In the last two weeks I happened to stop at two different big box outdoor stores for some reason or another. Honestly, it was primarily to check out the used gun counter. Especially because I like to gawk at the retail prices for used vintage Smith and Wesson revolvers or Colt 1911 autos and especially anything that is a USGI firearm. You’d think that the person responsible for pricing every M-1 Garand, M-1 Carbine or USGI M1911-A1 takes a hit from a crack pipe each time they fill out a new price label. Other times, these “gun rooms” just happen to have neat things that you don’t see every day, like a museum exhibit.
After I was done “browsing” at one store, I could not help but to notice the fact they had actual smokeless powders and also primers in stock and readily available. These weren’t behind any glass display case or out of reach to the public either—they were just on the shelf like the before times. Out of shock, I even picked up a one pound container of Hogdon H-335 just to make sure it wasn’t some empty display. No sir, when I picked it up I felt each of those seven thousand grains in that container. Then I grabbed the container of HP-38 next to it make sure it wasn’t a fluke. Same thing. All right, how about the 8lb jug above? Full. Damn.
The other store was much smaller, but I was also surprised to find containers of smokeless propellant freely available for purchase. I could not remember the last I saw something like that where it was not a coincidence.
And the primers! The first store I am referencing had actual primers there. Several one thousand count cartons. Not surprisingly, small pistol primers were sold out. I did notice small pistol magnum, small rifle, and small rifle magnum along with CCI BR-4s and Federal Small Rifle Gold Medal.
Nature is healing.
Seeing powder and primer on the shelves is a welcome sight to my weary eyes, but the downside are the new “stable” prices. The average price of a pound of powder is now $39.99, with a $12 difference from the last time I purchased any in early 2021. As for primers, it wasn’t long ago that a one thousand primer brick retailed for only $35-$40 dollars. The average price is now $89.99 be it small rifle, small pistol, etc. I noticed that the CCI BR-4s were selling for $149.99 while the Federal Gold Medal small rifle brick was now $99.99. While the new prices are a bummer to any of us who have been reloading, the bright side is that these supplies are now becoming easier to find.