How long is this ammo shortage going to last?

Does anyone have an educated guess on how long before manufacturers catch up on current demand for 9mm ammo?

I have a couple of thousand rounds of FMJ at this point, but I’m still going to the range to practice. I have cut down on the amount I shoot each time to conserve what I have.

Just wondering if I should “bite the bullet” and pick some more up if I see a deal under 30 cents a round shipped (for decent ammo) or if I should just wait it out at this point.

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I’ve been checking luckygunner.com every day for a couple weeks and their inventory is constantly updating. I bought a 1,000 rounds for $.29/e not long ago. Sometimes they only have 250 boxes/bags, but often you’ll see 1,000 round options. I just picked up a variety of self-defense ammo to try and another large brick. They ship same day if before 3pm I believe and have always got my orders within two days.

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Realistically you are looking at 6 mos + following the end of the “Pandelerium” that will be folks that didn’t have stocking up for next time because they couldn’t get it this time. Then you will have the TP buyers that will buy it just to have as soon as it becomes available. Then there will be folks holding out waiting for a price break following. Primers, powder and reloading components usually take about 3 mos following an “It’s over” declaration. I’m expecting a lot of cheap never been fired handguns to hit the market in November (prior to X-mas) and in Jun of 2021 prior to vacation season.

Of course all of the above goes out the window based on the election, local, state and federal all of which will be predicated on how well the recovery and economy goes over the next 3 mos.

Score it when you can if you have the cash to do so. I’ve made some pretty good deals recently and even stretched the budget a bit to do so. With the talk of re-opening there will be folks that panic bought looking to dump their hoard to the highest bidder, but if the bidders are broke there may be deals to be had if the seller is now cash strapped.

Cheers,

Craig6

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I’ve also been checking most of the regular sites. Just wondering how long before prices will start creeping down towards the $0.20/round mark again.

Right after I posted, I received an email from SGAmmo which had Speer Lawman 115gr at just under $0.29/round shipped. Just as I was considering on buying those, I found Federal 124gr at Rogers for $0.26/round shipped. I decided to jump on those since I use a combinations of 124gr and 147gr HSTs for my defense rounds.

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I just wish Californicators could actually buy ammo by mail, but we can’t.

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I feel for you. I lived in California over 25 years between the Bay Area and Orange County. Really glad I don’t have to deal with it now.

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I just picked up that Speer Lawman. Thanks for posting.

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I have purchased and received over 3,000 rounds of ammo over the last week from SGammo.com. Luckily in the “gun world” that is not considered hoarding…

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I’m in a similar boat, only I dont have a range to goto (they’re all closed). I worry when the ranges open back up I’ll end up blowing through my stash before I can replenish at a reasonable cost.

TLDR; the below -> IMO, if you think you will need more ammo this year, I’d heavily consider purchasing right now if you can stomach the cost.

Sam from SGAmmo has been pretty forthright in his emails over the last few years saying “stock up while the prices are good”. Last year, even before the beer flu, he was saying that prices would begin creeping up soon because the price of raw materials had gone up and most of his upstream had notified about upcoming price increases.

Forward to today, and here’s what he had to say in his newsletter (emphasis mine):

A lot has changed in the ammo business over the past 45 days as the Covid-19 outbreak created the largest rush to purchase ammo in all of history. Supply has been badly diminished, and bottlenecks in manufacturing and distribution will continue cause shortages for months yet to come. From what I am seeing the worst is yet to come on ammunition availability which I believe will reach its worst in the next 30 to 90 days. The buyer’s market conditions which I have talked about in so many prior newsletters that brought ammo prices to 12 year lows in 2018, 2019 and early 2020 have passed. I hope most people followed my advice in the past and stocked up while supply and prices were at their best. At this time supply has for the most part been bought up, most ammo factories and importers have done substantial price increases, and moving forward availability will be limited to what the factories can make and allocate to their distributors. Covid-19 has caused some ammunition factories in Europe and Russia to close and / or reduce production, and most likely that will spill over here to some of the manufacturers in the USA at some point. I’d love to stay positive but realistically there are dark times ahead for the ammunition supply chain. All things considered, I believe we still have some decent deals in stock, admittedly not as good as they were, but not as bad as I expect them to become. If you are sitting on large quantities of ammo it might be wise to sit it out for a while but if you are short in supply it might be a good idea to get a few cases before availability gets worse. We thank you for your support of our family owned and operated business and will do our best to serve our clients well in these strange times, so please stay subscribed for future SGAmmo newsletters. If you have some spare time please take a few minutes and look over the online catalog at www.SGAmmo.com

So I think supply will stay low into the summer months. That means prices will stay high (I’m seeing consistently 30-50% higher) until supply starts catching up. Prices will drop over the rest of the year, but I don’t think they will drop to pre-COVID levels for more than a year, if ever.

If it looks like Biden may win the election, that may spark another buying rush and a corresponding ammo panic and jack up prices. If one of the US-based ammo manufacturers suffers an outbreak like the Smithfield pork plant that will cause more shortages and a corresponding price hike over reduced supply. If a second wave of COVID sparks more TP shortages and closing economy and people start worrying about societal collapse again, there will be another price surge.

A pair of videos from MrGunsNGear, in the early days of the pandemic give a little more insight:


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Lucky Gunner has a bunch of 9mm ammo instock right this second. But can’t tell how long that’ll be

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Hmmmm, my gut feeling is high price and shortage into next year. Sportmans Guide had some 9mm ammo at .23 I think, July delivery. There is some Blazer Black ammo I saw somewhere, just today, We are going to start to reload, and have procured the equipment over a couple of months. Scored 5000 primers and a bunch of 9mm cleaned brass today. I could have had 10000 primers, but have to stay in budget. There will be some good deals in reload supplies as some people are selling all their reloading equipment, and raw materials and such. People selling things to live is so sad. I agree with craig6 as there will be firearms for sale at good prices in Nov., and again next May/June. My worst gut feeling tell me high prices on ammo for 2020, and will start to level out, but not the .20 cent level or less. Shortages will continue thru 2020, and into 2021 I hate to be pessimistic, but fear the worst.

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I’m expecting the same - and thinking I can’t wait to see what kind of deals I can get on a gun that never left the original packaging. :wink:

I’ve cut down my range time due to limited ammo. Dryfire training is definitely picking up in my house.

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I don’t really want to pay 30 cents a round for 9mm. I’m good for now because the range is closed. I’m waiting on my membership for the outdoor range.

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It seems to me that absolute shortages are already receding a bit, but prices are high. bulkammo.com has been my best bet lately. But it does seem that returning to a more balanced supply/demand situation, and thus seeing good deals again, is probably not something we see until 2021 (and even then it depends on the election outcome).

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Very simple answer, Until Trump gets voted back into office.

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I think they’re catching up now. I shoot 9mm Luger. Prices are up about 20%, but I’m having no problems finding quality ammo at 24 cents a round. I’m used to finding it for 18-20 cents a round, but I expect the prices to fall once manufacturers catch up.

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Craig, wise words. I “get mine while I can” as well, have been able to top off my supply over the past few weeks without paying a fortune. For me buying ammo is like buying food. I get a little bit at a time, all the time.

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LAX ammo has ammo back in stock. I have bought several rounds from them in the past, great product.
If you want a pallet of 50,000 rounds, 9mm, .211 per round. Plus freight, am sure. 1500 rounds about .24 plus freight. I asked the mrs if I could buy a pallet, She mentioned something about a dementia hotel. LOL, and handed me a copy of new concealed carry magazine.

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The previous ammo hoarding event lasted several years. Looking at my records, in early November 2012, we were getting 22 LR ammo for just over $0.04 per round. But by July 2013, if you could find 22 LR in stock it cost almost $0.20 per round, down to $0.13 per round by November 2013, closer to $0.10 per round by November 2014. To me, that stretch of time from November 2012 to November 2014 sounds about right for amount of time it took manufacturers to catch up to demand.

Thing is the panic buying of firearms in early 2020 has smashed all previous records by a lot. And just like TP, hand sanitizers and bleach wipes, people are out there hoarding to drive up prices to try and make a fast buck selling high. My sense is, or more accurately my hope is, this pandemic fear will subside faster than the root cause of the 2013 and 2014 run on ammo which was the second four-year term of 44. But if I am wrong about that and ammo demand remains consistently high over the next two years and possibly beyond that, then I would expect ammo manufacturers to invest in new assembly equipment at their factories and to staff up, in which case it probably takes a couple years before supply is sufficient to force prices to start coming down again.

Actually, now that I am writing this I recall reading articles somewhere by industry gun guys with peers in the ammo manufacturing business. And I’m pretty sure what I am writing here is a fairly accurate synopsis of those articles. They can run existing assembly lines 24 by 7, but that was not enough in 2013 and 2014 to keep up with demand. So they had to invest in new assembly lines and once all the infrastructure to double output was in place they ran double capacity 24 by 7, some tripling their assembly lines. Anyway, all that equipment is expensive and takes time to acquire, set up, test, fine tune for quality and train new people to run it.

Final thought: Some took advantage of plentiful supplies and lower prices since early 2017 and stocked up incrementally so they have a number of years inventory on hand now. I know some who keep a five year supply on hand for all their firearms and then have reloading supplies saved up to keep inventory stocked up during lean times like these. I asked one guy where he keeps all that stuff and he said, “I just dug a second basement,” which was a nice way to avoid saying, “None of your business.” LOL

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Another update from SGAmmo. Just another data point kinda confirms what we are all thinking (kinda).

As mentioned in my last 3 newsletters a lot has changed in the ammo business over the past few months as the Covid-19 outbreak created the largest rush to purchase ammo in all of history. This has greatly reduced supply stockpiles and driven prices up substantially from the 12 year bottom they hit in 2019 and early 2020. We had made huge investments in inventory but our stockpiles here at SGAmmo are really running thin, especially in 9mm FMJ, 223 / 5.56 and 300 Blackout, additionally 7.62x39, 308 Win, 22LR, 45 Auto as well as many other popular calibers are not looking good either. Getting resupplied from the factories has also not been going well. Basically every gun shop and sporting goods store in the USA sold out of inventory by late March and now all of those dealers seek to resupply, causing a mass-buy at the dealer level on top of the consumer level, which is thinning availability from ammunition factories and distributors. This new level of demand has lead most factories to raise prices, eliminate ‘special deals’ which are key to keeping prices attractive and allocate stock in very limited amounts. This combination of issues effectively reduces the flow to high volume dealers like SGAmmo. Many factories have also reworked their process in attempt to protect their staff from COVID19 which has reduced their capacity substantially, so in general less ammo is being made today. I’d love to stay positive but realistically there are dark times ahead for the ammunition supply chain. All things considered, I believe we still have some decent deals in stock, admittedly not as good as they were 2 months ago, but not as bad as I expect them to become. If you are sitting on large quantities of ammo it might be wise to sit it out for a while but if you are short in supply it might be a good idea to get a few cases before availability gets worse.

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