Saturday, May 30, 2009

Liberty Logistics: And the Beat Goes On -- “Somewhere in lots of basements . . . there are millions of rounds of ammunition being stored.”

Today is Liberty Logistics Day at Sipsey Street, starting with this article the link for which I found at Lew Rockwell here. Here is the money quote:

“Somewhere in lots of basements around the country, there are millions of rounds of ammunition being stored.”

Uh, make that BILLIONS. Estimates are that we're buying between 1.5 and 2 BILLION rounds per month and the factories can't keep up. Obama, count yer "children."

Though the sales of firearms seems to be slowly gradually, the demand for ammo continues from unbelievably strong to stronger still.

The WalMart method of market sampling indicates continued unprecedented demand for pistol ammunition from .45 ACP down to .380; .223, 7.62x39 & .308, and combat shotgun ammunition in 12 Gauge, especially 00 buckshot in 2.75" and 3" but also slugs.

As I have said before, there is something more existential going on here than just fear over Obama's gun confiscation appetites.

People are not buying to be able to plink without worry for the next ten years. They are stacking up for an uncertain future that may include societal breakdown and/or civil war. This has long since become a STRATEGIC DOMESTIC MILITARY FACT. This should send a shiver down the back of any American would-be tyrant. Sustained shivers, in fact.


More stockpiling ammunition: Fear of potential Obama laws causing mass sales

By PERRY BACKUS Ravalli Republic

FLORENCE - Every day, Darren Newsom's three Bitterroot Valley Ammunition facilities crank out 300,000 rounds of ammunition.

It's not nearly enough.

“I'm going about 100,000 rounds in the wrong direction every day,” Newsom said. “We probably have about six months of back orders right now.”
Newsom has been in the ammunition manufacturing business for more than 20 years and he's never seen demand this high.

Fearful of the Obama administration's potential to tighten gun control laws, people from all over the country are stocking up on guns and ammunition.

“I went through the Clinton years and there was a bit of a scare then,” Newsom said. “This is like the Clinton years on steroids. ? On the day of the election, our phones started going nuts. It hasn't stopped since.”

As a master distributor for ATK - the world's largest ammunition business - Bitterroot Valley Ammunition supplies other ammunition manufacturers around the country with the components needed to make bullets.

“I get a million primers in every other day and most are shipped out the very next day,” he said. “I have 100 million primers on back order right now. We just can't get enough of them.”

At a recent gun show in Salt Lake City, Newsom sold somewhere between 300,000 and 400,000 rounds in the first two hours.

“It's just unreal,” he said. “Somewhere in lots of basements around the country, there are millions of rounds of ammunition being stored.”

Local businesses have felt the ammunition shortage.

At Bob Ward's in Hamilton, Mike Matteson said there has been quite a run on ammunition and reloading supplies like bullets and powder since the election.

“We are especially low right now with pistol ammunition,” Matteson said. “There are four or five calibers that we don't even have on our shelves.”

Matteson said he didn't believe manufacturers were prepared for the panic buying that's occurred since the election.

“They tell us that they're months behind on some calibers - .22 ammo is really tough to come by,” he said. “Our gun sales are up somewhere between 30 (percent) to 35 percent or better. A good percentage of those sales are pistols.”

Firearm and ammo sales aren't the only place where concerns about gun control are cropping up.

Ravalli County Sheriff Chris Hoffman has seen a marked increase in the number of people applying for concealed weapons permits since November.

Montana is a “will-issue” state for concealed weapons permits. Any law-abiding citizen who fills out the application and can show they've completed some form of firearm safety course can obtain a permit.

The county is averaging about 38 requests for renewals or new permits a month. Last year, the requests averaged about 25.

“It's definitely a noticeable increase,” Hoffman said.

The sheriff said he's hearing from people who are concerned about what might happen over the next four years with the gun control issue.

“We are being asked what would be the stance of local law enforcement if the federal government calls for the confiscation of firearms,” Hoffman said. “That's a very real concern for people.”

Gary Marbut, the longtime president of the Montana Shooting Sports Association in Missoula, said the seeds of the current ammunition shortage can be traced back almost a decade to the Y2K scare.

“Many people became concerned about their ability to get ammunition back then and they stocked up quite a bit,” Marbut said.

In the intervening years, China blossomed and bought up world copper supplies. Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan used up warehouses full of U.S. ammunition that needed to be replenished. That forced higher prices for civilian ammunition and people started using some of the bullets they had squirreled away after Y2K, Marbut said.

And now, with the current economic and political uncertainty, people are looking to restock their supplies at a time when most ammunition manufacturers aren't willing to expand their operations.

“The whole demand side of this is so flexible and the supply side is not,” he said.

The ammunition shortage is creating a bit of an economic boon for Ravalli County.

Newsom plans to open a fourth manufacturing facility in Stevensville sometime in September. He employs about 50 people right now and could add up to another 100.

“There are a lot of people out of work right now,” he said. “Two years ago, I probably couldn't find 10 people to go to work for us. Now I have 10 people a day coming in here looking for a job.”

Newsom believes the need for ammunition won't go away. This scare is creating a whole new group of ammunition customers for the future, he said.

Need proof?

Take the .380 caliber pistol. A year ago, Newsom said there was hardly a demand for the ammunition. Since then, the .380 auto pistol has become very popular with women.

“One year ago, it wasn't in demand and now it's some of the most sought ammunition in the U.S.,” he said. “There are more people getting into shooting and that's one thing about ammunition - you can only shoot it once.”


chris horton said...

stopped at my local shop for a Kimber Lifeact for the wife while she's in DC,and stumbled upon 10,000 rounds of freshly arrived and un-announced ordered 7.62 by 39.

325.00 per thousand. There's not as much there now,and I've been building it up for a decade already...


Defender said...

Some people have learned and are learning the PROPER lessons of history. They are sacrificing other priorities to get it while it can be gotten. And they are not buying it to turn it in later so as not to be guilty of the federal crime of "hoarding." They are not buying it to surrender it when nonserialized bullets are illegal. They are buying it before ammunition buyers have to sign a logbook or hold a license. If there must be a Resistance, this would be the best-armed, trained and educated one in history.

Tom Austin said...

Thanks for this bonanza of praxis, Mike!

Logistics is one of those things that separates guys with a firearms hobby from effective Threepers.

Summary: The point of having 10,000 rounds isn't to have a huge stash in your bunker, it's to ensure that you can pick up 500 rounds any time you want to, even if you're not at home. Especially if you're not at home.

Uncle Lar said...

I suspect sometime soon that a nameless faceless middle management official in the Obama administration to express great concern over the "safety implications" of all this ammo that's being "hoarded" by paranoid individuals out of totally unfounded fear of some government action. So some simple common sense rules to limit the storage of these terrible explosive devices will have to be implemented. It'll be for the children.
My sarcastic nature aside, look at New York state legislation, and can Cali be far behind. After all they never met a gun control law they didn't like. Same with other east and west coast jurisdictions. I expect to see a booming business (pun intended) in bootleg ammo smuggling into those states that early adopt controls on ammunition. Those of us that were prudent will find ourselves demonized as the source for these trafficers in those little lead pills of death.

Weaver said...

I'm sure you are correct Uncle Lar but that faceless spineless obot will make a very fatal mistake. We care more about our children than he does. Every true American has already decided that we will not leave this mess for our children to clean up or be slaves to faceless and his masters.