So Wal-Mart doesn’t want me stocking up my zombie safehouse with their ammo? That’s fine by me. Wal-Mart and other brick-and-mortar retailers are hardly my first choice for ammo purchases; I buy most of my ammo online and at gun shows. Regardless of my personal shopping habits, I don’t think Wal-Mart’s retail policies are any indication that we’re entering the second phase of a ‘Double-Dip’ ammo shortage, and here’s why…
Ammo prices and selection are lower than they’ve been in three years, because all sorts of new competitors have jumped into the market. I wrote about the end of the ‘Great Obama Ammunition Drought’ a year ago last week, and things have only gotten better since then. The .380 hollowpoints that were $23 last year are $20 now, and plinking-grade .22s are edging back down toward $15 for a brick of 500. (You gotta be careful, though: some sneaky bastards sell ‘bricks’ of only 300 to 350 rounds.)
Ten years ago we had few choices other than the big American manufacturers, unless you were shooting surplus NATO or Warsaw-pact ammo. Now, however, we’ve got Tulammo and Wolf and other foreign makers spewing out all kinds of purely civilian calibers. Steel-cased ammo might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but I credit it for holding prices so low that it’s hardly worth handloading 9mm or 5.56 (or even .308) for routine practice.
The last ammo drought was triggered by the election of a Democratic president, and a slight dip in supplies of NATO-caliber surplus ammunition. Our fighting men and women were firing millions of rounds of them at Iraqi and Afghan insurgents four years ago, but now? Not so much.
And neither has Barack Obama shown himself to be the energetic gun-grabber that some feared. Maybe this is because he personally doesn’t think it’s an issue, or maybe because he knows that gun control is an issue the Democratic Party cannot win. Either way, the only concrete step he’s taken against gun rights is his foolish and diversionary registration of multiple ‘assault rifle’ purchases along our Southern border.
Whatever happens next November, let’s remember our choices: pro-gun Republicans (except for the guy from Massachusetts) or a Democrat who’s barely taken gun control out of the fridge, let alone put it on the back burner. We’re not looking at a Romney-Clinton showdown, right?
I’m sure somebody can dream up a Chicken Little scenario involving secret Executive Orders and black UN helicopters to deprive us of our cheap ammo, but you need to think carefully before you shout ‘Ammo Shortage!’ in a crowded shooting range. Shouting it loudly enough might just make it happen.
Commodities panics, real estate bubbles, and bank runs are all caused by vicious circles of consumer behavior. Fear of a (nonexistent, but imaginable) shortage leads to over-purchasing and hoarding, which then creates a *real* shortage which then creates even more fear of a (now very real, if irrational) shortage. And on it goes; once it gets going it can take months to stop and years to return to normal.
After two or three years, we’re almost back to normal. Let’s just leave it that way, m’kay?