View Full Version : Could the Ammo Shortage be coming to an end? >>

Mike S
04-28-2009, 04:01 PM
Just stopped by my local sporting goods store to pick up a flash light and thought what the hell, I'll check to see if they have any 9mm.... Yep. 12 boxes left. :D :D I got 5 and another guy got the rest. I didn't want to hord..... Prolly should have. ;) ;)

The salesman told me they've been getting regular shipments now. Maybe there's light at the end of the tunnel.

04-28-2009, 05:04 PM

I wish it were true. Still no relief locally for ammo or reloading components.

I took a commander sized 1911, a FN BHP slide, and a government sized Colt 1911 slide into Jack First today for refinishing. The short 1991 will get a tactical matte blue while the two slides will get 400 grit deep royal blue. Didn't want to go to the ultra grit mirror finish on these, especially the BHP which has a top strap I stippled. I'll get them back in 2 weeks. Call it spring housecleaning or an ammo shortage forced diversion.... they all were showing wear signs especially the short 1911 which has been a steady carry piece. Timing works.

04-28-2009, 05:14 PM
local place usually stocks mucho ammo. Nada in those two plus 9mm. Guy said nation wide everyone is runnin' 'bout 90 days behind..

The other specialty places plus wally world where zeroed out as well.

04-28-2009, 05:15 PM
I was in Walmart* Friday and got their last box of handgun ammo. 100rd Remington 128 gr ,357.

Academy Sports on Sunday had some 230 gr. Hornady TAP in .45 ACP, but I ended up buying a tent instead.

I was at Bass Pro yesterday, they had a couple of boxes of .45 Long Colt and .38 S&W and that was it. The rest of the shelves were empty.

No, I don't see it easing up. Not yet anyway.

04-28-2009, 05:16 PM
Can't get .38 Special either.

I was joking with my wife the other day, I have more ammo in my office than most gun stores now. LOLOLOL

Mike S
04-28-2009, 06:09 PM
I guess it was just luck. BTW they also had .38 Special and .357 Magnum. When I was at the cashier paying for my purchases, she hollered to the guy over at the gun counter to grab a few boxes of .38 Special for her.

04-28-2009, 07:03 PM
Try the Armory:


04-28-2009, 07:24 PM
my Dad stockpiled still a lot left even after my brother & I "went to town" on it when he let us shoot his service pistol. my brother must have at least 12 to 15 full boxes left along with some boxes of .38 Special wadcutter ammo.

04-28-2009, 07:54 PM
Gunstores continue to be a never-ending source of hilarity. Walk into your local shooting emporium and ask why there is an ammo shortage, and you'll hear inane speculation coupled with a conspiracy theory or two. The reality is that the supply chain for ammunition is relatively inelastic, and and is easily overwhelmed by a sudden jump in sales.

As one industry consultant has told me, ammunition demand over the years has been remarkably predictable. Ammunition wholesalers know (within a certain margin of error) how many units of each caliber they'll sell in the coming year, and approve purchase orders for the delivery of that amount of product during that year.

Ammo makers, too, know with fair certainty how much they're going to sell to the wholesalers during that period, and sign contracts for the purchase of sufficient components to produce those products. They don't typically keep large stores of components on hand, as standing inventory is expensive, so components are delivered on a "just in time" basis.

The suppliers of those components do the same thing with raw materials; again, ammunition is a stable business, which allows them to forecast with pretty good accuracy the stuff they need to make the components they sell. This pattern repeats itself on up the chain, all the way to the people who mine the stuff necessary to make a single cartridge.

Along comes a huge, sudden spike in demand. Retailers all over the country are suddenly swamped with ammunition purchases, and quickly call their suppliers to get more. The first few calls are rewarded with replacement stock, but soon the wholesaler's shelves are bare too - their entire year allotment of ammunition is gone in just a few days.

The wholesaler calls the maker, and the same thing happens: all of the suppliers are doubling (or more) orders to get their dealers restocked, and the manufacturer is quickly stripped of on-hand components as he tries to fill those orders.

The dealers are out, the wholesalers are out, and now the manufacturers are out. But it gets worse.

The makers of the priming compound, primer cups, brass, powder, jacket material, and lead are suddenly swamped with desperate pleas for more product, and they in turn contact the suppliers of the raw materials for more. The entire chain of supply is empty, and everyone has to wait while all of the raw materials are gathered. (I shouldn't have to tell you that those folks have other contracts to fill before they can get to the rush orders - they're not just waiting around for next year's order from the ammo companies!)

That all sounds simple, but it just isn't. As an example, smokeless powder may contain a huge variety of raw materials: Nitrocellulose, Nitroglycerin, Nitroguanidine, Dibutyl phthalate, Polyester adipate, Ethyl acetate, Diphenylamine, 2-Nitrodiphenylamine, 4-nitrodiphenylamine, N-nitrosodiphenylamine, N-methyl-p-nitroaniline, tin dioxide, bismuth trioxide, bismuth subcarbonate, bismuth nitrate, bismuth antimonide, Potassium nitrate, Potassium sulfate, Talc, Titanium dioxide, Graphite, and Calcium carbonate. Each of these has to be sourced from a supplier, ordered, received, then finally compounded into smokeless powder. Think that all happens overnight??

Once the raw materials are finally in hand, the work can start. Lead has to be formed into projectiles, copper into jackets, brass into casings; priming compound is made from lead azide and/or potassium perchlorate, then the mixture combined with metal cups to make primers (they have to be made, too); the aforementioned powder has to be made (a huge job in itself.)

Once those components are ready, they can be sent to the manufacturer, who puts together into a finished round, then packages them appropriately. (Oops - we forgot that boxes and trays that have to be made and printed. That takes time and materials!) They're then shipped to the wholesaler, who (finally!) can ship to the retailer.

This whole process takes time - lots of it. If demand is high enough (which it has been), even the emergency orders placed all the way to the producers of the raw products may not be sufficient, and shortages will continue. That's what we're seeing right now.

The supply chain is simply empty, all the way up to the people who mine the raw materials. It's going to take time to replace all the links in that chain, and it's not because of the war in Iraq/Afghanistan, The Joos, FEMA, the CIA, a secret agreement to implement gun control through ammo availability, or any other silly theory you may have heard. This is a textbook example of what happens when an inelastic supply chain, composed with scarce "just in time" inventories, meets insatiable demand. It's not sexy or intriguing, but that's the way it is.

You know what's scarier? Your food comes to you the same way. Imagine what would happen if...

-=[ Grant ]=-

Regards Mark

Rev. Grouse
04-29-2009, 08:02 AM
Excellent post. A little reason coupled with education on a subject goes a long way. Wish the gov would try it.

04-29-2009, 08:37 AM
+1 hehehehehe