Shoot, there's no ammo to buy
I was shooting skeet at our local gun club a few weeks ago and overheard several members lamenting the scarcity of ammunition of all types. The guys were blaming the government for buying up all existing ammo to keep it out of the hands of legitimate sportsmen. In the past few months not a week goes by that some well-meaning but uninformed person passes on to me an e-mail telling me the federal government has instituted a campaign to buy up all available ammunition, and it’s clear these guys firmly believe it.
Believe whatever you wish, but according to information provided by the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the current ammunition shortage is not due to some secret government conspiracy but rather to high demand from shooters during the early part of 2013. There is a visible scarcity of ammunition on the shelves of gun shops around the country and it appears to be due mainly to hoarding by individuals. Don’t believe me? I was talking to a UPS driver who dropped off a package the other day and he said he was at a local sporting goods store when they put out 1,000 rounds of pistol ammunition. “I bought the entire 1,000 rounds,” he told me.
American manufacturers are working hard to meet the increased demand, but foreign ammunition manufacturers have stepped up to fill the need. Business for these manufacturers is going so well that Philippines-based Armscor International, which owns the Rock Island Armory brand, will be expanding it production facilities in the United States. In fact, the company plans to build a new ammunition factory in Nevada to anchor production for Rock Island Armory Products.
Currently, American manufacturers are running their plants 24/7 in order to meet the current demand for ammunition, but they still can’t keep up. Industry experts can’t say exactly when this shortage will end, but according to NSSF’s Mike Bazinet, this current situation is a supply and demand imbalance that is expected to abate in the near future. In fact, Bazinet says the shortage is easing in some parts of the country already.