Ammo Shortages: More Than Simple Supply and Demand?


Awr Hawkins, a columnist for, asked back in February if the present shortages of ammunition are a deliberate attempt by government agencies to so overwhelm existing manufacturers with orders for billions of rounds that it is resulting in u201Cde factou201D gun control. Hawkins asked: u201CWhat if the shortage is intentional?u201D

On Wednesday he raised the same question:

While many of the conspiracy theories that have been propounded to explain DHS [Department of Homeland Security] ammo purchases ought to be rejected out of hand, it seems increasingly reasonable to believe these multiple, massive ammo orders have been placed one upon the other to exasperate the already low supplies in the private market.

It continues to sound like gun control by another name.

Certainly there are those who see a conspiracy behind every tree, none more so perhaps than Mac Slavo. Writing for his inelegantly named SHTF Plan, he points out that since President Obama was first elected in 2008, Americans have purchased more than 65 million guns, which averages one new gun purchase every 1.5 seconds. Says Slavo, this u201Csuggests there is much more … than just people stocking up to go hunting or sports shooting.u201D And then, without providing sources, Slavo ticks off the statistics: Smith and Wesson is running at full capacity, Ruger is ramping up production to meet demand, Armalite is u201Cmaxed out,u201D Colt is increasing its production runs, Springfield Armory is u201Crunning 30-45 days behind,u201D while Magpul u201Cis behind 1 MILLION (his bold) mags…. Do not expect any large quantities anytime soon.u201D

And as far as re-loaders are concerned, Slavo says, u201CIt could be 6-9 months before things get caught up. Sorry for the bleak news.u201D

Slavo apparently didn’t get the memo, however, from Hornady Manufacturing Company, the largest independent producer of bullets in the world. On February 12, the company issued a short statement on availability and provided some responses to rumors floating around the Internet:

The current political climate has caused extremely high demand on all shooting industry products, including ours. Empty retail shelves, long back orders, and exaggerated price increases on online auction sites – all fueled by rumors and conjecture – have amplified concerns about the availability of ammunition and firearms-related items.

If the information you hear doesn’t originate from Hornady Manufacturing, don't believe it.

Here are some of rumors we’ve heard, and questions we’ve received:

u2022 Have you stopped production, or has the government forced you to stop?

Not at all.

u2022 Did you stop selling bullets so you could only make loaded ammunition?

Absolutely not.

u2022 Since we can't find your product you must be selling it all to the government.

Nope, less than 5% of our sales are to government entities.

u2022 Why can't you make more? Ramp up production? Turn on all the machines?

We’ve been steadily growing our production for a long time, especially the last five years. We’ve added presses, lathes, CNC equipment, people and space. Many popular items are produced 24 hours a day.

Several hundred Hornady employees work overtime every week to produce as much as safely possible. If there is any question about that – please take a tour of the factory. You'll be amazed at what you see.

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