules, because someone else made them … in their favor.Tony Fadell (“Father of the iPod” + co-inventor of the iPhone + co-founder of the company that makes the Nest Learning Thermostats)

What PRIME Is Trying

Instead of whining about all that stuff or making excuses, the guys at PRIME are going to try something new – which honestly may or may not work. But, in response to hearing so many customers say how important low prices were, they came up with an interesting idea that could lower prices by 15-20%!

PRIME knows these things represent a significant part of their costs:

  • Cost/Access to Capital – This is renting money from a bank for the four month window from the time PRIME has to order and pay for the ammo until it is loaded and ready to distribute to the customer.
  • Inventory Cost – This is the cost of storing ammo in a warehouse, and continued cost of money for the funds already used to order that ammo.
  • Market Risk – This is the cost of guessing wrong at how much the market will buy of certain type of ammo, and potentially having to liquidate overstock at a loss.
  • Credit Card Fees – When you use a credit card to buy something, the merchant is charged up to 3.5% of the total by the credit card company. If you pay via check or cash, the merchant gets the full total.

PRIME is now offering an option for ammunition WITH THE COSTS ABOVE REMOVED FROM THE PRICE, if customers are willing buy a case or more of ammo upfront and then wait four months for it to be manufactured and delivered. If you eliminate those costs for PRIME, they’ll pass on the savings. In fact, they’re going beyond that and offering free shipping as an added benefit. Free as in free (i.e. no hazmat, no nothing). If you pay via check, you get the full discount, but you can also pay via credit card – you just pay the difference, which is around $7 per case.

How this works is similar to a “Group Buy,” like you may have seen on forums like Sniper’s Hide. If enough people get together who want to buy a specific product, you can typically get a discount from the manufacturer. The group is reducing the manufacturer’s market risk, so it’s fair for their price to go down proportionally.

For 18 days, PRIME has a group purchase open for 6.5 Creedmoor ammo. If it works, they may expand into other cartridges in the future. This experiment works similar to Kickstarter, in that if enough people commit to purchase, then the order automatically goes through. The threshold for the 6.5 Creedmoor is 500,000 rounds, so if that many rounds are ordered by Midnight PST on Monday, December 16, 2019, the order will be fulfilled. But, if, for example, 100,000 rounds are ordered, then the numbers don’t work out and all the orders will be canceled. But, the group buy has now been open for just a couple days, and it is already off to a strong start.

So what’s the price?

If you buy a case of PRIME 6.5 Creedmoor ammo, the total delivered price is normally $1.35/round. That is for ammo that is made in the USA, and loaded with high quality components like Peterson brass and the 130gr Sierra MatchKing bullet. Frank Galli from Sniper’s Hide has fired a ton of this ammo, and says he typically sees 9-10 fps standard deviations in muzzle velocity for the US-made 6.5 CM PRIME ammo. In case you don’t know, single digit SD’s is what handloaders hope to achieve – so that is ridiculously great for factory ammo. It is truly match-worthy ammo. So, you can order that ammo for $1.35/round, they have it in stock, and it will ship out to you the next day.

But, if you order at least a case of ammo and are willing to wait 4 months for it to be delivered – they’ll sell that same US-made ammo for $1.17/round, and if you pay by check it lowers to $1.14/round. Both of those are the total delivered price, including shipping.

PRIME is also offering 6.5 Creedmoor ammo that they say is virtually identical ballistically, but made by RUAG in Sweden and loaded with a Norma 130gr Golden Target bullet in Norma brass. Frank Galli says the only difference between the US-made and Swiss-made is the SD, with the US-made landing around 9-10 fps and the Swiss-made typically landing around 12-18 fps. The Swiss ammo gets the price even lower, with the delivered price (including shipping) at $1.09/round, or $1.06/round if you pay by check.

Check Out PRIME Ammo’s Group Buy Options

I have personally fired thousands of rounds of Hornady’s 6mm Creedmoor and 6.5 Creedmoor match-grade factory ammo. While I typically handload my match ammo, I typically use match-grade factory ammo to practice. I buy 400-600 rounds at a time, and I use AmmoSeek.com to find it at the lowest prices. I think of AmmoSeek.com as the GunBroker of ammo. On GunBroker, you can often find guns that are literally just a few dollars over the distributor’s cost. I’ve even heard some of the merchants on GunBroker make more profit off the shipping charges than the firearm! Many don’t have the overhead of a brick-and-mortar store, and they make up for the small margins with volume and low overhead. One industry-insider told me that the companies you see at the top of the list on AmmoSeek.com with the lowest prices, may even be losing money on the ammo, but are hoping customers add additional higher-margin items to their order or like guys on GunBroker.com, they have the ammo price low but are marking up the shipping. The truth is most customers fixate on the lowest price/round, and may not think of it as the total delivered cost including shipping – and smart companies know that.

On AmmoSeek.com, I typically see $1.20/round for that Hornady match ammo in 6 or 6.5 Creedmoor, which is obviously a great price. You can occasionally catch it for as low as $1.02-1.03/round – but remember that is BEFORE shipping, and some of those guys may be really marking up shipping. In fact, I went and tried to check out at four places that advertised $1.02-1.03, and with shipping the total ended up being $1.23-1.28/round delivered. Meanwhile, Able Ammo was advertising $1.20/round with free shipping, so the lowest delivered price/round for Hornady 6.5 Creedmoor match ammo was $1.20/round (at the time this was written). I searched prices for other match-grade factory ammo, like Federal Gold Medal ammo with the Berger 130gr Hybrid or the Sierra 140gr MatchKing. The table below shows a comparison of all of the different types of 6.5 Creedmoor ammo, along with PRIME’s offerings.

6.5 Creedmoor ammo comparison

You can see both the top two options, which are the Swiss-made and US-made PRIME ammo as part of the group buy, are the lowest of all the factory match-grade ammo options, even at the best prices that I could find on AmmoSeek.com. If Frank Galli’s estimates for SD’s in the 9-10 fps range is accurate, then $1.14/round delivered seems like a ridiculous value for those guys who are going to use it to shoot competitively. In my opinion, if you can get SD’s down in that 9-12 fps range, it’s very unlikely that you’d drop points in a PRS-style match because of inconsistency in your muzzle velocity. In fact, did you know that based on my survey of 173 of the top-ranked precision rifle shooters in the country, 11 of them didn’t handload their own ammo, but instead used match-grade factory ammo. 3 people who finished the season in the top 30 in the PRS said they were using factory ammo! Obvious our factory ammo options these days are capable of competing at the highest levels.

Want to learn more about how much SD matters? I wrote a whole post that takes an objective and practical look at that. Read that here.

Back To The Comparison With Reloading Your Own

And remember RECOIL magazine’s estimate for reloading components for a 6.5 Creedmoor was $1.27/round? That was actually based on Hornady brass, but the PRIME ammo includes either Norma or Peterson brass, which are both premium brass manufacturers that sell for more than Hornady. Graf & Sons sells all 3 brands, and here is their pricing for each:

Did you catch that? PRIME is selling match-grade LOADED ammo with Norma brass for $1.06, and the exact same EMPTY brass case sells for $1.29! That is not a misprint!

Another thing to keep in mind is after you shoot your factory ammo, you can sell your once-fired brass on GunBroker. Once-fired Hornady 6.5 Creedmoor brass typically sells on GunBroker for $0.15-0.30/piece, depending on timing and number of pieces in the package. There is a huge supply of Hornady 6.5 Creedmoor once-fired brass out there, and most people see Peterson and Norma brass as a premium, so I’d expect them to bring a little more than the Hornady.

  • Hornady Once-Fired Brass = $0.20-0.27/piece (going rate on GunBroker)
  • Peterson Once-Fired Brass = $0.30-0.35/piece (estimated)
  • Norma Once-Fired Brass = $0.30-0.35 /piece (estimated)

So while you might be able to shave a little off the reloading cost by using the brass multiple times, you could also sell your once-fired brass after you use the factory ammo and that would further offset the overall cost of the factory ammo. If you buy the Swiss-made PRIME ammo at the lowest group buy price with a check, you’d be in it at $1.06/piece delivered. If you sold the once-fired Norma brass after you use it for an estimated $0.31/piece, your total net cost is only $0.75/round!

10 years ago a box of match-grade factory ammo was approaching $40/box or $2/round. And honestly, it wasn’t near as consistent as the match-grade factory ammo that is available today. So when you think about $1.06/round delivered all-in cost for match-grade ammo – or as low as $0.75 net cost after you sell your once-fired brass – it makes you realize how far we’ve come over the past decade! Whether you reload or buy factory ammo, we can all agree it is the golden age of long range rifle shooting. There has never been another point in history where it was so exciting to be a precision rifleman!

Honestly, I see PRIME’s group buy ammo option as a very interesting social experiment. Shooters always say low price is the most important thing when it comes to ammo, so if that’s true … this thing should take off, right? But, are enough of us willing to pay for something we won’t see for four months? Many of us are used to that or more when it comes to suppressors, but ammo is different, right? Will a 15-20% discount be enough to motivate 500,000 rounds of sales?

If it works, I bet other ammo manufacturers eventually follow suit and this could introduce a whole new pricing paradigm when it comes to affordable ammo. It would almost be like buying “futures” for commodities. PRIME is starting with a group buy on 6.5 Creedmoor, but they plan to try other cartridges if it works. This new buying model could also be away to test demand for more niche ammo like the 6 GT, 224 Valkyrie, or do limited runs of niche loads, and provide good factory ammo for new cartridges or bullets without the manufacturer taking on a ton of risk.

I wouldn’t normally do a post about a “group buy,” but the idea of a new buying model that could reduce ammo prices 15-20% has just been bouncing around in my head for the last couple weeks and I have found the idea interesting. I just wanted to pass it along to you guys as some food for thought.

If it doesn’t work, there isn’t anything lost. PRIME will simply continue to sell ammo that will ship the next day at $1.35/round, and we’ll go to AmmoSeek.com for the lowest price on all the rest of it. I can’t wait to see how this giant experiment shakes out! I guess we’ll all know by December 16th!

About Cal

Cal Zant is the shooter/author behind PrecisionRifleBlog.com. Cal is a life-long learner, and loves to help others get into this sport he's so passionate about. Cal has an engineering background, unique data-driven approach, and the ability to present technical information in an unbiased and straight-forward fashion. For more info, check out PrecisionRifleBlog.com/About.

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35 comments

  1. I would recommend using a credit card. This could be a last ditch effort to save a company from bankruptcy. If they cash your check and file bankruptcy you will be sol. Been burnt before, so play it smart.

    • Interesting tip, Nathan. I certainly haven’t heard that PRIME is in financial trouble, but that doesn’t mean that’s not wise. That is not a lesson you want to learn the hard way, so I appreciate you chiming in to share the hard-earned wisdom.

      Thanks,
      Cal

  2. That is half the life of a barrel to wait for your ammo. Price reduction would have to be >50% to even consider it.

    • I can see your point … but won’t you need more ammo a few months from now too? Wouldn’t it be nice if the ammo you were shooting in the second half of that barrel was 15-20% less?

      • The prices you are quoting are easily matched on the retail market if you shop around. For example Sig Opened Tip Match for 21.15 a box free shipping on a case. In addition, I work for a small retailer and that is essentially the price that we get from a distributor then mark up. So in essence they are cutting out the retailer and taking the distributors profit as well. Plus borrowing your money for free. So the only way it is worth waiting for it is if it were 35% off or better. In addition ammo is not charged hazmat.

      • Hey, Mark. I appreciate your thoughts. I only looked at Hornady, Federal, and PRIME, because those are the only 3 factory ammo brands that any of the top 173 shooters in the PRS and NRL reported shooting … and the only brands that I’ve ever personally seen used in the matches I’ve been to. I’m not saying Sig isn’t good, but just don’t know if it’s on the same level as this other stuff. I do know Sig is really aggressive across the board in pricing competitiveness, so it might be a great deal. But, I just haven’t seen anyone using it at a competitive level.

        And yeah, I know the AmmoSeek prices are basically at distributor pricing. Those guys at the top of the list aren’t making much.

        Thanks,
        Cal

    • I think this is a great idea, more power to them for thinking so hard about it. I dont shoot prime, my barrel loves the the ‘Berger Advantaged’ hybrid but I would definately try this if I could. BTW, thanks for all your input Cal..love your posts.

      • Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Don. I tried the Berger loaded ammo in my 6mm Creedmoor and it grouped REALLY well (one 5-shot group in the 1’s, another in the 2’s … honestly better than my handloads), but the SD’s were 19 fps out of my barrel. I did the WEZ analysis on it and the tiny groups don’t make up for the bad SD at distance in terms of overall hit probability. I have another friend that said he has fired a ton of that Berger 6mm Creedmoor ammo and typically gets single digit SD’s. So I guess if it works for you, that’s great. It honestly makes me think I should try another box. Maybe I had a dud!

        And I appreciate the kind words. I’m glad you find my content helpful.

        Thanks,
        Cal

      • Great article Cal. I would like to add one thing. Many times and idea or a company will succeed or fail due to the leader. Many years ago I answered a broadcast email offering to sell some 223 ammo for a good price. I clicked on the link, order the ammo, and got hung up in entering the payment method etc. I closed the app and went on my way-not sure if it was headed my way or not. Perhaps some of you remember several years ago when the online ordering apps were not as friendly as they are now? Anyway, I received the ammo a few days latter and then a few more days latter received a call from Jim O’Shaughnessy. It seems That the shipment process worked and the payment system failed to charge my Credit Card properly and Jim was left w/o payment. Jim was calling to say that he hoped I would still send payment for the ammo i had received, but he understood if i did not. His primary concern was that i was happy with the order, happy with him, and would continue to be a customer.
        I Have bumped into Jim at a SHOT Show (Prime booth) and reached out a time or two to buy ammo from him.
        All this to say, Jim is an honorable guy and I would bet on him anytime.

        As a business man ,I appreciate your in-depth description of the hurdles anyone in a firearms related business must address to serve it’s base of customers. It is very evident better opportunities exist for deployment of capital and resources. I am saddened that our society has created the False narrative that leads to many supporting businesses denying services to our friends.

      • Thanks for sharing, Lynn. That matches what I’ve heard a lot of people have said about Jim.

        I lead a mid-size business in another industry, and it was really interesting for me to learn all this stuff. Regardless of whether it’s PRIME or another company, this seems like a plausible buying model … if the shooting community agrees that it is. I’m excited about what it might mean long-term for other cartridges or types of ammo. If nothing else, it was enlightening to learn more about what ammo companies and other firearms companies have to deal with. As if there weren’t enough challenges you have to overcome in a business already! 😉

        Thanks,
        Cal

  3. Charley C Hanson Jr

    Thank you
    You have really given us some fantastic information over the years.
    I am not rich enough to be a competitive shooter but I still want to be as good as I can be and you are helping me do that.
    I don’t hang out at rifle ranges or with target shooters so I would have never found the information you have given us.

    • You bet, Charley! I really appreciate your kind words. I know it’s tough when you don’t have other friends who are into this, so I’m glad I could help!

      Thanks,
      Cal

  4. Nothing can help us here in California, ammo wise. 🙁

    • Sorry, bud! You are welcome here in Texas!!! 😉

    • Zach, I’m also in the People’s Socialist Republic of Kalifornia. The last I read/heard, mail order ammo could still be sent to a gun store or firing range. So if you already have a relationship with a store or range, ask about them receiving ammo. Most seem to offer no or minimum charge if you pick it up on the same day it’s delivered. Also, an interesting twist would be to work out an arrangement with a store owner to split an order. Maybe they would be interested in carrying Prime and getting the healthy discount.

      Cal, the offer seems interesting and it’s an intriguing business model. As you stated, many of the raging businesses now were disruptors. There’s a certain satisfying laziness to using factory match ammo as we all know how time consuming match reloads are. Most of us are not swimming in free time. There is a gratifying zen meditation to reloading though. I find it a great stress reliever.

      • Thanks for sharing the tip, Joseph! That sounds really helpful for guys in California.

        And I appreciate your feedback. I know a lot of us enjoy reloading and find it relaxing, when we have the time. This is just another option to consider, but if you love reloading … don’t fix happy!

        Thanks,
        Cal

  5. The biggest thing might be certainty of performance in an individual’s rifle. If everything is solid with your rifle and barrel, you know Prime isn’t going to shoot poorly but it may not compare to something you hand load for. Then again most of us aren’t competitive or good enough to probably have to worry about it, but it is fun to find a load that gives you one hole groups. My lapua brass also can last many firings and I like reloading. But this is an intriguing idea and I really hope it succeeds. I think maybe I’ll buy a case.

    • I know what you mean, Zach. The illusive one-hold group! We all seem to chase it, and probably spend more time on it than we should … but it sure is satisfying when they all go in one hole!

      I’ve personally loaded hundreds (if not thousands) of rounds with Lapua, Norma, and Peterson brass, and while I’m still partial to Lapua, I will say that Norma and Peterson are in the same league. I believe Alpha Munitions brass is also in that group too. So you can expect roughly the same brass life with these, or at least it will be similar compared to other brands.

      I appreciate you sharing your thoughts.

      Thanks,
      Cal

  6. Hello Cal,
    One of the reasons i started shooting long range rifle i was shooting pistol and reloaded my ammo, it was a fun thing to reload and see how to improve the moa and to see if could do it consistently and i really enjoyed it, then my gunsmith made me a 6XC rifle and, well, i was hooked, then a 6.5×47 Lapua was born, reloading my own ammo far outways the store bought ammo, though i could afford it, i still will reload my ammo. I use different powders, brass, primers, and it is fun to do this.

    • I totally get it! Lots of guys (including me) like to tinker, and eventually have two hobbies: shooting and reloading. 10 years ago, if you were serious of long range shooting the only option to get the consistency you needed was to reload them yourself. But over the past few years that has changed, and now we have the choice of whether we want to do both those hobbies … or just shoot and let someone else load the ammo for us. I’m certainly not trying to talk anyone into stopping something if they enjoy doing it – I haven’t sold my reloading equipment! But this is just another option for guys who may not like to tinker as much as the rest of us, or who want to become serious shooters and don’t have the time to reload.

      Thanks,
      Cal

  7. In the wine industry (for which I’m an enthusiastic consumer!), some high-end wineries offer wine “futures”: consumers pay for their wine at the time it’s harvested, two or more years before it is bottled and shipped. Futures are sold a discount, because wineries normally have to make most of their investment in the harvest year but can’t get paid until they bottle and ship the wine after two or more years of aging. That’s a huge amount of “liquid assets” tying up a lot of money. Futures let wineries get return on investment in weeks instead of years, and they offer discounts to share the avoided costs.

    This concept sounds similar to what has worked well for high-end wineries for decades.

    • Scott, that is a great analogy! I wasn’t aware of that, but I appreciate you sharing it. I think that is very similar to what is going on here, but I guess with even more extended time frames when you’re talking years before the wine is bottled.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts!
      Cal

  8. This idea might be a bit far-fetched but what if all interested parties, i.e. shooters, NRA, firearms mfg’s, ammo mfg’s, S.C.I., et al, crowd funded our own financial institutions and insurance companies taking care of our interests in the shooting/hunting realm? There is certainly, collectively, enough money and will involved isn’t there?? I’m not a business person or even a college graduate but why hasn’t someone (again, collectively) thought of this before? Educated comments, please!! By the way, thank you for your hard work in researching all the material and subjects that you do…

    • Well, Greg. It’s not a dumb idea, but it’d take a lot of organization and people coming together, which is hard. There has been some of this (like McMillan created McMillan Merchant Services), and I’m sure there are way more than I’m aware of … which is part of the problem: awareness. That’s honestly part of the reason I decided to write this post. I wanted to help more people become aware of some of the things that ammo companies have to face, in addition to the normal difficulties of running a business. That’s why I spent so much time trying to explain all that stuff in the post, and not just explain what PRIME is offering. It’s bigger than what PRIME is doing. I was hoping things like this could be how we as consumers could help disrupt the industry and force change. But it’d be awesome if someone could get us all organized in a way to in-act change. It seems like many organizations are further distancing themselves from guns in an attempt to be PC or at least not be associated in any way to one of the mass shootings that have happened – and unfortunately that hurts the rest of us who are using firearms and ammo in legal ways. It’s a great suggestion though, Greg. I appreciate you noticing the need for the kind of change I was alluding to, but it’s just harder to actually pull off on a large scale than it is to talk about it. But talking about it at least helps us all understand the problem and then maybe we’ll all be ready to accept a potential solution.

      Thanks,
      Cal

      • The referenced McMillan Merchant Services URL was dead. It looks like they handed that off to some other company – Merchant Services LTD.

  9. 50% of the life time of Practicing would be with ammo closer to my goto round for Competition. Therefore waiting for months for ammo is something I’d press upon the usual Order I’ve made…. I’d get on the phone an get a better price in a bulk rate…..
    It’s going to cost me more in waiting then getting in within 3 days. Plus it’s the same price if not better if I make a phone order with my usual ammo supplier

    • Interesting, Nicholas. Sounds like you might have a great deal already. I buy a ton of ammo, and don’t get better than what’s on AmmoSeek.com, but if you can … I’d stick with that deal. Appreciate you sharing your thoughts.

      Thanks,
      Cal

  10. Cal –

    I want to thank you for PRB and all the hard work that goes into it. I am not a competitor and absent your site would never have access to most of the great info and insights you share. I particularly appreciate your objective, data-driven approach.

    Though I don’t compete, I LOVE accurate shooting and prefer to buy the best stuff I can (almost) afford. PRIME ammo fits the bill for me. I tried some a friend had, was impressed and several months ago bought a case of 6.5 Creedmore. I got a call from Jim O’Shaughnessy seeking input about why I chose PRIME. I did not realize at the time that he was the company CEO. Early this morning I placed an order for another case under this group purchase and got another call from Jim. He remembered me from my prior order and we had a nice conversation about why I again chose PRIME, and specifically why I chose the US-made option over the Swedish-made option. He closed the call by encouraging me to call with any input, issues, or suggestions.

    I am a fan of both of the quality of the ammo and the way Jim is changing the ammo industry. Thanks, Cal, for sharing the news about this group purchase.

    Jeff

  11. Sure its a good idea. As a consumer its just a matter
    Of getting used to the idea and requires some
    Forward planning. Sorry about the capitals….
    Indigogo does crowd funding for high value tech.
    Unfortunately I cannot use your services as I live in
    Australia.

    • Yep, more options, especially for the planners among us! You’re welcome to join us in Texas! Of course you guys have all the good Hodgdon powders first in Australia, and we have to wait for them to come over on a ship. So I guess it’s a tradeoff! 😉

      Thanks,
      Cal

  12. I bought 6.5 creed at 74 cents a round from freedom munitions and its awesome

    • Daniel, you can definitely find 6.5 Creedmoor ammo for less than what I mention in the post, but not match-grade ammo. The ammo we’re talking about shoots less than 15 fps SD’s, and I bet that Freedom Munitions ammo is above that. When you’re firing at long range it’s tough to get consistent hits if your muzzle velocity varies, especially if you are going for first round hits at distance.

      Here is what Bryan Litz says on this subject: “Regarding available ammunition types, a Standard Deviation (SD) of 20 fps is considered relatively poor consistency, and is generally representative of mass produced factory ammo. 15 fps is considered better than average for factory produced ammunition, but still substandard for those who handload their own ammunition. 10 fps or less SD is typically the goal of most handloaders, and very few commercially available ammo suppliers are capable of producing ammo with SD’s under 10 fps.” The US-made PRIME ammo supposedly achieves that (according to Frank Galli), so it’s just in a different class of ammo than the $0.74/round ammo you’re referring to.

      I will say, if you’re happy with it … don’t fix happy! Keep at it. Just wanted to try to explain why I didn’t mention things like that in this post. I really focused on ammo considered “match-grade” and that ranked competitors are using in long range rifle matches … which can’t really be found for under $1.15 – until now.

      I do appreciate you sharing your experience.

      Thanks,
      Cal

  13. If we keep looking for ways to cut out the local gun shop eventually there won’t be any.
    Loaded ammo does not require hazmat. Powder and primers do….I know it’s stupid.

    • I agree with you Ryan. That’s why I often choose to buy a firearm at my locally owned gun shop. The past 4 guns I’ve bought were from my locally-owned gun store, even when I know I am paying a little more than I might be able to get if I ordered it online. I actually feel pretty strong about that, because I do think we often like to go look at guns at the local store and then buy online. That isn’t fair, and ultimately the local stores will go away if we continue to do that! So I am 100% with you on that part, and likely feel stronger about that than most people.

      But, when it comes to high-volume ammo orders, I don’t feel that way at all. I bet I actually buy more 6mm Creedmoor loaded ammo in a year than ANY of my local gun stores. I live in a town of about 250,000 people in Texas, and I’m including the big box sports stores and the small, mom-and-pop gun stores – so that is a bold claim, but I think it’s true. When you buy multiple cases of the same product, I actually don’t feel bad for cutting out the local shop. I actually believe I deserve pricing that is better than theirs. I basically deserve distributor pricing, because I’m buying at distributor volume!

      Now please understand, that mindset doesn’t come from an “entitled millennial” viewpoint. I actually lead a company in another industry that does a lot of volume (over $200M in revenue), and we obviously have a lot of buying power. But some of our suppliers have told us that they have other customers demanding that they get the same pricing as we get. The suppliers didn’t know how to respond to those other customers, but we’ve told them it is pretty simple: If those other customers buy as much as we do, they SHOULD get the same price. In fact, if they buy more than we do, they deserve a BETTER price! It’s not about playing favorites or who is the better negotiator. Those suppliers are making less per item with us, but it is over 1000+ units per year … where the other customers are typically 10-30 units per year. We also standardize our products to help the supplier be more efficient with inventory and deliveries, and the other guys might use a different product each time, so there is much higher inventory costs and risk of error.

      Bottom-line, if you are ordering a ton of a particular product, you should get a great price on it. Those bulk orders of match-grade ammo aren’t what local gun stores are made for – or they’d offer volume discounts on it. When it comes to ammo sales, local stores are for the wider audience that come and buy a box or two, or if they are buying a lot of rounds it is mostly the bulk military surplus ammo. So while I feel for the local shops and am an advocate for them in a lot of ways, I don’t feel guilty at all for buying cases of match-grade, specialty ammo where I can get the right price for it.

      Thanks,
      Cal