Ammunition Shortage

Published by the Author on May 25, 2009 at 12:01 am > Gun Related News > Ammunition Shortage

Since Obama‘s election, there has been a nation wide ammunition shortage.  The Chicago-area gun stores where I bought ammo raised their prices about 25%, and would only sell me 3 boxes at a time, but they always had ammo to sell.  I’ve read about more severe shortages in blogs, and seen discussions about it on various forums, but until recently I didn’t really experience the shortage myself.  That changed yesterday:As previously mentioned, I just moved from the Chicago area to Iowa.  After doing some unpacking, I decided to take a trip to a local gun store, so that I could enjoy my newly expanded gun rights.  Upon arriving, I was pleased to find that they did have a decent selection of handguns, shotguns, and rifles.  I looked at a pretty nice Rock River Arms AR-15, which I might buy later this week.  Then I asked what .40 S&W ammo they had in stock.  The clerk replied that they had not a single .40 S&W cartridge for sale in the entire store.  Out of curiosity, I asked about 9MM, .45 ACP, and .380 Auto, at which point the clerk directed my attention to the completely empty pistol ammo shelves.  It turns out the only ammo in the store were some birdshot shells, and they had no idea when they would get more pistol cartridges.  I called another gun store in the area, and they reported a similar shortage.


Is anyone else totally unable to buy ammo, or did I just happen to move to an area with the worst shortage problems possible?

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  • http://none Don Dutton

    Your ammo shortage experience is very common at this time, particularly with regard to centerfire handgun ammo. Additionally, those who reload are experiencing a severe shortage of primers — essential to the assembly of a complete round. The other components are a bullet, the case, and the powder that is ignited by the replaceable primer to propel the bullet from the firearm. The only exception to the above is the .22 cal. rimfire round family, which contains the priming compound manufactured into the non-reloadable case. In the case of .22s, the firing pin strikes the edge of the case to initiate the firing sequence, where with centerfire cartridges the firing pin strikes the replaceable primer in the center of the reuseable case. As you might expect, there is widespread speculation that the hoarding instinct has kicked in with the
    inauguration of our new POTUS.

  • Willis

    I’ve found some problems myself finding ammo at a couple of stores. I counted it as a blessing when I found a box of 50 rounds of Speer Gold Dot .45ACP 230gr. It was the only box they had, and they only had 3 to begin with!

  • Joseph M. Woodley

    Congratulations on your move to Iowa and the Expansion of your rights! I wanted to believe that after the election we could expect some effects of ‘panic buying’ and that it would level off, so mostly I wasn’t as concerned as I’m starting to get now that my shells are over 3 weeks on backorder from Cabela’s, usually a great go-to site for ammo. My father-in law had no trouble finding 50GR.308WIN Powerpoints which gave me some encouragement, but my 130Gr.270WSM’s are nowhere to be found! yes, It’s got my attention now!

  • James

    The ammo shortage is common, especially on .223 and 9mm. You can’t even find them at my local Walmart’s, and they’re usually gone in a few hours of a store has them. Good thing I bought a lot way back so I’m okay for a while, but I don’t shoot as much when I go to the range these days. It gets expensive! Oh, you definitely need to get that RRA LAR-15. What’s the going price on it in Iowa? They’re rediculously expensive in California.

  • Christopher Kierkus

    In Michigan there is a similar ammo shortage. On the West Side of the State (Grand Rapids, Muskegon etc.) it is possible to occasionally find centerfire pistol ammo … at regular prices even (I picked up 5 boxes of .40SW Blazer Brass at Walmart recently for $13.95 a box and 6 boxes of Winchester Whitebox .38 special for $16.95 at Meijers). On the East Side of the State (the Detroit area) things are worse. About the only place to get ammo is at gun ranges, and they only sell to members, and only 1 or 2 boxes as a time. Gander Mountain, Walmart, etc. are almost completely out except for expensive self defense rounds.

  • Nathan Sanow

    Welcome to Iowa and our ammo. shortage. I am finding it almost impossible to find any .40 SW anywhere. I lucked out one Sunday morning and found some at Walmart. Since then I have not been able to find any more.

  • Dale

    I haven’t seen any handgun ammo in Oklahoma in 6 months except for a box here and there, perhaps once month. I did get lucky today and bought the first two .22LR bricks I have seen since before the election.

    I get rumors from clerks that ammo comes in more often than that but it’s always gone so fast that you would never know it.


    Interesting. .22LR is about the ONLY thing I can find right now. I bought 2 bricks yesterday (for $22 each) and they had about 2 dozen more brick on the self…

  • SunnyJim

    I live in South Florida, and I am a new gun owner as of December of 2008. Glock 17, SW 442, SW 686.

    So I need in both defense and bulk target rounds: 9mm, 38sp, 38+P, and .357 mag.

    I have no idea what it was like in the "good old days" before the election of the Secular Messiah, but it has been a real struggle to get ammo.

    My local gun shop will only sell three boxes at a time (and at elevated prices – $27 for Hornady Defense vs. $20 online at Cabelas).

    The big stores like Bass Pro? Forget it. Shelves empty. All year. All of 2009.

    My orders I placed with Cabelas in May….keep getting pushed back. "Estimated arrival in stock June 15th." Then an email: "July 15th." Then an email…..SEPTEMBER 15th!!

    Four months….with no guarantee that I'll even get my order filled in September.

    There has to be some sort of MASSIVE bulk purchasing and hoarding going on, which just won't let up. I sure wish it would.