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Ammo and Component Shortage


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Has the current shortage of ammo and components cut down on participation at the matches much recently or did the really serious shooters stock up enough to keep shooting for two or three years when the stuff was obtainable?  Now it seems like nothing is available and when it does show up on the market, it's way overpriced, but still goes quickly.  This type of panic buying and/or hoarding is just making things worse in my opinion and prices will probably never come back down to earth!  

 

Anyway, I was an avid cowboy shooter before I became disabled a few years back, but would like to possibly shoot again sometime.  In fact, I find myself not going to my Sportsman Club range very often either and that used to be my primary recreational activity.  I'd hate to imagine how much lead I've put down range out there since I first joined back in 1970!  Anyway, this current shortage is really cramping my style and I'd be interested in how badly it has affected SASS and Cowboy Action Shooting as well.  Your insight would be appreciated.

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Has the current shortage of ammo and components cut down on participation at the matches much recently

 

or did the really serious shooters stock up enough to keep shooting

 

Umm, YES and YES. 

 

Most folks watching what is going on are starting to see a few selections of both ammunition and components show up in a FEW on-line vendors and even scattered local gun shops.   Not enough to fill the empty shelves or feed the intense demand right now, though.  The ammo companies are using most components themselves in ammunition.  Primers are the most scarce component, and powder not far behind.  Reloaders are at the back end of the list, because there's not as much money to be made selling components.  Many folks expect demand will taper down and production will continue at record high levels until fairly normal inventory can be maintained later this year.   Will it come true?   Mainly, we have to wait and see.

 

good luck, GJ

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I shoot at two clubs.  Green River Gunslingers in Bowling Green cut back their monthly shoots to 5 stages instead of 6, and added 22LR, but attendance has been about the same as far as I've noticed.

 

Wartrace Regulators had 58 shooters at their last monthly shoot, which I think is pretty good.

 

Personally I cut back on live round practicing and plan to only shoot one or two local matches per month and two State Matches this year.  At that rate I have enough components to get well into 2022.  If I find more primers (they occasionally show up for $40/brick if you keep looking and ask at counters) I'll pick up the pace a bit.

Edited by Diamond Jake
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1 hour ago, Bison Bud said:

Has the current shortage of ammo and components cut down on participation at the matches much recently or did the really serious shooters stock up enough to keep shooting for two or three years when the stuff was obtainable?

Ammunition and component shortages are recurring.  They seem to happen about twice as often as economic recessions.  Wars overseas can use up components.  Democrats in control in Washington causes panic buying as does fear of domestic instability.  The ammunition supply chain eventually over produces and one sees sales.  When primers and powder are reasonably-priced and you see online retailers offering free shipping with no HAZMAT charges you will know it is time to restock.

Edited by Edward R S Canby, SASS#59971
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Wow. I call 58 shooters a great turnout for a local match!  However, I'm not sure that adding .22LR is a big help, as I can currently cast and load .38's for less than I can buy new .22LF's and that's if I can even find them.  Anyway, I think your situation may be typical for most in that live round practice is mostly a thing of the past and the number of matches that are planned to attend would be somewhat reduced as well.  Anyway, thanks for the input and good luck to you and yours!

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12 minutes ago, Edward R S Canby, SASS#59971 said:

When primers and powder are reasonably-priced and you see online retailers offering free shipping with no HAZMAT charges you will know it is time to restock.

Sadly there will still be those who will think stocking up means buying enough primers to get through another month of matches.

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If you are buying components during normal times and the word "hundred" is anywhere in your sentence, then you are destined to run out in lean times. IMHO  I load for 4 shooters in my family so the word "thousands" is normal for me.  But I have 6 cats and 2- month old kittens, so "overdoing it" is normal for me!

 

kittens 2.JPG

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I got permission to shoot 22LR so I don't have to spend down my center fire stock that I cannot replenish.

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7 hours ago, Springfield Slim SASS #24733 said:

If you are buying components during normal times and the word "hundred" is anywhere in your sentence, then you are destined to run out in lean times. ...

 

For sure.  Unless maybe the sentence is "I've only got enough components to shoot a hundred matches."  :)

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I was notified an order of .45 cal. bullets have shipped. Today I was notified another supplier has stock in same. I'm sorry for folks who were caught unaware, but we have been through tight times before and we all need to be prepared.

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The current situation with ammo and components shortages is the worst ever as far as how high prices being asked has risen. I've always told my wife that in particular having extra primers and powder is like money in the bank. If at some point you determine that you have way to much you could always sell some and probably make a little money on it. 

 

That's without envisioning that prices would rise to current levels. But I'm not selling and gambling that prices will soon come back close to previous levels when you could replenish what you sold now at a high price.  I'd rather keep what I have and continue shooting matches unaffected. 

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I'm one of the ones who hasn't been able to attend matches this past year... It was twofold, having a sibling with compromised immune system meant I had to be extra careful, and then there's the shortage. The last time I bough primers was back in March 2020, I bought 4 thousand just so I could play with load development and really get to know black powder and build my casting skills. I spent one evening a week down at the range building loads and firing off 100 or so rounds each session. But now I'm down to my last few hundred primers, and even though I get my second dose of vaccine in two weeks, I don't think I'll be able to start any matches until primers come back around.

 

It's a shame, but I have faith in our community to bounce back in due time. It's been fun hanging out on the boards in the meantime and continuing to read and learn from those with experience.

 

 

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My favorite store told me Federal announced a price increase of 15%. But still no Federal primers in sight.

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....shooting Frontiersman so I can save a little on primers:rolleyes:. Just happen to have a few percussion caps on hand:D

 

DB:FlagAm:

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It's still early in the season, but I expect my club to lose shooters until things start to return to normal.  Some because they don't reload, some because they don't have a large inventory of reloading components and some because factory shotgun shells have virtually disappeared from the stores.  If someone had told  me last September that I would not be able to find 12 gauge bird shot I would have laughed hysterically and suggested that they seek psychiatric help.

 

In 30+ years of shooting I have never seen the shelves so bare and prices so high.

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I'm new to the sport as well and am solidly kicking myself for selling 3k small pistol primers a few months back. Wasn't anticipating needing to reload that much, but I can still sustain a full match a month for over a year with both my wife and I shooting. More if we end up going with .45 in the wheel guns and .38 for the rifle. Probably double that amount. 

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5 hours ago, Chantry said:

If someone had told  me last September that I would not be able to find 12 gauge bird shot I would have laughed hysterically and suggested that they seek psychiatric help.

This is the thing that will get me in another few months.  It's shocking how scarce bird shot is...

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Stopped by my LGS this morning.  They had Win 231 and HP 38 in stock.   I missed out on Titegroup, which they had and sold out yesterday.   Like some of the other folks have said, you have to keep going to the stores as often as you can and something will turn up.

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Just got this email from Choice Ammo

Greetings from Montana in these Crazy Times!

 
Thank you for being a valued Choice Ammunition customer. We wanted to reach out to you with some information that may help you with your existing order, or one that you are interested in placing with us. Please know, we are doing everything we can to get ammunition out the door and in your hands as quickly as possible. We are however, reliant on suppliers providing your quality components to us- and if there is a delay from them, we will load your ammo just as soon as your components arrive. Your price is locked in when you pay for your order- AND YOU WILL GET YOUR AMMO! We are actually in great shape on components for many calibers- and the website will change daily for availability as things are loaded and placed online- after filling all backorders first. Please check the website often!

As you look at our products on the website- we will either show the "Quantity in Stock" of the item, which will typically ship the same or following day- "Available on Back-order", where we feel we can get it loaded and shipped to you within about a month, as we either have the components here already, or believe they are coming soon. We are averaging 2-4 weeks here. Last, we may show "Read More- Out of Stock" where we will not take a back-order on that item online, not knowing for sure when we could get the order filled. If you still want to order that item, please call us and we will go into more detail to take the order.

We do try to answer all calls- and greatly prefer calls over emails or social media please. We ask you to please refrain from calling or changing your order unless it is absolutely necessary. Every call we answer removes the focus on sourcing your components and loading/shipping your ammunition!  We promise to get your order out as soon as we possibly can- yet, ask that you please understand this crazy market we are all in if you are indeed delayed. It is wise to plan now for your fall hunting ammunition needs- and I encourage you to get orders in early.     

One other thing; We hate what is happening to prices... Quite simply- it is not at all healthy for the industry we all love as hunters and shooters. While potentially driving away existing shooters, it also makes it harder to recruit new ones. Yet, our prices have had to go up with our substantially increased component costs this past year. CHOICE AMMUNITION intends on producing our 100% HAND-LOADED AMMUNITION to the market for decades to come- and we have zero interest in price gauging or taking advantage of an ammunition shortage. We are hopeful that just as these prices have gone up with this crisis, we will be able to reduce prices in the future as supply and demand begins to level out once again. Please just remember though- the ammo is about the cheapest part of what we do!


With Best Wishes and Blessings for the Coming Year-
Jon Wemple,
President/CEO Choice Ammunition, Corp.
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On 4/8/2021 at 8:41 AM, Bison Bud said:

Wow. I call 58 shooters a great turnout for a local match!  However, I'm not sure that adding .22LR is a big help, as I can currently cast and load .38's for less than I can buy new .22LF's and that's if I can even find them.  Anyway, I think your situation may be typical for most in that live round practice is mostly a thing of the past and the number of matches that are planned to attend would be somewhat reduced as well.  Anyway, thanks for the input and good luck to you and yours!

We were happy with the turnout, we have 2 matches a month. We have had some shooters that were short on primers and asked if the could shoot .22's to save their primers to load for Annual Matches. We allow the .22's and they are scored as a separate match. I don't think anyone is buying .22's, just using what they have.

 

Thanks

Randy 

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Randy,  you do make a valid point about shooting .22LR at the local matches helping to save on primers and I think it's great that Wartrace is flexible enough to allow it.  However, as pricey and difficult to replace as they are now, I'd still rather load and shoot the .38's.  That attitude would probably change rapidly if I was about to run out of primers, as many out there are.  Thankfully, that is one thing I did stock up on after the last drought, but even those won't last forever.  Cudos to you guys for finding another way to keep people shooting and coming out to the matches, you obviously have a great turnout!  Good luck and good shooting to all.  

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I hesitate to say anything. 

But ! 

After the last ammo shortage we had a few years back .

I said it would never happen to me again .

 

I stock piled all the lead I could get my hands on .

I started buying molds for every caliber I shot ,  and could get my hands on reasonably. 

 

Then when Gander Mountain went out of business a few years back .

Me and a buddy went in and at 50% off , Bought every  pound of powder , every Remington #10 cap,  every brand of primer they had left on the shelf along with every box of 22 ammo the store had .

 

I spent a large amount of cash that day  .

But at 50% off .

I figured I could never find a better deal again .

Highly doubt I will ever run short again in my lifetime. 

 

Please dont think I'm bragging about anything I'm Not . 

I just seen what was coming in the future and took advantage of Gander Mountains going out of business 50% off sale .

 

 

 

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46 minutes ago, Rooster Ron Wayne said:

I hesitate to say anything. 

But ! 

After the last ammo shortage we had a few years back .

I said it would never happen to me again .

 

I stock piled all the lead I could get my hands on .

I started buying molds for every caliber I shot ,  and could get my hands on reasonably. 

 

Then when Gander Mountain went out of business a few years back .

Me and a buddy went in and at 50% off , Bought every  pound of powder , every Remington #10 cap,  every brand of primer they had left on the shelf along with every box of 22 ammo the store had .

 

I spent a large amount of cash that day  .

But at 50% off .

I figured I could never find a better deal again .

Highly doubt I will ever run short again in my lifetime. 

 

Please dont think I'm bragging about anything I'm Not . 

I just seen what was coming in the future and took advantage of Gander Mountains going out of business 50% off sale .

 

 

 

 

This is called planning ahead. 

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2 hours ago, Rooster Ron Wayne said:

I hesitate to say anything. 

But ! 

After the last ammo shortage we had a few years back .

I said it would never happen to me again .

 

I stock piled all the lead I could get my hands on .

I started buying molds for every caliber I shot ,  and could get my hands on reasonably. 

 

Then when Gander Mountain went out of business a few years back .

Me and a buddy went in and at 50% off , Bought every  pound of powder , every Remington #10 cap,  every brand of primer they had left on the shelf along with every box of 22 ammo the store had .

 

I spent a large amount of cash that day  .

But at 50% off .

I figured I could never find a better deal again .

Highly doubt I will ever run short again in my lifetime. 

 

Please dont think I'm bragging about anything I'm Not . 

I just seen what was coming in the future and took advantage of Gander Mountains going out of business 50% off sale .

 

 

 

Some folks would call you a hoarder, but you’re not. That was very good planning on your part.

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The best indicator if and when this pandemic is going to correct is keep your eye on the FBI monthly NICS checks.

I historically watched  numbers increase  and got the credit card out for reloading & powders on the Wish List.

Didn't have to rush to the scrap yard for lead either.... over 1700 lbs of various alloys, all marked on 6 lb ingots plus plenty of reloads and lubed/naked cast bullets for every firearm in the safes ... shot shells also.  It's pretty boring now not having to cast and reload

Truthfully, I really feel sorry for those new SASS members and those that didn't forecast this pandemic

Edited by John Boy
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On 4/10/2021 at 4:30 PM, John Boy said:

The best indicator if and when this pandemic is going to correct is keep your eye on the FBI monthly NICS checks.

I historically watched  numbers increase  and got the credit card out for reloading & powders on the Wish List.

Didn't have to rush to the scrap yard for lead either.... over 1700 lbs of various alloys, all marked on 6 lb ingots plus plenty of reloads and lubed/naked cast bullets for every firearm in the safes ... shot shells also.  It's pretty boring now not having to cast and reload

Truthfully, I really feel sorry for those new SASS members and those that didn't forecast this pandemic

Got into guns and reloading around 2012, things weren't great at the time, but I decided I could save some money and standardize on the .357 magnum/38 special as my do it all cartridge from pocket to deer. I prepped components and primers and felt pretty comfortable with what I had as a foraging/defensive needs stockpile.  This kind of stockpile is not sufficient if considering entering competition during a shortage like this one.  

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