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.
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.
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.