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Ammo availability, not the government, but panic buying.

Discussion in 'General Firearm Discussion' started by nwbobber, Apr 7, 2013.

  1. nwbobber

    nwbobber Longview, Wa. Active Member

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    I found that Hornady and CCI have posted answers to the question of where all the ammo and components are going, and both say that the government buys less than 5% of what they sell.
    From CCI

    We are currently experiencing high demand for our products. We appreciate your patience and support and remain committed to serving all of our customers, from hunters and sport shooters to those who protect our country and our streets.

    Q: Why is ammunition in certain calibers so hard to find?
    A: The current market and environment is causing stronger than usual demand for products in our industry.

    Q: Are certain contracts taking ammunition away from civilians?
    A: No. We remain committed to serving all channels of our business. The majority of our product serves the commercial market.

    Q: Why can't you just make more ammunition?
    A: 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.

    Q: What is your stance on the current gun legislation?
    A: We support the second amendment and responsible gun ownership. We remain fully engaged in the legislative and regulatory process to provide the most accurate and comprehensive information to decision makers. Like most major manufacturers in our industry, we are also members of the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF). This organization helps represent our industry and our customers before federal, state and local government entities. More information about legislation and our industry's positions can be found at NSSF - National Shooting Sports Foundation.

    From Hornady

    Product Availability
    Hornady Products are scarce in my neck of the woods. How can I get ahold of some?
    The current political climate has caused extremely high demand on all shooting industry products, including ours. Empty retail shelves, long backorders, and exaggerated price increases on online auction sites – all fueled by rumors and conjecture – have amplified concerns about the availability of ammunition and firearms-related items.

    If the information you hear doesn’t originate from Hornady Manufacturing, don’t believe it.

    Here are some of rumors we’ve heard, and questions we’ve received:

    Have you stopped production, or has the government forced you to stop?
    Not at all.
    Did you stop selling bullets so you could only make loaded ammunition?
    Absolutely not.
    Since we can’t find your product you must be selling it all to the government.
    Nope, less than 5% of our sales are to government entities.
    Why can’t you make more? Ramp up production? Turn on all the machines?
    We’ve been steadily growing our production for a long time, especially the last five years. We’ve added presses, lathes, CNC equipment, people and space. Many popular items are produced 24 hours a day. Several hundred Hornady employees work overtime every week to produce as much as safely possible. If there is any question about that – please take a tour of the factory. You’ll be amazed at what you see.
    We are producing as much as we can; much more than last year, which was a lot more than the year before, etc. No one wants to ship more during this time than we do.

    We appreciate everyone’s understanding and patience. We don’t know when the situation will improve, so please bear with us a little longer. And remember, when it comes to Hornady Manufacturing, if you don’t hear it from us, please don’t believe it.

    I assume the rest are about the same. I hope the conspiracy stuff can be put to bed, and maybe folks will relax a bit so we can enjoy shooting.
     
  2. CascadeSam

    CascadeSam Portland Oregon Active Member

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    The ongoing ammo shortage is now going on 3-4 months. Since only small amounts (or none) of new ammo (re-supply) are getting to the retail stores and online merchants to be offered for sale to consumers in the first place then how can the scarcity be put down to ongoing and current panic buying or hoarding? All the stores that I'm aware of: Wall Mart, Sportsmen's Warehouse, BiMart, Big 5, NW Armory, etc are limiting the number of bricks and boxes a person can buy of the ammo they do get delivered to spread the supply out among customers and keep people from hoarding. I think there is more going on than the ammo makers are willing to acknowledge.
     
  3. teflon97239

    teflon97239 Portland, OR Well-Known Member

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    Someone at a local Bi-Mart gun counter told me yesterday (04-06) that she gets "some ammo" just about every day now, "but it never makes it to the shelves because 'the guys in the club' [same ones every day] are already lined up and waiting" to scarf up whatever she gets. As a working stiff with an inflexible schedule, I don't have the option to wait in those lines for a random delivery, if so inclined (which I'm not).

    So yes, even with 2 box limits per caliber, panic buying is certainly happening when a small segment of the population lines up to buy any/all ammo the moment it surfaces.

    But Sam's point seems more than a little bit valid, too. Panic buying/hoarding doesn't explain why those same stores didn't receive ANY ammo for a couple months leading up to now. A theory maintained by one retailer I spoke to was that "most ammo is manufactured back east, and is all panic purchased before it makes its way to this coast." I'm NOT buying that excuse.

    For decades, I've normally kept a few bricks or boxes ahead of my usage, buying the brands that feed well when I see good prices. As that modest buffer dwindles this year, I shoot less often - and not as long. And I think back to the last time shelves were empty in response to the new royals. It eventually got better, then finally back to "normal." I'm hoping the fact that some ammo is finally making it into the hands of motivated buyers is a similar good sign, and we'll be past most of this madness by summer.
     
    MikeE and (deleted member) like this.
  4. PDXHero

    PDXHero Beaverton, OR Member

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    I had no problem buying ammo this weekend. Both 9mm and .223. Willamette Valley Arms had shipments on Friday and Northwest Armory had a big shipment in as well. Finally was able to go out and shoot.

    Willamette Valley had much more reasonable prices but ($13 vs. $16 a box) I'll take what I can get at this point.
     
  5. nwbobber

    nwbobber Longview, Wa. Active Member

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    I don't think that just because the smaller gunshops, Bi mart, or who ever you are used to buying from doesn't have supply to meet demand necessarily means that the manufacturers are lying about who they are selling it to. I can't remember EVER having a situation where folks were rushing to the gun department upon opening to buy whatever was there, even when Bill and Hillary were president. The guy I talked to at Cabelas said that now they were getting stock based on past buying levels, and when they get stock in it is gone in hours. The manufacturers have to fill backorders first, I would guess to be fair to their customers, how many of those backorders do you think are from the mainstream retail outlets? Some has to be going to the folks doing the gouging, some to folks who set up a business to buy direct. Anyway I think this is caused by us, the consumers.
     
  6. downtown

    downtown Portland West Active Member

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    There is no conspiracy folks. What there is is simply a lot of greed and a lot poor behavior on the part of people. Not manufacturers. Not stores. It is us buyers. The whole ammo supply line is, and always has been very fragile. They have been making ammo around the clock for many many years. Ammo always sells, even in normal times. Sure their is normally ammo on the shelves but not that much. It is just normally resupplied on a regular basis and purchased as needed. But any blip in the line anywhere backs the system up. Th blip is not in the manufacture end. They are still making ammo around the clock. A few companies have been able to add a few production lines into their production but production has been near 100% for years, and those additions are simply very few and far between due rules and regulations that have been in effect for many many years. So, if you have no ability to ramp up your production system and demand goes crazy, why does this shortage surprise you? People are buying anything and everything that hits the store, whether they can shoot it or not. They use it as barter for he caliber s they want or they resell it, trying to make a killing. This ridiculous demand builds exponentially. Remember, the supply line is fixed. As more people see the panic buying, they panic buy. Before long everyone is doing it and the supply line is so far behind that it takes months to catch up. Now stores see this happen and have a system to place more orders for anything that sells out. But the supply line is broken. It can not keep up. This shortage is only different from the last in one way. Even more people are panic buying than before. Even more jerks have entered into the secondary market to try resell ammo and Mae their killing than before. It is not different in any other way. The government has always made big purchases in bulk. No difference in that today. The manufacturers have always quit taking orders, they need to get the supply line back to normal before it means anything. There is no conspiracy. We are screwing ourselves. The ammo supply line is, and always has been one of the most fragile supply lines around. The manufacture companies write warnings and articles about it all the time, you just don't read them or care about them during the good times. Manufacture companies, for some time have wanted to site new facilities, but no one wants them to do it in their neighborhood. Do you know how hard it is to site a new ammo facility? Do you have any idea of the cost? There is no conspiracy. Look around. Even in my little town, there are 10 to 15 guys that do nothing but hit every store every day and buy every bit of ammo that hits the shelf of every store that let's them do it. Most let them do it. I can show you a forum right now where several guys, who are buying a lot of ammo daily, readily admit that they slip the shipping clerk 100 bucks for every time he calls them to notify them of a shipment that just arrives and then delays putting it on the shelf until they get there. I can show you a website where an assistant manager at Walart has his own thread where he notifies members of stores that are getting in an ammo shipment and he tells them what type of ammo is coming in.
     
    MikeE and (deleted member) like this.
  7. Mark W.

    Mark W. Silverton, OR Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    ALL CCI .22 rimfire is made in Lewiston Idaho. Hardly back East. Its pretty dang close to Oregon about 20 miles away.
     
  8. AlphaCoyote

    AlphaCoyote Oh, I get around. New Member

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    There is a good bit of hoarding. There's a good bit of panic buying. There's a good bit of scalping. And there is a huge increase in the number of guns being sold, and if you buy a new gun, don't you want ammo? Perfect storm. It's hard to tell which cause is primary, but at least the first 3 have a snowball effect. I don't believe for a minute in any government or manufacturer conspiracies. Private demand is just overwhelming supply and manufacturer capacity.

    Somewhere in China (Norinco) or Serbia (Prvz Partisan/PPU) or Russia (Wolf, etc) or South Korea (PMC), or some new country with an entrepreneur there are people getting ready to get rich off this crazy demand. They won't ramp up to sell .22LR bricks for $15 though. Those days are over. Overheated demand creates supply until the demand dies down.

    If I were the entrepreneurial type with some capital, I'd be opening a production line in a third world country with cheap labor and access to the basic raw materials and limited regulatory oversight. Surely someone here wants to be a billionaire.
     
  9. 1970camaroRS

    1970camaroRS Mill Creek, WA Member

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    This is what I keep telling those people that think the government is buying up all of the ammo. They would have to buy a LOT of ammo to keep up with MILLIONs of consumers. They don't want to believe the simple math I guess. Anything to add fuel to the paranoid government-hate-fire.
     
  10. AlphaCoyote

    AlphaCoyote Oh, I get around. New Member

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    There's a shortage of hat-quality tinfoil too. I hear Alcoa and the Dept. of Homeland security are in cahoots to keep us from protecting ourselves.
     
  11. downtown

    downtown Portland West Active Member

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    I had read during the last shortage that Wolf had bought some properties in the USA to build factories on. They were concerned about a law that would not allow ammo to be imported into the US. When that didn't happen, I heard the price and process just turned them off. But it is surprising that factories are not opening in other parts of the world.