Ammunition and magazine gouging……

Cheaper-Than-Dirt-BoycottAs many of us search the Internet as well as our local stores for ammunition and magazines for our firearms, some of the prices being seen are very frustrating. Let me state for the record that I not only expect – but I support a 20% or so price increase by my local gun shop on ammunition, magazines, and high-demand firearms.


They sell products to make money to pay themselves and their employee’s. Profit – it drives many of us. They have had a substantial part of their product lines removed or diminished from their inventory due to high demand. So – they cannot stay in business if the do not have product to sell. Pretty simple concept. They HAVE TO charge more for the fewer products they have or they cannot stay open. So – 20% or so I understand.

What is really pathetic is the ruthless price gouging that is happening by some retailers and online establishments. is the worst. Shortly after the demand increased for certain products they increased their prices by 4-5 times their normal “cheaper than dirt” prices. Even today – their prices are absolutely crazy.


Here are a few examples over at

Federal XM193 20-rd box 5.56 – $34.59

PMAG 30-rd magazines – $49.97

Lancer 30-rd magazine – $39.97

Korean-made 30-rd M1 Carbine magazine – $29.97


Come on! A box of 20 rounds of XM193 for $34.59. Insane!! How about $10.00? Those PMAG’s were under $15.00 two months ago. The M1 Carbine magazines? I bought 5 of them for $9.97 each. is taking advantage of the sportsman and firearm enthusiast that built them to where they are today.

I will never, EVER do business with them again.


Dick’s Sporting Goods is another one. In a knee-jerk reaction to the Connecticut shooting they removed all AR-type firearms as well as magazines from their stores. They even removed airsoft and paintball guns that resembled AR’s. I will never step foot in another Dick’s Sporting Goods again.


On the other side of the aisle, Academy Sports has not caved. is also another source that has maintained great customer service to its customers.

Unless something significant changes things will get back to normal – or close to normal….eventually. When they do – do not forget those that you saw taking advantage. Those that were unfair and took advantage – ignore them and take your hard earned money elsewhere.








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37 thoughts on “Ammunition and magazine gouging……”

  1. Yup is a good one. they shipped part of my order to me that they had in stock just befire the 23 EO’s from the President hit. I got two Pmag 30’s and a tiny amount of .223 from them. The rest is still on backorder.

    They charged me shipping for the small order but at least I got two more very hard to come by Magazines at the “normal” prices.

  2. Yeah I am done with cheaper than dirt. Not saying I will never buy from them again but would look hard at Old Grouch Surplus, Sportsmens Guide, Midway and Brownells first and even pay them a bit more.

  3. Your article about Cheaper Than Dirt is right on. I was appaled at the price of magazines and the gouging!

    I also think that Cheaper Than Dirt gouges you on their shipping costs. I have quit doing business with them long ago due to the shipping costs.

  4. Cheaper Than Dirt are asking crazy prices. I just took them off my list of sites to buy from too. Let them burry themself in the dirty practice of over charging trusted customers. They will eventually burry the business they created.

  5. I have also noticed the gouging of essential weapon accessories. After the talk came down from Washington I saw prices explode. Cheaper than Dirt, Usa Ammo both raised their prices on AR-15’s by at least 33%. I started writing letters to both. I got a reply from USA Ammo. They had told me they had to raise their prices to try to slow the demand for guns, ammo, and magazines. The last assault weapons ban Had depleted the supply in a matter of days. I was told the prices will come back as soon as the laws are or are not passed.

  6. The prices of ammo are indeed ridiculous and the prices will continue to go up as long as it sells. It is called capitalism or free enterprise for a reason.

    I work in a gun shop and I too am distressed at the price of ammo. I am just counter help so I do not set the prices so save the hate for someone else.

    I am not the one with thousands of dollars tied up in ammo, that’s my boss. I am not the one that is daily on the phone trying to find replacement ammo, thats my boss. I am not the one wondering if the gun shop will be open next year because of the Government power grab.

    My point is, all your going to be out is just what your willing to pay. Shop owners are genuinely worried this may be It and they may get caught with products instantly made illegal or they may not be able to get products sell.

    If you just now decided to start buying ammo you are way behind the curve and it is a fact of life today that you will pay more simply because of supply and demand.

    For the record I don’t like it either…..but I understand it.

  7. My 2 Cents – I agree totally.. I shop at the following places and have seen increases – some significant, at the ones marked with an asterisk. It really disappoints me to see this too as I’ve been as I’m sure most of you have been loyal to them for both firearms and ammo over the years.

    *Buds – Substantial increases on those “hard to get items”. Read stories where guys had ordered IN STOCK ARs but after the crunch, Buds stated they’re stocks were wrong. Then the firearm shows up on their Auction site?? Hmm…
    *CTD – already noted
    Palmetto State Armory – some increases, but appear to be low % – i.e. 420 M855 WAS $179, now $199, but disappears fast of course..
    *Keenes Depot – Not as bad as Buds but nonetheless
    Academy – just picked up a AR-7 there last week – good low price. Buds marked up substantially on this.
    BassPro – not too bad. Normally dont shop there because everything is already marked up, but no significant increases I can detect.
    Walmart – prices remain good on both firearms and ammo, but ammo comes and goes so you have to be fast.
    DSARMS – prices on the FAL mags jumped after this started.
    Galleryofguns – same prices appears.

    I don’t think any new regs will be passed by Congress, but the damage is done. Things will continue to fly off the shelves for awhile probably. See Stags news? 2 year backorder. Keltec KSG? Way $$$. But, I’d recommend you pay some of the higher prices if you’re behind on your preps. You may not get another chance. Here’s a story – This week, I received an email of an in stock Smith M&P 22 rifle from Gallery of Guns I desired, and immediately pulled it up. I’ve had one for a couple of years (love it) but wanted another to train others with since I wanted to save my 556 ammo. GOG Showed 34 in stock. Clicked on details, went to 4 in stock in a matter of seconds. So, I thought I committed to the item to my “buy” list while I contemplated the roughly $500 purchase. Of course went out of stock. The bottom line is, you really don’t have much time to make a decision any longer. I’d still like to get another one and 500 or less is about the price even before the crunch. But, it’s still a lot of money. BTW, Buds has the exact same for $629.. Hmm.. just sayin’

    ok, rants over.. take care all!

  8. Same here….have bought a truck load of stuff from CTD, but never again. You can get the same stuff at Sportsman’s Guide, Midway, Brownells….. if you can get it in stock. They haven’t went crazy on prices though. I saw a lower parts kit for AR15 on e-bay for $229.00. Really!? A $50 parts kit!? I agree with Rourke, i understand a little mark up, but some people are just insane. All I have to say to those people is: “Karma’s a bitch’!
    Keep up the great work Rourke, and thanks for all the great info.

  9. What’s in a name, talk about false advertising, cheaper my arse…

    I was so impressed by my local gun shop owner who was so disgusted at the gun grab that it ruined the expected elation over the huge sales numbers, he refused to jack up his prices on his (vast) stocks until the stuff he had bought cheap ran out, and then he raised his prices only so much to accommodate the increased costs.

    Me, being the dumbkoff I am bought 1000 rounds online only to find that he had not raised his price a dime and I had just overpaid $100. Anyway, I bough some ammo from him and will continue to buy the things he can legally sell me from him. As for the stuff I have to have sent to my vacation home in a neighboring state because they are illegal to ship to my state, well I won’t be using cheaper than dirt no more…

  10. I have been e mailing friends about Cheaper Than Dirt since all this craziness started – I have been a good customer with them – But never again – What they are doing is screwing the customer – Its not just this web site that has these commentas about them posted – You would think that they would try putting the customer first

  11. Rourke I know the price gouging thing makes me mad but we all know we should have our ammo preps squared away. Like many I aquired a .30 carbine in October and purchased ammo 50 rds at a time from Walmart and of course this happened, only had 150 rds on hand for it. I had to bite the bullet and buy 600.rds for 335.00. I will never shop at dicks or CTD ever again
    Roark lol

  12. @Backwoods, you are of course right… if we had practiced more of what we preach…. ammo would be of little concern…. but reality seems to get in the way…. as it does with many things. I should be sitting on thousands of rounds of .30 carbine (my mainstay), 12 ga. 00 buck and slug, .22 and 300 savage….. I can comfort myself with the belief that I have enough ~short term~ of some of it but reality says I haven’t enough of any of it. No matter the hand wringing at Walmart…. the decision must be made…. more ammo…. or food for my 3 dogs (who are an intrical part of my survival strategy)…… in the end the answer is easy…. and so is the acknowledgement…. THIS ALL SUCKS!

  13. Just for the record….

    Scheels Sports as a company will always match a price and they are not price gouging at all. The Omaha and Lincoln Scheels are awesome and doing all they can to get guns and ammo back in stock and their customer service is top notch.

    However, in Nebraska, the Arms and Ammo Store in Fremont is gouging like crazy. $99.96 for a Glock 17 magazine? $2800 for a Colt M4?

    Freddy in Nebraska

  14. I agree that as preppers and people with foresight, we should’ve had our s*$t squared away long before the long arm of government started to fondle our weapons and ammo!! However, I also agree that CTD and Dicks will never again see any of my business…..and if Bud’s is being snarky in their practices then I’ve purchased my last firearm from them as well. In today’s world, we the people can vote on the rights and wrongs of things with our pocket books…..that is the way the free market was intended to be!!

  15. I too will never do business with them again . Thye lost my business a bout a year ago when the shipping was as much as the order .
    Robert W

  16. -Rourke-
    Thanks for the Ammo info that was greatly needed. I am squared away on 5.56, 5.45, .270, .22, 9mm and .40 s&w but that .30 just got me by suprise and I had to have it. you know one of those deals you could not pass up. I had every intention of selling it for a good profit but I hugged it one time too many.

  17. I gave up on CTD during their “last” round of price gouging following the ’08 election. Remember back then they were charging $50 for 50 rounds of .380ACP. Still get their catalogs even after contacting them twice to be taken off their mailing list.

  18. Cheaper Than Dirt sent me an e-mail, advertising that they had “High Capacity Magazines” available. They did, but wanted $127.95 for ONE 30 round, aluminum M16 magazine! I was shocked. They recently had acted in an honorable fashion on a .45 ACP purchase I made. I ordered 5 boxes of 50 rounds, but the box was ripped by UPS during shipment. UPS was damn near impossible to get any satisfaction with, so I e-mailed CTD. They sent me the lost box, no charge and told me “We’ll deal with UPS”. Anyway, I deal with MidwayUSA, Sportman’s Guide and Natchez Shooting Supplies, too. The Midway flyer for February came today, but they did not have anything in stock that I wanted to buy. They must print these advertisements months in advance. Hang in there, folks. It is going to be a tough ride for the near future.

  19. I guess a lesson on the free market is timely. No one likes to pay a higher price than they have to but the alternative can be much worse. Let us suppose that CTD decides to sell their stock at half price to help us out. I want to stock up so i buy everything because it is so cheap. You want to buy some but you are a day late and CTD informs you they have no more to sell because i bought it all and they cannot be resupplied. I don’t want to sell any because i am hoarding it for the dark days ahead. Now there are none available, what would you pay if you could find even one?
    The way i like to put it is about the woman that goes to the butcher and orders a pound of hamburger and the butcher says “that will be $5”. The woman bristles and says “the butcher down the street only charges $3”. The butcher inquires as to why she doesn’t go to him to buy her meat and is informed that he is out of hamburger. The butcher responds “Oh, when I’m out of hamburger I sell it for only $1 a pound”.
    CTD is conducting business in their best interest. You/we have alternatives to their prices for the moment but maybe in a period of time their current prices may look good and they may be the only source because they didn’t sell out.
    If CTD sells no product because their price is too high then market forces will necessitate that they lower their price, if they are selling enough of their product at those prices, then their price structure is correct.

    Now pretend that you are a stockholder of a company and you find out that the company is selling their product below market value just to be liked by the public but your dividends are painfully small. Would you vote for new directors to replace the current ones? I would.

    • Ted –

      I disagree. I suspect that when (if) things return to normal people will choose to do business with other entities as they remember how CTD handled their sales during this time. So – in the long run it will turn out to be a bad decision as sales suffer.


  20. I ordered some mags just as the run on on ammo and mags hit and was told they were out of stock after placing the order and recieving a conformation, to Cheaper Than Dirt’s credit the next day I recieved an email stateing the mags had been shipped. Thier shipping prices are high, and now mags, ammo, and parts are priced like they were gold plated if they have them at all.

  21. Still not as bad as what is going on in the local scene here in fort myers, florida. I have to drive around like a madman for a couple boxes of .22 or 7.62×39 and it is ridiculous (10-15 cents a round for basic crappy .22. On top of that small local ffl’s are shamelessly charging 1400 for wasrs they paid regular price on, while the larger ffls continue to sell the few they have for not much at all above normal. On top of that, those little mom and pops have amassed entire armies of cronies and thugs to get to Walmart and all other such stores at like 5or 6am and thus defeating the 3 box limit and cleaning out the inventory for the next two days. They then turn around and sell it for 4-6 bucks more a box in their shop because that allows then to maintain their original profit margins on ammo since they usually either can’t get it as cheap or at all from their distributor along with the healthy side effect of forcing you to buy from them. Rinse and repeat as soon as the truck hits the loading dock at WM. This is way above and beyond the little guy trying to survive and reminds me of a pack of wolves fighting over a carcass (carcass obviously being the shortage)

  22. Rourke-
    You may indeed be correct but i do not think so. If (when) things return to normal you may not deal with CTD but they will have enough customers to sell all their stock if priced properly. When i was young B of A charged me a few pennies to purchase rolls of coins that i would look through for my coin collection. They didn’t charge adults and i noticed. Hence i do not use BOA but years ago they offered a promotional interest rate higher than other institutions and i got a CD there for that term. When it came due i closed the account, took my money and left. I did not mind taking advantage of BOA. In the future if CTD offers an item at the best price and i want/need it, i will patronize them.

  23. Hey Freddy from NE
    Can you go by Arms and Ammo for me and wring their necks. I bought a Mossberg 500 and paid for it 3 weeks ago and they won’t answer any calls or emails from me. I want that darn gun or my money. Gail in Bend OR

  24. Rourke, you probably have more comments on this topic than any other.. 😉

    Gail – When you get a hold of them you should just get a refund and head to Academy for a Mossberg 500. Ive seen plenty in stock or check Gallery of Guns. Sorry you have to wait.. They’re probably just backed up.

    Went to the local Walmart last for groceries and swung by the ammo area.. After looking at empty cases, I commented to the female clerk, “oh still out eh?” She immediately jumped on a rant about ma and pop gun shops coming by every day and buying all they got. Even though there’s a limit, she said they’re sending in friends and family, buying it cheap and marking it up. She said these these businesses FFL needs to be taken away. I mean she seemed really worked up. I told her I had heard about that happening at other places and she said it was happening all over. I finally had to excuse myself and move on with her still talking.. She did tell me the best time to get it at Wallys was later at night when they stock.. Ask the clerks. My stocks have been solid for awhile now – over 32k rounds total (several calibers), but now I’m hesitant to shoot any for fear of replenishment. I think eventually it’ll all die down, but could take months. A lot can happen in months.. Good luck all..

  25. Frankly:
    I don’t get your comments.

    “plastic gun with expensive ammo”?
    “reliable Mini 14”?

    1) The Mini14 uses the same ammo as the AR platform
    2) I have witnessed the Mini14s barrel heat up like a corkscrew and spit rounds all over the range after very few shots at a SOF 3 gun match in Vegas. Not very confidence inspiring or reliable in my book.
    Regards, D.


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