Tight Times

No, I’m not referring to that Girl Scout Parking Lot Incident of 1975 (and she looked way older than 15, anyway), I’m talking about the Great Ammo Shortage Of 2020.

Right now, there’s no end in sight to this tight market.
“We’ve been talking with major manufacturers, for example, Magtech, which is one of the big ammo producers in the country. They’re telling us that they are on backorder throughout the rest of the year, throughout the rest of 2020,” Phelps said.

FFS, if Magtech ammo is in short supply, we’re all doomed.  But to continue:

Usually, that only applies to personal protection ammo, but right now, even hunting ammunition could be impacted.
“Usually shotgun shells are around, they’re plentiful, but we had another manufacturer telling us it’s the parts to make the ammunition … the primers are on a one-year backorder,” Phelps said.

Here’s the kicker:

South Dakota Game Fish and Parks says they’re not too worried about the ammo shortage impacting this year’s hunting season because most hunters are already well-stocked.

As should be all experienced shooters.  Personally, I start getting “shortage fear” when I’m down to my last 1,000 rounds (in any caliber except .22 LR, when it’s 10,000), so right now  I can afford to wait awhile till the shortage eases, as I think I have enough to last me a couple of years (lifetimes, according to the Son&Heir, who usually has to help me move the stuff from one house to another).

And they said National Ammo Day was a foolish invention…

Looks like it’s going to be a little more difficult to get that 100 round-minimum this year.  I can’t decide whether that’s a Good- or Bad Thing.


  1. Was at Rural King the other day and the shelves were bare except for 12ga, so I grabbed 20 boxes of #8’s. Just because. I can’t walk out of an ammo store empty handed. Got plenty of everything but I live by the rule, “More is always, well, more!”

  2. K,
    Difficulty in meeting the 100-round BUYcott = BAD THING. No question.
    At LGS, I picked up some CCI Clean, the pink poly coated rimfire stuff. They had 400-round canisters for $33 each, limit one. Yeah, I made two trips. They also had 100-round bags of Federal mil-spec 5.56. Even though I am decently stocked on .223/5.56, I got a bag .. because it was there. And because LGS is near my local Trader Joe’s, the next time I make a run to Trader’s … I’ll make a run to LGS.
    At my kinda-sorta-local Gander, they’re selling ammo “right from the delivery truck” – the stuff never hits the shelves. People are grabbing it straight off the restocking cart. Limit 2 boxes per type, per person, per day. At my last visit, I scored 100 rounds of Aguila 9mm range-grade ammo, 100 rounds of Remington green box 115 grain JPH, and a couple boxes of Frontier M193 5.56 stuff. All were at pre-pandemic pricing.
    You point out the big issue is lack of primers. That’s part of the story. I have intel which suggests that CCI has just taken a contract worth more than $100 million to supply police and other agencies. Furthermore, most of the lead used to make boolits is coming from China, but because Wuhan Beer Virus pandemic, lead flow from China is greatly reduced. Just like primers.
    Have a great gunny day …

    1. The reason lead is coming from China is when Obama was president the EPA put heavy regulations on lead mines and smelters. This might also be the cause of the primer shortage as they use various lead compounds such as lead styphnate.
      My opinion is these regulations had nothing to do with the environment, but to do just what they’re doing now causing a ammo shortage.

      1. The last lead smelter running in this country, in Missouri, I think, had to modernize to meet Black Jesus’ EPA requirements or shut down. The outlay to meet the requirements would bankrupt them, so they shut down, putting 200+ people out of work. **
        “…the federal Environmental Protection Agency issued new National Ambient Air Quality Standards for lead that were 10 times tighter than the previous standard,’ the organization announced, ‘Given the new lead air quality standard, Doe Run made the decision to close the Herculaneum smelter.'”

        I’m sure there were white wine and arugula toasts that night in many do-gooder offices.
        **ask SloJo Biden if that was part of “the best economic recovery ever” he likes to brag…uhhhh… lie about.

        1. My dad his lifetime in industrial chemicals and had many run-ins with the environazis. He said that as soon as the lab boys could detect a smaller ppb, parts per billion, that became the new requirement.

  3. Ammo Day folks won’t feel a shortage because we should know about this issue. Heck, it’s been an issue since at least 2001. We should apply the same dollar cost averaging concept to ammo as we do to investments. Commit to spend $100/month, or whatever your budget dictates, on your guns/ammo, and stick to that. And when NAD comes around, throw in a little extra to support that effort.

    BTW, I think NAD should be moved to the week before the National Election (or September 11), as a reminder to those who are running that we’re thinking about them.

  4. I need to get some. Still have a bunch not shot but which the insanity we are seeing more is better. Still not sure I want to get some of the odd caliber so I can buy. Then you need a gun that eats it and it is just an endless wheel.

    Feeling like a hamster of late.

  5. I started casting my own boolits in California in ’77. My raw material was used tire weights. With a little hunting around, you could find a gas station that would give you a 5 gallon bucket full of used weights for the asking. With a little more hunting, you could also find scrap linotype. In 2010, Kalifornia banned lead tire weights. In 2015 we escaped to Texas. I was still pissed, so brought about 300 lbs of tire weight with me. Our two grown sons helped us load and move. Since they grew up shooting with me, not a peep out of either one of them. Lead and ammo went on the floor of the Ryder diesel over the real axle.

    Piling on a comment above, I would move NAD to April 14th, and elections to April 16th.

    I would eliminate withholding. Make everybody pay every two weeks.

    I would encourage everyone who owes to file for an extension. Let ’em suck air for 90 days.

    1. Can’t move NAD. Us old timers know that that date was chosen for a particular purpose. Hint 🎂 🥃 🍺 🎸. I like your two suggestions about moving the voting day or income tax day and stopping withholding. Voting day is defined in the constitution and would be harder to move.

  6. During the 2010 Obama ammo famine the Detroit police were running low on ammunition to practice with. A group of use were planning on setting up a quicky ammunition company. Cartridge cases could be run on automatic screw machines. Bullets could be cast. Powder was available but primers were the problem. It turns out there are a bevy of automotive vendors who make air bag inflators. For the uninitiated, there is no air in air bags. They are inflated using an explosive compound, sodium azide, which is similar to priming compounds. We were talking with Takada when the supply loosened up. Perhaps it is time to start dusting those plans off.

  7. This is why you buy it cheap, stack it deep…and resell part of the stash at premium prices when the shortages hit. Make half the ammo pay for the other half.

  8. Y’know, I’m really not a “tinfoil hat” kind of person but I’m highly skeptical of any forecast regarding future ammo availability that is coming from a spokesman for the ammo industry itself.

    I mean, it’s not like they have a vested interest in getting people to pay inflated prices for ammo or anything, right? (rolls eyes.)

    As with most everybody here, I’m well stocked up so I’ll not be participating in the 2020 panic, thankyouverymuch. 😉

  9. Place I work at part-time:
    No .38 Special, .380, .45acp, .45 Colt. That’s ball and hollowpoints both.
    No .223/5.56
    Lots of birdshot, but just a little 12-gauge buckshot, no slugs.
    No buckshot in any other gauge.

    On the reloading side, no .223 bullets, no small pistol or rifle primers and only Magnum left in large rifle, no large pistol. Short on 9mm bullets, too. Range brass is selling damn near as fast as it can be processed and bagged.

    Couple of weeks ago someone told me Fiocchi is taking no orders until after the first of the year, as it’ll take full production till at least then just to fill the current orders; no idea if any others are doing the same.

    Thanks to this triple-whammy year(National election with ALL the Evil Party candidates for Pres promising to ban everything in sight, the Wuflu scare, then the riots) it’s not going to stop for a while, and that’s if Trump wins

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