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SENTRY JOURNAL » Uncategorized » Is the ammo shortage an illusion…this guy thinks so

Is the ammo shortage an illusion…this guy thinks so

Gun enthusiasts all over the country have been dealing with an ammunition shortage.  Just this past weekend I searched for 9mm rounds at all my favorite stops and to no surprise the cupboards were bare.  This “shortage” has forced me to conserve the ammunition I have on hand.  I’ve curtailed my range time and like many am frustrated that I can’t find my favorite caliber anywhere.  Now there are many explanations floating around as to why there is a shortage.

Many believe that the high demand for ammunition after the Sandy Hook shootings caught the ammo manufacturers off guard and they simply could not produce enough to keep up with the demand.  That sounds reasonable enough.  Then there is the government purchasing large amounts of ammunition for the DHS, EPA, and FBI.  Many feel this increased demand has contributed towards the shortage. That explanation is also reasonable.  But what if there’s a third explanation that’s just as plausible and turns the ammo shortage narrative on its head.  Listen to this guy below.

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I went to and did a search under the ammunition category and sure enough there were over 22,000 active auctions going on to sell ammunition.  There was a 1,000 rounds of 22LR Remington ammo being auctioned off with a current bid of $137.00.  You can further narrow your search in the left hand column.  I narrowed the search to pistol ammunition, then to 9mm caliber and found over 900 active auctions for it.  So it appears there is plenty of ammo to be had.  You just have to be willing to pay for it.  In the end maybe the most plausible explanation for this so called shortage is just plain greed.  Let me know what you think.

Liberty forever, freedom for all!


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  • LD Jackson April 2, 2013 at 6:14 AM

    I would have to agree with the fellow in the video. There is ammunition available to purchase, but you do have to know where to go. Capitalism at its finest or just plain greed? I really don’t know how to answer that question.
    LD Jackson recently posted..EPA Fuel Rule Will Raise Prices At The PumpMy Profile

  • TexasFred April 2, 2013 at 5:56 PM

    You might want to take a look at this link too. A number of people that I know, myself included, are having NO ISSUES with finding ammo, some is over priced but it IS there to be had.

    Friday Digest — The Truth About Government Ammo Purchases | The TexasFred Blog
    TexasFred recently posted..Suspicion in DA death shifts to white supremacistsMy Profile

    • John Carey April 2, 2013 at 10:33 PM

      Great article and analysis Fred. Don’t get me wrong, I’m willing to a pay a bit higher price as long as I can get my hands on the ammo. I really enjoy shooting and because it has been harder to find it has had an impact on me.
      John Carey recently posted..Is the ammo shortage an illusion…this guy thinks soMy Profile

  • Jeff April 2, 2013 at 6:23 PM

    I agree in part. Part of the ammo has gone to the resale market, but the other part has gone to the increased stockpiles of average gun owners for fear of not being able to find it at a low price in the foreseeable future.

    • John Carey April 2, 2013 at 10:35 PM

      That’s an excellent point Jeff. I do know a number of people who are increasing their stockpiles for that very reason. They fear that there is nowhere to go but up in terms of cost for ammo and they want to get it while it’s still affordable.
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  • Steve Dennis April 2, 2013 at 7:37 PM

    I believe the government is buying the ammo to create a shortage and it seems to be working. There may be ammo available but the price you have to pay does show us that it is at a premium and I think that is the way the government wants it!
    Steve Dennis recently posted..Democrats in the Congress propose a $10,000 fine on gun owners who do not purchase liability insuranceMy Profile

    • John Carey April 2, 2013 at 10:38 PM

      Maybe ammo is going to go the way of diamonds. Diamonds are abundant but their price is artificially inflate because the supply is strictly controlled. Maybe through massive purchases this is what the government is trying to do. Just a thought.
      John Carey recently posted..Is the ammo shortage an illusion…this guy thinks soMy Profile

  • Jeff April 2, 2013 at 11:15 PM

    One way to estimate the shortage and rising prices is to estimate how much more an average gun owner is planning to stock up now than he used to do before this panic buying frenzy. 3 or 5 times more? Suppose it is N times more, then the total quantity demanded will be close to N times more than before. As the supply is inelastic and slow in catching up, the N times more demand is going to drive the price close to N times higher when the supply and demand curve meet each other. The shortage in the gun shops is simply because the prices there are lower than the higher, equilibrium prices such that at that low price level demand exceeds supply. The shortage will be gone when the gun shops raise prices until there are just so few buyers willing to buy at that price, and then the shelfs will be full of ammo again. This can be seen from the fact that there is no shortage at the online auction sites, because the prices there are close to equilibrium. This may be a simple way to estimate either how much more the average gun owner is trying to stock up (by looking at how much higher the auction prices have been) as well as to estimate what the future prices would be (by guessing how much higher the future average stockpile level would be.) my estimate is 3-5 times higher. What do you guys think?

    • John Carey April 3, 2013 at 5:39 AM

      Great comment. I think you’re spot-on Jeff in your assessment. I do believe that people have been increasing their personal inventories, I’m just not sure by how much. Your 3-5 times sounds like a reasonable estimate. And this increase is driving demand and outpacing the supply side in the short term. In the long-run the free market will eventually correct itself and prices will level out.
      John Carey recently posted..Is the ammo shortage an illusion…this guy thinks soMy Profile

  • Jeff April 3, 2013 at 7:17 AM

    I agree with you John that the price will come down when the average gun owner has reached his desired stockpile level. After then the demand and price will be driven by consumption instead of stockpile. The consumption, however, is likely to be higher than before because the gun owner population has grown significantly.

  • theCL Report: The Official Counterfeiter April 3, 2013 at 11:39 PM

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  • tom April 25, 2013 at 2:10 PM

    No ammo shortage? What are you smoking. Your numbers don’t add up. 1300 auctions for .22’s at 500*1000 rounds is nothing. CCI makes 4,000,000 per day, 7 days/week plus what ever the other manufacturing companies produce. I think it’s a back door approach togun control. The government just bough enough ammo for100 years of target ppractice. Some people are trying to make money on the backs of others but I think it’s coming from the government by them sucking up the raw material in a backdoor gun control. We can keep our guns per the 2nd amendment but the 2nd amendment doesn’t say anything about the ammunition.

    • John Carey April 25, 2013 at 11:16 PM

      It could definitely be a back door way to achieve gun control. And I do think the government’s purchase of millions of rounds of ammunition is definitely suspect. But the thing to remember is gunbrokers is not the only site auctioning off ammo to the highest bidder. So that tells me some sort of supply is out there as long as you’re willing to pay for it. I still have been unable to purchase 9MM rounds because the shelves have been bare for months. But I’m not willing to pay these ridiculous prices. I will keep what I have and wait this out. Thanks for stopping by.
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