Ammohawk answers burning questions about subscription service


Subscriptions won’t offer specialized loads, for now, although the site shows this one in a header. (Photo: Ammohawk) caught up with Ammohawk co-founder and chief executive officer Brian Lash over the weekend to answer questions raised by last week’s feature on his ammunition and storage subscription business.

For those not already in the know, Ammohawk is a Pittsburgh-based startup selling monthly subscriptions for $69. The fee covers an allotment of the subscriber’s choice of several calibers of ammunition, storage of that ammo, and shipping to the buyer. Buyers are allowed to sell ammunition back to the company as well. Will there be choices within a caliber of different types of ammunition, i.e., hollow point and match grade?

Lash: No, there will not — at least not in the beginning. Each package is intended to satisfy a diversity of shooting tastes, and so will include a diversity of calibers and technologies. Have you had interest from potential customers in 2A infringement markets like NYC?

Lash: We’ve had a lot of interest from folks in NYC, but we’re not specifically targeting them. What safeguards against environmental damage, if any, do you have as part of the storage arrangement?

Lash: All of our product is insured, so if in an absolute worst case scenario we lost members’ product, we could reimburse them for the full retail value (members’ locker contents are available to us in a database, so retrieval of this reimbursement information would be trivial). With that said, our own storage is much more secure against theft/the elements than that of your average Joe. Looking at your site as a potential customer, I’m thinking about insurance. I don’t see it mentioned. Are you covered against theft and/or damage from the elements? If you and your partner, Josh Jarvis, were to win the Powerball and move to Costa Rica, and I’m your customer, how do I keep getting my ammo?

Lash: This is a great question, and I’m surprised we haven’t heard it more. We want people to feel like the ammo they keep with us is as secure as the contents of a safe deposit box within a vault. We’re looking at ways to promote that feeling, but out of the gate, it’s going to mean legalese between us and each member that contractually obligates us to deliver. (Powerball winners or not ;) The article has drawn several comments from people wanting to know how much ammunition their money buys.

Lash: Josh and I heard your readers’ concerns with the AmmoHawk package quantities loud and clear.

We’re currently working with our customer advocate team to nail down quantity and product mix details. With that said, I like to describe our pricing goal in these terms: Whatever $69 in ammo would buy from one of the major North American online retailers, that’s what subscribers should expect from us. We’re approaching our costs this way because we know we need to be at least as competitive as the big guys if we expect subscribers to stay with us over the long-term.

We want to avoid a scenario where we handcuff ourselves to hard and fast numbers that then hamper our ability to create an interesting and exciting diversity of products in each monthly package.

As an alternative, what we can do is guarantee minimum cartridge quantities. Over the past couple of days I spent some time spreadsheeting to arrive at those minimums. (Note that they’re just that – minimums. Except in rare cases packages will always include more.) This improves transparency while giving subscribers some kind of assurance about what their investment in AH buys them.

These figures were published to our production site today. They may be viewed on our Packages screen.

(Note: The updated site shows minimum quantities as follows: 40 rounds of .30-06, 350 of .22 caliber, 150 rounds of 9mm, 60 rounds of .223, and 115 shells of 12 gauge)

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