Saturday I went with my father-in-law to a small woodlot he owns. This is one of two, maybe 3 places I’ll be hunting deer this year. I went to make sure my rifle is still properly sighted in, and to check out his tree stand, because deer season is t-minus not much.
Before we left he tossed me a box of Remington .308 180 grain Core-Lokt Soft Point bullets. “Here,” he said. “I found these in an ammo can.” He hadn’t owned a .308 in years, since long before I knew him. This particular cartridge is my standard deer hunting round. 180 grains in soft point Core-Lokt. That’s a whole lotta heavy hittin’ lead. Remington says it’ll make the deadliest mushroom in the woods. That ain’t lyin.
“Thanks,” I say, then look at the box with its bright orange sticker that reads: “Woolworth Low Price $5.79” with “10 75” above the price. “Wow,” I say, shocked at the price. “This was a while ago, huh? ’10 75′ – I wonder if that’s October ’75.”
He thinks back for a minute and says, “That sounds about right.” An October purchase would make sense, right before deer season, and ’75 was around the time he still owned a .308.
$5.79 sounds like a lot less than today’s prices …. or does it?
I wondered, so I went digging into my own ammo can. Pictured here, from left to right, are the exact same boxes of ammunition from various years. First is the 10/75 Woolworth $5.79 box, second is a 11/03 LL Bean $14.95 box, and last is a 9/06 LL Bean $16.95 box.
For comparison’s sake, I looked a box up online for today’s price and found the same box for $16.64.
Clearly on the face of it, the price of ammunition has risen greatly since 1975 …. but not really, not when you figure in the inflation. $5.79 was a lot more money in 1975 than it is now. So I went to the Consumer Price Index inflation calculator. Some economic/investing gurus might argue the validity of the CPI as an accurate reflection of “true” inflation. Others might argue that I’m comparing Woolworth to LL Bean, but LL Bean retail store ammo/firearm prices are, believe it or not, quite competitive. But all of that in-depth analysis goes well beyond the scope of this post.
I plugged the various dates and prices into the inflation calculator to see how the older boxes of ammo match up to today’s price.
$5.79 in 1975 has the same purchasing power as $23.49 in 2010. Today’s price is $16.64. In other words, in real dollars, the price on this brand of ammunition has gone DOWN – considerably!
$14.95 in 2003 has the same purchasing power as $17.74 in 2010. Again – down!
$16.95 in 2006 has the same purchasing power as $18.36 in 2010. One last time – down!
– Ranger Man
BTW: I appreciate the folks that have made their Amazon.com purchases through my Amazon search bar recently. *cheers*