Overwhelming demand for ammunition has taken over the country like a classic 1930s bank run. Panic buying is clearly illustrated by long lines, surging prices and "out of stock" signs at nearly every retailer. If the only things left on the shelf at your local gun shop are a couple bottles of Hoppes and a bucket of foam ear plugs, then you've felt the wrath of the great ammo shortage of 2013.
The shortage is affecting the entire spectrum of ammo consumers, including police and sheriffs who are cutting back on routine training drills. As reported by Fox News, many departments are rationing their supply for deployment use only. Nobody wants their local police armed with a single round in their pockets like Barney Fife.
Manufacturers are dealing with the shortage by running their factories 24 hours a day, and still can't even keep up with the demand for nearly every caliber. According to Neal Emery from Hornady, "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."
Many people have even resorted to buying guns based on which caliber of ammo their local gun shop has in stock at a given time. For example, those who can't find ammo for their 9x19mm pistols are buying guns in 9x18mm or .380 ACP, just so they can have something to shoot. Others who can't find 22LR are resorting to other available rimfire cartridges like the .17HMR.
Look no further - if you need ammo, then you came to the right place! Guns & Ammo is here to help you find the ammunition you're looking for. We're sharing some reliable places to find ammo so you can carry on with your regularly scheduled practice and plinking endeavors. Here's where you can find ammo right now:
Big Box Stores
Cabela's has maintained a steady supply of common ammo calibers throughout the shortage. They continually update their inventory, both online and in store several times a day. The reason why they maintain their inventory is simple: Ammunition manufacturers and distributors prioritize their outgoing supply to the retailers who place large orders, or maintain a sizeable contract. Cabela's has a long-standing tradition as a major ammunition retailer, and manufacturers want to continue that relationship.
Gun shows are historically one of the best places to find great deals on ammunition, but buyer beware! You need to keep a few things in mind before trying to buy ammo at a gun show. First, get there early. Long lines at recent gun shows make Black Friday look like an ordinary fast food drive-thru.
When you get the chance to buy ammo at a gun show, it's always best to know who you're buying from. If you don't know the seller, make sure you buy what's being advertised. If it's being sold as factory new, inspect the ammunition to make sure it hasn't been reloaded, or swapped with another brand or caliber. If it's being sold as reloaded ammunition, check to make sure it has new primers, properly shaped and necked brass, and correct bullet seating. If you're unsure, ask questions or walk away.
If you do buy ammunition, record the seller's booth number and contact information. On the occasion that you're dissatisfied with your purchase, at least you have a chance of contacting the seller, or reporting their booth number to the director of the gun show. While fraudulent ammo sales are not common, they are certainly possible in a market where people will buy anything that's available.
Blogs and Online Forums
If you need to find ammo, you can rely on tips from online blogs and forums, such as the G&A Forums. Our forums welcome a collective wealth of information from thousands of knowledgeable and helpful firearms enthusiasts. With almost 4,500 contributing members in our forums, you're sure to find information on available ammo.
Members have shared this type of information, as well as pricing and quality, throughout the current shortage. Once again, buyer beware! Make sure you buy from a trusted source, and of course be careful when giving personal information to anyone on the Internet.
If you're interested in a topic that doesn't already exist, start a new thread and ask a question. G&A Forum members are very receptive, and typically respond quickly to new threads.
Bypass the lines at local gun shops. Pierce Munitions is a privately held manufacturer in Buffalo, N.Y., that produces some of the highest quality ammo on the market. Even better, Pierce sells directly to the consumer at Pierce Outfitters.
Pierce currently has several rifle and pistol calibers available, including its exclusive new Ted Nugent hunting and personal defense loads. Also, don't be afraid of its factory reloads. Pierce uses quality components and state-of-the-art loading machines. The G&A Online Editors highly recommend Pierce Munitions for its industry leading ballistics, outstanding customer service and fast shipping.
Training Courses and Shooting Events
Don't blame your lack of training on a low supply of ammo. Popular training courses and events are making ammunition available for sale to its participants at reasonable prices.
Specifically, U.S. Navy veteran Andrew Touhy from the Vuurwapen Blog is now offering carbine courses with rifle ammunition for sale. His approach is pioneering a new standard for client accommodations and quality firearms instruction. He goes so far as to offer rifle rental, lodging reservations and airport pickup options for his shooters.
Don't talk yourself out of shooting competitively because you just want to hoard all your ammo for doomsday. Popular shooting events are offering ammunition to its competitors on match day. Hornady recently offered ammunition for sale to competitors at Zombies in the Heartland 2013 in Grand Island, Neb. Shooters had the option to exterminate zombies with Hornady's venerable Zombie Max ammunition. In fact, those who didn't use Z-Max probably didn't put the zombies down with one clean shot.