How Long Will the Ammunition Shortage Last?

 

If you’re like me, you’re extremely frustrated about the difficulty in finding ammunition for your guns. The shortage is becoming a long-term problem, and those of us who like to keep our skills honed are finding it difficult to practice. The situation is dire and is predicted to last through 2021:

One Scottsdale, Arizona, based ammunition manufacturer, Ammo Incorporated, is currently facing an $80.1 million backlog in orders despite working around the clock.

‘We’re working right now seven days a week, 24 hours a day in all the manufacturing plants,’ said the company’s CEO, Fred Wagenhals. Ammo Incorporated has plants in Payson, Arizona, and Manitowoc, Wisconsin.

‘We just bought $2.8 million dollars-worth of machinery and equipment last week to increase our production and increase our volume,’ Wagenhals said.

Gun sales have also shot up:

The National Shooting Sports Foundation reports that gun sales are up 95 percent in the first half of 2020 compared to the same time frame in 2019. Ammunition sales have skyrocketed even more, up an astounding 139 percent over 2019.

Since these shortages have been going on for a while, what are the reasons? Some manufacturers are reluctant to build more plants because they are costly and can’t be completed quickly. They also wonder how long this surge in sales will continue, and if they can count on the demand to continue to grow. On the other hand, customers are likely becoming increasingly impatient with the lack of opportunity to practice and build their supplies.

The government and its positions are also a threat to gun owners. The Biden-Harris team has made it clear that they intend to restrict gun ownership even further than the laws already on the books. Prior to the election, the NRA called them the “most anti-gun presidential ticket in history.” The Democrats are still discussing a national registry, stricter purchasing requirements, and even a program for citizens to turn in their guns.

And there is the question about whether we can count on law enforcement to protect us. Will officers continue to be attacked by government agencies for simply doing their job, causing them to hesitate in potential shooting situations? Will civil unrest break out again as it did last summer? Will citizens be endangered not only by criminals but by naïve and novice gun owners—assuming they can find ammo?

Steps must be taken soon for us to be able to protect ourselves. Do you see resolutions for the lack of resources and the government’s determination to limit our rights?

Published in Guns
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  1. Mark Alexander Coolidge
    Mark Alexander
    @MarkAlexander

    We must learn to reload our own ammo:

    https://gunnewsdaily.com/beginners-guide-reloading-ammo/

     

    • #1
  2. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Mark Alexander (View Comment):

    We must learn to reload our own ammo:

    https://gunnewsdaily.com/beginners-guide-reloading-ammo/

     

    I’m incredibly lucky that a friend does reloads and occasionally helps us out. But the resulting ammunition can be dangerous, no matter how careful you are. My husband is meticulous, but he’s hesitant to take it on, and so am I. 

    • #2
  3. Kozak Member
    Kozak
    @Kozak

    Mark Alexander (View Comment):

    We must learn to reload our own ammo:

    https://gunnewsdaily.com/beginners-guide-reloading-ammo/

     

    Yeah.   I ordered reloading equipment.

    But I can’t find any primers. None.

    The only place I have been able to locate them is from Canadian or New Zealand websites that won’t ship to the US.

    • #3
  4. Kozak Member
    Kozak
    @Kozak

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Mark Alexander (View Comment):

    We must learn to reload our own ammo:

    https://gunnewsdaily.com/beginners-guide-reloading-ammo/

     

    I’m incredibly lucky that a friend does reloads and occasionally helps us out. But the resulting ammunition can be dangerous, no matter how careful you are. My husband is meticulous, but he’s hesitant to take it on, and so am I.

    I don’t know where you live, but I have had luck finding ammunition at local gun shows.  Not cheat but available.

    I grabbed 1000 rounds of 9mm target at the last one.

    • #4
  5. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Kozak (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Mark Alexander (View Comment):

    We must learn to reload our own ammo:

    https://gunnewsdaily.com/beginners-guide-reloading-ammo/

     

    I’m incredibly lucky that a friend does reloads and occasionally helps us out. But the resulting ammunition can be dangerous, no matter how careful you are. My husband is meticulous, but he’s hesitant to take it on, and so am I.

    I don’t know where you live, but I have had luck finding ammunition at local gun shows. Not cheat but available.

    I grabbed 1000 rounds of 9mm target at the last one.

    Jerry has found it at that price, but that’s outrageous. We’re not that desperate–yet. And I just bought a gun that takes .380s–even harder to find.

    • #5
  6. Hoyacon Member
    Hoyacon
    @Hoyacon

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

     

    Jerry has found it at that price, but that’s outrageous. We’re not that desperate–yet. And I just bought a gun that takes .380s–even harder to find.

    Yes–what I don’t understand is why the increases in price do not appear to have impacted demand.  I’m not really endorsing price increases–being an interested party–but it appears that pricing out a lot of people is the only way out of this.

     

    • #6
  7. Miffed White Male Member
    Miffed White Male
    @MiffedWhiteMale

    When I’ve been doing random checks in a couple different stores, it looks like shotgun shells are pretty readily available, but that’s about it.  I can’t even remember the last time I saw 9mm.  The gun range where I took my son for hunter safety last summer restricts their 9mm ammo sales to purchasers of new weapons, and for use on the range.

     

    I bought 400 rounds of .22 last September the day before I took my kid shooting at my BIL’s house, haven’t seen that in the stores since either.

    • #7
  8. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Hoyacon (View Comment):
    Yes–what I don’t understand is why the increases in price do not appear to have impacted demand. I’m not really endorsing price increases–being an interested party–but it appears that pricing out a lot of people is the only way out of this.

    I expect that there are so many new people buying that they don’t know what is reasonable to pay. I’m not clear on the part of your comment I put in bold. Are you saying that some people will opt out and simply not buy ammo? It seems like at some point people are going to be really angry with the manufacturers (regardless of their difficulty in building plants).

    • #8
  9. Fake John/Jane Galt Coolidge
    Fake John/Jane Galt
    @FakeJohnJaneGalt

    It will be interesting to see what Biden/Harris does.  One thought is that they will place a very large tax on ammo and starve people out.  Similar to what is being done to cigarettes and are doing for gas.

    Then there is the question of liability law.  If they change the liability law for the gun / ammo manufacturer the industry may collapse overnight.

    If they don’t wipe the industry out via law.  I still do not see prices going down.  Too many fearful about gun going away, law going away, police protection going away.

    • #9
  10. Kozak Member
    Kozak
    @Kozak

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Kozak (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Mark Alexander (View Comment):

    We must learn to reload our own ammo:

    https://gunnewsdaily.com/beginners-guide-reloading-ammo/

     

    I’m incredibly lucky that a friend does reloads and occasionally helps us out. But the resulting ammunition can be dangerous, no matter how careful you are. My husband is meticulous, but he’s hesitant to take it on, and so am I.

    I don’t know where you live, but I have had luck finding ammunition at local gun shows. Not cheat but available.

    I grabbed 1000 rounds of 9mm target at the last one.

    Jerry has found it at that price, but that’s outrageous. We’re not that desperate–yet. And I just bought a gun that takes .380s–even harder to find.

    Well I paid 85 cents a round, so not great, but not horrible either.  I don’t expect it will get cheaper soon.

    • #10
  11. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Fake John/Jane Galt (View Comment):

    It will be interesting to see what Biden/Harris does. One thought is that they will place a very large tax on ammo and starve people out. Similar to what is being done to cigarettes and are doing for gas.

    Then there is the question of liability law. If they change the liability law for the gun / ammo manufacturer the industry may collapse overnight.

    If they don’t wipe the industry out via law. I still do not see prices going down. Too many fearful about gun going away, law going away, police protection going away.

    These are important points, Fake John. The taxing on ammo is a concerning thought, as well as your other ideas. 

    • #11
  12. Hoyacon Member
    Hoyacon
    @Hoyacon

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Hoyacon (View Comment):
    Yes–what I don’t understand is why the increases in price do not appear to have impacted demand. I’m not really endorsing price increases–being an interested party–but it appears that pricing out a lot of people is the only way out of this.

    I expect that there are so many new people buying that they don’t know what is reasonable to pay. I’m not clear on the part of your comment I put in bold. Are you saying that some people will opt out and simply not buy ammo? It seems like at some point people are going to be really angry with the manufacturers (regardless of their difficulty in building plants).

    It’s just a standard supply and demand thought.  In theory, pricing should reflect the point at which maximum revenue is achieved.  If you’re selling everything you can make at .75 a widget, you raise the price incrementally.  At some point, there should be some widget buyers who are priced out of the market. ‘  

    • #12
  13. Kozak Member
    Kozak
    @Kozak

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):
    These are important points, Fake John. The taxing on ammo is a concerning thought, as well as your other ideas. 

    That of course will drive a black market in ammunition giving the BATF something to do when Marijuana is finally legalized on a Federal level….

    • #13
  14. DonG (2+2=5. Say it!) Coolidge
    DonG (2+2=5. Say it!)
    @DonG

    Kozak (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):
    These are important points, Fake John. The taxing on ammo is a concerning thought, as well as your other ideas.

    That of course will drive a black market in ammunition giving the BATF something to do when Marijuana is finally legalized on a Federal level….

    A black market only works when there is an artificially high price (taxes, legality,…).  The black market folks can sell for less unless only if they can get it from a manufacturer for less.   But nobody is able to get any kind of cheap ammo to undercut dealers.

    Maybe people will start up a reloading service for folks willing to save their brass.  Someone out there is willing to reload for 50 cents a cartridge.   

    • #14
  15. Fake John/Jane Galt Coolidge
    Fake John/Jane Galt
    @FakeJohnJaneGalt

    Kozak (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):
    These are important points, Fake John. The taxing on ammo is a concerning thought, as well as your other ideas.

    That of course will drive a black market in ammunition giving the BATF something to do when Marijuana is finally legalized on a Federal level….

    There is that.  If guns go illegal I will finance my retirement gunsmithing and reloading.  Everybody has a line that can not be crossed.  This is mine.  

    • #15
  16. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    Mark Alexander (View Comment):

    We must learn to reload our own ammo:

    https://gunnewsdaily.com/beginners-guide-reloading-ammo/

     

    It won’t help.  The shortage of ammo is due to a shortage of primers . . .

    • #16
  17. Tex929rr Coolidge
    Tex929rr
    @Tex929rr

    Reloading is not the least bit dangerous, especially with a single stage press, where you can inspect the rounds at every point of the process.  But reloading supplies are in just as short supply as ammunition.  This happened after the CT school shooting; there is a just a lag time until it hits reloading components. .380 (9×17) has had sort of a resurgence in the last few years; before that you could save a lot of money rolling your own. It’s generally true for less common calibers:  44 special, 41 magnum, etc.  

    Remember that these shortages are driven by demand. Prices won’t drop until there is not a (D) in the White House.  And that may not even matter as the BLM/Antifa summer of hate has scared even the most ardent lefties into buying firearms.  

    • #17
  18. Mark Alexander Coolidge
    Mark Alexander
    @MarkAlexander

    Kozak (View Comment):

    Mark Alexander (View Comment):

    We must learn to reload our own ammo:

    https://gunnewsdaily.com/beginners-guide-reloading-ammo/

     

    Yeah. I ordered reloading equipment.

    But I can’t find any primers. None.

    The only place I have been able to locate them is from Canadian or New Zealand websites that won’t ship to the US.

    Trying to make it at home could give a new meaning to “wreck room”.

    But this means there’s an opportunity for some inventor who can make a primer that leaves you with all your fingers.

    • #18
  19. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Tex929rr (View Comment):
    Reloading is not the least bit dangerous, especially with a single stage press, where you can inspect the rounds at every point of the process.

    But what if a novice misses a problem? And can’t there be a problem firing some reloads? I trust my reload source, but I wouldn’t trust just anyone.

    • #19
  20. Tex929rr Coolidge
    Tex929rr
    @Tex929rr

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Tex929rr (View Comment):
    Reloading is not the least bit dangerous, especially with a single stage press, where you can inspect the rounds at every point of the process.

    But what if a novice misses a problem? And can’t there be a problem firing some reloads? I trust my reload source, but I wouldn’t trust just anyone.

    I trust my reloaded ammunition way more than reloads purchased someplace.  I’ve handled every case four times, every bullet once and seen every powder charge before the bullet is seated.

    Lots of ranges ban reloads because of people purchasing budget reloads from dodgy places.  Most people I know who load their own are very careful.

    It’s actually a lot simpler than you think. Are there potential dangers? Sure.  One example is that .40 SW ammunition is high pressure (basically a +P load) and cases shouldn’t be reloaded too many times, whereas you can reload the same 45 ACP case a dozen times safely.  Don’t load to the limits of a given case (reloading data is widely available) and take close care and you will be fine.  This is all for straight wall pistol ammunition; rifle ammunition is a whole nother story.

    It’s sort of a moot point anyway because components are so hard to come by.

    • #20
  21. 9thDistrictNeighbor Member
    9thDistrictNeighbor
    @9thDistrictNeighbor

    We were out west in February.  You had to call around and stores had limits on what you could buy, but we were able to find 9mm practice ammo.  The price in Idaho was less than half the price in Salt Lake City.  Ammo is really hard to come by in Chicagoland.  When you do find some, it is really expensive and you have to buy it yesterday before someone else does.  People get tired of fielding the calls asking if the truck came in and what was on it.

    We ordered a shotgun last year.  Just a cute pump action 20 gauge, because I have shoulder issues and we also figured it would be easier to come by.  We get laughed at when we ask if it came in yet.

    • #21
  22. Kozak Member
    Kozak
    @Kozak

    DonG (2+2=5. Say it!) (View Comment):

    Kozak (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):
    These are important points, Fake John. The taxing on ammo is a concerning thought, as well as your other ideas.

    That of course will drive a black market in ammunition giving the BATF something to do when Marijuana is finally legalized on a Federal level….

    A black market only works when there is an artificially high price (taxes, legality,…). The black market folks can sell for less unless only if they can get it from a manufacturer for less. But nobody is able to get any kind of cheap ammo to undercut dealers.

    Maybe people will start up a reloading service for folks willing to save their brass. Someone out there is willing to reload for 50 cents a cartridge.

    Things get “diverted” all the time from normal supply chains when a black market is profitable.   Like when cigarette taxes are raised to ridiculous levels. Or see any valuable commodity in the former Soviet Union.

    • #22
  23. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    Kozak (View Comment):

    DonG (2+2=5. Say it!) (View Comment):

    Kozak (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):
    These are important points, Fake John. The taxing on ammo is a concerning thought, as well as your other ideas.

    That of course will drive a black market in ammunition giving the BATF something to do when Marijuana is finally legalized on a Federal level….

    A black market only works when there is an artificially high price (taxes, legality,…). The black market folks can sell for less unless only if they can get it from a manufacturer for less. But nobody is able to get any kind of cheap ammo to undercut dealers.

    Maybe people will start up a reloading service for folks willing to save their brass. Someone out there is willing to reload for 50 cents a cartridge.

    Things get “diverted” all the time from normal supply chains when a black market is profitable. Like when cigarette taxes are raised to ridiculous levels. Or see any valuable commodity in the former Soviet Union.

    Can I buy a single in .40?

    • #23
  24. Randy Webster Member
    Randy Webster
    @RandyWebster

    Mark Alexander (View Comment):

    We must learn to reload our own ammo:

    https://gunnewsdaily.com/beginners-guide-reloading-ammo/

     

    That’s all well and good if you can get the primers, powder, cases, and bullets.  Which you can’t.

    • #24
  25. Randy Webster Member
    Randy Webster
    @RandyWebster

    We have roughly 18k rounds.  I bought it before the shortage, not to hoard, but because it’s cheaper in bulk.  I’m glad I did, now.

    • #25
  26. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    So let me see if I can summarize what we’ve learned together:

    1. Reloads can be made safely if you make them yourself. But there are no primers. Also, how much time does it take to make a decent about of ammo, say 500 rounds. if you want to practice?
    2. There’s no indication in the near future for ammo to be made available.
    3. There’s also a shortage of guns.
    4. The government is likely going to make it even harder or more expensive to get guns and ammo.
    5. It’s conceivable the government will try to enact a national gun registry and they will have our names.
    6. There are no plans for expansion on production for the foreseeable future.

    Do I have that right?

    • #26
  27. Randy Webster Member
    Randy Webster
    @RandyWebster

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    So let me see if I can summarize what we’ve learned together:

    1. Reloads can be made safely if you make them yourself. But there are no primers. Also, how much time does it take to make a decent about of ammo, say 500 rounds. if you want to practice?
    2. There’s no indication in the near future for ammo to be made available.
    3. There’s also a shortage of guns.
    4. The government is likely going to make it even harder or more expensive to get guns and ammo.
    5. It’s conceivable the government will try to enact a national gun registry and they will have our names.
    6. There are no plans for expansion on production for the foreseeable future.

    Do I have that right?

    There’s a fairly extensive article in the March 2021 issue of American Rifleman on just this: “Where’s all the Ammo?”

    • #27
  28. Maguffin Inactive
    Maguffin
    @Maguffin

    So, I just recently took an intro pistol class and have been to the range a few times now (shot .22 rifle and 5.56 a long time ago but never pistol – probably need a refresher on the rifle frankly).  Been renting pistols to try and figure out what I should get.  Finally figured out that my decision was worthless so asked for help at the range and think I know what to get if I can find it.

    Point is that they will sell a couple of boxes of 9mm when you rent since they only want you shooting the ammo they pick.  Shot 30 rounds today, have 70 to keep.  And the price was cheaper than I see elsewhere.  Including the price of the rental.

    So, get to play around with some different guns and get some ammo?  What could be better than that?

     

    • #28
  29. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    Randy Webster (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    So let me see if I can summarize what we’ve learned together:

    1. Reloads can be made safely if you make them yourself. But there are no primers. Also, how much time does it take to make a decent about of ammo, say 500 rounds. if you want to practice?
    2. There’s no indication in the near future for ammo to be made available.
    3. There’s also a shortage of guns.
    4. The government is likely going to make it even harder or more expensive to get guns and ammo.
    5. It’s conceivable the government will try to enact a national gun registry and they will have our names.
    6. There are no plans for expansion on production for the foreseeable future.

    Do I have that right?

    There’s a fairly extensive article in the March 2021 issue of American Rifleman on just this: “Where’s all the Ammo?”

    Basically there is not enough being made the manufacturers don’t care? This is gone on too long not to be deliberate. 

    • #29
  30. aardo vozz Member
    aardo vozz
    @aardovozz

    Fake John/Jane Galt (View Comment):

    It will be interesting to see what Biden/Harris does. One thought is that they will place a very large tax on ammo and starve people out. Similar to what is being done to cigarettes and are doing for gas.

    Then there is the question of liability law. If they change the liability law for the gun / ammo manufacturer the industry may collapse overnight.

    If they don’t wipe the industry out via law. I still do not see prices going down. Too many fearful about gun going away, law going away, police protection going away.

    I don’t think they’ll wipe out the industry even with law. Google “ gun running “.

    • #30