Ammo Shortage: Is This the Floor?
At least anecdotally, it looks like the ammunition shortage is easing up in some places. Buzz on social media and at sporting goods stores seems to have went from “the ammo shortage is terrible” to “the ammo shortage isn’t as bad as it could be.”
Could the ammo shortage have finally hit the floor?
My Smith & Wesson .38 revolver needed a range workout this weekend. I headed to my local sporting goods shop to see if the rumors were true. Imagine my surprise when I had four varieties of ammunition to choose from, twice the options of previous trips. The price hadn’t moved too much, but that’s a welcome relief from the constant hikes.
Ammo Shortage: Lingering Supply Problems
Still, the signs of the ammo shortage at the shop were everywhere.
The ultimate indicator of the ammo shortage, the .22, didn’t fare as well as the .38s. Supply was still low. Way low. The .22 short, unsurprisingly, was better stocked than the .22 long rifles. But that’s not saying much.
Then there was the guy who asked me to buy a box of ammo for him in line at the checkout. The limit was one box per person, and he wanted two. That kind of solicitation is a telltale sign of the ammo shortage. (I turned him down, by the way.)
Ammo Shortage in the News
Pockets of news media across the country are picking up on the slight rebound. Here’s an excerpt from a newspaper article in Florida, titled Gun enthusiasts, police agencies find ammunition shortage easing:
While there are indications the frenzied bullet buying may be slowing, no one is able to predict when supplies might return to normal.
“It can still get better, but it’s better than it was before,” said Corey Goldberg, who works at Guns and Camo, a small gun shop that opened in Melbourne in November.
This post from May 29, 2013, on the Sentry Journal blog also points out how things are getting better:
I’ve finally been able to get my hands on 9mm ammo and let me tell you it makes me happy happy happy. Over the past two weeks I’ve noticed that handgun ammo shelves at my favorite sporting goods stores are beginning to fill up again with popular calibers. It appears the great guns and ammo crisis of 2013 may actually be coming to an end; at least until the next panic buying kicks in.
Then there’s this article about Canada’s plentiful ammunition situation that hints at a healthy global supply poised to relieve the U.S. market any minute now.
Ammo Shortage: Why Could it Be Letting Up?
On that note about global markets, the massive amount of ammunition imported into the United States earlier this year – twice the 2012 amount in the first two months, according to this article – may be finally making its way to shelves. That’s one reason isolated incidents of ammo relief could be popping up.
Another could be that enough time has passed since the 2012 election and the wave of gun control measures in early 2013.
Or it could be simple economics at play. People either have the ammunition they need or they just won’t pay for it. A slip in demand could offer breathing room on the supply side – at least in local pockets.
None of this means the ammo shortage is over. There’s still a long way to go before gun owners are out of the woods.
What have you been observing? Are things getting better or worse in your area? Leave a comment below.