Defensive Ammunition News

The US has exactly ONE lead smelting plant left. At the beginning of next year, not too long off, the US will have NONE. The Herculaneum smelter is the last primary ore smelter in existence. Several recycling operations will continue to run, but large bulk smelting is a thing of the past.

EPA regulations, jacked-up to 10x their recent levels, make it impossible to update this plant to new standards. It isn’t known if constructing a new plant from the ground up makes financial sense.

As a source for ammunition manufacturers, this will hurt domestic supply. Sourcing lead will mean acquiring lead that has been shipped out of the US as ore, processed elsewhere and shipped back. It may mean buying foreign-mined and smelted lead.

On its own, this is bad enough news. Uncertainty seems to drive up prices in any market. But with so much of the domestic supply having been purchased by official entities, the remainder of ammunition, so recently becoming available and in many cases, affordable again in bulk, may once again “dry up”. Whether it was a supply or a demand issue this last go round, it will be a source-component supply-issue beginning sometime in the first quarter of next year.

So, at the risk of starting local runs on the markets, I’ll say, “Go get your stock holes filled, and get your components in line if you are a reloader.” Buy projectiles. If you cast your own, get lead. It might save you some cash.

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