Ammo Shortage Continues

Steve Johnson
by Steve Johnson
Empty store shelves. Photo by JoshNix9. reports on the shortage of ammunition in South Dakotan gun stores

The explanations for the shortage differ. At a gun show over the weekend at the Ramkota Hotel, a couple of hunters said they believe ammo manufacturers are producing as much as they ever did.

“The only shortage is on the shelves. People are still in panic mode, still buying stuff,” said Dave Soehren of Appleton, Minn.

Cory Appl, the sporting goods manager of Ken’s Shell Express, said customers are also looking for .17 HMR, a rimfire rifle cartridge for the Hornady Magnum Rimfire, and .22 Magnum ammo. Ken’s hasn’t had any .22 Magnum cartridges in months, and it’s also been a while since the store has stocked .17 HMR, he said.

Five to 20 customers a day come in asking about .22 ammunition, Appl said. The last big load of .22 longs that Ken’s received — 80 boxes — was in October. Those were gone in a day and a half, Appl said.

There’s also sometimes an issue holding on to .243 Winchester and .22-250 Remingtons, Appl said.

Many visit Dunham’s each week, looking for .22 long cartridges.

A lot of hunters come in on Tuesday while the delivery truck is unloading, said Sandra Murphy, one of the store’s managers.

In December I blogged why there was a ammo shortage. I sincerely believe the shortage is caused by too much demand. Maybe this shortage is slightly contributed by the poor forecasting of demand from the manufacturers, but mostly excessive demand. If factories are producing to capacity, the opportunity cost of producing .223 means that less .22/.243/7mm-08 will be made and vice versa.

Thanks to Jay for the link.

Steve Johnson
Steve Johnson

I founded TFB in 2007 and over 10 years worked tirelessly, with the help of my team, to build it up into the largest gun blog online. I retired as Editor in Chief in 2017. During my decade at TFB I was fortunate to work with the most amazing talented writers and genuinely good people!

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  • Cary mcdonald Cary mcdonald on Mar 12, 2014

    Prices (and profits) rise when inventory is short. The manufactuer's of .22 ALSO have the choice of cranking out high-margin (large) ammo, or (REALLY LOW) margin .22 rounds. It's not surprising they pursue the big bucks with filling the high-end market first... It's just that it's taking SOOO LONG to fill it I guess.

  • Robert rogers Robert rogers on Apr 06, 2014

    I have to laugh when I hear people complain that someone raised their prices to take advantage of the shortage.

    Well, these very same complainers would raise their price on, say, an antique car for example if suddenly there was a high demand and they were lucky enough own n one.

    After selling their car for a large profit higher than they would have gotten, they would congratulate themselves on their good fortune.

    Yet these same people become angry when someone else has the good fortune to have something that is in high demand and therefore commands a higher price.

    People, wake TFU and stop being angry at people who are doing exactly what you would do.. Capitalism is good. It is what makes for a strong economy and we all benefit.

    Let the market decide. If'n ya don't wanna pay the price then don't buy it. It is that simple.