It Seems The Ammo is Coming Back … For Now.
To say the availability of firearms, ammunition, and reloading components over the past years has been underwhelming would be a significant under statement. For the most part, and depending on the week, I’ve mostly seen nothing or a small variety of factory loads in only the most popular cartridges. Even these didn’t stay on the shelf much past 5 minutes after the store clerk put them out. In fact, one of my local big box stores had to start hiding ammunition behind the counter so they had something to sell to anyone wanting to purchase a firearm. If they hadn’t, the flocks of shooters would have eaten them up like a swarm of locusts! For several years it has been a pretty dismal display of empty shelf space, and at times my guns just went back in the safe and I thought they would just stay there indefinitely. I couldn’t even find powder or primers to make a small batch to go plink with.
This was the sad reality, at least until the past 2 months or so. I’ve steadily watched the shelves fill back up with both Ammunition and Reloading Components. This seems to be pretty much across the boards, checking in at most of my local stores as well as big box retailers. Almost everyone seems to have a pretty healthy supply of ammunition back in stock. You can nearly get anything you want in regards to factory loaded ammunition.
There are three scenarios I can think of that lead to this point: Supply and Demand has finally tapered off, the Hoarders have filled their bellies or emptied their wallets, or the massive crowd of new shooters have lost interest and returned to other hobbies. It could be a combination of the three, who am I to say. All I know, is that for once in the past 3-4 years, you can actually go down to your local retailer and find s significant supply of ammo, and that I am okay with! This of course excludes .22 Long Rifle, which I have seen on a rare occasion, but still seems to be in massively short supply. I don’t know about your town, but the time has finally come for mine.
Will it Continue?
It’s been an odd couple of years, with the strange politics and this oddball society shifting frequently from Left to Right. To say the least, it has definitely taken its toll on the shooting world and those of us who only mean to enjoy the sport, to hunt, and to get outside and have some fun. Many had been left wondering if it was ever coming back. Some thought it was just another drought, ready to blow past any moment. Others thought it was the end, ammo would dry up, guns would be banned, and we’d all be finding something else to do with our free time. Others stocked up for a literal Zombie Apocalypse and are probably still huddled in the corner of their basement squeezing a Monster Energy Drink and an AR-15 waiting for “The Man” to come take it from their “Cold Dead Hands”. All in All though, it seems to have blown over, excluding the recent Green Tip 5.56 scare, but something tells me that is not a fight that will end anytime soon.
Reloading components have really begun to come back lately to. Not to the same degree as ammunition, but they are steadily increasing. To give you idea of how much I’ve seen, between myself and a small group, I’ve purchased 8 boxes of Primers, from Small Pistol to Large Magnum Rifle, various brass, 24lbs of powder, and a multitude of different projectiles for many different calibers. This has all been over the past two months. And believe, I wasn’t sucking up the whole supply. Just what I and those with me needed to keep their own operation moving. As a matter of fact, one of the local big boys got a shipment with over 200lbs of powder just two weeks ago. It may not seem like a lot compared to the old days, but its a lot more than we’ve seen in the past few years!
Over the past few years, I hadn’t even seen most of these items nonetheless ever dreamed I would get my hands on them again. Occasionally I would get the rare glimpse of that one lucky guy carrying out the single pound of Titegroup that was available that week, but otherwise all hope was lost. Oh well, at least for the moment the worst of it is behind us (finger’s crossed). I did notice however, despite the increase in ammo and components at brick & mortar stores, it does not seem to be having an impact with online availability, but I’m guessing that line is a bit longer. I could be wrong, I’ve all but given up on checking for those back order emails. Hopefully in time we see this fade as well and maybe we’ll be back to normal again, at least until the next political nightmare.
Well, that’s my experience here in the Pacific Northwest, how are things in your area? Are you seeing any more ammo or reloading components in stock?