Hi Sgt. C.J. Sabre,
You ask Why? There are social and economic factors affecting supply.
1. The Antifa- BLM anarchy.
2. The anti gun potted plant pResidency of Joe.
3. People didn’t expect #2 and were caught short and panic bought..
4. Covid and all the lockdowns.
This created around 12 million new gun owners. If each new gun owner bought just 2 50 round boxes of ammo, that is 1.2 billion more rounds of ammunition that were not sold the previous years.
Add to it, many gun owners let their inventory go down during the Trump years, and now we’re faced with something worse than the Obama years.
The majority of the new demand is 9mm and 223/5.56, so lines making these are consuming all the resources just to meet the demand,
The ammo makers have told the reloading community and small reloaders that they have no extra primers available to sell, or as we see, small amounts every now and then. Why, see the 1.2 billion more rounds above.
Remington, while the rest of the industry was booming, their bean counter management and consultants, who recommended putting in “less powder to save money”, went bankrupt removing them from the supply side until just recently. Now that removed Billions of rounds of ammo annually.
Thanks to Covid, people weren’t available to work and this made raw materials in short supply. It is across all supply chains. Case in point, it’s not just chips affecting car production, but even the needed steels needed.
So we have unprecedented demand, short supply, inflation pressures not seen since the Carter Years all mixed together.
When demand exceeds supply, the price goes up to the point that some drop out of purchasing because the price goes too high, or finally buy less and the market should balance out. (macro economics 101 being capt obvious here)
So what does a small subset of the gun world like ours do at this time? For reloaders who specialized in Cowboy ammo, the shortage of primers, has basically shut down their small businesses (check some of Scarlett’s posts) because they aren’t even on Federal’s radar to supply. When they can buy, their prices all around are higher for everything (thanks to “let’s go Brandon’s policies).
For the big ammo guys, our sales are so small, they aren’t even thinking of us. (See the 1.2 billion 9 or 223 comment)
For those of us who reload, we struggle to find the primers and powders to keep us going, or are tapping into our own “strategic reserves” we didn’t let run down.
For those trying to get into reloading, everyone has had the same idea, but the reloading equipment is also in short supply too.
Sorry for the length, you asked “why” which is a legitimate question, and it’s complicated. Sadly as long as the potted plant is in charge, and we have a communist administration, things are unlikely to get better and are likely to get worse. It will take a regime change through elections (if that is possible) to change the course and make supplies better. However prices will never go back to pre-Covid years.