Let’s talk about Dirty Ammo Hamsters

In March, when the whole “we have an epidemic in progress” balloon went up, I gave away roughly two dozen boxes of self-defense and practice ammo to half as many friends and relatives, knowing what they had in the closet, safe or nightstand, and, also knowing that they did not habitually stock the same quantities of brass and lead that I am accustomed to.

I got a few quizzical thanks at the time as said ammo drops were unsolicited. However, since then, the Great Ammo Shortage of 2020™ has fully blossomed and I have gotten a few messages from the same crew, asking if I had more to give/trade/sell as none can be had at either the local gun stores or online vendors.

Since 2014, displays like this one have been full as sporting goods retailers had almost a glut of ammo to move– at great prices. That all changed this year, fueled by panic and over 5 million new first-time gun owners.

While sites like gunbot and ammoseek have helped those in need find some– often wildly inflated– boxes-o-boolits for sale online, small gun stores who normally relied on in-stock distributors to supply their occasional ammo buys have been frozen out of the marketplace and their shelves have remained bare for weeks or even months at a time.

This brings us to big box stores like Cabelas, Academy, Wal-Mart, and the like who do large annual buys which are for a fixed amount of ammunition at a fixed price delivered monthly or quarterly. As the prices and profit margins have been set months ago, these stores are still typically restocking ammo at pre-panic prices, typically a couple days a week.

To spread the love and actually have some rounds on the shelf, the big boxes have installed daily limits, which is reasonable and fair. After all, if there was a nationwide bread shortage, wouldn’t you expect the same thing?

Then you have these guys…

I see this multiple times a day across the gun groups I am a member of on social media.

The trend, when you find it, is to “get it all and laugh about it later.” Trust me, I have the opinion that you can never have enough ammo, but this is kinda lame in my opinion.

The crux of my soapbox: if you have been desperately searching for ammo and haven’t found any, try to pace yourself if you stumble upon 15 boxes of your particular caliber on the local big box shelf. While you — could– take it all and adopt the attitude of “screw ’em, I got mine!” how about maybe downsizing a bit and just get half of what’s there, or maybe a quarter, and check back next week.

Give other people a shot at a box or two, as they may be completely out. Remember, besides sporting and protection needs, this is hunting season and a lot of folks count on being able to harvest game over the winter to put protein on the table. 

Thus ends the sermon.


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