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Thread: How are prices and availability in AK?

  1. #1
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    Default How are prices and availability in AK?

    As we work on moving up there this year I'm constantly asking myself what to haul/ship or what should I just get up there. How are the prices and availability on .30cal and .44 .45cal components?
    I was up at the Sportsman's Warehouse in Anchorage a few years ago, do they still carry everything or is there someplace better?
    I'm thinking I'll load up on brass and projectiles here, or will Canada have a problem with me driving them up?


    Thanks for the help,

    Mountaintrekker

  2. #2
    Member RMiller's Avatar
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    Sportsmans is still the same.
    "You have given out too much reputation in the last 24 hours, try again later".

  3. #3

    Default prices high, availability spotty

    2 yrs ago you could get everything you needed at sportsman's without a problem. If they were out of something you could wait a couple days, check again, and they would probably have it.

    the last few months availability of components has become worse and when they do get stock in it goes really fast. They don't have a great selection of .30 cal right now and havn't for a while. There are lots of smaller shops around town that have what I need i just have to make the circuit sometimes looking for something specific. Plus all the smaller shops can usually get you whatever you need fairly quickly.

    As for prices...Here, as I'm sure it is in the lower 48, they are going up. 2 years ago you could get primers for under 2 cents apeice and find them at gun shows for a little over a penny apeice. Now your about 3 cents when you can find them. powder is about 20$ a pound for hogdon (not sure about the others).

    Shipping to Alaska is rediculous, especially for bullets. If you can, you might want to stop in at Midway on your trip up and load up on your components. They are always cheaper but you get killed with shipping. I'm not sure what the rules are for Canada but I'm interested to know what you learn cause I'm PCSing in sep and will have to find out myself.

    Hope this helps.

  4. #4
    Member Big Al's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mountaintrekker View Post
    As we work on moving up there this year I'm constantly asking myself what to haul/ship or what should I just get up there. How are the prices and availability on .30cal and .44 .45cal components?
    I was up at the Sportsman's Warehouse in Anchorage a few years ago, do they still carry everything or is there someplace better?
    I'm thinking I'll load up on brass and projectiles here, or will Canada have a problem with me driving them up?


    Thanks for the help,

    Mountaintrekker
    I hate to tell you this, ammo and components require a permit to go through Canada. Last time I checked it was 60.00 bucks and took six weeks to get mailed to me. That's a one time permit. Now I'm talking quantities of ammo and components. Not just a few thousands of rounds of .22lr (which the don't care about). The permits come out of Ottawa. It takes some luck talking to the Packies that run the government, they are vary hard to understand on the phone. Of course you know that you are going to have hassles about handguns. I have found it's a lot easier to go through a freight forwarder like Span Alaska. No sweat with them. I don't recommend going through Canada to anyone with any thing that will slow you down at the border crossings.
    "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tryants." (Thomas Jefferson

  5. #5

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    I get my powder and primers locally in bulk. That helps save a bit. I find the haz mat fees to kill any savings I may have seen if ordered via mail order.

    As far as bullets orders go I purchase from local casters or purchase from casters "Outside" that will ship in bulk (5-10K bullets at a time) It's also a must for me to have them ship via the $8.95 Postal Service for up to 70lbs to keep the shipping reasonable. Shopping around ordering off the net, and ordering in bulk results in a huge savings.

    Welcome to Alaska!

  6. #6
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    With the cost of shipping was thinking about shipping my bullets and brass priority mail. Up to 70 lbs for $9. and change. could ship a lot of bullets at that price, and same with brass. If you dont have someone there to ship to maybe somebody here could vol. to accept it till you get there, or have somebody ship it to you after you get settled in. Just a thought.

    Gun Runner

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    I mail order a lot of bullets. Most companies I deal with will use the flat rate priority air mail boxes so shipping bullets is cheap! Recently ordered 1,000 Nosler 180 gr bullets and was only charged 9 or 10 bucks for the entire lot.
    Midway will not ship using the USPS flat rate boxes. Cabelas has fixed shipping charges for all 50 states on what bullets and brass they sell.
    Graf will ship using the flat rate boxes and they tack on a 4 or 5 buck fee on top.

    Still, with no state sales tax you may find it is cheaper to mail order and pay the USPS flat rate charges and find it to be cheaper in Alaska than with states having sales tax.

    Primers and powder are a different nightmare since shipping costs a bunch to get em here unless you order in serious bulk. But still, most of the local prices are competitive with lesser 48 stores.

    I don't think it would be worth your time or effort to stock up on much of anything in advance of you coming to Alaska.

    Heck, if you want to order guns I recently found a FFL holder in Anchorage who will receive any weapon for me for a flat fee of $10! Try finding that in most any other states.

    Buying anything around Anchorage in recent years is as cheap if not cheaper than most of the other states due to competion in the local area and no sales tax. January of this year I visited some very large gun stores in Pa, Ohio, and West Virginia. Assumming I paid the required sales tax I didnt see one firearm that was cheaper than I could of purchased in Boondocks in Eagle River.
    Tennessee

  8. #8
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    Yup,
    Have looked at a lot of gun stores in the lower 48 and the prices are higher most of the time if you add on the sales tax, which we don't have in Anchorage. Echoing what Snowwolfe said, I get better deals mail ordering components if I "shop around" for shipping.

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    I still have very strong ties to the lower 48, still have a home in the midwest. I am a very heavy user of reloading components and buy about 20 guns a year. Prices on the shelf are very definately higher here in Ak than at my local haunts, local taxes do swing it some, but things are still cheaper in the midwest rural areas. The sportsman warehouse in Des Moines area has prices lower than either of the SW's in AK. Mail order prices, with shipping, are much cheaper for bullets and brass but powder and primers are a local purchase up here and Alaksa vendors take advantage of that. Powder is $30 a pound here and $20 for the same jug back home. Primers and brass do seem to be taking a huge jump here lately, bullets as well. Partly because of the military needs but the political climate causes these jumps and shortages from time to time. About every four years, it is not going to get better.

    When I see the price of factory ammo up here I know why Alaskans don't shoot very much.
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?



  10. #10

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    Take the ferry instead of driving through Canada

  11. #11
    Big Stick
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    I'm Rural,but primers are $3.95 per 100 and powder $32 a pound..............

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    Default empty primer shelves at SW

    I was in sportsmans in Fbks yesterday and there were only shotgun primers on their shelves. Maybe my timing was bad, but I've seen this more and more at all local stores.

  13. #13
    Big Stick
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    I shoot 30+ lbs of powder a year and try to buy in bulk......................

  14. #14
    Member Dan in Alaska's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Big Stick View Post
    powder $32 a pound..............
    OUCH! That's gotta leave a mark.

  15. #15
    Big Stick
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    I can give you an inside Stock Tip.

    Invest in Alliant,you'll retire at least 1 year early.....................(grin)

  16. #16
    Supporting Member AlaskanSD's Avatar
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    Wanted to bring this thread TTT rather than start something similar.

    Looking into purchasing powder, primers, and .308 ammo online. They say for shipping to Alaska you have to set it up yourself.

    And I have no clue where to start - most say it has to go through a "Freight Forwarding Company."

    I know USPS doesn't do it, but do UPS or DHL at all?

  17. #17
    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    I think you'll find you need to ship about 200# before shipping becomes reasonable through a freight company.

  18. #18
    Supporting Member AlaskanSD's Avatar
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    Interesting - so most folks just buy retail locally? Are there any co-ops or private group buys??

  19. #19
    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    For powder and primers which carry hazmat fees, most folks just buy locally. The prices really aren't that high, and how often can you find enough folks with cash in hand to get together a 200# order? I'd wanted to get some milsurp powder back when it was ~$8/lb, but couldn't find enough friends to pull it off. From Washington state you can get a 200# flat sent for about $100 shipping and $100 hazmat/paperwork. If you can get powder at ~$15-17/lb it makes it worthwhile.

    For bullets and brass, it's often worth buying outside. Many places will ship in a USPS flat rate mailer, and you can get quite a few bullets shipped for ~$10.

  20. #20
    Member Ronster's Avatar
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    It must depend on where you are at in Alaska. You can'b buy powder or primers currently in Fairbanks, even Sportsmens in out. You can get a very limited amount of bullets if you time the shipments right, but its getting really hard to keep supplies on hand.

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