What happened to the ammo?
Many of us have noticed over the past few months that ammunition has gotten very hard to come by and when you can find it the price is several times higher than it used to be. There has been much speculation among consumers as to why this has happened. The real reason is quite simple. Gun owners have been buying up everything they can find as a result of concern regarding perceived upcoming regulations changes.
It is no secret that having a Democrat president puts gun owners on edge. During president Obama’s first term his stance on gun control was largely ambivalent. This has been attributed to his need to remain popular with all elements of the voting population for the sake of being elected to a second term. But with the election over and in the wake of the Newtown shooting there has been a renewed effort to impose stringent gun control measures. Gun owners are concerned that there will even be proposals for legislation requiring background checks for ammunition purchases as well as limits on how much ammunition can be bought in a single transaction. This is fueling a surge in demand for ammunition; everyone wants to get ammo while the getting isn’t hindered with unnecessary legal requirements.
Some of the hardest ammunition to get hold of is rimfire ammo. Everyone loves their .22s and .22 magnums and the .17HMR has a devout following of it’s own. Combine the popularity of rimfires with the fact that rimfire ammunition is not reloadable and it is easy to understand why shooters are anxious to by up all they can. Needless to say, short supply is not the only problem. Shortages stimulated by high demand always come with a rise in price.
So what’s to be done? Ammunition manufacturers are already working as fast and hard as they can to keep up with demand (if you doubt this check out Hornady’s response to the rumors. Their position pretty well sums up the whole industry’s stance). It seems to me the best approach would be to not buy any more ammunition than you will use in a reasonable amount of time. If you shoot 20 rounds of centerfire ammo each month and 500 rounds of rimfire, don’t insist on stockpiling 240 rounds of centerfire and 12 bricks of rimfire so you can shoot for a year straight. Buy enough to last you a few months, or cut back on your shooting (or both). If everyone does this the supply will start to increase and the prices will come down.
And if you are that concerned about the state of gun control legislation do what we all should have done in the first place and contact your state and federal representatives. You can use this website to get started.