On the Range: March 2021

By Chuck Papp, Contributing Writer

The great ammo shortage of 2020 has now continued into 2021 with no real end in sight. So, what started all this? It boils down to several issues beginning in March of last year.

With the start of March 2020, the world changed with the full blown COVID-19 global pandemic. No matter what side of the fence you are on with this does not matter. It affected everyone with a firearm. You can have all the firearms you want, but without ammo they do not work. As soon as the stay at home orders and business closures went into effect people went crazy. They all wanted to protect what they had. The vast majority of gun sales were first time buyers, and with a gun they needed ammo. Once the existing gun owners saw what was going on, they started to buy it up as well.

It turned into pure hoarding of ammunition, which continues today. Let us be realistic, if they ran out of toilet paper and paper towels what do you think was going to happen with ammo.

Then came the defund the police movements and all the social unrest in some of the major cities. That was like putting 30 gallons of gas on a campfire. It took off yet again. The next bump was the November elections.

Everyone has known for a long time now when the Democrats get into the White House the gun and ammo sales start to gain momentum again. There has not been much said out of the new administration yet, but many feel it is coming. The more realistic approach from them will be a tax levied on firearms and ammunition purchases. There is a tax now, but it may rise 30 to 40 percent. This is keeping people watching closely. As soon as there is talk about it, the surge will start again. The manufacturers just cannot keep up with the demand.

The closing of Remington took one of the major 3 brands out of the picture for sales. Now that Remington has been purchased by the owners of Federal Ammunition, they are trying as fast as they can to catch up, but it is just not happening fast enough. According to some of the ammunition representatives, if these buying patterns stop now, it will still take them until late 2022 or early 2023 to get back to the levels of inventory which were seen in January of 2020.

It is going to be a tough road ahead for a while. The local shops do receive inventory, but it flies out fast. Conserve what you have, stay vigilant in your search, and hope there is a slowdown insight.