With deer season over for most people in the U.S., thoughts often move to ice fishing (for us northerners) or open water fishing, or maybe even some small game hunting to finish out the year. But NOW is the time to start prepping for those sunny days at the range. I’ll tell you why…
1. Closing of the last primary lead smelting plant in the United States. There has been a lot of speculation on the effects of closing the Doe Run plant in Herculaneum, Missouri . While it is true that bullet lead comes primarily from the secondary market (recycled lead), we’re talking 120 billion pounds of lead that will no longer be in circulation. The supply is the supply and when supply is reduced without a reduction in demand, costs will go up. It is inevitable that the cost of bullets and batteries will increase in 2014 as a result in the reduction of lead supply and the need to import lead. So buy your bullets now. This applies to not just muzzleloader bullets but all your bullet needs. I’m not saying to go out and clear the shelves, but start buying.
2. Availability. It seems with the exception of shotgun shells bullet availability is hard to come by. I have a 9mm pistol and it has been a real challenge finding ammunition for it, and with shooting season coming up I’m starting to get a little worried! Muzzleloader bullets don’t have quite the same problem but why risk it?
3. Clearance. Some retailers may be putting their muzzleloader bullets on clearance now that muzzy season is over. Take advantage! I’ve seen 15 packs of 200 grain Shockwaves for $8 – which is a steal compared to the retail price. Keep an eye out for deals.
4. Regulations. California recently banned lead ammunition which will go into effect in 2019. I see this as creating demand for both lead and non-lead ammunition. Non-lead ammo is expensive and will only get more expensive as non-lead metal prices continue to rise and regulations force demand in the non-lead direction. Just like the stock market credo – Buy Low Sell High, buy your ammo while it’s low.
5. In the spirit of the Second Amendment. “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” If we are going to use the Second Amendment protections to keep our firearms, we should back it up by being ‘well regulated’. When the Bill of Rights was written, “well regulated” meant being well disciplined, trained, and arms (as stated by Alexander Hamilton). Having a gun in the cabinet with no ammo does not jive with the spirit of the Second Amendment. Get your ammo and practice, practice, practice!
How much ammo you need is up to you but here’s what I would shoot for:
Muzzleloader: 300 rounds
Shotgun: 250 rounds each of buck shot, bird shot, and slugs
Rifle (for each caliber): 2000 rounds
.22LR: 5000 rounds
Happy Ammo Hunting!!!
- Ammo Price Surge Expected as EPA Regulations Close Lead Smelter (ivoter.com)
- Insidious backdoor gun control: EPA mandates “green ammo” (directorblue.blogspot.com)