Ammunition is hard to come by but manufacturers are continuing to develop and produce new products. (Photo credit: Browning)

In a piece published by Fox35Orlando immediately prior to the Biden inauguration it was reported that people in search of ammunition are facing even an uphill battle.

People started lining up in front of the door at Academy Sports + Outdoors in Lake Mary as early as 2 a.m. on Monday waiting for the doors to open at 9 a.m.

When FOX 35 News asked several of those in line what they were waiting for, they all answered “ammo.”

And with perfect timing, several people in my social media feed have been posting pictures of long lines at gun and sporting goods stores across the country. All those lines are ammo-focused and in some you can clearly see the abysmally small pile of available ammo in the background.

Yes, demand and frenzy for ammunition has escalated with the inauguration:

Perkinson [owner of Volusia Top Gun] added that, since the pandemic hit, sales have been up 100% and every day feels like “Black Friday.”  However, he said the last two weeks, it’s been a “zoo.”

“I could have done 300% more if I had the inventory. I’m turning away a lot of people just for lack of inventory,” Perkinson explained.

Apparently some of the guys waiting in line for ammunition see no issue with with telling mainstream media journalists, well, everything:

“I just come here on Monday. Tuesday, I go to Buena Vista. Wednesday, I go to East Colonial. Thursday, Buena Vista. Friday, East Colonial. Sunday, I go to Millenia,” [David] Godkin said.

He is an avid hunter and marksman who uses about half of what he buys each week and stockpiles the rest.  Right now, he said Academy Sports will only sell three boxes of ammunition to each customer.  He was about 10th in line and wasn’t able to get exactly what he wanted.

“I got two 9s, which is the handgun, then I got the 223, which is the rifle. A good day. Would have been a better day if I’d gotten all 9s,” Godkin explained.

Well. Thank you for letting everyone know exactly where you shop, when, and how much ammo you’re using versus stockpiling, Mr. Godkin.

Something interesting in this news piece is the inclusion of prices and what sounds a bit like a half-assed excuse from a gun store owner:

A small box of 9mm ammunition that was selling for $14 maximum at this time last year, is now selling for $37.99 and [Volusia Top Gun] can barely keep it stock.

[Owner Ron] Perkinson tells FOX 35 News, even if he is able to get larger amounts of ammunition in later this year, he doesn’t see the price going down any time soon. Several of his manufacturers made him sign new contracts agreeing to pay more money for the product, if not, they won’t sell to him anymore.

Yes, it is true. Multiple major ammunition manufacturers announced price increases of as much as 15 percent per box. Oddly enough, every manufacturer I’m currently aware of that’s made that change has it slated to begin February 1, 2021.

Here’s the problem with gun store owners and dealers trying to push off higher ammo prices on the manufacturers: they have been hiking prices since the moment they saw demand spike. Manufacturers didn’t start increasing their own prices until relatively recently. Yet ammunition prices began climbing exponentially with no apparent ceiling back in, what, April of last year?

Supply and demand is a thing, but the way ammunition pricing has been handled has been…frustrating to watch in action. What do you guys think? Should ammunition prices be as they now are? Are dealers right to make the double and triple price increases in the face of spiking demand even when those increases were made months before manufacturers altered their own pricing?

152 COMMENTS

      • This is how an industry eats its self out of existence. When its customer base can no longer afford the product the product becomes extinct. The industry dies.

        • There is only so much powder to go round. Only 2 mills making it domestically. Half used in the US is from foreign make. It don’t matter how much brass there is, the lead, lots of places make primers, modern smokeless gun powders not so much. Buy what you can now, it’s only going to get a lot worse.

        • Mack The Knife says: “When its customer base can no longer afford the product the product becomes extinct. The industry dies.”

          That’s not what’s happening. At all.
          With the prices going up, the demand is more than keeping pace. The industry is not in danger of dying out because of higher prices.
          Now, governmental interference is another thing entirely.

        • That is not how capitalism works at all.

          It is all supply and demand.

          The price of the supply is driven by its demand, if the price rises beyond the demand curve, the supply increases as the demand at the higher price decreases, etc.

          What we are seeing now is too many people willing to spend outrageous amounts for what used to be commodity priced ammunition, guns included.

    • Whenever I go to Front Sight (training institute in NV), they have ammo. Of course, purchases from their Ammo Bunker are now limited to only what you need for a particular class you’re taking, but it’s available in quantities and in prices that are higher than pre-COVID, but not astronomical.

      Helps me continue training while conserving my personal inventory.

    • Liberty isn’t worth it at any price given it has such a tremendous failure rate. I was using some of their .223 stuff. Utter garbage. So many failures to fire and I was running an SR-15. Never again will I buy their crap.

    • You can bitch all you like…but the truth is that you didn’t prepare for this eventuality.

      I’m not trying to rub it in, but I have thousands of rounds of ammo for every weapon I own because I purchased it over time and certainly more than 2 years ago.

      Planning ahead matters. Learn from this!

      • Not every gun owner has been so for years or decades. It’s been years since the market last spiked and that was nowhere near this. It’s easy to stockpile a good shooting supply if you buy more than you shoot for years.

        It’s pretty tough for a young 20 year old to hear things like “If you didn’t learn back under Clinton that you should buy extra when the price is low, then it’s too late to tell you now.”

  1. I don’t see this slacking off until ..maybe end of 2021…dunno, but its bad. Not even after Columbine was ammo as scarce as now.

    • I don’t remember it being this bad even after Sandy Hook, like the major thing then was .22, but that stuff is relatively easy compared to other calibers.

      The other issue is that even when this panic is over, people are still going to be stockpiling ammo, primers, and bullets for years after.

      • The last time I bought minimags, they were $10 for a box of 50 (this was the first year of the Obama Administration), and thought that that price was kind of high, as everything else was still arond for .02 or less. Now they are $20 a box if you can find them.

      • Sandy Hook affected the common and most ban likely stuff the most, so 9mm, .45acp, .22LR, and 5.56 seemed to be mostly missing, plus any and all AR receivers and parts, and magazines, unless you wanted to buy $30-50 pmags or $100 Colt AR mags. But I remember you could just keep calling Walmart and find .40s&w coming in.

        • Yep, I remember mags being gone and CTD racking prices higher than anyone else.

          I’m currently doing my homework on a Vortex Viper to use on my 6.5cm I can’t find ammo for. I had decided to buy a cm last year and then “the covid” struck, then the election stuff, and then and then..ect sigh..so maybe by the end of the year I’ll have ammo, scope, and a 20moa rail.

          ……And then in late 2021 a meteor struck Europe and sent the earth into Nuclear Winter and no TP and still no freakin 6.5 ammo.

        • I guess that explains why mags are still the same price right now: everybody stocked up on them in 2013.

    • You are more optimistic than I,I think shooters will be lucky if things sugar out by 2022.
      With all the new owners and folks who haven’t stocked up because they could always make a run to the store and get what they wanted,will now think differently, although in this case I hope I’m wrong but I don’t think so.

  2. I laugh at all those who said “it’s not price gouging!” when it obviously is.

    And shame on the ammo manufacturers who are refusing to increase production because this demand for ammo isn’t going away until 2025.

    • Own any polytech AKs, SP1 ARs, or classic cars? If so sell me them for the MSRP when they were new or your purchase price otherwise you’re just another hypocrite.

      • No problem, as long as you can pay me using the equivalent weight of gold from the purchase date, plus the interest that would have been earned by an equivalent amount of cash that was earned in bonds or a savings account. My uncle dumped a ton of cash into restoring a ’57 Chevy Bel Aire, but I’m sure he’d sell it for the price of a cherry one from a dealer, if one exists.
        Someone who buys out a store stock and flips it isn’t adding value or forgoing investment opportunity. I can understand stores that mark up to compensate for covering fixed costs with lower volume, but profiteers permanently lose my business.

    • Um, I’m pretty sure I just saw a couple of videos from the two CEOs who mentioned they’ve been producing at increased capacities, and in some line are at all-time historically high outputs. Pretty sure they’re working as hard as possible, since this is a golden opportunity to make a ton of money for themselves in the process, as well as satisfy the growing demand. I really don’t think they’re just sitting on their hands and letting that additional income just sit on the sidelines so they can prove some imaginary point, whatever you think that point is.

      • Never forget that when tough talking Haz had the opportunity to attend the January 6th revolution he chose to stay in cozy CA to take care of his parents who had mild cases of the Wuhan sniffles.

      • And don’t forget the flow on effects to suppliers of raw materials such as metals and chemicals. Increased demand in these sectors will also result in increased input prices for other manufacturers.

        • ” raw materials such as metals and chemicals ”

          I was reading some financial pages last night — saw an article about rising shortages of copper due to strong new housing demand and durable goods. Shortages of copper turn in to shortages of brass, so, this on top of everything else.

      • Haz, You’re right. It makes sense that they keep producing their product. Why sit on it? They are a business. Business wants to SELL their product.
        Paper towel and TP companies WANTED to sell more back in March/April. They were set-up to make school/business paper rolls (not household size). It’s not easy to switch a factory’s production line in less than a month.

    • Who cares if it’s “price gouging?” It’s just supply and demand in action, there’s nothing to gain from whining about it and giving it a nasty name.

      • As a strict capitalist, I agree. I should have bought more ammo when it was affordable. But I didn’t and that’s my cross to bear.

    • A lot of these manufacturers have been going full bore for a while now.
      Haz is right, I’ve seen one CEO say they are doing all that they can to meet demand.

    • Part of it isn’t price gouging. I know a number of LGSs that are purchasing at retail to get inventory so they can have something available to their customers. On top of that, you have to bump prices when you face shortages. If you can keep the lights on selling twenty cases of ammo and a dozen guns a month (or whatever), and you see that you won’t be able to get that much stuff in, you have to price your overhead into the two cases of ammo and four guns you can get.

      While I’m sure there are shops who are taking advantage of this, I know plenty of LGSs are trying to do the best they can by their customers while preparing for some lean times ahead.

    • No! Shame on you for spreading unfounded rumors.
      I am within 2 miles of one of the nation’s larger ammunition manufacturers, Vista Sports CCI plant.
      They are running 24/7 – 365 and only stop when a machine breaks down.
      Semi-trucks sit idling as ammunition is loaded almost before the glue sets on the cartons.
      They simply cannot keep up.
      The real problem is hoarders and scalpers. Are you one? Stores are limiting and pricing the way they do because idiots stockpile ammo they will never use.
      Sporting goods stores have been financial losers for years.
      The Big Box (think Wal*Mart) have used guns and ammo as lost leaders since the 1970’s. Now the spoiled morons whine because they were crapped on by the Big Boxers. And worse these imbeciles voted in tyrants who now are coming after them.
      Want to know who to complain about?
      Get a mirror.

  3. It’s price gouging pure and simple. If it were bread or beer Big Government would step in. But it’s ammo and the Nanny State is just fine with things as they are.

  4. The ammo producers say they are producing as much as they can. The CEO of Federal did a video recently that is on youtube and he talks about the situation in some detail. Bottom line is his opinion is the supply of ammo will not return to stability till 2022.

    • I can’t see ammo ever being plentiful at reasonable prices again. The 6 or 7 different trial runs the Hussain WH made at limiting it, are going to be given green lights as soon as cabinet heads are sworn in. And the Democrat ability to over turn a landslide or any state wide election, buy what you can now, it’s not going to get better, imo.

      What little makes it’s way to public sales will be snarfed up into the resale market, just like last time.

      • nah, they’ll just place a reparations tax on. ‘cuz who’s more affected by lead chips that those in need of repair?

  5. Supply and demand is very much a “thing”, it’s how prices are set in a market economy. Before COVID and summer riots while Trump was President and seemed like he would stay that way, ammo was at a low point. Then ~7 million new gun owners got added, and they bought, let’s say, 100 rounds of ammunition; that’s 700 million rounds disappearing from the market, add to that panic buying and hoarding by the other 80-100 million existing gun owners upon seeing all that has happened since last March, and it is easy to see how demand skyrocketed. It takes a while for ammunition makers to build capacity, and with the new administration wanting all kinds of draconian measures on guns and ammunition sales, they may not want to risk investing in more capacity. High prices should reduce shortages, and should incentivize anno makers to make more ammo, that’s how capitalism works.

    • I know there was a big buy when California’s ammo background checks went in, it seemed like a lot were trying to set themselves up for years worth of supply, even lifetime supplies. Then Covid, summer riots, election and pending legalisation…. Just the election alone would be enough to cause panic buys, basically the run up to Hillary but as if she won, plus greater loss of confidence in government.

      • Yup. How it works for CA folks is we see what gun bills are coming down the road, up to a year in advanced, and we start stocking up beforehand. But it does not mean we stop fighting for our 2A rights. POTG must continue to vote (via ballot and wallet), donate to FPC, bring in, guide, and train new gunowners.

  6. Apparently, ammo prices are not yet high enough; otherwise, they wouldn’t be constantly sold out entirely with people still wanting more. Supply and demand really is a thing; the demand is extraordinarily high, supply has not even come close to keeping up. The manufacturers have been trying to keep the supply high enough that their prices didn’t have to escalate to keep up with demand, but they clearly haven’t been able to. Retailers don’t have the “make more” tool; they can’t increase supply significantly, so their only way to make supply equal demand is by increasing pricing until demand decreases to match supply.

    Do I wish that there was a way for the prices to be lower? Absolutely. I wish I could afford to shoot as much as I felt like. And now my strategy WRT guns I buy is really biting me; I have tried to only buy guns in common calibers to ensure that there would always be an ample supply of affordable ammo… but those are now the calibers that have been experiencing the highest increases in price for ammo.

    • That being said, I think you’ve still got the right strategy. I’ve got plenty of stuff in 9mm and .223, but I’ve also got a smattering of stuff in more niche calibers like .32 and 7.5 Swiss. You think 9mm is hard to find, at least stores still have spots on the shelves allocated for it. Most shops near me have pulled the price tags off the shelves for any handgun ammo that isn’t .45 and 9mm because that’s all they’ve gotten in stock for the last month and half anyway.

      • If I were an ammo CEO, I’d be making as much high margin premium ammo as I could. If I can make 100,000 rounds a day, I’d rather make $.20/round for defense or hunting ammo instead if $.05/round for range FMJ. I’d concentrate on the most popular calibers first and leave less popular for the lines that can’t do popular calibers. When the market saturates, then I’d go to the range ammo. Once that’s saturated, I’d go to the $.005/primer.

        • If I were an ammo CEO, I’d be making as much high margin premium ammo as I could

          Would it really make a difference? With TEN people waiting in line for ONE box of ammo, it wouldn’t matter if manufacturers doubled production… You would still have FIVE people trying to buy that one box of ammo and retailers would continue to raise prices… The only way out now is to decrease demand and that is not going to happen in the foreseeable future…

        • But they can’t get the bullets for that .20 a round self defense ammo. The shortage goes all the way down.

  7. I’ve a couple of acquaintances who recently purchased their first non-Fudd firearms for non-Fudd reasons and they can’t find any ammo to train with. I’m hooking them up with some of my stock because I figure we’re at the stage of the game where local armed alliances are going to be more important than a few hundred rounds of range ammo.

    • local armed alliances are going to be more important than a few hundred rounds..

      All the “armed alliances” on the planet won’t mean a thing if they can’t get ammo…

  8. I see a significant business problem for gun stores: staying in business when they do not have any inventory — neither firearms nor ammunition — to sell.

    When there was a steady trickle of customers purchasing a steady trickle of firearms, ammunition, and accessories, that was a steady stream of income and expenses that the gun store owners could manage. As soon as demand exploded, there was a rush of people to gun stores which quickly depleted their inventories. And while that income bubble was great at the beginning, I can see them struggling with reduced income now — especially from lack of sales of accessories since many people like me no longer go to their gun store (rightly or wrongly assuming that they do not have any inventory). Meanwhile, their monthly operating expenses (rent, utilities, labor) keep coming in.

    Had gun stores failed to increase prices and bank that initial income bubble, they could very well be facing a very bleak business situation going forward — unless they can find some other way to bring customers in to buy accessories.

    • “I see a significant business problem for gun stores: staying in business when they do not have any inventory — neither firearms nor ammunition — to sell.”

      Guns and ammo are still being manufactured and sold (for the time being, anyways), except shipments are being limited.

      They can do like us and tighten their belts and slog through…

      • If needed, they will tighten their belts, which means laying off staff and taking less profit. Probably cutting advertising, since customers are already lining up and don’t need sales to bring them in. Rent and utilities stay the same, so there isn’t much more to cut. If they made $5/box on 1000 boxes a month, and $50/gun on 100 guns, raising $5/box selling 500 boxes and $50/gun on 50 guns makes sense if thendemand is there. However, unless there’s Covid slowdowns, they’re still receiving as much inventory as they always have, but it’s going out the door faster. When the ammo delivery shows up on Thursday morning, it’s out the door by noon.

        • No they’re NOT receiving the same amount of inventory as before and then it’s gone by noon…who told you that nonsense? The stores can’t get anywhere near the inventory they got before, check with the large online stores, many haven’t had inventory of many calibers in 6 months or more and only get very small quantities of some, my LGS hasn’t received any in several months

        • What has been discussed here to make you think Geoff Tipps the scale at 350? A little bit of projection maybe? This has been a pretty civil conversation so far so where do you come from you little prick-eater?

    • They get inventory but it pretty much sells out within hours or even minutes of them getting it. Also don’t forget transfer fees. People are still buying guns like crazy and pretty much every gun store I have been to has told me the amount of transfers they do has gone through the roof. One of my local stores stopped doing them completely because they were getting over 50 transfer requests a day; couldn’t deal with it. And if money becomes tight for them they can just start up transfers again.

    • “I see a significant business problem for gun stores: staying in business when they do not have any inventory — neither firearms nor ammunition — to sell.”

      A concern that has hit the steel industry as well, even the bigwigs are concerned. And steel is just one area of concern out of many.

      As I said down below, if ammo prices are in your top five concerns at this point then you’re not paying attention. Shit’s nuts across the board. Lot’s of little red lights are flashing all over the place. Yet not many people seem to notice or care.

  9. Wouldn’t investing in some plants, such as the few lead smelters that closed be good to increase the production capability to solve these issues?

    • A simple solution on the surface, but a lot harder to implement.

      Primers are actually made by hand, and in only a few facilities due to the danger of explosion. The equipment to make the primer cups and anvils, the brass vases, and the bullets cost tens of millions of dollars. It also isn’t sitting on the shelf at Walmart. It would take a long time to get the equipment manufactured and installed and working properly. There is also a shortage of raw materials to make everything. Plus, these things tend to follow a boom and bust cycle. Only a couple years ago, Federal laid off hundreds of factory workers due to oversupply (and 9mm ammo was $9 a box at the time). To pay for the equipment, it would need to run at capacity for a long time.

      All in all, too many factors that don’t add up to increasing manufacturing capacity.

      • Primers is what I keep asking about even though I’m not a reloader (excepting shotgun.)

        It seems the bottleneck shortage is there as the other components can still be found. Why specifically is what I want to know. Is it lack of cups, anvils, lead styphnate? I have watched videos of primers being made to try to get further information.

        I find it difficult to believe that there is not some sort of manufacturing capacity that can quickly be discovered by staffing during breaks/shift changes, working all nights and weekends. I’m not suggesting we work them to death, just add new labor to take up the slack.

        Whatever the cost is, it will be justified. I will temporarily move to Anoka, MN (already have a place to stay there) and gladly work 12 hour night shift on weekends. During my off time I will diligently and voraciously study applicable data on the production equipment, past sales, chemicals and metals used, best processes, and anything else I can get my hands on.

        At the end of a month I will be the “best” employee they have on that production line. I don’t come cheap, but I’m not astronomical to pay. I’ll happily work for 1000 primers per hour with no benefits subject to renegotiation as inventory increases.

        • Making primers is a much slower process due to the high risk and hand on requirements. So less volume is made as compared to other components. Also every round needs a primer so every type puts strain on demand for that machine.

    • It’s a matter of why risk capital in a what is politically incorrect with the Leftists, deepstate, media, entertainment, education, and all the rest. The last lead smelter was was a EPA hit job, the entire US coal industry did not stand a chance, the tiny lead concerns even less.

      The real limit is the gunpowder, it’s only made in 2 US plants. And only supplies about 50% of domestic needs(military&civi). The balance is from foreign make. Any of you think the WH is going to let anyone make it EASIER/Cheaper to produce civie ammo?

  10. There is another reason that it is probably a plus that gun stores increased their ammunition prices immediately: it reduced hoarding. Back in March 2020, it didn’t take a genius level I.Q. to foresee:

    1) Thousands/millions of people panicking and wanting to buy a modest amount of ammunition.

    2) Thousands/millions of firearm enthusiasts fearing that they would not be able to purchase ammunition in the future since people would be purchasing a lot more ammunition.

    3) Tens of thousands of firearm enthusiasts smelling an opportunity to stockpile ammunition and sell it at a decent profit in the near future.

    That being the case, if ammunition distributors had not raised prices, enthusiasts and speculators would have hoarded all available ammunition and there would be no ammunition available for the people who just want three or four boxes for some rudimentary training and basic self-defense.

    Instead, because ammunition prices are quite exorbitant, most people do not see hoarding being a good bet at this time and they are leaving remaining ammunition for people who want to purchase a few boxes. I see that as a good thing.

    • I have not bought ammo online since April of last year with the exception of one time where I bought a case $100 more than it should be. But it was in stock and cheaper than what you are seeing now. All the other ammo I bought last year was at my local store. And right now because the price is being completely stupid add me having “enough“ I’m just not buying ammo in common calibers. I’m buying the oddball stuff that I shoot. Prices have not gone up on those. Who shoots 7.65×53 Argentine and 8mm lebel on a regular basis?

  11. Did not need it but went ahead and purchased a 100 rounds of Norma 9mm brass cased ball range ammo for $115.00 delivered. After purchase I found the same on another site for $96.00 delivered so shop around but do not procrastinate.

    • Do you use an ammo search engine? I’ve seen it quite a bit cheaper on ammoseek.com

      It makes me cringe when I hear someone paid that much, but with the current administration I can’t sell anything I have. It wouldn’t be a drop in the bucket at any rate.

      • Yes but it was a from a GB seller I purchased from before and they are in Texas so I sent them some more business. Looked on ammoseek and after tax and shipping it was close to the $96.00 9mm I found after my TX purchase.

  12. My local stores have sold out out blackpowder and lead rounds. At least I have enough to go old school if I have too.

    • Your comment prompted me to a quick black powder / muzzleloader search and I’m little surprised to see stock is mostly out.

      I guess people really are buying anything they can get their hands on.

      • Try to find bullet molds. I have a recently inherited 45 Old Army that I can’t find a reasonably priced and quality mold for casting rounds. Fortunately I also got about 1500 round lead rounds for it.

    • FormerParaTrooper,

      I bought a nice supply of black powder and bullets several years ago “just in case”.

      Looking back, I believe that was a wise course of action.

    • I just sit down at the loading bench and crank out box after box, that’s only possible by purchasing a stock of components when they are available at normal prices.

  13. I care not one wit what a man charges for his product, I can exercise my freedom by , buying from him or not . For those who think it’s to high , even though they sell it as fast as they get it …. think of it as a tax on the unprepared.

    Around here the housing market is on fire, prices way up and cash offers way over asking price . I guess you guys would sell yours at pre boom prices so as not to gouge .

  14. Some may disagree but I don’t see the situation as an evil government plot. Instead its the result of the “just in time” inventory concept that was introduced a generation ago by the Japanese. The whole idea is to have NO excess capacity in the supply system. In the firearms world, if you sell X number of rounds of .31 Thumblicker a month, you make the same number of rounds to meet that demand. If you make 10 rounds more, that inventory is sitting on a shelf someplace taking up space and you’re paying taxes on it. So you make only enough product to meet the demand. You don’t want to have production capacity beyond that demand as well, because production machinery costs insane amounts of money and machinery that sits idle affects the all important bottom line. During what passes for a normal year production is running at pretty close to 100% capacity.

    Then the Black Swan events of 2020 come along and ammunition demand goes up dramatically. Survivalists want to lay in hundreds or thousands of rounds of ammunition because they see themselves shooting zombies in the streets. People are afraid that the incoming administration will work to cut off the supply of ammunition. New gun owners want a supply of ammunition for practice and defense.

    Now the shelves are bare. Remember that due to modern industrial inventory control practices the system was very close to 100% capacity before demand went crazy. There are some minor things that ammunition manufacturers can do to increase capacity like add extra employees or work overtime shifts and I’m certain that those steps have been taken. They’d be fools not to do the easy stuff.

    The next steps are very hard. Its easy for Joe Shooter to complain that Remington or CCI should just build more factories, but a major production facility costs millions of dollars and takes at least 3 years to get up and running. That’s the reality of the situation. While it looks like there’s a tremendous built up demand for ammunition, investors want to see long term stability and they’re reluctant to put large amounts of money into a plant that may be shut down or restricted by government regulation in a year or two.

    So its not a good time to be looking for ammunition. In the best scenario the market may eventually smooth out like it did after Sandy Hook or Columbine. In the worst case we may be shooting air rifles – right now I can still find pellets and air is free!

    • They had lots of excess capacity. Federal was producing too much and was laying off hundreds of workers 3 years ago. They’re back up to full capacity now, sans temporary Covid shutdowns. If they invest in more capacity now, they’ll have even more excess later with extra debt or less cash, so they’re waiting to see if the new normal warrants the investment, or if it goes back to normal without Covid and occupied cities. The same goes with any startups now. They might be profitable now, but they could get wiped out if demand goes to 2017 levels.

    • If I were Vanderbrink & board at federal, I would seriously be considering not just projected demand in 3 years but also government regulations before I invested in significant capacity.

      It’s not outside the realm that there will be required licensing to buy ammo, no online sales, daily limits on purchases, or exorbitant taxes added. There are plenty actively trying to bring all of that about. This administration has already shown blatant disregard for killing jobs and businesses by shutting down Keystone, moving to rejoin Paris treaty, and proposing $15/hr minimum wage which will price many of their constituents out of the labor market based upon the value they bring.

    • Great job making a long complex concept easy to digest. It’s a high efficiently supply/production/inventory model, that fails badly with disruptions to the system. Like each town/city only has 3 days food on hand without power bad.

      I will say this, the Dems are not going to let prices or supply ever catch up with demand, and will “win” every election that matters for a long time.

  15. Price increase don’t bother me. Keep in mind the retailers have seen their volume go into the toilet while still having fixed costs. An outfit that could get by selling 50 boxes a day at $1 profit now might only sell 5 boxes a day and needs to make more on each box to keep the lights on.

    Supply and demand is a thing. People are way too fast to throw around the phrase “price gouging”

    • Right, but their supply hadn’t gone into the toilet. Their excess supply on hand has. Factories are producing even more than they were in 2018. That’s all going to the dealers, and it’s going out the door the same day, so shelves are still empty. It’s like a bucket with a 1/2″ stream of water coming in the top, and a 1/2″ hole in the bottom. The water level remains constant. Now, somebody puts a 2″ hole in the bucket, and faucet is turned to full and puts out a 1″ stream. The bucket empties, but more water is flowing through it. The stores want a 2″ flow coming in to match the hole, but that would require a bigger pipe, and the manufacturers are worried the hole will get smaller and not make up for the cost of putting in a bigger pipe. That’s not to say there aren’t small dealers who only wanted a trickle before who might be going to the back of the line because bigger, consistent clients get dibs, but the industry overall is doing more.

    • “…Just like gas prices, it goes up fast and Never. Ever. Ever. Goes back down…”

      WTF. In 2008 gas was almost 5 bucks a gallon in Fl. It was 2.39 today when I filled up.

  16. The gun stores and companies run this constant slew of paranoiac “They’s is coming fur yur guns now! You gots to back us at all costs!” And so we back them up. And then every time, EVERY time, there is even the slightest run they have their fingers up your rear end within days. Nothing will change until people learn that the sky is not falling and will not fall now any more than it did after Obama was elected. We are the ones who are giving morons who spend all day “testing the trigger” and racking the slide on demo-case guns hordes of money in response to what is literally NOTHING. Nothing at all is justifying all these dinguses running to the store and buying everything, other than being corporate tools.

    • Depends on where and what time you golf.

      At “normal” prices you can buy a damned fine set of irons and wedges for what 1000rnds of 5.56 costs today.

    • water hazards tip the scale towards pricey.
      i garbage picked a daiwa driver. the driving range tees up 100balls for ten bucks; i don’t even have to bend or squat except for whiffs, they just pop up out of the hole on a little rubber dringus. the objective seems to be to whallop the guy driving the ball retriever cart around.
      and i can make that highball and short story last awhile.

  17. I can see why gun stores are selling ammo at high “market” price. I read a comment where someone who worked in a gun store said they had their ammo priced more reasonably until they saw some guy buy all they had left at their store who promptly sold it to other people out in the parking lot. I would rather see the gun store make the profit.

    My LGS actually sells 9MM at a somewhat reasonable price by todays standards but they keep all popular pistol caliber for range use, training classes, and for purchase with a new gun. While I was there some fellow actually came in and paid the range fee, bought two boxes of 9MM , and then left LOL.

  18. Just saw .45 ACP 230 grain @ $2.60 a round for Winchester service grade FMJ and 2.23 is running between $2.00/$2.50 a round…. The last 5.56 ammo I bought was .49 cents a round for 600 rounds in an ammo can…. This is way worse than 2013, I recall prices doubled from Dec 2012 to Feb 2013….. So Creepy Uncle Joe is a WAY better guns and ammo salesman than Obama was… I went on a buying binge as soon as prices settled back down but I only have about 1500 rounds of .45 and 1000 rounds of 10 MM everything else is well over 10,000 rounds per (22lr, 5.56, 7.62×39, .308, 9MM) and 500 rounds of 12 gauge (00 and slugs)…

  19. Walmart did a double disservice to shooter when the dropped handgun and MSR ammo.

    While Walmart prices increased after Sandy Hook, they were much lower than most online dealers.

    I believe this had a calming effect on the market.

    I found some reasonable prices at Cabelas before the new year.

    15$ 380 Remington and 13$ 9mm ball for practice and 13$ (20) sig 9mm he.

    Have not seen anything on Cabepas since the 1st of the year. I imagine it’s all going to the stores when they get it.

    I have a fair stock of 9mm, but I don’t know if it will last 3 years.

    I am optimistic the mid term elections will help cool the heat.

  20. The manufacturers jacking up prices is the big worry. Just like gas prices, it goes up fast and Never. Ever. Ever. Goes back down. Demand will have to slump tremendously for prices to ever go back to Jan 2020 normal, and I just don’t see that happening unless Sleepy Joe gets the boot in 2024 without successfully passing any legislation.

    This is just death spiral on top of death spiral. My guns are getting detail cleaned and put into storage, shooting is over.

    • I’m not sure if you’re aware of this, but in 2008 gas was over $4 a gallon pretty much everywhere and over $5 a gallon in some places. I’m filling my tank as low as $1.80 per gallon now.

  21. Yes there has been a smattering of reasonably priced ammo at Cabelas. As in WWB 150 [email protected]$75. And reasonable 9mm. But you have to camp out and be there in the early AM. Something my retired friend does. I’m still good with my stash…

  22. I have had 6 boxes of 6mm ARC 105gr on order since the end of August. Just received a notice, order planned to be filled near end of February. Can still reload 300 Blackout for 23 cents apiece.

    • You can maybe reload at that price if you bought the components prior to this. Primers are out of stock almost everywhere and are easily going for over .20c per when you can find them.

      I have stock to load some 600 rounds of 300blk right now and am shortest on powder. I cannot find my preferred powder anywhere, if I do I can load up to a thousand before I run out of bullets. After that, I’ll probably be paying over a dollar a round to reload.

      Thankfully I have nearly 2K primers which is the big limiting factor. But once that’s gone…. I don’t have high hopes for future reloading.

  23. It’s funny – and not in the “ha ha” way – to see what calibers are still readily available at somewhat normal prices online. Looks like if you own a Nagant revolver or a 28 gauge fowling piece, you’re good to go. 🙂

    For the rest of us…it might be time to practice our rock throwing skills.

  24. It’s not just ammo. Keep watching oil prices. Similarities? Obama shut down lead smelters and Cornpop is shutting down oil and gas.

  25. Well there’s inflation across the board and shortages of raw materials in the production line. The price for manufacturers will continue to rise for the foreseeable future.

    Retailers are the canary in that coal mine in many cases. They anticipate higher prices for restock in the future, so they raise their prices to cover that possibility. They may go too far in some cases but the flip side of that if they don’t go far enough they may not be able to afford to restock.

    Yeah, it sucks. Honestly though, if this is in your top 5 or so concerns for 2021 then you aren’t paying attention to what’s going on.

    Guns and preventing gun control laws from being passed is a package deal with other things. Many in the 2A community have never seemed to grasp this. Perhaps they will soon.

    • strych9,

      Any insights to what is causing the raw material shortages? COVID-19 shutdowns or something else?

      What are two or three of the other “red flashing lights” that you see starting to go off? (My question is not snark — I am genuinely curious and concerned.)

  26. As a Gun store owner , I will only chime in on the status of 9mm. We have used the Federal RTP in all calibers for a few years because it was affordable, reliable and available. That changed in Summer 2020 when we struggled to get 9mm and it has not gotten any better. We pulled all RTP from the Range except for .40 & .45, that seems to be available for now.
    We went outside of any distributor this month to buy a pallet of 9mm 124 grain FMJ from an importer. Do I like doing that? Hell, no! If I can buy it, why didn’t any of the distributors buy it and offer it to us Dealers?
    Beats me, maybe because the cost is $30 per 50 round box. Time will tell if it sells @ our retail price which will be well below $50. Stay tuned…

    • Best of luck to you. I shoot less ammo these days but still go to local gun store/range at least once a month. It is concerning to see a whole lot less people shooting at the range these days and there are not that many ranges around here even though it is a large metro area. If they go out of business I am screwed and will have no where to shoot any more within a reasonable drive distance. It is also extremely hard to open a new range in these parts because of the progressives on city councils these days that simply will do everything to prevent or stall any from being built.

  27. Price gouging is good, God bless price gougers.

    You had warnings this was coming. You being unprepared is your fault. Quit trying to blame something (price gouging) that is helping the problem. You think lower prices means more ammo will be on the shelf? What moronic thinking.

    You’re all a bunch of socialists.

    • I was posting once a month for years, the bad oll’ times could be right round the corner again. But most Americans had less than $400 in the bank at the height of the Trumpconemy, then 20 million lost their jobs, COVID style…

      • But most Americans had less than $400 in the bank at the height of the Trumpconemy, then 20 million lost their jobs, COVID style…

        And under the Creepy Beijing Bidenconomy MILLIONS more will lose their jobs (over 100,000 last week, that might be a record) and those that had less than $400 in the bank will have less than zero…. Welcome to the Schum-losi-den Obama economy part II… With his star Susan Rice in the White House “advising” (MAKING) policy… THIS is Obamas 3rd term….

      • It matters where you choose to live. Not all places had those problems.

        The only thing keeping ammo on shelves at all is the high price.

        Just because your life was hard doesn’t change that.

    • I love people who bought shit-tons of something they didn’t need in response to a corporately-prepared crisis telling others that they “weren’t prepared.” So spending enormous amounts of money on things that literally have no application in advance is smart and people who buy what they need when they need it are dumb? It’s like bragging “I am a corporate tool! Target Corporation told me that there was going to be a massive shortage of pink pillows so I went out and bought 500 of them!! Sucks if you weren’t prepared!” You keep getting way ahead on those pink pillows, bud! The NRA is telling the truth! The sky is falling! Better send them more money and then buy another six weapons from their corporate sponsors!

      • Wow, talk about a clown show… You probably should have bought a shitload of ammo instead of those pink pillows (NOT my choice for a defensive weapon), but to each his own… My main problem with your rant is that deride those that chose to store some extra ammo while you admittedly hoarded all the pink pillows you could grab… Says a lot about you.. Could there be little too much anger in you because you REALIZED too late that you were the one that was coerced into buying a bunch of stupid pink pillows instead of using that money to purchase something that provides protection for you and your family? It is a FACT (as opposed to liberals “truth”) that ammo, when you can find it, is now priced as high as 8 to 10 times per round more than it was 1 to 10 years ago and the words “inexpensive firearms” do not mean the same thing they did a couple of years ago… But hey, you can build a hell of a fort with 500 pink pillows… Enjoy…

        • You aren’t going to be able to eat your ammo in a REAL crisis, genius. Also, you need to work on your reading skills. Also, ammo has no value whatsoever in most real-world scenarios of societal breakdown. Then there is of course the reality of the hoarders. Ever read that old Dave Petzal article where he talks about the gun writers who have passed away? He talks about how many of them had closets, attics, whole rooms full of rusty, barely kept weapons because after a time they could not even keep up with all their hoarding. Go to an estate sale and see how many piles of old, outdated ammo boxes there often are. That guy also stacked it up for the coming doom, lol, back in the 1970s, or the 80s, or the 90s, or one of the four different crises we’ve had in the last decade and a half. Ammo is not an investment. It literally does nothing whatsoever other than go into an embankment or backstop. People who pile it up in response to fear-mongering publications and corporate press from the makers are dipsticks. And no, most ordinary folks won’t go into a tiz and wet themselves, such as you have apparently done, when they can’t get any. They will take up any number of their other hobbies and have a good ol’ time. Some of them will be by to get your moldy, horded stuff at the estate sale.

        • You aren’t going to be able to eat your ammo in a REAL crisis, genius.

          Funny story… Along the way, while collecting all those tens of thousands of rounds and enough guns to fill a couple of LARGE cabinets and a pretty good sized safe, I also managed to buy a nice spot on a mountain in Southwestern Va in a 2A Sanctuary County… I had a very comfortable 900 sq foot log home built on it with solar hot water, windmill and solar generators and a battery backup system, I also have two ice cold spring fed wells and heat with wood in a forced air fireplace… Did I mention I also possess adequate hunting and fishing skills and I am surrounded by an abundance of game… I have a small cellar stocked with dried beans, rice, flower, pasta, salt and sugar… I also have a little over a half acre of tilled garden… I do believe that I have everything my wife and I will need to get through just about anything AND she’s a Registered Nurse with over 30 years experience so she handled the medical supplies…. Sounds like you are the one wetting yourself in a “tiz”.. As for your hero the “writer”… I don’t solicit nor do I adhere to advice from clowney boyz… At 71 years of age I have all the knowledge and experience necessary to survive for years without his (or your) help… You sound like a city bound snowflake.. Didn’t your momma tell you that food is not grown in cans in the back of your grocery store and that there was a time when people were totally self reliant who actually grew their own food and lived off the land (I was raised like that, so it comes naturally)… So, piss off clown, take your liberal ass, condescending bullshit somewhere else where someone might actually give a fuck about what YOU think and might even be impressed by your absolute stupidity… Please, before you waste your time on another long winded senseless rant about pink pillows and old dead gun writers keep in mind that I no longer engage in the back and forth bullshit that you will probably want… I’m through… Knock yourself out, you have already laid your ignorance bare and I’m sure someone here still finds you amusing but I just find you sadly misinformed and rather pathetic…. OBTW YOU might only shoot at paper targets but I have used bullets to kill men And animals I know the exact value of a bullet, sad to know there are actually people who think like you… Nite…

  28. Don’t like it? Don’t pay it. Personally, I am a HUGE fan of the free market. Oh, and if you didn’t invest when prices were low, who’s fault is that?

  29. Many people who could have prepared well ignored the signs and are now screwed. I have little to no sympathy for that crowd.

    There are lots of gun owners though that cannot afford to put extra money into stocking up on ammo when it was plentiful and if not cheap, at least normally priced. They can’t do it because they do not have “extra” money at the end of the month. If you’ve lived paycheck to paycheck, responsibly, you know what I mean.

    All the hoarders are hurting the people who cannot hoard, or wouldn’t if they could.

    Same goes for the stores marking up and double or triple prices. Hell yes it is their right to do so, we are a Capitalist Economy, Supply and Demand sets the price.

    But there is also that sense of decency and mutual benefit over the long term. Some more meaningful than just more profit. At some point you can afford to be fucking nice to people for fuck’s sake. You don’t always have to be a hard ass about your capitalism, you can give a little now and then and still make a dollar.

    So I agree with their right to gouge the working man ’til he’s been bled dry, but I’ve a low opinion of them for doing so. Retailers doing this shit can claim they love the sport and how POTG are a community and all sorts of kind words but when push comes to shove and the advantage is to them, your wallet and your credit cards are their piggy bank.

    And I don’t see how any of that greedy behavior is healthy for the shooting sports as a whole.

  30. Over here is the bucket of hunting rocks, and over here is a bucket of defense rocks, and over here is a bucket of target grade rocks.

    • Yep, and Nosfedhornchester is bringing over a couple of latest , greatest super rocks to get you all excited to buy super expensive slingshots…. Oops, look- now those buckets are empty too. Sorry

  31. Just read about 5-8 Million new gun owners since the pandemic started.

    If those numbers are in the ballpark

    1 box of defense/ hunting ammo (20 rounds) equates to 100 million rounds

    Since most people get plinking rounds(50) and defense rounds(20) with a new gun, that would be 350 million rounds sold over and above normal demand

    On top of that, one of the larger plants in the U.S. has been closed due to bankruptcy (Remington in Arkansas) and it is just coming back online this month.

    These numbers are not even related to those who are stockpiling, add that demand, and the shelves are bare and they can charge whatever price they want as people are paying 3 to 5 times the normal price just to get some.

  32. I happened to be in the local Bass Pro store when one of the associates was putting out a case of M855. I bought 100 rounds, the limit set by the store, even though I have a decent supply of ammo for my AR. Why? I guess scarcity is turning all of us into hoarders.

  33. 9mm used to be about 20 cents a round. 5.56 about 30. .308 *about* 50 or so.

    I hate to say it but i dont see the current trend going away any time soon.

  34. You all do realize you are taking the word of the people who are making record amounts of money off of this situation that they are doing everything they can to produce more, right?

    Those videos from the Vista CEO, he doesn’t even use made up numbers, just says that they are making as much as they can and made more hunting ammo than in any previous year. By how much? 100%? 50%? 25%? 1%? One round more? And really, how much “hunting ammo” (whatever that means) does Vista make and sell in a normal year? A box of 20 a hunter or less. How much 9mm do they make & sell in a normal year? Probably dozens of boxes of 50 to hundreds. Which would you try to make the most money per round off of?

    Even the LGS is in the business of selling you ammo and making as much money as they can off of you.

    • You are preaching to brick walls. Years ago Remington said they were shifting from traditional wood-stocked bolt guns to ARs because the average mark-up on a bolt gun was around 40% while for an AR it was almost 140%. The AR is a $150 gun in manufacturing processes, but they convinced everyone it was “the necessary weapon” solely for profit purposes and every manufacturer switched to that market. People are rushing out to buy aluminum and plastic (by the way, less aluminum and plastic than goes into some tools a person can get at Harbor Freight for $80) because corporate salesmen drive the gun market. Now everyone is responding to a manufactured crisis and buying up endless ammo at prices that make no sense for the same reason. If we think corporate leadership in the firearms industry cares about individual Americans we are kidding ourselves. Remember how quickly so many of them divested after Sandy Hook? It was about the money the whole time.

      • I have abundant ammo…that I purchased in bulk long before the current panic.

        Why? Because I knew that Trump was finished, could not be re-elected and that the Dims would soon be in charge.

        THINK AHEAD!

  35. Yes the shortage of ammo is true, it can’t be processed fast enough to meet the demand. And that is the reason for the price increase, It’s the retailers way of finding excuses to charge more, any place u have bought Ammo 6 months even as little as 3 months ago, let’s say u bought a box of Hornady sts at 30.00$ 6 months ago, now u went to the same location and purchased that same type but it cost you 45.00 $ the retailer just ripped you off, stole 15. Buck’s, the Ammo Industry hasn’t increased the price of any Ammo, It’s the middle man and the retailers, the industrials prices doesn’t go into effect until early in February, cheaper then dirt, and several more sporting retailers have been warned. People’s greed has a way of destroying hope for others so THEY can have it for themselves, look at the mess the Democrats have caused

  36. WHAT If shooters and hoarders would stop acting like its the end of the world and just refuse to buy any more ammo.
    Give the supply chain a break, and ammo will begin to stockpile. If gun shops are swimming in ammo, the price will drop. I’ve be doing this for 58 years and I’ve seen this before. Just like gasoline, if we stop driving, prices will come down. So, stop using ammo until the prices will drop. You know I’m right.

  37. “Are dealers right to make the double and triple price increases in the face of spiking demand even when those increases were made months before manufacturers altered their own pricing?”

    Absolutely.

    The ammo manufacturers are working full bore and can’t keep up with demand. That means when gun shops and online retailers get shipments, they are much smaller than usual.

    If they don’t have as much inventory to sell, they have to make more profit off each item to have enough revenue to pay the salaries of their employees and keep the lights on.

    Also, high pricing during shortages is a self-regulating method of rationing. If the gun dealers ignored the market and kept ammo prices where they were before the shortage, everyone would buy the maximum allowed and they’d sell out even faster. With the high prices, people who already have a decent supply are less apt to buy ammo “just in case”. Artificially keeping prices low in the face of high demand actually causes shortages.

    As far as the manufacturers raising prices…they’re selling as much as they can crank out so it’s not a volume issue. I’d be willing to bet that with production rates so high, raw materials are getting harder to find. If the copper, brass, lead and powders that they use are getting more expensive, they have no choice but to raise prices if they wan to keep their production rates up.

    As frustrating as these things are, they are a normal part of a free market economy and, even if they suck on an individual level, they are a net positive for the market as a whole. If this demand keeps up and prices stay high enough to warrant it, new production lines will be started as new players enter the game to get their piece of the pie. It will take a while…manufacturing plants can’t be set up overnight…but the market will eventually respond.

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