Ammo Shortages historical question?


As I was not collection firearms in the mid-80s or early 90s I don't have my own anecdotal information on this, but does anyone remember if back when the 1986 NFA amendment or the 1994 Assault Weapon Ban was going into place were there ammo shortages?

I'm wondering if there was previous historical reference for these 'runs on commodities' based on FUD?

Anyone able to think back 20 or 30 years and give insight on the topic?
Don't recall anytime prior to Obama's run for Pres that ammo prices went so crazy. Locally, prior to the internet, there were pockets of high prices but overall prices were much lower and a steady supply was always available. It was not unusual to walk into a gun store and see ammo boxes that were 40-50 years old and still sitting on the dealers shelves, especially odd calibers. Once the internet went live, prices dropped in many places because folks could order online for cheaper.

This being said, there have been shortages of certain firearms a number of times in the past 40 years. Depending on whether they were discontinued, banned or just rumored to be heading for ban. Often the spike in firearms prices lasted only awhile until someone started making them again.

Powder and primers have been spotty at times depending on new calibers released that everyone wishes to reload for. At the same time, other less in demand powders and primers were always available.

Every deer season, expect the popular hunting cartridges to fly off the shelves. Every bird season...


I've been buying ammo since the late 80's, but I can't remember anything like what we've seen since Sandy Hook. Prior to that time, I couldn't remember not being able to grab a few boxes of CCI anytime I wanted to plink. I rarely stocked up because I didn't shoot my .22 that often. If I needed 9mm, I could find it. The last 18 months have been, at least in my memory, the worst I've seen. I agree with Trailboss, I think the internet is part of that very reason - it allows panic and fear to be easily spread, which causes emotional, reactionary purchases by some folks. The main thing I remember from 1994 was seeing a lot of folks trying to snap up pistol mags with a capacity of more than 10.


There has never been anything to the degree there is now. I remember a few 'rumblings' during the AWB but ammo and reloading components have always been available. It is my belief the election of BHO coupled with the uptick of high profile shootings have precipitated the current situation. Heck it was not this bad after Columbine.
I can't remember anything like what we've seen since Sandy Hook.
And with this I agree as the 'Tip of the iceberg'
So the 1986 NFA full-auto thing was a last minute amendment to FOPA - Firearms Owners Protection Act, no one saw it coming, and it didn't really affect things immediately. When clinton was first elected, there was some talk of taxing ammunition, as a consequence there was a run on primers. Between about 1993 and 2008, I rarely saw CCI primers, Winchester kinda filled the gap. It was a big deal back then, people were freaking out. It was more or less the same thing we saw in 2009, not a primer to be had anywhere at anything less than 20c each.


2008 was the worst I have ever experienced for reloading components. Right after the election things were stable - for a while - then started disappearing fast in Bend. I was low at the time but kept shopping and as a few things started showing up I bought what I could substitute with. Then it slowly returned to normal until Sandy Hook which really sent it into a tailspin. The only difference I noticed was after SH things came in sporadically. .22 would show up, then for a while primers came back and that's when I stocked up. Powders hit and miss and when I saw what I could use I bought it. It still sucks that WE have been reduced to this.....

Mark W.

The reason for the current panic is tied directly to the Internet and its ability to gin up panic. At no other time have people been able to reach into their pocket push a couple Icons and find out what the crazy tin foil hat dude 9 states away has to say about something he realy has no idea about.

Case in point all the panic caused by the so called BILLIONS AND BILLIONS of 9mm and .40SW being bought by the NAS IRS VA etc. take note there is a thread here about how people are now selling off piles of .40SW they bought in a panic to ward off there not being any to buy there by causing the shortage.

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