OT: Ammunition is (mostly) cheap and plentiful again.

I don’t know of a good summary of the small arms ammunition shortage that has accompanied most of Obama’s presidency, but in my own experience ammunition became hard to find shortly after President Obama took office.  Things started to get back to normal in the run up to the 2012 election, and then got really bad again after the Sandy Hook shooting in December of 2012.

A January 13, 2013 comment by an irate customer (James) at online ammunition retailer Lucky Gunner captures how high prices went as well as the reason we had something so rare as a shortage in our capitalist economy:

Lucky Gunner customers like myself will remember this when the dust settles, and things are back in stock… 1.05 for.223?

The comment was left on the page for PMC Bronze .223 practice ammunition, which Lucky Gunner is now selling for 38 cents a round.  Per the comment, back in January 2013 this same ammunition was selling for $1.05 a round.  But even at this price, Lucky Gunner couldn’t keep the ammunition on the shelf.  Another customer (Elizabeth) replied the same day:

Just don’t buy it James. In the last hour, they’ve sold 100 units @ $1.05/rnd. All of you people complaining about the price should just go camp out at Walmart where the empty shelves still show $7.86 for 20. At least it’s available here at LG.

Elizabeth followed up less than an hour later:

136 units sold in the last 45 minutes and now they’re sold out again. Supply and demand says their price is TOO LOW! Lot’s of people cheer for capitalism over communism, but get shocked when they see it up close and personal. Why don’t all of you quit buying gas, milk, and bread? That way I wouldn’t have to pay as much for those items.

As Elizabeth pointed out, at the same time stores like Walmart had empty shelves with theoretically much lower prices.  As soon as supply would come in it would be immediately sold.  You had to either be very lucky or know someone at the gun counter to be able to buy ammunition for the stated price.

I haven’t found a formal statement on this by any of the brick and mortar retailers, but there was a very good reason for them to be hesitant to raise prices enough to let the market clear.  The shortage was associated with a perceived push by the Obama administration to go after gun owners.  Shooters have long memories and are very passionate about anything they feel is an attack on their constitutional rights.  Being seen as profiting from Obama going after gun owners would generate a huge amount of enduring ill will.  Ironically had the brick and mortar retailers immediately raised prices enough to let the market clear they could have greatly shortened the panic by soaking up the available reserves of the people doing the most hoarding.  Pretty much all shooters started hoarding to some degree starting around early 2009, but some were buying up thousands of rounds while others bought an extra box or two here and there.  Raising prices enough to keep ammunition on the shelf would have also removed the psychological impact of shooters seeing empty shelves.

But again, I don’t think the retailers were wrong.  Any brick and mortar retailer which did this would have risked being seen as profiting from Obama going after guns.  Online retailers that specialized in ammunition had more freedom to adjust prices, but even here they had to be careful to avoid any perception that they were profiting from the pain of their customers.

After it became clear that Sandy Hook wasn’t going to result in new laws on guns or ammunition, ammunition slowly started becoming more available.  I think it was in the fall of 2014 that one of our local sporting goods stores had a big stack of 100 round Winchester White Box (WWB, cheap and cheerful practice ammo) in .40 and .45.  I don’t recall the price of the .40 but the .45 was selling for $35 a box so I picked a few up.  When I came back the next day there was still a big stack there, so while this was a special sale it wasn’t instantly sold out.  Things looked to be settling down.

Then in February of this year the ATF suddenly banned M855 “green tip” .223 5.56mm ammunition.  For a while ammunition was harder to find again, but fairly quickly the ATF backed down.  Since then ammunition has once again been settling down, and I noticed the other day a local Walmart had 200 round boxes of WWB .45 ammunition for $73.  This is 36.5 cents per round, and it isn’t a special sale.  They also have 100 round WWB in 9mm for $25.

One thing that makes this situation interesting is that we have had shortages of ammunition under Obama for over six years now.  I think many shooters don’t feel that prices have come back to pre Obama levels because we don’t generally think about inflation.  Based on the CPI Inflation Calculator, my local Walmart’s price of 36.5 cents per round of .45 in 2015 is the equivalent to 33 cents per round in 2008.  This is pretty much in the range of what participants in this thread said was a fair price for .45 in November of 2008.  Some in the 2008 thread did report buying ammunition cheaper, especially when buying in bulk online:

Ammo To Go also has several flavors of 45 hardball at around 300 bucks a thousand.

So yeah, 300 bucks a thousand sounds like the going rate these days.

I checked Ammo To Go, and today they are selling 1,000 rounds of Magtech .45 for $319 ($287.81 in 2008 dollars).

I won’t go through every caliber, but I will note that for some reason .22 LR ammunition still is hard to find locally and expensive online*.  I’m sure many of my readers have records on the prices they paid in the run-up to Obama taking office.  It would be interesting to see what these past prices look like when compared to similar types of ammunition sold at similar stores today, adjusted for inflation.  There will no doubt be differences when looking at not just specific calibers but also specific types of rounds.  But overall ammunition strikes me now as not only plentiful but reasonably priced.  This doesn’t mean it won’t possibly get cheaper, but if you find yourself running low it might not be a bad idea to pick up a few boxes in the run up to the 2016 election. Likewise if you have been avoiding the range out of fear that you won’t be able to buy ammunition, you may want to pick some up and go have some fun at the range.

Happy shooting.

*Strangely bricks of .22 ammunition were still available when I first noticed the shortage in April of 2009.  I picked up a few bricks at the time, but I’m still shooting through some .22 ammunition I bought over 20 years ago so I haven’t touched it yet.  I suspect the reason .22 hasn’t yet recovered is it is seen by many preppers, including those who don’t own a gun, as an alternative SHTF barter currency.

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84 Responses to OT: Ammunition is (mostly) cheap and plentiful again.

  1. Pingback: OT: Ammunition is (mostly) cheap and plentiful again. | Neoreactive

  2. This is an excellent post. I never thought much about it but it makes sense that ammunition would spike in prices based on perception of potential scarcity due to regulation. Not only is it a good idea to pick up extra ammunition before the 2016 election; but extra trips to the range also means avoidance the nauseating non-stop 24 hour analysis of the 2 or more Presidential aspirants. Like we really need a year to analyze which of these monkeys is better at flinging poo at each other.

  3. DeNihilist says:

    Interesting post Mr. Rock. Happens I just received my acquisition and carry licence for non-restricted firearms today. Still waiting for the restricted version, i.e., all handguns and some long guns. About 3 months after taking the mandatory course here in the Great White North!

  4. I still have my first gun to this very day. My father bought me a 20 gauge shotgun when I was 12 years old to go turkey and rabbit hunting. I have a special fondness for my plain looking gun because it came from my father. That was back in a time where we had such father and son bonding rituals and rites of passage. Those days are long gone now.

  5. Scott says:

    Thedeclineandfall-

    Some of us are still doing it. But I hear you.

    I have one headed to college, and through b-days and Christmases he has obtained a 20ga, a .22 a 9mm, a 30-06 and a .308 (m1a).

    We actually pray over the animals we kill and thank God for them.

    I will do the same with next 2 boys, no matter how weird people think it is.

  6. Scott says:

    Dal-

    I have a friend who is an executive for one of the sporting goods chains. He has commented on this stuff and has a pretty good handle on it. I sent him a message to see if he might come on and comment.

  7. Sunshine says:

    I seem to remember the gentleman at New Rebellion University explaining why 22 LR is not cost effective to make, but I don’t remember exactly what the reason was. But I too have read that prepper hoarders are the reason it’s so darn hard to find. And as you say, the psychological effect of an empty shelf makes everyone into a bit of a hoarder; a few days ago my husband found some 22LR at a store priced at $0.0745 per round and grabbed a few boxes to shoot in our backyard rifle range…and then thinking of the empty shelves, he bought all the remaining boxes, too.

  8. @Scott – Keep doing those things with your boys and don’t heed the opinions of others. Good job. Hunting is completely opposite to this culture’s ADHD impatient lifestyle. Any fool can kill a deer; automobiles claim hundreds a week, my own father often joked he has hit more deer with his trucks than shot wit guns. What is important are the lessons about life your boys will learn when hunting.

  9. feeriker says:

    9MM ammo is plentiful again at my local Walmart – for the first time in six years. I count that as a good sign.

  10. mrteebs says:

    I could see sustained elevation in pricing for something like gasoline when we haven’t built a refinery on US soil in 50 years and mfg facilities are thus constrained. It would take decades to get through the gauntlet of permitting and construction. But I still have a hard time getting my head around how prices and “rationing” on 22LR cartridges can persist for 7+ years. The Wal-Mart where I live gets a shipment about every 3-4 weeks. You have to get in line on Thurs AM at 7, mostly to be told “sorry – no shipment this week” or “already out – you were 11th in line and we only got 20 boxes this shipment.” (Max is 2 boxes per). I have not had the fortitude to treat 22 ammo like black Friday sales. Would rather just get it online.

    Surely it cannot take that long for suppliers to build new (or expand existing) factories, can it? Supply/demand should be seeing many new market entrants eager to fill the gap. What am I missing here?

  11. I started “hoarding” in 1996. The whole idea behind prepping is to be prepared before the crisis.

  12. mrteebs says:

    Timely post, Mr. D. The wife and I are planning on getting handguns and concealed carry permits in the next few weeks. I’m not a prepper, but neither do I see the future holding 2nd amendment rights very dearly. The ability to legally acquire such things may, unfortunately, become a quaint memory within my lifetime.

  13. @TFH,
    Don’t forget your Australian friends… happily sitting over here on our mass-shooting-free-since-1996 island.😉

  14. Dave says:

    Free markets eliminate shortages by incentivizing producers to increase production, at least to the point where all ammo factories are running 24/7. Building new factories takes a lot of time, money, and expertise, so it’s not going to happen unless demand is sure to remain high for a long time.

    Suppose that next time, it’s not ammo but food that’s being hoarded, and planting season just ended. People who shop day to day are starving, and the media-government is begging hoarders to let go of their food, but their pleas and threats only make the panic worse.

  15. Red Pill Latecomer says:

    We actually pray over the animals we kill and thank God for them.

    I’ve read that some Wiccans, Pagans, and New Age folks pray to plants, asking for permission to harvest them.

    I don’t know what they’d do for food if every plant said “No! Permission denied!”

  16. Mark says:

    @DeNilihist

    I have an FAC.I took the course back when I was 21….28 years ago.It was only a one day course.Today I would imagine it would be a 1 week course.Our forearms laws are a friggin joke.Here in Toronto there are more illegal guns than legal ones.And what does the government do?…they penalize the legal gun owners.Shoot someone doing a B&E on your house and you will get charged with Manslaughter.

  17. Opus says:

    There are three types of article at this blog: those extremely interesting and for which I am entirely behind the author; those (very few) where I am not entirely sure I entirely agree (such as the one previous to this) and those where I am convinced that America must be on a different planet for I have no idea what the article is about.

    The only shortage in Cultural Marxist Britain is of freedom of speech (no First Amendment here) for words (such as those of Tim Hunt) are regarded as lethal as ammunition.

  18. S. Chan says:

    The top story at the BBC right now is “Obama admits US gun laws are his ‘biggest frustration’“. The lede is as follows.

    President Barack Obama has admitted that his failure to pass “common sense gun safety laws” in the US is the greatest frustration of his presidency.

  19. Tomasz G. says:

    @Marcus D (re: Dating Standards)

    I really cannot stand this “Catholic” hypocrisy. It hurts me to read their answers, it’s too short since my unplugging from the blue pill (gradient change over the last 3 years, from deep blue, through purple – e.g. arguing with women and their hamsters, to current weak red). I am a Catholic, however I see that the current pope – if the Benedict abdication is at all valid – is an idiot (“blaming women’s liberation for the demographic situation is sexism” – just using the word “sexism” in a serious utterance disqualifies anybody from being taken serious). We need to pray for the Church to heal, it’s like Athanasius’ times (see a recent article on RoK). My first unplugging btw, was from my countryman JP2, whom I was taught to see as some demigod, and now I see him for who he was – a sentimental, conciliar pseudo-tomist (really existentialist / “masonically” humanist), woman pedestalizing socialist (he’s advertised as a tomist, but his doctorate is about marrying St. Aquinas off to Karl Marx). Maybe his canonization is valid (I don’t argue against it), but I don’t personally pray by his intercession. He’s a great obstacle of ever bringing the Red Pill (or, for that matter – the common part of Red Pill and the Holy Scripture and Apostolic Tradition) to people in Poland. It will always be, “no, JP2 wouldn’t agree with this”. “The genius of the woman” – etc. It’s “women good, men… we need to make a deep examination of conscience”.

    A woman is just, in this pseudo-theology and pseudo-anthropology, good by her nature (this is what you get when combining the valid cult of Mary with female solipsism – the Blessed Virgin and me are basically the same). A man should be like St. Joseph – provide, protect, and keep his dirty, sinful dick in his pants (or whatever they wore in Palestine in year 4 B.C.). Oh sh*t, I just swore, so as CAF says, this was a mortal sin, right? The notion, that God preserving a chosen biological female to be preserved from the Original Sin, has nothing to do with the actual nature of women, and a man should not treat every bitch like he should treat the Mother of God.

    There is a popular Polish “family values” evangelist named Pulikowski, who is a hallmark of this type of thinking. He starts most his screeds with “there is a crysis of manhood” – blah blah blah. But there’s hope – there is a blueprint for “real manhood” put forth by [st.] John Paul the second. “We need chivalry”, blah blah blah. When you summon JP2 over here, there is a Pavlovian reaction. Now no argument can be valid, “ipse dixit”. If you don’t get lynched, or in trouble with your parish, you have to back off. And the glory of Pulikowski only rises, proportionally to his misandry. Mostly churchian girl love to listen to him (to be warned how bad and cunning the men with all their penises are), but there are many naive, good willing guys, who either like when “it hurts so good”, or are already “nice guy white knights” who want to learn more how to be “not like their (absent) father”. And note, in Poland the women are not so far deranged, that a mouth-breathing churchian beta can’t find a wife. Yes, she will be ~30, but no cock carousel, and she will be after college, but no student loan (the higher education is mostly state-owned, with no tuition). But it’s beginning to change – the divorces and anullments are on the rise. Of course, like Pulikowski thinks, it must be somehow the men’s fault… So we have actions like “Divorce? Think about it” – http://www.rozwodprzemyslto.pl/ (state subsidized). No fault divorce is now a reality. And even before WW2 there was a possibility of a divorce due to “neglect”.

    OK, I’m boring you. However I could say more about why there’s no manosphere in here, let alone christian manosphere.

    Going back to CAF: So – if a man is single and content, he must seek a therapy, a spiritual director, maybe quickly become a priest and stop being such a selfish narcissist. If a woman is single and tries to convince her that she is content, all the forum members rush to reinforce her hamster and explain how swearing (a typically male bad habit) is a grave mortal sin.

    But there was one surprise in this thread – the wicked witch Xantippe actually stood in defense of some semblance of the biblical teaching – that a wife should submit to her husband even if she doesn’t feel ecstatic about it… Wow, I never expected that of her (somebody else was arguing, that the Church teaches exactly the opposite). Xantippe is an evil daemon, but there may be hope for her. She hates men about as strong as the devil himself, but she seems to have had some bad experiences (even if second hand). Just imagine how great an asset she would be, if the Lord changed her hardened heart one day…

  20. unsigma says:

    @ the decline and fall –

    There is a good percentage of hunting fools who don’t kill a deer every year. The ratios are never even close to the bag limits. My state you can kill 5 does and 3 bucks on one $38 dollar license. One year I got close to the limit, but that is out of the last 16 years trying.

    I know MANY men who hoard 22s. Not just the preppers, but the ones who like to “plink” with their kids. The guys here at the office have over 5k rounds a pieces that they call their “emergency fund” and will never dip into. I think I read that the 22 manufacturers have been running at capacity for the last 6 years. Same article pegged capacity at 4 million rounds per year? It has been 2 years since I read the article. I will try and look it up.

  21. Entropy is my God says:

    Rejoice! Build the ark before the rain. Harvest the wheat during times of plenty to prepare for times of drought. Purchase your ammo while it is cheap and plentiful and legal. Before it becomes a crime to even think of purchasing the ammo for the death worthy offence of owning a weapon.

    Normalcy bias is real and exists in most of the population of the USA. They pray to their gods, Starbucks and Target and Iphones, the Plebes have their own gods, Walmart, cheap beer, junk food.

    When the edifices and luxuries they have worshiped collapse in an impotent heap of uselessness most will fall down in abject shame and twitch wordlessly. They will cry, “why did this happen to me? Oh god of feminism, of god of diversity, oh god of homosexuality, didn’t I believe in all of you? Why have you abandoned me in my time of need?

    Why do people die in the wilderness? They die of shame. And as well they should, for those they had heretofore worshiped will have no issue with wresting pleasure from their flesh.

    Justice is coming.

  22. unsigma says:

    whoopsie…this article shows that this particular plant can put out 4 million rimfire a DAY/

    http://bulletin.accurateshooter.com/2014/05/how-22-lr-ammunition-is-made-must-see-video/

    Somebody is hoarding a lot.

  23. unsigma says:

    This article gives the number as 4.2 BILLION a year for all manufactures combined running at capacity

    http://www.ammoland.com/2013/06/this-whole-ammo-shortage-thing-by-the-numbers/

    Take it as you will

  24. PokeSalad says:

    Well, after this Louisiana theater shooting, you can expect another panic to begin. Ya’ll may have spoken too soon.

  25. Novaseeker says:

    @Tomasz —

    The problem is that guys like JP2 and your family values preacher have their heads in an earlier time — they simply have not “caught up” with the developments of the last 5-6 decades, and see them as superficial changes that didn’t involve anything fundamental. As a result, they apply the same kinds of paradigms as applied during the ancien regime, pre-feminism, pre-sexual revolution, in more or less the same way as always. This is serious error, and the error lies in the failure to grasp what has actually happened. It’s the same pretty much everywhere with Christian pastors, priests and leaders – they see things as having changed superficially rather than fundamentally.

    In other words, the worldview is based on the old “patriarchy” system, where men did have the lion’s share of power (social, political, economic). With that power came the assumption of greater responsibility, which was fair enough – after all, men *were* empowered in a way that women were not. This didn’t change overnight, and was already in the process of changing when JP2 was a young man, but even in the early stages of the changes, men retained most of their power. It really only began to accelerate towards where we are now with the changes made by the sexual revolution. So, these guys, and most other Christian guys, are working with a worldview which is based on patriarchy, and its paradigm of placing increased responsibility for men based on the definitive empowerment of men – a worldview which no longer reflects reality on the ground in any Western country to any meaningful degree. So they fail to understand what is actually happening.

    How does this play out? Well, again, the tendency is to place the responsibility on men. This is the case *even* for the way things are now – that is, even though women have been freed up in every way to an extent that they never have before in human history, men are still responsible because men are presumed to either have more power than women, or to have abdicated their power improperly — even when the men in question, which is most men, had nothing to do with abdication of power, and simply must comply with prevailing social/legal/economic conditions which are as much of a “given” for them as they have been for anyone else at any point in history. So the idea becomes “men have power or *should* have power, and therefore are responsible” for how *women* are behaving. It’s an old paradigm based on a social order that no longer exists in the West.

    What they fail to recognize is that the changes of second wave feminism plus sexual revolution were fundamental in freeing women up from any sort of dependence on a specific man for anything. That is a fundamental social, economic and sexual/reproduction change that has resulted, fairly quickly, in a completely different social order rising. And it’s one in which women, on an individual level, have more individual, independent, personal power that at any time in human history. With that greater power *should* come expectations of greater responsibility – but, of course, that isn’t happening. It’s easy to see why women themselves and the feminists would reject that – that’s because their worldview is one of victimization and liberation from bondage, and there isn’t much room in that worldview for enhanced personal responsibility. In fact, they will tend to blame any remaining issues on “vestiges of the patriarchy that remain” and that “men just need more feminism, and it will be fine”. But the social conservati ves and religious leaders come at it from a perspective of misunderstanding, and typically underestimating, the fundamental nature of the changes which have taken place, and the nature of the new social order that has arisen in light of them. They still apply a patriarchy analysis towards a system that is moving more towards being a matriarchy. So we get out of date – and out of touch – approaches to these kinds of issues from religious leaders generally.

    In fairness to them, a significant part of the problem is that pretty much the entire Christian patrimony presupposes patriarchy. All of the relevant writings, whether scriptural or patristic, presuppose patriarchy, were written in the context of patriarchy, and simply do not address a situation where patriarchy no long obtains in the broader culture. Christianity itself will, of course, always remain patriarchal in nature – it’s built into the DNA of the religion. But the key challenge facing the church today is how to enable Christians to live effectively as Christians in a world that is no longer patriarchal, and is instead, in many ways, moving towards a more matriarchal order. In most respects, the church is failing terribly at this. In part that’s because its own sources presuppose patriarchy, and therefore the solutions which arise from them also presuppose patriarchy and patriarchy’s assumption of greater male responsibility based on greater male power. That no longer applies. The issue for the church is both recognizing that it no longer applies, and figuring out how to formulate its life prescriptions in a way that enables Christians to be Christian in an increasingly matriarchal context. This will, of course, require being quite a bit more countercultural than many Christians might like. But an even bigger obstacle will be that it will inextricably require that women be held to account for their behavior, in accordance with their increased power. This latter point is one that I think few in the church have the stomach to do (or even the desire to do), but it must be done. If it is not done, the paradigm will continue to be one of blaming men for things that they, individually, have no control over, simply based on a paradigm of culture which is out of date and does not match the current situation.

  26. J N says:

    One of the (very few) positives of firearm ownership up in the deranged Dominion is that our ammo is cheap and plentiful, since the ATF won’t let ‘murkins carry any back across the border.

    I heard that a Hornady plant is running 3 shifts, 24/7, and still can’t meet up with demand from their buyers.

    As far as .22 LR goes… that’s the round everyone stockpiles, even up here. I like to keep enough around to take care of myself / immediate family / close friends for their rest of our lives, if need be. You can always go hunt rabbits or beavers.

  27. MrTweell says:

    Rimfire ammunition isn’t reloadable, which makes it more susceptible to shortages. It’s also an excellent training round and varmint round. I’d rather not shoot rabbits and squirrels with a .223, as the bullet goes through them and keeps going. A .22lr will take down a rabbit nicely, without having to worry about what’s half a mile past the critter. My pellet rifle isn’t as good at killing varmints, even though it makes just as much noise.
    My youngest daughter won’t use anything heavier than a .22. She tried a 9mm handgun and my Mini-14 .223 rifle, but was flinching too much to hit the target, so went back to my father’s old .22 revolver and the Sears .22 rifle I got when I was twelve. Eh, at least she will use and carry something, unlike a couple of her older sisters.

  28. Scott says:

    MrTweell, Plus in a close-quarters fight, you can put a little .22 Derringer behind your opponents ear and end it pretty quickly.

  29. The Question says:

    Great post! I had the bad luck of getting into the gun ownership thing in 2013. Bought a box of 525 rounds of .22 LR for $25. Months later, 500 rounds went for $80 at gun shows, the only place you could find them. A month ago, my dad found old boxes of .22 he bought in the 80’s he bought for a penny a round.

    It’s funny you mentioned how the brick and mortar stores didn’t want to be seen as taking advantage of the situation. I attended numerous gun shows for two years and saw the prices soar; the vendors did not have the same image concerns. Ironically, as the price for .22 went up, the price for the guns dropped.

    Where I live, .22 is finally going down in price, slowly. Saw 100 rounds of CCI for $11.99, when it used to go for $9.99. I’m going to wait until it finally drops down to regular levels, if at all. Good thing I stored up for a long winter.

  30. new anon says:

    I find this topic–one about guns and ammo–appearing on Dalrock (a blog on other matters) to be ironically timely.

    I have never been a gun or prepper guy, but since the gay marriage decision I have felt an urgency to:

    (1) Get armed; get CCW license, buy several guns, learn how to use them effectively–and start carrying.

    (2) Get some REAL money; get some of my money out of institutions and “legal tender” and convert it to something with instrinsic value such as gold or silver (my Russian friends, who went through the fall of the Soviet Union, tell me vodka works as well).

    As I’m a cessationist, I’m not going to go so far as to say “the Holy Spirit spoke to me and said…” (especially since I haven’t heard a clear voice say anything), but It’s obvious my change in attitude isn’t simply from logical analysis.

    It is logically clear that Western Christians are in for some rough times ahead. We’ve had it good for a long time; we’ve been able to express and live our beliefs without concern or repercussions, but that time is ending. We are entering a time in the West when expressing a Christian worldview will cause you problems in life.

  31. Gunner Q says:

    “Pretty much all shooters started hoarding to some degree starting around early 2009, but some were buying up thousands of rounds while others bought an extra box or two here and there.”

    Crazy preppers. How much ammo does a guy really need? The way I figure it, in the worst case of a shooting war between me and the gov’t, I would only need enough ammo for one firefight. Afterwards, I either loot the gov’t’s stuff, which is likely better than anything California-civilian legal or (more probably) I’ll be dead and why leave a houseful of guns to the bad guys? 120 Bullets should be more than enough.

    Guys who live so rural that varmint hunting is practical have more of an excuse but I still can’t buy into it as an SHTF solution. All those guys hoarding ammo will probably start hoarding venison and begin gunning down every animal they can see, immediately, because they don’t want “the next guy” to take “their” food. Preppers talk about fighting off the unprepared but methinks range wars over a limited food supply is more likely.

    Hoarding won’t help a TEOTWAWKI scenario, either. The two most important factors there are God and other people, neither of which can be controlled for in advance. Not counting the “I’ll bury myself in a concrete hole with fifty years’ of food” approach, of course, but that’s just suicide by old age.

  32. PokeSalad says:

    (my Russian friends, who went through the fall of the Soviet Union, tell me vodka works as well).

    Alas, would not work for me, as I would consume my own treasury over time….

  33. now it finally makes sense.

    christianity is defined by not game alone,
    but by game
    and guns

    zlolzozozoozozozlzozo

    Jesus taught “he who lives by game and guns shall die by game and guns.”

    and so the west goes, as the churchian Jesus spends his final days gaming while seeking a better deal on ammo.🙂

    lzozozozozlzloz

  34. Dalrock says:

    @GunnerQ

    “Pretty much all shooters started hoarding to some degree starting around early 2009, but some were buying up thousands of rounds while others bought an extra box or two here and there.”

    Crazy preppers. How much ammo does a guy really need? The way I figure it, in the worst case of a shooting war between me and the gov’t, I would only need enough ammo for one firefight. Afterwards, I either loot the gov’t’s stuff, which is likely better than anything California-civilian legal or (more probably) I’ll be dead and why leave a houseful of guns to the bad guys? 120 Bullets should be more than enough.

    I think most people buying ammo don’t have fantasies about holding off the revenuers with their private arm’s stockpile.

    Aside from a small group expecting a sustained firefight, I think there are two groups, with some overlap. Some are looking at ammo as a store of wealth, or a hard currency. They hope to trade the ammo for other goods after a currency devaluation or end of the world scenario. This might have been a good plan had so many others not done the same. I think especially with .22, there is so much hoarded for this purpose that should we ever see any type of difficulty we would suddenly be swimming in bricks of .22s as everyone reaches for their new “money”.

    The other group wants to be able to shoot their guns for practice and recreation, and don’t want to be caught by either a lack of supply or a legal change making this either impossible or prohibitively expensive. They start by picking up ammo when they see it so they can shoot when they want to. Once they have enough on hand for several visits to the range, they start thinking about a few years in advance. After they have several years worth of ammo on hand, they think about a longer period, or their children, etc. This is as much if not more about psychology than it is about logic though, and not everyone goes as far down the rabbit trail. The good thing is that having endured several cycles of this I think most shooters are close to where they want to be. Eventually we should get to a point where most established shooters stop worrying about a periodic shortage, and the frequency, duration, and severity of the panics will start to subside. Then we can get back to hoarding beanie babies as the natural order demands.

  35. craig says:

    Novaseeker, *excellent* comment. Worth everyone here reading and re-reading carefully.

  36. unsigma says:

    https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke+22:36

    36 Then said he unto them, But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one.

  37. J N says:

    @unsigma: Nice proof texting there.

  38. Communities should be stocking these items together, individuals have little ability to protect or use it themselves. In the end, you will be overrun without aid.

    I thought toilet paper would be the ultimate doomsday currency!

  39. MrTweell says:

    Toilet paper is the ultimate doomsday currency for women. Not so much for men.

    I have more ammunition than I can realistically use. However, if Bad Things happen, my extended family knows where the food and guns are. What looks like an overwhelming stash of ammo for one person shrinks considerably when you have 15-20 people drawing from it.

    As the family patriarch (de facto for almost a decade, and in name as well since my last uncle passed away this year) I take my duty seriously.

  40. Hells Hound says:

    In other words, the worldview is based on the old “patriarchy” system, where men did have the lion’s share of power (social, political, economic). With that power came the assumption of greater responsibility, which was fair enough – after all, men *were* empowered in a way that women were not.

    I think it’s worth mentioning that the existence of this system was never publicly acknowledged. It was never openly explained in any detail that women generally lack the innate self-control and sense of morality necessary for functioning as a well-behaved citizen of a civilized human community. This was the reason the patriarchy put them in a mandatory and restricted social role where they were accountable to men on an individual basis, and men were responsible for them, also on an individual basis, and were thus permitted to discipline and indoctrinate females from childhood, within constraints, for a specific purpose. Discussing this reality was taboo. The fact that society treated men as expendable was also never mentioned. It’s small wonder in such a situation that even many Church officials failed to understand what this system really was, why it existed and what would happen if it were dismantled. It’d be akin to trying to explain to a fish what water is.

  41. SirHamster says:

    I think especially with .22, there is so much hoarded for this purpose that should we ever see any type of difficulty we would suddenly be swimming in bricks of .22s as everyone reaches for their new “money”.

    On the plus side, the value of a bullet is still going to be more stable than a piece of paper from the US government.

  42. My local WalMart has been out of 7.62×39 for a week or more. The clerk said something about a “broken contract.” However, my local independent gun shop has plenty of 7.62×39 at $6 for a box of 20, with bulk discounts.

    I agree that now is the time to buy both guns and ammunition. No telling what kind of nonsense is going to occur in an election year. Consider buying a few Mosin-Nagants and ammo. In an SHTF situation, you can use them to arm your neighbors for instant allies.

  43. The shortage is .22LR is why I bought a .380 pistol.

    Not much point in buying a gun you don’t have the ammo to shoot.

  44. PokeSalad says:

    I agree that now is the time to buy both guns and ammunition.

    No way! GunnerQ might laugh at you online!

  45. Rum says:

    .22 LR is being hoarded because lots of people in prepper-land think of that kind of thing as an alternative currency.
    Hard to fake? Check
    Useable? Check
    Portable? Check…

  46. Looking Glass says:

    @Novaseeker:

    The Bible does address times outside of a functional patriarchy. But it’s done as a warning of Judgement to arrive and destruction to happen. Isaiah paints an unenjoyable picture of it all.

    Though the issue is much deeper and stretches back a lot further. The forces that are at work now are the combination of 19th Century Humanism and the Western Church’s drive to make a better world. This is really 200+ years of “sowing to the flesh” coming to the forefront. Nothing more, truly.

  47. Giraffe says:

    There were businesses that closed because they went too long without being able to get anything to sell.

  48. Boston to Providence says:

    TFH alluded to my first thought after reading this post, that being cartridge reloading, but that would be a purely needs-based enterprise in a time of true scarcity. If it becomes necessary to fire the currently hoarded bullets, we’d suddenly find them a lot less scarce. Thinking of it further, it seems as though there must be so much hoarded ammunition at this point that it would be a de facto currency (one of several) in a world that demands overt violence. Such collapse of which you speculate would turn lead into gold, virtually.

    Now, for the sake of my education, where are most of our bullets manufactured?

    Secondly, what are the advantages of a factory made bullet over a homemade one?

  49. Boston to Providence says:

    So much thunder stolen… I’ll try to read all the comments before adding to them next time. Enjoy your weekends.

  50. The Old Codger says:

    “I have have enough ammunition.” said no one ever! Pracitce, as one should, eats it like its going out of style, even if you are conservative.

    Nor does take a revolution or civil war started by the Proggie goblins to precipitate the need for a few extra rounds: an EMP from any source or other bothersome event that takes down the power grid, will propel us right back to the 18th century in about three weeks. Everything is run from the grid and it will takes many monthes, if not year,s to repair it. NORKS and CHICOMS have already stolen tons of data from our computers, how long until they or their Moose-limb buddies concentrate on the power grid?

  51. @Old Codger

    Consider the effect of just in time inventory practices. If the financial system goes down and the plastic cards stop working, trucks don’t roll. If that happens when the power is off it’s a 72 to 96 hour countdown to anarchy. According to FEMA, the average home has less than three days worth of food and the shelves will be cleared very quickly. What happens next, when people don’t have food but they do have guns and ammo?

    I wouldn’t worry about EMP, the real danger is from scalar weapons. The Yellowstone caldera blows and there goes the breadbasket of the US, buried under several hundred cubic miles of volcanic ash. The New Madrid and San Andreas faults are triggered and everything goes to hell in a handbasket. Cumbre Vieja blows and there goes the entire east coast of the US. The weapons exist to do that, but it would be viewed by the masses as nothing but acts of God. Blowing those volcano’s would trigger a global cooling ala’ 1816 after Tambora blew. Throw in a little weather modification and you’d have 90% of the population of the US dead by spring.

    The destruction of the US Dollar would trigger a derivatives meltdown that would destroy the world’s financial marketplace. International shipping would come to a halt because nobody would be able to get paid. The power vacuum with the US removed from the world stage and the food shortages resulting from the collapse in global trade would exacerbate the situation and we’d see war, famine, disease and death everywhere. The four horsemen of the apocalypse.

    The US is now the most insanely armed civilian population in the world. I don’t believe for a moment that the contrived ammo shortage and constant talk of gun control wasn’t done to stimulate the sale of weapons and ammo. The PTB want everyone well armed because they know what’s coming. The constant and never-ending attacks on the family and Christianity are simply a part of the grand strategy.

    Look at what happened after the breakup of Yugoslavia. It was the criminal gangs, seasoned by officers and NCO’s from the Yugoslavian Army that provided the manpower and structure that allowed the civil war to go from talk to a full-blown civil war in less than 60 days. Think about the number of gangs in the US. Think about what happens when gangs crack open prisons to recruit their shock-troops. It will be as if the very pits of hell were opened up and demons allowed to fly forth.

  52. KP says:

    The PTB want everyone well armed because they know what’s coming

    That makes absolutely no sense.

  53. Marissa says:

    Think about the number of gangs in the US. Think about what happens when gangs crack open prisons to recruit their shock-troops.

    Thank the Lord for “thug grip”. I’m not terribly afraid of most gangs, because most gangs are non-white and they can’t shoot worth anything.

  54. Oscar says:

    @GunnerQ

    “Crazy preppers. How much ammo does a guy really need?”

    How much ya got?

  55. Oscar says:

    @ new anon says:
    July 24, 2015 at 10:29 am

    “(2) Get some REAL money; get some of my money out of institutions and “legal tender” and convert it to something with instrinsic value such as gold or silver (my Russian friends, who went through the fall of the Soviet Union, tell me vodka works as well).”

    As others have noted, ammo is probably the best currency. It’s extremely useful, portable and – with care – non-perishable. Plus, you can “mint” it yourself and it’s still just as valuable.

  56. new anon says:

    Oscar,

    Some things have stood the test of time. Gold and silver have been recognized as currency for thousands of years–in good times and bad.

    Bullets would be good for barter. The downside is you can never know if they are filled with gunpowder or sand until you fire them. In other words, bullets would be easy to counterfeit.

    Gold and silver cannot be counterfeited.

    Vodka (or any alcoholic drink) can be easily measured for alcohol volume using a hydrometer (which are not only cheap, but easy to make). It too would be hard to counterfeit.

    Anything that can be easily counterfeited (like a bullet) would make a poor choice for currency.

  57. greyghost says:

    That Thug grip thing was really funny. It would be cool to get a spare slide and actually make one

  58. FFY says:

    This is good news, I’ve backed away from recreational shooting the past few years because I couldn’t stomach the prices. I did manage to stockpile a decent amount of .17 HMR when I luckily showed up at Bass Pro on re-stock day… those were harder to get ahold of than .22 LR or .223/5.56 in central Iowa.

    Wasn’t a lot of the supply issues due to DHS bulk buying as well? I (think I) remember reading something about that and was not happy to hear a domestic policing agency was buying millions of rounds… some were saying it was an intentional move to short the supply. Some companies were
    even pledging not to sell to DHS. Or am I way off base?

  59. Dalrock says:

    @FFY

    Wasn’t a lot of the supply issues due to DHS bulk buying as well? I (think I) remember reading something about that and was not happy to hear a domestic policing agency was buying millions of rounds… some were saying it was an intentional move to short the supply. Some companies were
    even pledging not to sell to DHS. Or am I way off base?

    From what I’ve read the government demand claim has been debunked. However, the administration isn’t blameless, and in my opinion has been happy to have the panic persist even if they didn’t directly cause it. Early in the administration there was the decision to stop selling spent military brass, and shred it before sale so it could not be reloaded. After this caused an uproar they ended up walking back the decision. More recently this year they banned green tip 5.56 ammo, only to once again walk it back after it caused an uproar. We also had the scandal where they told gun dealers to sell to illegal buyers from Mexico, and then tried to pass gun control based on illegal sales to Mexico. When the truth came out AG Holder just stonewalled congress. There also is the coincidence that ammo keeps becoming available around the election cycle. In my opinion, Obama thought he was secretly winning against gun owners by keeping them from buying ammunition. I don’t think he realized that what he was really doing was creating a massive, distributed stockpile of small arms ammo in civilian hands.

    But at any rate, ammo is generally cheap and plentiful now. I wouldn’t buy it as a store of wealth or currency, but I do think it makes some sense to pick some up with future consumption in mind. Any future shortages are likely to be short lived (just like the past ones), but they are a hassle if you want to go to the range.

  60. Dalrock says:

    @Oscar

    As others have noted, ammo is probably the best currency. It’s extremely useful, portable and – with care – non-perishable. Plus, you can “mint” it yourself and it’s still just as valuable.

    I don’t see this, for a number of reasons. If everything goes sideways, this is most likely to reduce the number of rounds fired by a large amount. Aside from bird hunting, hunting doesn’t require very much ammo. Neither does self defense. Sport shooting does require a good amount of ammo, as would a civil war. But I can’t imagine a situation where things have gotten so bad we would switch to a barter currency and people are still sport shooting very much. I also can’t imagine a civil war scenario where you could expect to trade in ammo. The local militia would do what armies have done since the beginning of history, they would forage for what they need, taking it from civilians who have it. It would have to be a perfect storm situation for ammo to be safe to barter and yet also in high demand.

    There is also the problem of trust. Much of the value of ammo is the ability to trust that it is what you think it is. In self defense you need to trust that it will function reliably. This is somewhat less important for hunting, but still quite important. And you need to trust that it won’t create excessive pressure, or just enough pressure to get the projectile lodged in the barrel (with the kaboom that follows when trying to fire the subsequent round if you didn’t notice). How much are you going to trust those .45 shells that have been trading back and forth, riding around in people’s pockets, etc? Even worse, think about Gresham’s law with ammo. The ammo people trade will be the ammo they know is the least trustworthy, unless there is a high degree of trust between both parties (selling to close neighbors, family, etc). The ammo that makes its way into general circulation (as barter currency) will mostly be the stuff that for one reason or another is questionable. Maybe it was in a flooded basement, etc. This is without considering reloads. Counterfeits would be a massive problem. Sure it has a primer, brass, and a projectile, but is there any smokeless powder in there? If so, did they put the right type and amount in?

    And after all of this, consider that pretty much every shooter out there now has laid in a supply of ammo to weather our now periodic panics. As I wrote upthread, if it ever came to a time when ammo would be a currency, we would be swimming in the stuff.

  61. FFY says:

    Thanks for the info, Dalrock. Couldn’t remember if that was hearsay or not, and it’s not like the administration’s duplicitous actions over the past 7 years makes it hard *not* to believe they’d cook up an idea like that.

    Unrelatedly, this blog is one of the few from the old days I still follow, even if it’s just to lurk. You’re doing God’s work.

    I have a long way to go, but over the past couple years I’ve found myself taking my faith more seriously. Raised Churchian and all the shallowness it entails, I never forged faith deeper than temporary feels and the belief that God exists and Jesus died for us. It was easy for me to rationalize my unrighteous behavior. The responsibility of my actions lie with me, of course, I just wish I had been exposed to more than LCMS conventions where we listened to puddle-deep messages from rock star preachers and modern churchian music. It all seemed so weak and fleeting, and it felt like Sundays were some get out of jail free card for the previous week’s behavior. Rinse, repeat.. no discipline, no expectations, little scripture, and a lot of platitudes.

    I owe you and Vox a debt of gratitude for being examples of strong, masculine defenders of the faith, unwilling to apologize and water down God’s message, unafraid to discuss the tough things God asks of us, yet also loving in guidance and correction. It’s always refreshing. This, along with my introduction to Edward Feser and the way he deeply and philosophically delves into the faith, has led to my renewed interest. There is so much more to Christianity than was I was exposed to growing up, and it’s exciting and frightening at the same time to ask some of these questions and find the answers.

    I don’t know where I’ll end up, but I do know I’m heading in the right direction.

    Thanks again, Dal

  62. Dalrock says:

    Thank you FFY. I am deeply moved, as well as pleased.

  63. Oscar says:

    @ new anon says:
    July 27, 2015 at 8:24 pm

    @ Dalrock says:
    July 28, 2015 at 10:22 am

    Excellent points. It’s a very good thing when someone helps you see things from a perspective you hadn’t considered.

  64. Gunner Q says:

    I don’t see ammo as currency working, either. In the simplest analysis, either it spooks the cops/militia or the vibrant-youth cashier is disturbingly thrilled to “get me mo’ caps”. Booze sounds a lot safer.

    Ammo as currency means everybody would be armed. While I strongly approve of the Second Amendment, some people shouldn’t have guns… specifically, the people who never touch one until a crisis. When the Northridge quake hit, several gun owners I heard of were asked by liberal neighbors if they could borrow a handgun to protect their families just in case. Every shooter prudently refused and not only because those same neighbors had been trying to disarm them just last week.

    I also saw the King riots in Los Angeles and heard stories about Watts and other riots. None were shooting ranges. Don’t assume the bad guys will all have guns anyway so it’s okay to spread ammo all over. Most vibrants are happy to sit & collect welfare until a crisis surprises them and most street gangs are macho not paramilitary. That didn’t change when rule of law went down.

  65. Boston to Providence says:

    Whether it’s called a currency or something else, it’s another resource available for barter in a theoretical worst-case scenario in which national currencies lose faith or become impractical. Ammunition would have a place beside any other necessity like gasoline, water, food, and so forth. This entire area of thought all depends on what scenario we’re envisioning. It could be anything on the spectrum from moderate natural disaster to loss of government-provided security.

    At any rate, it looks like Dalrock himself closed the issue when describing the thought process of a post-dystopian ammo seeker in analyzing the many variables in manufacture and provenance. Just as with a national currency (or gasoline, water, food), the value is in the faith we can have in it.

  66. Oscar says:

    @ Boston to Providence says:
    July 28, 2015 at 8:32 pm

    “This entire area of thought all depends on what scenario we’re envisioning. It could be anything on the spectrum from moderate natural disaster to loss of government-provided security.”

    That’s part of the problem, isn’t it? We can’t predict what’ll happen. Of course, we CAN prepare for local and/or regional disasters. For example, in KS one would prepare for tornadoes and ice storms. In CA, earthquakes, mud slides, forest fires and the occasional riot. In TN, MO & AR, the New Madrid fault letting loose again. The point is that if we prepare for what is probable, we’re more likely to be prepared for what we can’t predict.

    “At any rate, it looks like Dalrock himself closed the issue when describing the thought process of a post-dystopian ammo seeker in analyzing the many variables in manufacture and provenance. Just as with a national currency (or gasoline, water, food), the value is in the faith we can have in it.”

    Yes, those were excellent points I hadn’t considered. Ammo, then, is most useful as a bartering commodity with people who’ve already established mutual trust with each other. Then again, the same is true of fuel, water and food.

  67. A Regular Guy says:

    The Grand Theater shooting in Lafayette, LA happened to be in my hometown while away on vacation. That theater banned concealed carry right after the Aurora, Colorado Theater shooting and I stopped going because of it. It takes a truly criminally negligent mindset to believe you can establish a public venue full of defenseless people in a society with guns for every man, woman and child and expect there not to be consequences. That theater had a Sheriff’s deputy posted for security every hour the Theater is open. It simply doesn’t matter. All the Theater did was guarantee no one would intervene in an effective way until the police arrived.

    Funny the only property rights liberals believe in is the right to deny firearms on their property.

  68. A Regular Guy says:

    In regards to .22lr ammo prices being high, something thing to consider that since Obama took office, people no longer buy ammo by the box. People now purchase ammo by the case.

    A factoid that brought a smile to my face: Take a guess who is responsible for 80% of The Kalashnikov Concern’s export sales of AK-47s? The American Civilian market.

  69. Oscar says:

    So, this is what a barter economy looks like when a modern country runs out of other people’s money.

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-07-29/complete-collapse-greece-reverts-barter-economy-first-time-nazi-occupation

  70. Oscar says:

    And this is what civil unrest looks like when a country runs out of other people’s money.

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-07-29/meanwhile-venezuela-socialist-paradise-has-arrived

  71. new anon says:

    Oscar says: Yes, those were excellent points I hadn’t considered. Ammo, then, is most useful as a bartering commodity with people who’ve already established mutual trust with each other. Then again, the same is true of fuel, water and food.

    A variant on the stocking up on ammo for barter purposes, would be to stock up on the supplies to make ammo–brass, bullets, gunpowder, primers, etc… All of these could be examined individually for quality, and hence traded with some level of confidence.

    Also, learning how to reload (and having the equipment) would be not only a useful skill for yourself, but one a service you could barter with others.

  72. Dalrock says:

    @New Anon

    A variant on the stocking up on ammo for barter purposes, would be to stock up on the supplies to make ammo–brass, bullets, gunpowder, primers, etc… All of these could be examined individually for quality, and hence traded with some level of confidence.

    Yes. All of these would be much better to barter than completed rounds in a case where you didn’t have a high degree of trust. Brass can be pretty well visually inspected, and while testing powder and primers is destructive, this would give greater confidence with much less testing required. But even here, there is not a universal market. Reloaders would be the target market, as others would not have the skills to determine the quality/value of the items presented as payment. Just like completed rounds wouldn’t be a good currency to buy staples, spent brass wouldn’t replace coins in the average person’s pocket. Neither would powder, primers, or bullets.

  73. Anonymous Reader says:

    I have long preached that one should never be caught short in his personal armament, either in regard to the weapons or the ammunition. Keep up your supply, and do not neglect the rimfire, which may well turn into the “ballistic wampum” I have spoken of in the past. If you have any loading equipment, stock primers, which may constitute the weakest link in the chain.

    —Jeff Cooper, mid 1990’s

  74. Opus says:

    I (and every other person) am always amazed by Americans’ seeming need to have a gun and ammunition – as if you are about to be attacked by your neighbour and that if you do so a fair shoot-out is possible yet with the presumption that you will come off the better. Then I read and indeed see the video taken by the sacked Anchor who slew two of his former colleagues on live Morning T.V. and ask how having a concealed weapon might have availed them.

    In England what we need is to find an antidote to low-flying fighter jets, but I fear there is none.

  75. JDG says:

    Opus there are many examples where having a weapon did in fact save the day.

  76. new anon says:

    @Dalrock,

    I agree, but there are soo many preppers out there saying that ammo will be the new money when the SHTF, that it is worth debating what form it comes in.

    Millers have supported themselves throughout history, not by growing crops, but by having the machinery and know-how to grind other people’s crops into flower. I could see people with reloading equipment/skills in the same boat. Processing something supplied by others into a finished product.

    Food and water though (imho) will be the #1 barter items, as they are the most important necessity.

  77. new anon says:

    @Opus,

    The gun genie is out of the bottle in the US. There is at least one guy per person held by the public (legally or illegally). You aren’t rounding those up and putting them back.

    As far as neighbor vs neighbor, think congested areas like cities. There are several scenarios (EMP, terrorist attack on power grid, etc…) that would leave cities isolated without power. After about a week with no water (because the pumping stations are down) and food running out, your neighbor in the next apartment will start scavenging for those items.

  78. Opus says:

    Last night I came across (on Facebook) an Infographic. It informed of annual deaths in various countries by shotguns. The figure for America was over ten thousand, whereas in England it was just eight (you of course may have less knife crime).

    Despite its rarity one client of mine was a few years back shot dead early one morning (presumably a drugs deal gone wrong) at a crossroads.

  79. Pingback: OT: National Ammo Day | Dalrock

  80. George says:

    I think everyone should aim to have a stockpile of at least 100,000 rounds of .22 LR.

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