My Take on the Ammunition Shortage

Empty Brass Ammo
My Take on the Ammunition Shortage
Montana Shooting Sports Association
Montana Shooting Sports Association

Missoula, MT –-( Several of you have asked me what the cause of the ammunition shortage is.

The ammo shortage is nation-wide, and pretty much for all calibers. The shortage also includes ammunition components (brass, powder, primers and bullets) and all reloading equipment and supplies.

A part of the problem is the heavy federal government purchases, stressing an already-stressed marketplace.

However, the larger problem is the difference in elasticity between supply and demand.

The supply side is relatively inelastic. Manufacturers cannot increase production more than 30-40% before they begin exhausting their component suppliers. The component suppliers can’t expand more than 30-40% before they max out their material suppliers, all the way to the ends of the many supply chains.

This is a usual rule for any type of manufacturing, and applies now in spades to ammunition.

Manufacturers are running hard trying to satisfy demand. Hey, they’re in business and want to sell.

However, the demand side is VERY elastic, and driven by the psychological response of Americans to economic and political uncertainties. One supplier says he doesn’t have a shortage of ammunition, but a serious surplus of customers. As long as people have discretionary funds available and are stressed by political and economic uncertainty, or even by perceived political and economic uncertainty, demand for ammo will outstrip supply.

The only thing that would turn this around in the near future is if conditions change to remove or moderate the perception of economic and political uncertainty in the U.S.

Frankly, my crystal ball doesn’t see that happening any time soon, unfortunately.

If authorities would imprison a slug of high mucky-mucks in D.C., things might cool down, but I’m not holding my breath waiting for that.

Gary Marbut, President
Montana Shooting Sports Association
Author, Gun Laws of Montana

Gary Marbut, presidentMontana Shooting Sports Associationwww.mtssa.orgauthor, Gun Laws of

About Montana Shooting Sports Association:MSSA is the primary political advocate for Montana gun owners. Visit:

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I dont buy it.The Govn.Has did something.There aint no supply to begin with at all.

gaseous clay

Classic conservative stupidity. YOU, the gun owner, go out and hoard ammo and have the nerve to blame Obama. Pull your heads out of your collective @sses and get a clue.


“These are the people who PAID for Obama to create DHS” someone said on an earlier post. Wrong, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security was put in place on November 25, 2002. That was Georgie’s doing. Give credit where credit is due. We get to thank him for DHS and 2 wasted wars because in the long run, they’ll both be civil wars, at the cost of thousands of U.S. lives and trillions plus in debt. Someone also posted:”The DHS and DOD orders were purchase requests. The governments way of saying request for proposal. A way to lock a purchase… Read more »


Clowns hoarding are a big problem. Had a guy walk into a local shop, wanted to buy up all the large rifle primers, said he already had 150 cases(5000 in a case), that’s 3/4 million primers. We asked him how much reloading he does a week. He replied he didn’t, just buying them, brass, powder, bullets, just in case. He’s hoarding for resale or stupidity, his house is probably a bomb waiting for a match. People like him and supply and demand are big factors. And no company makes ammo w/o components. When suppliers run short, production suffers.


on May 23rd. You sir are mistaken. Obama as president must dole out his real agenda slowly but while he was a state politician he stated many times his wish for a disarmed America. Do some research because the media never did.


The answer WE ARE CAUSING THE SHORTAGE OUR SELVES, BY FEEDING INTO THE FEAR TACTICS THAT THIS ADMINISTRATION THRIVES ON. WE HAVE CREATED THE PANIC BUYING RESULTING IN THE “BLACK MARKET BOOTLEGGERS”. IT WILL NOT END UNTIL WE STOP PAYING 3X-5X COSTS TO INDIVIDUAL SELLERS. As a Consumer Research professional this mass purchasing has intrigued me since early January when I was at cabela’s doing some observations on another category and saw two gentlemen walk over to the ammo shelves and fill their carts with every round of .223, .308, 45 acp, and 9mm the store had. I know go… Read more »


Lee, you ignore the basic underpinning of the problem. This IS NOT PARTISAN POLITICS. Obama is screwing you too… BUT, he isn’t the one making those decisions. Money is power. If you want to find out who is making the decisions, find who is in control of the money. Our money is controlled by the illegal Federal Reserve Bank, who is in turn controlled by the Bank of International Settlements. The B.I.S. via “Basel 2.5” regulation/manipulation initiated the market crash in 2008. These are the people who don’t want you to own guns or ammo. These are the people who… Read more »


it has never been in where in the current administration’s agenda to impose any kind of gun legislation until Sandy Hook. even then NO WHERE was it written that this administration wants to take away anyone’s second amendment rights. if you want to hate President Obama, then hate him…it still is a free country and that’s your right, just like it was my right to dislike the idiot that served the two terms before him. but don’t blame President Obama on the fact that you can’t find ammo on him. when your tax dollars bailed our savings and loans who… Read more »

Johnny Nightrider

I know if you have it keep it.If the shortage goes on into November than it’s not like the last one when President B O was elected.It didn’t last as long.Though what a way to stop future gun owners from buying firearms.Make it so its extremely hard to find ammo for the firearm you purchase.The DHS doesn’t want civilians armed because the dollar is going to collapse.Mayhem and chaos will happen for the unprepared and the DHS will be the private police force and FEMA CAMPS and FEMA COFFINS will be full.Don’t lose hope.GOD will guide us through just trust… Read more »


Fortunatly I stocked up in 07& 08 before Presidet Fubar took office, havent sold any aint, gonna sell any, friends & neighbors might need it one of these days.


The buying frenzy is dying quickly. Two months ago everything listed sold immediately no matter what the price. Now only the cheap stuff is selling and that’s it. Idiots have burnt up their income tax returns and maxed out their cards. Now if everyone would quit buying anything from gunbroker it would finish off the reselling idiots and force them to sell cheap just to get rid of what they are sitting on. The government is hoarding because the dollar is fixing to lose its status as the standard by which all other currency is based. When that happens our… Read more »

Jim Stone

My observation while attending past and present gun shows and frequenting ranges is the shortage is caused 50% by paranoia and 50% by greed, there were people who don’t even own guns who purchased ammo to resell and make a profit. Guys are selling and people are buying $80.00, 500 box of Winchester 22 rounds. that were $20.00. And they can sell as much as they have.More than anything the shortage is consumer driven, not a government plan.

Henry Baker

The REAL cause of the ammo shortage? Barrack Hussein Obozo.

Get rid of that communist con artist scumbag and you’ll get rid of the ammo shortage and most of the rest of America’s ills.


DHS, including all of the alphabet soup of agencies, has placed orders for so many calibers & types of bullets it’s incredible. They’re buying up .45 LC, .357, and even calibers like .45-70 govt & .30-30!!! They DO NOT want Americans to be able to stock up on ammo. The question HAS to be WHY??? Can it possibly be true that the govt has a nefarious agenda in mind against us? Can it possibly be true that they know something is coming which will set off massive civil unrest, especially in all major U.S. cities and they want us powerless… Read more »


Once the lead wolf is gone from the pac, Hopefully we can rebuld america to its former glory.Please mr McCain go with the lead wolf.You are as much help as a screendoor on a submarine


There is an agenda here in play. It does not revolve around political or economic recovery. Non of this is by accident.


The military put out requests for purchase, not orders. Second, with people buying 5K rounds at one time, like the earlier poster, how the eff would it be possible for others to buy anything? It’s like the fat kid at a party who eats all of the hot dogs. Leave some for the others, ya meatheads! I called a store to ask about ammunition and they sell a lot to LEO & members of the military- he said they don’t limit purchases, so people are buying everything the store gets when they go in. First, it’s bad for business, second,… Read more »


Just curious,do any of yall buy online ?


With the exception of less-popular or uncommon calibers, all of the ammo shelves at my local gun stores, Walmarts, and target ranges have continued to collect dust. It’s absolutely deplorable.


Was at a Lorain, Ohio Walmart yesterday and the ammo shelves were almost bare.
Just some odd-ball rounds no one wanted and stuff that can’t be shot in Ohio, not even for deer hunting.


I just dont really see the ammo shortage anymore.I just bought another 5K M855,& 2K 45ACP. It’s out there,a little higher,but there.