Gun owners across the country are now paying higher prices for ammunition

Gun owner Barry Peterson practices shooting at Sportsman's Elite

Gun owners are now shelling out more money than ever for target practice, because the cost of ammunition has risen significantly over the last several years. Ammo prices are up across the country, making shooting more expensive.

"On average, just popping into the range for a little bit, I'll probably shoot anywhere from 150 to 200 rounds. On weekends shooting (at) a competition, I may shoot another 300 between the competition and practice getting ready for it,” said gun owner Barry Peterson. ".223 caliber, which is for like the A.R. 15, has gone up probably about five to seven cents per round, on average. Which doesn't seem like a lot, but if you are shooting 1,000 rounds a month, it starts to add up real quick."

The solution for gun owner Jason Avila is less practice.

"I minimized my time from maybe one time a week to maybe one time a month,” Avila said.

Peterson said the rising costs haven’t slowed down his practice.

"Mostly it's changed the brands that I buy," Peterson said. "The cheapest brands cost what the mid-range brands used to cost."

UTEP Professor of Economics Dr. Tom Fullerton said ammunition prices have risen during the last eight months for three reasons.

"One is that the demand for ammunition in the United States remains fairly high. The second is that the cost of materials has increased,” Fullerton said. “Especially the cost of price, which influences directly the cost of brass. The price of lead has also gone up. And the price of gunpowder has gone up. So across the board, almost all of the materials that are used in the manufacture of ammunition have increased. In addition to that, the price of labor has gone up in the United States over the same period."

"A box of .22's cost $20 at Sportsman's Elite in 2012. Now, just five years later, the same box costs $49.99."

To save money, more El Paso shooters have started collecting used cases from the ground and re-loading them into new ammo. Avila said the practice saves him about $100 a week.

"You have to have specialized tools for that, which again, it costs a little bit. But at the same time, you're getting your money’s worth after a couple thousand rounds,” Avila said.

CBS4 asked El Paso police whether the rising cost of ammunition affects the department. A spokesperson sent us the following statement:

“The only time ammunition costs affect EPPD is if there's a shortage. If the price goes up, we still continue to buy ammo. But if the rate is higher, it does affect our budget. If the cost is higher than normal, we might burn through our ammo budget sooner than expected. And if that were the case, we will make adjustments -- possibly pulling from other budgets. But we will continue to train officers regardless of the price.” –El Paso Police Department
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