Student of the Gun Discusses the Current Ammo Shortage – Video

Student of the Gun
Student of the Gun

LUVERNE, AL –-( Paul Markel has further discussion about the current supply and demand ammunition situation.

Lets look at the reasons for the shortages, including military contracts, federal government orders, flood of new gun owners plus you and each of your pals, all wanting more ammo.

It not a government conspiracy, it is just simple supply and demand. Ammunition manufactures just can not make enough ammo.

Paul Markel c 2012

Follow Paul Markel at Student of the .

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This guy is on crack. Ammo shortage goes back to last year in August when the government ordered 1.2 billion rounds (hollowpoint, not for military use). I wonder if he could also explain why nobody can get primers, lead, powder.

The Old Coach

TominTX has it right. Building new factory capacity takes years, and hundreds of millions of $$. Consider the matter of “supply chain” – can powder mfgrs. keep up? Brass mills? Will copper prices keep rising? Don’t build a new assembly plant if you can’t feed it! These are decisions that are taken after months and months of analysis. Been here, done that, got the T-shirt, (don’t miss the stress!). Civilians went without any sporting ammo at all during WW2, for FIVE YEARS. Guys were offering perfectly good Lugers in trade for 100 LR primers. Other guys were resurrecting flintlocks. Do… Read more »


Put yourself in Olin/Winchester’s shoes for a few minutes. This surge is overwhelming, they gotta be cranking stuff out more or less around the clock. Probably have been since November 2008. They have likely made $Millions. Would you now spend the $Millions it would take to build a new factory? Once the money is spent, it is gone. You need to staff the place, pay taxes on the place, heat and cool the place, etc. However this demand could stop overnight. Obama could ban your products out of hand and now your $Millions are up in smoke. Or the tea… Read more »


Perhaps the good "professor" should read the actual govt. purchase order in which the US Govt. bought MASSIVE amounts of every conceivable caliber including .380ACP, #7 shotgun, 762.39, 30-06, .38 SPL among others which they do not even have weapons for. Follow this link and look at the pdf for yourself. What possible reason would the govt have to buy .380, #7 shot, 30-06 and .38? Keep in mind these are JHP service ammo, not target ammo. These orders are specifically for domestic use and do not include military orders. This is DHS and SSA. There can only be a… Read more »


The ammo SHORTAGE started after the last so called election in NOV 2012 not 6 years ago. However 22 shells did almost double it price earlier that year. It's just that some people were a little late stocking up and bought all that they could get there hands on.

Chris Steves

With you 100% Bill Baker. It isn't a conspiracy but it is an issue the government created by buying literately hundreds of millions of rounds all at once of the most popular calibers. There was no reason for DHS to buy 450million rounds. That number is just ludicrous. I think their main purpose was to spend their budget money. I could even go as far as to say they wanted these rounds to be limited in availability. It is against the Geneva Convention to use hollow points. Why would Homeland Security need hollow points?

Bill Baker

Keeping in mind that mass production equipment is expensive and they have no idea how long this demand will…..according to video 6 years so far, according to news 1-2 year backlogs on a lot of AR types at the moment, so 8 years+ isn't inspiring enough to increase production? So what, only after 14 years they will consider it? maybe they need 55 years of proven demand before they increase.


Keep in mind that mass production equipment is expensive.since they have no idea how long this demand will continue they are not anxious to spend millions tooling up .many of the gun and ammo companies are publicly heldand at the mercy of investors. What would you do if you owned the company. They are already making big profits. Why risk it.

Dale McMahan

I'm sure glad I was taught at a young age to save up my money and buy the most important things in life. Not booze,girls,or soda, like they really don't matter? I was lucky to get my ammo purchased before the big dry up. Planning is something most people fail to do, especially before a big storm,war,or economic down turn. If your reading this article I'm sure your one of the many who do have everything in order. Don't rely on the big box companies to take care of your needs. Let's support the little home grown business and take… Read more »


I doubt there's any conspiracy. Demand is way up (as are prices). And recent DHS purchases don't help. We are seeing a panic buying spree. And the shortage creates more panic. As far as I can tell, non military types of ammo (and guns) are still plentiful. Anything not likely to be banned, even by Sen F.

Joseph P

It doesn't get much simpler than what the author suggested. Government/Law Enforcement/Military orders has increased ever since 9/11. With the recent events, if you really don't believe it's supply-and-demand, just got talk to some of the average Joes working these big box stores that sell ammo. I was talking with a guy at Wal-Mart of all places (not exactly an expert gunsmith) and he was even commenting how crazy some people are getting. He even mentioned a few people getting several boxes of multiple types of ammoy and when commenting that he must have "quite a collection", the individual just… Read more »

M. Whitney


Nice call on the ammo, I already have my plinking ammo. So that will be perfect for match, that TAP shoots beautifully out of mine.

M. Whitney

While I'll admit that I'm not sure what I believe as far as ammo shortage, I will say that the lack of 22lr is definitely supply and demand. 22lr is the cheapest practice ammo there is. Also a lot of people have 22lr conversions for there black rifles. When your are hoarding NATO rounds but still want to practice you go with 22lr. The cheap price makes it so for 100 bucks you can get around 3000 rds but the manufacturing really isn't that much quicker. So people are just getting an even more ridiculous amount then the other NATO… Read more »


Need ammo ? Check out C&G Wholesale ! In stock Hornady ammo ! Price right too ! HBH


This 'ole boy is about three shy of a six pack. If you people actually believe ammo manf'ing co's can't keep up with supply and demand,I got some prime swamp land for sale!!! It has every damn thing to do with the Gov.!

John Bernard

Why are all the 22lr rounds disappearing. Are our armed forces using Ruger 10/22 rifles?

You are rather arrogant as the folks are saying.

D.R. Alarcon

Lively comments all but… While there is no "government conspiracy" to make ammo scarce it is the government that is buying "millions of rounds" as Paul stated. I thought the wars in middle east were scaling down, have been for last couple years. Why is dhs buying millions of rounds. Just making the comments everybody else is thinking. Oh yea then there is the push in Congress to outlaw most guns… Outlaw the guns or make ammo scarce.seems like two sides of the same goal doesn't it.

Bill Baker

Last point as I won't revisit this article again: I said 'something is up' and that was your entire reasoning for stating I am suggesting a conspiracy theory. Not knowing whats going on and thinking that the CIA is selling ammo to martians is not the same thing.

Bill Baker

And listen to him again, and read my original post, I am not suggesting that anyone could respond 'overnight' to such a demand issue, but his argument is that this has been going on for 6 years, plenty of time for Solyndra to come in and out of business, including having built its factories.

Bill Baker

Actually you must be making up whatever your reading I said, as I made no accusations of a conspiracy. I do not however believe this mans reasoning and found him very condescending. I have read enough to understand that some reasonable people may believe that DHS for example is planning something without thinking that aliens from mars are involved as this man suggested. I'm completely uncertain, unless your just a troll so kudos on that, that his logic in the video of this supply issue going back several years is flawed. There was no supply issue in Idaho last year,… Read more »

The Truth

Being condescending to your audience appears correct when your audience doesn't understand that you can't build an entire new facility over night and that production has fixed short term limits. They're running 24/7 (3 shifts) and still can't come close to meeting the HUGE increase in demand. They were meeting the demand until last month's shooting. Bill, I don't think you're appreciating the scale of the huge run on guns and ammo. People bought an entire year's supply in 2 weeks. No one, not even Coca-Cola could meet such an amazing and overnight jump in demand. We're not talking about… Read more »

Jay Fo

I agree with Bill Baker, this ammo land guy is on crack.

Bill Baker

I'm not a conspiracy guy, and normally I like this guy, but today he is arrogant and talks down to the audience. Last year there were tons of rounds in my local stores, and yes a lot of people bought guns, but this shortage, if it is going back 5-6 years like he says, then just proves that the factories aren't making what they should be. If coca cola makes 2 billion bottles, but people want 3 billion, do you really think coca cola would just say sorry, and keep production at 2 billion for that many years? There is… Read more »