Is Ammunition Returning to Store Shelves?

While most gun calibers have returned to pre-2013 levels, suppliers and vendors are still experiencing a shortage on .380 and .22lr ammunitions. Experts predict these calibers will be difficult to find on store shelves for an additional three to four months – well into spring.

Reports also suggest that ammunition manufacturers are able to obtain higher profits by selling to foreign markets, which is especially true of .22lr. ATK, a major ammunition producer, made a statement and said, “The current market and environment is causing stronger than usual demand for products in our industry. The current increase in demand is attributed to the civilian market. Our facilities operate 24 hours a day. We are continually making process improvements to increase our efficiency and investing in capital and personnel where we have sustained demand. We are bringing additional capacity online again this year.”

The problem surrounding .380-caliber ammunition is that it is simply not as popular as it’s 9mm and .45ACP counterparts, which mean that most manufacturers aren’t focusing on production of this caliber. However, both of these calibers are expected to regularly grace stores’ shelves by next year.

More popular calibers, such as .223/5.56 rounds for the coveted AR-15 are generally available in most stores at reasonable prices. In fact, 20 to 500 round quantities are selling for close to 2013 prices.

Some reports blame the Obama Administration for gun ammunition shortages. With gun sales increasing, gun owners are purchasing ammunition to accommodate their new weapons. Last year’s ammunition shortages made stores have to ration supplies. This was further fueled by rumors that the U.S. government was scooping up additional ammunition.

This further resulted in the National Rifle Association and the National Shooting Sports Foundation investigating the shortage, which ultimately resulted in a congressional hearing. The Department of Homeland Security uses more ammunition than the U.S. Army – at an astounding rate of 1,000 rounds more per person. The government claims they purchase ammunition in bulk to save on costs.

With shooting sports increasing, it’s estimated that nearly 100 million Americans own guns. Nearly 32-percent of people purchase ammunition for concealed carry weapons, 28-percent for non-competitive shooting and 24-percent for home defense purposes.

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