Ammo Sales Still Going Like Gangbusters

From the CMP this morning:

Aguila .22LR Ammunition.  The CMP is sold out of caliber .22 rimfire ammunition. The manufacturer, Aguila, has advised that the earliest we can expect resupply is late April, 2013, at slightly higher pricing.

But they are still taking orders. Also:

Lake City Carbine Ammo. The caliber .30 Lake City Carbine ammo that we offered for sale beginning 2 Jan, 2013 will be sold out by 8 Feb, 2013.  We still have over 1,000 orders for this ammo  that have not yet shipped, but will be filled over the next few weeks.

Again, still taking orders:

Purchase Limit on HXP .30-06 ammunition. As a result of the purchasing frenzy of the HXP .30-06 ammunition, effective immediately CMP is imposing a 10 can per year per customer limit for CMP Item number …

One of my big concern is the hoarders are making it very difficult for new shooters who are just getting their feet wet with this stuff. If those rifles, pistols and shotguns end up going into closets for lack of ammo, they may never come back out again.

32 thoughts on “Ammo Sales Still Going Like Gangbusters”

  1. One of my big concern is the hoarders are making it very difficult for new shooters who are just getting their feet wet with this stuff. If those rifles, pistols and shotguns end up going into closets for lack of ammo, they may never come back out again.

    “Hoarders” is a very loaded word and I can’t see any constructive outcome from our using it. Those who are truly not community minded are not going to be swayed by it, whereas it will only make those who might make a difference defensive, and it plays right into the memes of “why do you need that?” and the various proposed restrictions on how much ammo people will be allowed to own.

    One solution is for those with plenty of ammo, an ability to teach, and range access to connect with these new gun owners and help them get minimally familiarized, and leave them with a few magazines full of ammo. Ideally just for the cost of ammo, of course, but if you’ve got some sort of instructor certification a nominal charge would add credibility to what you offer; more liability as well.

    The state politician putting forth that torpedoed bill in Hawaii certainly though this was a lynchpin to remove, his “really minor bill” (his words) “would have made firearm instructors liable for accidents that occur during training.”

  2. Hoarding is another word for greed. Ask the question, how much do you need? And you will never get a straight answer, never. Well, it’s their money, their decision. It’s my choice to think poorly of them. No matter how much they have, it’s always the “Just Right” amount or maybe a “Little low”. Are 10,000 rounds of 9mm enough? Prepare yourself for a long convoluted story to justify their greed. History is full of this behavior, and the hoarders always justify the incredible amounts of goods they possess.

    1. You might be a little too harsh here.

      Are 10,000 rounds of 9 mm “too much” if that’s all I’m ever going to be able to buy for the rest of my life? Or during an indeterminate period of dirty civil war?

      As Sebastian notes below, in the period where we were being provoked by threats of Executive Orders, even he though these sorts of threats were credible.

      Bruce Clayon used one metric for survival supplies, especially post-apolitical scenarios: how many gun fights do you think you can win? (And unless you’re really old, I wouldn’t count out the return of the threat of serious nuclear war, especially as we continue to dismantle our inventory. Weakness invites aggression.)

      Another important thing: never shoot yourself entirely dry (well, unless you are in combat). I read a story of some LA residents who were out of the city and did that, came back and then the Rodney King riots prompted the local government to ban ammo sales.

    2. A “Hoarder” is just a saver by another name, the grasshopper’s term for the ant when the leaves are falling and he’s fixing to put together a mob to lay siege to the anthill.

      If you got caught flat-footed and short, quit whining about “greed” and own up. I’m short as well for .223/5.56. I watched XM193 on LuckyGunner this weekend, showed up at 85c per round or thereabouts; it still sold.

      It’s not like we had no warning. Hell, I bet a bunch of people got caught low because they were hoping for price levels to settle down after the election. Oops!

      As for “gouging”, well there’s many forms to the entitlement mentality. The notion of an intrinsic “fair price” or “fair profit” independent of market conditions is one such. The kicker is that “gouging” limits “hoarding”. The “evil” retailers that are jacking up prices are much more likely to have stock at any given moment; the ones that aren’t raising prices have stock for only as long as their order system is slow.

  3. Guess I’m not getting that AR-15 and some .223 at the Oaks show in March I guess.

  4. I have never before seen a website run out of .32 SW Long in a days time just after they had received a new shipment of it. I honestly thought I was one of three people who even shot that caliber, but apparently I was wrong. I think literally every gun owner in the entire country must gearing up for nothing less than an all out assault on their freedom, and I suppose in a way that is good since it shows that gun owners are motivated to oppose any restrictions on their rights.

    1. Same with .45 colt….I thought I was the only one that shot that stuff, but alas I am not and it is wicked hard to find!

  5. Those of us who have a a family to support and not a ton of discretionary income are finding it impossible to practice or teach.

    I cant even find a brick of 22lr at my local box-mart, and at the gun shows I hear it is priced at $60! The gun grabbers may have done what they wanted… turning something mainstream into something expensively fringe, just like they did with full auto.

  6. OK, I won’t use the word hoarding then. I don’t blame anyone who was “collecting” .223 or 7.62×39 in the ramp up to the executive orders. It might even still be a decent ideas, since there’s a basis to ban those rounds from importation. But people are “collecting” all kids of calibers that are in no danger of being banned, like .22LR. I think to some degree the panic feeds on itself.

    A big problem is that no one in the shooting community want to use the price system to ration ammo. Everyone is afraid to be labeled as price gougers. But that’s exactly what prevents this kind of thing. As long as prices remain low, the price system isn’t really asking anyone “How much do you need?”

    1. Again, Hayek’s short and great The Road to Serfdom: A Classic Warning Against the Dangers to Freedom Inherent in Social Planning explains how the price system also works the other way, to tell manufactures that there is demand for products, and if the prices for many many many various types of rounds were rising according to demand they’d have better information as to what to produce in what quantities. “I need everything” as out of stock retail outlets are reporting is not hardly as useful.

      The increased prices also provide more money to make them, to pay for overtime, bid for items that are in the greatest shortage (again, signaled by price increases), etc. If they’ve high enough, to buy capital equipment that couldn’t be justified if the demand drops sooner than expected. It also signals to people that they might want to part with some of their “horde” at the right price.

      As I’ve quoted before, outside our one niche, “there is no culture war. What is occurring now is a pacification effort” (emphasis in original). When it comes to the “free market”, the socialists have already won, and we’re going to pay a price as manufacturers can’t go all out to increase production.

      Let it go too much further, as Hayek points out in the book, ends freedom as well. E.g. if the government can keep you from getting a job, or as some are now worrying, keep you from getting paid for it.

      1. Hayek is correct on that point, but the real corrupting variable that is muting that price signal, is regime uncertainty. No ammo manufacturer is going to risk capital expenditure for expansion to meet a market that might get clobbered by some government edict.

        What would help would be finding some way to economically produce brass and bullets without expensive infrastructure investments that need years of lead time and carry so much risk.

  7. i’m one of the new shooters that you are talking about and I can say that my new sporting rifle is sitting in the closet unused because of the lack of ammo. I haven’t even had a chance to fire it yet. It sucks and it doesn’t look like it’s going to get better any time soon. In the last couple of weeks i’ve seen 7.62 ammo go up from .25/round to. 40 or .50/round. If this continues, I think it’s going to start pricing people out of being able to shoot at all. I hope that prices will start to go done before the ammo costs more than my rifle.

  8. I have ammunition that I have picked up through just years of shooting. I’ve got a policy of keeping a minimum of 200 rounds on hand for any firearm in that caliber. That is the restock point, the “never go below” survival rations.

    I’ve taken opportunities to stock up in quantity when opportunity presents itself. I have 7000 rounds of .22LR in storage right now. Does that make me a hoarder? Or a gouger if I put it up on Gunbroker and see what it hits?

    Supply and demand. We are seeing an outcome desired by the gun grabbers for years through normal market forces: Forget the guns, starve them of ammo. And that is exactly what is happening!

    Call me a hoarder if you want. I could be a profiteer and let the market set the price for what I’m willing to sell. Am I evil for that? If someone wants to pay $60 for 500 rounds of .22LR, who am I to argue?

    For new shooters, I’ll provide 100-200 rounds to get them started since I know it is scarce. After that, all I can do is to help them find places to get more.
    Honestly, would you sell anything you have on hand right now if you felt you had no reasonable prospect of getting more anytime soon? I became “that guy” that forgets what he has where when I opened an ammo can and “found” 700 rounds of 5.56mm NATO I forgot I bought. So instead of panic at paying $1/round at the next show to restock my on-hand 500 rounds, I have a cushion of 1200 rounds. And that I will meter out. Ok, 60 rounds per range trip once a month. That kind of thing.

    I just started reloading. Choose a bad time to get into that. All I can do is place my orders and wait. I have large pistol and rifle primers so I can feed the big kids, a few pounds of powder and some bullets. No realistic timeline of when I can get more. But eventually it might serve as a second source. Or a primary if the pushes for ammunition controls ignore components as most legislators are blind to the technical stuff and think cartridges can only come from the people they want to put out of business. Same goes for 80% receivers and frames.

  9. I took a couple new shooters out a couple weeks back. One of the guns used was a 9mm, which because it’s a more recent purchase I only had a couple hundred rounds. The trip put a sizable dent in that, and I’ve been unable to replenish my supply, at any price (let alone what I can afford).

    This worries me. I don’t mind volunteering my ammo to introduce new shooters. I’d accept the help if they offered to buy more, but right now there’s simply none to be found. It makes it harder to bring new people into the community, even if they’re not shooting their own guns.

  10. I always like to throw in some historical perspective, so with regard to “hoarding”:

    In 1956 it looked like the Middle East could lead to a major war (Second Arab War with Israel; British and French intervention with the Suez Canal; etc.) My father remembered making it through all of the deer seasons of WWII with five rounds of 8 x 57 ammo he had scored at M&H’s in Philly, in 1941. So, he and my uncle went together on a 25 lb. keg of Red Dot to feed our shotguns.

    I poured out the last of that on the lawn for fertilizer some years ago, after dad died. It was so old that the red dots had disappeared. It had seemed OK the last time I’d tried it, but it made me nervous.

    1. It’s not Red Dot (I think I remember one of Herco, and per their advertising he certainly needs powder for “The ultimate in 12 gauge, 1-1/4 oz. upland game loads”, and he had me reloading Unique back in the ’70s), but my father is still using kegs of Hercules powder that were bought in that era.

      1. Oops, rereading your comment it was the 8 x 57 that was scored in 1941, the Red Dot from 1956 or just after. The kegs I am referring to were also scored before we entered WWII.

  11. I’m sitting on what ammo I have. I have enough for some basic shooting at a range, but until replacement becomes easier and more certain, I’m not shooting any of it.

    Air guns, anyone?

  12. “One of my big concern is the hoarders are making it very difficult for new shooters who are just getting their feet wet with this stuff.”

    It’s nearly impossible for me. I’ve been trying to get ahold of ammunition for a month. Nobody has it due to the panic buying. I had to shell out $30 for a couple hundred rounds of .22lr that I managed to find from a guy who stocked up six months back. I’ve been trying to get the left leaning friends out to the range. Got them to see that the AWB is banning semi-autos instead of “assault rifles” or “machine guns”. Slowly getting them from “I’ve got no opinion on it” to being against it.

  13. Back when I started shooting twenty years ago, I’d buy 2 boxes of ammo for every one I’d shoot. The extra went into ammo boxes.

    Eventually I got to the point where I had “enough” of each caliber in the ammo boxes, and I’d replace what I shot, more or (usually ) less, rotating the old stock out and storing the new stuff.

    This came in handy when prices started rising so precipitously. My original price of $3.86/box of 50 rounds of 9mm is now closer to $20.00, and I’m still more happy I don’t shoot .45ACP.

    With my outrageously large cache of ammo stockpiled (a few thousand rounds total including lots of 22LR) I can even take my son & daughter to the range for extended practice, which they as impoverished college students cannot afford.

    So I’d suggest starting now with the stockpiling, price be damned. Ammo won’t be getting any cheaper with further EPA regulations of lead use, legislation against ammo purchase and ownership, and 10,000,000+ NICS checks each year Obama remains in office.

    1. The problem with that concept is that because the socialists have won the economic debate, this framing of “gougers”, ammo is being rationed capriciously, e,g, by small max purchases, but I suspect more often by who you know, like the guys who work behind the “For Employees Only” doors at Wal-Mart etc.

      1. I got spoiled years ago when my uncle was an MSgt. in the National Guard. Guess what almost every birthday present included?

  14. I got a new Mark II .22LR rifle that requires .22 rimfire ammo. Well, I can’t get it anywhere. I bought my rifle at the wrong time apparently. I’ve shot rifles before but never bought any because my wife was against it but I had to get one recently. Walmart had nothing. My neighbor was gracious enough to give me 10 rounds of the .22LR rimfire ammo for my bolt action because my magazine holds 10 rounds, but that’s all I got. I can’t even go shoot the damned thing… If anyone on here has .22LR ammo for a rimfire rifle, reply to this message, if you can give it up or something. I’d appreciate it.

    1. May I suggest I’ve used it both ways with excellent results, and during the last political ammo shortage to get some Lake City XM193. This search on the ammo category and “22lr” results in almost 800 hits.

  15. I refuse to accept the label “hoarder”, as I stocked up before the frenzy, and I’m certainly not “gouging, as I’m not reselling anything, for profit or otherwise. The only firearm related transaction I’ve made since the “election” has been the purchase of a holster. It’s good to be ahead of the game.

  16. It’s not gauging if you take ammo for which you paid $.15/rd and sell it for $.60/rd if it’s going to cost you $.50/rd to replace it.
    As an aside, last show I went to the price inside was $900-950/case for .223. I went out to the truck and brought in five cases of the stuff and sold it for $500-600/case. Considering that I don’t know when I’ll be able to buy the stuff or what the price will be, I would not call that gauging.

  17. This is a classic bubble. Production costs are relatively static, subject to labor, inputs, and commodity prices. The elasticity in price is on the retail end and is due to perceived scarcity. Perceived scarcity causes people to buy at inflated prices, which fuels the sense of scarcity. This will continue until the people buying have exhausted their cash reserves and production has caught up. Then we’ll (hopefully) be in a position of surplus, people will start selling what’s in their closets to get cash back, and prices will come crashing down. I’d say it makes a ton of sense to sell your excess now at these ridiculous prices, save the money, and use it to buy up surplus later at steep discounts.

    Kind of like selling your old house at the peak of the housing bubble, renting for a year, then buying 5 new foreclosures after the bust.

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