National Ammo Day In Jeopardy?

While reading through this report about how the recent spike in gun sales has affected the share prices of both S&W (+133%) and Ruger (+42%) — which is all good stuff, by the way — I spied at the bottom of the report this little snippet:

Moreover, on September 21, 2020, Breitbart News reported that ammunition sales were up 139 percent the first six months of 2020 as compared to the first six months of 2019, as Americans sought bullets and shotgun shells for the guns they were buying at a record pace.

A couple of days ago I went into Academy to check out the lay of the land with regard to their ammo stocks, and in a nutshell, they don’t have any.  A few lonely boxes of .270 Win, .30-06 and some 6.5mm Creedmoor were all they had on the shelves.  Forget any handgun ammo, and other than .22 CB (which are basically cartridges with no gunpowder in the cases, the bullets fired by the primer compound alone) and one (1) box of .22 Mag, there was no .22 ammo of any usable sort.

When I asked the counter guy when he was expecting a fresh shipment of ammo, he just shrugged.

So, Gentle Readers:  whither National Ammo Day this Year?

I have to admit to mixed feelings about the whole thing.  While the thought that Americans have basically bought all the spare ammo in the country should fill my heart with joy, it’s a  fact that I can’t even perform a full-bore [sic]  Happy Dance because I’d not be able to shoot my AK into the air à la  some Iraqi wedding guest, having to count off the rounds like some Gun Powder Scrooge Of Ammo Day Present.

Even worse is that a cursory scrutiny of my favorite online ammo pushers’ websites reveals that not only are they out of stock of most ammo calibers, they aren’t even letting us know when the replacement stocks will arrive.  And frankly, going to four different websites just to scrape up five boxes of 6.5x55mm to make the mandatory 100-round NAD minimum seems to be not worth the effort.

Here’s Lucky Gunner’s offering:

…and I’m not even going to talk about the per-trigger-squeeze cost… sheesh.

But I am going to talk about cost when it comes to .22 LR.  Here are the only two options available from LG:

So much for the “7-cent solution”…

Fortunately, I’m not strapped for ammo (of any caliber) because well, you all know the reason.  But National Ammo Day has always been a symbolic purchase — to remind the gun-confiscators and ammo-taxers that they face an uphill battle, so to speak.

But I think only a few complete idiots among this ungodly crowd will not have got the message this year.

So… is it worth the expense to buy .22 ammo at 18 cents per squeeze (instead of the usual 6-8 cents), just to make a point?   Should we cancel National Ammo Day this year, not for lack of interest, but because of over-enthusiasm?

After I’d written the above, I thought to myself:  why not get an obscure cartridge?  They must have stocks of those.  So I went to Midway to see about some .45-70 Govt, and found this:

None to be had, at any price.  Ugh.




  1. We’re having the same issues up here in Canuckistan. Bulk .22LR are scarcer than hen’s teeth. Other calibers can be found but the prices are starting to rise. One area I have noticed prices rising and selection diminishing is primers and powder. My favorites are no longer available and prices have increased by about $10 a box of primers (1000 count).
    Finances have been tight so I didn’t have an opportunity to stock up on what I need for the past few months. Now? looks like things aren’t going to get better.

  2. Ammo Day? Bah!

    This is why I reload. Powder bought in 8lb. kegs. Bulk bullets. Bullet casting. Primers by the 1000 lot.

    Ammo shortage? What ammo shortage?

    1. Primers and powder are getting in short supply up here. My favorite brand of powder is almost nonexistent. Pistol primers? Well, depends on size and make. Getting scarce by the day. Luckily I have lots of brass and bullets are still available readily.

  3. For me, National Ammo Day is whenever the gods of Social Security and the greedy witch doctors of Medicare leave me with enough dollars at the end of the month to buy another box or two of my favorite calibers.

    But I take some comfort in this: the current shortage in available ammunition is the result of PEOPLE buying millions more guns and tens of millions more rounds in the past nine months, not the GOVERNMENT causing the shortages. Maybe some of the purchasers are newbies, maybe they’re bad guys, maybe they won’t practice and they’ll end up shooting themselves in the foot or nuts, but much of what’s being purchased will end up in the lockers and safes of skilled, responsible gun owners.

    What’s the goal for National Ammo Day? To arm and equip average citizens so they might contribute to the defense of themselves and their families, their neighbors and property, and their nation, from the wolves and the evil lurking just beyond the campfire light. I’d say Mission Accomplished!

  4. Kim,
    My vote is not to cancel National Ammo Day but rather modify it. I humbly suggest readers should buy what the can find, buy what they can afford, etc., to help make the point. Make a purchase, just drop the purchase limits. Even at enhanced pricing and reduced quantities, as a group we’re still voting with our feet and wallets !!
    As for availability of various and sundry types of ammo, I recommend you create a profile on AmmoSeek, and set alerts. I do get some false positives, but with reasonable price points, you can get a decent idea of what’s going on, what’s available, pricing, etc. One ammo I have found where pricing has remained stable all year is 7.62x54r, which of course feeds my M44 Mosin Nagant. That said, I haven’t bought any, ’cause I’ve still got over 700 rounds on hand. I also don’t shoot that beast too often, mostly because of recoil and also because most of my ammo is old nasty-assed stinky corrosively-primed fodder from Commie former-Soviet satellite states. Aside from that, the rifle is 100% reliable, going “BOOOOOM” every time I pull the trigger when there’s a round in the chamber.
    I live about 30 minutes from DS Arms. Some may know DS as a purveyor of FN FAL rifles and other goodies. They have a walk-in Pro Shop at their place in Lake Barrington. Every time I’m near there, I stop in, see what they have for ammo. Since August, I’ve been buying a 400-round can of .22LR pink poly coated CCI Clean. On my last trip, they also had Blazer .38spl +p, with a limit of 5 boxes. A buddy of mine just picked up a Smith and Wesson stainless steel snubbie, so I grabbed 5 boxes for him, plus my usual can of CCI. Since the beginning of August, I’ve laid in a supply of 2,400 rounds of CCI. The stuff is affordable at $35 a can with tax, or about 9 cents a round. Sadly, DS limits one can per person per day.
    How does the CCI Clean run? I only have preliminary results (<200 rounds), but in my trusted Browning Buckmark "camper" with 5" barrel, it runs like the bees knees. It does seem to print a bit low relative to point of aim, so I guess I'll have to shoot more before I can give a final review. Still, from a reliability standpoint, I've put over 1200 rounds of various types of CCI through the Buckmark, and every round has been flawless !! Now I need to run some through the Marlin 60 and see how it behaves.
    Any discussion about NAD would be incomplete without a "slam" directed towards my elected "leaders", both local and federal. Congress-critter Brad Schneider, State Senator Julie Morgan, State Rep Bob Morgan, Gov JB "toilet yanker" (Putzker) Pritzker, Senators Dick "turban" Durbin and Tammy Duckworth, all who seek to limit my constitutionally-protected (heh) Civil Liberties … they can kiss my Pasty-White Hebrew Ass.

  5. Same here in south Florida. Local gunstore shelves are empty. If they have a handgun for sale it is at full retail or higher. No powder, No primers, no bullets either.
    SO, pat myself on the back for having significant stocks of P,P&B. I will do the next best thing on Ammo day & spend the day reloading .38, 9mm & .308. Then, if it ever stops raining, I’ll go to my club and turn money into noise and sweet smelling smoke.

  6. I subscribe to Lucky Gunner’s youtube channel, and Chris Baker has a schtick at the end of each video where he tells people to consider Lucky Gunner for your next ammo purchase.

    This weeks video (.357 and .44 Magnum lever action rifles) brings up 2 points:
    1. Even he is having trouble getting ammo, and
    2. He ends the video, not with an appeal to order from them, but rather, “Drink your Ovaltine”.

    We’re in an ammo shortage that will last well into next year, in the best case.
    I’ve had to stop practicing with live fire. I have plenty of ammo for defense, but I don’t want to shoot what I can’t replace.

  7. How much of that bought-up ammunition went to consumers and how much was requisitioned by the pallet load for SWAT teams fielded by the Smithsonian and the Bureau of Standards?

    1. My thoughts too, how much of this buying is by gov’t entities, at the manuf level?
      Over here at Rural King they tell me they can’t even get any in, and what little they do get is sold out in half an hour.

      At an online site the other day I threw 4 boxes of 525 cartridges .22 in the cart but on checkout the shipping was $74. Whoa. I backed out of it. Maybe I shouldn’t have.

  8. I have had to stretch NAD over several weeks this year. Ammo is hard to find and expensive if you do find it. I bought 500rds of 223 from a gun range. Paid about $.50 per round. But it was that or nothing.

    Went to an old sporting goods store in Lewiston ID (not a big box). Owner told me HE (as a retailer) couldn’t get wholesale ammo anymore. Anything on his shelf was purchased at retail and marked up from there.

    Funny thing around these parts is you can find AR style rifles (it takes some work but you can) but you can’t find 223 to shoot through it. However AK ammo is still pretty prevalent and so far the only limit to how much you can purchase is your wallet, but there is not an AK style rifle to be had anywhere.

    Which brings up another point, If all these purchases are going to first timers then they won’t be able to do much practice or training.

  9. I just apply the financial concept of dollar cost averaging. A hundred bucks put to ammo every so often. Doesn’t matter how much. Or at what price. If it seems appropriate I buy it. In the end it is all gonna get sold by the executor of my estate. 🙁

  10. In Californicated, the land of “Dogma” Feinstein, Pelosi “the Nut”, and Kneepads Harris, where mail order ammunition is a distant memory for the law-abiding shottist and a complete mystery for the criminal element, there seems to be adequate stocks at the three stores I frequent that carry ammunition. As expensive as Black Market cigarettes, but there.
    I intend to participate in NAD, but by how much given my current finances is something I still have to work out.

  11. I, like a few others here, will spend NAD at the bench. .40 S&W, .45 Colt and a few .38 Special tossed in for good measeure. The first 100 are my contribution. The rest are proxies in honor of all who are unable to keep the faith due to shortages. Things are starting to get scare here in the Last Frontier. It takes a fair drive of 95 miles to the next town to find anything…

  12. I moved back to the east coast from Arizona (where I have a small farm) a couple of years ago. With 40+ acres and surrounded by National Park on 3 sides, I had plenty of space to shoot, which I did with regularity. Over the 3-4 years I lived there I bought just about all the ammo I could afford and seemed to get a new gun every month or so (widowed, military pension, no debt). Wound up getting married again and decided I’d hump it all back to the east coast instead of selling it because, well, because you never sell ammo, you just trade it for different ammo. So I jammed my van full of guns, cigars, liquor and ammo and headed east.
    I got stopped at an immigration inspection station in Lordsburg, NM in my small Ford cargo van. Trooper was about to wave me through but saw I was riding kinda low and pulled me over for a chat.
    “Whatcha’ hauling sir?
    “Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, officer”
    “Mind if I take a look?”
    “Go right ahead, however this van is pack so full, there’s a good chance something will fall out if you open a door” He chuckled.
    He opened the sliding door behind the driver’s seat and about 3000 rounds of CCI Blazer .22 bulk packs fell out onto the hardpan and a couple busted open. Maybe 150-200 rounds on the ground. I said, “do you want me to pick those up?” He said, “Nah, I dropped ’em, I’ll pick ’em up.” In the process of trying to find the space to put them, another 3-4 bulk packs fell out and hit the deck. This time about 300-400 on the ground. He took another officer off the line and they swept them up and put them in a small trash bag. He tried first put it in the glove box (already full) and then under the passenger seat (sorry, case of 7.62×39 wedged in there) and then just handed it to me and said “have a nice day.”

    Was at the range last weekend and got to talking with a chap who was admiring the Ruger AR 450 Bushmaster I was shooting. He said he had one for sale, gave me the price, which was typically high given the current circumstances. I took a pass but did ask if he had any ammo for sale. He had 745 rounds of Hornady Black 450. Turns out he only shot the rifle 5 times and decided it wasn’t for him. I got all 745 rounds for $350 and 525 rounds of .22

    That was my National Ammo Day.

  13. I’m plenty stocked for everything but 9mm, but I stock up in old mil-surp calibers. They’re hard to find anyway, and especially so now, as producers are switching over to those calibers in such high demand, for obvious reasons. If any of you have any 7.7. Jap laying around, or 6.5 Carcano, I’m interested . . . . .

    And unfortunately the 9mm will have to wait until I can find it at decent prices. I expect mid-next year at the earliest. Cuts into the practice for daily carry, but cannot be helped.

    1. “Cuts into the practice for daily carry…”

      That’s what’s bugging me. It’s not that I don’t have sufficient .45 ACP ammo for practice — I do — but the days of 200-300-round sessions are, for the time being, over.

  14. Ammo is very scarce in *cold flat flyover state*, although my local Ace Hardware does get a few boxes of 9 mm in every so often. My ammo supplies are really low and I couldn’t have picked a worse time to try to build them up.

    Even Makarov ammo has been impossible to find locally, which surprises me (my primary carry pieces are Makarovs). I personally think quite a few people are buying 9×18 under the impression that it’s 9×19. At least that’s less harmful than getting confused the other way around…

    At least I have plenty of .270 and a decent amount of 7.62×39.

    I plan to try to buy at least something for NAD, I have never observed it before (wasn’t aware of it until I started reading here) and I would hate go another year without partaking in it.

  15. That post on .45-70 @Midway stirred the memory pot for me, so a quick trip to and I see they’re cleaned out of that Korean surplus .30 Carbine on stripper clips too.
    Glad I bought two cans when I could.

  16. The less common calibers (.45-70, 6.5 Swede, etc) will probably be harder and harder to find until this whole shortage gets worked out.

    The manufacturers have got to be running every line just on 9mm, .45 ACP, .223, and maybe .308, 7.62×39, and 7.62×45. No time to switch out for the other types, when those are back ordered in the millions of dollars worth.

    Maybe I should check on the price of another can of RoK surplus .30 carbine…

  17. Well, I (don’t) feel your pain, fortunately, although I understand it. When I thought Cankles might win the presidency and pack the SCOTUS, I went, um , a little nuts, I suppose you could say, and as a result, in .45, 9mm, .308 and 5.56, I never have to buy ammo again. Ever. Nor will my son. Nor will his grandkids if they shoot (God willing). I felt a little silly when Orange Man won, but now that there is a less than zero possibility that Beto O’Rourke may be the country’s ‘gun czar’, I don’t fell so silly any more.

    Anyway, I take no little comfort in this statement, by MurphyAZ …

    “But I take some comfort in this: the current shortage in available ammunition is the result of PEOPLE buying millions more guns and tens of millions more rounds in the past nine months, not the GOVERNMENT causing the shortages. Maybe some of the purchasers are newbies, maybe they’re bad guys, maybe they won’t practice and they’ll end up shooting themselves in the foot or nuts, but much of what’s being purchased will end up in the lockers and safes of skilled, responsible gun owners.

    “What’s the goal for National Ammo Day? To arm and equip average citizens so they might contribute to the defense of themselves and their families, their neighbors and property, and their nation, from the wolves and the evil lurking just beyond the campfire light. I’d say Mission Accomplished!”

  18. I’ve been trying to have NAD at least once a month, I’ve gotten lucky in Utah and am up over 2000rds this year. Just ordered another 500 from the local re manufacturing business.

  19. I’ve had a great year ammo-wise. I’ve been stocking up for years, so I have plenty of my regular defensive cartridges available; but I wanted more .22LR, because I use that as a training and practice cartridge for myself and the disabled students I train.

    Even before this year’s ammo panic began, I was stocking up on .22LR, as I reckoned the election would have its usual effect. Including the four bricks I bought this morning for National Ammo Day, since March I’ve managed to get my hot little hands on 14,400 rounds of CCI, Blazer and Aguila high velocity ammo, at an average cost of 6c per round.

    I was shocked to see the prices you list for .22LR in the article. I just bought four bricks of that Aguila high velocity stuff at $30 per brick. It’s still out there, if you know where to look.

  20. I’m surprised that Ammo was getting tough to find during Chinese virus since Walmart stopped selling pistol ammunition and 5.56 poodle shooter last December. I believe they stopped buying it wholesale in the Autumn of 2019 then sold out their stocks by the end of the year. I stocked up what I could.

    I try to make NAD a monthly thing. I buy what I can when I have money to buy more. I’ve bought some on sale and have some on hand but Bill Drills are pretty much over. Practice is deliberate.

    THat’s the news from behind enemy lines in New Englandistan


  21. I was at a local range with my friend yesterday shooting AR10-.308 at 100 yards to make sure my scope was still zeroed in. It was kind of windy but eight shots were enough to know I was good. Waiting for the breezed to change two times I put two within a dime circle which is good enough for me. Eight was enough to make the trip worthwhile and I will keep on doing that every week or so working with one gun and making each round count, I have a decent supply more of some calibers than others and I have a bunch of 30-06 for my bolt action that has not seen much use for a number of years, maybe ten rounds in the last eight years so I can get that a few other old timers out for recreational shooting. It’s good to have choices.

  22. I am testing some sub-357 loads with some 158 wadcutters. An older gentleman at the range asked if I could use 2k of bullets and 3 pounds of an IMR powder that is new to me. He told me he was 86 years old and he had over 12k of loaded 357 ammo that at his current rate of fire it would last till he was 108 years old. I have another 2k of 138gr wc that I received this summer that I have started loading – that cost me about 12.4 cents per round. It is not like the 3 cents per round that the 158 gr WC is going to cost me.

    I shoot about 1k of 357 per year. Just enough to stay proficient. Free lead and powder make it easier to shoot.

  23. Place I work part-time, as of Sunday:
    A little .308, .30-06, fair amount of stuff like .300 Win Mag. Zero .30-30, .300 Blackout, 5.56 and .223, and a couple of others. Lots of birdshot, but not much buckshot(soon as word gets out we have it, it’ll evaporate). Lots of people looking for .30-30, but this is Oklahoma, it went a long time ago.

    Very little .22, and that subsonic and a little standard velocity. No self-defense hollowpoints, only handgun soft-hollow in .44 Mag and above. We get some in, it’s gone fast. No .38 Special or .45acp, no bulk packs of anything. We seem to be unique as we haven’t run all the way out of 9mm yet.

    Reloading? Only primers left are 209s for shotshells. And percussion caps. Out of or very short of most bullets, and most powders.

    Hell, the place has run out of Glocks, AR pattern rifles, and shorter(18-20″) shotguns multiple times in the last three months or so. Basically, ANYTHING self-defense related goes as fast as it comes in.

    The concealed carry classes are selling out at least a month in advance, and if we had five more certified instructors they could all stay busy with all the people wanting private lessons.

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