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Image courtesy WikipediaImagine the following headline on MSNBC or CNN: Gun Owners Arrested After Ammunition-Shopping Brawl. And now imagine how Michael Bloomberg and Michael Moore would salivate over the spectacle of gun owners behaving exactly like the violent, irresponsible and paranoid sociopaths they already believe us to be. An astute member of the Armed Intelligentsia was tipped off to an angry confrontation that recently occurred at a northwest Dick’s Sporting Goods store. Here’s what went down . . .

A crowd of ammo shoppers arrived twenty minutes before the store opened, hoping to buy up that morning’s anticipated shipment of ammo. This sounds a little extreme, but dozens of bricks of .22 ammo can sell out in minutes these days, and clever People of the Gun are learning which stores get their ammo shipments on which day.

The queue degenerated into shouts and name-calling, and we’re all goddamn lucky that Dick’s managers didn’t call the police in response to the near-brawl in their parking lot. They only let one ammo customer into the store at a time, and they only allowed limited individual purchases until their shipment of 7,000 rounds of .22 was sold out. Which only took ten minutes.

This isn’t the only near-brawl to break out between frustrated ammo shoppers (other area stores have seen actual shoving matches) and this kind of bullshit is starting to turn into a major embarrassment for us People Of The Gun. If it keeps up, this has the potential to turn from an ’embarrassment’ into a self-inflicted PR disaster. If these cro-mag ammo shoppers had been just a little more infantile, or if the Dick’s managers had been just a little less awesome, the cops would have showed up and taken somebody to jail. And those somebodies would have been gun owners (who else waits in line for ammo?) and probably CCW holders as well.

Do I need to mention that this would have ended up plastered all over CNN and MSNBC? Didn’t think so.

Please, let’s not give Bloomberg and Biden any more ammo while we’re out shopping for ours. This is not us, and this is not the way we win.

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  1. Hate to start it off like this, but this is what price controls would get you. Long lines and empty shelves. When you see lines, the prices the store is charging is wrong.

    If the price was marked at true market prices (the gunbroker prices on .22), which are about triple what these always empty retailers are charging, then things would settle down mighty quickly.

    Too many new kitchen table ammo retailers (and hoarders) the last two months are causing this, but true market pricing would break the back of it pretty fast.


      Note: I want you to understand how hard it was to write that. I actually had to manually step through how to use the incorrect there/their/they’re in that sentence. My fingers kept typing it right when my mind was saying it wrong.

      • agreed. i personally prefer rationing to higher prices, as you can simply come back the next day and buy more, whereas the 3x gouged price you would otherwise pay is gone forever.

    • In a strict academic sense, you’re right.

      However, where the waters get murky is the topic of store traffic. Ammo sales help motivate repeat customers into visiting the store-whereupon they may not be able to buy the specific ammo they want, but they may buy something else. How many of us walked into a gun store looking for ammo or some mundane accessory , only to walk out with a shiny new 1911?

      Raise the ammo cost to “market equilibrium”, and your store traffic decreases. Lower traffic means decreased customers to sell other products to.

    • No need to hate yourself for telling the truth. Supply and demand rules do not change. I’ll bet the people in that line had plenty of .22 ammo at home. Set the price at market value and they lose interest pretty fast. It always works, and always will.

      • “I’ll bet the people in that line had plenty of .22 ammo at home.”

        No they didn’t, because they sold it all yesterday for 3x what they paid for it, and they’re back for more.

      • I don’t think any of us can categorize everyone buying store ammo as speculators. Sure, raising prices drives off the riff raff-but you as a retailer also lose legitimate customers ,who might buy something else. Its a common event for me to walk into a gun shop to buy ammo, and to end up walking out with a new-to-me gun;or alternatively I find one to save up and purchase 2 months later.

        From the retailers standpoint, its better to get people into your doors and sell out fast then to price it high and get a trickle of potential customers.

      • Define “plenty”.

        Actually, a lot of us who do have ample supplies of ammo (amount not specified, but figure >10K minimum) have been amazed by watching people buy bricks at gun shows and local stores for $50 – $75 a brick. That may well be market price, but it sure makes my last 40 years of ammo buying look like really good judgement.

        When the current panic dies down and the stuff gets back to a rational price, need I suggest that it might be a good idea to stock up a bit? Hey, ammo doesn’t go bad if you keep it out of sinkholes, swamps, attics and wet basements.

        • No, you needn’t suggest that. Folks will be jockeying for ammo from now until the foreseeable future and then some.

        • But this is exactly why we can’t fnd ammo, people are going to keep trying to “stock up”. My self too I’m guilty of becoming an ammo zombie, I refuse to shoot my current reserves unless I know I can replace some of it. All stores in my area are out of all 9mm, .22lr, .223, 5.56, .357 mag, .44 mag… hell actually I’ll tell you what I have seen in the last 2 days 2 boxes of 40 s&w z max, 2 boxes .380 z max, 1 box .17 hmr, 30-40 20g shot shells, 14 boxes f 12 g various shells, and all larger cal. deer rifle seems to be sticking around for now, wait till Oct. when all the hunters rush the shelves for some deer ammo and the stores will not have anything left to sell.

    • youre exactly right.

      rationing and keeping prices similar also caters to the folks that sell the stuff over the internet.

      it is particularly irritating for somebody that has money, but simply cannot drop it to buy ammo since there is no ammo.

    • Absolutely – if we want ammo, we need to be ready to pay market prices for it. We would have all the ammo we wanted if we were willing to shut up and pony up the difference.

      I ran across a vendor who is selling small pistol primers for about 20 bucks over what Cabellas is selling them for, biut these guys have stock and Cabelas is out. I think I am going to buy some just to say thanks.

  2. I actually witnessed something like this recently, and someone actually said (in an attempt to defuse the situation), “You don’t want to end up on the news.” Cooler heads prevailed.

  3. Okay, so it sounds like someone who frequents TTAG heard about this second hand (or third hand, or fourth hand, etc.). So we don’t really know exactly what happened. That’s not to say I don’t believe it, because it’s entirely believable.

    These “events” have been precipitated by the the very people who would exploit them for to advance their own agenda. Ammo should be as plentiful as food.

    But I know the reality of the political environment and yes, we lose. We’re still on the defensive. That’s what has to change. If we remain on the defensive, we will continue to lose. I sense that most gun owners are seeking solace from the courts and the Constitution. The fascist disarmers are the ones who are un-American and enemies of the people. That depiction should be assigned to them relentlessly.

    • I agree and with respect to chris dumm if this is second hand anecdote it could as easily have been blown out of proportion or worse fud from a sockpuppet. now that ttag has attained creds we can expect paid trolls to visit to muddy the waters. besides dicks doesnt represent all gun outlets and in my area anyway they attract newer buyers that id generalize as less mature. so lets not get our panties in a wad here ladies and jump into the circular firing squad…

  4. Have these people never heard of internet backorders? Who relies on brick and mortar anymore? Dumb all around.

    • I use brick and mortar because they have thousands of rounds of every caliber in stock, at least around me, and for good prices too.

  5. Why is any Defender of the 2nd Amendment shopping at Peckerhead Sporting Goods? If you have a short term memory problem I’ll remind you that they were the 1st national org to ban AR sales after Sandy Hook. Took them all of about 2 minutes.

    But from a LEGITIMATE gun store. And that would be one that is not gouging (m11_9’s so called “market pricing”).

    • There are a lot of selfish people in the world. Some of them buy ammo. They don’t care about the 2nd amendment. They care about “getting their’s”.

      • +1000. An example. I was in my local Wally World picking up some 9MM and 30-30. This guy proceeded to “lecture” me on taking care of himself and the h$ll with 2A, “New Yorkers” got what they deserved, should move to Texas if they wanted freedom. That he would only protect his own. Everyone else could go to H$ll.

      • Blehtastic, that is the exact problem right now. Too many people (Mostly the Mall Ninja’s w/ their Tacticool .22’s) are only concerned about “Getting Theirs”.. Nothing else

      • Prices going up due to diminishing supply and/or excessive demand is fine. Gouging is a term reserved for when people jack the prices up artificially with no reason for doing so.

        If people buy up all the ammo in a town, and then re-sell it for 5x the price, that’s artificially gouging it. If stores raise prices because they have to (my local gun store had to, shipping went up) that’s fine and acceptable.

        Right now people are deliberately jacking prices up and buying up everything just for that reason.

        • Those friggin morons fightin over ammo dont need guns to start with, because they are too stupid. They prob shouldnt have kids either, because then they just grow up & become fools too.

    • If they have ammo and I need it, I’m buying it. It was their choice as a retailer to stop selling modern sporting rifles, and it’s your choice to not shop their because of it. It has nothing to do with the 2nd Amendment, and you can’t tell me where and when to shop. That’s all there is to it.

    • why is any defender of the 2nd amendment shopping at walmart?

      walmart’s unethical businesses practices are worse than dick’s dickery of troy rifles and lack of semi-automatics.

      oh wait. thats right. another intellectually dishonest “boycott” mentality that goes on.

      • And why is that? Walmart still sells AR15’s while Dicks does not.

        You forget that Walmart also sells non-firearm goods, like food.

  6. please stop . this is nuts folks. buy all means hunt down what you need for a little fun shooting of competitions you have planned, but DO NOT add to the “stash” . If you really want more, the premium and buy it on gunbroker or auction arms from other shooters.
    this situation is being exacerbated by people spending their spare time “cruising ” stores fo ammo. It keeps the shelves empty.

    • here’s another thing, im a capitalist and believe in raising prices rather than rationing, but if you camp in front of stores on the shipment day, buy all of the ammo, then sell it online for double the price, you might be a douchebag.

      go hang yourself and save everybody the trouble…

  7. I never thought I’d say this but now I really do think it would be better if all ammo retailers jacked up the prices. These unemployed (who else has the time to wait at places for the doors to open) ammo “flippers” are starting to piss me off.

  8. m11_9 is exactly right. The solution to any kind of shortage is higher prices. I saw a local ad yesterday: “ammunition for sale 7.62 X39, 308, 223, 9MM, call xxx. The seller is probably one of those guys standing in line. He buys ammunition at an artificially low price because he can pay for his time by reselling it at market price.

    The only good news is that in a few months these guys will have 12 lifetimes worth of ammo and no way to sell it. I can wait.

  9. True about Dicks management handling the situation well, and about how Lord Bloomberg, Michael Moore, and the other nazi libs would’ve had this incident all over the news “Gun nuts go nuts,” etc. But when hundreds of savages go “flash robbing” the “media” always just calls them “youths,” A.K.A. yoots, yoofs….. Got to love “impartial” reporting.

  10. Obama has created exactly what he set out to create within the ranks of gun owners….
    – Expensive firearms
    – Lack of availability
    – Ammo shortages
    – Extremely high-priced rifle and pistol rounds

    Why legislate gun control when we will do it to ourselves. That said – I’m just as guilty as the everyone else on buying up any reasonably priced ammo that I see on the shelves. I think the majority of us don’t see this deficit going away for at least a year, maybe more.

    • yeah except that the ammunition, firearms, and sporting goods industries are flourishing right now.

      ammo manufacturing is a booming business.

      • Stocks are at record highs and companies are running at full production. However shelves are bare and people are paying out 4-8x more money than they should have to practice.

  11. Who doesn’t think that this is all happening by design? And who has more to gain from this than the gun grabbers in Washington DC?

    • That’s EXACTLY what I think! Everything happens for a reason. There are no coincidences.

  12. First, this is bad for all gun owners. It looks like people lining up for new models of cell phones that will be half the price in a few months.

    Second, the anti’s will stop at nothing to make gun owners look bad. Who’s to say they didn’t infiltrate this and become “community agitators” like our present leader in order to make gun owners appear to be rabid lunatic gun owners?

    Don’t be trapped into it. The anti’s love it because it runs the price up. Just like gasoline, if the buying slows down, the price comes down. It’s called “supply and demand”. Just food for thought. Jim

  13. These people need to relax. In less than a year it will sit on the shelves collecting dust and maybe even go on sale! THAT is when you stock up, duh!

    • I seriously doubt that. This is an engineered situation. What do you think is going to change it, an ELECTION? Don’t make me laugh. Sardonically.

    • Same thing happened in 2009, took about a year, but things (prices) sort of went back to normal!

      • Things calmed a bit but didn’ t get back to pre 2008 prices and supply untill 2010/2011. I have talked to gun store owners, the sporting good guy at wally world and other places. They are behind on getting shipments 6-12 months so what makes you think it will only be a year? I think it will be 2 or 3 at the least…

  14. Its a shame there isn’t a none liberal pro-gun news station that played all the good uses of firearms and that’s it. While the liberal media is done with their 5 minute gun bashing segment and moving onto their segment about that Rhiannah chick or whatever the hell liberals care about, the pro-gun station would still be playing the truth.

    On a side note, its brutally annoying to lose the last two boxes of 223 to a man saying, “I think this is what my gun takes.” to a cashier.

  15. “Michael Bloomberg and Michael Moore”

    OK. Thanks for ruining my birthday. A midget emperor and a fat POS. God help us.

    • Filming an exposé on a destructive, Constitution-hating, lying imbecil doesn’t make MM anti 2A, anti-gun or anti-anything, apart from anti-ignorance.

      He’s a member in good standing of the NRA, and for all we know is right now working on an exposé of the CD folks.

  16. 7000 rounds of .22LR, 7000 boxes of .22LR, 7000 bricks of .22LR or 7000 cases of .22LR? If this ammo shipment comprised a grand total of 140 boxes of .22LR ammunition, that’s even more pathetic than the near-brawl in the parking lot…

    The panic-hoarding/reselling at extorted prices is a constant source of amusement.

  17. Wow. Over .22 at that. On the flip side, these people just argued. I seem to recall stories at releases of new Jordan’s that people were actually killing each other for shoes. And lets not forget the cage fight known as the modern Black Friday. I guess what im getting at is that some consumers just suck, regardless of what they’re shopping for.

    • I guess we can all be thankful it wasn’t .223 – let alone 5.56mm. Heaven forbid it had been a shipment of PMAGs…

  18. I was trying to get ammo the other day and heard two guys infront of me saying: “these idoits should have got ammo before the shit hit the fan. I know but at least we will triple are money when we put it on gunbroker.”
    Seems like some people are out there just trying to profit from the chaos.

  19. I was at my local “D” the other day for the awaited shipment with the 3 or 4 other gents showing up regularly. This is by the way the store closest to Newtown. When the clerk announced no 22 again for the fourth time for the oldest gent he did have 200 rounds of 223 and 2000 rounds of 9mm in 1000 rd. bulk boxes limit one box per customer. To my admiration the first man in line wanted the 223 and asked the rest of us if we were looking for it too. Everybody answering yes he offered to share the bounty. The 60 rounds were nice but the gun people unity was truly awesome. Lets hope that sentiment really gets traction..

  20. 7000 rounds? That’s not even two cases. Wouldn’t be worth the drive even if I did still shop at Dick’s.

  21. This…

    “and this kind of bullshit is starting to turn into a major embarrassment for us People Of The Gun. If it keeps up, this has the potential to turn from an ‘embarrassment’ into a self-inflicted PR disaster.”

    I went to a parking lot sale, was one of the first of 10 people there. I made coffee, chatted, had a nice time waiting talking shop. For someone to pick a fight over ammo…

    Imagine what would happen if the market ran out of food. Holy cow… We would be so screwed…

    But yeah… Picking fights is a bad Idea. Especially with people who it would be BEST PRACTICE to assume are armed.

    • Just recall the Thanksgiving Day sales debacles were people fought over electronics, toys, sneakers, etc. And this is when they are well feed. When hungry, humans regress to their Neanderthal heritage. Nothing kills more people quicker than famine or even the perception of a famine.

  22. As perhaps the only economist in the room, my two cents comes down on the side of letting prices rise somewhat; enough to dissuade some of the speculators and signal the need for additional production, while still supplying those who need/want the ammo today. Rationing on the basis of per purchase limits is reasonable, too.

    Fortunately, I’m seeing availability start to return. The gun ranges have ammo at reasonable prices, albeit only for on-premise use. Mine even has 30 rd PMAGS for $20. Limit two per customer, of course, and they sell out within the day. Academy still has ammo limits, but there are boxes on the shelves most days. Even several of the online sellers are taking new orders. Granted, those too sell out within the day, but it’s at least happening. Now, none of this applies to the hardest hit calibers: 9mm and .223/5.56, to be sure. I’d say just sit back, wait it out and spread that message where and when you can (like me right here and now) that we’re turning the corner. So don’t get over excited and ruin it again.

    • You speculate wrong.

      –> Former Assistant Professor of Economics, Indiana University until I got fired, junked my career and joined the world of three letter agencies.

      All this conspiracy talk reminds me of the price control induced gas lines in the 1970s. Then it was the evil oil companies witholding oil. We have met the enemy and it is us. If the gun community would stop panicking everytime some anti-gun bill gets introduced into a Republican controled state legislature the price of guns and ammo would return to normal. TTAG’s reporting hasn’t helped with this when they report all anti-gun activity with equal seriousness.

      • I can’t fault TTAG for informing us about gun control bills. They are all serious. Some may have a better chance of passing, but the minute you ignore one they will sneak it by you.

        • So you think that a couple of Missouri Democrats can sneak a gun confiscation bill through both houses of legislature where the Republicans have over 2/3 of the seats and get the Republican governor to sign it?

      • Some nimrods who slept through American government 101 don’t know that we have individual states. I heard lots of people say that the New York gun laws were going into effect “everywhere”. These same people don’t understatnd that there’s a long path between proposed legislation and actual laws in the red and even most of the blue states. People are going crazy over some proposal that a left wing moonbat makes and the moonbat doesn’t even have the support of his own party, much less the guys across the aisle. I might be more optomistic than most and yeah I’ve got a few rounds squirrelled away just in case but i think that we’ll be looking at some awfully good prices on ammunition about Christmas.

  23. From my perspective, the prices have risen a bit (in Utah). I will allow myself to visit the gun counter at Wally World and other places, if I’m already there. It appears that the ammo shortage is getting under control. That said, the price gougers are in full force on the various online firearm sites in the state.

    I’ve limited myself to only shooting the amount of ammunition that I’ve already replenished. It looks like I’ll have to stop using my Browning Buckmark pretty soon.
    At least I will be able to get some .223 practice in…

  24. These people may not even own guns. If I were out of work and had a family to support I would consider reselling anything gun, especially ammo. 99% were probably gun owners but I’m sure the hungriest were resellers. There isn’t much work out there and you have to keep circulating cash.

  25. So glad I incrementally stocked up when I saw where we were headed because the cupboards are all bare here in Sarasota

  26. I’m a relatively new gun owner and the thought of stock-piling ammo never occurred to me when I bought my first weapon. Note I said “first” because once the bug hit I found myself window shopping for my next gun everywhere I went. It’s frustrating as all hell that I can’t afford to go and practice but I keep telling myself I waited this long to get into the sport, it won’t kill me to wait a bit longer.

    Unless it does.

    • You can still dry fire practice with “snap caps” and/or get a laser that stuffs down the barrel to show “virtual point of impact” and steadiness of trigger press in your own home whenever you find convenient to do so.

    • It is truly painful for me to hear your words John. I wish I were able to help and yet I cannot (unless you happen to live in southern Ohio, or it’s tri-state).

      Hang in there is all I can say, and sit on the ammo you have. Better to have a weapon and ammo that to have knowledge of it but no ammo.

      We’re all hating this, and politically we’ll get even. The glory days will return and we’ll all shoot till we can’t stand it. Congratulations on you weapons purchase and thanks for joining us in exercising your 2a rights.

      The ammo supply will return, or I’ll personally solicit investors to make it our selves.

  27. I have about 300 rounds of .38spl, 9mm and 12gauge but that’s it. It’ll only last me a handful of range trips and I try to buy more every time I can.

    Dick’s near me has .38spl, .40s&w, .45 and .380 in stock along with $250 UMC bulk 9mm (can’t afford, wish I could) so I stop buy and grab some every other week if I can.

    I ended up buying 9mm Speer Lawman for $20 a box at a small gun store where I got my first revolver. A bit expensive, but it was that or nothing.

  28. If I recall, Moore is a member of the NRA and a firearm holder. Just do the news article without the insults. Makes one look childish.

  29. Imagine if there was a shortage of gas. There would be long lines. People would be angry. There might even be (shudder) fistfights. OMG!

    Oh, wait. I don’t have to imagine. I lived through the Arab boycotts.

    The thing about the gungrabbers is that if something goes wrong in the gun community, they’ll publicize the hell out of it. If nothing goes wrong in the gun community, the gungrabbers just make sh!t up and publicize the hell out of it. Liars gotta lie.

  30. Let’s all hope that noone in the CD camp thinks to send in agents provocateur.

    That would be bad.

  31. I want to thank Chris for writing this article. I have been saying this for months but no one is listening. If we as a community dont stop behaving like this, Chris is right. Doomberg will have a field day with all of this and stricter BS will follow. There is NO need to buy a lifetime’s worth of ammo all at once right now.

  32. Anyone who spends time around gun owners and shooters knows that our hobby has more than it’s fair share of d’bags in it. Saying let’s all behave so we don’t give the gunophobes something to latch onto is pointless. You’ll never reach the people who get into shouting and shoving matches and who come to the gun store as an expression of their masculinity. I think your very first commenter had it right: allow the market to solve this problem by setting the price right. Otherwise you’re no different from Carter forced to ration gasoline when prices were suppressed after demand exceeded supply. He got the same thing we’re getting here – panic buying, bulk buying, and hoarding.

  33. 60, the number of rounds I have left for my 8mm Mauser

    120 .38s

    87 .45

    1258 7.62X39

    2280 5.56

    98 12 gauge (serious; 00 buck, slugs)

    I am desperate for ammo. Absolutely desperate. I’m so desperate I will not shoot a single round unless I have to. Gone are weekends at the range. At the farm they think I’m gun shy. I will not pay these prices, I will not!

    I’ve fired something upwards of 200,000 rnds in my life, and my skills won’t deteriorate that fast.

    If the supply of ammo doesn’t open back up soon, I’ll seek investors to buy machinery to manufacture it. (we’ll make a killing)

    I will not fight for ammo. . . if I take it I’ll taken from the fallen, theirs and ours.

    I will not pay these prices for ammo, I will first solicit investors to make our own.

    I have ‘enough’ ammo to make it through quite a thing.

    For those who can’t wait. . . I’m selling ammo that doesn’t fit my weapons these days, not hording. It’s an investors dream come true.

  34. I will never understand this panic buying…never. There are the President, House of Representatives, and Senate that are needed to pass gun bans and any gun legislation. The liberals don’t own the House, the GOP does so this panic buying makes no sense whatsoever.
    Gun owners screwing other gun owners for money and the NRA is just making it worse instead of helping us.
    I remember in 07 the NRA said Obummer is out to get our guns….well he wasn’t, but everything was flying off the shelves.
    I am a lifetime NRA member since retiring from the USAF but now it seems they are just egging it on.

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