This is a discussion on Dec 2013 Phoenix Gun Show - ammo prices & observations within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; The big 3-day Crossroads of the West gun show in Phoenix opened today at the state fairgrounds in Phx. As I've done for the past ...
The big 3-day Crossroads of the West gun show in Phoenix opened today at the state fairgrounds in Phx. As I've done for the past several years, I took today off and hit the show with a friend from work. This is the annual biggie, with one whole building (1+ acre) sponsored by the Small Arms Review for mostly mil and Class III hardware shown. Between buildings and displays under tents, the total show area was just under 6 acres. Did I say "big" gun show?
Friend Steve has scored some VIP tickets so we didn't have to buy over-priced tickets on line or wait in huge lines to buy tickets there. +1 for the home team.
First stop for each of us was the outdoor Miwall display. This is a huge ammo/components distributor west of the Mississippi, and their prices are the ones everyone else tries to beat. I use their prices to gauge the overall trends for ammo prices over time, as they typically beat even on-line pricing. Local sales tax vs. shipping charges are typically a wash, with the edge going to local purchase. Today, primers (Fed or Win) were going for $30 per 1000 or $146 per sleeve of 5000. This is $1/1000 or 3.5% higher than at the same show last year, post-O-II election but before the Newtown tragedy. Ammo prices were varied. I bought a case of Fiocchi 9mm ball, but Miwall was selling the Win 100-round "value packs" for $37, which is way over Wal-Mart pricing (strange). Other Win 9mm was $178/500. Winchester .40 S&W (180 gr, FMJ or JHP) was $168/500, .45 ACP 230 gr was $200/500.
On the rifle side, pricing had fluctuated slightly from the September show. In 5.56, Win Q3131 (55 gr) was $440/1000, Fed SS109 (62 gr) was $369/1000, and Wolf BRASS-cased ammo was $350/1000. I confess I missed the .308 prices, but for the Mosin-Nagant crowd, 150 gr ball in 440-round spam cans was $106.
Final comment about ammo: .22 rimfire was in hugely short supply. Miwall limited purchases to 1 box (I think) and 3 hours short of closing I heard them say there was NO .22 left - period.
Miwall was selling most powders at almost a flat rate of $30 per pound and $215 per 8 pound cannister. I normally get Titegroup for $20/lb vs $25-27 for most rifle powders, so this was a bit of an unpleasant surprise, and I couldn't swing the price for 8 pounds. I had to settle for just a pound to tide me over until spring.
Past the ammo considerations, this was probably the best gun show in 3 years in terms of the number of serious gun vendors showing up. There were fewer tables with non-gun stuff, notably a big t-shirt vendor and multiple jerky vendors were absent. No sadness there. Price-wise, I found more M-1 Garands priced under $1000 (maybe fewer nice ones available?), and more reasonable prices overall on mainstream, i.e non-collector guns than in recent shows. Foot traffic was brisk for a work day and in casual conversation with vendors I got the impression that trade was better than simply "worth their while."
Overall, my take-away impression is that there is a greater availability of ammo, a huge availability of guns, a reduced level of panic-driven buying, and more serious sense of where things are headed in the long term. It was a day well spent.
NRA Endowment Member
NROI Chief Range Officer
That's a great insightful post, the type of stuff I'm interested in. I too like to try to keep my finger on the " pulse" of the industry to gauge potential trends in pricing and availability.
Thanks for sharing Gasmitty.
" Blessed is that man, who when facing death, thinks only of his front sight"