The 2013 Ammo Shortage – How Long Will It Last?

ammo shortageUpdate: As of late August 2013 I have seen the ammo situation improving slightly. If you are willing to go off the beaten path you can find ammo. However, it won’t be cheap. I was able to find plenty of .223, .308, and 9mm but the prices were pretty high. It seems we have a ways to go before the ammo shelf at Wal-Mart will stay stocked. The good news is that the hunting calibers seem readily available. Anything like buckshot, 30-06, .300 Win Mag, and 7mm all seem to be in stock at Wal-Mart. .22 long ammo still seems to be in very short supply though. Also, I am still unable to find any gunpowder. I have seen primers come back, but no powder yet.

As an avid shooter I have been growing increasingly frustrated with the current ammo shortage that seems to be dragging on much longer than everyone expected. With all the talk of background checks and gun bans after the Sandy Hook shooting, gun enthusiasts have been buying every box of ammo they can get their hands on.

With the shortage comes greater demand, which has given birth to opportunists with too much free time on their hands. These individuals will stake out at their local sporting goods stores and wait in line to buy ammo to then resell at gun shows and online forums. My local shooting range buys ammo from a local ammo company, and only allows for purchase of ammo if you intend to shoot it on the range that day.

Pretty much, it sucks. As someone who likes to go to the range regularly, I’ve been forced to cut back on shooting for fear that I will run low on ammo in the future. What makes it even worse is that nothing is being spared from this panic. Reloading components are in extremely short supply. From presses, to powder, to primers. Good luck getting your hands on any of that without a considerable search.

How Long Will The Ammo Shortage Last?


We are on the farthest left point of the demand curve.

In my opinion, this will go on for as long as people are willing to pay ridiculous prices for ammo and reloading components. Simply put, as long as there is a demand. When everyone decides that they have enough ammo and are tired of waiting in line to make a few extra bucks, the supply will slowly increase. It’s supply and demand.

I’ve heard reports of gun powder being able to stay on the shelves at a local shop nearby, so that is a good sign. I wouldn’t really count on it though with the recent Boston bombers using gunpowder in their explosive devices. All it takes is a few media outlets to run a story and panic will be restored. Here is a great article with a lot of quotes from ammo manufacturers about the shortage. Here is a particularly disheartening quote.

“We absolutely are in uncharted territory,” said Larry Hyatt, whose family owns Hyatt Gun Shop in Charlotte, N.C.. “Our store is 53 years old, and we have never seen anything like this. We have had some spot shortages and busy gun times in the past. This is a level (of demand) never before seen.”


This panic can only last so long. Eventually people will calm down and stop hoarding ammo. Manufacturers will get caught up on backorders and things will slowly return to normal. I am staying optimistic. The first step will be ammo returning to shelves. The second step will be prices returning to normal. I think that will be the longest wait. As the shock waves of this panic subside, there will be after shocks when prices fall that will keep everything from immediately returning to the level it once was. I’m hoping by the end of the year things will be much closer to normal. That is unless some maniac goes on another shooting spree.


  1. Since the Gov has already bought enough ammo to cover them for over 10yrs of war, and now they are ordering even more. What’s wrong with this picture???? They don’t need that much ammo.! Their using our tax money, before it runs out.! And, There keeping it away from the people.! -That what I think, and it really bothers me – that they are ordering that much ammo and using our tax money to boot.

  2. Wow that was strange. I just wrote an extremely long comment but after I clicked submit
    my comment didn’t show up. Grrrr… well I’m not writing
    all that over again. Anyhow, just wanted to say excellent blog!

  3. I think you are right about the shortage lasting until the end of the year. I think it will probably last longer than that. I think we will not see any normal prices or normal levels ever again. Things have changed and changed for the worse. Other comments you had on the blog were about the gov purchasing huge lots of ammo. Well guess what the are getting ready for?? Yep you might be right, I think they are preparing for a good old fashioned Civil War!! If things don’t get better, if they don’t drop the whole idea of “Expanded background checks” etc… if they don’t fix whats really worng. If they try to follow through with U.N. small arms treaty, and they pass the legislation pending (and they will). I have the feeling we will find ourselves having to make a serious desission, give up and join the masses or stand and fight!!

  4. First the ammo, then the gun confiscation, then the national ID with bio techknoledgy retina scan or vein on the back of the hand scan (Bible said the mark of the beast was to be on the forehead or back of the hand) And now they want in on the whole Internet Tax thing. Without the National ID you won’t be able to purchase anything or work anywhere.
    Everything the Bible said would happen is starting to happen NOW!!!!!

    • True very true but i think that is a little way’s away.

      On topic: My honest opinion is that this will not end until that piece of garbage everyone calls “Obama” get’s out of office, And we get a republican president.

    • folks, this whole thing is going to get very ugly and I believe it will happen sooner than expected.
      control the guns, then they control the people.
      some very good points here and Patrick I think you have it right.

  5. Not only Obama, but the whole DC trio. Obama, Reed and Palosi. Oh yeah andFeinstine.

  6. And While we are at it, Joe Biden. I don’t know how many towns and city’s in this country allows the discharge of firearms in the city limits. In most all there is a law prohibiting it.

  7. John Gault says:

    I heard today that a bill was submitted to congress for a 10% tax on all handgun purchases. No, it won’t pass the House, but it reinforces the notion…. get what you need before the midterm elections in 2016…

    • Jonathan says:

      That sounds interesting, just did a little googling to look into that.I agree that it wont get passed. But… We have to see this as a form of gun control. As long as politicians can keep the buyers in a panic, they are essentially controlling the guns and ammunition. It’s very frustrating because the attacks will not stop. As soon as one bill gets shot down they will propose another, and with each one comes increased demand. The sad part is they will eventually get something through with an earmark. It will be similar to what they did with the UIGEA in the Safe Port Act, which is what keeps me from playing a $5 poker tournament online.

    • We, the gun people did this to ourselves. We panicked and bought out the inventory. This makes everybody else hoard and as soon as supplies appear they get snapped up. We did this to ourselves. Own it . For once, let’s take responsility for our own actions instead hidning behind of infantile fantasies of govt conspiracies and Liberal Agendas. Is the gubmint really buying up all the .22lr? Reacting to panic, letting fear rule your head, is called cowardice. That’s right, we reacted like a buncha frightened cowards.

      The ammo is returning, primers are now available and at reasonable prices. Powder will be available soon enough and all this panic induced shortage will have been for nothing.

      As the blogger says, normalcy will restore when people run out of money and calm down a bit.

      Why is it that none of these govt conspiracy theory nuts can spell or write literate English.

      Read the text of the UN arms control treaty for yourself. It’s online. It’s nothing like the NRA says. It will have no bearing on domestic arms control ( this is spelled out in the treaty)

      • I know this was posted a long while back but I have to say that I agree 100% with Adam. Quit blaming this party or that party and start finding out the facts for yourself. What happened to the day when win or lose everyone worked together to make this a great country, now all we do is point fingers at this guy or group and complain. Read everything and all opinions, not just the ones that validate yours but really listen to the other side…We can all learn something by listening and learning.

        Than ammo shortage is based on two things, irrational fear and corporate greed that is capitalizing on that irrational fear. I hope that I can get back to doing my reloading soon but until then I will not pay extortion prices for my powder or primers. Time we all said no to the greed and let the businesses know that a sure buck is better than hoping for ten.

      • It’s a big game and you and I are not in it. It’s all about money and greed. The score is DC 1 / the Public 0.

  8. Steve Lowe says:

    This is what happens when the average gun owner wakes up to the reality of the liberal agenda, which is to incrementally encroach on the 2nd amendment. The two boxes of 30-06, a box of 12 gauge birds shot, and some 9mm parabellum looks pretty skimpy when Joe gun owner realizes massive taxes or regulation can change everything. He breaks out the old VISA card and regardless of balance is now willing to part with $500-$1,000 on cases of ammo like he should have been doing for years.

    Repeat with 70 million gun owners. Demand of 70 billion rounds results.

    Since Obama was first elected I’ve seen demand as if America was preparing for civil war. I saw a million dollars of ammo disappear in minutes at a gun show here in Las Vegas in October 2008.

    Of course, DHS and/or military orders at the same time do not help supply/demand balance. Just wait until the COMEX exchange fails to deliver and watch what “decoupling” means.

    We live in interesting times.

  9. TimeConsumer says:

    we need a gun that shot out black people as a projectile then we would never run out of ammo

  10. On the bright side, ammo is slowly staying on shelves. The talk of another Civil War is a little extreme, but not impossible. I think that if it came down to it and the government and it’s “infinite knowledge” ordered our troops to kill US citizens there would be refusal on the military’s part. Maybe some of the general military would obey the government’s orders, but I doubt it. They would be killing friends and family essentially, which I don’t see happening. Also, you’ve got everyone in special forces, let alone the entire population, disagreeing and probably trying to take out the officials giving those orders. This is all hypothetical, but that’s what I think would happen. And there’s 70+ million gun owners so good luck killing tens of millions without having our allies step in. Very unlikely for any of this to happen, but it’s in the back of everyones’ mind. All you have to do to control a population like ours is to cut off the ammo supply and eventually people will run out, which is what I’m more afraid of.

  11. I am an avid gun rights advocate who owns several guns, but I must say that nearly every comment on this topic is riddled with poor grammar and misspellings of basic words. In order for anyone to be taken seriously they must be able to properly communicate; otherwise it is far too easy for people opposed to their point of view to dismiss everything that they say as being the ramblings of “some dumb redneck.” In spirit I agree with most of the posts here, but it really needs to be ramped up intellectually.

  12. “on this topic is riddled with poor grammar and misspellings of basic words”

    No matter the spelling, these are all very good points.

  13. My wife and I ( retired ) are avid gun owners, shoot competition and carry concealed. I had hopes that the supplies would get better by this winter. I am losing that hope month by month. I agree with Dan about our military. I also agree that we need to ramp it up with intellegent debate.
    One of the biggest groups of gun owners are hunters. If 90% of the hunters would ” come out of the closet” so to speak, we would become a lot stronger. So many hunters I know have not worried about gun laws the last 20 years because they don’t think the antigun crowd is after the hunting guns.
    If you believe in the right to keep and bear arms for any reason, you would do well to speak up loudly! We are a majority!

  14. 3rd Gen Shooting supply has powder and primers stacked to the ceiling.

  15. Scott
    Well said. If we as a populace are to be taken seriously we can’t come across like a bunch of uneducated hicks.

  16. Most people attributed the ammunition shortage to reaction of gun owners and other groups to the election of U.S. President Barack Obama, claiming that these people fear more restrictive gun laws, ammunition taxes, and social decay.

  17. Concerned Citizen says:

    WAKE UP PEOPLE!!!! It’s coming and it’s going to be the biggest false flag to date. DO NOT TRUST ANYTHING YOU SEE!!!! WHEN YOU TURN THE NEWS ON AND CAN’T BELIEVE YOUR EYES IT’S ALL BEEN PLANNED!!!





  18. The 2013 Ammo Shortage will last till 31st of December … after that it will be “The 2014 Ammo Shortage”.

  19. Hey all. The ammo shortage is no longer an issue. I actually bought Federal Black box AR .223 on sale for $7.98. On sale – did you hear that? I only got one. There was only one left. But I don’t buy much ammo as I reload. If there had been 10 or 20 boxes I would not have gotten more than 2. There were also a few other brands in that caliber albeit some priced rather high. There were several brands of handgun ammo in most calibers available. Yes, prices will remain high for a while and that is a good thing, because WISE people WILL STOP buying ammo for more than it is worth and the prices will drop and inventories will be restored. We are very near that. I think it is over.

    The thing is is everyone needs to take a freaking huge breath and stop panicking! You do not need 1000 rounds for each firearm you own even if you shoot a lot. Be smart and be reasonable. My father was in the 101st airborne in WWII. How much ammo did he carry into D-Day? Not all that much, but he had 150 lbs of other stuff on. Think about it. If during the greatest invasion of all history, most soldiers only had a basic load of 120 rounds or so, do you really think you are going to carry 5000 rounds on your person into your favorite woods and play Red Dawn when “they” come? Really? How strong are you? Where will you hide with all the HD satellite cameras out there? How long do you think you can hold out without air-support, food, etc. I’d say less than 24 hours before you are smoked. You will want water at 8.3 lbs per gallon, some food, some tools etc. Buy a bag of rice. Send $20.00 to your favorite gun lobby to help keep your freedoms. Or put it away for your kid’s education or bury it in your back yard. That will do more than another freaking box of .45′s that will sit in your vault or buried in your back yard and all locked up until you die. And stop parting with your hard earned money for the stupid pails of “survival food” that they are selling in gun shops now. The nitrates in that stuff alone will kill you quicker than many other things.

    Anyway, I digress. You don’t need so much ammo. If you do, you are not so much a survivor as a Lemming following the masses over the cliff of mad stricken panic. There is no government mass buy up to short the supply. (already debunked kids) If everyone is buying 10 boxes of ammo every time they walk into Gander or Cabellas or Dicks, Scheel’s or Bob and Jon’s over-priced firearms, reloading supplies and gouge priced ammo, you will see it empty out like it has. It really is about basic supply and demand.

    Be prepared, but not paranoid. Spend some money where it can actually be used for real effect. Vote. Shame on you idiots that skipped this last election! Pray. Talk to you shot-gun only buddies and get them into supporting gun owner rights. Do the same to your 3 rounds per year deer hunters. 49 states now have some concealed carry provision. There are masses of supporters, yet so many don’t really do their part where it is needed.

    Best to all.

  20. pathfinder777 says:

    Massive amounts of reactionary garbage here.

    Government conspiracy to deprive people of ammunition is just another whacko conspiracy theory. Yes the government ordered and bought large amounts of ammunition. Why? They have thousands of sworn law enforcement personnel who have to qualify every year and have to have certain amounts of ammunition on hand. When supplies run low what do they do? Buy more supplies. Same with EVERY other law enforcement/security agency worldwide.

    There is apparently no shortage of US made ammunition in CANADA. Why? The Canadian shooters aren’t clearing the shelves to hoard it or, and this is VERY IMPORTANT, to go to online websites like GUNBROKER, or Gunauction and sell it at scalpers prices. Distributors are just as much to blame for bottle necking supplies. They get the ammo and instead of sending it to the small gunshops put it up for auction to the highest bidder. One distributor from Pennsylvania was doing this on Gunbroker and possibly shorting law enforcement agencies in ammo supplies to make a huge profit!

    However, as of November 18, 2013 it appears that people are getting sick of this MANUFACTURED CRISIS and are no longer willing to pay the scalpers prices. All these vultures that hoarded ammo are now stuck with a couple of generations worth of .22 ammo that they paid more than retail for and are getting retail prices or less. Serves them right.

    People need to stop all the knee jerk reactionary garbage and actually learn how to think as opposed to acting like a herd of brain dead spastic sheep! Any time conspiracy theories take hold people get really stupid. WHY? Because like sheep they are CONSTANTLY afraid of every possible boogeyman out there! And when herd animals became panciky they stampede. People REALLY need to just calm down once and awhile, take a breath and think. Stop blathering the ding bat fringe garbage of civil war, race war, monetary war or whatever and GET ON WITH YOUR LIVES!

  21. Dale gribble says:

    I agree with a lot of you. The scare should be over the “assault weapons” are close to the prices they were at. Hunting ammo, bird shot and many pistol ammo can be found there is no real shortage of many ammunition. What were talking about is .22lr. In late 2012 it started to dissipate now almost 2014 still no .22 ammo. Everything but 22 ammo will be ok for now. But because people hoarding and selling online and taking it off the truck at the store, .22 ammo will eventually come back my guess 2015. But my guess it will cost quadruple what it used to 4 cents to 16-20 cents. That will be the norm. So buy all the ammo you need for 1 year no more. Shoot conservatively, vote republican and if there is a ammo crisis don’t rush out and swipe everything. If we did that an ar15 would cost $500, .22 ammo 3 cents per round and a glock would cost $500. And it would be on every shelf why hoard then. Your fault gun owners, not government buying bullets not war not anything. If you can put the blame on two things adam Lanza for causing this and the liberals who put morons in office.

  22. Ventura 2016

  23. Alessio Ventura says:

    This will go in waves, peaks and valleys. The powder will do the same. The reason? Because the government will now be repeating their outlandish buying behavior at regular intervals.

  24. The shortage will stop when ever people stop watching Fox news and realize that no one is coming to take their guns. Follow the money and see who profits from making the uneducated scared. And to the religious who say the bible has predicted all the current events, please try and deal with things without superstition.


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