Where is it all going

Several recent articles I have seen in the general press indicate that all ammunition manufacturers are now producing on 3 shifts, 24/7. I was in the local Academy store this afternoon (I have not been there for several months), and I asked the guy in the gun area about .22 ammunition. He replied that they have been out of stock on .22s (and some other calibers) for over three weeks and had no idea when they will get more. At the gun show last weekend, I again saw cartons of .22 LR priced at $100 or more (along with cartons of 1000 primers at about the same price). So, if everyone is producing at maximum capacity, where is all the stuff going? I would think an outfit the size of Academy would get some delivery priority from the manufacturers.

Dennis, I work at a local gun store, and it goes right out the door, instantly.

We get deliveries every day, and people literally hang out at the store and wait for them. They don’t even hit shelves, they go straight into the customers’ hands.

People are whipped up into a frenzy, they’re buying every military caliber (incl. .22) they can get.

The view over here is that ammo hoarding has become obsessive in the US. Its very dangerous because the underlying insecurities ( eg preppers, mad militias etc) can become very self fulfilling. There are people out there who get off on this sort of thing. They can’t wait.

The other thing that is dangerous for the industry is what will happen to all the production lines when (please god) nothing bad happens and everybody is sitting on enough ammo to last three generation without buying another round.

I could use some small pistol primers and No.11 percussion caps, but for the most part, I am still shooting the ammo that I stocked up for Y2K. I always wonder if the ammo companies are working around the clock. I think it would be in their best interests to keep the stocks a little on the short side for as long as possible.

It will calm down eventually and there will be a glut of shooting ammo on the resale market. I haven’t seen any affect on the collector market, and SLICS seemed to operate as business as usual with no more traffic there than is typical.

Although I need no shooting ammo and haven’t bought any for years, it is getting annoying seeing nothing but .480 Ruger and 7.62 Nagant on shelves at Cabelas when much of my collecting is from new stock and things like the Hornady .410 Critical Defense and Nosler Defense loads are constantly delayed.

For those of us old enough think back to the 1970’s up to 1980 when the Hunt Brothers started buying up silver to try and corner the silver market. Silver went from $1.95 in the early 70s to over $50 in 1979. But in 1980 the Federal Reserve stepped in and silver commodity prices fell. Some in the precious metal arena saw a potential for big profits and seized the moment in 1979 – 1980. A piranha like feeding frenzy for silver had developed in 1979. So some holders of silver bullion began to have ‘special sales’. The lasting image I have from this is news pictures of hoards of people trampling each other when stores had ‘sales’ of silver bullion coins and bars at around $80 an ounce. Then the market price fell which left some people broke, some people very rich and a lot of people with bullion silver that was worth a fraction of what they paid for it.

My guess is we are in a somewhat similar situation with ammunition: supply verses demand with some profit taking mixed in.


Gotta Comment! Companies are highly incentivized to make their profit now when there are shortages and prices are sky high. They are better off with the profits in retained earnings instead of anticipated future sales which are unlikely to achieve the current profit margins.

On the way to SLICS a few weeks ago we stopped at a big gun store in Tennessee that usually has 25-30 different 9mms in stock. They had ONE brand of 9mm in stock, for almost $40 a box, and a limit of 2 boxes a customer! The good and bad news was that it was a company that had just begun using their own headstamp so I had to buy it.

Vince, I don’t see the dangers of ammo hoarding you do. All of US collectors are in fact ammo hoarders and in 50+ years of collecting I’ve not seen one cartridge collector commit a gun crime. The crazies have already hoarded their doomsday ammo long ago and if anything, are selling off a bit to make some easy profit. My personal opinion is that the British Press is a bit crazy on this subject. I know the Economist, which is tremendously insightful on so many things, prints absolute trash on guns and ammo, including Internet Stories that have been completely discredited. Their latest on the UN resolution is an example. The last time the UN surfaced this type proposal we got the IAA certified as an NGO by the UN and submitted a paper indicating how the wording back then would drastically impact cartridge collecting and remove the predominate source of Subject Matter Expertise used by Crime Labs and similar organizations. Much is this is because over 95% of the reference material available for ammunition identification is written or compiled by cartridge collectors.

There is a good side of all this! The last time this happened, when President Obama was first elected, the ammo dealers in the US went out searching world wide for 9mm ammo (as well as other calibers) and stuff showed up on the market that we would have never seen otherwise. So stay on the lookout!

I have taken the press to task-the US press is almost as off base as the British press-but have tried not to make any political statements. If the moderators do see political statements then please delete this post!


To attempt and clarify the general rules about being on & off topic with regard to politics and ammo in the forum:

Commenting on the political behavior of other groups, the press, the government and such, in so far as how it relates to cartridge supply & demand or how it affects the hobby or your personal collecting is ok.

Commenting about politics at-will as to one’s own personal beliefs and carrying on at length about personal opinions and agreeing / disagreeing with general ideologies while only being very vaguely related to ammo is not ok. The other general forum rules about tone and relevance apply as always

So staying on ammo-specific commentary with notations of political happenings is fine. We’ve all been guilty of getting bent out of shape and posting something questionable on this forum or others at some point and it’s no big deal. Deletions should never be taken personally and is mostly done to remain consistent with regard to other users who have asked about, or who have had similar posts deleted.