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We got our semi-regular email from our cyber friend, Heidi at Lucky Gunner yesterday. But this time it had more than the usual sales pitch. This was mostly an apology for custserv issues and it’s all because things are so good in the ammo game. Anyway, Heidi sez, “Sales sure are booming these days… we have seen our volume spike over the past month! We love the business but have to admit that we were not expecting such a surge in demand so quickly. We take the blame for not being adequately prepared.” Basically, customers are waiting to talk to someone on the horn and fulfillment is a issue. Of course . . .

It could be because they’ve just screwed up operationally in their systems, processes, staffing, whatever. We’ve always had good experiences when ordering from them, but there must be issues – whatever the cause – if they’re apologizing to customers.

As to the increase in volume they say is the root of the problem, they have a couple of theories. “As a side note- perhaps this surge in business is just because Lucky Gunner is so great…wink wink… but it is very possible that this is a sign that the ammo frenzy of 2012 has begun!”

If, in fact, their business really is up so much in the last month that it’s affected their service, does this mean we’re seeing the effects of pre-reelection stocking up? Does the prospect of four more years and a President unconstrained by the moderating force of needing to appeal to middle of the road voters mean we’re about to see another situation like the bad old ammo days of 2008-09? Have you placed your order yet?

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  1. Stop frenzy buying! We’re taxing ourselves into the poor house. At this rate, I’m going to start my own ammo company that pulverizes shark teeth and makes the powder into super bullets, then sell them for $10 a round. Too expensive to test my ridiculous theories with, but to cheap to live without. Better safe than sorry… right? Mall ninja’s, you’re welcome.

    • Meh, they just saw how much free publicity Cheaper Than Dirt received recently from a similar release and are getting in on the free stuff.

  2. I just bought 4200 rounds of Winchester white-box plated 36 grain .22lr from Cabela’s – with shipping it came out to just over four cents a round, and the stuff feeds great in my Ruger Mark II and all of my other .22 firearms. It was roughly the same price as the last batch I bought, arriving at the same timeframe, too.
    According to Ammoseek 9mm FMJ Parabellum seems to be plentiful at 10.00/box of 50 from a number of vendors.
    Whether our next four years of Presidential rule will harm our rights is anybody’s guess.
    What matters is how the shooting community perceives the situation, and if a critical mass of shooters believes we’re in trouble, they’ll start scooping up ammo, creating shortages and driving up prices.
    My advice is “buy some now while the prices and availability are still decent” but then again, I’d be telling you to contribute to the problem…

  3. Meh. For anyone that lives in a state that has snow in the ground for half of the year, summertime is when most of the shooting happens. Seems like I’m always buying a case of something this time of year.

    • That may be true in most years, but up here in Minnesota we didn’t get much snow this year.

  4. Things like this happen due to a combination of things:

    1) This goes hand-in-hand with the increase sales at Buds Guns. More guns, more ammo needed.

    2) Its no mistake that there are at least 3 prepper shows on TV right now. If there is enough preppers to support three shows, there are many more who believe the same but maybe are less into the mass hoarding of goods but more into self defense.

    3) There have been more than a few articles about women getting into guns and being the largest growing segment. There have been more than a few articles about Chef’s are also picking up guns to get closer to the food.

    4) Top Shot, Son’s of Guns and American guns as well as others have helped normalize guns and have probably made more than a few people get off the coach and try a gun sport.

    5) A non-existent winter means a shift with many outdoor ranges opening earlier than normal (at least in CT).

    6) I am sure there is some FUD about Obama

    7) There is a general fear I am sure about rising gas prices leading to hyper inflation which will lead to food shortages (not to mention draught is being forcasted for many states thanks to the dry winter) which will lead to civil unrest.

    8) I am sure that more than a few have seen ammo prices start rising, so get what you can while the getting is good. Brass is not getting cheaper.

    9) Did we not have several states ease up on gun laws making it easier to carry or get a gun, which probably has spurred more sales?

    10) Zombies!!!

    My point, its probably many different factors. All I know it angers the anti-gun crowd which is fine by me.

  5. I was under the impression that Remington, Winchester, Federal and others were all manufacturing at or near max capacity now and have been for the past 4 or 5 years. I know that Remington was working 4 shifts at the ammo plants, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Part of the explaination was the demands for the 2 wars we were in, but also civilian demand was up. I know that in many parts of the country, .380 auto was scarse because of the popularity of the little pocket pistols that everyone started making. So are you saying that the frenzy that already existed has increased?

  6. I also have it on good authority that the same thing is happening with online firearms sales. Demand is heavily outpacing supply and/or supply-chain logistics.

    The end result being canceled sales and lost revenues.

  7. I agree with the above – this isn’t new really, particularly when you take into account the increased # of guns sold, warm weather, TV shows, etc. I don’t think it only applies to ammo either – I’ve been waiting 3 months for a AICS stock, and I’m on the backorder list for a few scopes, rings., Pelican case, and a few other items. This isn’t at just one online retailer – but stretched over 3 of them!

    • Actually, the big story that TTAG missed is in AR-15 parts. High-end uppers and LPKs are selling out REAL fast now.

  8. I bought half a case of .223 this weekend. The guy at the store was saying that they are starting to have difficulty getting ammo from their distributors. On top of that, my friend bought an Arsenal AK47. The guy said that it was one of the last ones available in the state and that they were not expecting to get any in any time soon because everyone was buying them up. They had also been having trouble getting .38 snubbies from distributors.
    I have a feeling that the arms shortage this time is not going to be as drastic as last time, but is going to start sooner and be spread out over a longer time. I say get what you want now so you don’t have to worry about it.

  9. The cheapest price I’ve seen for US made .45 Auto is $17 for a box of Federal at Walmart but I’m wondering why it’s gone from every single Walmart near me in almost a 100 mile radius. The only stuff I can find in the afternoon is some fancy Winchester PDX stuff.

    Almost shipping is too expensive to buy ammo online.

  10. I don’t know about the ammo shortages, but there is certainly no shortage of media hysteria about the Florida shooting. I haven’t seen the papers and TV this worked up since the Cindy Sheehan campouts. They are pushing this for everything they can get. They even depict the Occupy forces working with the protesters for the shooting. This could be the first year in history that mass demonstrations and riots are aimed not at the sitting government, but at gun owners.

    • Pushing the Sanford case out to a national media play may be backfiring. They can’t figure out why. As media make hay and report on the sad incident, readers pick up on descriptions of the crime in the Sanford area over the last few years which figures in much of the journalism. I think many people end up thinking, “Sure, they didn’t handle this well, perhaps, but on the other hand…is my risk from a fluke like Zimmerman or from being the next burglary victim?” Since the numbers answer the question, they talk PC, but quietly acquire some defensive item and cartridges. And it is race-neutral: Others read it and think, “I’m a productive law-abiding citizen…but I’ll be darned if I’m going to be taken out by a Zimmerman.” I suppose the main result of the affair will simply be more commerce. I hope at least it is good for job-creation.

  11. ya’ll keep spending your hard earned cash i”ll just keep reloading for pennies on the dollar $$$

  12. I’m sorry, all of you are mistaken. Mikeb and his lackeys have assured us that fewer and fewer Americans are buying guns every year, so there is no reason for increased ammo sales. Therefore such sales do not exist. This is all a mass illusion promulgated by the eeevil NRA and the gun industry, to try to persuade people that it is OK to buy guns.

    That said, ammo stored in reasonable conditions (under 120 F and out of the flooded basement) will last far beyond most of our lifespans, so you don’t have to worry about it “going bad” if you don’t use it right away.

    • TTAG article “Has a New Ammo Frenzy Begun” double-plus ungood, refs non-sales. Rewrite full-wise, up-sub post-haste.

  13. I don’t think there is any across-the-board shortage yet, but the lowest cost items in several common calibers are hard to find in both brick-and-mortar and online outlets. Example: I can find all the brass-cased .223/5.56 I could want at $8 a box, but the $6 a box product is nowhere to be found and in some cases has gone up to $7 a box (AE223 at Wal-Mart has gone from $6 to $7). Similarly, for 9mm product is scarce at the $10 a box level, but seems to be plentiful at the $12-$14 level.

    I think the manufacturers simply miscalculated the product mix. They knew their sales had certain percentages at different quality/price points, but now the demand is much higher than they expected at the low end.

  14. .45 ACP has again disappeared from the local Wally Worlds. Bell-whether, canary in a coal mine, etc.

  15. march 2012 looking for 45 acp -none, 22 lr federal none on shelf. wow must be
    mr bummer scare tactics. wanted 308 found none. why must none be on shelf.
    need to learn me reloading, last chance is make it.

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