Marketed as a punishment to the Putin regime– although ammo sales only make up a tiny portion of Russian overseas exports and an even smaller slice of the country’s GDP– the State Department on Friday announced an almost immediate (effective Sept. 7) ban on granting import permits (ATF Form 6s) for ammunition “manufactured or located in” Russia.
While the sanction could (but probably won’t) fall off in a year, you can probably kiss those sweet, sweet deals on cheap and reliable Russian-made ammo such as Barnaul, Tula, Red Army Standard, and Wolf, a hard goodbye. Meanwhile, those with guns chambered in old Warsaw Pact calibers such as 7.62×39, 7.62x54R, 7.62×25 Tokarev, 9×18 Makarov, and 5.45×45 could be in a pinch to find any ammo, with the exception of surplus fodder from non-sanctioned former Eastern Bloc countries and a few outliers such as Igman, Sellier & Bellot, and PPU.
Going further, even if you don’t shoot that budget-friendly “steel cased Russian stuff,” which is generally seen as the rough equivalent to malt liquor if equated in terms of beer, such cheap ammo was the only thing keeping more traditional brass cased ammo prices in check. A safety valve if you will.
The bottom line, ammo is fixing to get even more scarce and expensive.
Case in point, looking at AmmoSeek pricing, when I first covered the story Friday afternoon for Guns.com, the best deal on 7.62×39 was 25-cents per round, for steel-cased Wolf bulk. As of the penning of this post on Sunday night, it was 57-cents per round for the same stuff.