February 25, 2014
Where the Deus Ex Machina is All of the Ammo??
When January 2013 rolled around- The United States of America ran into a panic to buy up all of the guns and ammunition that they could find. I am not kidding. I walked into my local gun store at the time and they had 13 rifles and five pistols. We will probably never see something like this again in our lifetimes. My jaw DROPPED when I saw the condition of that store. That store, which normally has hundreds of firearms- was down to EIGHTEEN PIECES OF MERCHANDISE.
The store in question blew through approximately 6 months of stock in a matter of a week. Because I was not a firearm owner in 2008-2010 I did not get to experience the first round of the 'great ammo recession', as I could have cared less about firearms. Law enforcement had trouble finding ammunition- and it was the people of this country that aided local police departments in keeping some ammo in their inventory. Those kinds of people make me proud.
Why is the ammo missing?
Normally you should be able to walk into a general store like Wal-Mart, your local sporting goods store or your local gun shop and buy ammunition. You're supposed to look for it, pay for it, and leave on your merry way. In states such as California- they are trying to ban ammunition and put restrictive fees on you so that you cannot exercise your rights; but that is outside of the scope of this article. There is a simple reason for the ammo- and it boils down to this- in every single way possible.
It caused the first ammunition shortage, and it most certainly caused the second shortage- which I am all too familiar with. Fear caused people to panic- even people who knew nothing about guns- to purchase firearms and ammunition, They did it because the government told them that they shouldn't have it. When you tell an American they can't have something- they are going to go get it. The first shortage was caused by the election of the criminal and anti-gunner Barack Obama- and the second shortage was caused by the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting- and the calls for bans and confiscations that ensued.
Remember ladies and gentleman- fear can be counterproductive. In this case it is- but the perception of an imminent threat was rational- and correct. The US Government began talks of confiscating and banning weaponry- in particular semi-automatic rifles with standard capacity magazines. In 1994- when the first gun ban hit the country- the firearms industry and the NRA bent over and took it. In 2013, they dug their heels in with the rest of gun owners to tell the government off. I'm not here to convince you why talks of confiscation are wrong- I automatically assume that you know the 2nd amendment means no infringement.
There were rumors floating around the internet that the US Government was hoarding ammunition in an attempt to shut out civilian purchases. A few months ago, the company that owns Federal, the companies Remington and Hornady spoke out about the shortage. This is what they had to say, paraphrased:
"we have increased output to maximum and have seen an 800% surge in ammo demand".
"the second it leaves the belt and goes into the box, it is already being purchased once it hits the store shelf".
"we are swamped for years on back-orders".
"approximately 5-10% of our product goes to government and military contracts."
But you shouldn't trust the mean, big, bad corporations Rob! I will- over what the US Government tells me- and their response to the ammo shortage was:
"our purchases are none of your god damned business"
it actually is. What these companies said makes sense- and pins the blame on people hoarding ammo to sell at auction. Boxes of .22lr are selling for $60-$100 at well over 20 cents per round. People PAY THAT PRICE- and that sustains the hoarding. The key to stopping this BS is to stop the hoarding, buy what you need- and let the demand relax. Do not pay overprice for ammunition.
The gun shortage hit around February-March 2013. I could not find a single semi-auto rifle out there- and what was in stock were bolt actions and maybe a shotgun or two. People literally bought everything that they could. Some of the shortage was for resale sure- but people had a genuine fear that the government was going to ban or take away their property- so they made a genuine purchase to acquire the item before it was banned. In Harrisburg, PA the firearms industry took a stand for its customers when the Outdoors Show owners posted a notice banning 'assault weapons' at the expo. The expo was forced to shut down when Remington, Cabelas, Bass Pro, and leagues of other vendors dropped out in protest. They sacrificed millions of dollars to make a statement for the people.
The panic for rifles began with the ammo shortage- and the gun shortage, at least ended around August 2013. By then- guns were widely available and you could get an AR or AK if you wanted one- but conceal carry models like the M&P Shield of Glock 19s & 26s were non-existant. I see them as of this day from time to time. Guns sales absolutely exploded. When the media reports that America is throwing its guns away and isn't buying them anymore- they are lying through their teeth. The current white house administration, which is outstandingly anti-gun, has been the best gun sales group of the last century. This is not a joke. I am 100% serious.
The gun shortage eased because a federal 'assault weapons' ban failed horribly. They will attempt it again if the political machine unseats enough republicans. If that day comes- I have the firearms I absolutely need to survive. That shortage ended because the fear ended.
Ammo's Current State
As of the beginning of March 2014- the ammo is starting to loosen up. It began to seriously loosen up around January 2014. Every time I shop for ammunition there are shotgun shells plentiful- as well as every common rifle round. I see tons of 30-06, .223, .308 and even AK rounds. I've seen every major hunting round, including .243 winchester. For handgun rounds, 9mm loosened up around January 2014. I told my father to buy 1000 rounds of the stuff in January 2013, and he is extremely thankful that he made that purchase. He is still going through a lot of it. If I wanted to tomorrow- I could go purchase 9mm, 40S&W, .22 shorts, .17 HMR, 45 ACP and similar rounds. It's a crap shoot for 380 auto, which is the caliber I use- but I have found it in sparse supply. It's .22lr that is the endangered species. I should jokingly put a endangered status watch on my blog!
What the hell happened to the .22lr?
Shooting ammunition is expensive. Every time you pull that trigger you are blowing money down range. .22lr, pre-panic costed around 4-5 cents per round bulk. The good stuff (target/match grade) costs around 10 to 12 cents per round. Pre-panic, CCI Mini mags costed around 7 cents per round. .22lr is affordable- it's easy to use and has low recoil. It is very popular for small game hunting and plinking. Because of the economy of .22lr, a lot of people buy it in bulk. Hoarders are taking the stuff people need and are auctioning it at higher prices.
When the fear subsides, which will happen when people stop being morons and stop paying $100 for 500 rounds of .22lr- the prices will return to normal and you will see more of the .22lr. This is slowly starting to occur 14-15 months after the panic. Stop punching people to get rimfire ammunition- don't buy overpriced ammo- and sit on a 'stock of need' instead of a hoard. You'll do us all- and yourself- a favor. It isn't Obummer, Soros or Bloomberg anymore- it's us. Stop it and cool off.
Sources and Additional Reading