"New" Explanation on Nationwide Ammo Shortages

This is a discussion on "New" Explanation on Nationwide Ammo Shortages within the Off Topic & Humor Discussion forums, part of the The Back Porch category; Nationwide Ammunition Shortage Hits U.S. Skyrocketing demand has been emptying the shelves of America's gun stores. Here's why. February 28, 2009 - by Bob Owens ...

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Thread: "New" Explanation on Nationwide Ammo Shortages

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    Wink "New" Explanation on Nationwide Ammo Shortages

    Nationwide Ammunition Shortage Hits U.S.

    Skyrocketing demand has been emptying the shelves of America's gun stores. Here's why.

    February 28, 2009

    - by Bob Owens

    If you, like thousands of other Americans, have Googled to find out why we are in the middle of a nationwide ammunition shortage, you would have stumbled across this 2007 blog entry.

    In it, I corrected a poorly researched Associated Press story by Estes Thompson that claimed the military’s consumption of ammunition was responsible for police ammunition shortages here in the United States. Few things could have been further from the truth, but it seems rather apparent, in retrospect, that the goal of that AP article wasn’t to find the truth as much as it was to (falsely) lay blame for the police ammunition shortages at the feet of George W. Bush.

    The real fact of the matter is that the military got the bulk of its small arms (pistol, rifle, machine gun) ammunition from one contracted ammunition plant, and that plant wasn’t even running near capacity. The military’s consumption clearly wasn’t to blame, and anecdotal evidence and statements from ammunition manufacturers strongly suggested that police departments themselves caused the 2007 ammunition shortage by purchasing far more ammunition than they had in the past.

    But what is causing our current ammunition shortages here in 2009?

    Much of the demand comes from continued high law enforcement demand, the same demand that led to shortages two years ago. Police agencies around the nation have become more militarized in recent years and two trends within this militarization have led to greater police ammunition demand.

    An increase in the size and number of paramilitary police units

    Once upon a time, highly trained, heavily armed police units with alphabet-soup acronyms such as SWAT, SRT, SRU, or ERT were generally found as part of large, metropolitan police departments. Today, law enforcement agencies of every size — including some university police forces — have SWAT-type units armed with some combination of submachine guns, assault rifles, and sniper rifles to add to the traditional compliment of pistols and shotguns. To become proficient to the level expected of these units, each officer must fire thousands of rounds in training every year.

    An increase in the use of “patrol carbines” in law enforcement

    Some agencies prefer to call them “patrol carbines”; others refer to them as “tactical rifles.” But whatever you call them, rifles based upon the AR-15 are becoming increasingly common as a weapon deployed to police officers outside of SWAT units, for some very logical reasons. AR-type rifles extend the range at which patrol officers can engage armed criminals, and because rifles have more practical accuracy than pistols, they can potentially reduce the number of shots fired to neutralize a suspect. Paired with the right kind of ammunition, the .223 Remington/5.56mm caliber rifle also has surprisingly less over-penetration, theoretically reducing threats to civilians who might be downrange. Each of these weapons will also require officers carrying them to fire hundreds of rounds in training each year, and in a city that rotates rifles from one shift to another among their patrol units, this can necessitate tens of thousands of rounds of training ammunition.

    Fears of draconian gun and ammunition restrictions

    The 2008 elections that saw the Democratic Party extend their power in both houses of Congress and saw Barack Obama elected president made gun owners very nervous, and with good reason.

    We have a president that has favored gun bans and who desires to reinstate the horribly flawed 1994 assault weapons ban authored by our rather dim vice president. We also have radically anti-gun majority leaders in both the House of Representatives and Senate, and a Congress quite willing to pass massive, bloated laws without even bothering to read the contents. Fears of encroachment are certainly warranted.

    Economic instability

    As economies become unstable and people lose jobs, crime rates go up. It is an economic fact of life. Many people who are worried about an increase in crime arm themselves during economic downturns, leading to an increased demand for firearms and ammunition.

    As a result of all of these factors, manufacturers of firearms and ammunition saw demand increase to unprecedented levels as civilians have made a run on the kind of firearms they suspect that gun control advocates presently in charge will try to outlaw.

    This includes all handguns, all semi-automatic rifles (especially those targeted by the 1994 assault weapons bill that expired in 2004), and most semi-automatic shotguns.

    Matt Reams of Sierra Bullets noted that after the 2008 presidential election demand shot up 50%-100% for bullets used by handguns or rifles in military calibers, and says, “Law enforcement has seemed to increase quite a bit the last year or so. The individuals jumped in after the elections and pushed our orders over the top when we were already running in high gear.”

    Federal Premium/ATK is the largest ammunition manufacturer in the world, running the Lake City Army Ammunition Plant for the U.S. military under contract; it also is a major supplier of law enforcement and civilians. In a statement, the company noted “unprecedented demand” for law enforcement ammunition. While other corporations are presently laying off workers and shutting down operations, ATK is in the middle of capital improvements to further increase production capability.

    Rick Shoupe of PMC Ammunition, which has a more civilian-focused market for his company’s products, reflected in his explanation:

    Shortly before the presidential election the dam broke as far as U.S. gun and ammunition sales are concerned. I believe it is a reaction by the general public because of two main reasons. Number one, the political environment which results from the attitudes about gun control in the majority of Congress and the president himself. They are anti-gun. Number two, the current financial crisis in the U.S. has added to the frenzy, causing again the general public to want some sort of personal protection. Just in case they need it.

    We are seeing a bubble in demand like I have never seen before and I have been in this business for 35 years. This demand is in addition to the military and law enforcement that also continues. PMC has expanded production to try and handle as much of the demand as it can before the demand starts to drop. Even so, the first scent of legislation being introduced to Congress will light another candle in the demand for these products. It will not end until the legislation is passed.

    Individual shooters are stockpiling thousands of rounds of ammunition because of fears of future punitive taxation or outright bans of certain kinds of ammunition. Law enforcement agencies are also stockpiling ammunition to make sure they have enough on hand to meet training requirements. The shortage we are seeing is the result of both agencies and private citizens hoarding the most sought-after ammunition.

    Thus, this shortage is the result of an accordion effect that has developed over the past few years.

    Law enforcement agencies have been rapidly increasing their ammunition consumption because of how they are rearming, causing a permanent increase in demand. Just as ammunition manufacturers began to cope with that increase, a second run, based upon a downward-turning economy and rising fears of laws targeting gun and ammunition, dramatically expanded demand yet again.

    Shortages of ammunition and firearms can be expected to continue for as long as it appears our overreaching federal government is a threat to our individual liberties, our economy continues to falter, and our police agencies keep militarizing.

    It’s going to be a long ride.

    Stock up while you can.
    Former Army Infantry Captain; 25 yrs as an NRA Certified Instructor; Avid practitioner of the martial art: KLIK-PAO.

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    Senior Member Array bbqgrill's Avatar
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    As near as I can tell this Pajamas Media » Nationwide Ammunition Shortage Hits U.S. is the original source. While all of the statements are plausible, the source does not strike me as entirely credible and factual
    "To believe that social reforms can eradicate evil altogether is to forget that evil is a protean creature, forever assuming a new shape when deprived of an old one." - SAT

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    Seems like simple explanation is the fear of Obama and Eric Holder have driven sales of guns and ammo both sky high. I have stocked up, not out of fear of the two of them, but due to the fact ammo has gotten scarce, so I purchased quite a bit myself.
    Men look out for themselves; real men look out for others!

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    The increase in civilian AR ownership probably dwarfs the increase in police use by at least an order of magnitude. Increases in the number of SWAT units and patrol rifles do nothing to explain shortages of self-defense pistol calibers like .380 and .38 special (both practically unknown in police service these days). The real cause of the ammo shortages is . . . us, and people like us, buying firearms for self defense and ammo to shoot them.

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    VIP Member Array farronwolf's Avatar
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    Ok, so why isn't there any .22 bulk ammo on the shelves, or much .22 at all for that matter. On one of the gun shows last week they did a segment on CCI. Apparrently CCI makes 4,000,000 rounds of .22 per day. That is over 1 Trillion rounds per year from one manufacturer.

    If there are 100 million gun owners in this country that works out to about 1000 rds of .22 per gun owner per year. I know some shoot lots more than that but many don't shoot close to that much. And that is just one of the manufacturers.

    Ok, guys stop buying up all the ammo. Like Sixto said in a thread a month or so ago, we are killing ourselves with all the buy up.
    Just remember that shot placement is much more important with what you carry than how big a bang you get with each trigger pull.
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    Quote Originally Posted by bbqgrill View Post
    As near as I can tell this Pajamas Media » Nationwide Ammunition Shortage Hits U.S. is the original source. While all of the statements are plausible, the source does not strike me as entirely credible and factual
    Dan Rather may disagree with you.
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    Quote Originally Posted by bbqgrill View Post
    As near as I can tell this Pajamas Media » Nationwide Ammunition Shortage Hits U.S. is the original source. While all of the statements are plausible, the source does not strike me as entirely credible and factual
    Here's the bio of the source:

    Confederate Yankee: About Confederate Yankee

    Here's the info on the website that hosted the blog post:

    Pajamas Media » About Us

    While the source is conservative and may have beliefs and opinions with which you disagree, I don't think you'll find any of those people lacking in credibility. I read this article a few days ago and it seemed to be well-researched and documented.

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    Mainly self-inflicted, other than the LEO usage. Do you LEO's out there have any observations on LEO usage?

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    My old department about four years ago obtained and converted to semi only about 500 M-16A1s from the Army. Our previous .223 inventory totalled maybe 30 rifles. Figure between familiarization, training and qualification, each officer is going to run through 500-1000 rounds. There is half a million rounds without letting the SWAT guys have their fun.
    That is just one county. Granted it is one of the larger county police departments in the country, but there are lots of counties out there!

    Something to keep in mind though, is after the big surge of departments getting them, ammo demand will drop. You burn a lot more in the training class than in annual qualification.
    Infowars- Proving David Hannum right on a daily basis

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    Member Array Holger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mcp1810 View Post
    My old department about four years ago obtained and converted to semi only about 500 M-16A1s from the Army.
    This is probably a dumb question, but I'm woefully ignorant on rifles (although I'm learning fast). Is a semi-auto M-16A1 the same thing as an AR-15?

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    Wink Sometimes....

    Quote Originally Posted by Holger View Post
    This is probably a dumb question, but I'm woefully ignorant on rifles (although I'm learning fast). Is a semi-auto M-16A1 the same thing as an AR-15?
    THere is no such thing as the dumb question. No that's not true, I get them everyday from my students.

    This one is NOT, however. You'd be correct except that an original AR15 has a block welded into it to prevent anybody from simply dropping in an auto-sear to convert semi to select. There were a few of the legendary "green guns" floating around that were made without the block but still sold as semis. I know, I used to own one. I sold it in 1994 at a gun show for a cool $5,000 cash to a certified dealer and turned around on the spot and bought about three more guns with all the goodies. Best thing was I bought the original AR several years before Clinton ever became a nightmare in the White House and it was a trade for a POC revolver & $200 cash.
    Last edited by Miggy; March 3rd, 2009 at 08:45 AM. Reason: editing language workaround
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    Some AR-15's have the lower receiver that is not machined out to allow a drop in auto sear to be placed into, however, most AR lowers can be converted.Without the proper fire control parts, its really not that easy to change over.

    The only real difference is that the M-16 lower has an extra hole machined in it for the auto sear, and the fire control parts, hammer,trigger,selector,sear,bolt are different.

    Other than that, they look the same and most of the parts are interchangable.
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    VIP Member Array Eagleks's Avatar
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    The USA was caught buying ammo for the military from China.... since that's illegal .... they were changing the markings so it wouldn't show it was from China. I thought that was rather ironic.... when we were buying our Military ammo from there.

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    The US (as in the government)was not buying ammo from China. It was a contractor trying to sneak a couple of million bucks buying crappy surplus & trying to make it pass as good stuff. He got caught and IIRC is awaiting trial.
    Miami Beach munitions supplier, his company, and others indicted for lying to U.S. Army on government contract
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    Senior Member Array bbqgrill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Holger View Post
    Here's the bio of the source:

    Confederate Yankee: About Confederate Yankee

    Here's the info on the website that hosted the blog post:

    Pajamas Media » About Us

    While the source is conservative and may have beliefs and opinions with which you disagree, I don't think you'll find any of those people lacking in credibility. I read this article a few days ago and it seemed to be well-researched and documented.
    Quite to the contrary, I am very conservative, politically and economically. I just get concerned with the overwhelming number of people who take blogs as the gospel truth aimed at people who are like minded with the blogger. Blogs in general are the factories that churn out half truthes, rumor and inuendo. Again only my opinion and I realize some blogs are good and many more are not.


    Cheers,
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    Never argue with an idiot - they'll bring you down to their level then beat you with experience.

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