It’s hard to believe that it has officially been one year since the ammunition and hand sanitizer industries felt the pressure of a world flipped upside down. Several factors have driven the shooting and reloading world into an extremely slim inventory crisis and we thought you’d like to hear from several of our friends in the industry and the challenges that they have faced.
Jason Hornady of Hornady Manufacturing Company
Jason Vanderbrink of Vista Outdoors (Federal Cartridge) 1
Jason Vanderbrink of Vista Outdoors (Federal Cartridge) 2 – an update
John Nosler of Nosler Bullets (with Colin Noir)
Here is a link to the .pdf that was released by Hodgdon Powder, but our friend at AccurateShooter.com did a great job of adding a bit more information to help you:
29 thoughts on “Where is the Ammo? Where is the Powder? Where are the…”
I STILL prefer hearing the rumors that MY inventory (probably enough to last my lifetime) is more valuable because I’ve been keeping up with it, and “nobody cain’t get no powder, flint, or roundball no more.” I especially enjoy telling folks how it was “Less than a penny a round for .22LR”, even though my oldest half shot box of .22 shorts says “79 cents,” probably bought from the rural corner grocery store in mid ’60s. Makes me feel like a old man! I remember the MSSS catalogs where the ‘Back Pages’ were the FIRST THINGS ORDERED from every new catalog, before it got sold out! Thanks MSSS, for many Fridays hearing any one of us in the Maint Shop say “I’m calling into Mid-South TODAY at 4 PM, splittin’ the shipping.”
I live on Long Island, hardly a shooters paradise. I got my first gun, a Ruger 10/22 in 1984. I distinctly remember 22LR ammo going on sale at the place I bought it, a catalog showroom called Service Merchandise, all the time. It was .79 for a box of 100, Winchester. in the kind of plastic box with the slide cover. I bought it every single time they had them on sale for .79 a box. I think that lasted until the late 80’s/early 90’s when it went up to $1,29! Even then I remember thinking to myself what a bargain that was.
Glad I prepared for this BS , ammo makers love watching the price go through the roof . They don’t fool me , supply and demand my ass ! It’s called greed . Cut supply when demand is high and it will increase the profit margins. You people buying the bullshit being peddled by the major ammo manufacturers are sheep !
Fast forward 8 months. Still believe those greedy scumbags?
Not any primers anywhere for more than a year. MSS hasn’t had them on their site. Neither have any of their competitors. None have had any primers to sell in last 14 months. My local guy has been out that long as well.
They claim to be making as many as ever. Well, who is buying them? No way the hoarders could gobble ALL of them up for this amount of time.
What’s really going on?
Same with loaded ammunition.
Why aren’t NRA and all the other groups who supposedly advocate for us shooting sport folks giving us any real answers?
I would still like to know how much the production cost has risen vs the cost at the store. Who’s gouging who? Is the production cost that expensive or is the manufacture cashing in on demand or is the retailer cashing in on demand. Hard for me to believe that the cost of making a 9mm cartridge has tripled or quadrupled in 9 months!
Thanks for a answer if you can get one.
The one question that was not asked or answered was is this a new normal with all those new gun owners? and When can we expect it to end if at all?
People that had the foresight to make small, regular investments in lead and brass can take solace in the fact their “stock” far outperformed the S&P 500. When seeing the insane panic and prices being paid by the ignorant and unprepared it may make one wonder if it’s time to sell. Discussing the prospect with the owner of a small lgs who can’t get ANY stock, I was a bit surprised to hear an emphatic “Don’t. You may NEVER be able to replace it.” Having lived through a number of these panics and shortages, I’d felt this would eventually end. It always does. Right? Now I’m not so sure. Personally, I now feel the best thing EVERYONE can do is simply not participate.
Thank you to Jason Vanderbrink for the information. I am not a conspiracy nut and while I was never upset with him or other manufacturers regarding the shortages, my ignorance regarding this topic has been reduced considerably. I am a reloader and now better understand why there are no components available. I am not happy about the situationbut now understand the underlying causes and the lag between famine and feast! Thank you MSS for posting these videos.
OK so all the company’s world wide are making more THEN THEY EVER HAD BEFORE, HIRING HUNDREDS MORE EMPLOYEE’S then they ever had. GREAT! SO WHERE’S IT AT ? You can only hoard so much or store so much,(money+storage) and then the hoarder would have too know when it got there to buy it all, and the stores are limiting how much you can buy, SO WHERE’S IT AT?
Unfortunately the powder, ammo & component shortage can be blamed on the shooting industry itself. Every 4 years we have a presidential election. If a Democrat wins shooters immediately start hoarding everything. Shame on every manufacturer in the industry for not stocking warehouses full of products. Its clearly evident most of our shooting manufactures are run by short sighted fools. This repeated hoarding shortages are a predictable response to the election and totally avoidable. I learned my lesson when Obama was elected, my inventory of reloading components is significant and will last me several years. This time everyone needs to stock up and be ready for 4 years down the road. See you at the range.
Primers are my major concern. No one seems to have any for sale. When can this an we expect a change in this situation?
Yes, you bust your butts to get ammo out but why the cost increase, some over 100%? I have seen this with what ammo I can come across. I came across some on the online stores the other day and most ammo they are offering now is foreign manufactures and the cost is almost prohibitive.
The price hike is the problem I believe vendors are price gouging. I use the 22 HP and 22 Mag. I have enough of larger caliber and by the way thanks for the update. FEC
When Western Auto was still around, you could buy a box of Remington ”Kleen-Bore” 22 shorts in a box of 50 for around 49 cents a box. Greasy little things but I learned to shoot a Remington 522 or 552(?) with these little guys. Whatever the rifle was, I remember the tubular magazine that you had to load first.
This was well before 1968 and the GCA and I am thinking around 1960 or so. Simpler times back then.
Good info! Thats.
Oh course everybody is behind since the drama started a year ago. But the ammo manufactures do NOT deserve a pass on this anymore! Especially the vista group which owns Federal, CCI and etc. How many times do they have to go through Elections and False Flags before they stop pissing off the consumers and do the right thing!? Going 24/7 is not cutting it. Expanding and or New ammo plants is the right solution. They have plenty of money to do it, but will they (especially vista group) put profits before everthing!? So far the answer is Yes!
It is easy to suggest just build a new plant. A new plant doesn’t just appear it has to be built from scratch. Then every machine has to be brought in and fixed in place. It would take several years to open and get a plant up to any type of capacity. What happens when the demand goes down and these plants are not needed? Are you going to keep buying all the ammo to keep it open? Will you support the people that are now unemployed so they can live?
Why can the contractors managing Army automated plants like Lake City ramp up? Equipment actually performs best when kept running? Also curious why Russian and Serbian plants are not ramping up to meet demand since their war efforts are reduced? Wolf ammo for example has always performed well for me. Tends to be a little dirty re clean up but very reliable in Glock and hk.
What bugs me about our current situation is the totally unreasonable prices that many on line dealers are asking for ammunition and reloading components. I don’t care how scarce primers are, it must be a violation of fair trade practices to ask $200 for 1000 primers when the real price should be less than $50. I don’t know who is getting rich on those sales but I wish I knew somewhere to report the situation.
Yes, I too have felt the brunt of the “empty shelf” syndrome, no more so than when I was going up to VA to visit my son and brother-in-law this past Christmas. I decided to take my Winchester 93 and do a little shooting. When I stopped off at not one, not two, but THREE Wal-Marts in different towns, an Academy Sports, and two different gun shops and discovered that NO ONE had any 30-30 ammo, that’s when I realized I’d been out of the loop a little too long. I spent the next month scouring online and off for supplies to load my own, got very lucky on a few things, and managed to cobble together enough so that I’ll not come up short any time soon, if I’m smart about it.
Three observations come to mind:
1) Part of the problem is the sudden spike in new gun owners over the past year. I think enough has been said about that, so I’ll leave it.
2) The even BIGGER problem that we’ve unfortunately always had with us are the two types of GREEDY HOARDERS who stink up everything for everybody. The first bunch are the jugheads who think they’re somehow going to come up short if they have less than forty thousand rounds for every gun they own. I’ll wager less than 1/2 of 1 percent of these numbskulls have ever been in any type of armed confrontation, or ever will be. They just like to posture and brag to their nitwit buddies about how “ain’t nobody gonna take MY guns!” They like to blast away and waste ammo and talk trash, but most of them will be pissing their pants and crying like little girls if any real trouble ever comes their way.
The second bunch are the conscience-less opportunists who troll the retail stores and are waiting outside on truck day so they can snatch up everything before anyone else (meaning normal people who have jobs and don’t have the luxury of hanging out at the stores on truck day) to re-sell at three to four times what they gave for it. These a-holes would sell their own mother for a dollar, and they don’t care about anything or anybody. Worthless.
3) On the videos above, I have to say that J. Vanderbrink of Federal et al. should probably maintain a little more decorum and not be so offended about the rumors and perceived accusations he alluded to in his first video. Of course there are going to be lies, rumors, and God-knows-what else being said, because people ARE frustrated and upset, and the internet is full of every kind of story under the sun, but any mature adult, especially one in a position such as his, should be able to address the issue at hand in a calm, factual manner without complaining about how offended he is that people are “tewwing wies about us, and it’s not twue…” So don’t acknowledge it and get on with your business, that’s all.
So there’s my take on it. Maybe those with an excess might consider sharing a bit with less fortunate folks or those who got in late. I guess it all depends on what kind of person you are.
what about this gouging on prices. its crazy. 50 bmg are cheaper than .556, I can understand an increase but thing are 3-4 times what they were just a year ago. now most suppliers are forcing sales of 1000 round boxes at sky high prices. no one I know can afford these prices.is this what its coming down to now, only the rich and connected get the goods. I get emails for ammo sales and its gone in 30 sec or less. some people are just buying and reselling at even more of a premium.well aware of the china virus issue but COME ON,someone is getting fat. seems like the old ,never let a good disaster go to waste.we just might need this ammo one day to defend your plants.
your site is a great example, why is all of your ammo say NOT AVAILABLE FOR BACK ORDER. I just watched a video on your site that said they are making tons of it. Collin got his I see.please explain. I have called stores and sites and its the same story.
Hey Vanderbrink saying your humble in a condescending way is insulting. Please stop dumbing it down don’t assume were not as smart as you are. At this time we would buy ammo from Elmer Fudd your quality is not the best in the world so you meet or exceed the minimum . Ammo shortages happen every 3 or4 years so get another excuse. Cherry picking your questions to answer I hope you get an Emmy.
I have one question why is gunbroker.com the only place that you can find bullets, brass, powder, and primers. They have been selling these products by the truck loads for quite some time and all my favorite dealers such as Midway USA, Natchez shooters supply, Precision Reloading and Outdoor Limited to name a few can’t get the products and have been out for months. The prices we pay on gunbroker is up to 10 times more than what they normally sell for. So whats up gunbroker doesn’t have a shortage they keep getting new shipments all the time
Ken, gunbroker.com is an AUCTION SITE. Gunbroker.com does not have anything for sale. People and businesses list their products on gunbrokers.com website for auction, and BUYERS bid up the prices on them. If you need to blame someone for the high prices, blame the buyers, who obviously place more value on those products than you do. There area few who list items with a “buy it now price”, but many, if not most, list high demand items at one cent and let the bidders drive the price up. ALL the scarcity of products that are so hard to find can be explained by unprecedented DEMAND. Period. Any time ammo, powders, bullets, brass appear available at “pre-pandemic, election, civil unrest” prices, consumers buy it out within minutes. That is why conventional retailers and online sellers have no inventory. And also why it is only available to buyers who are willing and able to pay exorbitant prices.
I won’t bother to explain why the manufacturers are reluctant to add capacity in the current environment, what with a Democrat controlled federal government openly planning on attacking all of our 2nd amendment rights and specifically planning to try to tax guns and ammo out of existence. Figure it out.
Really appreciate all the detailed information in these videos and the look into the factory and ammunition process. HOWEVER, as much as I hear you say you are making more than ever at no point do you address what percentage of that capacity is going directly to fill government contracts .
I totally understand why the shortages are present…and i do believe what jason hornady said in the top video…im almost out of reloading components …so when you say keep shooting its kinda impossible to do if you cant get brass and bullets…hornady will not sell direct to customer so thats also an issue…i will only be able to shoot for 6 months or so and very limited to stretch out what i have…after that i may be looking to get out of the hobby…whats the point right? I guess my point is cant keep shooting when i (and others) cant get reloading components. hopefully things will turn around soon .. thank you for great products over the years…Randall A
It seems that the ongoing consoladation and restructing of Corporate America’s gun & ammo makers have done more to restrict gun & ammo supply than any anti-gun laws. Greed wins again!
Frustrating that I have a hard time finding a box of 30/30 to hunt with that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. This is straight up greed by the manufacturers, their lines are set up to manufacture what flies off the shelf, 9mm, 5.56 you know it. The manufacturers are laughing their asses off while stuffing their pockets with cash. Thank you hoarders, keep buying it up and that’s all they’ll make.