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Massad Ayoob on Guns

Want to Comment on a blog post? Look for and click on the blue No Comments or # Comments at the end of each post.

Massad Ayoob


Tuesday, May 18th, 2010

One of my students asked me yesterday if it was OK if he shot part of his allotted 500 rounds with the excellent Advantage Arms .22 Long Rifle conversion unit on his Glock 23 carry gun. The reason was that he’d been able to round up 500 rounds of .40 S&W, but shooting it up would leave his practice ammo supply severely depleted. I told him that part of what he was learning with me was rapid fire recoil control, and he’d do better to shoot with the “real deal.” (Conversion units for inexpensive .22 are great for developing trigger control, though, and “draw to the shot” smoothness with accuracy.)

Yes, the ammo shortage continues, and it has generated much discussion among gun folks. My good friend Jon Strayer has some very insightful comments on the reasons for it HERE, at the ProArms News and Views Blog.

Friend Ted Fries passes along THIS commentary  from a blog with which I was previously unfamiliar.

I’m finding somewhat more availability than this time last year with SOME cartridges, while others — .45 ACP, for instance – are simply not to be found in certain areas.

What’s all y’all’s take on this? Comment here!


  1. Dave Says:

    I find myself sounding preachy on this subject more and more lately. I’m surprised a the amount of people who don’t re-load. I can re-load 9mm, .357mag, and .40 for just under $12 per 100 rounds. It can be done for much cheaper if you cast your own bullets, which I currently have not attempted. That’s a huge cost savings over any deal out there. I stocked up on primers at <$30-$35 per 1000 when stock begin dwindling and prices started rising. They are back down to $40 per 1000 at my local Gander Mountain currently, they were $50 per 1000 just a couple of weeks ago and prior to that they weren't on the shelves at all for many months. Lead bullets have risen a bit but I've never not been able to get them when needed, they can be obtained for $60 per 1000. Brass is either free at the range or a fraction of a cent when you include the fact that it can be re-loaded multiple times(10+). Powder is also quite cheap and goes a long way. 1lb of powder (7000 grains) will load approx 1000 pistol rounds for about $22.

    Re-loading has provided me with several things:
    1) Self Sufficiency. I can stock up on components rather cheap and shoot all I want, when I want, regardless what's available on the shelves at the store.
    2) Cost savings. I like to shoot, a LOT. So I save money with every round…or do I just shoot more…Either way I'm having fun.
    3) A great hobby. Re-loading is fun, challenging, and relaxing for me. Re-loading for the next range trip or filling up the ammo bucket with hundreds of rounds is quite satisfying to me, especially when I look at the bare ammo shelves at the gun store.

  2. Matt Says:

    Here in Bentonville, Arkansas I have seen the availability of 9mm and 40 at my local Walmart improve consistently. 380 and 38 Spl are still limited although on my recent trip I found 2 boxes of 380 FMJ. I have seen the Walmart ammo case go from almost empty to 3/4 full. It’s nice to have choices on practice ammo again. Things are looking up here it seems.

  3. Patrick Says:

    In North Carolina, the only truly difficult ammunition to find currently is the ever elusive 380 ACP. At the worst point, .223 and. 40 seemed to be readily available. 9mm is much more common than before and 45 ACP can now sometimes be found (even at wal-mart).

    Another positive is that primers are not impossible to find again. Thank God I reload my own ammunition! Hopefully this crisis will resolve soon so we gunfolk can focus on particular guns and training without worrying over ammo availability.

  4. Winston Smith Says:

    It’s inconsistent. There’s the local WalMart, shelves are out in .45 ACP, but has small packs of 9mm and .40 S&W. Another WalMart, in a neighboring town, must have had 15,000 rounds of .40 S&W visible in their glass case. I grabbed the only 2 boxes of .45 ACP Winchester white box they had and asked the clerk what was going on. He joked “We’re growing .40 S&W here.” 9mm was available there, too, as was several thousand rounds of .223 Rem in Federal 100 round bulk packs.

    Local gun dealers are probably worse off. They may have some stocks of “carry” ammo, but the prices are too high and the quantities not that impressive. Dealers on the web seem fluid with $1.50/round premium boxes in whatever caliber you want, but limited to 20 round boxes– no bulk buys. It’s the FMJ bulk (500/1000 round cases) that is just so hard to get a finger on these days.

    Maybe it’s time to start reloading, but I don’t think primers, powder, brass, and the required gear are going to be that much more available.

  5. Stuart Hunter Says:

    Things are definitely getting better, I have been ably to get 9mm, 45 and 223 in WalMart this year at reasonable prices whereas I couldn’t last year. 380 is still hard to get, and Nyclad 38 Special us impossible despite what Federal said the the NRA annual meeting in Charlotte.

  6. BlueBarrel Says:

    My solution to the ammo shortage is to buy more guns. When .380ACP started to get scarce, I went out and acquired two .38sp revolvers — one to carry and one to back up our bedroom gun. I live in a city, so I never had use for a shotgun — until now, with a box of shells selling for less than $10. Next up is a .22 pistol for cheap range work. And I’ve come to really enjoy shooting my son’s air rifle in the backyard, where discharging firearms is against city ordinance. It still strikes me as odd that a die-hard liberal would go from zero guns in January 2009 to half a dozen with more on the way one year later. You can’t have one civil liberty without the others, folks.

  7. risa b Says:

    We can find everything here except .22 WMR and .380. These fly off the shelves with in hours of arrival. We’ve had to order from over 1,000 miles away. Fortunately our regular go-to caliber is .357! 🙂

  8. anon Says:

    The recent discussion among firearms cognoscenti has been very illuminating as to causes of the great shortages. However, one aspect seems to be overlooked routinely.

    The fundamental change in firearms training minimum standards that has been ongoing this decade – at long last institutionalizing the lessons of earlier years and the better instructors – has altered ammunition consumption behavior in ways that major suppliers’ market analysis never took into account. Round count per training hour is higher than anytime in history (not always to the better, depending on instruction, but generally for the improvement of standards and competency). The training habits of tier 1 units trickled down, and folks got used to spending 1,000 rounds a day at the range or more. The shortage has curtailed how much this expressed, but not the intentions to do so (given cost limitations for individual shooters, supply interruptions, etc.)

    It is pretty major psychological blow, however, to going from that kind of consumption to a market reality where retail channels carry at best a box or two of one’s typical fodder; and where it seemed for some time that prices just kept escalating. This also encourages hoarding behaviors, if only to ensure there’s enough to make it through six months of nothing on the shelves, even despite degraded training hours and round counts.

    There’s a good research study in there somewhere for academic or industry competitive intelligence professional alike. There’s also no doubt a major market for a solid training augmentation alternative. The .22 LR conversion and trainer market has clearly shown this; but we haven’t seen a real individual shooter entry for a simulator type solution that can provide recoil and weapon handling dynamics fidelity in a way that would make a real difference. If priced comparable to a case of 5.56mm or 7.62mm NATO, it would no doubt sell well.

  9. Hobie Says:

    200 MILLION rounds for Homeland Security? I find that very interesting.

    I’m one of the “many reasons one result” group in that I believe that raw materials demand and availability as well as ammunition AND component demand are contributing to the shortages. While the actual shortage is easing a bit at the retail level, the consumer who buys only when able due to either available time or money is still seeing a shortage. E.g. we received 20, 1 lb bottles of IMR4350 last week and sold the last exactly 7 days later. That used to last about 3 months. The customer who came in for a pound of IMR4350 15 minutes after the last bottle sold still sees a shortage and has no reason to think otherwise. Such shooters tend to buy twice as much when they next encounter product on the shelf. This also contributes to the shortage.

    Interestingly, many shooters tell me that they’ve cut back on shooting some, both because of the increased cost and availability despite actually buying more product. They must be saving (hoarding) that excess.

    Personally, I think this is good. We should have more than the 200-million rounds that Homeland Security has.

  10. Emptormaven Says:

    And it’s not just the ammo — Advantage Arms .22LR conversion kits have been in such short supply for the last few years that retailers have not been able to stock them, and the lucky buyers who get their hands on them can quickly flip them above MSRP.

  11. marc Says:

    Got a case of .45acp a while ago. The gun shop I go to seems to get 45 and 9mm when he wants it. 380 is a problem.

  12. Charles Cook Says:

    The lak of activity on the local rifle range here and the empty shelves tell me that a lot of hording is going on. With the currant political structure, I can find no falt in that.

  13. Dr. Feelgood Says:

    9mm FMJ is more plentiful on my store’s shelves. Seems to be a goodly selection of .40 and revolver cartridges, too. Not even a whisper of .45 and .380 ACP.

  14. Brian Heyer Says:

    Toward the beginning of the year the local suppliers (big box & gun shop) started to have boxes of most cartridge selections are available for sale, but it’s certainly not “on sale.” Prices are still up there. An exception is 5.56/.223 which initially was nearly TEOTWAWKI-priced, but now has come down. Nowhere near 2007 prices, though.

    I talked with the Walmart guy, and he said the ones that order for each store had to place orders to the central distribution warehouse each day on a first come-first served basis. They called everyday at 5 am for a while but eventually gave up. Their shelves now have centerfire pistol and rifle ammo, but selection is not what is was. The department manager doesn’t want to get ‘stuck’ with odd ammo since his price he gets charged from the distribution center is still high. (Shelf prices are high.) Only the more common ammo is being stocked. One load for .270, and two for .308, for instance, instead of a better variety. They used to carry 300 WBY also, but I haven’t seen that for at least a year now, and I don’t expect to again.

    Hey Backwood community, what are some cartridges we could quote?

    Can I suggest

    These are the common calibers of ballistic wampum that everyone Backwoods should have available.

    Can we ignore shotgun loads since those never really went out of stock?

  15. Jack Says:

    I see it at work all the time. in Southern MI, its getting better.

  16. SE Says:

    Hi Mas,

    My interpretation is that ammo has generally been available in some form, just not at a price that many shooters would consider reasonable or economical. If I’m willing to pay $22 – $25 or more for a box of .40 S&W, I can always find a few boxes retail, or order them online for $17-$22 a box. Or if I don’t mind reloads, I can now buy 500 or 1000 rounds of bulk .40 for roughly $12 a box.

    Here in the Los Angeles / Southern California area, one popular barometer for ammo availability is WalMart ammo inventory. For the last 6-9 months, at least, the WalMart shelves have been bare–literally empty. Shotgun ammo is the exception, which seems to have always been widely available.

    A few months ago the rifle ammo shelves started filling back up, and now there seems to be plenty.

    And in the last few weeks, .40 S&W seems to have recovered, as there are now plenty of boxes on the WalMart shelves, and also several brands, which is quite a change.

    .45 and 9mm are still very rare at WalMart, unfortunately, and even .22 can be rare.

    But, in a significant indicator that things might be improving, the WalMart stores here are no longer displaying a sign limiting handgun ammo purchases to 6 boxes. This is very promising.

    Unfortunately, this optimism is tempered by the upcoming start date for the California AB962 law in February 2011, which effectively bans mail order or internet purchases of handgun ammo. I have read that some out of state retailers are already refusing to ship to any city in CA due to the pending law and patchwork of existing municipal laws restricting ammo shipments.

    The forum community speculates that California will have a new wave of hoarding in advance of February 2011. After that date, we speculate that prices will increase considerably at all retail outlets, and rationing will resume. We also worry that given the hassles of the new ammo law, retailers like WalMart may simply stop selling ammo.

    Many are betting on lawsuits that will be challenging the law, and others are planning road trips to NV and AZ to make “ammo runs”. In the meantime, it’s hard to know how much ammo to buy / hoard, and how much is “enough”.

  17. Bill Lester Says:

    In my neck of the backwoods, southwestern Pennsylvania, the ammo situation isn’t too bad at Wal Mart or Dick’s Sporting Goods. Prices are improving as well, although still above what it was ~ 3 years ago. As an example, I can find 50-rd. boxes of WWB or Rem-UMC 9mm 115-gr. FMJ for $17-19 everyday at multiple stores within 20 miles of home. Gander Mountain continues to be a very poor choice both in quantity and price. Independent gun shops aren’t much, if any, better than GM.

  18. Paul H. Says:

    Well here in East Texas except for .380 and to an extent .38 Special I see TONS of ammo at Wal-Mart.

    But specialty ammo, like DPX, I don’t see much at all, and if I do see it, it’s for $42 per 20 shots!

    Thankfully my TCP works perfect with Winchester 95gr FMJ (a flat point design) and I have plenty of Winchester +p+ 127gr 9mm for my Glock 26. And a handfull of DPX .38 Special for my 642.

    And since I reload most popular rounds I have plenty 9mm, .380, .38, .45s, .30 Carbine, and 5.56.

    But then I use a AACK .22 unit on my Glock 26, Smith 34 .22 snub, Ruger 10/22 (mimics M1 Carbine), and I might get me a S&W .22 lr AR soon!

    Can’t practice to much!

  19. ML170 Says:

    This time last year, I would grab all the .45 ACP or 5.56 ball that I could find if it was 0.04 / rd. or less. I have bought a lifetime’s worth in the last year. Now availability in Central Florida is much better and I will only buy to replace what I shoot. .380 is still a little harder to find and strangely enough, .40 has never been scarce around here. Winchester PXD1 in 9. .38. .40 and .45 are all available at Wal-Mart here. Federal may as well be out of business as I have not been able to find Hydrashock anywhere.

    Our local Wal-Mart has just lifted their limits. Gun show prices for ammo are still insane with some of the bigger ammo dealers wearing raccoon masks and striped sweaters. I personally know two retailers that have raised their prices after seeing people pay ridiculous ammo prices at gun shows. These thieves are not doing the gun culture any favors.

    I bought 2 boxes of Winchester White today while food shopping because habits are hard to break and you never know …

  20. Mike P Says:

    All the more reason to load your own.

  21. Jack Zeller Says:

    John Strayer is right on. Bob Owens is an idiot. Period. Jack

  22. Tom 606 Says:

    After seeing news clips on TV of American troops spraying their little M-4/16 mouseguns on full auto, often from the hip and launching 40mm grenades the same way instead of using their sights, I can see where the DoD has to buy massive amounts of ammunition to supply our soldiers. I know it’s been said many times before, but maybe we should teach or re-train our troops the value of aimed fire. It’s not just about wasting ammo, but shooting up what one carries without knowing when the supply truck will be dropping by is not a good tactic. Yes, when one is under fire, he/she tends to get excited and blaze away at the enemy. However, using one’s limited suppy of ammo wisely can save your life and when those bad guys comes charging over the sand dune, you don’t want to be holding an empty rifle surrounded by spent cases. Maybe the U.S. military should re-issue the M1 Garand again, which also fires a serious manstopping round instead of a varmint cartridge. On the domestic front, with shortages of ammunition, I have been cutting back on shooting and practicing more with my Cold Steel blowgun and .625 darts. Know where I can score some yellow tree frog poison?

  23. Roger Says:

    I am a pistol shooter and so I have not paid attention to long gun ammo supplies. My wet finger in the air has also been WalMart. My rationale is my belief that any supplier who shorts WalMart is either being completely honest or has a death wish. Here in South East NC, WM ammo followed the fate of the dinosaurs for the past year until about mid April ’10. Now 9mm, .40 cal and .38/357 is usually available in what non-hoarders would consider sufficient quantities. The .45 rounds are still rare. When I began reloading about 6 months ago in response to LOA (Lack of Ammo) I had to contend with component shortages and quickly learned to abandon brand loyalty in favor of availability. Had it not been for the ammo shortage, I would not have discovered how much I would enjoy the reloading biz. Now if I can just figure out a way to do my own Physical Exams and hip replacements, I may be ready for the next shortage.

  24. Marc Says:

    I am seeing an increase in availability at Wal Mart and Dick’s in the Washington DC metropolitan area (not in the city), as well as some local gun shops. During the ammo drought, I bought reloading components and dies in calibers that I didn’t reload before, and picked up lots of once fired brass from a local police range. Now I reload 9mm, .45acp, .357mag, 7.62×51, and .270WSM. I feel much less affected by shortages, and I still look for good deals on ready to fire ammo when I can.
    Reloading is time consuming, but I am prepared to do what it takes to have ammo if more shortages or restrictions reduce the availability of ammo for my guns.
    Honestly, if some disaster or state of emergency occurs, I worry more about government gun confiscations like what happened to many in the aftermath of Katrina than of running out of ammo.

  25. Carl Says:

    In reading the two links you posted, I find it disconcerting that one author, Jon Strayer, has the military out of the ammunition production business, while the other, Bob Owens, has the military producing “half a billion more rounds than the military was using”. Which is correct?

  26. W. Warren Ellis Says:

    Our local walmart has a 2 box limit on ammo. Reloading is out for personal defense because of the litigious nature of many in my area. The local gun shop is many miles away.

    So, how do I do it?

    If I’m cleaning for an estate sale, and they have a few boxes, I take part of my pay in rounds. I get a spare $20- Rounds. Etc.

    It sucks, but what else can you do?

  27. jackson Says:

    Here in the central NJ area, I have to travel to Cabelas in Hamburg,pa ( about 100 miles each way to have and selection of 9’s and 45’s. Although they do have powder sometimes it’s been hit or miss. And yes I do stock up when I go. Its not unusual for me to spend 200-300 dollars to ensure enough to do a couple of IPSC matches . Most all of us shoot steel with 22’s. And yes I reload , but if I can buy a couple of boxes of primers and some powder I usually will save it and shoot WB ammo and save the reloading for a tme when I cant buy any ammo.
    I believe that the CALF. problem is just the start of the ammo shortage and the manufacturers know it. Look at new york state with their micro stamping of firing pins law…. Hard time are just around the corner!!!
    When the disaster strikes the time to prepare is over!!!

  28. Anon R. D. Says:

    In my part of the South central U.S., .380 remains ultra scarce, while .45 and .38 are a bit thin on the ground but findable. Other common defensive / training calibers are readily available from a variety of sources.

  29. Sgt. Jackson Says:

    John Strayer is missing one key factor in his article. The ammo manufacturers are not OVERWHELMED the are greedy! They see Very large military contracts and they are chomping at the bit to win a contract. There is no shortage of “natural resources” we still have gas and they are still making less cars then they used to. Now aren’t they.
    Lets get real it GREED on the part of the manufacturers that is causing this shortage. We the shooting community are probably 1% of the ammunition users in the US. To further disprove your hypothesis, if the war in the middle east is causing the ammo shortage than why didnt the Vietnam war cause the same shortages.
    And to the person that said our soldiers are just shooting thier rifle grenades indiscriminately , I guess you never were in a battle where bullets were whizzing by your head and you just had to return fire to hold your position.
    I will never believe what you say because anyone that makes a statement like that fought the war in the mail room or mess hall.
    In closing let us all remember the gas shortage in the ’70.
    Let us remember the sugar shortage, the toilet paper shortage,,,, the milk shortage, all artificial.

    Isn’t it amazing that we can get TONS of Russian ammo now, and how we can get European ammo now. I guess the powers that be have to help their economy now.
    Shooters beware shot now but save enough for next years contests.

  30. Thomas Murphy Says:

    My local range/club is well stocked in 9/40/45 and the prices are down quite a bit for .9mm and .40 with Lawman being under $14 a box in .9mm and about $15 for .40s. .45 is still in the $23 range. Other local shop is also well stocked. Personal defense ammo is a little less plentiful or heavily stocked so there are fewer options but I think we are at the best we have been for over 2 years and at ~.28 a round it is still maybe twice the cost of reloading but decent given finding components is still hard.

  31. will Says:

    So the unnamed manufacterer in the story by Stayer more or less gave American consumers the shaft to supply ammo to foreigners.American consumers should boycott them after they finish filling their little foreign contract.And no one should have agreed to supply 200,000,000 rounds for homeland security to be used when Dumbobama decides to use them against American citizens.These ammo manufacterers need to wake up!

  32. James Robertson Says:

    I found a great source for 9mm ball ammo (which is scarce or expensive here in the Phoenix area…. and given the nature of my living quarters, reloading is out. too small of an apartment. i literally don’t have any place TO reload) is gun shows.

    Yes, some folks there are simply thieves. However, Bitter Root Valley, who sells only in Montana DOES sell ammo outside of Montana, but only at gun shows. I bought 2k rounds of 9mm from them this past gun show (late April) for $169/thousand. The ammo is good and is firing reliably. These folks will be back in July, and I plan on buying MORE of their 9mm ammo then as well. Probably about 3k.

    Here’s their website. Look around and you’ll find what gun shows they’ll be at:

  33. Mike Says:

    In Columbus, OH, I’m not seeing much of anything in pistol rounds at the local Walmart. The gun stores all have pretty much everything in stock, although not for cheap (one guy’s cheapest 38 special was $28!) or in large amounts.

    I’ve been getting buy on handloads from one of the local shops. Guy apparently runs the store more as a hobby than to make a big profit, so he’s still selling .357 mag handloads for $15/50, and 38 specials for $12.

  34. The Duck Says:

    Well around here SW Ohio, I’ve seen plenty of 40, it’s hit or miss on 9mm (found Federal for $9.50 a box), and .380 & 45 still rare to see.

    Although in the week or so I’ve seen more on the shelf at the local walmarts

  35. OregonBuzz Says:

    If all else fails, try Very good pricing and generally has .45, 9mm, .223, including Black Hills re-manufactured .223. All available in bulk. For example, Federal 9mm, jacketed SP 500 rds./$109. That’s about .22/rd.

  36. SCRich Says:

    Still can’t finf .45 here in metro Charlotte WallyWorld except if u call 100 rnds ammo since the ammo shortage. .40 and 9mm are Ok but I do reload…still have issues blasting aWay though if we do get another shortage. I have converted though from a .45 guy to 40 since ammo and brass is cheaper not to mention the lead rounds. Honestly I think we have all been shafted by the big ammo companies and BUBBA behind the ammo counter at wally world stashing the stuff for his buddies! I have seen it myself…boxes and bags appearing out of nowhere when someon arrives with a handshake.

  37. Tim from CO Says:

    In CO, stocking up on target ammunition isn’t a major problem. .223, 9mm, .38spl, .357mag, .45ACP, and 12 gauge. Self-defense ammo is somewhat scarce so I usually just go online for that and I usually get it in a few weeks.

    I completely agree with people who reload. I would but living in an apartment, I don’t have a whole lot of space. Yes, I am keeping a decent stock on hand as well.

    I keep enough target ammo for a few trips and I keep enough defensive ammo to last maybe a few weeks (natural disaster or civil unrest).

  38. SCRich Says:

    Update: just a couple of miles away from the recent NRA convention I just found a few boxes of WWB .45 acp….the reason I found it ? $35 per 50!! You know where i’d say they can pack that ammo! Never going to bother walking in there again, ain’t going to waste my time again.

  39. Fred Bartlett Says:

    Here is a link to one more reason that .223 and .308 will be in short supply to civilians. ATK runs the Lake City Arsenal plant and they also own a host of other ammo manufacturing firms such as Federal and CCI. This plant has a massive order of .50 cal ammo, too. This story ran in the Kansas City Star a few days ago:

  40. G.W.F. Says:

    I am glad to see this topic come up. The ammo supply from my perspective has improved, but I do still see shortages. I stocked up on everything I could afford long before there was a problem, so it did not impact me too bad… except for when I restock practice rounds. The question I always have is what is the deal with the .380? I get raw material issues and military/law enforcement orders, but why the .380? Some law enforcement carry a backup .380, but its not a first choice for anyone that I am aware of. I know its popular with Concealed Carry, but I can never see why that one cartridge has such supply issues. When the shortage was at its worst it was hard to find everything. I can see 9mm, .40, and .45 having to compete with military/law enforcement, it has just always seemed odd to me that the .380 seems to be the one that everyone says is the hardest to find. Anyone have any clue as to what makes it special?

  41. Stephen P. Wenger Says:

    Overemphasis on recoil control can accelerate the tendency to anticipate the shot in some students. While I don’t claim to have the magic formula to determine the optimal proportion of subcaliber rounds to full-caliber rounds, I find the concept of interspersing some of the former very intriguing. A great many instructors will inject a ball-and-dummy drill if they observe evidence of anticipation and I view the subcaliber adapter as a close cousin.

    I have never been in the school of thought that new shooters should start with .22’s but, considering that the ammo shortage is not fully resolved, I’m willing to rethink at least part of the issue. I do have a few .22 revolvers in the safe…

    (A good first hit may produce better results on he street than a burst of peripheral hits.)

  42. Steve Says:

    Basic economics 101. Supply is stagnant and demand is up. The supply issues are not going to be resolved unless the manufactures invest in new plants. The demand issue isn’t going to be resolved unless we stop electing gun haters. Get used to higher prices.

  43. OregonBuzz Says:

    As to the economics of the ammo industry, the supply/demand ratio is indeed in demand mode. I have contacted some ammo manufacturers and they have said that they were not going to invest in plant expansion and more employees as they felt that would not be a good business move. The issue for them was that the surge in demand was relatively temporary. They’re collective decision was to run 24 hrs. 6-7 days a week with the equipment they had. This did result in some additional hiring, but not to the extent that plant expansion would have. The investment in plant and equipment was not considered to be a wise economic move for the long term. It seems that they were right as supplies have improved.

  44. Paul Says:

    from G.W.F.: “The question I always have is what is the deal with the .380?”

    I have no inside info, but I read a while back somewhere on this here “world wide web” that .380 acp is normally run on the same production lines as 9mm. Since 9mm is far more in demand, the .380 only gets started up and run 1 or 2 times per year on those lines – the rest of the time is all 9mm.

    Again – I have no clue if that is true, but did read it in more than one place, but don’t remember where.

    So it’s always been lower in supply, but now with all the circus events going on as described above, along with everyone and their Aunt Milly now owning a .380 pistol it seems, well there’s your shortage.

  45. Matt Says:

    Here in Burlington, North Carolina, ammo’s now back in stock – in most popular calibers – after being near-unavailable there for quite a while.
    Some big discount online ammo distributors now are back in stock on lots of popular tactical calibers they long were all-but-out of (as in had only the $2-a-round super-expensive stuff in stock) – while some of their competitors still are out of stock. LOOK AROUND if the first place you normally shop is out.

  46. Winston Smith Says:

    I think Steve is right. Basic economics are at play here. Also, don’t forget the mass quantity of paper dollars printed with no backing by the Federal Reserve in the past couple years. Prices of everything are destined to go up.

    I’m convinced by many of you that it’s time to learn how to reload … Anyone have good advice?

  47. john of sparta Says:

    Paul and Steve are right.
    Paul: .380 and 9mm use the same equipment.
    .380 competes with 9mm and 9mm wins.
    Steve: no new ways to make more. more people
    want more. profit! as SouthPark would say.

    my two cents: think ammo is hard to get now?
    think ammo is expensive now?
    if passed, the Valued Added Tax
    will triple your ammo cost. hey…
    components, too. can’t hide by

  48. Dustoff Says:

    I wonder, what if any, effect the large ammo order placed by DHS in Dec. 2009 is contributing to the current civilian ammo shortage. Remember, DHS awarded Winchester a contract for 200 million .40 cal hp cartridges over the next 5 years. That’s great for Winchester, more power to ’em. But just think of all the labels they produce for…And if they need to ramp-up .40 stuff out put, other cals may be reduced in out put. This is only ONE of the contracts we know about, as well.

    There are several factors that are contributing to the current ammo situation: fear and uncertainty (hoarding or “stock piling”),
    increased interest in self defense and the 2nd Amendment,
    (and since the government no longer makes its own ammo) govt contracts,

  49. Terry Says:

    Well here in Oregon, rounds are still hard to find, you can’t find any 45LC very little 38 and I haven’t seen any 357 on Wall Marts or Big R shelf.

  50. Terry Says:

    also when I asked at BigR what happened to there reloading stuff I was told that it want back to the Manufacture for redistribution, now isn’t that a kick.

  51. Terry Says:

    I did the same as G.W.F. I stocked up on 308,38, and 45LC and I have always had a good supple of 22, plus I have a 5mm rifle that I got from an estate sale. And 70 50 round boxes came with it, so that really helped me out, but I do very little practice. I am not a bad shot with the Springfield Socom II and have just about 1000 round of 308. Its just a shame that they have to goof up our ammo.

  52. Martin Says:

    Here in Indiana I am seeing all the WWB you could want in 9mm and .40S&W at the local Walmarts ever since the price of that ammo went up. The new hard to find item is the Federal brand range ammo that Walmart just recently began carrying. As far as self defense ammo or anything in .357 magnum or .45ACP? Forget it. I order all my revolver ammo and JHPs online because you will never see it in a store here.

  53. Long Island Mike Says:

    The lack of ammo in a brick and mortar store shouldn’t hinder purchasing your ammo. If your reading and posting on Mas’s blog you can buy ammo anywhere without leaving your house. If the price is right just order via Internet.

    Two search engines for ammo I’m aware of are:

  54. Chris Says:

    I reload my practice ammo for all the cartridges that I use except for 9mm. My local Wal-Mart (south MS) seems to keep a decent supply of Winchesters 100 rd value pack in 115 gr FMJ 9mm, so that’s what I use in 9mm. The .40 S&W and .45 acp value packs tend to be elusive, but they always have some .357 Sig ammo in stock

    For defensive ammo I order from the folks at . They have a great selection, and ship in a very timely manner.

  55. marc Says:

    I know how easy it is to get ammo and gun stuff thru the net. I too like to go to the big box stores and look at all the shiny stuff on the shelves. BUT, when it comes to parting with my hard earned cash I hate to give it to some faceless corp. that may or may not have a gun dept. next month depending on the corporate winds. I’ve also found after shipping and everything is added in the internet price is about the same as my local gun store. I’d rather pay a few cents or buck

  56. marc Says:

    I don’t know what happened here but I’ll try to finish. I’d rather pay a little more and get better service. my gun guy can order any thing I want and when I have problems- he knows guns cold. Don’t pass your local gun shop by on the way to make a ‘fabulous’big box purchase, it may not be such a good buy after all.

  57. Eben Says:

    About a year ago, I decided to start reloading my own .40, and I’m glad I did! At this point I have passed the break-even point for the investment in a progressive press and find loading sessions to be a great time of relaxation and satisfaction. Thus far (knock on brass) everything I’ve loaded has gone bang in the proper way. So if you’re considering taking up reloading, get with a friend who already does it and let them get you started.

  58. Matt Says:

    “I don’t know what happened here but I’ll try to finish. I’d rather pay a little more and get better service. my gun guy can order any thing I want and when I have problems- he knows guns cold. Don’t pass your local gun shop by on the way to make a ‘fabulous’big box purchase, it may not be such a good buy after all.”

    DITTO. When you’ve SEEN a Wally World sporting-goods clerk not know where a particular kind of .22 LR ammo was when they were a yard from it, you know this.

  59. PAUL Says:


  60. Knight 99 Says:

    The ammo shortage is the same here in Canada if not worse, especially for most handgun ammo. Almost all of course is manufactured in the US. The same goes for any decent rifle ammo that would be considered defensive, .223 & .308 win. When you find it, it usually costs 30% more than it did last year and more than double in some cases from only a couple of years ago.

    Hand loading equipment and bullet components have been flying off the shelves for the last 1 ½ years. I could buy any powder or bullet style I wanted 2 years ago and now spend months finding the basics from dozens of stores in my area (about the size of Texas).

    Now when I walk into a store, if I find a supply of “anything” that I normally load, I buy out their stock (eat or be eaten).

    For example if you want CCI stinger .22LR you will be told that they haven’t seen an order since late 2009, or that the last guy who walked in just spent $1,200.00 on the mornings shipment.

    The hardest hand loading finds for me at the moment are:

    CCI primers (especially large pistol).
    .45 ACP brass
    .357 Mag brass
    9mm 115 gr. JHP – .357 125gr. JHP – .45 200gr JHP.
    .223 55gr SP – .308 150gr. SP (yea really, .308 150gr).

    Apparently many mainline powders are also impossible to find, but I’m well stocked with what I need for years to come.

    Otherwise it is either hit and miss, or compromising with your pet loads.

    Most good to excellent shotgun and “regular” hunting ammo is still widely available, albeit at ridiculously inflated prices.

  61. John-Michael Says:

    Hi there, I live in Southern Louisiana and most ammo is actually fairly plentiful these days. I can walk into my local Wal-Mart right this second and pick up my Federal 9mm for 9.99/box, my Federal .45ACP for 16.99/box, and all the .22LR I can carry from 13.99/300 for Winchester or 17.99/500 for Federal and all the ‘Special’ Brands in between like Remington Yellow Jackets or CCI Stingers. .357Mag can be found fairly easily also.

    Like others have posted, the elusive .380ACP is still the toughest to come by…but is still being delivered once a week, and if you get in good with the WallyWorld employee, he/she will tell you when the shipment arrives.

  62. anonomous coward Says:

    How i find ammo, sneak around counter at Wally mart and just take it out of
    hidding place. 45 acp cases hidden, 308 win same place, must less federal
    22lr on next shelf all not seen from counter. Wow only double prices.
    What was 7$ 22lr boxes of 525 now $22 out door, and i steal it too, but pay.
    Why does 13 separate wally marts have no ammo on shelves?
    Hoarding is fun, but must have any ammo found, just remember to pay.
    Last customer meet at wally mart fought for 45 acp 100 round boxes, $33.
    today 10,000 rounds found 22lr, shoot off 525 at a wack each cost $7.00.
    Wow what 5 years differance makes today. Remember NOBaMa Imbargo, that
    sob is a anti gunner. Russian ammo, Chinese ammo all go bang.
    Kalifornia ammo will be gone , come Feb 2011. Guest price ammo feb 2011.
    Miitia Kalifornia , army of one hoarder.

  63. Aix Sponsa Says:

    Feb ’11. Ozarks. Ammo has shown up again. But still limited. Popular calibers are sporatic availability. Some gun shops bought high during the shortage, now have ammo too high to sell. CheaperThanDirt is about the best prices anywhere.

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