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Thread: Why surplus firearms and ammunition have increased in the past ten years

  1. #1

    Why surplus firearms and ammunition have increased in the past ten years

    Some have asked why the cost of surplus equipment and ammunition has increased in the last 10 years and this is a good question and answer worth sharing with Forum members

    Unfortunately when the international market gobbles up the equipment, especially Eastern Standard equipment this leaves less for the collector importer market and 7 to 10 years sounds about right, - and in many cases the prices do go up, sometimes to a crazy level. Since about 2003 and massive Eastern Standard equipment purchases, especially by the U.S. Government for Iraq and Afghanistan has driven up prices internationally, - almost like a "gold rush" which is not good for the market industry in the long term.

    Coupled with that are also some international smallarms disarmament moves in the last 10 years based on the concept more you destroy instead of having properly regulated sales, the more pure and saintly the entire human race will become ( The teachings of Alice in Wonderland and Bugs Bunny). If it were not for guns, our whole species would turn into monks and nuns. “Interesting concept” anyway! While this is sometimes a general trend until economic reality kicks for properly regulated sales it does effect the market as a whole

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    Moderator & Team Gunsnet Platinum 07/2011 O.S.O.K.'s Avatar

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    So we can expect milsurp ammo to increase in price. Which means that it's always money well spent to get some and hold onto it.

    I think I am jiggy with this.
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    Forum Admin & **Team Gunsnet Silver 12/2012** Richard Simmons's Avatar

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    Can't speak to surplus sales but I did hear on the radio yesterday that overall firearms sales here in Virginia were up 16% over last year and that's not counting private sales.
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    Senior Member Helen Keller's Avatar

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    I thought it was the weak US dollar.
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    We emptied out alot of warehouses in the late 90's and early 00's, plus the Europeans got smart and figured out what they had was actually worth.

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    Team Guns Network Silver 04/2013 mrkalashnikov's Avatar

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    What is "Eastern Standard" equipment? Do you mean Eastbloc or Warsaw Pact military surplus small arms & ammo?

    As far as price increases go, it can be chalked up to Supply & Demand. Supplies have been exhausted over the last decade or two since the crumbling of the former Soviet Union and Warsaw Pact countries which were the source of much of that good, inexpensive hardware. It was bound to happen sooner or later, once the reservoir of cheap milsurp goods were bought up.

    Come to think of it, just about everything has substancially increased in price in the last 10 yrs; gas, food, cars, housing, etc..pretty much anything you name.

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    Senior Member Kadmos's Avatar

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    Seems to me it's a lot of possible reasons, not the least of which is shipping costs.

    Demand has been pretty high overall.

    Gun show attendance seems to be up around here

    And of course with surplus items supply is sporadic, sometimes a glut of one thing and a scarcity of others, then a few months later they might switch.

    I got rid of my Enfield's when it looked like the ammo supply was fizzing out, and of course the last several shows I see a ton of it, but the guns are now harder to find and prices are up 30%..go figure.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by mrkalashnikov View Post
    What is "Eastern Standard" equipment? Do you mean Eastbloc or Warsaw Pact military surplus small arms & ammo?

    As far as price increases go, it can be chalked up to Supply & Demand. Supplies have been exhausted over the last decade or two since the crumbling of the former Soviet Union and Warsaw Pact countries which were the source of much of that good, inexpensive hardware. It was bound to happen sooner or later, once the reservoir of cheap milsurp goods were bought up.

    Come to think of it, just about everything has substancially increased in price in the last 10 yrs; gas, food, cars, housing, etc..pretty much anything you name.

    The term “Eastern Standard” refers to Soviet standard or East Block if you will. It also includes the Chinese copies and developments. We try to not use the term “non-standard” or NSA as it is considered derogatory in Eastern Europe. You could U.S. Mil Spec or NATO standard is “NSA” to them

    I agree completely with the cost of many things going up in the last 10 years and to some extent “supply & demand” however, Afghan and Iraq operations did indeed create a real “gold rush” atmosphere with unrealistic and arbitrary increases that made no commercial sense beyond simple greed (and when asked, the explanations have been flip and ill-considered). Being an shooter and collector but also as defence contractor who has dealt with both Eastern and Western/NATO equipment for the past 26 years you really see the huge spike and this is not healthy for the long term credibility of the Industry in my professional opinion

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Kadmos View Post
    Seems to me it's a lot of possible reasons, not the least of which is shipping costs.

    Demand has been pretty high overall.

    Gun show attendance seems to be up around here

    And of course with surplus items supply is sporadic, sometimes a glut of one thing and a scarcity of others, then a few months later they might switch.

    I got rid of my Enfield's when it looked like the ammo supply was fizzing out, and of course the last several shows I see a ton of it, but the guns are now harder to find and prices are up 30%..go figure.
    Shipping costs are also a factor or a smaller part of it at least, especially as it realates to ammunition but also firearms as well

    Shipping regulations have increased in the last 10-15 years (but especially after 2001), sometimes fewer carriers carry and some in the shipping business have taken advantage. In other cases it is sometimes bureaucracy increases based on fear (as a firearms owner, so what’s new?) which actually do create a heavier load for the shippers and forwarders.

  10. #10
    Senior Member gpwasr10's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kadmos View Post
    Seems to me it's a lot of possible reasons, not the least of which is shipping costs.

    Demand has been pretty high overall.

    Gun show attendance seems to be up around here

    And of course with surplus items supply is sporadic, sometimes a glut of one thing and a scarcity of others, then a few months later they might switch.

    I got rid of my Enfield's when it looked like the ammo supply was fizzing out, and of course the last several shows I see a ton of it, but the guns are now harder to find and prices are up 30%..go figure.
    I wish I could find a ton of Enfield Ammo!
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  11. #11
    Team Guns Network Silver 04/2013 mrkalashnikov's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pathfinder View Post
    The term “Eastern Standard” refers to Soviet standard or East Block if you will. It also includes the Chinese copies and developments. We try to not use the term “non-standard” or NSA as it is considered derogatory in Eastern Europe. You could U.S. Mil Spec or NATO standard is “NSA” to them
    Thanks for the clarification. I'm not familiar with that designation, except for the Time Zone.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Faulkner's Avatar

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    It was my experiance that the golden age of milsurp firearms was the late '80's and early '90's.
    - Change it back -

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