Gone are the days of just swinging into your local gun shop and picking up a box of your favorite ammo and head to the range. If you want to shoot you better plan ahead and give yourself some lead time if you have to buy ammo.
I ran into this problem this deer season. I need slugs for my shotgun and had to go to three stores over the course of a week to find some and even then I had to wait in line to get into the store as it opened. If I would have waited even an hour, I probably would have been out of luck again.
These ammunition shortages are a direct result of COVID-19 and the BLM riots we faced over the summer. People saw the unrest and began to not only stockpile, but a bunch of new gun owners increased demand. Add to that to the COVID induced decline in manufacturing that affected most industries across the entire country and it created a perfect storm where demand outpaced supply.
Right now Ammunition manufactures are behind and are trying to catch up, but just how long will that take? American Rifleman spoke to some of the top ammunition manufacturers in the country and got the answer from the horse’s mouth.
We expect the shortages of ammunition to continue well into 2021. According to comments made by Vista Outdoor CEO and Director Christopher Metz.
“We currently have over a year’s worth of orders for ammunition in excess of $1 billion,” he said in his opening remarks. “This is unprecedented for our company. With demand far outstripping supply and inventory levels in the channel at all-time lows, we see strong demand continuing…”
“We have cleaned inventory in all retail and wholesale locations,” Metz said. “Despite us producing flat out for 6 months, there is no buildup of inventory at any of our customers. In fact, every one of them would like significantly more. Simply put, consumer demand continues to outpace our ability to supply.”
In early January, Vista Outdoors looks to have the Remington ammunition line that it recently acquired during that companies bankruptcy hearing back to full capacity and recall the remaining employees that were furloughed.
Hopefully, this added protection can make a dent in the shortages, but even then it will take a while. And depending on what kind of executive orders the Biden administration puts in place in regards to gun control it could drive up demand even further.
All we can say is plan ahead and good luck.