Thursday, June 13, 2013

UPDATE: Ammo Shortage, Part III (Where/How to buy ammo)

While not speaking for what's happening elsewhere, the availability of ammunition does appear to have gained strength here in Northeast Ohio.

This morning (Friday, June 14) I visited Gander Mountain's Mentor, Ohio store after catching a whisper that a substantial shipment of ammo was going to be placed on the shelves.

In this neck of the woods, ammunition deliveries to the local Gander Mountain and Dick's Sporting Goods store are made late Thursday with the items placed on shelves for their respective Friday morning openings.

At 9 a.m. the doors were open and in rushed perhaps 25 eager buyers, all of whom made for the store's back where the firearms department is located.

The first things to go were the 525-round bricks of Remington Golden Bullet .22-caliber ammunition. These bricks went for the fair market price of $24.

And the store had no problem supplying whatever a customer needed in the way of .380 ACP, 9mm Luger or .45 Auto.

Some customers walked away with four 50-round boxes of ammunition, mostly Blazer brand though the plain-Jane Remington brand of each caliber were available as well.

In fact, the store had ample supplies of 250-round bricks of .380s and 9mms along with 200-round bricks of .45s. Each brick in each caliber were/are selling for $120.

Also available was a good - though not inexhaustible - supply of .223 Remington ammo along with an increased stock of other rifle ammunition in several popular calibers.

Maybe this is all anecdotal but it does offer a glimmer of light that the dark days of ammunition supply and demand may have begun to recede.

In any event, here's the rest of the original post on the subject, submitted Thursday (June 13) evening:

"Guns and Ammo" magazine's on-line edition has come up with some suggestions on how, where and why to buy ammunition during the current shortage, which, by-the-way, is showing some signs of easing.

And while gun owners have the right to ask such publications as "Guns and Ammo" and such organizations as the National Shooting Sports Foundation and the National Rifle Association what took them so long to offer suggestions, one could say "well, better late than never."

From a personal standpoint I'll go along with scouring gun shows, searching web sites, and making repeated visits to local firearms dealers as decent ways to find ammunition.

While they are not perfect venues these three ammo-buying portals have largely satisfied my needs.

And as for the Big Box Store route, that path to ammo buying has provided mix results.

The G&A item also includes a survey on where readers have gone to buy their ammunition during the current shortage. At the top of the list were Big Box stores (like Cabela's or Bass Pro Shops with 33 percent and closely followed by local gun shops at 30 percent.

On-line sources was a distant third at 17 percent, which is a shame because this can prove a super source for ammunition, particularly for odd-ball cartridges.

The category "Other" saw nearly 11 percent of shoppers using this venue.

For me the biggest surprise were gun shows. Fewer than 11 percent of buyers employed this method.

And bringing up the rear were blogs and forum chat rooms ar less than one percent.

In any event, here are the suggestions as presented by the e-version of "Guns and Ammo" magazine:

"Overwhelming demand for ammunition has taken over the country like a classic 1930s bank run.

"Panic buying is clearly illustrated by long lines, surging prices and “out of stock” signs at nearly every retailer. If the only things left on the shelf at your local gun shop are a couple bottles of Hoppes and a bucket of foam ear plugs, then you’ve felt the wrath of the great ammo shortage of 2013.

"The shortage is affecting the entire spectrum of ammo consumers, including police and sheriffs who are cutting back on routine training drills.

"As reported by Fox News, many departments are rationing their supply for deployment use only. Nobody wants their local police armed with a single round in their pockets like Barney Fife.

"Manufacturers are dealing with the shortage by running their factories 24 hours a day, and still can’t even keep up with the demand for nearly every caliber.

"According to Neal Emery from Hornady, “We are producing as much as we can, much more than last year, which was a lot more than the year before, etc. No one wants to ship more during this time than we do.”

"Many people have even resorted to buying guns based on which caliber of ammo their local gun shop has in stock at a given time. For example, those who can’t find ammo for their 9x19mm pistols are buying guns in 9x18mm or .380 ACP, just so they can have something to shoot. Others who can’t find 22LR are resorting to other available rimfire cartridges like the .17HMR.

"Look no further—if you need ammo, then you came to the right place! Guns & Ammo is here to help you find the ammunition you’re looking for.

"We’re sharing some reliable places to find ammo so you can carry on with your regularly scheduled practice and plinking endeavors. Here’s where you can find ammo right now:

"Big Box Stores
"Cabela’s has maintained a steady supply of common ammo calibers throughout the shortage. They continually update their inventory, both online and in store several times a day.

"The reason why they maintain their inventory is simple: Ammunition manufacturers and distributors prioritize their outgoing supply to the retailers who place large orders, or maintain a sizeable contract. Cabela’s has a long-standing tradition as a major ammunition retailer, and manufacturers want to continue that relationship.

"Gun Shows
"Gun shows are historically one of the best places to find great deals on ammunition, but buyer beware! You need to keep a few things in mind before trying to buy ammo at a gun show.

"First, get there early. Long lines at recent gun shows make Black Friday look like an ordinary fast food drive-thru.

"When you get the chance to buy ammo at a gun show, it’s always best to know who you’re buying from. If you don’t know the seller, make sure you buy what’s being advertised.

"If it’s being sold as factory new, inspect the ammunition to make sure it hasn’t been reloaded, or swapped with another brand or caliber.

"If it’s being sold as reloaded ammunition, check to make sure it has new primers, properly shaped and necked brass, and correct bullet seating. If you’re unsure, ask questions or walk away.

"If you do buy ammunition, record the seller’s booth number and contact information. On the occasion that you’re dissatisfied with your purchase, at least you have a chance of contacting the seller, or reporting their booth number to the director of the gun show.

"While fraudulent ammo sales are not common, they are certainly possible in a market where people will buy anything that’s available.

"Blogs and Online Forums
"If you need to find ammo, you can rely on tips from online blogs and forums, such as the G&A Forums. Our forums welcome a collective wealth of information from thousands of knowledgeable and helpful firearms enthusiasts. With almost 4,500 contributing members in our forums, you’re sure to find information on available ammo.

"Members have shared this type of information, as well as pricing and quality, throughout the current shortage. Once again, buyer beware! Make sure you buy from a trusted source, and of course be careful when giving personal information to anyone on the Internet.

"If you’re interested in a topic that doesn’t already exist, start a new thread and ask a question. G&A Forum members are very receptive, and typically respond quickly to new threads.

"Online-Only Retailers
"Bypass the lines at local gun shops. Pierce Munitions is a privately held manufacturer in Buffalo, N.Y., that produces some of the highest quality ammo on the market. Even better, Pierce sells directly to the consumer at Pierce Outfitters.

"Pierce currently has several rifle and pistol calibers available, including its exclusive new Ted Nugent hunting and personal defense loads. Also, don’t be afraid of its factory reloads. Pierce uses quality components and state-of-the-art loading machines.

"The G&A Online Editors highly recommend Pierce Munitions for its industry leading ballistics, outstanding customer service and fast shipping.

"Training Courses and Shooting Events
"Don’t blame your lack of training on a low supply of ammo. Popular training courses and events are making ammunition available for sale to its participants at reasonable prices.

"Specifically, U.S. Marine Corps veteran Andrew Touhy from the Vuurwapen Blog is now offering carbine courses with rifle ammunition for sale.

"His approach is pioneering a new standard for client accommodations and quality firearms instruction.  He goes so far as to offer rifle rental, lodging reservations and airport pickup options for his shooters.

"Don’t talk yourself out of shooting competitively because you just want to hoard all your ammo for doomsday. Popular shooting events are offering ammunition to its competitors on match day. 

"Hornady recently offered ammunition for sale to competitors at Zombies in the Heartland 2013 in Grand Island, Neb.

"Shooters had the option to exterminate zombies with Hornady’s venerable Zombie Max ammunition. In fact, those who didn’t use Z-Max probably didn’t put the zombies down with one clean shot.

"Read more:"

- Jeffrey L. Frischkorn

1 comment:

  1. I enjoy learning things from your post. Thanks....