More ammo showing up in some areas, not so much in others


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It seems ammo is getting easier to find in parts of the country but in others there is still a problem.

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After almost a year, ammo shortage starting to ease in Dallas-Fort Worth


David Foster of Bedford has had a hard time all year finding ammunition for his guns.

After finding mostly empty shelves at gun stores, he finally went to a gun show a few months ago to stock up.

"I couldn’t find it anywhere except the gun show, and even there I had a hard time," said Foster, 31. "And it cost a lot."

But workers in the weapons industry point to signs that a nearly yearlong nationwide ammunition shortage may be winding down. More ammo is making it to store shelves now, and the price is slowly coming down.

"We’re seeing the light at the end of the tunnel," said DeWayne Irwin, owner of Cheaper Than Dirt, a Fort Worth store and online retailer. "I’ve been doing this business since 1988, and I’ve never seen something like this happen with ammunition. But it’s not going to be like this forever."

Demand for guns and ammo began growing last year before the November presidential election. It continued partly because many gun owners were concerned that President Barack Obama and Democrats in Congress would reinstate an assault weapons ban or drastically hike taxes on ammunition, guns and firearms materials, analysts have said.

While there hasn’t been such action in Washington, apprehension remains and is likely playing a role in prompting people nationwide to not just buy guns and ammunition, but to stock up on them as well, some gun enthusiasts say.

"It was the new politics and the fear of the unknown," said Robert Parks, store manager at the Alpine Shooting Range in Fort Worth. "That’s what triggered this. It was the not knowing if they were going to be able to purchase handguns or be taxed more."

Growing demand

David Acker of The Woodlands noticed months ago that some types of ammunition were increasingly hard to find.

"I couldn’t get it when I needed it," he said recently while shopping for ammo. "So I stocked up when I found it."

But while many say ammunition is becoming more available at least in some parts of North Texas, that’s not the case everywhere, said Alan Korwin, author of Gun Laws of America.

"In places such as New Hampshire, I’m still getting calls about their having shelves still bare there," he said. "Distribution around the country is spotty: In some places it’s better; in some it’s worse."

Gun enthusiasts turned out in such great numbers — both new gun owners and those who wanted to shore up their personal supplies of ammunition — that 9 billion rounds have been sold this year, up from the typical 7 billion, National Rifle Association statistics show.

"At first, so many new handgun buyers were on the scene, and this, of course, had them purchasing quantities of ammo for these handguns," said Jerry Dean, president of The Shooters Club in Fort Worth. "Now, it seems, there may be a new rush on, which is fueled by hoarders who want at least a thousand rounds per gun, or they don’t feel comfortable."

Gun shops nationwide boosted their ammunition orders many months ago after they saw demand growing — a move that likely caught manufacturers off-guard.

Companies such as Winchester Ammunition went to 24-hour workdays to boost production.

"Demand for our product continues to be high," said Valerie Peters, the company’s director of human resources. "Our facilities continue to run 24/7 to meet demand. We would not be in a position to say when demand may decrease."

Easier to find

As ammunition supplies began to dwindle, prices went up.

"The prices over the last year doubled or tripled," said Ron Taylor, a Denton man recently shopping for ammunition.

At Cheaper than Dirt, for instance, the price for a box of 9 mm bullets that typically sells for $14.98 at one point reached $39 per box. The cost now is around $19.97, Irwin said.

Some types of ammunition — from .380-caliber bullets to the .30 carbine — are still not easy to find, gun store workers say.

But overall, prices have come down somewhat, as ammunition has become more available. And while supplies are not back to normal, they are easier to find now than earlier this year, several local gun store workers say.

In a typical week last year, Irwin said he would order — and receive — 50 cases of 9 mm ammunition. He places the same order now and "we’re lucky to get three cases," he said. "But a month ago, we would be lucky to get one case."

Said Korwin, "Now, almost a year later, it’s easing up. Prices are dropping almost daily, supplies are coming in, demand is lowering and stores are cutting back on orders."

Back to normal?

Some hope that if shooters have shored up their ammo supplies and manufacturers keep working around the clock, there will be a lull long enough to replenish stocks not just in North Texas, but nationwide.

Irvin said he hopes supplies and prices continue to improve in the coming months.

"I hope we’re back to normal next year sometime," he said.

I noticed the sporting good stores around me have had a pretty good stock of most pistol and popular rifle rounds, however the price still sucked
I noticed the sporting good stores around me have had a pretty good stock of most pistol and popular rifle rounds, however the price still sucked

I looked at ammo on the Cabella website yesterday. They seem to have about anything you could want available, and at "normal" prices. They had some good prices on bulk lots of .357 re-loads. I might buy some for trget practice.

I don't a have "...a thousand rounds per gun" on hand, (except .22LR) but i've certainly got several hundred rounds per gun.

I've even got 4 full boxes of Black Talons (3 in 40 S&W, and 1 9 mm). I guess its really just a collector's item at this point. Its too expensive for target practice, and a personal injury attorney or prosecutor would crucify you if you ever actually shot someone with it.

I'm a little bit south of Atlanta, and it's really hard to find ammo. Last weekend I tried five or six different places, and couldn't find any 9mm or 45 long colt. Hope it gets better around here soon.
I have to admit to being a little surprised. Before the election, I was getting a 100 round box of WWB .45 acp ball for a tad under $30.00 at Walmart. The one time since the election that I was able to find the same box at Walmart, the price was exactly the same.
Went to Woods & Water in Tuscaloosa this past weekend. They had plenty of ammo... WalMart or "ChinaMart" on the other hand was completely out of 9mm and .45 ACP. There were two 100rnd. boxes of Winchester "white box" .40 S&W.
My Walmart in the Tampa area is slowly getting more handgun ammo in..
I recently was able to buy 9mm ammo (Whooo Hooo!!). They have had LOTS of .40's for a while, still no .380's

I recently bought 500 rounds of .380 form Military Shooters, LLC at about $18/box with shipping, which is much better than the $25-$35/box that it's been going for at gun shops WHEN YOU CAN FIND IT... Still too much for a 9mm short, but at least my wife has some now..

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