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Fights Break Out As Nationwide Ammo Shortage Worsens

nationwide ammo shortage fights

Image source: thegazette.com

The ammunition shortage in the United States has gotten so bad that fistfights have broken out over bullets. If that wasn’t bad enough, Walmart stores are limiting customers to three ammunition purchases a day.

“I had a report yesterday of a fistfight in a sporting goods store, people trying to get rimfire ammunition off the shelf,” Mark DeYoung, the chief executive officer of Alliant Techsystems, a major ammo manufacturer, told The Wall Street Journal. “So there is still demand and customers are still very anxious to get product.”

At least three elements have contributed to the shortage: government stockpiling, panic buying in the wake of gun control legislation, and hoarding. A television station in Michigan reported it could be another year and a half before supply catches up with demand.

Alliant has had “record breaking profits” in the third quarter of 2013 (July through September). There have also been reports that ammunition has been stolen from mail shipments, The Journal’s Corporate Intelligence feature noted.

Civilian ammunition demand has increased so much that Alliant has actually converted part of a plant that makes bullets for the military to produce commercial ammo. Even with the increased production, DeYoung said the demand for ammunition is about 13 percent higher than the supply.

Local Gun Stores Report Shortage

Shooters are certainly feeling the pinch of the ammunition shortage. The Idaho State Journal reported that the cost of a brick of 22 shells in Pocatello has increased from $19.95 to $24.95 over the past year.

How to hide your guns, and other off grid caches…

That is if gun owners can find the ammunition in the first place. The Davy Crockett Gun Shop in Pocatello only received nine boxes of .22 shells in its last shipment, the store’s owner Virginia Crockett, told The State Journal.

“That’s all we could get, .22 shells and #10 black powder caps are non-existent,” Crockett said. “The ammo companies report that they are working 24/7 to catch up.”

Another Pocatello gun store, Doc’s Gun Bar, is only staying open three days a week because it cannot get enough bullets to stay open, the State Journal reported. The store’s owner, Doc Blanchard, told reporter Debbie Bryce that he’s also seeing a shortage of brass and powder for reloading as well as bullets.

“Manufacturers are running 24/7 and they can sell everything that they make,” Blanchard said.

The CAL Ranch Store in Pocatello is limiting .22 ammunition purchases to one brick (525 rounds). The store’s manager, Arkie Clapier took this step to stop hoarding and panic buying.

“We are in the hoarding mentality,” Clapier said. “Ammo is hard to get and guns are hard to get right now.”

.22 is not the only kind of ammunition in short supply, .40 caliber hollow point bullets and .380 rounds are also hard to get, Tucker Bloxham the owner of High Desert Tactical told the newspaper.

He said four large boxes of .22 rounds he received on Jan. 29 sold out immediately. Blaxham said that was the first shipment of .22 ammunition he had received since September.

Walmart Limits Purchases

Jamie Leary, reporter for Montana TV station KPAK, got the following recorded message when she called Hornaday a major ammunition manufacturer:

“Order volume and demand for product has increased dramatically… we currently have delay in order processing, production and shipment of product.”

The amount of .22 ammunition that customers can buy at Walmart is currently limited to three boxes, Leary reported. A sign in a gun cabinet at a Clinton, Iowa, Walmart read: “Due to increased interest and to better accommodate our customers, there will be a limit of 3 boxes per 24 hour period of ammunition per customer.”

It looks like the ammunition shortage is real and it is not going to get any better any time soon. When even The Wall Street Journal starts reporting on ammunition shortages, the situation is bad.

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10 comments

  1. I draw your attention to “The Real Threat to Gun & Ammo Shortages…” in an article I authored some time ago. The threat isn’t manufacturers, its ourselves. People should be thankful however the shortages aren’t from government regulations.

    • Their overbuying is just as much to blame as ours, in fact you could (should) blame the hoarding on fear OF the government.

  2. I agree with both of you Brian and Wyatt. I was just admiring the AK in the photo.

  3. I have ran this article past a nationwide shooting club and everyone is of the same opinion. NO shortage out there on guns and ammo. Yes .22 LR are scarce but other than that everyone is able to buy whatever they want and walmart has been on the 3 box limit for a couple of years. Central California is having statewide concerns taxing ammo an also talking lead bans but they are not the nation so I suggest to the writers of this article don’t try to inflate pricing by starting a panic amoung the prepper people again.

  4. EgbertThrockmorton1

    Have not seen first hand, that the “shortage” has been continuing. Hoarding? yes, that has occurred in the PAST-around election time and immediate post election. However, things have calmed down a great deal since then. I purchased a CASE of .22LR ammo two weeks ago, for the same price I paid for one two years ago…it’s ALL in WHERE and HOW you look.
    Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance. STOCK up folks, this is allegedly a preparation website, so WHY would you fail to prepare? This article seems to WANT to increase the anxiety among the readers of OTG! That is nonsensical folks, don’t fall for the bilge in this article.

  5. Glad I reload and I am glad that I stockpile, especially .22LR. I have not purchased any .22LR since 2008 and I still have about a case left. I use .22LR for Squirrel hunting and I have a .22 plinker pistol that I shoot about 4 times a year.

    • Glad that you reload, Jason. I have a Dillon 550 and it works just fine. But when you cannot find primers, powder, casings or bullets, reloading gets tough. Open your eyes, Jason. There’s a shortage out there and it’s not just for ammo; it’s form components, too.

  6. I have been trying to purchase 22lr rimfire shells for months at every sporting goods stores (walmart, bass pro, cabelas, and even on line ) no 22lr ammo to be found. Walmart store in Gaylord, Mi. will not even put available ammo. on their shelves until 8:00AM in the morning ( when the same customers are waiting to grab their limit of three boxes each / daily ) Working folk and people like me who live 80 miles away are out of luck !!!!! I have thought about camping in their parking lot, so that I can be there at 8:00 AM. I believe that it is time for the ATF to investigate the sale of ammo. at these retail outlets. There definitely is illegal black marketing going on at the gun shows ( a brick of 500 shells sell for $100.00 and are plentiful ). I will no longer spend any of my money in a walmart store…….

    • Louis is correct. Our local Wal-mart has no 22LR for people who work 1st shift or who can only get to the store on weekends. Unfortunately, life has its demands and waiting at Wal-mart is not that high on the list. I recommend a boycott on all things 22LR. I suggest that we boycott 22LR ammo, rifles, pistols and revolvers. Let the scalpers choke on it and maybe the distributors and manufacturers will start to take us seriously.

  7. There is plenty of 22lr. You just have to know how to buy it through the proper search engines. I’ve gotten hold of 40k/rds in the past couple of months. It seems to be running the same course as 9mm did. You should start seeing the shelves getting stocked in about 3 more months. I have already started lowering my Gunbroker prices. So, us resellers will be out of business soon. No need to worry.

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