General

Ammo Manufacturers to Meet Hunting Demands

a rifle with a telescopic sight. hunting in the forest

Hunting seasons are opening in many states, and some hunters are focused on hunting down their ammunition before they can even get out in the field. According to the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), ammo manufacturers are shifting some production from some of the most popular calibers to focus on ammunition geared toward the hunters.

National Shooting Sports Foundation Logo for ammo manufacturers
The National Shooting Sports Foundation is the Firearms Industry’s trade association, but also administers programs such as Project ChildSafe, Own it? Respect it. Secure it., Suicide Prevention, and others.

From the NSSF: Ammo Manufacturers

The scarcity of ammunition is frustrating, but hunters and recreational target shooters should know that ammunition manufacturers are working 24-hours a day, 7-days a week to meet their needs.

The ammunition problem isn’t new. It’s been a market factor for well over a year and is rooted in the extraordinarily high number of firearms that were sold over the past 18 months. Firearm sales skyrocketed starting in March 2020 and set an all-time high record that year, topping out at 21 million background checks for the sale of a gun.

NSSF surveys revealed that 40 percent of those sales were for first-time gun buyers — an injection of over 8.4 million new owners. That pace hasn’t slowed, and through August of 2021 there were another 12.4 million background checks for gun sales, easily outpacing 2019 and 2018.

Those gun owners need ammunition. If each first-time gun buyer in 2020 bought just one box of 50 cartridges, that equates to 420 million additional cartridges. For each of the 21 million background checks total in 2020, that would put a demand of over 1 billion rounds if each gun owner bought just one box of 50 rounds.

That unexpected, but welcome, increase of gun and ammunition buyers put ammunition makers to the test. They have been working around the clock to meet their customers’ needs, but caution that it could take 18-24 months to satisfy this new demand.

In addition to the new gun owners, existing gun owners have been buying ammunition at record levels over concerns of scarcity. Ammunition is frankly being cleaned off shelves as quickly as it can be stocked.

Glock 17 pistol on Ammo with a tipped over green Ammo Can
If each first-time gun buyer in 2020 bought just one box of 50 cartridges, that would equate to approximately 420 million additional rounds.

There is progress, however. Remington Ammunition is back to full production and other major manufacturers report that they are making more ammunition than ever before. Customer demand is simply overwhelming. And while ammunition is returning to shelves — although prices and quantities aren’t nearly what they were prior to March 2020 —they are slowly returning to normal.

The NSSF urges customers to be patient and explore all their options for purchasing ammunition for the fall hunting season. Visit local retailers and explore online ammunition purchases. Ensure vendors are reputable and do price comparisons.

Preparing for hunting season will require a little extra patience this year. However, manufacturers are answering the call and ramping up production of popular hunting calibers to get more hunters out to the range and ultimately in the woods and fields. The rewards, though, are worth the wait.

Share the game you hunt and bullet or shotshell you prefer or have had the best results with in the comment section.

The Mission of Cheaper Than Dirt!'s blog, The Shooter's Log, is to provide information—not opinions—to our customers and the shooting community. We want you, our readers, to be able to make informed decisions. The information provided here does not represent the views of Cheaper Than Dirt!

Comments (3)

  1. same here ,1874 Winchester but I have loaded my own fifty years . now it is a fight to get primers a friend in Utah sent me 5000 none in florida

  2. I keep a 1500 round supply of every caliber I have with a few exceptions- .380 and 12 gauge. I keep a beaucoup of .22LR. What ammo crisis? Moral of the story: Keep a fairly good stockpile of ammo of various calibers and you don’t care what happens to prices or availability.

  3. White Tail deer !!!! That’s what I look forward to. And I am sooo old fashioned and don’t like change. I hunt with a lever action 30/30 with open sights. I bag a buck every year. Yep, it’s old school for sure. The problem is ammo, been searching high and low for 30/30’s. I don’t understand it, everybody and their dog owns a 30/30 and yet no ammo but I can get 223’s all day long. I have found some but the price was highway robbery, I won’t pay $4.50 – $5.00 per round. Hopefully, according to your article, I can buy some this Fall without getting robbed at the counter. If my house caught on fire, the first thing I grab, besides my wife, is my 30/30 that my father gave to me when I was in youngster.

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