Regulation & ammo shortage

This is a discussion on Regulation & ammo shortage within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I bought a new S&W J-frame a few weeks back, and I have yet to find any ammo for it in the Houston area. I've ...

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Thread: Regulation & ammo shortage

  1. #1
    Senior Member Array dldeuce's Avatar
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    Regulation & ammo shortage

    I bought a new S&W J-frame a few weeks back, and I have yet to find any ammo for it in the Houston area. I've been to five different Walmarts, three numerous times, an Academy, and a Bass Pro. Those are the only sources of ammunition for a community of 100,000. In all those visits, I found virtually no pistol ammo and very little rifle ammo. I've seen lots of off the cuff explanations about demand, but I'm having difficulty accepting that it's just excess demand. Seems to me the problem is much more systemic.

    I'm curious what effect overall regulation is having. I suspect that regulation has the effect of reducing the number of suppliers that can compete and discouraging importation or add-on production during a nationwide shortage like we're having now. I was wondering if anyone can help me understand how regulations would affect a would be startup manufacturer from the ground up, or how regulation would affect a startup importer in the same way.

    Let's say I wanted to become a small producer to supply my community of 100,000, or let's say I wanted to try and import for the same customer base. What would be the total impact of regulation, at all levels, to cost, time, effort, and even feasibility?

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  3. #2
    Ex Member Array Ram Rod's Avatar
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    Some things to think about:
    Legislation
    Ammunition Accountability Legislation
    It has already started...

    Remember how Obama said that he wasn't going to take
    your guns? Well, it seems that his allies in the anti-gun world have
    no problem with taking your ammo!

    The bill that is being pushed in 18 states (including
    Illinois and Indiana) requires all ammunition to be encoded by the
    manufacture a data base of all ammunition sales. So they will know
    how much you buy and what calibers.

    Nobody can sell any ammunition after June 30, 2009 unless
    the ammunition is coded...
    Any privately held uncoded ammunition must be destroyed by
    July 1, 2011. (Including hand loaded ammo.) They will also charge a
    .05 cent tax on every round so=20 every box of ammo you buy will
    go up at least $2.50 or more!

    If they can deprive you of ammo they do not need to take your gun!

    This legislation is currently pending in 18 states:
    Alabama, Arizona,California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana,
    Kentucky, Maryland,Mississippi, Missouri, New Jersey, New York,
    Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, and
    Washington.

  4. #3
    Member Array mprasek's Avatar
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    It's not the regulation

    As a small ammunition manufacturer in the Houston area, I can assure you that the current problem is not regulation, but simple supply and demand.

    We are almost at a standstill on production, because we simply cannot get components. Our suppliers are moving product daily (with the exception of primers), just not to us at the rate they were supplying us before the crush of demand hit.

    Since we do not export our ammunition, we have no regulation that affects us beyond taxes and ATF licensing rules, same as before.

    As far as microstamping and laser serial numbers for ammunition, that legislation has been introduced in state legislatures for many years, and has been a non-issue in most of those states.

    We have considered reselling ammo from the major manufacturers, but none of the wholesale jobbers will give us the time of day, even with our demonstrated customer order base. They simply move all of their current available ammo supply through their existing customers, and do not have the desire to work with new customers.

    Demand is outstripping supply (how much has each person on this board stocked up on ammo in the last 6 months? Not that I blame you- I am doing it too, for the first time in my life) that is your answer.

    That's my take on it from the edge of the inside.

    Mike

    {Got primers?}

  5. #4
    Member Array john5's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dldeuce View Post
    I bought a new S&W J-frame a few weeks back, and I have yet to find any ammo for it in the Houston area. I've been to five different Walmarts, three numerous times, an Academy, and a Bass Pro. Those are the only sources of ammunition for a community of 100,000. In all those visits, I found virtually no pistol ammo and very little rifle ammo. I've seen lots of off the cuff explanations about demand, but I'm having difficulty accepting that it's just excess demand. Seems to me the problem is much more systemic.

    I'm curious what effect overall regulation is having. I suspect that regulation has the effect of reducing the number of suppliers that can compete and discouraging importation or add-on production during a nationwide shortage like we're having now. I was wondering if anyone can help me understand how regulations would affect a would be startup manufacturer from the ground up, or how regulation would affect a startup importer in the same way.

    Let's say I wanted to become a small producer to supply my community of 100,000, or let's say I wanted to try and import for the same customer base. What would be the total impact of regulation, at all levels, to cost, time, effort, and even feasibility?
    You should have gone to GRB gun show last weekend. Plenty ammo even in .38/.357.
    John

    NRA Life Member
    TSRA

  6. #5
    Senior Member Array dldeuce's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mprasek View Post
    As a small ammunition manufacturer in the Houston area, I can assure you that the current problem is not regulation, but simple supply and demand.

    We are almost at a standstill on production, because we simply cannot get components. Our suppliers are moving product daily (with the exception of primers), just not to us at the rate they were supplying us before the crush of demand hit.

    Since we do not export our ammunition, we have no regulation that affects us beyond taxes and ATF licensing rules, same as before.
    I'm just trying to understand why the supply can't meet the demand, and what exactly is the bottleneck in the supply chain? Is it raw materials or manufacturing/tooling? We're really not hearing any information on this other than just pure speculation. Sure, the demand is obvious, and that's not going to end any time soon with bare shelves in every store in the country. I just can't imagine that there are no suppliers in a world economy that aren't able or willing to fill the demand.

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    Member Array llred's Avatar
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    I found some .38/.357 at Academy in Pasadena friday. It was monarch ammo, not the greatest by any means, but it was there. I also bought 2 100 round packs of WWB .45 acp at the walmart in liberty yesterday. Although they guy behind me bought the rest (4boxes). He did have a valid point in that he and his wife just bought some new kimbers and are fixing to take their CHL class.

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    Distinguished Member Array Reborn's Avatar
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    It's my understanding that the manufacturers aren't increasing their out put. They would have to buy more equipement and hire more people. They know that at some point all the ammo hording will come to an end and then they will have to lay personal off and have excess equipment. I figure with the price of fuel along with Wal-mart and such places limiting the amount you can buy........ammo will soon be back on the shelves. I have bought 45 ammo twice this past week and have seen dozens of different handgun ammo on the shelf at various Wal-marts in the Dallas area.
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    Senior Member Array dldeuce's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by john5 View Post
    You should have gone to GRB gun show last weekend. Plenty ammo even in .38/.357.
    I was at the previous gun show where I bought this .38spl revolver. I wasn't shopping for ammo, but I don't recall seeing a lot of ammunition, and what I saw was marked up pretty good. I suspect these secondary suppliers are where we're going to see permanent price increases. I suspect what you're seeing sold here is just what had been surplus supply, and now price incentive is just now bringing it to market. If the major retailers can't get it, I would doubt small retailers at gun shows are getting anything off the production lines. I'd suspect they're just scraping together some remaining stock and selling it for a premium price. If not, yeah, I wish I had gone to the gun show!

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    Senior Member Array boscobeans's Avatar
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    I found this letter a while ago and posted it on another thread. It might be interesting to see when thinking about why supplies are low.

    http://risch.senate.gov/pr/pr010809a.pdf

    bosco

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    Senior Member Array dldeuce's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reborn View Post
    It's my understanding that the manufacturers aren't increasing their out put. They would have to buy more equipement and hire more people. They know that at some point all the ammo hording will come to an end and then they will have to lay personal off and have excess equipment.
    I've heard that too, but all we've heard is very little and seemingly very speculative. Those comments would make sense if this was just an isolated run on ammunition. I'm new to buying ammunition, but I've been reading that there have been supply shortages for years.

    What about importing? No other manufacturers in the world see an opportunity to sell ammunition in the US? Walmart is only looking to US manufacturers to fill the ammunition demand?

  12. #11
    Senior Member Array dldeuce's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by boscobeans View Post
    I found this letter a while ago and posted it on another thread. It might be interesting to see when thinking about why supplies are low.

    http://risch.senate.gov/pr/pr010809a.pdf

    bosco
    All this letter says is that 100 people are getting laid off. It doesn't say anything about why they're getting laid off. In a period of critical demand and bare shelves in major retailers across the country, why are 100 people getting laid off at a ammunition manufacturer?

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    Member Array mprasek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by boscobeans View Post
    I found this letter a while ago and posted it on another thread. It might be interesting to see when thinking about why supplies are low.

    http://risch.senate.gov/pr/pr010809a.pdf

    bosco
    For what it is worth, that layoff was announced before the crush started, and CCI has rehired those folks and more, and have recently increased their primer production to 225% of what it was before the election. However, the demand for their ammo has increased about the same amount, which prevents the primers from getting into the supply chain. (I am not an apologist for CCI nor related to them in any way, just an interested party.)

    As of today, June 14th, the biggest problem is still primers. Bullets are slow, but trickling through the backorders.

    M

  14. #13
    Senior Member Array boscobeans's Avatar
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    The letter was dated Jan/2009. I am not sure about your area but around here guns and ammo started flying out of the gunshops at record levels starting in October and after the election the shelves started to look pretty bare. By January things were looking a little bleak.

    I guess the stores didn't place orders to refill their stock until after January.

    bosco

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    VIP Member Array Thanis's Avatar
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    I think I was finally told the truth concerning ammo shortage.

    While issues like fear of environmental regulations, increase in SWAT teams, military contracts, etc. have all played their part in the ammo shortage, the only reasons these factors have caused your local store to be short on ammunition is the main cause, hoarding.

    So while you can show that military contracts have increased (the number of rounds can appear huge) it is minor compared to the production potential.

    What has greatly changed is consumer demand, and since shooting is at a low (lack of ammunition), hoarding must be the cause. I know my stockpile increased, and I shoot less.

    Of course, you could now start reviewing what causes the hoarding, but I feel in the end, thats just a dog chasing his tail. Sooner or later the hoarding will end. My concern is once that happens, you may find all the ammunition manufacturers are caught with their pants down, when demand drops, and supplies build and build.
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