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As others have stated....ammo is going to be the hardest thing to maintain going forward. Given availability around the country the shortage is real but why? Could it be that artificial shortages create unprecedented high prices where few can afford to maintain stock piles and practice with regular frequency to maintain top tier skills.

Conspiracy theory...maybe but answer the question of why there are shortages of 9mm, 5.56, 7.62 and .308 when they are the most popular military calibers across the world and we are coming out of the first 4 year period in decades that the US and her allies aren’t involved in an active shooting war. Shooting wars require millions of rounds to fight, train and stockpile for future battles. Where did all of that excess global ammo manufacturing capacity go to??? Bubba’s and new shooters must have bought it all...right?!.

Could it be a coordinated global event given the amount of ammo produced over seas? Pandemic and world governments are stockpiling ammo and taking their cut off of the top of any production capacity limits? It has been widely said that the US citizens have more guns and ammo per capita than any other country in the world which would make any type of aggression against the US on our soil a losing proposition for anyone - foreign or domestic. I recall the Japanese saying something to the extent that there would be a gun barrel behind every blade of grass if they tried to invade the US during WW2. That position has only increased over the past 80 years.

So back to my original question, conspiracy theory or simple supply and demand equation as we are being led to believe ...what are your thoughts?
 
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packin heat
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Ammo factories are operating at 110% capacity from assembly line to shipping docks to be trucked to distributors an warehoused. This is where the choke point is as it’s only dribbling out to the stores. Distributors are hoarding ammo.
 

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So just where are the first time shooters buying all this ammo ??? LGS's have none.....major internet distributors have nothing but junk...yet the major manufacturers claim they're at their highest production levels ??? I call BS !! It's being stockpiled somewhere. SGAmmo which normally has 2 pages of choices for 9mm has been basically OUT OF STOCK for weeks ! All the LGS near me have been dry of 9mm for weeks/months.....it's going somewhere !!!
Had to laugh at this: some dealer on ammoseek has Hornady Critical Defense for $50 for 25 rds !!!!!
 

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Ammo factories are operating at 110% capacity from assembly line to shipping docks to be trucked to distributors an warehoused. This is where the choke point is as it’s only dribbling out to the stores. Distributors are hoarding ammo.
How do you know that for sure? Did you go by and watch 'em ship the stuff? Seen the warehouses?
 
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Combination of high demand, some by new shooters, some by normal shooters trying to add to their stash, some by panicked shooters who now think they need a lifetime supply on hand and some by those buying it to re-sell at a profit as prices increase.

Those in the last group are jack-hats, but have the right to do it.
 

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Hawthorne Army Depot (HWAD) is a U.S. Army ammo storage depot located near the town of Hawthorne in western Nevada in the United States. It is directly south of Walker Lake. The depot covers 147,000 acres (59,000 ha) or 226 sq. mi. and has 600,000 square feet (56,000 m2) storage space in 2,427 bunkers. HWAD is the "World's Largest Depot" and is divided into three ammunition storage and production areas.

Ammo storage bunkers all over the desert there...

900189
 

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I'm in the supply/demand camp for explaining the current situation. We had an unprecedented triple whammy; civil unrest, pandemic and presidential election. Then came January 5th in Georgia and that did nothing to improve the already bad situation.

There are doubtless millions of gun owning Americans that own one or two guns, a box of ammo, and that's it. Now they get the urge to go out and buy a few more boxes, and that level of demand can easily decimate a supply chain that was up to that point, just satisfying the status quo demand requirements.
 

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Aside from medical facilities and other essential rated factories nothing is really working at 100%+ capacity. Not possible to do so without violating some CDC or local ChiconFlu mandate. The video messages always say they are working as hard as possible, or the last ones thatI saw did.

Couple a complete raw material supply shut down from China, a whole slew of new gun owners brought about by the plethora of peaceful protests, panicked regular owners... and we had a supply demand mismatch of epic proportions.

Chinese new year is upon us again, so Chicom raw materials will slow to a trickle again, and IMO they could be experiencing something again as supply from China has dropped a bit over the last few weeks.

Does that mean that all the shortages are caused by supply and demand and there isn't any Cheaper than Dirt going at the distribution level. Who knows. I'm sure some of it is going on. Plus asshats buying it up and reselling at gun shows and such isn't helping the cause.

How many middlemen are involved in the distribution of ammo? It doesn't go from Federal to LGS, but though how many distributors?

I think if by summer we aren't at least seeing stuff on the shelves at $$$ we might need to consider conspiracy theories...
 

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Ammo factories are operating at 110% capacity from assembly line to shipping docks to be trucked to distributors an warehoused. This is where the choke point is as it’s only dribbling out to the stores. Distributors are hoarding ammo.
What is your source for this?
 

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Stores are getting it. It’s just selling out immediately. “Gun stores haven’t had 9mm in months.” Sure they have. It just goes right out the door as soon as they get it.

Academy in my area gets shipments every Thursday and Sunday.

So of course people line up on those days. My wife and I got there 45 mins before open this morning, and got ticket #90 (in line). I didn’t know that’s how they did it, but I think it works and keeps (some) order. Apparently, they put the tickets out at 0700 for that day. Again, I think it’s a good way of doing it.

Their limit is 3 boxes (total, not per caliber or per platform), so lots of people get something. By the time we got up there, 5.56 was gone but we split our 6 boxes into 4- 50 round boxes of federal 9mm, and 2-100 round boxes of CCI minimag.

They had enough 9mm to probably serve 5 more people the limit before they ran out, and plenty of .22 left. Still had 7.62x39 and .308 as well.

The point is, places are still getting shipments of ammo, but it’s just being bought immediately. 200-250 probably got served something this morning there, and that’s a lot. In prior times, they’d serve the same amount of people, but they’d do it over a few days so the shelves were not bare in between shipments. Now, all of those people are served in an hour or so, and the shelves sit bare for 3-4 days until the next shipment.
 

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Primer factories are the delay , many are made in EU countries that were hard hit with COVID last year Italy for one .


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The threat of egregious gun and ammunition regulations by Democrats has to be motivating the run on guns and ammo. I know it worries me.

I bought ammo at higher prices than normal because I expect prices to trend even higher as long as Dems are in control. I bought extra magazines for the same reason.

There are multiple forces at work to drive demand higher than normal. Three people I know are among the millions who recently bought their first handguns and ammo and are shooting regularly for skill development. I know there are millions of long-time gun owners like myself who have a renewed interest in shooting because of the political environment. And, there is lots of ‘stockpiling’ out of concern about Democrat lawmakers taking control. Taken together, these surges in buying create a huge requirement for manufacturers to satisfy.

I believe manufacturers are operating at full capacity. They would be stupendously stupid not to. So, the shortage is about substantially greater demand caused mostly by fear of new taxes and restrictions Democrats will impose. The battle for ownership of guns and ammo has become more expensive for the foreseeable future, so suck it up and work like hell to knock Dems out of control in 2022.
 

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Stores are getting it. It’s just selling out immediately.
Output is way, way, way down.

in 2020 supply for me was normal until Floyd. Since Floyd I have gotten 10% of what I got in 2019 for same time period. So NO we are not getting it at 2019 levels.

There is also on oversupply in some areas as 556 is easier to find than 9mm.
 

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How do you know that for sure? Did you go by and watch 'em ship the stuff? Seen the warehouses?
I've said this before but it bears repeating. For 15 years, I communicated with a man (recently deceased) who designed guns for the original William B. Ruger and was fairly high up in Ruger's Prescott, AZ plant before retiring. Encyclopedic firearms knowledge.

He had industry contacts during the last ammo panic and said that yes, the ammo companies were doing a lot of overtime trying to keep up with demand. They didn't want to buy new, expensive, production equipment and then find they had massive excess capacity when demand dropped, that would hurt their bottom line.

I think all the majors have been caught flatfooted by this enormous demand. I'd bet they expected a big uptick in demand if the Dems won the WH in 2020 but bet this flood of demand surprised even them.

As to the OPs comments, I'd think the military has caught up on small arms ammo supplies as we haven't had major military operations in the sandbox for quite some time now. I think Lake City has in the past sold to civilian organizations when they had excess capacity. If that's been happening now, I have no idea.

A friend and I both bought nice S&W M&P9 2.0s the same time from Sportsmen's Outdoor Superstore about a year ago, very nice price at $425 and free shipping. They're now advertising a 500rd box of Remington 115gr FMJ 9mm ammo for the sick price of $490. That's deal? I think not, particularly when some people say they shoot 250rds of it at a typical range day. Far more than I do. Don
 

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Is Remington still idled or has Vista gotten it up and running again.

More demand plus a missing manufacturer can create significant shortages in a carefully balanced supply chain.

I hope Federal steps up and actually adds a new factory.... because if this particular shortage ever ends, there will definitely be another one right around the corner. Plus with their direct sales taking off, they are pulling in a lot of money that previously got eaten up by distributors.
 

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IMO no conspiracy and will take probably a few years for ammo supply to get better to where is is routinely available and prices are back down though we may never see 2019 pricing lows again. While most the USA Vista Outdoors big ammo pants may be going full speed ahead one has to remember Remington plant has been sitting idle due to bankruptcy until recently and there are many smaller ammo manufacturers that can not make ammo because they have no primers. Overseas ammo suppliers such as Magtech have said they were running at about 40 percent capacity due to Covid 19 issues.
 

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Is Remington still idled or has Vista gotten it up and running again.

More demand plus a missing manufacturer can create significant shortages in a carefully balanced supply chain.

I hope Federal steps up and actually adds a new factory.... because if this particular shortage ever ends, there will definitely be another one right around the corner. Plus with their direct sales taking off, they are pulling in a lot of money that previously got eaten up by distributors.
Vista Outdoors has already stated just a few days ago they will not be building any new factories/expansions due to the excess capacity they experienced from 2017-2019. Though he did not say it, I am sure they are also wary of investing in additional ammo capacity with a anti Second Amendment party controlling the White house and congress with talk of federal ammo taxes, ammo purchase restrictions, and wanting to make manufacturers liable for criminal and negligent use of their products..

 
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