Here are a few examples:
5.56 NATO ammo in bulk selling for .75 to 1.00 per cartridge on Gunbroker. Not just an asking price, but live bids on open auctions. And there's significant shipping costs that will be tacked onto these sales. Prices vary depending upon quality, but all of it is incredibly expensive. Ammo that normally retails for 4 or 5 bucks a box (of 20) might easily fetch 20 on today's market. That's a potential 300 percent profit, even if you invested at the retail level. (5.56 NATO is what you feed the common AR-15).
9X19 NATO ammo in bulk selling for .75 to 1.00 per cartridge. And that's the common FMJ load, not serious defensive JHPs. These are cartrdges that might have fetched somewhere in the neighborhood of 15 bucks a box (of 50) a few weeks ago. Now, they'll set you back about 40 or 50. (9X19 NATO is what you feed the common 9mm pistol).
7.62 NATO ammo in bulk selling for 1.00 per cartridge for the common FMJ. That's the kind of money you'd expect to pay for genuine match grade ammo a couple of months ago. But the Federal Match ammo I see offered is running about 3.00 per round. (7.62 NATO is what you feed the common high power rifle, including common sniper rifles).
I dropped by the "neighborhood bully" pawn shop, which always has high prices even in the best of times -- Jim's. It seems that the staggering pace of price infation on arms and ammo -- ammo in particular -- has simply washed them right into the same price points as the rest of the market. While I was there, for a brief ten or fifteen minutes, I overheard a conversation about difficulty sourcing .22 rimfire ammuntion (the most common and cheapest ammo on the planet. Here in the US we normally shoot about 1 billion rounds of it every year). Then I heard a clerk telling a customer who'd called in that he couldn't sell him 500 rounds of 5.56 NATO, that they were limiting purchases, but he could sell him 400 rounds. I then saw him pick up a box of normally dirt cheap Russian manufactured steel case "Wolf" brand cartridges and inform the customer that it'd run 18 bucks and some change (per box of twenty). No sale. But someone will buy it.
This evening my girlfriend wanted to go to the local indoor pistol range to shoot. So, we packed up a couple of guns and scooted across town to Shooter's Choice (I'm sure not going to let high prices and my generally low ammo reserves stop me from having a good time. I simply won't re-stock until things settle down). At the range I learned that they were also sold out of .22 rimfire ammo, having difficulty sourcing it, and seeing price spikes. For a shooter, this is like finding out that the price of belly button lint has gone through the roof. This is a cartridge that shooters often don't even try to find if they drop one in the grass. They're normally something like three cents per cartridge and found on shelves in places that otherwise sell little to nothing related to guns, like bait and tackle shops and hardware stores.
When I asked the clerk at Shooter's Choice why .22 rimfire was selling so fast, he said people were buying up the Ruger 10/22 rifles and a few other popular models and stocking up on ammo for them like crazy. The kid's gramma has a Ruger 10/22 for crying out loud. It's a yard and garden plinker out in the countryside around here. Sure, it's a semi-auto. But it's as far from military grade as the average dove gun. But -- it's a very, very popular little gun. People just love them. So, I guess if you talk about banning semi-autos they just leap off the racks with all the other popular semi-autos.
Shooter's Choice sold out of a shipment of .223 Remington (the commercial near twin of 5.56 NATO) in a day and half, then sold out of a shipment of 5.56 NATO in a matter or hours. They're not selling 9X19 NATO ammo at all. The're rationing their stock at a max of 100 rounds per customer per day for use in range rental guns only. I didn't ask about the price on that.
No one I've talked to can remember a run on ammo like this. The only comparison I heard was one clerk who said it's like the sales of whiskey just before Prohibition took effect -- then he said there was no need to remind anyone how that worked out.
And therein is a vexing set of questions. What does the future hold? Everyone I talk to seems at a loss to say with any certainty. We're in a dangerous place. I did not feel it until I got out and saw the patterns and extreme expense of this current scramble for arms. We can let it fade away. We can address the underlying cultural conflict carefully, slowly and methodially, or we can run the risk of diving into a genuinely frightening unknown. Here's wishing us all the best. And by "us," I mean the big "us." This is something we need to work through as a nation. It's going to take a lot of listening, mutual restraint and respect, but it's an issue that isn't just going to go away.