Where Has All the Ammo Gone?
I work for the world’s largest retailer of firearms. I understand that in the previous election year (2008), and post election there was hording of ammo by the American citizen consumers (ACC) that caused shortages. That is definitely happening again in 2013, but there are certain facts that I cannot explain away, if the shortage is caused solely by hoarding by the ACC.
Working for a retail chain that has hundreds of stores throughout the United States, I understand how modern retail and logistics work. I understand that we no longer keep stock in warehouses, to be doled-out when stocks have been depleted. Modern retail is now, “on demand.” Inventory is now tracked on computers, and when inventory gets down to a certain level (subtracted at the cash register) a new order is sent to the manufacturer. This could explain a certain lag time in resupply during times of hoarding by the ACC.
At the large, urban chain store location of the world’s leading firearms retailer, where I work, Thursday is “truck day,” the day we get skids ammo and firearm delivered to the store. In summer of 2012 we would typically get several skids of mixed ammunition in every Thursday. With rare exceptions, these skids usually covered all ammo previously sold, and all ammo was restocked and in good supply. As Fall came on, the skids we received contained more target shotgun rounds (7 1/2, 8, and 9 shot), and less center fire pistol and rifle rounds. In late December many center fire rounds stopped arriving, or came in at a trickle, sold out within hours of hitting the store shelves.
Now, in February, 2013, very little center fire ammo arrives on truck day. No hollow point center fire rifle ammo is arriving on truck day. If the large, urban chain store location of the world’s leading firearms retailer, where I work, is not getting the ammo produced by our nation’s ammo manufacturers, where is this ammo going? When we do get popular center fire rounds in (.223/5.56), it is usually some off brand, full metal jackets, made in Israel, or some such country. I have not seen a 200 round box of Remington UMC .223 ammo (once as common as house flies) in any retail store that sells ammo in my area, in three months. .308 ammo is not arriving at our store, period.
Even more perplexing is the dry up of .22 cal rim fire ammo. Why would the ACC be hoarding this? I know of no threat to .22 rim fire ammo that would cause a need to hoard. It is just driving the price up. We now are warehousing skids of target shotgun shells, the shelves and aisles full to capacity, and it just keeps arriving. Is someone expecting an invasion of clay pigeons? Reloading supplies are scarce, or nil around the whole metropolitan area where I live. Can someone explain these shortages to me?