Archive for the 'Ammunition' Category

I’m Not Trying To Start Yet Another Caliber War, But …

BY Herschel Smith
2 weeks, 5 days ago

I hate to do this, and I don’t want to be charged with starting yet another caliber war only to be told to stop in the comments.  Really, I’m not warring on anything – I’m just observing.  You can make your observations without insulting the author of the post or the other commenters.

First up there is this incident.

Then there is this incident.

So count them.  Eleven rounds for the first incident to stop the threat.  Seven rounds in the second incident to stop the threat.

The upshot is that if you carry a 9mm pistol, your magazine can hold a lot of more rounds than, say, a magazine full of .45 ACP, due to the cartridge size.

But the downside is that you’re more likely to need them.  I usually carry .45 ACP.  I think that’s probably enough.  In a circumstance like this one, if there was a good way to conceal it (say, a 4″ barrel), I’d almost rather have a .44 magnum wheel gun.

Like I said, I’m not trying to start another caliber war.  But I didn’t make up the events in the videos.

Gun shortage excludes hunting weapons, for now, as demand for hunting grows

BY Herschel Smith
2 weeks, 5 days ago

News from Fargo.

Mike Price, general manager at Bill’s Gun Shop and Range, said their inventory is only a quarter full for guns and ammunition.

He said during the pandemic their shipments can’t keep up with sales.

A number of boxes of ammunition on orders that haven’t come in yet that I was expecting two weeks ago,” Price said.

During the past three months, every handgun safety class has been full.

“A large percentage of business that’s been coming in has been new gun owners,” he said.

The dramatic increase has been in tactical and defense style weapons.

“It could be the pandemic, it could be the fact that you see all of these protests going on, the movement to defund the police, etc.” Price said.

On top of the increase in defense weapons, North Dakota is seeing an earlier and bigger interest in hunting season.

[ … ]

Bill’s Gun Shop and Range have been able to keep up with hunting demand.

“It’s hard to tell, either way, but as of right now I don’t see any shortage of hunting ammunition,” Price said.

That’s basically what I’ve seen.  Pistol ammunition is scarce as hen’s teeth, 5.56mm is just about like that, and there are plenty of nice bolt action guns for the same price as before, nice optics to be had, and plenty of 30-06, 7mm Magnum, 300 Win Mag, and 6.5mm Creedmoor.

I had always wanted to procure some more rather esoteric rounds like Buffalo Bore +P, personal defense, Double Tap pistol rounds, etc., as well as stock up on various brands of PD pistol rounds (instead of just buying lots of range rounds).  They’re more expensive but serve a purpose.

If you can’t buy what you’ve always been buying, then buy what you’ve neglected.

A Look Inside The Federal Ammunition Factory

BY Herschel Smith
1 month ago

From Ken’s place, this video is a little dated but still very good.  I’ll bet they’re working overtime right now.

I wish they had gone into more detail on logistics, supply, raw materials and sources, and warehouse min-max.  But that may be divulging proprietary information.

The Country Is Literally Out Of Ammunition

BY Herschel Smith
1 month ago


Every couple of weeks, Eric Rebels will make a two-hour trip from North Jersey to Eagle Point Gun in Gloucester County in a desperate quest to get ammunition to sell at his gun store.

To get a good place on line, he will sleep in his car overnight to be ready when the distributor opens its doors in the morning.

Sometimes, Rebels scores and is able to get one to two cases of 9mm bullets (1,000 rounds per case). Other times, he comes back empty handed.

In any case, Rebels says these days it is his only option. Not only is ammunition scarce, he notes, but he also has more customers than ever before at County Line Firearms in East Hanover.

“There is a nationwide shortage so what you can get you have to go through to get,” Rebels said.

Guns store owners around the state say the confluence of the coronavirus pandemic, civil unrest and an upcoming presidential election have created an unprecedented surge in residents seeking to purchase firearms and ammunition. The surge began, they say, when the coronavirus pandemic began devastating the country in March and continued to skyrocket in the aftermath of the protests that followed after George Floyd, an unarmed Black man, was killed by police in Minneapolis in May.

As of August 12, the New Jersey State Police has received nearly 130,000 firearm applications, topping the number of applications the agency received in 2018 and 2019 combined, according to State Police data. The number of applications this year has increased by more than 137% since last year— with more than 4 months left in 2020, according to the agency.

Michael D. Anestis, the executive director New Jersey Gun Violence Research Center, is studying the surge in firearm purchases during the pandemic. “A lot of the purchasing is driven by anxiety,” he said, which is not uncommon in times of uncertainty, adding that preliminary data suggests the demand is the highest it has been in decades.

[ … ]

“There is no product in the country,” said Rick Friedman, who owns RTSP, which operates gun ranges and stores in Randolph and Union. “Until they start producing more and it is hitting the docks, there is just no product to have. It is beyond a dire situation. The country is literally out of ammunition.”

“Right now, getting the guns are hard, the ammo is hard,” said Jack Faenza, co-owner of Garden State Armory. “Everything is hard.”

Excepting reloaders, purchasers of new or remanufactured ammunition have seen the price for reman 5.56mm go from 30 ¢ per round to 60 ¢ per round, and for new ammo from 50 ¢ – 75 ¢ per round to $1 per round or even higher within a few months.

There is still ammunition out there, but you must pay a premium for it.  Pistol ammunition is equally hard to come by and expensive, and even the availability of firearms has been affected.

ARs are in extremely high demand and many brands cannot be found at all, and even some other kinds of firearms are “scarce as hen’s teeth.”  As readers know for a while I had been interested in a Henry Repeating Arms Model X .44 magnum.  Go do a search on these guns and you’ll find that they cannot be obtained.  “Out of stock” is the common heading, and there is no backorder.  And these are lever guns.

So riddle me this.  In a time of unparalleled economic turmoil in the country, what do the people know that would cause them to spend their few remaining dollars on firearms and ammunition at such elevated prices?

Is it imagination?

Firearms And Ammunition Manufacturers Don’t Want To Get Burned

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 1 week ago


Gun and ammo makers are staying cautious ahead of the election despite surging sales, because they remember all too well the crash that happened after the election of President Trump.

Gunmakers can barely keep up with demand. Sales have been booming since the start of the pandemic, fueled by fears of coronavirus and civil unrest. FBI background checks have been breaking records. Makers of guns and ammo are reporting double-digit increases in revenue. Handguns are flying off the shelves and ammo is selling out and getting scarce.

“It’s the 2013 shortage all over again,” said Brian Rafn, a gun industry analyst who recently retired from Morgan Dempsey, referring to the run on ammo during the Obama administration. Rafn, whose family owns shares in Sturm, Ruger, said that nowadays buyers of popular ammo like 9 mm have to hunt for it from store to store like “the guy who’s buying milk during the hurricane.”

But gun and ammo makers are hyper-cautious about ramping up manufacturing capacity. They don’t want to get burned like in 2016, when sales surged to record levels only to implode on Election Day. Sales then were driven by fears of gun control fueled by mass shootings, but those fears evaporated with the election of President Trump, a Republican endorsed by the National Rifle Association. Gun sales plunged immediately after his election, resulting in layoffs and sliding stocks for Sturm, Ruger and Smith & Wesson.

Gun makers fear that fickle consumers could slow down spending, depending on election results, the severity of the pandemic, or the persistence of clashes between police and protesters.

“Firearm manufacturers are making prudent decisions to keep up with extraordinary demand during these past few months,” said Mark Oliva, director of public affairs for the National Shooting Sports Foundation, a gun industry group. “Manufacturers are producing firearms and ammunition as quickly as they can to meet customer demand.” But he said that gunmakers must meet the skyrocketing demand, which has outstripped production, “in a way that is going to ensure sustained participation in tomorrow’s market.”

Spikes in demand result in bullet shortages because the ammo manufacturing industry, dominated by Vista Outdoor and Olin’s Winchester, is less flexible than guns. Dionisio said bullet makers manufacture huge batches of ammo with massive machines to maximize efficiency, with no wiggle room to match fluctuations in demand.

“That’s an industry that has less of an ability to max up or max down,” he said. “You’re not going to buy this expensive machine just because demand is going to be up for six months.”

Manufacturers are trying to forecast the future for firearms. Will the election results increase sales or trigger a decline?  Will civil unrest and coronavirus continue to drive sales?

“Like any other manufacturing base, firearm and ammunition makers forecast their best analysis for what the demand will be for their products in the coming year,” said Oliva of the NSSF. “That includes placing orders for raw materials, including bar stock to make barrels, component materials to make ammunition and predicting labor, warehousing and shipping costs, distribution channels and retail demand.”

Logistics is everything.  Warehouse min-max must be adjusted, the upstream supply must match the adjustments, transportation must follow, machinery must be procured, machinery operators must be trained, QA inspectors must be trained, and on the list goes.

As with any industry, it can’t make these switches in an instant.  Moreover, even if they could simply hire a lot of folks, with the time and investment in training, the demand might have gone away at that point.

That would mean a drop in stock prices, the sunk costs of idle machinery, warehouse min-max that needed to be readjusted, and potential layoffs and the corollary severance packages for those manufacturers who want a good reputation for the future.

I know we’ve discussed primers as being the logistical sticking point right now, but this explanation makes the most sense of anything I’ve heard yet.  A fluctuation in demand is difficult to deal with for companies that rely on logistics networks outside of their control and who use complex CNC machinery.

It would be best if you already had what you needed.  I have actually ordered 5.56mm and .45 ACP ammunition for the last size months, even up through last week, at regular cost or perhaps slightly above (10%).  I had to search long and hard for it, but it was there.  But that ammunition was in the pipeline – the availability has basically gone away at the moment.

There may be deals in the future, keep your eyes open.  One thing I have found, for instance, is that the cost of personal defense ammunition has decreased even as the cost of ball range ammunition has increased while it also became unavailable.

If you’re willing to purchase reman ammo (re-manufactured), the deals are a little better.  I’ve found reman ammo to be quite reliable, e.g., through Freedom Munitions.

In the end, it makes no sense for the manufacturers to drop a lot of capital in expansion when their own polls are telling them that they won’t need it in the future.

Chicago Police Department Confiscates Body Piercing Ammunition

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 2 weeks ago

They must mean green tip.  All ammunition is body piercing.  Green tip isn’t armor piercing.  It was deployed because 5.56mm rounds were found to ricochet off of automobile windshields, and they needed a steel penetrator.  It’s a compromise for urban warfare.  There isn’t any hard shell body armor currently deployed by the U.S. military (e.g., ESAPI) which green tip will penetrate.

But y’all know all of that.

MAC: The Effect Of Barrel Length And Twist Rate On Bullet Effectiveness

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 2 weeks ago

Primers As The Logistical Choke Point For Ammunition

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 2 weeks ago

News and views.

Jacobs tells ABC11 that his friends in the ammunition industry cite the shortage of primer as being a major factor. The primer is the chemical or device that is responsible for making the bullet combust, according to Jacobs. This key ingredient is manufactured in Italy, a country devastated by COVID-19 in recent months.

“That created this huge backlog in the need for primers,” Jacobs said.

As a result, many shops are needing to raise ammo prices. Jim’s Gun Jobbery has had to raise theirs by 100 percent.

“The manufacturer or distributor has, you know, increased the price, and so, we have to turn around and market up, in order to not lose money,” Jacobs explained.

This isn’t the first time we’ve heard primers as the critical path component for the ammunition supply problem.

Why Is The Ammo Gone?

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 3 weeks ago

The DNC platform on gun control is fairly well known and is no doubt leading to frantic times.

  • Criminalizing private firearm transfers
  • Disrupting interstate commerce by criminalizing online firearm and ammunition sales
  • Instituting endless “delay” windows for background checks
  • Banning the manufacture and sale of modern sporting rifles
  • Banning the manufacture and sale of standard magazines
  • Enacting licensing schemes to exercise Second Amendment rights
  • Enacting ex parte “red flag” laws to seize guns without legal recourse
  • Mandating home storage requirements under penalty of law
  • Repealing the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act to subject the industry to frivolous lawsuits

We’ve covered a number of perspectives on the ammunition shortage, and Recoil Magazine has another one.

Demand is also driven by the same psychological factors that caused the toilet paper shortage: hoarding. According to recent research (Sheu & Kuo, 2020) “hoarding stems from a human’s response, either rationally or emotionally, to scarcity, and so may occur on either the supply or the demand side. As argued by [other researchers], hoarding can be an overall response that involves a mix of a strategic, rational and emotional human responses (such as anxiety, panic and fear) to perceived threats to supply.” That’s a smart person way of saying that when people think we’re going to run out of ammo, they buy as much as they can and sit on it, which contributes to the scarcity by artificially inflating demand.

Hold on.  Full stop.  There is nothing artificial about demand.  This is basic economics 101.  Worth and availability is determined by the value people place on a commodity.  The demand is real, not artificial or imaginary.

Another factor driving increased demand, and oddly higher prices as well are the huge numbers of new gun owners entering the market. The NSSF estimates that up to 40% of the guns sold this year have been to first time gun buyers. With sales at over 8 million guns and going strong, that’s a lot of new owners buying guns. They’re also buying ammo, but unlike people who have been doing this for a while, they have no idea what ammo is “supposed” to cost. To someone who moved to Texas from LA and now they want a gun, paying $25.99 for a box of 9mm seems reasonable, because that’s just what it costs at the moment.

Hold on.  Full stop.  There is nothing odd about higher prices.  See commentary above.

With demand driven by spikes in buying, hoarding, and new gun owners, what is the industry doing to keep up? Every company I spoke with is already at maximum capacity. Magtech is running 3 shifts, Federal is working around the clock, and the smaller guys are making ammo as fast as they can. The problem is that only a few companies produce ammo at the volumes needed – companies like Magtech and Federal, for example. They’re already at capacity, and adding capacity for a company that large is actually difficult. Adding a new line to make more 9mm ammo requires purchasing expensive machines, installing them, quality control on the new machines, and hopefully getting all that done in time to make enough ammo to pay off the cost of the new machines before the bottom drops out of the market. It’s actually easier for smaller companies to add capacity, because there are ammo manufacturing machines that produce rounds at a lower rate, which are more affordable. But these small machines produce thousands of rounds a month as opposed to the tens of millions of rounds that Winchester is manufacturing, and that won’t make a dent in the ammo shortage. It’s also important to remember that the increased consumer demand must be met along with existing government contracts. The same ammo lines that make rounds for gun shops also make rounds for federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies, and those contracts don’t disappear because it’s hard to make or source primers.

Some industry experts estimate that we won’t see a return to normal inventory levels for 12 months, even when assuming a Republican presidential victory in November. Normal inventory is defined as being able to buy as much as ammo as you want and can afford from the internet or your local retailer. Worse yet, prices may not return to pre-COVID levels for an up to 12 months after that. The long term disruption to the supply chain tends to result in increased costs for manufacturers which will get passed on to the consumer until we see a full economic recovery. Unless one of the factors causing massive demand suddenly changes or disappears, we can expect to see increased prices and rationing for some time to come.

That being the case, market disruption is the time for entrepreneurs to make strides where they would normally be crawling. Smaller ammunition manufacturing businesses now have a chance to capture part of the market otherwise dominated by big names, and with the multitude of new shooters, that stockpile of ammunition can quickly turn into a head start for competitions in the coming years. The difference between preparedness and hoarding in this world, is an ammo shortage is only a negative for the later.

The problem is that most good men don’t want to expand and blow money on producing a commodity when the long term demand may not be what it is today, and also don’t like to have to face layoffs.

I’m certain ammunition manufacturers are indeed working around the clock and operating machinery at capacity, with the boundary conditions of parts and component availability.

With all of that said, Fiocchio is bringing a $15 million ammunition manufacturing center to Little Rock, Arkansas.

Fiocchio of America is opening a $15 million ammunition manufacturing center to Little Rock, state officials announced Wednesday.

The new plant will primarily manufacture centerfire ammunition, Fiocchi President Anthony Acitelli said.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson said the facility will create about 85 jobs.

“These are good-paying jobs that will make a difference in our community, and most importantly, I hope that this is a partnership that will lead to future growth down the road,” Gov. Asa Hutchinson said at a news conference announcing the plant.

The Arkansas Economic Development Commission said the company will receive five years of cash rebates worth $579,186, based on the annual payroll for new employees. It will also receive $82,407 worth of tax refunds for the project.

The company is a subsidiary of Fiochhi Ammunition, an Italian company that has been in operation since 1876.

I wish Fiocchi well.  In the mean time, feel free to use comments to convey spur-of-the-moment deals on ammunition to readers. doesn’t always capture everything.


When Will Ammo Logistics Recover?

One Dealer’s Perspective On The Guns And Ammo Shortage

Explaining The Ammunition Shortage

When Will Ammo Logistics Recover?

BY Herschel Smith
2 months ago

More perspectives on the ammo shortage.

“We’ve already been told from the manufacturers mostly like, it’s looking like maybe late third quarter, maybe late fall, and it could be pushed into winter or 2021 until we get a lot of the product,” he said.

While Farhat said his store does have ammo in stock, but it’s costing more right now because he’s not able to buy it wholesale.

“We’ve had to go out and purchase through outside distributors that are able to sell us limited quantities here and there, and we just have to make do with what we can get,” he said.

That’s a lot of slush in his estimate.  Of course, I wouldn’t expect the supply chain ever to catch up with demand depending on the election cycle.

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