Here we are approaching the half-way mark of the year (we are not there yet), and the ammunition shortage is showing no signs of letting up.
22 Long Rifle – I have not seen 22 long rifle in about 6 or 7 months. The last time I can remember seeing 22 long rifle in stock was back around November,,, maybe even October 2012.
Even before Sandy Hook 22 long rifle was difficult to find.
223 Remington – Is hit sand miss. Places like Palmetto State Armory have been getting bulk 223 Remington in stock, but my local wal-mart has not.
I have not seen American Eagle or Federal at my local wal-mart in months. The local wal-mart here in Jasper Texas has been getting Tula in every few weeks, so that is what I have been buying. In this type of situation you buy what you can find.
Online stores that are lucky enough to 223/5.56mm in stock are sold out in a matter of minutes.
7.62×39 – My local wal-mart has been getting Tula 7.62×39 in stock, so that is what I have been buying. A couple of times a month there are a few boxes on the shelf, so I buy 2 or 3 boxes at a time. 2 or 3 boxes here, 2 or 3 boxes there,,, it slowly adds up.
It seems to me there is a greater demand for 223 Remington than for 7.62×39. I am not sure my observation is correct, but that is the way it seems to be.
308 Winchester – Maybe people are panic buying 308 Winchester because it is chambered in a wide variety of rifles? I have seen 308 Winchester in stock only a couple of times since December 2012.
Academy sports and outdoors in Lufkin Texas had some 308 Winchester in stock. I was just lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time.
Various websites have had 308 Winchester in stock, but I have not seen a single box at my local wal-mart in maybe 4 months.
Unless someone is shooting a semi-automatic rifle in 308 Winchester is there a reason to stockpile hundreds of rounds? How many people own a semi-auto 308, as compared to people who own a bolt action 308?
I do not understand why 308 Winchester is so difficult to find right now. Yes it is a military caliber, but unless someone owns a rifle in 308, why stockpile massive amounts of ammunition?
Bolt And Lever Action Rifle Calibers – The supply of typical bolt action calibers such as 270 Winchester, 280 Remington and 30-06 do not seem to be affected to bad. Supplies are scarce, but they are out there.
Academy sports and outdoors in Lufkin and Beaumont Texas, both stores had various calibers bolt action rifle calibers in stock. The lesser expensive ammunition was gone leaving mostly boxes in the $30 and up price range.
Just about every wal-mart I visit has 270 Winchester, 22-250, 204 Ruger or 30-06 Springfield in stock.
What has surprised me is how 30-30 Winchester is not staying on the shelf. Either people are stockpiling 30-30 Winchester, or the stores are not getting any in stock. I have not seen 30-30 Winchester in maybe 3 or 4 months.
I can understand people panic buying 223 Remington, 7.62×39, 308 Winchester and all the major handgun calibers,,, but 30-30 Winchester? Its a lever action rifle.
Maybe people are buying 30-30 Winchester because there are so many rifles on the market? What family does not have at least one lever action rifle in a closet, or know a family member who does not own a lever action rifle?
If the popularity of the 30-30 Winchester is the reason why it can not be found, then why is 270 Winchester and 30-06 Springfield in stock?
Handgun Ammunition – Holy crap, I never in my life expected to see shelves stripped of handgun ammunition like what I have seen since December 2012.
380 acp, 9mm, 38 special, 357 magnum, 40 S&W, 45 acp, 44 magnum,,, it is all gone. Everything is gone.
My local wal-mart had a box of Tula 45acp, but I do not want to run steel cased ammunition through my Remington 1911 R1.
One thing that surprised me is how ammunition like 38 special and 357 magnum have disappeared off the shelves. These are calibers that have lost popularity over the past 30 – 40 years. And all of a sudden people want to start stockpiling them?
In the grand scheme of things how many people are buying revolvers today? When someone mentions buying a handgun it is usually a Glock, Springfield, S&W, Colt, Ruger, Beretta,,,, or some other brand name that is associated with a semi-automatic handgun.
The only reason I can think of for people to be stockpiling 38 special, 357 magnum, 41 magnum, 44 magnum,,, is directly due to panic buying. Either they are worried about not being able to find it, they are worried about a total collapse, or they are buying it to barter with after a collapse.
My personal opinion, I wonder how many people buying revolver ammunition do not even own a revolver?
Shotgun Ammunition – This is another holy carp, WTF moment. When the panic buying first kicked off after Sandy Hook there were still shotgun slugs and buckshot on the shelves. But after a few people those last remnants slowly disappeared.
As I write this article various online stores have slugs in stock. It seems to me that shotgun is ammunition is of least concern.
After hunting season and duck season shotgun ammunition supplies start to dry up anyway. So I can not blame panic buying on shotgun being scarce.
Parts – Wow, just wow,,,,. Towards the end of April and into the first part of May everything has been super scarce.
It took me a month to find all of the parts for my wifes pink M4. The upper receiver took 3 1/2 weeks to arrive, bolt carriers took 2 – 3 weeks, I finally gave up and cancelled my Pmag orders after 3 months and 1 day of waiting.
I signed up on a bunch of sites to be notified when a part arrives. Places usually sale out within minutes, and I mean “minutes.” Pmags and bolt carriers seem to have the highest demand.
Various online stores have lower receivers in stock on a semi-regular basis. If you want a lower or upper receiver, sign up for notification mailing list, and hit the sites on a daily basis.
The parts are out there, you just have to look for them.
Several things that have surprised me is how the large online resellers are not getting very many parts in. I have signed up for notifications at Midway USA, Bravo Company, and a few other companies. It seems that the smaller companies are getting stuff in more often than the larger companies?
Magazine prices are just about back to normal, that is unless you are visiting the wrong sites.
Gun Prices and Availability – Colt losing the government contract may be a blessing to the civilian market. I imagine Colt is geared for a certain level of production. Now that the government is not buying Colt rifles, that surplus has to go “somewhere.” My local wal-mart has gotten several Colt 6920s and 6970s in stock over the past few months. Hopefully Colt will keep the production up and prices down.
Bolt action rifles are plentiful and prices are stable.
There for a little while it looked like shotguns were included in the panic buying, but then shelves started to fill back up. From the looks of things people are grabbing semi-auto shotguns and leaving the pump action models alone. And that suits me just fine.
We have probably seen the last of the cheap AK-47s. I wish I would have bought a dozen of them in the late 1980s and early 1990s. I remember seeing Russian made AK-47s for $75 – $95. The standard fixed stock AK was $75 and the paratrooper model was something like $95. Those were the good ole days, and are gone forever. Maybe one day a comm block nation will fall and we will see cheap AKs once again,,, but I doubt it.
From what I am seeing SKSs are floating in the $400 plus range. Once again I kick myself for not buying a dozen of them. I think I paid $99 for my Chinese SKS in 1993 or 1994.
Why Are Some Calibers Difficult To Find – I wanted to touch on this topic again before this article was wrapped up. Take the 30-30 Winchester and the 308 Winchester. I can “somewhat” understand the 308 being difficult to find, but the 30-30? Who stockpiles thousands of rounds of 30-30? I can understand stockpiling a few hundred rounds of 30-30 Winchester, but why is this caliber included in the current panic buying craze?
Like I asked previously in this article, why is 30-30 stripped, but there is 270 and 30-06 on the shelf?
If you have an idea why 30-30 Winchester is so difficult to find, please share your thoughts in the comments section of this article.
This panic buying that was spurred by Sandy Hook and gun hating liberals has forced me to review a lot of my SHTF survival plans. If some kind of SHTF event happens, if you do not already have it, you probably will not be able to get it.
Post Sandy Hook it took only a couple of days for guns, ammunition and magazines to dry up.
Out of the entire population of the United States I bet only a small percentage were panic buying. People do not need ammunition to live, unlike with food. Ammunition is a luxury, food is a necessity.
If ammunition disappeared in a matter of days, how fast would food disappear? Grocery stores would probably be stripped in a matter of hours, rather than days.
This ammunition shortage should be a wake up call for survivalist who are sitting on the fence.
North Korea is starting another nuclear reactor, Iran is marching towards becoming a nuclear power, a new strain of bird flu has been reported in China, cases of a new SARS-like coronavirus are being reported out of Saudi Arabia,,, how many warnings do people need before they get their preps in order.
If we can not find 22 long rifle with a small percentage of the population panic buying, what makes you think there will be able to find food, fuel, and other essential items when the whole nation is thrown into a panic?