There’s a major shortage of many popular calibers of hunting ammunition, according to reports around the nation.
Big game hunters are finding empty shelves, limited amounts and high prices when they go shopping for ammo. The shortage seems to be nationwide and it seems to affect both large cities and rural areas.
“People don’t realize there isn’t going to be much hunting ammo out there,” said Dan Seaman, owner of a gun store in Lake City, Pa. “The manufacturers have already passed it on to our wholesalers. Our wholesalers have already passed it on to us, and we’re having a heck of a time trying to find any reasonable amount of ammo (that hunters would) normally use.”
The ammo shortage is at its worst this year but began shortly after President Obama took office, as gun owners began buying it at a fast place fearful of what they considered to be an anti-gun leader. When Obama began pushing for more gun control earlier this year, the purchasing and stockpiling further increased. Manufacturers are having trouble keeping up with demand.
Earlier this summer, Steve Hornady, the president of the popular ammo manufacturing company, said demand was 200 percent above normal.
Here’s some details of an ammo crisis the national media seems to be ignoring:
The shortage is leading to some ridiculously high prices in some areas. A reporter for The Idaho Statesman newspaper in Idaho found that .30-06 and .270 Winchester rifle bullets were selling for around $1 a piece. The ammo was being sold in a 20-round box that was priced at $20.
“It is unbelievably hard to get common stuff,” Keith Savage, the owner of a gun shop in Wilkinsburg, Pa., told The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. The Post-Gazette’s reporter found that it was hard to find rifle and handgun ammo of any sort in the Pittsburgh area.
An anonymous clerk told Post-Gazette reporter John Hayes that customers were going from store to store looking for ammo. Hayes also found that there was no shortage of some kinds of ammunition including shotgun shells and slugs and birdshot.
The shortages might be regional in nature, The Idaho Statesman’s Pete Zimowsky found. Zimowsky noted that a gun store in Boise reported it had plenty of hunting cartridges, although he found that there was a shortage of cartridges in older, less common sizes such as .30-40 Krag.
The ammunition shelves at the Elk Creek Sports Store in Lake City, Pa., were empty according to The Erie Times-News. Owner Dan Seaman said his stock of bullets was well below normal. Wholesalers, he said, are struggling to keep pace.
“People don’t realize there isn’t going to be much hunting ammo out there,” Seaman said. “I’ve got four boxes of .30-30. If I had them, I could probably sell 30 boxes.”
Store owners believed that their bottom lines would be hurt by the ammo shortage. Some of the owners the newspaper talked to believe that they will be out of rifle ammo by Thanksgiving. Deer hunting season in Pennsylvania starts on Dec. 2.
Even Walmart is affected
Walmart, too, is having a hard time getting ammo, Idaho’s Great Falls Tribune discovered.
“When we get it in, it’s already sold,” said Cory Gove, the manager of the Great Falls, Montana, Walmart. His store is limiting buyers to three boxes a customer. He also said that the hardest item to keep on the shelves was a box or “brick” of 500 .22 caliber bullets.
It is impossible to find 22-caliber long rifle ammunition in Montana, Dave Simpson the owner of the Great Falls Shooting Complex, said. The shortage is causing prices to increase.
“I’m making nothing on ammo,” said Jim Mitchell, the owner of Mitchell Supply in Great Falls. Mitchell said he was keeping prices low so his customers could afford ammunition.
If you’re planning to go deer hunting this fall, you might end spending as much time hunting ammunition as the big bucks.