Sunday, September 6, 2009

The rush on firearms is slacking off for the moment. The rush on ammo? Not so much.

Somewhere in the hills of (REDACTED) County, Alabama, a Dogtown Rangers working party adds a few more cases to "Mad Bob's" secret basement cache.

Another tip from the apparently all-seeing, all-knowing typeay, with my thanks. You'll find the link to this story from the Las Vegas Review-Journal here.

It is plain that the rush on firearms is slacking off for the moment. The rush on ammo? Not so much. This is not because of the political threat to supply of future laws, I think, but rather stems from the sensible notion that --

a. In any country that is currently trying to print its way out of a big hole by digging a deeper one in monetizing the debt, it is property, real property, THINGS, that will hold their value more than paper money, and

b. That this policy insanity (and other Obamanoid stupidities) can only lead to societal degradation, even breakdown, i.e. to a tidal wave of crime posing an existential threat to all.

Therefore, these folks are doing the smart thing. They are stocking up on something that holds its value, no matter what disasters befall us.

"Purty smart, if'n you ask me," says "Mad Bob."


Sep. 06, 2009

The hunt is on for more ammunition in Nevada, U.S.

Supply can't keep up with demand, a trend that began after election


With nationwide demand for firearm ammunition outstripping manufacturers' supply, empty shelves in Nevada gun stores have some consumers sweating bullets.

On delivery days at the Bass Pro Shop in the Silverton, 20 to 30 customers will line up for the store to open, said Keith Rainey, an assistant manager in the hunting department.

"They call us up every day to find out when the next load is coming in," Rainey said. "If you don't get there early, you don't get any bullets."

John Lowrie, a sales representative at Discount Firearms on Highland Drive, said it's the same in every store.

"We don't even stock to-go ammo on our shelves anymore. We get just enough to keep our range running," Lowrie said.
Lowrie said even the big retailers are hit-or-miss.

"If you go to Wal-Mart you've got two hours after they unload until they're basically cleaned out," he said.

The shortage applies to all calibers, but the hardest to stock has been for handguns, Rainey said.

Specifically, ammunition for your general "home protection" rounds.

"From the .380 up to the .45, those are the hardest to get," Rainey said. "Everybody in the world is looking for those."


The scarcity of ammunition is part of a trend that began immediately after the presidential election, retailers say.

Gun enthusiasts, concerned with perceptions that Barack Obama and a Democrat-controlled Congress would increase gun control measures, began buying firearms and ammunition at an astounding rate.

Because sales rose so quickly, manufacturers struggled to meet the new demands, said Ted Novin, director of public affairs for the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the trade association for the firearms and ammunition industries.

"I'm in daily contact with manufacturers, and they're all at full capacity," Novin said. In other words, as much supply as can be produced, they're producing it.

According to the Department of the Treasury's most recent Firearms and Ammunitions Excise Tax Collection Report, firearm and ammunition manufacturers paid $109.8 million in excise taxes in the first quarter of 2009, up 43 percent from the same quarter in 2008.

All manufacturers are required to pay a 10 or 11 percent excise tax on firearms and ammunition produced, which makes the tax one of the most reliable ways to track firearm and ammunition sales in the United States, Novin said.

A second key indicator is the FBI National Instant Criminal Background Check System, or NICS Checks.

In November, NICS checks were up 41.6 percent versus November 2008, and have been up month-to-month since the election, indicating that firearm sales are still booming.

"Those numbers are beyond outrageous when you consider the recession," Novin said.


Although demand is extraordinarily high, and manufacturers are running at full capacity, more plants haven't been opened to supplement the need.

The reason, analysts say, is because manufacturers don't believe the demand is being driven by natural economic need, but something else.

"It's customer paranoia," Rainey said, "in our new president."

Novin said that is the general sentiment among manufacturers.

Setting up a new manufacturing plant is both costly and difficult; ammunition and firearms are two of the most highly regulated products in the world, he said.

And because the demand is being driven by political concerns, manufacturers are not eager to pull the trigger on what most consider to be a temporary phenomenon.

"That's a good reason not to just set up shop and go through the extraordinary process and expense that comes with building another plant," Novin said. "And in a year or two, when things slow down, there's a good chance they'd have to shut it down."

Al Russo, a spokesman for Remington, said the company has added an extra shift for workers and is doing everything possible to keep up with demand.

He declined to speak about specific business strategies.

"To build an ammunition plant takes a lot of money, and that's as simple as I can put it," Russo said.

One of the misconceptions about the ammunition shortage is that increased demand from the military has shifted production priorities away from the commercial industry, Russo said.

That's largely myth. The military uses its own manufacturers, for the most part, and only a few "double dip" in both arenas, he said.

"They basically buy it from themselves," Russo said. "There's a big difference between commercial and military ammunition."

Novin concurred: "I can tell you with certainty that this demand is completely driven by consumers," he said.


Even with a nationwide shortage, retailers and manufacturers say they haven't seen a drastic increase in prices.

Lowrie and Rainey said prices in their stores have remained stable over the past eight or nine months, and Russo said Remington hasn't raised prices.

The only place costs have skyrocketed have been at gun shows, where sellers have jacked up prices to take advantage of the paranoia, said Robert Smith, president of the Nevada State Rifle & Pistol Association.

At a Reno gun show in April, Smith said people were hauling out bullets on hand trucks.

"It was a feeding frenzy," he said. "People were stacking boxes of ammunitions, five or 10 cases at a time, paying two or three times more per box."

The demand at the gun shows has gone down since the high point in April, Smith said, but the tension is still high.

"Liberals are talking about restricting types of ammo, reinstituting the assault weapons ban," he said. "So people keep stocking up."

Outside the Las Vegas Gun Show at Cashman Center on Saturday, Craig Brown of Las Vegas was one of those doing the stocking, in the trunk of his car. Brown said he bought as much 9 mm ammunition as he could afford, which tallied almost $300 worth, he said.

Brown said he often has trouble finding ammunition from retailers, which is why he decided to buy more than usual on Saturday.

"I figured that I may as well do it all at once," he said. "I probably paid a little more ... But otherwise it's been a hassle."

Novin said there has been anecdotal evidence to show that supply is beginning to catch up with demand.

A lot of it is because manufacturers have been working at full capacity for several months, he said.

"We're hearing (demand is) slowing down out here (on the East Coast)," Novin said.

And without significant legislation from Congress, the "paranoia" may have worn off a bit, he said.

But in Nevada, a gun-friendly state, consumers have yet to see the shelves being replenished, Brown said.

"Maybe someone could show me where to go to get bullets," he said.


strandediniowa said...

Thinking of it this way: buying ammo contributes to the federal revenue with the increased excise tases reducing the debt, therefore it is patriotic and our duty as Americans to buy more ammo.

Seriously tho, prices have increased not only because of demand, but because of inflated money supply. From 12mo ago: 9mm up 50%, 12/20ga up 75%, .22lr up 100% and anything Wolf makes nearly double. That we are buying even at these prices (when available) should tell the feds something.

Dakota said...

South Dakota
Lots of AR and others showing up on shelves. Some 308 FMJ ammo although running .80+ hunting ammo 1.50+. 223 good supply saw about 10,000 rds of Black Hills at one shop, running .70.... regular ball .50 good supply. Most handgun ammo but not large quantities spendy. Reloading components, good supply of bullets, and powder, brass fair, primers spotty.

Anonymous said...

I have haunted a number of gun stores for decades. Recently, I have begun trying to get the gun store owners to accept Oath Keepers pamphlets for either passive or active distribution.
Yesterday, a gun store owner told me that he would not accept Oath Keepers pamphlets because he did not want to alienate potential customers. After a brief exchange in which I pointed out that his livelihood may go the way of the Dodo bird if the present marxist revolutionary government has their way, I stopped trying to reach past his reptilian brain stem.
What he told me that was interesting is that liberals are coming to his store to arm up. He told me that it did not make any sense. Further proof in my mind that he is completely clueless.
He told me that he has tremendous difficulty obtaining any ammunition and any semi-auto rifles and shotguns. Sales are through the roof.
Reporting in from deep behind enemy lines. Over and Out.

Weaver said...

Just don't make any damn sense to me. If the libs make the mistake of passing ANY laws banning firearms or ammunition there WILL be a war. It's simple, banning firearms is illegal. Doing so makes those who do it illegal. To anyone who thinks they are above the law and the Constitution please pay attention: There is a line. Do not cross it or you will surely trip over it as you try to run away.


drjim said...

Some supplies seem to be easing, but like others have said, prices are UP.
Locally, I have a hard time finding 357, but 45ACP and 40S&W can be had. I don't mind paying (too much!) the higher prices for JHP, but even the "cheap" 357 stuff is .80/round these days, and that makes it expensive to practice.

Anonymous said...

Had a very interesting conversation with an Independence (MO) cop last week. I encountered the officer at the ammo counter at our local Wal-Mart, where he and I both had stopped by after work to see what they had in stock.

The officer - a fiftyish African-American in full police uniform, with the appearance and attitude of an experienced beat cop - told me "Buy what (guns and ammo) you can while you can get it. You wouldn't believe the sorts of briefings we're getting about what may be headed our way."

He's not the first local (Kansas City Metro) cop to give me cryptic warnings along those lines, either. Love to know precisely what sorts of "briefings" and "rumors" they're getting...

I left with a couple boxes of 9mm. The officer was stocking up on FMJ .40s when I left...

pdxr13 said...

Once you have a certain quantity of weapons (**see list below), and have duplicated this quantity for each member of your family or team, the need for more individual weapons slackens (safely/securely storing them, let alone moving them becomes a problem all its' own). If you can get them, adding crew-served weapons would be the next step, but barring that, adding to the stockpile of ammunition for the weapons you already have is the best use of money after other essentials are already paid for and stored.

Weapons without ammunition are of little value in a societal breakdown. There's not going to be a lot of time or safe spaces to reload from components, so a maximum amount of ammo to collect would be the amount that would wear the barrel out. 12K rounds of .30 cal in cans is a fair weighty pile of wealth (24 cans of 500, at about 40 pounds each), but 12K rounds of .22LR is only 2 cases and a half (barely 100 pounds).

Got enough magazines for the semi-auto's (more than 20 each?)? How about loaders, strippers, bandoliers? Cleaning kits and supplies? Will everything fit in backpacks inside of waterproof/direct burial containers?

Maintaining OPSEC about quantity and location of stored supplies?

Some jobs are never done, even with piles of cash to spend.


**Per person weapons in no particular order: 12ga pump shotgun, .22LR bolt action rifle, .22 semi-automatic rifle (Ruger 10/22), handgun .357 or larger, handgun .22LR, personal concealed handgun as appropriate, bolt-action rifle in a US military .30 cal, semi-auto rifle in US .30 cal, semi-auto rifle in US .223 (probably AR-type). .50BMG bolt action, one per organizational unit of 20, not one per person.

There is huge variety in the above types, but they all use standard ammunition that the US military and/or NATO have used for decades, and thus supplies are much more available at good prices in quantity than other sizes that may be more optimized for a specific application.

For people without significant budgets: 12ga pump shotgun with 00 buck and slugs. That's as cheap as it gets for close-range firepower.

Loneviking said...

I live in Nevada and it's a crapshoot trying to find ammo. Even the .22's are sold out within a couple of hours of arrival. Partly the reason is that there is a new M4 semi-auto rifle that can be converted between the 5.62 and .22 ammo. So, there's lot of practicing going on with what will be, for many, their MBR's but using .22's.

jon said...

The reason, analysts say, is because manufacturers don't believe the demand is being driven by natural economic need, but something else.

"It's customer paranoia," Rainey said, "in our new president."

these morons have economics all turned upside down. that IS natural economic need. that's what a natural need looks like!

rexxhead said...

It occurs to me that the very fact of many people of all political persuasions buying lots of ammo militates very strongly against federal infringement.

Having a populace that heavily armed introduces far too much uncertainty into any political equation.

Larry said...

I have also become concerned about the availability of ammo, even here in Texas where there has always been plenty. I have lots of military use rifle ammo, but .45 ACP has become hard to find, at least in practice grade. Back when I bought conversions to use .22 LR for both pistol and rifle, I also bought 5K rounds of .22 for them.

But since training my kids, I now feel like I didn't get enough. Although I have enough tactical ammo, I am concerned about how low I am getting on my basic practice ball ammo, as I am sure many of you are. We have to keep practicing, but I think dry fire is a good way to supplement too.

I would say reloading would be good, but try to get primers these days and you are back in the same quandry.

Therefore I suggest you all be careful in your use of ammo and take heart that no matter what else, there are other people that have also learned from history and are there with you.


Happy D said...

Rexxhead I have to disagree doing something stupid and dangerous is the default government plan. Regardless of party. And with Barry the infallible in charge? I think I will go hide under the covers

Anonymous said...

At the gunshow yesterday, PMC 5.56 was selling for $329 for 1k rounds. This was previously going for $459, and was selling out at that price.

The price on pistol ammo will start dropping too. People simply don't have any more money to blow on bullets.

Their credit cards are maxed out, and now they gotta figure out how to pay off the balances.

Now, if Obama doesn't sneeze, and the economy stays in this gradual downward trend, you're gonna see a lot of this stuff being sold back at fire-sale prices.

I guess that would be a "best-case scenario", sad to say.

Anonymous said...

Here in Hicksville Illinois ammo is in short to non-existent supply.

I haven’t seen a primer in 3 months and the only powder available is stuff that NO one wants and that’s still limited.

Gun sales are up here in Illinois but since we have the FOID law it slows new/first time gun owners down to a crawl.

I believe that the heavy ammo purchases are the last sign that the people are getting comfortable with their survival supplies.

Most people ran out and bought all the guns they could afford and now their making certain they can keep those guns burning hot for some time in the future.

The big wild card in this whole thing is food, foreign government s that own US debt are dumping dollars for commodities like beans and rice, wheat and soybeans.

Mexico and Saudi Arabia have been buying not only the 2009 crop but the 2010 crop of all of the beans and rice the big co-ops will sell them.

Anonymous said...

Current DOD briefings are directed in no small part towards "domestic" issues and security.
For those of you stockpiling, make sure you can shoot and get plenty of mags- 15,000 rounds does you no good if you cant hit anything with it!

Anonymous said...

Store shelves here in East TN are still real empty. Vendors at the gun shows however, are starting to have a bit more of some calibers available. Some seem to be near non-existent (357HP). Prices are outrageous but,....I do what we can every week. Like many others, I have had to back off of practice a bit in order to preserve precious rounds.