Newsletter from BRT and my reply

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Newsletter from BRT and my reply

#1 Postby macguru » Thu Oct 22, 2015 6:42 pm

Hi Andrew,

Its time for another newsletter. Just wanted to let you know that we finally have another shipment of Berger Bullets on the boat (so to speak). Expecting arrival about mid to late November. Unfortunately certainly not all the bullets which we want are on there. No 338cal bullets, no 20cal bullets and none of the heavier 6mm bullets. Extremely disappointing but they just haven't made these yet. We have these bullets ordered on several of our purchase orders which date back well into 2014. So as you can tell there is little anyone can do about it.

One important thing to know about our BRT website is that we have a system of automatic email alerts for you. . Any product which shows SOLD OUT will also have a button under this which says "NOTIFY WHEN IN STOCK". So if you would like an email alert immediately this product returns to store then click this button and register your email address. This is not a backorder or a commitment, but an alert system, so when you get the email you can decide to purchase immediately or if you don't want anymore then simply ignore the email.

So this brings me to the question "why is there so much problem with supply of all shooting products originating from the USA?"
Well the short answer is extremely strong demand from everywhere but especially within the USA itself.
So exactly why does this happen and how? Answer is: Its a complicated story but we thought we should write a newsletter to inform our customers a little about this because we can tell from the many who contact us they cannot understand why it remains.
So here goes....
In mid December of 2012 the Sandy Hook school shooting occurred in Connecticut USA. That was a horrific event and started in motion much political and media debate. US President Obama started making noises about gun law legislation. As soon as that happened many gun owners in the US panicked and started buying up as much as they could of everything.
Some 3-4 weeks after this event Annie and myself were in the USA for the Shot Show in Las Vegas. This was mid January 2013. One of our appointments was with Eric Stecker of Berger Bullets. Basically he said that in the preceding 3 weeks they had received so many orders for their bullets that the whole production schedule for 2013 was now already filled. So that our purchase order which we just gave him would not be filled till 2014. That was a shock. But we have seen these surges in demand before and usually after a while things get back to normal.

Well as it turns out we are towards the end of 2015 and they haven't returned to normal at all and in fact the U.S. demand just keeps increasing. Its the same for the whole industry. There have also been more mass shootings at schools and other places and every time Obama calls for gun laws action the sales of everything in the shooting industry goes up to another record level. So all manufacturers of all components have doubled or tripled production but the demand continues to get even bigger.

Its very hard for us to comprehend that level of demand from back here in Australia. So what does it mean? Estimates appear to vary as to exact number of gun sales in the USA but they get a feel for it by the number of background checks done by the NICS before people can buy a gun from a gun shop. The latest Brownells newsletter this October indicates that June was yet another record month for gun sales with 2.6 million NCIS checks being conducted. July and August will come in with higher numbers still. Did you read that again?
This does not even include all gun sales as some US States do not require background checks for gun sales at gun shows for example. So by any measure this is a huge series of numbers. That's a lot of purchases.

Now, adding to this is the fact the majority of American shooters prefer to purchase factory ammo which is now in very short supply we therefore have a larger than usual amount of shooters in the USA getting into reloading. So the demand increase, percentage wise, for reloading components is actually even stronger. So, bullets, powder, primers, reloading dies and all equipment have really, really big demand. One of our suppliers once politely pointed out to me that " while we like Australia and we think you guys are an important market you should remember that sales to nearly every one of the 50 US States exceeds that to Australia" end quote. Also remember that even Texas has a larger population than Australia and they sure do have a lot more shooters and guns in Texas than we have in Australia. So basically the raw truth of it is.....we are all a bit at the back of the pack here in down under land. Its hard to punch above your weight with those numbers against us. So this is why regular gunshops are having trouble, barrel makers can't keep up. Custom action makers can't keep up and therefore local custom gunsmiths cannot get constant supplies. Supply of everything is stretched out and erratic and worse still there is no information stream.

But wait, there's more. There are other problems which are things more to do with the state of their manufacturing economy. Nearly all the people which we deal with are the manufacturers of products. These people are having trouble getting raw materials. Forster Products are having trouble getting enough castings made for their Coax reloading presses. Roger at KM Shooting tells us that once he used to buy all his carbide for his case preparation tools from one wholesale supplier in Detroit. That guy now keeps no inventory. Nor do most others. He is now buying from a dozen of so suppliers all around the US to get enough raw material for his small operations. So this tells me the underlying problems within the US economy especially in manufacturing supply are a serious issue and also adding to the problem. This would be restricting expansion too.

OK, so this is not a good look, but better to be honest and upfront about the reality. Can't see improvements in the near future.

So how has this affected BRT. Annie and myself we are spending a lot more time attending to purchase orders and trying to communicate with all our suppliers so we do the best to ensure that we actually get any products. It forced us to bring our online webstore quickly because we cannot survive by operating the way we used to. We are trying to get more and more work done on our website too and make it better and better. We know it has a way to go and we do appreciate the patience many of you have. The website in now on our own virtual private server and you may notice now that things load faster. We have added PayPal as a 2nd payment option and many are using it. There is a 2% surcharge for PayPal and zero surcharge for using Visa and MasterCard with NAB. Sorry we have to charge that PayPal fee but it costs us on average 3% so we can't absorb it all. We will be looking at Poli soon which is a direct bank deposit system. We know our phones are a problem. There is only one Annie and one Stuart so we just physically cannot get enough calls. Unfortunately most calls are not sales calls either. Therefore our focus is to get our website better and hopefully there will be less phone calls and that will allow us to handle all calls again. We appreciate any feedback or suggestions too.

Made in Australia? Yep we have a few products made right here and we are introducing more and more. Soon we will be identifying those items with a tag so you will know also. The latest items being the Trentech line of scope rings by a local friend of ours and gunsmith Lee Trengove
We would be happy to consider any Australian made products which may be suitable for us so if you have a suggestion please pass it on.

Hope this has been informative. I will follow up with another next month
By the way Annie's team came in 4th at the World Benchrest Championships in St Loius last month. She wishes to thank everyone for the well wishes she received. In fact the three Aussie teams came in 2nd, 3rd and 4th overall which is a great result. Some 22 teams entered. A couple of great individual results too and wins to Paul Sullivan, Murray Hicks and Mitchell Taller (all BRT customers)
The World Championships is primarily about teams. Country v's Country so once again the Aussies did prove we are the masters of effective team work but just didn't quite come up with the overall win. Congratulations to the USA B team on their win.
Here is a link to a photo on our BRT Facebook page of Annie's team at the awards ceremony and with Walt Berger ... =3&theater

Stuart & Annie Elliott

If you have to depend on USA supply for your business then the supply issue, and our falling/fallen dollar value could spell the end for your business. I am trialling 6mm JLK projectiles at the moment but of course these are from the USA as well. Mr Melgard’s aussie copperheads are DOUBLE the price which rules them out totally as far as my friends at hornsby and malabar ranges are concerned. Maybe its time for some more aussie suppliers to get started ?

your friend and customer.
Andrew Beavis

Posts: 626
Joined: Sun Mar 11, 2012 4:31 pm

Re: Newsletter from BRT and my reply

#2 Postby bsouthernau » Fri Oct 23, 2015 10:03 am

macguru wrote:.... Mr Melgard’s aussie copperheads are DOUBLE the price which rules them out totally as far as my friends at hornsby and malabar ranges are concerned....

Supply and demand Andrew. The time might come when paying twice the price seems preferable to pointing your finger and saying "bang". :lol:


Posts: 2168
Joined: Sun Sep 07, 2008 7:55 pm
Location: Brisbane

Re: Newsletter from BRT and my reply

#3 Postby johnk » Fri Oct 23, 2015 12:03 pm


You are a wicked person. =D>


Brad Y
Posts: 2039
Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2009 8:21 pm

Re: Newsletter from BRT and my reply

#4 Postby Brad Y » Fri Oct 23, 2015 12:58 pm

It is what it is. The only projectiles I have found to be in constant supply that my 6br likes are the sierra 107gr matchkings as I cant get 108 bergers. The sierras are almost as much each as a 7mm berger. The bit that makes the difference is I use half the powder and the cases in 6BR last longer than 284 cases.

End of they day I would rather support BRT as their system of selling bergers is fair- register your email to find out when stock is available or buy it there and then first in best dressed and no back ordering. Nothing we can do about supply and demand situation. We are lucky berger dont just shut down international orders to supply their own domestic market until they can build up the capacity to start international orders again. We would be really screwed if that happened. Until then theres plenty of match bullets in various cals on the market, its just a matter of trying them out and when you find one that works buy enough to last you the life of that barrel.

Ken Melgaard
Posts: 67
Joined: Fri Jul 01, 2005 7:32 pm
Location: West Wodonga, Vic

Re: Newsletter from BRT and my reply

#5 Postby Ken Melgaard » Tue Oct 27, 2015 7:15 pm

Must reply to your comments, first you do not know much about "Custom" bullet manufacture it takes me approx 5-7 hours to make 1000 long range bullets, at least 30% of my cost are imported Berger J4 jackets.!!
Second, you are lucky that BRT and the QRA store import the Berger Bullets, if Nioa was the Australian Agent then you would be paying LAPUA prices : :? Andrew if you look Lapua's they aren't too off my current price, so go figure. But then I didn't see any reference to them!! As a comparison
Ken Melgaard
Copperhead Bullets

Posts: 1307
Joined: Wed Aug 05, 2009 9:49 am

Re: Newsletter from BRT and my reply

#6 Postby macguru » Thu Oct 29, 2015 2:21 pm

I have not bought Lapuas since NOIA sabotaged their sales in Australia. I used to deal with Custer and would now import direct from Finland if i wanted Lapuas, using a third party. Will stick to berger and JLKs for the moment.

Posts: 1014
Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2012 9:26 pm

Re: Newsletter from BRT and my reply

#7 Postby jasmay » Tue Dec 22, 2015 1:27 pm

I've heard competition marbles is a great alternate sport for those that can no longer afford the empathy to local suppliers in the shooting game.

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