I’m sure all of us notice the ammo shortages when we visit our outdoor sports stores, Wal-Mart, etc., but just why is there such an ammo shortage and how can you stock up and purchase the ammo when you need it. Common calibers routinely sell out within minutes of appearing on store shelves and prices have soared as much as 70 percent.  After all, its somewhat annoying when you go to the store and the sign behind the ammo counter reads ” 1 box, per caliber, per day”.

Why The Shortage

Panic Buying

After the horrific and tragic events that occurred during with year with all of the mass shootings, and now the August 20th shooting/incident at an Atlanta elementary school (no one hurt), gun buyers are worried about a ban on certain types of weapons and ammo, I don’t blame them.  With the panic of a ban on these items, men and women go out and buy a large quantity of ammo to stock pile in their basement.  Another reason why is also due to the obvious price gouging, supply and demand.  With everyone buying the large quantities of ammo, shops are forces to restrict the amount we can purchase in order to somewhat please future buyers.


I’m not 100% certain as to why the D.H.S is purchasing over 1.6 Billion rounds of ammunition this year, 16 times more than objectionable, and more than 1,000 rounds per person than the United States Army.  ICE’s ammunition requests alone in the last year included:

–450 million rounds of .40-caliber duty ammunition

–40 million rounds of rifle ammunition a year for as many as five years, for a total bullet-buy of 200 million rounds

–176,000 rifle rounds on a separate contract

That is one “metric dung ton of ammunition!”

With these organizations purchasing such large quantities of ammunition, it leaves us “regular” hobbyist out in the cold.



What Can You Do?

Luckily there are a few ways we can still acquire our ammunition without worrying so much about “limitations” and price gouging.


Reloading your own ammunition is probably the best way to avoid the ammo blitz, and something I find to be extremely affordable.  The general public tends to stay away from reloading their own ammo in fear of not knowing how to do it, lack of time, or simply just don’t know.

The actuality is that when or if you decide to reload you own ammunition, you’ll be spending mere pennies per round.  You can buy the factory loads at $1250 per 1000.
Or load your own at $310 per 1000.  For those of us shooting .40, .45, .223, .308, etc., the supplies aren’t that hard to come by and are relatively cheap.  New brass can be had for 14 cents a round without even trying. Once fired brass is about half that.  Powder is about 1.3 cents a round.  Primers are 3 cents per round.

Materials Needed:

  • Press 
  • Dies
  • Case Tumbler
  • Case Trimmer (Most handgun re-loaders don’t trim brass, but there are some that do.)
  • Powder measure
  • Powder scale
  • Calipers
  • Case Lubricant

For those just starting, you can get all of the necessary products anywhere from $400-500 and start producing your own loads at an extremely low-cost.

Times of Day and Internet Apps

You can also try visiting your local Wal-Mart between 6:00 am and 7:30 am on a Sunday or Tuesday to get your hands on some ammo at a 24 hour Wal-Mart.  You can also try your luck at this internet App that I’ve found online: http://ammo-can.net/