Ammo shortage
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Thread: Ammo shortage

  1. #1
    Senior Member NGF Addict! California Kowboy's Avatar
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    Oct 2008
    Paso Robles CA

    Arrg Ammo shortage

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    John writes:

    How about some Information on why there is NO ammunition available? Is it a Govt. conspiracy? Just a “Normal” shortage? How come Wall mart, Cabalas, On line dealers, etc has NONE? It sure would be nice if TRUTH, gave us some believable answers, you could ask Manufacturers, WHY , WHEN, & HOW MUCH WILL HIT THE SHELVES

    No, this isn’t a normal shortage. We’ve seen something close to this before, but it’s never been this bad. Here’s what’s going on . . .

    For the last few years, the number of gun owners has been on the rise. Increased gun ownership means more ammunition being fired, and the increased demand meant that the existing supply of ammunition was insufficient. Manufacturers were already producing for the Iraq and Afghanistan wars (which was taking a ton of ammo) and as such, any slack there may have been in the system was taken up by those conflicts. We’ve been seeing the effect of the increased demand as the price of ammo has slowly been climbing, especially during the first Obama election stampede in 2008 when prices went through the roof.

    That’s the last time we really saw a run on ammunition remotely as bad as the current state of affairs. With manufacturers busy producing for the war effort, there wasn’t enough slack in the supply chain to allow for the ammunition hoarding that took place. And, as a consequence, ammo became scarce and expensive.

    When the wars started slowing down, the extra ammunition flooded the civilian market. Ammunition prices bottomed out, and especially 5.56 ammo was dirt cheap. As demand slackened, the manufacturers responded by slowing down manufacturing as well. Production lines that were running 24/7 went back to 9 to 5 shifts.

    When Barack Obama was re-elected, there was a mini panic buying spree. But this time, the gun stores and distributors were ready. Remembering how crazy things were during the last Obama election, they ordered extra ammunition ahead of time and there was plenty available on the shelves. The demand by gun owners was sufficiently satiated by the available supply, and life returned to normal pretty quickly.

    Thanks to the mini-panic, the ready reserve of ammunition was completely gone. Manufacturers had nothing in stock, and distributors were sold out. While the lack of ammunition available might be concerning to some, seeing nothing on the horizon, manufacturers continued their slacked production schedule. Since everyone who wanted ammunition had bought it already during the panic, demand was way down and they figured that they could gradually re-fill the reserves.

    For a few weeks, life was good. Distributors were starting to build up their ready reserve of ammunition once again, and store shelves had ammunition in stock at normal prices. Then, Sandy Hook happened. Almost overnight, the demand for ammunition shot past the peak of the mini-panic from a month before, completely draining the ammunition reserves of manufacturers and distributors. The shelves were literally empty.

    Right now, we’re dealing with the aftermath. Ammunition manufacturers quickly ramped back up to 100% production, running their lines day and night, but that’s proving to be too slow to replenish the supplies of the distributors and gun stores. Ammunition is being sold as fast as it can be manufactured. There is no slack in the distribution system whatsoever.

    Normally, there’s a built-in relief valve for panic buying. Namely, people run out of money and then stop buying stuff. People would still want ammo, but they wouldn’t have the money to get it. Unfortunately, this has happened at the absolute worst time — tax refund season. The government is handing people tons of spare cash, which they are dumping immediately on more ammo. Which in turn leads to the ammunition scarcity.

    Since ammunition manufacturers are producing at 100% capacity and distributors are selling what they get as soon as they get it, that means that distributors are continuously adding new orders to the queue. And the queue continues to grow, since orders aren’t being filled fast enough.

    Let me put it this way. Right now, ATK (manufacturer of Federal ammunition) has an order queue that will take them three years to fill. That’s for orders through today. The line will inevitably grow tomorrow.

    (That info about the orders brought to you by TTAG informant El Grande Queso.)

    As the demand for ammunition slows down, we’ll see more availability and lower prices. There’s a massive cliff on ammunition prices coming as market saturation (or rather market bankruptcy) is reached, and life will once again be good. But for right now, it’s still insane. And showing no signs of stopping anytime soon.
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  2. #2
    A BORG of the HIVE locutus's Avatar
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    Mar 2013
    high up in the Rockies


    Finally! Common sense and no conspiracy theories!

    But folks---WHEN IT COMES BACK, STOCKPILE! These shortages will happen again. And again. Ad infinitum. So buy up a good bit when it becomes readily available.
    Take care of your wepon and your weapon will take care of you

    My heroes don't wear capes, they wear dog tags.

  3. #3
    member NGF Addict! highboy's Avatar
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    Dec 2012


    I'd have to agree with that summary of the current situation. I recently got rid of some excess 9mm and was shocked at people tripping over themselves and outrageous offers to get it. Apparently 124gr +p federal hst has become a bit of a unicorn in the market.
    Nature intended me for the tranquil pursuits of science by rendering them my supreme delight. But the enormities of the times in which I have lived have forced me to take a part in resisting them, and to commit myself on the boisterous ocean of political passions..... Thomas Jefferson

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  5. #4
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    Sep 2007
    Mobile, AL.


    What, you were NOT expecting an Obama II backlash this time? I started up refilling all my reloading supplies in November, thinking the usual American mindless sheeple would re-elect him
    People think I'm paranoid because I have guns. If I have guns, what do I have to be paranoid about?

  6. #5
    Senior Member NGF Addict! GTX63's Avatar
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    Jan 2013


    And when Biden takes over in 2016 you'll be limited to a box of #8 per quarter.

  7. #6
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    May 2008


    I'd have to say that the OP (by CK) is on the money. It makes the most sense. I don't think the gov is buying all the bullets so we can't get them and so they can kill us without resistance. I' don't think I'm naive, and I don't buy the conspiracy theory. The OP hit the nail on the head. The pro gun people like you and I are going through a tough time lately, but I think this tribulation will make America a more pro gun place when the dust settles. Regardless of all of the hype and anti gun momentum with Obidma and Newtown, there's bound to be a lot more guns and ammo out there when it's all said and done. It will be like trying to outlaw fireworks on the fourth of July. It will not be worth legislating against or enforcing because the will of the people will prevail. We will have guns and ammo!


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