The ammo & reloading market.

Author:Boyles, Cardlee Anita
Position:UPDATE ON

With the high demand and low availability of all sorts of ammo for the past couple of years, shooters have been keeping a close eye on the ammunition segment of the market. With the coming of a new political climate, retailers are hoping for more moderate supply and demand.

Oscar Costa, formerly a movie producer/director and now the owner of Oscar's Gunworks in San Gabriel, Calif., said sales of ammunition are down at his store.

"Everything is extremely slow," he relayed. "I think it's because of state politics. California passed Proposition 63 and people are confused about exactly what it is. There also are several things in the Legislature right now that would ruin the gun business here in California." According to the website Ballotpedia, one thing Proposition 63 requires is individuals who wish to purchase ammunition must first obtain . a permit, which dealers have to see before they can sell ammunition.

Costa attributed the slow sales to economic factors.

"Because people spent so much money at the end of last year trying to buy MSR-platform rifles and the accouterments that go with them, they're now waiting for their income tax refund checks to make purchases," he said.

The most popular ammo with customers is 9mm, according to Costa.

"People don't buy much .40, but they do buy some .45," he observed. "During bird season people buy a lot of shotgun shells. Most people don't buy 5.56 because it's more expensive than .223 for shooting with their MSR-platform rifle. But the top seller is 9mm."

Most of Costa's customers do a lot of range shooting.

"They want range ammo, which is Federal and Winchester--Federal is the one we sell the most," he shared.

With the current trends in state politics, Costa expects his sales to change significantly during 2017.

"On January 1, 2018, customers have to get a $50 license in order to buy ammunition, and they're going to be limited as to how much ammo they can buy per month," he said. "They won't be able to import ammo, or buy any outside the state and have it shipped to their house--this means no more online purchases. So I predict by the end of the year people will realize it's coming and buy ammo like crazy."

However, Costa claimed, the state Department of Justice is taking much longer than expected to implement other portions of the new law, so nobody is sure whether all of this will happen on time or not. "It's a very confusing time," he continued.

Although Costa has tried a number of promotions to...

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