Ammunition Shortages and 2021 - Reloaders included | Carolina Shooters Club

Ammunition Shortages and 2021 - Reloaders included

Discussion in 'Firearms News and Firearms related political news' started by CoverSixTactical, Feb 14, 2021.

  1. CoverSixTactical

    CoverSixTactical Sponsor

    Joined:
    May 2, 2016
    Messages:
    110
    Location:
    Clayton
    The big question: Where has all the ammunition and all of the reloading supplies disappeared to? Well my friends the answer comes in many parts, but lets just say for arguments sake we have created the perfect storm

    First though this is going to be both an informative discussion and a soapbox. I just want everyone to be prepared.

    So let's look at the issues at hand:

    1. The Pandemic of 2020. The first pandemic for most consumers and the concerns of survival.

    2. The growing political unease and the almost certain frenzied buying that always happens in an election year.

    3. 8-10 Million new gun owners, depending on who you talk to, through 2020 and now into 2021 is set to a record pace for gun sales again.

    4. The threat of the new political anti-gun movement that has brought additional panic buying and uncertainty in the future market, and the reality that there may be government induced shortages and manufacturing limits coming up.

    5. The laws of supply and demand.

    6. Manufacturings capability to keep up with the new normal.

    7. The recent insolvency of Remington and the subsequent backlog that occurred and the catch up now to fill that void.

    So let's start backwards and work our way forward. Remington has only recently reopened their ammunition manufacturing plant and as such you can virtually count out all of their ammo for most of 2020. If we utilize the demand theory you can see that Remington was a huge producer of ammunition and primers and they were nowhere to be found for 2020. If you consider the major ammo brands to be Federal, Winchester, Speer, and Remington they would account for about a 25% loss right off the bat for the last year or more. Let's fold in Fiocchi, PMC, Hornady, Sellier & Bellot and we may reduce the impact of Remington being out of commission to about a 10-15% hit on the market. I know you are currently shaking you head and going, well that can't be because there are literally hundreds ammo makers out there in the world. This is true...and they make great products, unfortunately they almost all get their primers from the "Big 4". So since Remington hasn't made any ammo or primers they aren't available. So there goes 25% of the basic OEM market. All the little guys you know and love. Now let's factor in the fact that Remington even though not producing anything for the last year basically now falls under Vista Outdoors...the parent company for Federal and Speer. Both great ammunition manufacturers, and both who have continued to produce ammunition at a fervent pace. Here in comes the wrinkle. Demand has far outstripped supply. The new old Remington plant has come online and should be producing ammo by now, but Vista has said they have about a 1 Billion dollar current backlog just to fill the orders that are on backorder for 2020. So there will be no relief from any ammo or primers produced from the Remington plant until that Billion with a B order is completed. So lets say they get the plant to optimum running efficiency and everyone gets everything perfect, well then you have 12-24 months for everything to get back to normal.

    Or so it would seem. Now lets look at the little guys. Everyone outside of the big 4 have to get their supplies from somewhere. They don't have their own primers to make or smokeless powder lines. So they must all split an overburdened supply chain to fill all of their ammo requests. Don't forget that we have now added 10 million new gun owners and if we keep track it's probably closer to 20 million since all this foolishness has started. If you don't believe me, check out your granola crunching neighbors Karen and Thad, that now in addition to their Prius, Pilates, Veganism and crossfit have also decided they need a firearm because they read somewhere it would be good for self defense. So just their impact and buying has created a demand for, brace for it.... 1 Billion rounds of ammo. That's if they all buy just a single box of 50 per gun. 20 million x 50 rounds. See what I did there?

    So now let's address the other issue of where have all the supplies gone? It's simple. The manufacturing stream is not currently keeping pace so that everyone buying powder, primers, and bullets can keep pace. The manufacturers are continually releasing items out to market, but a quick check will tell you they haven't even dented their 16 month backorders and their supply chains are maxed just trying to catch up. So now the impact of Remington being out for just a year can start to be felt right?

    Remember the toilet paper shortage at the start of the pandemic? People weren't using more of it, it was where they got it from. All jokes aside the toilet paper industry was split between home and commercial use. Everyone came home at once and forgot to steal all of the paper sitting in janitors closets at work. The industry realized they had a problem. 50% of their customer base just transitioned to a different bathroom schedule.

    So Remington caused a shortage on the supply chain and the manufacturing side just when they were needed most to ramp up production to meet a huge increased need. So then smaller ammo manufacturers started to feel the squeeze every time they went to order powder or primers. They were basically being choked out by the market that they served. As store shelves started drying up, demands for smaller manufacturers to begin churning out products increased. But the big guys weren't releasing any additional supplies for smaller manufacturers because they, the big guys, had their own shortages in keeping up with current orders and demand. So this becomes a cycle. Until additional supply chains can be created....think overseas manufacturers for primers and powder, but that has it's own delays. Add into that firearms and firearms related imports are tremendously regulated and you start to see the tip of the storm. Getting new imports lines takes considerable time and a political climate that is conducive to international trade in firearms. So that's a joke because importation of firearms and ammo is crazy strict and is only going to get worse with new administrative plans to make the firearms industry a "health concern". So all of your Wolf, Tula, Fiocchi, Sellier&Bellots, Czech, and any other imported primers or powder become an even bigger issue.

    So lets look at those items. Powders from other countries have had numerous importation restrictions well before the pandemic or any other problems. We have had powders from Canada, Finland, Australia, Czech republic, and Russia before and the supply lines have been spotty at best. So lets make it even more difficult shall we? Outside importation restrictions and government bureaucracy the other manufacturers have not even been able to keep up with past demand. We have seen shortages well before 2020 with powders, primers, and lead. Now Western Powders, has been purchased by Hodgdon Powder, back in 2020. If you weren't aware, Hodgdon, IMR, and Winchester smokeless powder were all owned by Hodgdon corporation. Now Accurate and Ramshot are as well. So the only other public available powders are Alliant, VihtaVuori (see previous import issues), Vectan, and Czech powder (Shooters World). Hodgdon has recently announced to OEM's that there is no Varget or H4350 that will be available through 2021. Those are two of the most popular rifle powders for reloaders.

    to be continued.....
     
    SkydivnShooter likes this.
  2. CoverSixTactical

    CoverSixTactical Sponsor

    Joined:
    May 2, 2016
    Messages:
    110
    Location:
    Clayton
    part 2.

    So everyone is producing ammo and supplies and a rate that is basically as fast as they can produce it. But now demand for the products has far outstripped supply, and we continue to add new shooters everyday. Oh and not the least of which is the biggest ammo companies don't sell to the public....Grumman and General Dynamics etc. also get a big piece of the supply pie and a good deal of new military ammunition has called for components that you used to be able to get on store shelves. We used to get overruns from the really big companies when they didn't need excess over in the Middle and Southwest Asia regions.

    And just about last is pure old capitalism. Tons of people saw the doom and gloom coming and began to horde, acquire, collect, etc. These folks that used to only keep a few hundred rounds for each gun now keep a few thousand for each. Also capitalists began to buy up any surplus ammo on shelves as a tradable stock or commodity. Unfortunately they aren't shooting the ammo up, the circle of life, where they fire the ammo and then the brass and raw materials are reclaimed. They are keeping it and hedging on the fact that ammo will continue to get more scarce, which it is, and ammo will get more costly, which it will. They will eventually unload their position in the commodity once the value begins to drop. That unfortunately will not be any time soon. A quick check on armslist or gun broker will tell you: The secondary market is booming. Primers (A rare commodity needed by all OEMs outside the big 4) are selling for upwards of $300 for a box of 1000. To put this in perspective, non resale primers (OEM's) go for about $20 per thousand or $33 per thousand to consumers. Thats only a 900% increase on the secondary market. So primers, a necessary component for all ammunition, has just doubled the cost of each round of ammo, in one evolution. Good JHP ammo that used to cost $35 for a box of 50 now goes for $100 for that same box.

    So when you ask where is everything at? It's not a simple answer. The worse unfortunate question is: When will it all return to normal? The answer unfortunately is never. Well at least to what everyone perceives as normal. Things should return, to some normalcy within 12-24 months from now (barring no political intervention). Every time this has happened in the past (Primer, powder, ammo, bullet shortages) it has always resulted in overall increases of cost of goods across the board. It has been a given. To reiterate this, all the component manufacturers have announced price increases for 2021 equal to 4% to 15% increase. You haven't seen it yet, because of the markets current inflated prices. So don't expect ammo to go back to the "good old days". 9mm ammo went from $6 bucks a box back in the mid 90's to $12 bucks in the early 2k's, then $16-17 dollars in the Obama era, then pre-pandemic it was going up again but then everything broke loose. So expect $20+ a box to be norm when things get back to normal and supply is back with demand. This is assuming no craziness like a proposed 50% excise tax on ammo.

    Hope everyone hung in there. And don't pay $450 for a box of primers. You will never be able to recoup that in making ammo. At that rate you might as well get scalped ammo for $75-$100 for a box of 50 rounds as it comes out to be the same.

    Mike M.
     
    Frank Powers and SkydivnShooter like this.
  3. AJoldfart

    AJoldfart Registered Member

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2015
    Messages:
    511
    Location:
    NC
    Times are changing, but all us fat old guys live in the past. Yep those WERE the good old days!
     
  4. Bailey Boat

    Bailey Boat Club Subscribed Club Subscribed

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2007
    Messages:
    7,942
    Location:
    Kannapolis/Concord
    part 3. right
     
  5. kstephens

    kstephens Registered Member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2020
    Messages:
    685
    Location:
    Spartanburg, SC
    Ammo will start flowing back in.
    Imagine your a production manager at a plant with 10 lines.
    Are you going to dedicate one of those lines to 350 Remington magnum?
    No your going to dedicate the lines to the most saleable SKU.
    While deer season was upon us that had to be marginally sacrificed to produce ammo for hunting.
    Now that demand is virtually nonexistent lines will go to pumping out 9mm ball and defensive, 5.56 FMJ, .40 and 45. To some extent .308.
    Any production manager who did otherwise would lose his job.
    I saw the exact same thing last year when break makers , soda companies ect drastically cut variety to produce the core flavors.
    Fewer SKU, more profits.
     
  6. Kenneth Hartman

    Kenneth Hartman Registered Member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2021
    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    Johnston County, NC
    Before the Pandemic I was shooting a ton, but since it has become so hard to find primers, powder and bullets, I am conserving what I have. Brass is not as big a deal since I normally pick up my brass. More shooters needed to do that. In the past I have seen shooters just shoot and walk away without policing the area and gathering up their brass. I was always taught to pick it up even if you just have to throw it away. Some brass needs to be discarded because it is split etc, but it still can become an issue for the environment if left laying around. That's just my opinion, don't shoot me for it. All gun owners need to be considerate and safe. No need to give the anti-gun folks any more reasons for coming after our guns.
     
  7. 98cwitr

    98cwitr Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2019
    Messages:
    162
    Location:
    Joco
    Found 55gr and 62gr at midsouth today. Looks like theyre still in stock.
     
  8. CoverSixTactical

    CoverSixTactical Sponsor

    Joined:
    May 2, 2016
    Messages:
    110
    Location:
    Clayton
    Thanks. I saw them. bulk would be good, but beggars can't be choosers.
     
  9. Frank Powers

    Frank Powers Registered Member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2021
    Messages:
    20
    Location:
    NEW BERN
    Well done, a lot of folks claiming the Big 4 are hoarding ammo, this ought to take the wind out of that sale.
     

Share This Page