Via Knuckledragger, I read with interest Herschel Smith’s take on the current ammo shortage:

We’ve actually learned something else besides the effect of political climate. First time gun buyers are purchasing primarily pistols.  In order to use them, they need ammunition.  Apparently, manufacturers are retooling to supply that ammunition.
So hunters needing 7mm magnum, 6.5 Creedmoor, .308 and 30-06 should go ahead and try to scrounge up those rounds now.  They won’t be available for long.  That also goes for AR-10 operators.

Peter Grant has similar thoughts.

I have to admit, I was unaware of any ammo shortage myself, mostly because I only buy ammo in small amounts to “top up the tank”, so to speak.  The Chinkvirus has stopped me going to the range as often as was my wont, so I haven’t bought ammo in about four months.  So I’ll just ride it out for a while, although I might need to get some ammo for a gun I don’t have anymore (see: canoeing accident on the Brazos/Colorado river, passim ).

I hate to sound like a broken record on this, and I know that most of my Readers are not only similarly stocked but are a few cases of ammo ahead of me.

But folks, jeez:  you don’t need to get hit upside the head with that two-by-four more than once, right?  Buy ammo.  Buy lots of ammo, as much as you can afford, buy more than you think you’ll need.


  1. Also, I’d add, rolling your own helps with, but doesn’t solve completely, the problem. My range is outdoors, so I’ve been shooting as much as, if not more, than usual. Most shops are limiting purchases to 1 or 2 boxes of any caliber at a time. So I’ve really stepped up my reloading (I never used to reload 9mm, for example, as the savings just aren’t there, but I finally started a couple weeks ago). Of course, now reloading supplies are starting to get more difficult to find.

  2. I still have about a thousand rounds of plain 5.56, and another thousand of 9mm, but I’m down to about 20(!) rounds of the heavier 72 grain 5.56 BTHP that my bolt gun likes for 200+ yards.

    I’ve got my ear out for some more of the good stuff, but I have a feeling that it’s going to be pure chance to get any more at all.

  3. Off on a tangent but why are the first time buyers buying pistols. If they are expecting major disruption, why not carbines. They are buying those I hear but the ratio of pistols to rifles has increased. The female Lawn Lawyer would have been overrun and killed even if her gun worked. It was the AR that intimidated the mob. More power, more ammo, more range and easier to hit with than a pistol.

    Back on topic, I talked to a dealer who said he had been informed that Winchester was making nothing but 9mm and 5.56 for the rest of the year. Like all anecdotes, be suspicious but it sounds like a reasonable business decision.

  4. I just inventoried my ammo. I am doing oky wth most calibers, but low on .22LR and .45 ACP.

    (Hangs head in shame)

    I prefer to buy in bulk on-line. I can’t find ANY .45 ACP or 9 mm for less than ~$1/round.

    I do have ~1,000 rounds of steel cased .45 ACP; I’m not sure if my pistols will eat it.

    1. > I can’t find ANY .45 ACP or 9 mm for less than ~$1/round.

      43¢/round for .45 ACP brass-case, qty 200:


      28¢/round for 9mm brass-case, qty 50:


      I found those within a few seconds of bringing up AmmoSeek. .45 ACP was available cheaper in steel or aluminum cases, but I prefer to not buy those because they’re not reloadable. (I tolerate 7.62×39 in steel cases because it’s much more readily available, but everything else I buy is brass-cased, boxer-primed.)

      I shoot neither 9 mm nor .45 ACP, though I checked for .40 S&W (not that I need any right now) and found it’s in the same ballpark. Even .44 Magnum (never a cheap caliber) starts around 60¢, which I think is cheaper than what I last paid for it.

  5. As I’ve said before, “The only time you have too much ammo is when you’re trying to swim with it, or your house is on fire.”

  6. If they’re expecting trouble, they should have a rifle.

    I always buy a box or two of some caliber that I don’t own a gun for so that when I go to the range and I see someone with an interesting rifle the owner is not out any cartridges if I’d like to shoot it. It’s worked so far with .22 shorts, .223, .32ACP, .308 and 9mm. The brotherhood of the gun, you know.

  7. Buy ammo? Yes, but buying during a panic is a fool’s move. I’m still well stocked from what I bought during and after the LAST panic so I’m good for now and don’t intend to squander money.

    Most of this ammo isn’t being fired which means that it’s not going to be long before people are well stocked enough to not need more, then the current overproduction means fire-sale prices and that’s when I’ll swoop in.

    During the post Sandy Hook ammo panic of 2013, I noticed that even when shelves were wiped clean of .223/5.56, 7.62×39 was both fairly common and not terribly expensive. I think with the ubiquity of the AR platform the demand for 7.62 Russian has dropped significantly. Just something to keep in mind if you are shopping for a new rifle. I’ve expressed my fondness for the SKS before but there are others as well including the gorgeous CZ-527 bolt action in 7.62×39.

    1. Just topped off the tank this week with 1000 of 7.62×39 rounds at 30 cents a round, which I thought was very reasonable. I loaded up on 9mm and 30-06 in January before the panic set in.

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