Friday, March 22, 2013

JIT or depletion


Way back in the day, if I’m not mistaken around 2009, I read ( for the first time- a darn good read still on the second and third time around ) the book Game Over and was instantly galvanized to take action and started to preach the lesson of ore shortages ( my favorite was silver.  1990’s we imported ten or twenty percent and ten years later it was 60% ).  Alas, no one seems to listen, certainly not my otherwise paranoid minions.  Perhaps to acknowledge one shortage would require understanding another, such as friggin conventional petroleum.  That has clearly been seen in the last five years, as the global supply has peaked and flattened out in production ( as opposed to the near 100 year record of yearly growth ).  I’m not talking about Crap Oil which is clearly substandard when compared to regular crude.  And, it is probably worse than a lack of growth in production.  If you go with BTU’s delivered per barrel rather than just track barrels produced, most likely the net energy available has declined.  Anyway, we aren’t talking about local production falling in metals and energy.  We are talking about a decline globally.  Baring a asteroid being captured and mined in orbit, we are in decline not just with petroleum but coal ( we hit Peak Coal BTU about 1999 ) and most industrial metals.  And surprise, surprise, folks, the ammunition you need by the tens of thousands to feed your semi-automatic carbine Rambo Killing Machines is made up of industrial metals.


We can dance around resource shortages by blaming it all on Obammy.  Hell, I’d blame the coming of Lucifer on him if I could.  Rush would claim that if only a Republican got into office, there would be no energy shortage ( even though his butt buddy Bush started the ethanol program, trading half our corn for ten percent of our gasoline ).  Glen Beck knows all will be well when fracking is allowed in every back yard and we then get our Thousand Year Reich of American Empire ( even though most wells decline by half after the first year, evidently all we have to do is keep moving the wells around because it seems the earth is made of a soft squishy skin full of petroleum ).  I’d love to have the culprit of political incompetence or corporate ignorance to blame for shortages, because that implies the problem can be fixed and is merely a short term problem.  If we admit to resource limits we must conclude that those combined with population growth eventually spell die-off.  The newest minion claim is that the ammunition shortage is merely caused by Just In Time ( JIT ) problems.  This is a nice thought, but it falls in the wishful thinking category.  It is another way of saying the middle class consumer economy can never end.  Hell, folks, I don’t like the fact I can never buy rimfire ammunition again, ever, but I can’t wish that fact away.  It just is.


Who ever heard of a nine month long JIT screw-up?  Perhaps the rice shortages lasted almost as long, or even longer.  But was that even a JIT issue?  JIT is simply nothing more than substituting retail inventory with extra transportation costs.  In store inventory is money out of pocket for the owner.  If he goes with JIT, the increased costs of that system are generally baked into the price already or paid by the customer.  Under a shortage situation with JIT, it is merely a case of waiting for the next delivery.  The item is out there, but an extra cost is incurred with extra shipping costs or lost sales to the customer ( for instance, if Wal-Mart goes from nightly deliveries to weekly, they lose my purchase of an item if it runs out early in the week ).  If the item is out there, I pay extra and get it.  If the item has a global shortage, there is no delivery at any cost.  The rice shortage was a supply shortage, not a transportation issue.  We speak of JIT being a danger come grid down, but that merely means the transportation infrastructure breaks down, not that the supplies aren’t available ( kind of like African famines caused by warlord theft and lack of trucks, not lack of food ).  For the last nine months there has been no transportation issues ( and last time we had soaring oil prices and trucker company consolidations, there was NO ammo shortage! ).  How is JIT to be blamed then?


Have you been in the store lately?  Iceberg lettuce is going for two bucks a head.  Not because transportation costs rose or trucking companies shut down, but because of issues with the crops.  You can still buy the lettuce, it just costs you part of an arm and a leg.  Just as ammunition is doing.  There is a problem getting the metal, so to assure supply the price has gone way up.  The gas price hikes of the 70’s were not a JIT problem, per se.  The gas still was transported.  Prices rose to compensate for Arab embargos more than because people filled up their tank to a higher level.  Now look on back to 2008.  The price of oil went to $150 and bicycle sales skyrocketed.  Were there shortages?  No.  Iron ore was still plentiful.  More were cranked out.  In a very short period of time, JIT produced more and more units ( in a matter of months the sales exceeded previous years combined ).  There were no retail shortages because there were no resource shortages.  If we were following the bike model, the stores would still be stocked with ammo.  But the difference this time is brass is in shortage, unlike when steel was abundant even with higher energy costs.  It ain’t rocket science folks.  Just follow the supply chain back.  The ammo shortage is here to stay.

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  1. The US gubberment is buying up all the ammo. I can buy ammo all day long in germany. Anything I want, american brands too.

    1. 1. how expensive? Is the price high to ration it? 2. Do they JIT? Or is this old stock? Would it be replaced after a panic run?

    2. 1. one euro is about $1.30

      Magtec 9mm FMJ 124 gr.

      50 rounds 15.70 euros or $20.41
      500 rounds 123 euros or $158.90
      1000 rounds 189.90 euros or $246.74

      Magtec 357 mag LSWC 158 gr.

      50 rounds 25.90 euros or $33.67
      500 rounds 202 euros or $262.60
      1000 rounds 374 euros or $$486.20

      Remington .22 lfb., Viper TC Solid HV

      50 rounds 5.40 euros or $7.02
      1000 rounds 98 euros or $127.4

      In germany there is a value added tax (VAT) on everything. Prices have always been high. I buy from Frankonia, the guys at the shooting club order in bulk once a year and we get a better deal.

      2. I ASSume they JIT, just like everybody else.

      There will be no panic run in Germany. If the german government decides to outlaw guns the germans will comply and turn everything in to the caring authorities that have our best interests in mind.LOL!

      Americans are panic buying and the thug agencies are buying up everything with funny money fresh off the printing presses.

      This isn't about depletion. Write another article with the title JIT or DECEPTION.

      DECEPTION is the name of the game in Amerika. Sandy Hook, Waco, 911, Ovomit... I could go on and on.


    3. Why do they need to decieve us? We do a great job of that ourselves. What shortages? What oil depletion? What un-Constitutional assassinations? What empire?

  2. Jim....I'm trying to expand your thinking to the next level. You are failing, grasshopper.

    OK! Get ready to get all butt hurt again.

    Dennis, are you ready to jump to Jim's defense again?

    I'll post my reply shortly. Feel free to cut and paste it into an article for all to share, rather than just those that click on the comments.

    You Know Who

  3. Although I do, fortunately, have my sidearms, and (barely) sufficent ammo for them, I do not have the long arms I know I am going to need.
    Price is the major obstacle now, I am hoping that the congress quits making such a 2nd ammendment fuss so I can purchase a used longarm or three. I plan to buy based on the availability and cost of the ammo or reload components, I dont mind getting it shipped, but I dont want to find out it is unavailable.
    So should I continue to wait for congress to kill any further 2nd ammendment infringment (they wont need to soon enough, as the price of ammo keeps climbing)
    Or should I bite the bullet and start hunting the best ammo/gun deal I can get- Or should I start looking into the alternatives such as bow/arrow, air gun, black powder, etc. that havent risen so much in price?

    1. Can you get the Russian bolts and a thousand rounds? I wouldn't wait too long.

  4. This brings the DHS ammo purchases more into focus.

  5. I can see the argument, the only thing that confuses me though is the proliferation of shotgun shells. They use brass, probably about the same as a round of handgun ammo. So if there is a brass shortage, why doesn't it affect shotgun ammo? There is a slight difference in propellant... but can't see that being the issue either.

    It almost seems like someone has decided that shotgun ammo is ok, some rifle ammo is tolerated and handgun ammo is outlawed at the manufacturing level.

    ooooooh! tinfoil hat! The gub'ment has quietly forced the manufacturers to stop producing handgun ammo (except for the military) since that would be the quickest way to render all handguns useless! Why ban the gun when you can make them useless!

    1. Shotguns use less metal, but I see where you are going. I don't disagree.


    Some say, "There is never ever going to be more 22 rimfire available to buy"

    The reason: Ore shortages/ resource depletion.

    Sorry. That just does not cut it.


    22 rimfire rounds have three components. The lead bullet, the powder and the primed brass case.


    There is NO lead shortage. Is there a shortage of lead sinkers in stores that sell fishing gear? No. Is there a shortage of car batteries? No. 60% of a car battery is lead. Have I made the point for no lead shortage?


    Go to a plumbing store. Do you see any shortages of brass fittings for plumbing? No. Brass is made from copper and zinc. Do you see any shortage of copper electrical wire? Any shortages of copper tubing for plumbing? No. Zinc is used for galvanizing to protect iron and steel. It's also used in dry cell batteries. Has Wal-Mart put up any signs that they are out of C,D, AA, and AAA batteries? No. Have I made the point for no brass shortage?


    Gunpowder is made from potassium nitrate, charcoal and sulfur. Potassium nitrate is used for garden fertilizer. Anyone had a problem getting some at the garden store? No. Charcoal shortage? Here is just ONE company that can supply you with 200 tons per month: There sure is not a charcoal shortage. Sulfur shortage? Here you can buy 50,000 tons per month: No sulfur shortage either.

    About now, someone will be saying "Golly! Gee Whiz, then it must be the priming material.!"

    Sorry! If that was so then how can these guys sell these:

    Have I made the point that it is NOT resource depletion?

    If yes, then my nest post will be JIT.

    If not, then I can only say that you can lead a mule to water but you'll need a 2x4 to make him drink!

    You Know Who

    1. Lead in car batteries is recycled. You pay the fee if you don't turn in the old battery. You don't see much metal pipes anymore other than hot water. Mostly PVC. Not a huge demand with few new houses being built. You've described black powder, not smokeless. I don't think you've challenged my theory at all.

    2. That's a pathetic reply. Want me to find a place that will sell you 1000 tons per month?

      Well then.. like I said about the mule.

  7. There are copper wire shortages in my area, and the cost to wire a home has doubled in the last 5 years.

  8. I see it as a combination of several factors.
    DHS cornering the market with the massive purchases.

    Ongoing Military purchases for the war.

    All the panic buying by folks that used to just buy one or two boxes of shells per year. Now are grabbing what they should have been getting stocked up on over a long period.

    Resource depletion has caused the price to go up on raw material.

    Manufacturing does not want to invest in new equipment to produce more, for a short term demand type fad which very likely ( ? ) will not be there soon.

    Many factors involved here !

    It has proven my point, of which I preach on the type caliber to hoard and stock up on. The lowly 22lr is the one to get.

    1. No arguments, yet where to buy 22? At what price?

    2. Locally one can still buy 22 at the wal mart if you happen to get there at the right time. It is still going for normal prices too. Everything is sold by 8 AM tho...

      I stocked up many moons ago...still adding to the pile as it comes around. Not going to pay inflated prices !! Sharks are getting $75 a brick!!!!