The Ammo Shortage: Why and How Much Longer?

I was hanging out at home with my wife the other day when my dad called me to ask what handgun I would prefer, a Glock 43 or a Rock Island 1911. 

TAC Series: Rock Island Armory | Armscor International, Inc

Although the gun wasn’t for me, I was still excited at the prospect of getting to shoot these on a regular basis. I initially thought the Rock Island would be more fun because we could do some smith work and make it a super amazing 1911 but just have a different label than the typical name brands that are so well known. 

But the Glocks are just so freaking smooth.

Glock 43 9mm Pistol | Concrete Gray Black | Palmetto State Armory

My response ended up being, “Well, which one do you have ammo for?”

This has become one of the most common and disheartening responses I’ve had to give when it comes to firearm recommendations. It’s been this way for about a year now too!

I decided to finally do the most research and figure out what is causing this annoying ammo shortage. It’s been the worst. My wife and I haven’t been able to go to the range in a long time. Luckily, dry firing is helping keep our skills sharp. It’s not as good as the real thing, but sometimes you just have to do what you can to make it work. 

But what is the cause of this ammo shortage? Why is it that any time anyone goes into an Academy or Cabela’s there’s no ammo of any caliber left on the shelves, leaving it looking like a post-apocalyptic movie scene?

According to experts, there are only speculations and guesses as to the actual cause for the shortage. But I’ll run through them for you. 

SLO County reports 172 new COVID-19 cases, 11 more deaths

First up, the COVID-19 pandemic is a huge cause for a lot of the issues. Just like it did for many industries, the pandemic stopped a lot of production. A lot came from the limited production that came about when the pandemic first hit and had businesses running on minimal staff to try and slow the spread. 

Then people got sick regardless and it actually made it to where manufacturing and delivery became an issue – truly disrupting supply trains.

I know there are plenty of people that don’t think the pandemic is real, and quite frankly it is. Even if you think all the stuff that goes along with it has been a bit over the top, the fact of the matter is that it has impacted the entire world. This is especially true for hobbies. Guitar manufacturing (another hobby of mine) has been impacted about as much as firearms. The prices of everything have gone up in response. 

The 2020 US elections and Twitter

A second factor for the ammo shortage happens just about any time there’s an election. So, every four years there will be a mass buying of firearms and ammo. 

If you get a Republican president then you get a bunch of liberals going out to buy guns in case the crazy conservatives start an authoritarian uprising. Then the conservatives all buy guns and ammo because the second amendment will be protected even further. That and the crazy liberals are gonna attack soon since gun prices are so cheap. 

Then if a Democrat president is elected you have the exact opposite reason for buying firearms, but the same results. The conservatives attempt to buy up all the guns and ammo before it’s gone forever from the crazy government; the liberals buy guns and ammo to protect themselves from the crazy conservatives who are for sure going to try and attack the government. 

Literally, both people overreact and buy guns because of the new president. And it happens every four years no matter what. This one has just felt worse because it coincided with the first reason and the next reason. 

How to Prepare for and Survive a Riot - Crisis Equipped

The last factor that has really been impacting the sales of guns and ammo is the civil unrest that’s been going on the past year.

The BLM riots and the Capitol riot are perfect examples of the extremes that people are going to simply to make a statement. 

None of these events are okay. 

But it does mean that a ton of people are trying to protect themselves. Other people, those that are very ambitious, are getting into competitive shooting. I have no idea how they are affording it, but they are. 

I was talking to a bunch of people about how to get the best deal on ammo and the common consensus right now is to either pay exorbitant marked up prices at gun shops, battling a ton of people as soon as they get a shipment at a major store like Academy, or pay almost a dollar a single round on gunbroker.com.

And to answer the question everyone is curious about: When is the shortage going to stop?

Unfortunately, nobody can give you a straight and perfectly accurate answer. According to Pew Pew Tactical, an excellent firearms blog (because you can never have too many firearm content blogs to follow), speculates that it won’t be until AT LEAST the summer that it will end. 

Sadly, that article was written before the election was finalized. 

I think that means that because we have a Democrat president in Joe Biden, that the shortage may continue even longer. 

My personal belief is that by the summer, the vaccine will have rolled out for a bit longer and will start helping people. Most importantly, it will ease some fears and help with some rollbacks on the pandemic regulations. On top of that, it seems that there are less chances of any illness spreading during the heat of the summer. 

Illnesses, and coronaviruses in particular like the cold weather. That is why we call it the common cold, which is a strain of the coronavirus, but it is not COVID-19. 

But that’s speculation. The best thing we can do is hope and pray we get more ammo very soon.

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