If you’re like most dealers, you experienced the buying frenzy last year. Customers, concerned with potential bans by the federal government snapped up just about everything shooting-related, including ammunition. Many dealers were caught off guard with a short inventory of this very expendable commodity and had to watch while other dealers, who had planned ahead, made some serious sales.
Most of these first-time customers are anxious to learn more about their new sport. Much of that learning involves shooting, and the new gun owners are doing lots of it! Retailers are discovering that a well-stocked ammunition shelf, with a range of ammo from premium brands to inexpensive, reloads, has paid off in repeat sales to these eager new shooters.
With most hunting seasons over, dealers look forward to ammunition sales continuing with all those new target shooters, skeet shooters, and just plain plinkers. Here’s a sample of what’s available for your ammo shelves.
If you think big-bore, think A-Square. How about the .700 N.E. or the .50-70? If that’s not big-bore to you, you probably need a gun carnage to wheel around what you shoot!
A-Square’s line starts with the .22 PPC – I believe the only factory loading of this caliber – and ends with the .700 N.E. with a 1,200-grain Monolithic bullet! In between is a comprehensive line loaded with their famous Monolithic Solids, Dead Tough Soft Points and Lion Load Soft Points (along with selected Nosler and Sierra bullets).
A-Square continues to offer proof ammunition in a wide variety of calibers to bona fide type 07 or 08 license holders, and they have the ability to custom manufacture cartridge cases (from .222 to .50 BMG) in lots as small as 5,000 rounds. Their in-house ballistic lab can offer a complete workup on whatever load a customer desires.
A-Square also offers black-powder loads and cases, such as the .40-70. These are loaded to original specs, using black powder and newly manufactured brass.
Obsolete British cartridges are a specialty for A-Square, particularly double rifle cartridges.
American has, in a short time, established itself as a supplier of quality newly manufactured ammunition, from 9mm to .45 ACP. Their lead-free ammo, loaded with American’s C3 bullets, help to eliminate lead contamination in both indoor and outdoor ranges.
American’s newest innovation is Alpha Delayed Expansion ammo, a new style of hollowpoint. Available in 9mm 115 grain, 40 S&W 180 grain and .45 Auto 185 grain, the ammo is packed in air-tight aluminum pull-top cans with a plastic see-thru cover.
American offers the dealer an alternative and gives the customer another choice at the ammo shelf.
Black Hills Ammunition
The Black Hills reports no new products this year because the demand for its current line precluded them from adding the predicted new calibers. Their status as a “mid-level” producer is rapidly changing as they’ve added new equipment and employees, increasing their production by 50 percent.
Black Hill’s 68-grain .223 Heavy Match HP, specifically designed for the fast rifling twist in the AR-15A2 or Mini-14, has been winning high-power rifle matches since its introduction. Freedom Arms has chosen the Black Hills to manufacture their specialty .454 Casull loads.
Complementing the .223 ammo is a complete line of handgun loads in both newly manufactured and reloaded variants. The Black Hills assures customer satisfaction with a money-back guarantee on their products and makes it clear in their catalog that everything is American Made. The Black Hills recommends placing orders now. They anticipate demands to continue at current levels through most of 1995 but said they will honor the prices in effect when orders are placed.
Known throughout the world for their Speer/CCI lines, Blount continues their legacy of producing quality premium and practice ammunition. Most shooters are familiar with the “Blazer” line of aluminum-cased, non-reloadable ammo. CCI’s Clean-Fire ammo uses a Uni-Core bullet, fully encased in a copper jacket, plus primers that contain no lead, barium or other toxic metals. As a result, it virtually eliminates lead at the firing point, yet still, packs the punch of regular service loads.
Speer continues to offer the premium “Gold Dot” ammunition in their “Lawman” series. The Gold Dot bullet jackets are electrochemically bonded to help virtually eliminate core/jacket separation, the main cause of bullet failure. Gold Dots are engineered to expand at least 150 percent of their original diameter. The Gold Dot bullet is also offered in Blount’s Blazer line, which gives shooters an inexpensive way to experience the reliable stopping power of the Gold Dot bullet.
Makers of new and reloaded production ammunition, C.P. has announced the introduction of their new 9×23 Super brass. This is a new caliber patented by C.P. Bullets and manufactured under contract by Winchester/Olin. The CP 9×23 Super casing has the overall length of a standard .38 Super, fully tapered and without the rim, similar to the 9×19. The result is a rimless casing with nearly double the wall thickness of a standard .38 Super forward of the extractor groove. There are many applications in the competition, police/military and personal protection markets where this casing will prove ideal.