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How Manufacturers Are Dealing with the Ammo Shortage

by James Tarr   |  April 2nd, 2013 134


The gun-owning American public has seen and been through panic buying before, but never on a level compared to what we are seeing now. At SHOT Show last January, I asked all the black rifle makers if they had any product beyond what was being displayed on the walls of their booths. Their response? No.

I also asked ammunition makers if they had any ammunition left on the shelves.

“Sure,” Steve Hornady told me with a laugh. “I’ve got .470 and .500 Nitro.”

Jeff Hoffman, president of Black Hills Ammunition, pretty much told me the same thing. “We have a little bit of the hunting calibers on hand, like .270, but everything else is gone. It’s only skipping once on its way out the door.”

Why is it so much worse this time? The current situation was not caused by internal forces, but external. The sole reason for the current panic is politics. This new politically induced buying panic is much worse than in previous years because the anti-gun politicians have been pushing so much harder in their efforts to openly ban anything and everything that has a trigger—not just “evil assault weapons.”

During the last panic, “military-style” rifles were in high demand and hard to come by. Certain calibers were nearly impossible to find—9mm, .45 ACP and .223, for example—as were primers. As bad as things have been in the past, they don’t compare to what we are currently seeing.

Not only can’t you find a “military-style” semi-auto rifle on a shelf anywhere, but consumers have also been buying semi-auto shotguns, tactical bolt-action rifles and just about any type of high-capacity semi-auto pistol on the market. Nobody was ever panic-buying handguns before. In addition to the above popular military calibers being hard to locate, consumers have been buying every centerfire caliber available—some areas of the country have even seen a run on .22 LR!

During the last panic—when ammo and components were in such short supply—many people started throwing out conspiracy theories. Ammo makers were deliberately making less ammo, or hoarding it to drive up prices. That was not the case; the fact of the matter was avid shooters and politically astute gun owners were worried about not being able to get the ammo and components they needed, so they bought a lot more than they usually did.

So why is it worse this time around?

First, ammunition manufacturers have been running at or near capacity for at least 10 years. Some of their production is still earmarked for military contracts, even though the U.S. military’s presence overseas is being reduced. But the fact of the matter is most ammo makers have barely recovered from the last ammo-buying panic. Nobody who makes ammo has had it sitting around getting dusty on their shelves. They were barely able to keep up with commercial demand before the country went into panic-buying mode.

If the demand is so great, why aren’t Winchester, Remington and other companies expanding so they can make and sell even more ammo? It’s not that easy. First, to expand any business requires a lot of time and money, and there are never any guarantees. Who’s to say next year nobody buys any ammo because everybody bought it this year? In a business as political as the gun and ammo industry, sales spikes are common.

Hornady gets those questions so much they have a section on their website that answers a lot of the frequently asked questions.

As to why they can’t just “make more,” Hornady’s response is simple: “We’ve been steadily growing our production for a long time, especially the last five years. We’ve added presses, lathes, CNC equipment, people and space. Many popular items are produced 24 hours a day. Several hundred Hornady employees work overtime every week to produce as much as safely possible. If there is any question about that—please take a tour of the factory. You’ll be amazed at what you see.”

As Hornady’s Neal Emery told me recently, “We are producing as much as we can, much more than last year, which was a lot more than the year before, etc. No one wants to ship more during this time than we do.”

That’s not to say ammunition makers aren’t expanding when and where they can. Black Hills Ammunition recently moved into a much larger facility. Remington has been toying around with the idea of expanding their ammunition-making capabilities for quite some time.

“Even though we’re in the middle of panic buying, we don’t see the demand for ammunition going away any time soon,” Keith Enlow, Freedom Group’s senior vice president and ammunition manager, told a group of writers recently.

Remington’s official line on their current ammunition production is as follows: “Remington is at full capacity at this time in a majority of categories of ammunition. We are continuing to look at how to increase capacity and supply our ammunition products to the various channels of distribution/sales that we support.”

Second, during the last big panic, it was really only the avid shooters or politically active gun owners who saw a threat and responded with hoarding—excuse me, “bulk purchasing.” This time, it appears anyone who owned a gun perceived a threat, and anybody who didn’t own a gun—but thought it might be a good idea to own one—not only went out and bought a gun, but as much ammo as they could afford.

That’s another point. Since Obama took office, there have been 65 million NICS checks done. Even if only two-thirds of those resulted in guns bought, that equates to 40 million new guns in the hands of consumers. All those new guns need to be fed, in addition to all the others still in the hands of consumers.

Is there a way to prevent such a shortage in the future? The only way to sidetrack panic buying/hoarding is to have a huge surplus of ammo on the market—which would probably drive the price down. Ammunition makers aren’t keeping supplies in reserve to drive the price up; honestly, at this point they could charge whatever they wanted—and they would get it. As Emery told me, “As far as preventing this again, we don’t have much to comment. We will continue to grow and expand our capacity to meet high demand.”

I think the current situation is best summed up by what I heard a clerk in my local gun store say to a customer: “We are not experiencing a gun or ammo shortage. We are experiencing a customer surplus.”

  • Edgar Stephan

    This doesn’t address the non-importation as in the past. In past ammo shortages we imported ammo. Now where are the imports??? Why is the State Department not allowing ammo to be imported into the country?

    • sardiverdave

      Do you really need an answer?

    • J Merc Lee

      Finally someone said what I been saying since all this crazy b.s happened. There really is no shortage! The sick-o anti-firearm commie pieces of trash are literally holding it up at the shipping docks and also buying it out. You can count on it! News articles like this, media, politicians, everyone can say whatever view/excuse they like. There really is no ammo shortage. It’s all BullS***. There’s even people going right up to DHS officers face demanding where the ammo is, asking questions like: O.k so there’s an ammo shortage? Right, where’s all the .22 ammo, are you people being issued .22’s now? How about old surplus ammo ww2 rifles etc. Are you truly being issued an oldskool 8mm mauser 7mm bolt action rifles now, 7.62×39 ammo is gone, so your being issued AK”s now??? etc. etc. etc…? So wheres the ammo for it? Its funny that it happened alllll at the same time as well… just some how allllll the ammo of every flipping caliber for every dang different type of firearm, even freakin reloading, brass, powder is almost all gone as well, allll at the same time? Alllll the imports are truly bought out? Does anyone have a clue how much ammo is really out there? Think about it! Like I said, its allllll BULLS***! But luckily I’m always well stocked for every situation, be it firearms, ammo, food, water, meds, solar power, batteries, etc. And they say being fully prepared for anything is paranoia… whom comes knocking at my door when a hurricane hits, as I got my wave radio set up and my BBQ flames going….

      • Marty Watkins

        Your certifiable ha. Of course it all vanished at once. Because all the nut jobs PANICKED at the same time. Average portrait of an American gun owner: Shotgun, random caliber handgun or two, .22lr, and maybe that surplus rifle they thought would be cool at Big5. When the hammer dropped, EVERYONE like ^this^ went and bought whatever ammo they had guns for, and in some instances, bought ammo in OTHER calibers as a hedge/insurance/investment.

        • meyati

          Don’t call me a nut job. I have some rifles and revolvers that we bought from ship’s stores during the Nixon administration. How many guns do I need? One more.

        • Joe

          Your assessment on the “average American gun owner” couldn’t have sounded more self righteous. I’m sure you are so much more superior than the average American gun owner. You sound like the guy who is so proud of the fact that you don’t collect just baseball cards but also basketball, hockey, football, golf, NASCAR, Ping pong, and Pokemon. Who gives a crap what the reasons are for the Average owner…….be thankful they aren’t ant-gun owners. Geesh.

        • John Reynolds

          it all started because of the liberal nut jobs in Washington DC.

    • doggypoos

      Because Obama has bowed down to the UN

  • barry

    Untill the manufacturers see that when they add nee lines that they will stay at full production they probably won’t.. utilization is the name of the game in manufacturing…. i wonder how many have looked into retooling some lines in order to crank out more of one caliber

  • Francis Borek

    The ammo is out there, it’s just on for around 5 times it’s original price!

  • Kevin Brown

    I think the bulk ammo purchases aren’t done out of fear that government will take it off the shelves, but out of fear that other consumers will buy it all up if they themselves do not. It’s a snowballing effect. I enjoy occasionally taking my .45 revolver out for a few hours of target shooting but now I can’t because someone else has decided they need to fill their kitchen pantry with hundreds or thousands of .45 ACP rounds. Unfortunately, the casual shooters such as myself who don’t freak out every time the words, “gun control” are used by a politician, are denied something we enjoy because of someone’s fear.

    I can only imagine how too many in this country will react should a politician ever say the words, “food shortage”.

    • pierre_noyed

      Well, I consider myself a casual shooter. I got caught by the last shortage and couldn’t go to the range much so, after it was over, I started a new policy of keeping at least three range trips of ammo on hand at all times. I go to the range and shoot some up, I go the next week and buy replacement ammo.

      This time around, it seemed quite a bit worse so, before I could use up what I had I got into reloading in case I couldn’t get factory loads to replace what I was shooting at the range. Hey, if you can’t take reasonable precautions, quit whining or quit shooting.

      • Martin Shuster

        I got into reloading recently too , but even those supplies are flying of the shelves.

        • pierre_noyed

          Oh, most definitely. But, it does give me more options. All I have to do is police my brass at the range and I can reload them if necessary. I picked up a few pounds of powder and some primers over the last few months. That, and my collected brass, gives me the difficult components. Bullets don’t seem to be as much of a problem unless I get real picky.

          Now, I didn’t get into reloading because of the shortage, I just moved up the timetable and added to what I originally planned to reload for. I got into reloading because I have a few WWI/WWII firearms that are a little difficult to find ammo for except by mail-order or at the gun shows. Gun shows have mostly gotten stupid-expensive and there have been rumblings about some states, and possibly the fed, sticking their noses into the on-line ammo business. As I said, “options”.

    • Martin Shuster

      I couldn’t agree more with you Kevin. I think people just need to calm down and get back to normal purchasing habits and this while eventually settle down . Right noew , everyone is just driving up the prices.

    • Mark Rutkowski

      I flip out when I hear “bacon shortage!”

      • wing_ding

        WHy’s that? Afford no more “porking” for you?

      • Mike Bussard

        When they pry my cold, dead, greasy fingers from around it.

    • meyati

      We limit our time at the range to conserve our ammo. We have several guns of different calibers. Fortunately, I like to shop online. I’m just trying to keep enough in stock to go out once a week. I’ll tell you, no rapid fire for us right now.

    • Rea1ityCheck

      We would all starve to death because the food nuts would buy it all up. Love it

    • Fred Oravetz

      You are correct. The last time I decided to stand in line for a box of 22 ammunition an hour before opening at our Bass Pro Shop store one guy told me he already had 10,000 rounds, another said he had 30,000. I told them both they were insane. One of them then proceeded to explain that “the 22 round will provide for his family if the crap ever hits the fan and we have to head for the hills”. I told him that if we have to head for the hills, 3 million people where I live….all edible game will be dead in a few hours. A whole lot of these people are really quite dumb.

      • No need for a shallow grave

        You haven’t thought this through. There will be 3 million “edible game” elements, and you will either eat or be eaten.
        Count on it.

      • Deez

        You really think 3 million people are going to just suddenly know how to hunt? You are a special snowflake.

    • (^_^) Unknown Patriot

      Fools Follow, Where Wise Men Lead, Buy More Bullets !

  • Steve Randolph

    Number one, all manufacturers should refuse to sell to the federal govt.


      Hard to do when DHS is buying 2.3 Billion rounds of hollow point.


        Just Say NO!
        Or in my own little meek words, Hell No!

      • Alex

        Not true, they placed a bid for 2.3 million not a purchase, even if the purchase went through it is against the law to use hollowpoints according to the Geneva convention, use would have to be strictly for training.

        • Edmund Charles


          Negative! The Geneva convention applies to the military forces engaged in combat and other duties, it DOES NOT apply to police officers or local governments! BTW- the Geneva ‘restriction’ on hallow-point ala the ‘dum-dum’ after the plant/region in India that made these bullets for the British- arose out of a political issue that was not altogether as nobel that many may be apt to think. The US and British governments, if fact, wanted to retain the use of expanding bullets due to their experiences in their colonies. The other European countries that were part of the Geneva discussions, however, were not recently at war and therefore saw not need for such horrific items. Ironically, the Geneva did not outlaw poison gas, that was to kill so many in WWI. Politics is an ironic beast, as it does not rest nor is it predicated on logic.

          • meyati

            During ‘Nam the police were using tear gas on demonstrators, while the military was official prohibited from using it. The chant became-to the police-You are worse to us than the military is to the Viet Cong. My family served in ‘Nam, so I didn’t sympathize with demonstrators.



    • Brian Jones

      Money Talks Dumbass.

    • sixgun

      You can’t refuse to sell ammunition to the Federal Government. All they have to do is apply a DX rating to the purchase order and a company has no choice but to accept the purchase order and fulfill it as its #1 priority. All other orders are pushed off the assembly line. Its the law look it up.

  • James Winkelman

    I wonder if this is the start of the U.N.s implementation of ammo
    controls. They don’t need your guns if you don’t have ammo. It is
    stealth confiscation if every round has a paper trail and if you can’t
    account for it your going to jail. Think they can’t do it? Look at the
    paperwork and procedures for rounds for cannons. People do use live
    rounds all the time for avalanche control. Just how easy do you think it
    is to get a license for a live 75mm cannon round and how about that
    200$ tax stamp per round? Connecticut is already passing a law that
    requires a registration and permit for ammo purchases.

    • doggypoos

      Its how the Nazi’s lost the war. All those huge tanks they had meant nothing without fuel. They were just huge paper weights out in the open with no where to go.No fuel no tank threat, no ammo no weapon threat. It been about pleasing the banks and the UN and Obama just threw liberty’s panties at the UN.

  • Feydor

    Ok..this may be rant.. but any truth to this ? Email body below.
    You may not know this but George Soros owns most of the ammunition manufacturing companies and many arms manufacturers as well. He’s selling ONLY to the government right now, per WH & DHS orders. My son works for ATK, who owns just about all the rest of the ammunition companies that Soros doesn’t own. He tells me that ATK has been ordered by the federal government to curtail sales of ammunition, primers and powder to the retail market. What you see currently on the shelves is old stock and what’s left in the warehouses since the CT shootings and new stock will NOT be appearing anytime soon. ATK and Soros’ companies have more than enough government contracts to keep them going for years to come. Like Soros’ companies, ATK is a huge defense contractor and they’ve been told to sell ONLY to the DOD, TSA, FBI, DHS and local/federal law enforcement agencies. This is VERY scary and VERY ominous for what’s coming down the pike in the future.
    My son has seen the proposed pricing schedule for Federal, CCI, Hornady, Remington, Winchester and several other ammunition manufacturer’s lines of ammunition, components, reloading equipment (ATK owns Outers, RCBS, Hoppe and a host of others) and he’s flabbergasted! As an example, when the sales of .22 LR bulk ammo resumes, the pricing will be over $50.00 for a 535-round Value Pak! That’s nearly a dime-a-shot!! They’re also going to raise the prices by 300 – 400% on dies, presses, powder measures and the like. He’s in management there at ATK in Salt Lake City and they’re NOT happy with it at all! They firmly believe this will basically shut-down the civilian market while leaving the government as the only purchaser of their products. He saw the government pricing for the centerfire ammunition they’ve been stockpiling and their prices have actually dropped from a year ago so the feds are buying this stuff REAL cheap while we can’t even get our hands on it at all!
    Something I’ve always said since Obama came onto the scene in 2008 is that, even if they can’t actually ban the weapons themselves, the government will make it nearly impossible for us civilians to feed them with ammo, reloading components and the like. The WH doesn’t HAVE to actually ban the guns, as Biden said in one of his many faux pas, foot-in-the-mouth, Freudian slip speeches he’s famous for making. ” All we have to do is to make it too expensive to use them and the public will eventually give them back to us if we offer an attractive price for these weapons”. What’s an “attractive price” – a $10.00 Walmart gift card for a $3,000.00 custom hunting rifle? Those were his EXACT words in one of the speeches he gave to the freshman congressmen last week! Remember, Biden was one of the architects of the Clinton gun ban of years ago. I think he’s as dangerous to the Second Amendment as Obama is, maybe more so, because he’s so stupid and doesn’t know the muzzle of a gun from the butt…
    Feel free to pass this on so gun owners will be aware of what we’re up against. I doubt the NRA can do anything about it, IMHO. La Pierre can get on all the talk shows he’s invited to and cry the blues about the assault weapons laws that are forthcoming from the WH but the real crux of the matter will be whether or not we’ll ever be able to purchase ammunition (at all) or, if we can, what we’ll be paying for it. As an aside, here, I deal a LOT with Midsouth Shooters Supply for my reloading components. Two weeks ago I ordered 500 cases each of .45 Casull, .44 Magnum, .357 Magnum and 9mm Parabellum. I was told everything I had ordered was out-of-stock and no in-stock delivery date was being forecast. They wouldn’t even accept a backorder for this stuff! Think the government isn’t manipulating it? Think again, my friend…

    • Harrison Hall

      no truth to the soros angle. hedge funds and private equity however do own most us ammo companies.

      • PatriotSpirit76

        I’ve always wondered why gun owners, clubs, and organizations don’t have more stock and investment in the very companies that they all depend on for their equipment. If they had reasonable minimum buys I’d put some money into sporting goods stocks.

      • Tom Robinson

        And doesn’t Soros own the hedge funds like Cerebus who owns Freedom Arms?

      • Peter Furman

        If that’s true then those hedge fund cannibals are smart. The gun industry has been on fire,I mean 4 alarm fire since Obama was elected!

        They suffered during the ban but have been “gret investments for those,especially the early investors who have made as much a 5x and more!

        • alwaysthink

          And the Romney’s are laughing all the way to their off shore accounts with the profits they are getting from all the panic buying.

    • Scott Snoopy

      of course you know that all the bunk about Soros “owning” firearms companies has been hashed over and over; proven not to be the case.

  • Kyle

    I’ve been picking up .22LR ammo about once a month at a little store here. Usually I get about 150 rounds at a time and it’s about $25 just for that. I have noticed a lot of 7.62 ammo though, must be ok for the SKS fanboys.

    • Raymond Wagoner

      i’ve been getting 4 boxes of 50 every friday for 2.99 a box. limit is 4 boxes or i bulk of 525..bad thing is have to arrive 2 hrs before opening to be first in and they only get about 10 boxes of 50….Still think the manager is keeping all 22 ammo and selling it himself.

  • PatriotSpirit76

    If there is a surplus of customers why didn’t the ammo manufacturers take that into consideration as the industry showed the huge increase in firearms sales. I wouldn’t assume the old stock numbers could have kept up with all the new gun sales. I have found many types of ammo hard to find at the best of times and usually they were priced at a premium.

    You can blame the ammunition for being “obsolete” or a foreign standard round, or you can say as an ammunition manufacturer that, “We’re going to step up to meet the demands of our customers”. I know that foreign production was keeping the demand artificially low because at one time you could get 20 rounds of 7.62 x 39 for $3.00 to $4.00 or pay $6.00 or more for the same 20 rounds of a domestic manufacturer’s product. Most people said,”If you just need something to shoot, who cares if it’s reloadable?” I bet they wish there was more brass produced now.

    Let’s just call it the way it is. The current regime is buying up more than their share of ammunition, and “hoarding”, or being prepared, is no excuse for poor manufacturer planning. I don’t think lower civilian consumption will ever be a problem as long as there are guns out there to use the ammunition. We all know a law that bans ammunition will effectively be a ban on firearms. Are we really going to go there?

    • Stephen Grant

      I didn’t think brass would be in short supply after picking up off the range when I picked it up years ago until this year. Nobody leaves it lay anymore except me since people are waiting for me to leave without picking up mine anymore. I just gave away more than 1500 9mm brass and 1000 223 to one friend and 1000 or more 223’s to another. Still have 4 5gallon buckets of 9’s and 1 bucket of 40’s but don’t have a 40 and 2 buckets and more of 223’s and 2000 + 38 special and a bucket of 45’s. Didn’t think about it then but glad I did. That’s not counting what I have loaded. If you were around here I would give some out.

      • Ray

        We might as well face the facts. We lost! There is nothing in the second amendment that says we have the right to have ammunition. In a few years when most people are out ammo the only thing we will be able to shoot or hunt with will be a bow and arrows and you can bet those will be regulated and registered also. It will not be long before you are on your face in the dirt with a DHS boot on your neck and a gun barrel at your head and someone telling you what your going to do next! If you don`t think it can happen here read a history book.

  • joe winchester

    I work at winchester in e. alton Il. were being forced to work 12 days in a row w/ a shift change after 7 just to get two days off, we are relocating to oxford ms. they should have seen this coming & kept em both running

    • wing_ding

      Leaving the state of ILL-annoy. Sorry to see you go but we understand this is not a state to be in for business.

  • Binshotinface


  • Rian Chandler-Dovis

    Good. Less ammunition means less children being shot. I hope they ban all ammunition and we can all sleep peacefully in our beds at night nowing criminals dont have any.

    • southAlabama1

      Criminals will always find a way to get ammo. And if not a knife. They can still break into your house while you and your kids are peacefully sleeping. So, should you have an opportunity to protect your self…..

    • William Brockman

      I hope that when you need the police right now they come right NOW! But the bad guys will have allready done the bad shit to your family.Thats right if any survive you can take them to court.Where they will plea bargin and get off to do it again.Wake up take care of your self and family with some form of protection.NO one will be there in time to save your ass!

    • Q and A

      According to the FBI the #1 weapon used in violent crimes is a baseball bat
      Why is there no outcry to restrict baseball bat ownership or is that your next complaint ?

    • Scott Snoopy

      spoken like a true liberal progressive…

    • Jeffrey Bragg

      yep sleep peacefully knowing you and your children can be murdered in a far more gruesome and painful manner… knife, baseball bat, 2×4, tire iron, piece of pipe, strangled, homemade zip gun, hammer, the list goes on… a personal firearm is the best defense in all these situations, but don’t worry, not a one of us evil gun owners will raise a pinky to defend your gun hating butt since you despise guns so much…

      • Mark Rutkowski

        Hell, according to the FBI Crime Stats over twice as many people were murdered using hands/fists/feet than were murdered using a rifle of ANY kind!

    • F.A.Y.

      Your a fool.

    • former gi

      Clueless just clueless..u know people can bash your head in with a rock…you know how many rocks make up this planet….what a morron

    • Craig Miller

      Quite frankly, lady, you scare me. I have seen your past posts where you advocated taking turns shooting people, stabbing people in the stomach until they bleed out, and stabbing people in the eyes. You also advocate mass murdering millions of people in Asia. You really should put the keyboard down, and go seek some help. The debate will be here when you get healthy.

    • Mark Rutkowski

      You’re being sarcastic I hope…

      • DonDong

        You’d think someone with a name like THAT would have a SOH, but I don’t think s/he’s kidding.

  • James Tarr

    I received this response from Jeff Hoffman, President of Black Hills Ammunition, after the article had already been posted. Feel free to rant conspiracy theories online, but I know Jeff personally, and if he says something, take it as fact:


    Sorry for delay. We have seen buying surges and shortages before. To provide good
    service when sudden demand increases occur, we have in recent years greatly
    expanded our operation. We bought and renovated a new facility 5 years ago,
    tripling our available manufacturing space. We have ,in recent years, bought
    quite a bit of new equipment and have been adding staff. We maintain very large
    component inventories, as we are not believers in “just-in-time-inventory”. We
    have close relationships with our venders, carefully nurtured over decades of
    business relationships. We enter orders for a year in advance and update as soon
    as we see trends developing. We started this current buying surge with very high
    raw material inventory levels. We increased orders as the demand increased, we
    have hired new workers as fast as we can train them, however our standards are
    so strict that it is not as easy as hiring folks and putting them behind a
    machine. We will not sacrifice our level of quality and our reputation in order
    to crank out ammo.

    Despite these preparations, nothing we could do would have allowed us to anticipate or
    meet this overwhelming demand. To my knowledge every ammunition manufacturer is
    running at full capacity and is at least a year backordered. What you are seeing
    is a national referendum on confidence in government. When the American people
    get concerned they buy guns and ammunition. I do not blame them. There are real
    challenges facing this country and it is both normal and right for citizens to
    ensure that they have the means protect themselves and their families no matter
    what happens. We continue to produce ammunition as fast as we can. We run
    overtime every week. We continue to maintain communications with our industry
    vendor partners in order to continue a smooth production flow. In short, despite
    our best preparations, we are significantly backordered, and orders keep pouring
    in. We do not wish to turn away customers, so we advise them of the delay
    situation and accept their orders with the understanding that we will let them
    know when it is ready and they can at that time accept the order or decline. If
    they decline, that is no problem as someone else is waiting eagerly. We will
    continue to do our level best to meet the needs of all of our customers through
    this shortage . We do appreciate the loyalty and understanding our customers
    have shown.

    • Jay Stang

      Ok that is great, but Jeff Hoffman also needs to Just Say No to the Feds, and only sell to We the People.

  • Biggie D

    BOYCOTT gun ban states and their agencies. Stop selling them guns and ammo citizens cannot buy.

  • Mike Pirlot

    im the upper pennsulia of michigan we cant find a single box of 357 mag.40 cal 22 cal,38special.22 mag,44 mag.theres some 45 cal all at an absorbunate prices

  • Shane Mayfield

    Stop selling to the government! They already have more then enough ammo to supply a 20 year long war!

  • Rob

    The difference between then and now? Before was just purchasing preemptively in anticipation of new illegal gun laws. NOW is that with the additional impetus of preparing for an inevitable civil war. Demand is beginning to slow down some, but only as people stop buying after achieving targeted quantities to suffice through the perceived length of the upcoming military engagement.

    • Bruce A. Frank

      2000 rounds per firearm, pistol and rifle, seems about right.

  • Patrick Hutchison

    mine are starving thanks to the horders

  • Lorebina

    What about the DHS, they have a huge orders of ammunition for the last few months. They ordered enough ammunition to wage war in Iraq for the next 25-years or so. It looks like they’re preparing for civil unrest here in the mainland U.S.

    • Bruce A. Frank

      Which is the spark that if fueling the “so called” panic buying.

  • Lorebina

    I can’t wait and see when ammunition makers stop selling to the Law-Enforcement communities.

    • DonDong

      I’d prefer they stop selling to “our” government. It’s one thing to be murdered by them, but to pay for the ammo, not to mention the fed employee shooters is like the mafia making you dig your own grave before they ‘off you.

  • Jack Betz

    Take the hint washington and leave us in peace.

  • Jeff Mahan

    The only problem with that sign in the picture, which is on a Wal-Mart side counter is that at Wal-Mart most of the ammo never makes it to the side counter if you know what I mean.

    • Raymond Wagoner

      The walmart workers are telling their friends when 22 ammo is in and it never make it to the counter. Heard walmart workers telling people oh i have several thousand rds put up i’ll bring them to church for you. unfair! Store managers should be in cjharge of ammo only. Also heard from several store managers that walmart is stopping all gun and ammo sales.

      • LibertyDwells

        I know it’s true regarding .22 ammo. A LOT of it is going to WalMart employees or they are letting friends and family know when it’s going to be out of the stockroom. I’ve been there to snag it before it ever reaches the shelves a couple times lately. But WallyWart has said they are going to sell till the day the feds make them stop. There’s money to be made. Hell, the local one had three AR’s in the case tonite. I’d be there first thing in the AM but the local shop also got a bunch of them in for the same price point so I’ll buy local…

      • Truthnotlies

        I have to call you out on the carpet on this one. When dealing with a company the size of Walmart you can NOT judge the entire entity by what is seen in one store. I have no doubt that this is happening in some stores, I’m sure its happening at every retail chain that sells ammunition, but I also know that the local Walmarts around here have a very strict policy on holding ANY products at all for employee purchase, not just ammo. I also know that the Walmarts around here lock up ALL ammo shipments when they arrive and are not put on the shelf until 7am…all of it. The employees obviously know its there first, yes, but they have to be off the clock and stand in line just like everybody else. Lets not dump in the ‘Big Box’ and add to an already out of control conspiracy theory extravaganza.

  • tromain

    The delusional folks on here are the cause of the shortage. Your fears are whats know as a “self fulfilled prophecy”

    • Bruce A. Frank

      Yeah, sure, nothing the government has proposed has had anything to do with it!

  • Cat Scanjim

    I’d like to thank Mr Obama for trying to create some sort of gun control legislation in America. It really brought us together as Americans and increased gun ownership by 3 fold I would guess.
    I hope he keeps it up the rest of his term. It’s surely the last time we will elect a foreigner as President of the United States and makes people realize it takes more than the correct paperwork to be American.
    This gun registration idea was the complete FAIL.

  • Jonathan Holloway

    It’s stuff like this that contributes to the mass panic that is happening right now. Once everyone calms down ammo will eventually stay on the shelves.

    • Bruce A. Frank

      Not as long as the Federal agencies continue to place very large munti-million (and Billion round) orders. There would be no ammo shortage if the Fed weren’t trying to control the supplies to the civilian population by usurping production.

  • Jay Stang

    Ammunition manufacturers should refuse point blank to sell anything to the federal government. The DOD can get whatever they need for their small arms from DHS, Interior, etc. Ammo companies can make more money selling to us.

  • John

    2.3 billion rounds is a lot to presently have on hand. You would think ammo companies would just stop selling to federal agencies! Now HS wants to know how fast they can get 700+ million more! The ammo companies need to stand with the American people and “just say NO!!

    • Bruce A. Frank

      I fully agree. Suppress the ammo designated for all federal government level purchases and redirect them to primary citizen oriented gun shops and online outlets. Offer to sell direct to local police departments!

      • pylon

        The Government lied to us and they will lie to them. Once they have put the public on the black market they will no longer need their services. Phuck you Ammo makers you are also going to be put out of a job if you don’t realize who your real target market is!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Edmund Charles


    This is all panic buying is fueled by unrealistic fears about a government that is not as deranged or spiteful as some may believe. Remember the US Gov cannot even get health care right, let alone pull off some grand conspiracy! Logic would say that if there was a US Gov ammo cornering of the market,the shortages would be restricted to LE and military caliber. That is not the case as every caliber is being grabbed up by fear mongering. I saw this before in the 1973 Arab Oil Embargo, of course, back then the most one could hoard was restricted to the size of one’s gas tank or a few odd gasoline cans. With ammunition and other commodes, however, stockpiling is only limited by one’s finances and your storage capabilities- both are finite! I give the situation 18-24 months before the hoarder is financially and logistically exhausted! Supply will catch up with demand. Ammo is coming into the country from all over the world and domestic suppliers are cashing in while the panic psychology lasts. I, for one, have multiple hobbies and interests so I’ll divert myself to these while other fools expend their energies in this illogical pursuit of boogyman buying up all the ammo .

    • picomanning

      You may be right that there’s no conspiracy. I just have a hard wimt wrapping my mind around the incomprehenisble incompetence of our government. So the thing is, our government is utterly mindblowlingly incompetent, or they the federal government acts purposely for our destruction. The end is the same. Invest in ammo. (I’ve been saying so for at least several years.) Now that ammo is hard to come by here’s another very good idea. Invest in a very good quality (you can find one for around $300) compound bow. They are lighter than rifles, and as quiet as a .22 with a silencer. Hunt and defend whisper quiet! Check them out! You’ll be amazed at the new technology. These hunting weapons are twice the quality they were 20 years ago!

  • CrustyOldGeezer

    Stop selling HP ammo to the federal government.

    substitute low power, low velocity rounds for ‘practice’.

    Demand and get an accurate accounting of any, and ALL ammunition currently on hand in the non-military government store rooms and warehouses.

    WE, the people paid for that ammunition, I demand to know where it is, how much there is, and is every round purchased accounted for?

    And… if gun control is such a good idea, disarm all government agents with the exception of CIA, FBI and Border Patrol.

    • CorruptionInColumbia

      Rumors come and go, but I’ll add this one to the mix. A friend whose closest friends and father are ex-Airborne Rangers who all have contacts with the old job and other Federal agencies, says the ammo is NOT making it to DHS, FBI, ATF, etc. The ammo, according to their sources is not to be found in the quantities that the government has been contracting and purchasing it for. It is MIA.

      In those circles, there is a lot of conjecture that it is being shipped to those pleasant fellows such as the Muslim Brotherhood, Arab Springers, and the like so they can do their dirt, maybe even eventually on our own soil, if you get my drift. Given the leanings of certain key people and one in particular, while far-fetched, I don’t find this to be an impossibility at all.

  • Callen

    One reason Walmart has little or no ammo or the dreaded ” assault. Weapon” is they are charter members of Bloombergs Gun grabbers. In a letter I received this week they were not shy about it. Write Walmarts customer service and ask. Where is the ammo? You will probably get the same response. They also said they were in contact with Biden.
    Really the sold out to the socialist. Protected by arm guards it’s, do as I say not as I do.

  • wing_ding

    The law of supply and demand. Low supply – high demand, high prices. There’s little incentive for manufacturers to increase capacity when all they need to do is increase prices and profitability. Same is true with gasoline. The refiners claim too few refineries but they won’t build more because they’re too expensive, government regs when the truth is the same as above. Don’t expect prices to fall to pre-shortage level when demand eases.

  • Linda

    All I want to do is shoot a few skunks on my rural property!! Can’t find ammo now, so will be over run shortly!!! AARGH!

  • Adam Ford

    All that sounds great but it doesnt help us get ammo. 1) not meeting demand in any other buisness isn’t acceptable so it shouldn’t be for ammunition manufacturing. 2) It seems like it will damage shooting as a sport. People want to goop shoot and can’t….who needs a ban… I haven’t shot in weeks because i have so few rounds. I can’t take my kids because there are no .22 lr. It would be one thing if they said it would be a month or two but my local stores said it will be 6 months to a year, that’s crazy.

  • Hal Brown

    I have decided to help with the shortage any and every way I can. I will not buy *anything* gun related until I know ammo or more important, reloading supplies are available. This includes subscriptions and memberships.
    I’m tired of seeing bullets (SMK, Berger) advertised in magazines as if I could go out and buy them. Better the companies place explanations and “sorry, we are doing the best we can” than appear as if everything is normal.

    Even Larry Potterfield sent letters out (I got one) that in 35 years of business he has never seen anything like this.

    This is the absolute worst time to buy ammo or guns.

  • Kaoticman

    I can’t even find .22 LR on the shelves locally. .22 LR! The most common ammunition in existence, and there’s not one box of even the low quality stuff on the shelves, much less quality CCI rounds. I’m at the point I can’t get my monthly time at the range, on account of my having so little ammo. It’s more than a little frustrating.

  • Dom

    No one has asked the ‘manufacturers’ how much of what they produce is being shipped to foreign (our Allies) governments. I think it would be surprising to a lot of people.

  • Brian Bertha

    I have heard this answer several times what it does not explain is how come even the large retailers, never mind the small gun shops, are not getting the quantities any where near what the use to get. As to .22LR its not just certain area’s try and find it somewhere

  • thomaspainelives

    I’ve thought long and hard about this and I’m pretty sure it’s the new gun owners and the occasional shooters who are causing the panic. Someone who shoots maybe 500 rounds a year suddenly thinks he/she needs 10,000 rounds. In about a year’s time, when things are back to near normal, these people are going to realize they’ll NEVER shoot up their stock and will try to sell at or near the price THEY paid. When they can’t get any buyers, they’ll take a loss to get rid of most of it. Hopefully, there’ll be some REAL ammo bargains in the future.

  • Steve M.

    All gun owners, in every state of our beloved country, must unite against the Democrat led anti-gun fanatics. We must support the elected officials who respect the 2nd Amendment! We must vote out the Democrats who want to stomp out the 2nd Amendment.

    If we assume someone else will protect our gun ownership rights, we will succumb to the rabid gun haters.

    California is especially infested with virulent anti-gun Democrats. They are Senators:
    Steinberg (SB-374), Senator Hancock (SB-396), Senator Jackson (SB-567), Senator Yee (SB-108, SB-47), Senator DeSalunier (SB-293, SB-299), Senator DeLeon (SB-53), Assemblyman Skinner (AB-48), Assemblyman Dickenson (AB-169). Read what inbred
    Democrat minds have conjured up using their super majority in Sacramento.

  • keithpridgeon

    Just saw .22 mini mags at cheaperthandirt 60 bucks for 100 rounds. Bought a case before Christmas 300 bucks a case of colt rimfire is going for nearly 1500 bucks. I think the manufacturers have a little to do with that.

  • Vernon Lange

    We are experiencing a failure of the ammo manufactures to recognise the market and not have the courage to expand in a expanding market. The ammo shortage will be here as long as the production only keeps up with demand. This isn’t about hording because I can’t find ammo to buy for sighting in my new gun, let alone to hord. Any body who would hord at inflated prices would be more incentive for the manufactuers to expand production

  • James Zablocki

    I didn’t see mention of our US government purchase orders in the last 18 months or so for over 2 BILLION rounds of ammunition! Is it that the author of this article is clueless, scared, or intentionally leaving this little tidbit out? Just curious. Perhaps this may have(is) added(ing) to the hysteria in buying ammo!

  • picomanning

    OK fine. I read the story. But here it is July 8th 2013. I went to my local Oregon Bi-Mart, a great supplier of guns and ammo. The shelves are still bare. What gives? I must imagine that the survival (not panic) buying is still strong.

  • VA Guy

    The window for making new gun laws is closing rapidly. Newtown sadly is becoming a distant memory. I feel for the parents and children but the facts are guns will not be taken out of Americans hands and until public entities (schools) find better ways of securing them selves these incidents will continue to happen.
    Once ammo is available as a fellow gun owner please be reasonable in the quantity you purchase. No one wants an ammo shortage including the ammo manufacturers.

  • rumaso

    Its a load of bullshit, I know people all over town that sell ammo and none of them are getting any to sell. That’s not hoarding, that’s somebody lying about what’s really going on, which is the government is squeezing the supply down to nothing.

  • Larry

    “We are not experiencing a gun or ammo shortage. We are experiencing a customer surplus.”

    I find comfort in that statement despite being one of many who sure would like to find some plentiful cheap ammo.

  • Mark

    You can’t blame this one on Obama. It is all the conspiracy nuts waiting for the delivery of ammo at the stores and then buying it all up. They must have basements full of ammo. First it was Y2K and then the Mayan calendar. Now it is the DHS thing. I am surprised there is any toilet paper or bottled water left. Usually these whack jobs buy up all that to.

  • john johns

    We all know the government is behind all the “shortages” ( just like the oil shortage of yesteryear), just like we know this article is little more than horseapples. For starters let us agree the shelves are empty, that being agreed let us say the ammo manufacturers are operating at all out full operating capacity. That being agreed upon let us ask where the hell the ammo is then?
    The capability of making millions of rounds weekly just does not compute to be no ammo. Somebody is another damned liar….period

  • N Caldwell

    I’ve been e-mailing every sprting goods co and ammo maker to insist they stop advertising that they make the stuff. It’s a joke.

  • charles

    the people who work at walmart are getting the22 amo as soon as the truck unloads it, then they sell it for seventy five or hundred dollars for 5oo round brick stop paying the scalpers their outrages prices, let them eat them for a snack while they are on break, that is if they ever get a break.

  • Constantine

    There is more ammo in the stores now, compared to six months ago, but still no .22 LR. One guy told me that people have worked out a system to find out when ammo is being delivered and they go imediately to the store and snatch it up. I think part of the problem is people need money, so they re-sell it at a great profit because they know the demand is strong. I have to work so I can’t hang around a store all day.
    The other part of me blames the asss in the WH. A slimey snake if there ever was one.

    • mrjoe7

      My son is up in the brass in service and like he says when you have a gun that shoots A million rounds a minute of 22s you are going to use up some ammo.

  • Roger

    Is another shortage time about to start since Sec. of State Kerry has signed the UN small arms treaty?

  • Don Russell

    you CAN’T lose money on .22 ammo bought at 6c a rd or less. you can always sell it or use it yourself, and mostly you, can double your money on it, saturday morning at the next gun show, in 10 minutes, to ONE dealer, who will double his money on it by the end of the weekend show. I know homeless guys who are being paid to bicycle around town and buy ammo.

  • Texas Hunter

    Read “How Manufacturers are dealing with Ammo shortage” back in April. Its funny that now in October I can go into any gun store and buy an AR and .223 ammo. But I can’t get a Mod 70 Extreme Weather in a .338 win mag or the ammo. Doesn’t make since, manufacturers are cheating their customers that help make them what they are, sad.

  • Tom Bones

    And my friend who works at Walmart in the Sporting goods department, sho used to call me when things of interest came in, assures me they aren’t allowed to buy ammo themselves or to call friends. The penalty? Look for another job! The problems are three. 1. Increased sale of guns=increased demand for ammo. 2. Hoarders 3. people buying as much as they can to resell at scalper prices. I took a trip from Michigan to the West Coast and back this spring, stopping at 5 Cabela’s and 2 independents. I managed to pick up some primers, a bit of powder, and one box of .22. All were purchased at reasonable pre-rush prices, but one independent asked $50 hundred for pistol primers. I did not buy anything there. I talked to one acquaintance at a gun show this weekend. He had two 555 round boxes of Winchester .22, asking $75 each. He admitted buying them just as I had gotten one, for $23 and change at Cabelas. As Pogo once said, “We have met the enemy, and he is us.”

  • kawirus

    If it wasn’t the manufactures holding the ammo then why or who is jacking up the price and who is benefiting from it? At first I believe it wasn’t the makers but now after almost a year there’s no way the makers aren’t making more money than they ever have.

  • GTH

    Bad thing is OBAMA has the last smelt closing 12/31/13 check it out it’s real then things will get tough !

  • amercanpatriot


  • amercanpatriot


  • Herk

    That can’t be the whole story; I have 20-30 shops (including 3 Walmarts) I hit looking for .22 LR rounds for target shooting, checking at least a couple times a week and it has been TWO YEARS since I saw ammo on the shelf. Sportsman’s Guide has a back order wait list of over 4,300 customers for buckets of Remington .22 LR rounds. They told me today they expect a shipment of 1600 units in late APRIL, so to clear the back orders alone will not happen in 2014 and maybe not 2015. Seems the answer is simple, raise prices till supply and demand equalize. When people have to pay a buck a round for .22’s there will suddenly be ammo for all. Who knew the second amendment was only for the 1%? Seriously, this has been and looks to continue to be a problem for years, some of us should go into the ammo business because clearly those in it now are maintaining an artificial shortage.

  • bobstannard

    Yes, those pesky wars do suck up all available ammo. Perhaps if we pulled out of Afghanistan, et. al., maybe we could free up some bullets.

  • bobstannard

    The ammo manufacturers are holding back; just like the oil companies did in ’73 when they said we had an oil crisis. Remember that? The whole thing was fabricated. It’s been 40 years and we still have oil. Don’t let them fool you. Of course Winchester & Remington could produce more ammo. Creating the “panic” is to their advantage. What they don’t sell to the gov’t the unload (no pun intended) on the rest of us in about 10 minutes.
    If you want to see more ammo on the shelves stop buying it unnecessarily. Create the pressure on our end; not their end.

  • Pat Munday

    Feds are not buying up 22 ammo. Gougers and speculators are. Look at GunBrokers site–there’s plenty of ammo. At double retail price.

  • silent bore

    Just like in nazi germany they burned any book with useful knowledge same deal applies with useful ammunition for a safer more secure america just wait till this shit gets as bad as finding a needle in a hay stack

  • BUCK


  • Jack Frost

    The article sounds reasonable but when basic .22 LR can’t be found there’s something terribly amiss. This ammo is going somewhere. Hundreds of millions of rounds of .22 can’t simply be disappearing or being shot. And sooner or later hoarders will find out the eating .22s for dinner doesn’t work so well. Twenty two ammo used to be so common you could pick up a case of beer, two cheese burgers and brick of 500 rounds at the corner general store anytime. And you had a good choice of brands and different types of .22 ammo from hollo points to CCI Mini Mag and everything in-between. I got a brick of Federal .22s hollow points today after searching at Bass Pro and Gander Mountain without success. One small box of remington match ammo (50 count) was available for $24 but that was out of line. There’s something else going on here. Surely if the demand is there someone is going to jump in make good product and make it available while making money. Demand seems to be there but the product is not available? Something is wrong with this picture.

  • 13thGenPatriot

    1 year later and I still cannot get .22 WMR in a 40 grain or larger. We still are limited to 3 boxes of ammo per purchase per day. We still have a shortage of .22 LR. I don’t believe them.

  • madmilker

    I just want to shoot a damn squirrel…

  • Temp Fourthirty

    22 LR at 10 cents per round is ridiculous. And you’d be lucky to find it so cheap.

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