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I used to have a ton of ammo. I had 5-10 boxes of rather new ammo for every caliber gun I owned. I also had 2-3 boxes of old, collectible ammo that I never shot.

I realized when my dad passed away that keeping old ammo wasn't the smartest idea. My dad kept his for 50-60 years and passed away without shooting it or selling it.

I shot or sold most of my old stuff. I still kept the cool old boxes of the ammo I shot though. They're neat to display.

So the Obama ammo shortage started in earnest, hot on the heels of ammo costs having risen. The story I believe about ammo cost going up was that China and India were paying 2-3 times as much for copper (which brass is mostly made of) and lead. The miners got more money by selling to foreigners than they did to ammo makers and I can't blame them for that.

But in October of 2008, ammo started getting snapped up and started to get harder to find. My local store shelves were bare. I thought it was kind of funny that there was plenty of .45 GAP and .44-40 and .17 HMR2 along with a few of the other odd calibers. But .380, 9mm, .38, .357, .44, and .45 ammo was really hard to find. So was .223 rifle ammo.

I've been reading that gun sales have been off the charts. First time gun buyers have been increasing dramatically. All of those hundreds of thousands of new gun owners need ammo too. Ruger is starting to catch up on the 80,000 LCP .380 orders they got during the first five days of the 2007 SHOT show when they announced the little pistol. Sig, Taurus, Desert Eagle, and Kahr have all come out with brand new .380 pistols during the last year. They're all selling like hot cakes and are very hard to find. All of those new .380 pistols need ammo to feed through them.

So many States with concealed carry laws also contributes to the scarcity of ammunition. A buddy of mine got his concealed carry license and was carrying his Colt 1911 or his Walther PPK. I think he's very representative of new CCW people. He carried what he had already. Then, after carrying for a few months, he decided that both were too heavy and bulky. He bought a Kimber Ultra CDP (aluminum frame, Officers Model size) and is considering a Ruger LCP. I think many people are turning to the .380 because of its size and weight. They know the limits of the cartridge, but they accept its performance as a trade off.

Today I got an email from the secretary of the pistol league I shoot in. Many members have been concerned that they won't have enough ammo to participate this season. It starts in a month and a bit of panic is setting in. Of course, the email didn't help matters and I didn't help either.

The email said that three local area Wal-Marts had 9mm Federal ammo at $9.97 for a box of 50 rounds. There was a limit of 6 boxes per person and the secretary complained in the email about that. I fully understand limiting purchases to 6 boxes each.

I shoot 9mm in both duty and off-duty, only because it's the least expensive ammo to shoot compared to new .40 or .45 ammo. My wife and I were going out anyway and the one Wal-Mart was on our way. Here in Illinois, you have to have a Firearm Owners Identification Card to buy ammo (or guns) and we both have the FOID cards. I bought 6 boxes and my wife bought 6 boxes. After the 12 I bought, there were just 14 left. I felt guilty buying so many. Of course, that won't get me through even half the shooting season. I need 30 boxes total just for me. I was hoping to have my wife get involved this year and shoot a few matches. I need more ammo for her then too.

I feel bad being part of the problem. But I think I understand the big picture. I also talked to my local range and they try to buy as much ammo as they can to have on hand to sell. Many shooters come to the range to buy ammo and shoot. The range is afraid that people won't come if they can't buy ammo. That would obviously be bad for the range.

Hopefully supply and demand will even out in the next 6 months (or more).

I bet those other 14 boxes are gone by now and it's only been two hours....
 

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Admittedly, my buying practices are a small part of the problem, too. I have stocked up on .22 LR, my most used caliber. Every time that I was in Walmart, I got a couple of boxes of ammo, for the past few months. I didn't clean out the shelves, however. But, I now have plenty of ammo, in all the calibers that I own. The .22's should last me about for the next year, with my limited shooting. Otherwise, I keep about 3-4 boxes for all the guns that I own. That will probably last for the next 10 years. :shock: (I don't use them much. :roll: )

The real problem is/was with the gun clubs, that buy up all of the popular calibers in sight, for their members. THAT is where the problem lies, not with individuals. It will settle down, once ammo manufacterers catch up to demand. The rush was mainly due to people fears with the election of the Obama Administration. Things will settle down. ;) Bob
 

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It was real bad there for awhile, however I am seeing more and more ammo on the shelves of the different stores that I stop at. I am still waiting on the case of .38 148 grain wadcutters to come in that I ordered 5 months ago. They advised when I called them last week that they were still waiting on their order of primers to come in (7 million primers).
Buy what you can when it is available. Hopefully it will continue to improve.
 
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