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I've never seen ammunition in short supply like this
November 14, 2020
4:39 am
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TR said
 Big change in a week, went downtown and could not buy a box of 270. The only rifle ammo on the shelves was 300 win mag and 243. People bought in mass quantity to resell. .

  The 22LF ammo that sold for $60 a brick during the last shortage was sold at gun shows for $25 later. I’ll reload my own until this passes. T/R  

Until this passes?  I’m worried about whether I have that much time left!

November 14, 2020
4:58 am
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Quite honestly I’ve seen this before and prepared accordingly after each “shortage”. Only problem is I simply don’t have enough room for enough shotgun ammo to support my clay bird habit. I loaned a thousand SP primers to a friend and he couldn’t thank me enough. My loading room probably needs a security system upgrade! If you need powder and live nearby I might be able to help.

All kidding aside, when the smoke clears stock up. Ammo and components won’t go bad while we’re upright if stored properly. 

 

Mike

And yes, I’ll be shooting skeet with my Winchester riot gun again this weekend. Being familiar with the “social equipment” is never a bad thing. 

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November 14, 2020
3:36 pm
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Stocking up seems wise – as long as you can at non-panic prices.  The cost of ammunition and components steadily rise as the years pass.  In addition, the potential for increased restrictions and taxes (e.g. “special taxes”) is strong.  It seems to me, when I was a much younger, a person couldn’t order ammunition through the mail?  I see potential for that in the future.  In fact, I believe it is already here in that there are various locations in this country where a private person cannot have ammunition delivered to them.  I understand California requires instant background checks for ammunition.  I had heard there was a stay on that order, but was recently put back in place – pending an appellate court ruling. 

It amused me that this fall, as some hunters in the market for a new hunting rifle, had to buy something in a more obscure caliber – just to be able to leave the store with ammunition for it!  I actually find this very amusing as I recall past conversations/debates regarding caliber choice.  Someone would assert they wanted a new hunting rifle (e.g. 35 Whelen).  The response would be, “no, get a .30-06 because wherever you are, you’ll be able to buy a box of ammunition.”  Laugh

November 14, 2020
4:59 pm
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I just gotta get in on the gossip here!  FWIW, I do think the distributors play a major role in this issue.  Last time, my buddy in Anchorage saw no shortage of powders, primers, or loaded rifle and shotgun ammo.   I have not asked him yet about this time around.  Locally, and that includes a part of the adjacent state of IA, our sporting goods stores (relatively few of them in total) are stocked to the gills with non toxic shotgun ammo for waterfowl.  LEAD loads for their limited uses (I shoot crows and use heavy field loads) are about non existent.  Trap and skeet ammo is available but not in the normal supplies.  Luckily I stocked up on a few cases in late winter before the virus really hit, then our trap league was scaled way back.  Only a very few stores stock reloading components, and it doesn’t much matter what you want, they don’t have it.  Yes, there are a few boxes of bullets on the shelf, but nothing most use.  Primers?  Forget it, either in shotgun, rifle or pistol.  There are a few one pound cans of powders but they are not of the usual variety or they would be gone.  Don’t ask me–I don’t recall what they were now.  Bird shot for reloading shotgun hasn’t been available since before the pandemic, and then it was about $50 per bag.  Cheaper to buy flats of 12 ga trap loads when they were available.  Rifle ammo is about nonexistent too.  This area as a whole does not use much rifle ammo, and the stores stock only what sells well, and it sold well months ago and can’t be found to restock.  Muzzle loaders are in a hurt, too.  NO percussion caps, and very little black powder substitutes.  Black powder itself is not stocked locally, but can be obtained usually from Grafs, and so on.  They come and go on what they may have.  A buddy runs the gun and ammo department for a tractor supply store, and his supplier can’t “order” anything either.  His supplier gets periodic shipments from the suppliers and is glad to get whatever he gets.  Rarely is anything in the way of .22 LR included.  Now, if you shoot .22 WMR you might find some.  Ditto with .17 HMR, and variants.  One month they may get a pallet of off the wall 9 mm ammo which is gone almost overnight.  .45 ACP?  Not in months.  This is not scientific, but is my observations only, coupled with the observations of friends from the gun club.  I do think it reflects reality here, tho.  Tim

November 14, 2020
6:44 pm
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tim tomlinson said
 Rarely is anything in the way of .22 LR included.

To me, the most inexplicable aspect of the shortage.   The shortage of 9 mm, .357, other defensive ammo, bought by new gun owners after watching cops do little or nothing to stop BLM looting is understandable, but if that’s what’s driving the panic, why are .22 LRs also being hoarded?  Not what most would choose to fight off a mob of rioters.

It’s frequently said, I know, that .22 LRs are least profitable for ammo makers, but can that be the only explanation?

November 15, 2020
12:47 am
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I was at the local gun store this week and this one was also in short supply.  I wandered around waiting for the NICS check to go through.

For handguns he had .25 Auto, .32 Auto, .40S&W, .45 Colt and .454 Casull.  .17 HMR and 8 MM for rifles was all I noticed.  The owner said he gets numerous calls every day from folks looking for any of the common rifle cartridges, but does not have any and does not know when he will receive any.  No primers either.

November 15, 2020
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Colsuper said
I was at the local gun store this week and this one was also in short supply.  I wandered around waiting for the NICS check to go through.

For handguns he had .25 Auto, .32 Auto, .40S&W, .45 Colt and .454 Casull.  .17 HMR and 8 MM for rifles was all I noticed.  The owner said he gets numerous calls every day from folks looking for any of the common rifle cartridges, but does not have any and does not know when he will receive any.  No primers either.  

I’ll bet all these shops and stores wish they had larger stockpiles of inventory as they sure could be doing a huge volume sales.  I’m sure it’s painful to have customers coming in and calling, wanting to spend their money, and you have nothing to sell.

November 15, 2020
2:58 am
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ALmost every shop around here has been one box,per caliber,per day,per person,.

November 15, 2020
4:16 am
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Bill Hanzel said
ALmost every shop around here has been one box,per caliber,per day,per person,.  

I hate this, but it’s the only way to stop the crooks from buying up everything on the shelf to re-sell on GB or elsewhere for 2 or 3 times what they paid.

November 15, 2020
3:08 pm
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 Hoarding and resale for profit on GB is a curse on our hobby, but a part of human nature that you can’t control. Squirrel it away?

 I live in Wisconsin, a state full of trees and paper mills, yet for the first four months of the virus TP was two idems only at the local store if they had any. Stranger than science. T/R

November 15, 2020
3:52 pm
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TR said
 Hoarding and resale for profit on GB is a curse on our hobby, but a part of human nature that you can’t control. Squirrel it away?

 I live in Wisconsin, a state full of trees and paper mills, yet for the first four months of the virus TP was two idems only at the local store if they had any. Stranger than science. T/R  

Not to get too philosophical, but I suspect this dates way back to the earliest roots of human history: to our instinct for survival and self-preservation.  The task, is to understand and leverage your environment any way you can, to better your chances of living to see the next day. This basic drive has historically trumped moral and ethical considerations.  And from what I see of the guys going to the stores multiple times per day (e.g. waiting for employee shift change) they do not appear burdened by any ethical considerations.

November 15, 2020
5:29 pm
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 Steve, You have a good point.

 Two years ago I had the unfortunate task of cleaning out my late brother-in-law’s gun room. He was always stocking up and getting ready for a gun or ammo shortage. His components and ammo were not labeled, that coupled with poor storage and age I had to spend days pulling bullets and disposing of them. He left a massive quantity of worthless components and ammo from poor storage and age. I sold his new ammo at local gun shows before the shortage cheap. Hind-sight that was a mistake. Then I decided to sell what I thought a 71 year old didn’t need, hind-sight that was a mistake. Going forward the mistake I’m not going to make is not labeling, poor storage, and selling what I think I don’t need. T/R

November 15, 2020
6:08 pm
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TR said
 Steve, You have a good point.

 Two years ago I had the unfortunate task of cleaning out my late brother-in-law’s gun room. He was always stocking up and getting ready for a gun or ammo shortage. His components and ammo were not labeled, that coupled with poor storage and age I had to spend days pulling bullets and disposing of them. He left a massive quantity of worthless components and ammo from poor storage and age. I sold his new ammo at local gun shows before the shortage cheap. Hind-sight that was a mistake. Then I decided to sell what I thought a 71 year old didn’t need, hind-sight that was a mistake. Going forward the mistake I’m not going to make is not labeling, poor storage, and selling what I think I don’t need. T/R  

TR – Thanks for sharing that story.  It was fortunate for your brother-in-law’s family that you were available to help as you did.  Many families don’t have someone like you.  What do they do then?  Many view a collection of firearms left behind as a daunting burden to dispose of.  It certainly can be, but there are auction houses, consignment dealers, etc. who will sell the collection.  The family can even watch the hammer prices as they happen.

There’s usually an additional side to the story. Chances are, the deceased collector accumulated more than firearms.  And what do do with thousand of pounds of miscellaneous – books, loading tools, loading components, ammunition, maybe a cartridge collection accumulated over 50 years, dozens of cans of powder (many open with varying amounts remaining) – where does all this go?  Reloads – even if well-labeled – maybe some recent, maybe some 30 years ago.  Even if well-labeled and well-stored, these are not easy items.  If you have someone with the wherewithal to lug it all to a gun show, it has to be priced very cheap to actually sell and not have to load it back up when leaving.  However, I do retract part of that statement.  If you happen to hit a panic-buying cycle – the hoarded primers, .22 rimfire (and now, most factory ammunition) will sell very well.  Of course right now, with the pandemic canceling most gun shows, this is not an option… maybe sell out of a car trunk in the parking lot of a gun store that is out of primers and only allowing one box of ammo per person per day?

I recall one gunshow I was at where the adult daughters of such a deceased individual had a couple tables set up and were selling lots of miscellaneous items.  I guess they did ok but it takes a certain amount of courage and pluck to pull off.  

I was talking to a collector friend older than me who pointed out that I have a lot of stuff that could just as well be thrown out.  For example, 30 or 40 Blue Books – he said look what all but the most recent ones sell for on Ebay!  I looked, $3, $4, $5 with no bids.  He also said look at your 30 or so Gun Digests – look what they go for on Ebay!  Again, I looked.  Some as low as $2.99 – with no bids.  Discouraging how so much falls in the category of just not worth dealing with.

There’s a lot of collective knowledge and experience here – surely there are ideas and solutions I’m not aware of.

November 15, 2020
6:43 pm
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Stock up when you can.  Keep an inventory of everything including the estimated worth.  Make sure your family knows where this list is.  The shop I hang out is actually an Auction house.  You probably couldn’t imagine what they get when they get someone’s collections.  Books are real big losers.  Book lots go for next to nothing at auction.  Price guides are for starting the fireplace.  (except Larry and Bert’s)  Sometimes the smallest thing can be worth money to the right person.

Even if your collection does not go to auction, make an inventory…..

November 15, 2020
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All of my older collector friend told me they have everything written down and what they paid for it so their wives or children know what stuffs worth. They also have a List of people to call to supervise anyone, auction house or potential buyer, while they look over anything. These are the same guys who told me to buy ammo when your can because you never know, thankfully I listened. 

November 15, 2020
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 Steve, On the subject of my late brother-in-law. I found loaded and unloaded guns in drawers, behind doors, under beds, and hidden wear only the human mind could think to stash. He only had ammo for guns he owned, that’s the only way I knew what to look for. Still missing a mini 14, I found a clip and ammo only. I’ll second what Chuck said about “make an inventory”. T/R

November 15, 2020
8:08 pm
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steve004 said

 And from what I see of the guys going to the stores multiple times per day (e.g. waiting for employee shift change) they do not appear burdened by any ethical considerations.  

Not only that, but having their wives, kids, relatives, friends, etc. buying for them.  GB could remove the incentive for price scalping by prohibiting prices above the MSRP for current-production ammo, but of course “GB” & “ethics” don’t belong in the same sentence.

November 16, 2020
4:22 am
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While we’re on the subject I place original sights and other parts in clearly marked envelopes with the firearm’s model and SN in my parts box. I have no heirs that reload or know anything about it so I’ll just have to try to live long enough to use it all up. I quit buying soon after the last shortage but I’ve got a lot of shooting to do!

 

Mike

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November 16, 2020
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Lots of good advice and experience rolling in.  It has prompted me to realize how unprepared I am.  Mike mentioned sights placed in envelopes – marked with what they are.  Genius!  I can see I need to do some prioritizing.  I could inventory all of my Blue Books, Gun Digests and similar – and in the end, their collective value wouldn’t be equal to one sight.  But the sights – and what they are… that could be very important.  Here’s an example which highlights the hazard of a box of sights with no identifying information.  It’s a Lyman and it’s a tang sight.  Who out there can figure out what model this Lyman sight is and what it’s for?  By the way, this particular model sight does not come with any codes or markings (other than, “Lyman” – which is correct):

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November 16, 2020
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TXGunNut said
While we’re on the subject I place original sights and other parts in clearly marked envelopes with the firearm’s model and SN in my parts box. I have no heirs that reload or know anything about it so I’ll just have to try to live long enough to use it all up. I quit buying soon after the last shortage but I’ve got a lot of shooting to do!

 

Mike  

Mike, when I said everything I meant everything.  All misc. stuff is put in a small zip lock and marked what it is and what it is worth. Small bags are put into larger bags by type. Loose ammo in one, sights in another, screws and parts, etc.  My inventory of each gun will state if there are other items that need to go with the gun and then these items are marked to go with a certain gun.  This includes all documentation.   I have all of this on my computer and then backed up on an external hard drive and again on a flash drive in the safe. My wife, daughter and I have gone over this a number of times.  I have introduced her to several auction house owners if she chooses to go this way.  And, yes, she knows how to get into the safe.

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