The Ammo Shortage

The Ammo Shortage

By John From Iowa, Editor-At-Large


Everyone that’s a shooting enthusiast, and otherwise interested in firearms for whatever reason, knows there’s currently an ammo shortage going on. I’ve wondered about it and done some research and looking. And yes, there’s lots of conspiracy theories for that too!


No, I don’t believe the government is responsible. They would not have a need or use for millions of rounds of .22 LR ammo. They have put a request to buy a large quantity of other ammunition, but it’s only a request, and not an actual buy. So kick out the conspiracy rants and let’s look at what’s really going on.


Beginning in 2008, when Obama got elected, things started getting tight on ammo. This was due to fears of what his anti-gun agenda might be. We all know that nothing materialized the first four years, and ammo could be purchased but supplies were spotty at best.  Then the anti-gun rhetoric started after the mass shootings (no I don’t believe any conspiracy BS here either), this is where everything went crazy in the gun world. Panic buying ensued and more guns have been sold in the last few months than anytime prior. We’re talking millions! With any new or used gun purchase, there’s a desire to buy ammo for it. I mean what good is a gun without ammo to shoot in it? So everyone wants to buy a quantity of ammo to go along with that new gun purchase. This was compounded with what was already a spotty supply, prior to the shootings.


Now comes the key to what has everything dried up. The NRA spelled it out real good in their latest magazine article on the subject. People are just plain buying more than they really need or would normally use! The author of the article quotes an instance that rings true with what I’ve seen personally. A friend called him to say he’d just made a super score on 22 ammo! The local gun shop got in 5,000 rounds and he bought it all! The author asked him how many he would normally buy or need if there wasn’t a shortage going on, and the friend replied “probably about 500”. This is classic panic buying at its best/worst! At our local Wal-Mart, before they put limits on, a guy that had just opened a shooting range came in and bought all the ammo they had because he couldn’t get any for people to use on his range from anywhere else. He is now charging about double from what it originally sold for! This brings us to the next point.


There are those that are buying everything they can get, so they can sell it for outrageous prices! Even components to reload ammo are getting scalped! It doesn’t take long to see this happening at unscrupulous gun shops and on the net. There has been no substantial price hikes from the manufacturers, only the dishonest sellers. I’ve seen bricks (500 rounds) of 22 ammo sell for $100 at times lately! I just bought some primers for reloading from a local honest dealer for $28.95 a carton. I’m seeing scalpers wanting $100 a carton currently!


I for one, am making a mental note to never deal with the scalpers when things die down. The ammo shortage is real, but perpetuated by the predictable panic buying mode and unscrupulous sellers. No, it’s not the law of supply and demand! It is artificial just like the supposed gas shortages. Folks have found out that they can get away with it, and make money. So they capitalize on it and go stronger with it.


The solution? Buy only what you need, and don’t pay those ridiculous prices to the bandits. Sure you might have to wait awhile before things calm back down to normal, but it’s the only way to fight back on this current BS!

Since writing this article, I’ve heard that more and more the Department of Homeland Security is coming under scrutiny for their excessive ammo purchases, and future intended purchases. This is rightfully so, as they are wanting to buy more than the military actually uses per person!


Is this a conspiracy? No, I think it’s a classic case of the ‘Good Ole Boy’ attitude by the DHS. They want to buy enough ammo that their agents can go out any time they choose and shoot all they want, as much as they want. Then, if they are shooting with a local LE or civil unit, they can give them some too as a kind of gratuity.


Boy, wouldn’t it be nice if we could have all the free ammo we wanted! Government waste at it’s best!

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