Sometimes things just move in the right sequence.
I had not blogged about the ammo shortage in quite a while - busy with lots of things, I simply hadn't made my usual fact-finding trips to the local stores.
Over the last week, I finally made the rounds (so to speak) even getting up to Jay's Sporting Goods in Clare, Michigan's Mecca for the outdoors.
I came back primed (sorry) to deliver my findings and what do you know? Bob Owens has a story up at Pajamas Media about the exact same subject:
Scan the ammunition shelves at sporting goods stores, your local gun store, or even Walmart and odds are that you won’t find what you are looking for. The most common cartridges are in short supply, and many stores ration ammunition a box or two at a time to spread their meager stock among their customers.
This isn’t new. But why is this nationwide ammunition shortage still happening?
Well, while it is still happening, it is not as bad as it used to be.
A year ago I wrote that the bullet bubble had peaked, and I stand by that. My most recent sweep of local stores shows that even big box chains are starting to refill their shelves - including the ones that had hitherto been bare. While the prices are still high, the product is there. A year ago 9mm was incredibly hard to find. Now even the suburban Meijer stores have it (though it is far from cheap).
The hoarders are probably nearing capacity and the panic is starting to subside. On the other hand, a lot more people are entering the shooting sports as guns lose their social stigma. Basically, the market got bigger at the same time that established shooters began panicking and building up their reserves.
My sense is that prices will start falling if the GOP retakes Congress this fall. At that point, the emotional aspect will have ceased and many of the shooters with 10,000+ rounds will begin to think that they may as well shoot some of this stuff before they buy any more.
Of course falling prices may also encourage people who were priced out to buy more, which is why the shortage persists in some areas. Still, the underlying trends are positive.