So, why the shortage? The plants have not shut down, in fact most are running 24/7. The manufacturers are producing but yet the store shelves are still bare.
Online sources such as CheaperThanDirt, Basspro, Cabela’s, SportsmansGuide and the rest of online venues are sold out of the primary favorites of most handgun owners.
The shortage is not JUST handguns but mostly.
Many folks think that since the first ban bill introduced back in the 2007 era, the average owner got scared and started stockpiling ammo.
Let’s do some quick round-up-round-off math. The 2012 census estimated the United States population at approximately 314 million. It is estimated that the United States produces right at 40% of all small arms ammo produced annually in the World. The net sum reaches annual amounts in excess of 14,000,000,000 (that’s right BILLION) rounds PER YEAR. So, 40% of 14 Billion means that the US produces 5.6 Billion rounds of small arms each year; Caliber varies depending on many factors. Let’s say that the Department of Defense purchase 50%( this number is a little high since a Federal report stated the Federal Government has purchased 2 billion rounds since April 2012). Now, while I understand that a lot of ammo is exported the same number could be said to be imported, after all , the U.S. is the number one comsumer and only 40% of the world’s ammo is produced here in the states. And just for argument sake, let’s say 2% is exported and NONE imported. Under current rate of production that would still leave 2.9 Billion rounds available to Joe Q. Public. That equates to each and every citizen of these United States purchasing 9.2 rounds of ammo for every single American alive.
I don’t buy it! I would…………………………….. but its just not available!
So? Where is the ammunition? The old WWII adage “Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition” just doesn’t fly anymore.
The ammo is not to be found. You think I’m kidding? Go find some .22 long rifle in Walmart. That’s right, .22 long rifle; the same ammo you and your Granddad used to take squirrel hunting or plinking cans along the river bottom. And if you DO manage to find some check the price. Every outlet that is lucky enough to place some on their shelves is price gouging the hell out of consumers.
When I was growing up in the 70’s and 80′, I could buy a brick (500 rounds) of .22 LR ammo for approximately $5.00 to $11.00 dollars depending on Brand. I say this because CCI stingers came out somewhere along that time frame best I remember and they were a little higher than the typical Remington or Winchester ammo. The shelves were overladden with ammo in those days as well. As recently as 2008 I could still purchase .22 LR in Brick form for somewheres around $14 – $18 dollars (less than 4 cents per round). Yesterday I purchased a box of CCI mini-mag .22 LR for $16 but it was only 100 rounds.
There are some online auction sites that still display 1200 or more entries daily selling .22 LR ammo, but they are price gouging the hell out of consumers charging in excess of .16 cents per round. For the same ammo Walmart sold 8 months ago for $12 is now $60+ at these online sites that DO have ammo.
And that is just for .22 LR.
Some heavier more powerful handgun loads have quadrupled in price since the recent shortage for most handgun calibers. The average price is around 250% increase as well.
Today I purchased some .380 ammo for $34.00 for 50 rounds (equates to 68 cents per round). That might not sound too expensive until you compare it to the price I paid for my first box of 50 rounds in 2010; $12.00 or .24 cents per round.
Again this does not sound too expensive until you consider the number of rounds I fired during target and practice exercise to stay proficient.
Back in the day it was very typical for me to fire a brick of .22 LR , three boxes of .357 mag, two boxes of .38 special and a couple boxes of .45 ACP factory reloads within a week. And I would do this at least twice per month. My total cost back then? Somewhere around $95 to $100 dollars per session.
What would it cost me today? Let’s take a look. Given the fact that the common venue for purchase can’t even get the ammo and I would have to purchase from Vultures online, the average would be $70 for the brick of .22 LR, average $50 @ box for the .357, average $38 @ box for the .38 special and $35 dollars @ box for factory reload .45 ACP and of course, this is IF you can find them at all. So my grand total for this session: $315. So now I am asked to pay more for one session than I used to pay for two AND I can’t even find the ammo in stock to purchase.
While I do agree that there is some truth to the panic rumor that folks are stock piling ammo in fear that big Government is going to either ban or confiscate guns and ammo, I DON”T buy into that being the sole reason for the shortage.
I THINK, that the biggest reason for the shortage is that our Government FINALLY learned the fact that they would never be able to control gun sales here in the U.S. the way the current regime would like so they figured they would control the ammunition used to operate those guns.
The Federal Government has been authorized to purchase 1.6 BILLION rounds of ammunition within the next five years. Last Tuesday Homeland Security bought another 380,000 rounds. I can only imagine how much they will buy if Congress ever gets off their ass and pass a budget.
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