The cost of ammunition for guns is rising, influenced by the war on terror, the war in Iraq, and growing industrial powers such as China, which bid up the cost of needed raw materials, says the Dallas Morning News. Dealers complain of declining sales as they are forced to pass along rising costs to consumers. Hunters and gun enthusiasts, who initially stockpiled ammunition when prices spiked, are now making more of their own or shooting less. Police departments in the Dallas area are experiencing long delays in shipments and having to adjust training schedules accordingly. “It’s no good to have the gun without the ammunition,” said Ken Mitchell, an ammunition dealer.
Manufacturers dramatically ramped up production after the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan in 2001, producing about 1.5 billion rounds last year – more than 3 ½ times the number manufactured in 2001, said Gale Smith of the Army’s Joint Munitions Command Center in Rock Island, Il. Military spending on small-caliber ammunition increased from $242 million in 2001 to $688 million in 2006. The ammunition business is also feeling the pinch because of the rising price of global commodities such as copper, brass, nickel, steel, and lead.