Ammo – Now You See It, Now You Don’t

By Glen Wunderlich

Empty Brass
Ammo – Now You See It, Now You Don’t

“You can’t always get what you want, But if you try sometimes, well, you might find, You get what you need” …The Rolling Stones

Glen Wunderlich
Glen Wunderlich

Lansing, Michigan – -( No truer words were ever set to music – especially when they are applied to an ironic dilemma many gun enthusiasts now face.

Amid record profits in the gun industry, shooters of many disciplines find little solace in the unrelenting, upbeat news.  Competitive shooters, hunters, and plinkers everywhere are not able to get what they want.

Be it normally common .22 caliber rimfire, highly popular .223, or widely used 9mm or .40 caliber ammo, it’s rare as gold, and in some cases, just as expensive.

Costs that have increased rather steadily over the years have now ballooned overnight.  For example, a few years ago .22 rimfire bricks of 500 rounds were available for under $10; more recently the cost had doubled; but now, if you can find run-of-the mill .22 rimfire bricks, entrepreneurs are extracting $60 from willing suckers.

With few exceptions, handloaders are faring no better.  Cartridge components have dried up, as well.

And, if you’ve considered an end-run strategy like making your own bullets, you better have bought your molds a year ago.  It’s understood that such advice is as useful as when fishermen find out they should have been out yesterday.  We’ve all been there.

Without getting into conspiracy theories, the facts are now staring us in our collective, bewildered faces.  Yet, industry sentiment from insiders was explained by the folks at Brownell’s ( February 25th of 2012 this way:

“During the SHOT Show we began to hear rumblings that ammunition was heating up and that scarcity would likely be a concern as the year progressed. This has begun to manifest itself in major ways already. A few examples: A great friend of ours reported: “Just returned from all the buyer-group shows and they were crazy busy. It’s starting to look like 2009 over again; we’ve been overwhelmed since December 1st. If it continues at this pace, we are going to see some major holes in inventory. The ammo guys are talking about shortages in .223 already . . . here we go again.”

The notice went on this way:

Quantities of .223 and 5.56 that seemed to manufacturers at the SHOT Show like they should have plenty for the year are depleted already. Another great friend of ours had an entire warehouse of 5.56 go out in one purchase order!”

If shooters were not paying attention a year ago, they have no choice but to second-guess their decisions, or lack thereof, or empty their wallets.

However, recent reports indicate that Nevada Senator, Harry Reid is not even close to having enough support to bring Senator Feinstein’s gun-grabbing measures to a vote.  The news will begin to reduce consumer panic to a more level-headed strategy of stockpiling, as supplies follow suit in a slow rebound.

Make your list needed ammo and keep your eyes open and get what you need when you can.

But, beyond necessity, patient people will be able to get what they want, although it will take time to catch up with demand.

Much like the Great Depression taught life lessons to a previous generation, this is our wake-up call.

About Glen Wunderlich
Charter Member Professional Outdoor Media Association (POMA). Outdoor writer and columnist for The Argus-Press ( and blog site at  Member National Rifle Association (NRA), Michigan United Conservation Clubs (MUCC), member U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance (USSA), Quality Deer Management Association (QDMA), Commemorative Bucks of Michigan (CBM). Adjutant of Perry, Michigan Sons of Amvets Post 4064 and Chairman Perry (MI) Youth Hunt Extravaganza, a sanctioned event of Perry Sons of Amvets held the fourth weekend of September each year.

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Supply is the problem? Hiring a few extra hands is a good thing for the economy if only temporary. There is no excuse other than the “conspiracy theory(?)” that showed Elite buying up manufacturers and ending production. It is simple the Elite fear the awakening hordes. They try to legislate more anti constitutional laws and remove legally owned weapons from the people. They have no difficulty sending American soldiers into harm’s way to fight wars that have NOTHING TO DO with American safety or security. Pakistan is about as much threat to American mainland security as my grand daughters chained… Read more »

VT Patriot

I haven’t seen ammo in any of the regular haunts since Sandy Hook. Fortunately, over the years I’ve bought, tried, and stored some of the more popular types. Some weren’t my favorites for target practice, so although not my favorites, they work just fine. With winter here (still), not having much avail of target time, so it’s sitting in a safe (very safe) spot until needed. Until the supply line fills up, I’m not going to the range as often, nor shooting up rounds that I don’t know I can replace soon. Just enuf to keep myself sharp and comfortable.… Read more »


Patience is the key.

Pick your shot.

Windage and Elevation; Windage and Elevation.

Good advice is wasted on those who spray and pray.


This is a great opportunity for entrepreneurship.. While somethings like primers will be difficult to manufacture at least initially. The idea that it is too difficult to build ones own bullet molds for example is silly.. Powder? well we need to see.. Primers.. certainly will be difficult at first but should not pose a problem after we apply our thinking caps.. One thing is for certain.. The the manufacturing capabilities 150 years ago were no where as great as there are today and still quality firearms and massive amounts of ammunition was manufactured.. Silly Gooses who think scarcity will starve… Read more »


Actually, we are already in the beginning stages of another, and much worse, Great Depression.


Someone needs to figure out a way to reload .22’s

The Old Coach

Stating the obvious. Is any of this news?

Dallas Bruhn

I don’t know about ammo shortages , I have not brought ammo for years. Is there a shortage of 22-250 ammo? How about 30-30? I have enough for 60 days, for anything that comes up.

D. Murphy

I started re-loading several years ago and have enough to hopfully outlast Obama, at least until 2014. I fully agree with Kim, any of you gun owners who voted democratice need to stop drinking the liberal coolaid and vote them out of office or the gun grab is coming to your state in 2014. If this does not wake you up nothing will.


The only thing I can find that’s not gone up much is .45ACP. 5.56/.223, 9mm, and .22LR… they’re impossible to find, unless you want to pay $300.00-plus for a brick of .22! Even 12ga. 00buckshot or slugs are now expensive, but can be found. How much ammo is enough? Guess that depends on where you live. If you’re in a big city, and should things go bad, you might never have enough. And if you live in a rural area, you might have enough “for now,” but later, you might never have enough, either. When will prices go down and… Read more »


We are not only competing with our government for ammunition,but with each other as well. I do not know how much is enough to make anyone feel secure – 1,000 rounds?, 5,000 rounds? In how many different calibers? I can only answer for myself and so must you. Good luck my brothers and sisters, we are headed toward difficult times.

Johnny Nightrider

I bought alot of .22lr,223 remington,9mm,and .45 auto over the years especially 9mm.I would like to say it was because I thought the President was going to get re-elected.Though it wasn’t.I just bought ammo when I saw deals over the years.I didn’t think it would get like this again.And why did the Government buy 1.6 billion rounds of ammo?Must be for the military.They probably have a ton of 5.56x45mm,9mm,and 45 acp ammo in those calibers and 7.62x51mm.


In other words (pay out the A**)because we can charge you out the A**.


Supply wouldn’t be a problem if we weren’t in an arms race with the Federales. With DHS aquiring 1.6b rounds it has to make folks nervous. They’re prepping for civil unrest when the financial system noses over.