Letter Re: Ammunition Manufacturers in The American Redoubt

I am trying to facilitate my move to the American Redoubt area and am planning some income sources. I make knives, holsters, and pouches for other accessories but I am looking to expand what I can offer to help support my family when we move. My question is for you as well as anyone else you know in that area. I am an avid reloader and was wondering what the ammo options are like in the American Redoubt region. I’m curious about local places that offer a decent selection at a good price. From a few years of experience in construction in Montana (when I wasn’t paying attention to ammo suppliers), goods and services tend to be more expensive than what I am used to where I currently am. I suspect due to higher cost of transport and lower availability. This has led me to guess that local ammo suppliers may be more expensive and have less supply than more populated areas. I am also curious about suppliers that also accept barter for other goods and services.

Any information you could pass along on the availability of local ammo dealers and where they may be lacking would greatly be appreciated. Thanks and God bless! – G.A.

JWR Replies: The best way to buy or barter for ammunition is directly from manufacturers. There are a surprising number of small ammo and reloading component makers in the American Redoubt, and more moving in each year. Western Montana seems to be the current hot spot for ammo makers.

The prices from these makers are very competitive. The higher cost of shipping components is more than offset by the business friendly, gun friendly, and hunting friendly environment. Overall, there is a very low cost of doing business in the Redoubt states. (These advantages include inexpensive manufacturing and warehouse space, very inexpensive electricity from hydroelectric power (as low as 4 cents per kilowatt hour, commercially), low labor costs, and low taxes. The only downsides are slightly higher heating costs, and typically a one day delay to get anything to or from anywhere via UPS.

In Idaho:

Let’s of course start with the big one: CCI, in Lewiston, Idaho

And consider that Idaho’s state government is actively courting ammunition and gun manufacturers.

And here is just a sampling of makers:

PNW Arms (Potlach)

Steele Components (Lewiston)

Xtreme Ammo And Brass (Caldwell)

Garnet Ammunition (Coeur d’Alene)

In Montana:

The ammo business is hopping!


The Hunting Shack

Mark X Presses

Montana Gold Bullet

Buffalo Bore. (Oft-mentioned in SurvivalBlog.)

Montana Bullet Works

And there is a detailed listing at the Montana Shooting Sports Association web site.

In Eastern Oregon:

Nosler Bullets

Rimrock Ammunition

Laser Cast

In Eastern Washington:

Cowboy Bullets

In Wyoming:

Fine Ammo (The makers of Extremmuntion)


Mount Baldy Bullets

There are also MANY Redoubt-based small companies listed at the Corbin web site. (Just search on the Redoubt telephone area codes: 208,509, 406, 307, 541, and 458.)

In my experience, the gun and ammo makers in the Inland Northwest have a very loyal fraternal spirit. They do their best to give each other business. There is a very active gun show circuit in the Redoubt and the dealers do a great job of helping each other out. Even out-of-state vendors like Miwall get into the act, and attend a large number of shows in the Redoubt.

Since ammo vendors typically “go out heavy and come back light” when selling at gun shows, it is a natural for local manufacturers to drop off wholesale ammunition orders to the vendors directly at gun shows. This of course saves money on transportation costs.