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By Gary Evans

Ammunition Hoarding

Where Has All The Ammo Gone?

Buckeye Firearms Foundation

Buckeye Firearms Foundation

Ohio --(Ammoland.com)- I’ve often said that there is no such thing as bringing too much ammunition to a gun fight.

These days you might be lucky to have any ammo for that gunfight.

It seems that it is virtually impossible to find some of the most popular calibers on dealers’ shelves these days.

I went out the other day in search of 9mm Luger ammo — I need about 400 more rounds for an upcoming class I will be taking this coming Spring. Yet it seems there is none to be had. Where one of my local gun shops used to have pallets consisting of thousands of rounds of 9mm ammo, now they are lucky to have just a few boxes, if that.

One of the gun shops in my area will only sell you 9mm ammunition if you are also buying a handgun chambered for it at the same time, and then they limit you to just two boxes.

Most other dealers have also instituted a “two box limit” when they do have ammunition in stock.

My informal survey of four local gun stores — including a Gander Mountain store — showed that 9mm and bulk .22 Long Rifle ammunition have virtually disappeared from their shelves. I also noted a lack of .223/5.56 and .308 caliber rifle ammunition. Stocks of .380 ACP and .45 ACP are down considerably. Just about any common semi-automatic pistol caliber ammunition, except surprisingly .40 S&W, are rare finds indeed, at least where I looked. Ammunition for use in revolvers appears to still be available. When you can find ammunition, it has gone up considerably in price unless it is one of the less common calibers. For instance, .45 ACP seems to now be going for $0.50 to $1.00 per round. I was able to get some .38 Super +P for just a couple bucks more than I was paying before this latest ammo shortage began.

Pistol Ammunition

Some Pistol Ammunition Still to be found.

Even reloading components are in short supply. Once again, primers seem to have disappeared. Stocks of bullets are also down considerably. Gun powder is still available, but cartridge cases in the popular calibers are getting hard to find.

So what has caused this dramatic decline in the availability of ammunition?
The re-election of President Obama started a new rush to buy firearms — not that the previous “rush” from his initial election in 2008 had really slowed down at all. Then the Sandy Hook tragedy brought renewed calls for more gun control laws. In reaction to this, concerned citizens have decided they better buy up all the guns and ammunition they can now while they can still get it. Thus there is a large degree of hoarding going on right now. Another cause is the large purchases of ammunition being made by the federal government, not just for the military, but also for those federal agencies that have a role in law enforcement. Finally, there is a shortage of some of the raw materials used in the manufacture of ammunition, brass for cartridge cases for instance.

Speer Ammunition Gold Dot Standard 22 Ammo

Speer Ammunition Gold Dot Standard 22 Ammo

Ammunition manufacturers are ramping up production to the extent that they can, but it will take a while to replenish stockpiles to the point they were at before the latest buying rush. The supply of raw materials will likely keep them from reaching 100% capacity though. Prices will go up in response to basic “supply and demand” principles and restrictions on the quantities that can be purchased at one time will likely continue.

Whether prices will stay high after the shelves are restocked remains to be seen, and it is likely those shelves won’t be back to “normal levels” before the end of 2013. As long as renewed calls for an “assault weapons ban” and limits on magazine capacity remain, the scramble to buy all the ammunition in sight will likely continue.

So what should you do? Buy what you need, but don’t horde it. Plan ahead so you have what you need on hand when you need it. You may have to resort to more dry-fire rather than live-fire for your practice sessions. Most of all, don’t panic. “This too shall pass.”

Gary Evans is an NRA-Certified Instructor and Range Safety Officer.

About:
Buckeye Firearms Association is a grassroots political action committee dedicated to defending and advancing the right of Ohio citizens to own and use firearms for all legal activities. Visit: www.buckeyefirearms.org

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  • 29 User comments to “Where Has All The Ammo Gone?”

    1. If you are correct about this shortage lasting a year, it will devastate the gun business. Folks will eventually quit buying what they can’t use. The antis win by attrition. Hope I’m wrong.

    2. TYPO: Picture should read “.357 SIG” :)

    3. [...] Gary Evans AmmoLand.com Tuesday, February 26, [...]

    4. Joe in MD on February 26, 2013 at 1:59 PM said:

      Shoot airguns! Ammo is cheap and available. Guns can be very accurate and/or realistic. Save the real stuff for when you need it.

    5. GNM is correct! I bought a Ruger 10/22 last week – and, believe me, that took months to get lucky – and the major store I found it at had no .22 LR ammunition to shoot with it! I was able to buy one box at a small gun store – their limit on purchases. Why buy a gun if there is no available ammo? Why is there no imported ammo if our factories are at capacity? Something stinks!

    6. I saw the ammo situation that we are in coming the day that african started stinking up the white house.When my son and I would go to the range or got back from the lease, we would double the ammo we had shot. We have plenty of our primary ammo calibers and have started buying up anything/everything we can find,regardless of caliber.(could be great for barter)This ammo situation is going to around for a long time. Good luck, and keep your chin to the wind. HBH

    7. Craig Kinard on February 26, 2013 at 7:14 PM said:

      Has it occurred to anyone that our federal government through the TSA, FBI, and others may be using taxpayer money to buy hundreds of millions of rounds of popular ammo, effectively to “price the public” out of the market??? So we could have a very clever gun control ploy happening right under our noses! THINK ABOUT IT!!!

    8. Jim Stone on February 26, 2013 at 7:43 PM said:

      I am really skeptical about the government buying to create a shortage.. I have been to gun shows where folks were buying cart loads of ammo before the “shortage” not talking about a few hundred rounds, more like 10.000 rounds..And even buying all the reloading supplies there..I really believe we have done it to ourselves…Either profiteers or doomsday people…

    9. The NRA convention will be in Houston May 2-5. There will be as much ammo and as many weapons at that convention that you want ! Load up on it,I will.For the next year or two gun shows and firearms conventions will be the place to go for those badass looking “assault rifles” and ammo.,etc. HBH

    10. There are a number of options for people who don’t want to use their live ammo for practice.

      1. If you are shooting handgun-caliber ammo, go to an indoor range and buy their range ammo. As good businessmen, they likely are holding back sufficient stock so that renters of range lane time can have ammo to shoot. Very fair, and doesn’t deplete your own stock.

      2. Buy “snap-caps” for your guns. A-Zoom makes excellent ones and there are other brands available. In theory you can make your own, but if you’re reading this, it probably isn’t for you. Snap-caps allow you to dry-fire your gun with damaging anything, since the cartridge is inert and the “primer” is made of silicone. They also allow you to practice loading and ejecting cartridges.

      3. Look up a reloader near you, for cheaper ammo that is reloaded from once-fired brass (or more-than-once-fired). Cheap practice ammo, low-power.

      4. My personal Rule #1. Don’t use up any of your primary defense ammo supply, even for practice. Buy some dessicant packs and put them into a double freezer-lock bag with your best ammo, for storage.

    11. miguel a alvarado on February 27, 2013 at 12:50 PM said:

      i believe our government is buying all ammo to limit people what they can buy, that way they have less problems from people when they come to take your weapons away, also, they don’t mention the good the citizens have done to defend themselves or others when criminals attacked good people and they ran or were shot, otherwise we would be dead, the whole USA needs to go to web sites, media, public, tv shows and show the good the weapons have done for society, against the criminals etc, and ask why the government is spending so much money and where its going too, and they will back down if theres proof they are cheating the tax payers etc, please help the people stand together with those with money, power,movie stars, sports figures etc, for the sencond amendment and to force congress to show where all the money is being waisted and misused, please lets get help to stop our government run the votes and let the people vote for gun control not the government, they have hidden agendas and we can feel it happenning right now,,,amen,,,mgiuel

    12. Ken Green on February 28, 2013 at 1:31 AM said:

      If these ammo makers are so hot on the 2nd amendment they should see the public gets first crack at the ammo. The price the government pays for ammo will plummet if the people stop shooting their weapons. If gun makers go out of business eventually because of little ammo available to the public how will that help them.
      Don’t forget who your real customers are or else.

    13. “How about pointing the finger at the real reason we have an ammo shortage….YOU. No not you Gary, you do a good job.. but every one of you that ran down to your gun store and bought everything you could get your hands on then went home and ordered everything you could find like the “Invasion” was tomorrow! If you are a new gun owner and felt you needed to prepare and protect yourself..”welcome aboard” get some good instructions and practice, practice, practice. If you are someone who has been into guns “SHAME ON YOU”. You should have been stock piling ammo since 9-11. So NOW you run down to the store and get on-line and drive the prices up and dry up the inventory and want to complain about it..thanX a lot from those of us who are responsible gun owners to you whiners who are making the manufactures and store owners rich..er! Wipe your running little nose and GROW UP your giving responsible gun owners a bad image.”

    14. Rusty Shackleford on March 1, 2013 at 12:51 AM said:

      I have a .50 cal ammo can and a .30 cal can.
      The .50 I use for BOTH 9mm and .380, and the .30 cal I use for shotgun ammo.

      When both cans are full, I stop buying ammo because it’s enough for me.
      I only want (at most) 2 boxes of both my pistol calibers, but can’t even find that because of those ammo hoarding morons.

      Think about it. If there was a “shtf” situation and you had to “bug out”, how the hell are you going to carry 50,000 rounds of ammunition?

    15. I went to Wallyworld this morning and I stood in line for the (possible) stocking of ammo. The first guy had been waiting for management to bring out any over night truck shipment,saying that he knew of a guy that had previously bought 500000 (a half million) rounds of 22 LR and was selling it at a premium. That is either hording or speculative capitalism, I cant decide. I do think it is a combination of lots of factors… i.e. that the govt is indeed buying lot of bricks. Which is a fact. Why does the EPA need millions of rounds of ammo? As other supposedly “non-armed” government agencies? And the new gun owner are buying, and we the old guard as well.
      Its panic buying. Maybe justified. After waiting my turn in line I walked out w/3 boxes.. Not much, but since I watch web sites daily, I do see that supply is coming back.

    16. Glad I reload. I have .223 and 9 mike mike squirting out my ears.

    17. So everyone understands the department of homeland sec, purchased 2 billion rounds of ammo allready and on their purchase orders which are available to the public shows dhs has been buyingover 250. Million rounds per month, my local police,sherifs can’t find ammo, every shelf in every store in. Green bay wisconsin is empty, tthe only ammo anyonecan find is 12. Gauge and. 20. Gauge,, the gov is waiting on civil unrest, I know this because I did some of the training, once I found this out I quit the training and boughtt my first gun and buying stff like mre foods, freeze dride foods, and a lot of things that will get my by, food, clothes, water, soap shampo heates wind generator, soar power, trust gour gut, it may or may not get bad, my kids are under the age of ten and I have three kids, your. Dang rght if there is that pos so me. Crazy war would start I want my kids to survive, next month I’m buying a. Cabin in cash!

    18. brandon decker on April 14, 2013 at 6:25 PM said:

      how about looking on gunbroker.com. all of your hard sought ammo is there. for resale, at crazy prices. people have all these theories. its all there. 22 cal. 14 pages of 22s for sale at 50-100 a brick. come on people. quit buying the shit from these aholes. the gov isnt’ doin it. its your neighbor.

    19. Just remember who the price gougers are, and quit buying anything from them. The only reason prices go up like they are is panic buying.The VULTURES are feeding on it.

    20. Look at the posts by “HBH”, “Jason” and “J.” That’s the reason there is an ammo shortage. And there are a ton more like them. A bunch of idiots that think the end of the world has been coming ever since a black man took office. These are the same people that think wrestling is real and zombies are a “real possibility.” Hell, “J” can’t even put a proper sentence together and he’s telling us the government is getting ready to attack. Give it a rest will ya?

    21. These ammo hoarders are the same types who hoarded all the generators around 1999 for Y2k, I hope they lose their shirts the same way.. Actually Im just trying to get my hands on a box of 6.5 mm 160 RN to load some 6.5×54 and even these are basically unavaliable. I cant believe it …

    22. Bill Baker on April 22, 2013 at 9:05 PM said:

      @APB You’re a pretty funny guy I must admit. I agree that the idiotic and racist comment from HBH was inappropriate, but your attack on Jason whose entire comment was around the fact that he is a reloader makes it seem you haven’t a clue about the situation. You blame him for the ammo shortage because he reloads? Interesting, him making his own ammo is probably the reason wal-mart is out of .223. It’s a good theory, I suppose, if you’re mentally deficient in some ways.
      As for the end of the world people, I wish for zombies, that would be pretty cool, I realize however that if anything bad does happen it will be due to an economic collapse or a civil war, or an economic collapse that causes a civil war, either way.. I double punctuated and did a run on sentence there so you would have plenty of ammo to attack me as well. I would purchase more ammo if any were available, but won’t go broke no matter what happens since my stash will get shot eventually and doesn’t destroy my income sitting around. Well, thought I’d express my love for such intellectual people as yourself, luvs and buh bye…. ;)

    23. Its not the “anti’s” causing the problem. Its all the conservative republican, gun dealers, ammo dealers and hoarders that have caused all of this. Im a demo. and gun owner/shooter/builder. This is created by greedy dealers that had a sure way to create fear buying with a bunch of lies. Figure it out people.

    24. icetrout on May 28, 2013 at 6:02 PM said:

      brass is in short supply… what happened the world run out of copper?

    25. Charles Jones on May 29, 2013 at 3:53 PM said:

      Hello,

      My company has inked a deal with a manufacturer of American made, produced, . 62 grain, brass cased, .223 ammunition. While everyone is paying .90-$1.20 a round, we can beat those prices. My company is located in Maryland. If you would be interested in speaking further in terms of price and quantity etc, please contact me personally @ info@jonessecuritiesllc.com We can arrange a discount for you for re-sale as well.

    26. Da finn on June 13, 2013 at 8:10 PM said:

      SOOOOOOOoooo, If they said Toilet Paper was hard to find – “as it happened in the 70′s, I guess everyone would run out and buy every scrap of TP THEY COULD FIND = THE TP INDUSTRY HAD A MARKET + PROFIT THOSE FEW MONTHS… Ammo Factories can deliver whats needed ! Just another BS excuse to raise the cost for the buyer ! Heck, I think theres going to be a Dental Floss shortage soon, along with toothpaste and and other personal hyegene products maybe DEPENDS on if they can Keep up with demand. and I here its going to be a BAD WINTER w/ record snowfalls – Better stock up on EXTRA SHOVELS – might be able to triple the Price in the MIDST of a STORM ! Most reloading have no -issue finding the products needed ? things that make you go, HMMMMMMM

    27. Doug Parks on July 15, 2013 at 12:03 AM said:

      I’ma Baptist Preacher, and not very sharp in these matters. But when i can’t find any 380 ammo, I must say I thought : Gov. I noticed a seemingly instant shortage when the school shooting w/the boyshooter that was mentally ill went down. And the “Gun Control” issue was constantly in the news.I don’t trust our Gov.@ all. Theres so much goofy stuff goin on, w/the sodomite agenda & the over empesis on education. U know people arent born that stupid. This “Higher Education” is where people are snookered out of the common sense that God gave them.I pray that the comment made earlier:”this to shall pass” is applicable to the shortage of popular ammo. T-Y

    28. You are the idiots that brought all this on. Paranoid morons or others taking advantage of paranoid morons. I can’t even afford to go to the range if you can get ammo. Stop HOARDING you A HOLES!

    29. Bill Baker on August 11, 2013 at 12:00 PM said:

      Kirk: If you think everyone else has a problem, psychology would tell us that maybe its you. Be it the paranoia you are experiencing, or your anger that everyone else has an ammo stockpile whilst you sit around lonely and ammoless. Someday, someone will like you, I promise.

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