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Old 11-12-2020, 12:50 PM
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Default Ammo "Shortage" of 2020 -- November Update

We are now 12 days into November and the Ammo Shortage of 2020 is now longer and deeper than I expected. Specifically, even after all the ammo purchases over the past 8 months at very high prices, there seems to be an endless demand for practice grade 5.56, .38 Special, and 9mm at about $0.80 per round.

My hunch is that -- for all the various reasons -- people who would normally have purchased ammo by the box bought multiple boxes or even a case to have on hand, and people who would normally purchase by the case bought an extra case. I fall into the extra case category, although my purchases were made before the shortage to take advantage of the relatively low prices in December 2019 and January 2020 and to stock up while New Jersey still allowed online purchase of ammunition.

Since the jump in prices my ammo purchases have fallen to zero and on range trips I will shoot one box of 5.56 instead of 2 or 3 boxes, and half a box or less of .38 Special and .40 S&W instead of a full box.
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Old 11-12-2020, 01:00 PM
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It was reported today that gun sales are on yet another record surge. Guess the thinking is that without any ammo to shoot through them, need more to throw.
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Old 11-12-2020, 01:07 PM
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It was reported today that gun sales are on yet another record surge. Guess the thinking is that without any ammo to shoot through them, need more to throw.
^^^ That is really funny!
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Old 11-12-2020, 01:11 PM
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Just found what I needed to start reloading 9mm. Didn't think it would come to that. Luckily, I bought a few thousand primers prior to the panic. Wish I had bought more now.
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Old 11-12-2020, 01:22 PM
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I only buy 22 rimfire and 12 gauge; everything else I reload, so these ebbs and flows don't have an impact on me. Still have about 400 white/orange WLRM primers left from the Clinton 'emergency.'
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Old 11-12-2020, 02:35 PM
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Since I donít need any ammo (i have plenty and plenty reloading components), Iím not looking for any.

Because Iím not hunting for ammo, I seem to run across ammo for sale at great prices.

For example, yesterday I spotted some old Super Vel 190 gr hollow point 45 acp ammo for what worked out to $.25 a round. I also picked up some 22 lr ammo at pre-pandemic prices at an out of the way surplus store.

Itís out there, itís just not on the internet.

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Old 11-12-2020, 02:47 PM
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Only saw a couple boxes of 9MM at my local LGS for just under $30 for 50 rounds yesterday and they were FMJ. Few boxes of centerfire in .270 and 30-06 priced well but .22 and 22 magnum real scarce as only 2 boxes of Hornady Critical Defense for $18. Luckily stocked up at a Wally World when CCI 40 grain is only $10.20 last month for 50 round pack. No 22 or 22 magnum at Walmart yesterday at all.
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Old 11-12-2020, 03:15 PM
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It's a vicious cycle that is presently non-ending - the pressure on gun and ammunition buying is relentless. This is not political, just a commentary on what I observed over the past 12 years. After the 2008 election then President Obama was tongue-in-cheek touted as the best gun salesman we ever had, which I imagine included ammunition. Then President Trump got elected and because the opposition wouldn't let up I guess the overall atmosphere stayed intense and gun and ammunition buying continued apace. Then it's 2020, the pandemic hit, coupled with street riots everywhere, and again the atmosphere stayed tense and first time gun buyers continued to increase and that put a lot of pressure on ammunition. Again, just an observation and not a political commentary, but the opposition continued to hammer on firearms and that kept the atmosphere tense. Then, as I understand it from friends in the industry, the Departments of Defense and Homeland Security purchased enormous amounts of ammunition, and you know that's mostly .223/5.56 and 9mm, sucking the oxygen out of the powder, primer, bullet, and brass industries/ammunition makers. Voila! It's a shortage worse than the run on toilet paper. That's the view from my saddle, anyway, and about as apolitical as it can be in terms of the Forum's rules. It's not aimed at politicians or parties, just the atmosphere they have a hand in creating.

Yes, there is ammunition out there, but it's just hidden from view. And a lot of it is unusual, often European, Latin American, etc. But it's there. I just bought some 9mm and some .45 ACP just to prove it to myself. On the Internet.
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Old 11-12-2020, 06:02 PM
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Hoppes No 9 will ship in 1-2 months from Amazon
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Old 11-12-2020, 06:35 PM
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Most of my shooting is done with my reloads. I still have about 2k primers left, but I don't think I'm going to use much of that stash for a few months just in case the shortages don't improve.
I do have a very good supply of 22lr and this primarily fuels my range trips these days.
This also give me a good excuse for a vintage 22 target pistol purchase since I currently have only one target model.
Could be worse.
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Old 11-12-2020, 06:52 PM
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Nothing is certain until late January.
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Old 11-12-2020, 06:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beauetienne View Post
Most of my shooting is done with my reloads. I still have about 2k primers left, but I don't think I'm going to use much of that stash for a few months just in case the shortages don't improve.
I do have a very good supply of 22lr and this primarily fuels my range trips these days.
This also give me a good excuse for a vintage 22 target pistol purchase since I currently have only one target model.
Could be worse.
Likely will be.
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Old 11-13-2020, 01:52 AM
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I was considering the purchase of some 38 special practice ammo and the hunt was on. I found a Texas dealer that would sell bulk ammo at the rate of $ 399.00 for 250 rounds. I was born at night but not last night, so I figured at $ 1.50 per round they could keep it !!! Maybe rimfire ammo and rocks and spears will be available at reasonable prices.
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Old 11-13-2020, 03:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by biku324 View Post
I only buy 22 rimfire and 12 gauge; everything else I reload, so these ebbs and flows don't have an impact on me.
Ditto that...
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Old 11-13-2020, 08:58 AM
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Earlier this week I got an email from Cheaper Than Dirt, proclaiming they had ammo deals. Based on the price quoted, their dirt must be precious metal dust.
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Old 11-13-2020, 09:33 AM
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I got a bad feeling about this one.....

Seems like the overall rules in our society have changed. News has become mind control. Cities burn. Can't put a bumper sticker on your car.
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Old 11-13-2020, 10:04 AM
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I made a run to my LGS yesterday. I was surprised find Remington .45 230 grain with no limit. I wanted to get 100 rounds for me and a friend asked me to get him a box. Last week they were $25 a box, and a couple of bucks more for a bag of Winchester .45. I couldn't believe it was $39 for a box of 50. I have around 700 rds, of .45 and I replace what I shoot. I think I'm going to buy less in the future even though it's not going to get any cheaper in the long run.

They also haven't had any S&W .40 for a few weeks,
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Old 11-13-2020, 11:32 AM
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I DON'T reload, never learned. Because of that, 1 1/2 weeks ago I found some .38 Special, 4 boxes of 50 for $140. Today I ordered 4 boxes of 9mm for $160! Woulda, coulda, shoulda defines me as far as buying ammo last year for 1/4 the cost. Now, if I can only find some .380 to overpay for I'll really be happy!
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Old 11-13-2020, 03:35 PM
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When it comes to ammo prices today, I am reminded of a certain scene from the movie "Deliverance".
"I bet you can squeal like a pig. Weeeeeeee!".
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Old 11-13-2020, 03:59 PM
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This shortage isn't as bad as the one in 2008. 5.56 was a buck a rd. There was no 9 mm or .22 to buy at any price.

5.56 hasn't reached $1/rd yet but it won't be long now.

I just checked and at todays prices I have $1500 worth of primers and $1000 worth of .22 ammo in my basement. I don't know how many rds of CF ammo I could build but I suspect it would be worth a small fortune.

I expect this shortage to last at least a year.
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Old 11-13-2020, 11:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffrefrig View Post
I DON'T reload, never learned. Because of that, 1 1/2 weeks ago I found some .38 Special, 4 boxes of 50 for $140. Today I ordered 4 boxes of 9mm for $160! Woulda, coulda, shoulda defines me as far as buying ammo last year for 1/4 the cost. Now, if I can only find some .380 to overpay for I'll really be happy!
Never too late to learn. I started after Newtown. Took me several months to find components and I had to start with powders I normally wouldnít, but Iíve loaded thousands of rounds since then and I doubt Iíve shot more than 300 factory rounds since 2013. Only regret I have is not stocking up more in components. I do believe reloaded are going to be targeted at some point. Good thing is components donít seem to go bad so I will be stocking up when this madness lifts. I will not be paying the stupid prices they are charging for components though. I can and will wait.
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Old 11-14-2020, 01:54 AM
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I went to the local Sportsman's Warehouse this evening to buy some wild cherry candies for the wife. I checked out the ammo and not one box of any type of pistol or revolver ammo what-so-ever! My last trip there, they had some of the self-defense ammo, but nothing now. Rifle ammo averaged about $39.95/box of 20. A bit rich for this old man, l roll my own a lot cheaper.
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Old 11-14-2020, 10:31 AM
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Not much rifle & handgun ammo available at all now. What is available is nearly a dollar/round! Thank God I reload metallic, but even components are going to be difficult to replace. Can hold out for awhile, but this isn't good.
Gave up reloading 12 & 20ga because it was easier to buy cases, but I'm looking at $90/case+ now for trap/skeet/sporting loads. We have to compromise & take what is available. Premium shells only.

My weekly shooting may need to become bi-weekly, at this rate!
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Old 11-14-2020, 10:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LostintheOzone View Post
This shortage isn't as bad as the one in 2008.
I don't recall the 2008/2009 shortage being this bad, but maybe the old memory is fading. I remember the 2013/2014 post-Newtown shortage being extremely bad, but at least we had Walmart and that made all the difference after the worst of the initial insanity passed, at least for me.

This time around my options are scary limited and awfully expensive... too expensive, in reality, to buy anything right now and it only seems to be getting worse.

I see no signs at all that things might improve.
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Old 11-14-2020, 11:00 AM
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I stopped in the local Gander Outdoors yesterday to browse while running other errands. No center fire ammo except lots of cases of shotgun shells. Had some Aquila .22 shorts. I have a couple of rifles that will shoot them but didn't buy any.

Overheard an out of state guy (Florida) at the gun counter tell the clerk that the further south you went the better supply of ammo. Said Florida had the best supplies he had seen. (The Gander has a big RV sales/service and I assume he was on the road getting his RV serviced.)

Does it appear to others that the shortage is geographical? Here in SW Va. it is bad as I have seen it.

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Old 11-14-2020, 12:17 PM
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Did some traveling last Saturday a few hours away hit a few Walmartís and a Bass Pro the Bass Pro you could of fit the ammo they had in a wheelbarrow load steel waterfowl loads, centerfire rifle, turkey loads. Walmart had 22mag a few boxes a few boxes of odd ball rifle calibers and 12/20 gauge target and small game loads. They said they get some stuff in but itís gone fast. Prices at Wally still decent.
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Old 11-14-2020, 12:25 PM
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[QUOTE=jeffrefrig;140960984 Now, if I can only find some .380 to overpay for I'll really be happy! [/QUOTE]

I just saw some .380FMJ for the paltry sum of $79.99 per box of 50. I assume that is plus tax and shipping. That price should make you really, really happy. Larry
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Old 11-14-2020, 01:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TTSH View Post
I don't recall the 2008/2009 shortage being this bad, but maybe the old memory is fading. I remember the 2013/2014 post-Newtown shortage being extremely bad, but at least we had Walmart and that made all the difference after the worst of the initial insanity passed, at least for me.

This time around my options are scary limited and awfully expensive... too expensive, in reality, to buy anything right now and it only seems to be getting worse.

I see no signs at all that things might improve.
I think that you hit the bullseye with your last sentence.
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Old 11-14-2020, 01:48 PM
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Having gone through both the 2008 epidemic and NYs Safe Act disaster I can say this is easily the worst. The unavailability of handgun ammo is similar, but with this round its everything. All caliber rifle ammo and any shot bigger than a #6 or so is also nonexistent this time. I also don't see things turning around as quickly this time or the big dump of guns and ammo after it's over..
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Old 11-14-2020, 01:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stansdds View Post
Earlier this week I got an email from Cheaper Than Dirt, proclaiming they had ammo deals. Based on the price quoted, their dirt must be precious metal dust.
Yep, got the same email. 9mm was running about a $1 a pop.
Ridiculous to me.
A couple weeks ago I went to Rural King and saw they had Taurus G3Cs in stock for $259. Iíd been interested in one for a range toy and bought it. I asked if they had a box of ammo and the clerk said all they had was this and pulled out a box of Geco 115gr ball, $13.99/ box of 50.
When the cashier rang it up she accidentally billed me for 2 boxes so I told her to just give me the other box.
Glad I did.
I donít know squat about Geco ammo but itís marked ďproduced in USAĒ
I have a bunch of .40 but the only thing I own chambered in .40 is a Beretta CX4 carbine.
Wouldnít mind finding a .40 Shield.
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Old 11-14-2020, 02:04 PM
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Originally Posted by ACORN View Post
Yep, got the same email. 9mm was running about a $1 a pop.
Ridiculous to me.
A couple weeks ago I went to Rural King and saw they had Taurus G3Cs in stock for $259. Iíd been interested in one for a range toy and bought it. I asked if they had a box of ammo and the clerk said all they had was this and pulled out a box of Geco 115gr ball, $13.99/ box of 50.
When the cashier rang it up she accidentally billed me for 2 boxes so I told her to just give me the other box.
Glad I did.
I donít know squat about Geco ammo but itís marked ďproduced in USAĒ
I have a bunch of .40 but the only thing I own chambered in .40 is a Beretta CX4 carbine.
Wouldnít mind finding a .40 Shield.
Geco is good stuff 38 and 9 Iíve used and for that price a great deal for sure.
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Old 11-14-2020, 02:51 PM
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One small mom and pop LGS here has a fair supply of ammo, but the prices are about 2x normal and it’s one box per customer.
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Old 11-14-2020, 03:00 PM
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As for Florida, I can only speak for a couple stores in Jacksonville, and there’s slim pickin’s.

If it was priced normally, there’d be none left at all.
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Old 11-14-2020, 03:00 PM
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Geco is good stuff 38 and 9 Iíve used and for that price a great deal for sure.
Thanks, good to know.
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Old 11-14-2020, 03:25 PM
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I've been waiting 6 months for a clothes dryer. Lumber is hit or miss. Even the grocery store has shortages of certain things on a day to day basis. This is the result of shutting down the economy for 7 months. The shooting world is not going to support $1 a round 223. The ammo manufactures know that so they don't invest in more capacity. Once this wave passes, things will stabilize. Politics will have a minimal effect, if any. What we are hearing now is 99% hyperbole. There are a ton of Democrat seats that are up in two years and the ones that squeaked in 6 years ago are looking at 7.2 million Trump votes and wondering how they are going to get back. Gun control is the third rail of politics right now. Our gun and ammo problem is simply a supply and demand issue that will run it's course. Economics 101. You will see $10 a box 9mm again as soon as the production catches up with the COVID shutdown. Don't panic and don't spend you kids college fund buying up over priced ammo!
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Old 11-14-2020, 04:52 PM
michael1000 michael1000 is offline
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21 and 22 November there will be a gun show here in town. i'm waiting to see where the prices of guns and ammo will be there.
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Old 11-14-2020, 05:21 PM
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What are you guys seeing small pistol primers actually selling for. I saw a guy asking well over a hundred per thousand which is 3 times what I was paying form them. Large pistol the same.

L
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Old 11-14-2020, 05:24 PM
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I see zero small pistol primers in stores.
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Old 11-14-2020, 06:54 PM
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What are you guys seeing small pistol primers actually selling for. I saw a guy asking well over a hundred per thousand which is 3 times what I was paying form them. Large pistol the same.

L
If that is the cheapest price you can find it's a bargain. There are plenty of primers in the world but most are not for sale at any price. Larry
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Old 11-14-2020, 07:19 PM
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Seeing the prices .22LR are bringing, I am seriously selling about 40 bricks of my stash. I could quadruple my money.
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Old 11-14-2020, 07:54 PM
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I use Ammoseek.com as a search resource for online retailers and set up to receive alerts when ammo falls below a price I set into their search parameters. In the past month I was able to get Federal 9MM 115 FMJ for $24 a box and Aguila 22LR HV 40gr for $30 a brick. Sure it's more than pre-panic prices but those are much lower than averages prices these days IMHO.
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Old 11-14-2020, 08:14 PM
Mike, SC Hunter Mike, SC Hunter is offline
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When I get 9mm/38/357/40/45 brass. I just run them through the Dillon's and I'm GTG.
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Old 11-14-2020, 09:12 PM
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Worried about not being able to shoot? Last winter the squirrels were working my bird feeder over and I was surprised at how many I killed with a $45.00 pellet rifle from Walmart. The little steel BBs even killed a couple.
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Old 11-14-2020, 09:40 PM
otis24 otis24 is offline
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I have three new to me handguns. I have a limited supply of ammo and availability is pretty nill here. I am reluctant to use up what I have and will definitely stock up for "next go around" when/if we recover from this!
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Old 11-14-2020, 10:29 PM
Winder31 Winder31 is offline
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Hey if you are a CMP member, they have ammo at reasonable prices. Lots of 22 and rifle calibers. No 9mm that I saw. 40 and 45acp HPs. Got some cases of 45acp FMJ last week but they appear to be gone now.
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Old 11-15-2020, 12:34 AM
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I am reluctant to use up what I have and will definitely stock up for "next go around" when/if we recover from this!
Thoughts like the aboveól share themómake me think that this ammo shortage will be longer than any of the prior. I will contribute to the ďproblemĒ because, when prices get back to sort of normal I will buy two or three extra cases, and not merely the one extra case like the last time.
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Old 11-15-2020, 01:11 AM
Fanner50 Fanner50 is offline
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I stopped in the local Gander Outdoors yesterday to browse while running other errands. No center fire ammo except lots of cases of shotgun shells. Had some Aquila .22 shorts. I have a couple of rifles that will shoot them but didn't buy any.

Overheard an out of state guy (Florida) at the gun counter tell the clerk that the further south you went the better supply of ammo. Said Florida had the best supplies he had seen. (The Gander has a big RV sales/service and I assume he was on the road getting his RV serviced.)

Does it appear to others that the shortage is geographical? Here in SW Va. it is bad as I have seen it.
Believe me, Florida doesn't have any ammo either, or what it does have is just as high as anywhere else in the country. We're just like everywhere else.
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Old 11-15-2020, 02:45 AM
scoobysnacker scoobysnacker is offline
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I don't recall the 2008/2009 shortage being this bad, but maybe the old memory is fading. I remember the 2013/2014 post-Newtown shortage being extremely bad, but at least we had Walmart and that made all the difference after the worst of the initial insanity passed, at least for me.

This time around my options are scary limited and awfully expensive... too expensive, in reality, to buy anything right now and it only seems to be getting worse.

I see no signs at all that things might improve.
This is actually getting worse, instead of better.

I went to a big gun store in town today, first time in a month. And I mean, a big shop.

They normally have hundreds of handguns on display, almost every make and model. A month ago I looked at a Sig P210 there.

Today, the place was almost barren, it looked like the last days of a closing/going out of business sale. They had maybe 30 handguns total, probably 3 quarters of which are the higher end ($2k+) 1911's. 3 or 4 Sigs. A couple CZ's (a Rami, a regular, and a compact). They did have a couple Berettas, including a 92X Performance. That, like the Sig P220 Legion, I think just still too pricy for folks. Didn't see a Glock or M&P, no HK's, and probably only 4 revolvers. Ha, did see a Zastava M57, they wanted $460 for it.

Used rifle rack, I saw one Mini 14, and a couple of Winchester 92's. All for a grand or more.

Rifles behind the counters- I saw a few AR-10s, and it looked like a Tavor was there. Didn't see any complete ARs, and they were selling Anderson lowers for around $90 or so.

Ammo- I saw 308, and then other rifle rounds. A couple of 40 S&W, off to one corner they had some less-popular stuff left- a few 32 acp, some 7.62 Tok, 7.62 Nagant, 7.63 Mauser, some 38 Super, that was it.
Reloading area, they had about 1k of CCI #34 primers, and some powder and bullets. The primers were $5.99 per 100.

I commented to one of the guys working there, and-not to get political- he said after the election, people came in like locusts and cleaned the store out.

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Old 11-15-2020, 08:44 AM
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I think the shortage is more to defunding the police than politics but that's just me. If you can buy ammo for less than a $1.00 a round and you don't buy it today. You won't buy it tomorrow. I do not think this is just another ebb and flow. This one is here to stay. The unprinted signs have the most information.
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Old 11-15-2020, 08:58 AM
kbm6893 kbm6893 is offline
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I think the shortage is more to defunding the police than politics but that's just me. If you can buy ammo for less than a $1.00 a round and you don't buy it today. You won't buy it tomorrow. I do not think this is just another ebb and flow. This one is here to stay. The unprinted signs have the most information.
Unless youíre a first time owner who needs ammo to protect his home or to carry, there is no reason to pay that much for ammo. Either this will eventually pass or it wonít. If it doesnít pass, skip the range and keep the gun cleaned and ready to fire the ammo you have. Some guy who tries to carjack you isnít gonna know if youíve been practicing or not and we all know that range time is more about leisure then actual training anyway. I have thousands of loaded rounds and the components to load thousands more. Iím hanging back for now to see how long I have to stretch it out. I intend to shoot the 3953 I just bought within the next week or so, and when Iím done with that I doubt Iíll shoot any center fire ammo until the spring at least.

Well, I do intend to shoot one of my Garandís around Christmas. Itís sort of a tradition I have. Shoot 100 rounds then clean until next year. But Iím still shooting surplus ammo from the CMP that Iíve had for years and stocked up on when it was cheap. At my rate of shooting, my kids will be shooting that ammo and maybe even my grand kids.

Last edited by kbm6893; 11-15-2020 at 09:00 AM.
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