A Case of ammunition
In this of all years, don't be counting on gifts like this.

This is the time of year where I usually make gift suggestions in this space. I’ve been doing that already with a book suggestion here, and a garment suggestion there. For hardware, though…

…we’re in the worst possible time for that.  It’s hard to suggest what guns and ammo to buy for the shooters you care about when guns are scarce and ammo is scarcer, and outrageously expensive.

What’s to do? 

I’d suggest gift certificates from your local (ideally, the gift recipient’s local) gun shop. Industry sources tell me that availability and pricing won’t be coming back to anywhere near normal until well into 2021.  

Make sure the gift certificate is good for at least a year.

You’re also doing a good deed for your local gun shop. You’d think with all the demand, they’d be rolling in profits, but that’s not the case. Demand notwithstanding, they can’t sell what they can’t get into inventory. 


  1. Good advice. It’s easy to think that with demand this high, gun stores would be doing well, but many (especially smaller “mom-and-pop shops”) are struggling. They had a couple really good months early in the pandemic, when the run on guns and ammo started, but now the supply from the manufacturers has dried up, and they can’t get new product to sell.

    After that first few busy months, local gun shops’ revenues are way down, but their monthly overheads (lease/mortgage, utilities, employee payrolls, etc.) haven’t gone away.

    Anything you can do to support your local gun shop this holiday season — and help make sure they’re still around next holiday season — is welcome.

    • Has production of guns and ammo decreased? From what I hear, the factories are running as hard as they can. It’s demand that’s outstripping production. I suspect the problem local gun shops face is competition from large vendors. Distributors would rather sell one hundred guns to a single, large retailer than five to each of twenty small shops.

      • That’s part of it, but demand is still high. Vista Outdoors (Remington, CCI, Blazer and more…) is a year+ behind and more than a billion dollars backlogged. With millions and millions of new gun owners and millions more buying all the ammo they can before the Biden boogieman confiscates, there simply isn’t enough supply chain to catch up quickly.

      • I wrote “supply”, but more accurately it’s the “supply chain” not keeping pace with demand.

        From what I’ve heard, it’s primers, specifically, that manufacturers are having trouble getting (or getting the raw materials for). That’s the bottleneck in the supply chain.

  2. You will have my undying love and exchange for small pistol primers. May The evil princess and yourself have a most wonderful holiday with the families Merry Christmas and Happy New year

    • HI Don, I attended last November’s “Swap-Meet”, at our local shooting club, our annual get-together and elections. There were some members there that did have small-pistol-primers. I was very fortunate to get 3-boxes from a long-time friend and shooting buddy at a steep discount. That said, ALL primers were selling at $100/1000…i.e. 10-cents per…….He sold all he had available, and attendees were very eager to set their $$$ down. I am very surprised to see even bullet moulds/molds on back-order, likewise with reloading dies. Keep yer powder dry, stay safe, and best wishes for a Merry Christmas – Mike, aka Frank’s Son

  3. If Soros wins the presidency and Harris gets the White House and Biden gets to watch cartoons and coloring books the availability of ammunition won’t improve anytime soon, if ever

  4. The gift of training is not such a bad idea. A gift certificate for a local gun safety or tactical ops provider is a thoughtful way to keep them safe and prepared.

  5. Interesting note on inventory. Ive been seeking an AR -10 of some description, preferably an M&P to match my Sport 15. Retailers don’t know when they’re coming in, S&W says check with distributor. The gun counter guy at Bass Pro told me to call in every day to check. Sounds ridiculous that they don’t know when products are coming to their store. Can’t order it but might get lucky if I keep calling??? Hmm….
    Sounds hinkie to me. There’s got to be something else to the story I’m missing.

    • If there’s an Academy Sports where you live, try them. I recently saw a Springfield Armory M1-A Scout Squad rifle at my local store and was told it was ordered for a customer who changed his mind about buying it. The rifle was sold within two weeks for $1800. Whereas Bass Pro employees claim they don’t know when or what is being delivered to their stores, my local Academy Sports clerks tell me their ammo shipments are on Sundays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays. They say they don’t know what kind of guns and ammo are arriving though. Currently, ammo is limited to three boxes total per customer per day.

      • Wherever you are, ask when ammo deliveries come in. Our local Big 5 (yes, I know) gets their ammo deliveries every Friday morning. In scarce times, it’s usually sold out by lunch.

        But it will save you a lot of time, fuel, and frustration if you can learn where to check and when.

    • I work part-time with a midwest gun store chain. They have open orders with everyone and take everything they can get. You never know exactly what is coming. Ammo comes in small amounts and sells out quickly. If you want something specific, you either get lucky or find it online and wait.

  6. The ATF/Biden war on firearms makers and gun owners has begun with the raid on Polymer80. All the AR pistols will be reclassified as SBRs next. Merry Christmas from the left.

    • Next you’ll need a tax stamp for pillows and pipes. The terms “firearm silencer” and “firearm muffler” mean any device for silencing, muffling, or diminishing the report of a portable firearm, including any combination of parts, designed or redesigned, and intended for use in assembling or fabricating a firearm silencer or firearm muffler, and any part intended only for use in such assembly or fabrication. If you keep your sidearm next to your pillow, then it is a firearm silencer. I’ve seen it where people take two different diameters of iron pipe and build a working 12ga shotgun out of it (I’ll not say exactly how it’s constructed lest someone here try it and get hurt).

      • Guessing that the outlaw/assassin character Anton Chigur in the movie “No Country for Old Men” had no tax stamp for the improvised silencer on his 12-gauge. He also had an extra purpose for a pillow when he went on one indoor shoot. He would have been within sound restrictions in Maricopa County, AZ, though, give him that. Might have gotten him a reduced sentence, had he ever been apprehended. He did encounter some consequences from his occupation, though.

      • From what I’m told, a Sten submachine gun is made essentially from a couple lengths of pipe, a few springs, and a few other odds-and-ends welded on. The receiver — the “firearm” part of the firearm — is basically a pipe with cutouts and pin holes machined/drilled.

        Which means Home Depot has been selling 90%-completed Sten receivers by the bushel for years.

  7. Expect the ammo ‘shortage’ to be solved fairly soon next year. Internet sales directly to users will be banned by federal law, and local purchases will require a valid ID with quantity limits.
    No need to confiscate (I don’t use the term ‘buyback’) legally owned firearms, just severely restrict ammo sales and the rest will follow.

  8. Re the unsurprising current status of the hazard posed to the US Constitution (with its 2nd Amendment, of course), from widely-acknowledged, yet-decisive 2020 election frauds still coasting under the judicial radar. One sees FIVE more LEGAL POSSIBILITIES: FIRST, to impeach certain judges based on good behavior standards (got whatever dirt?) Too unlikely?. SECOND, promptly invoke the Insurrection Act to secure forensic investigations in order to enable further revelation of undeniable, presentable evidence regarding decisive illegal vote counts. THIRD, to require discounting of obviously illegal votes under names of deceased, minors, out-of-state, late, etc. FOURTH, a reformed national election. Unlikely? FIFTH, some or all state legislatures choosing electors according to law and the courtesy of compatible uniformity. Results may vary? Hoping the Federalist Papers of Hamilton-Madison-Jay present real Trump salvation. What can support certifying illegal vote counts except corruption?. “Legalities,” one supposes. TN_MAN out there on the swing states?

    • Everyone in America should be allowed to vote in our elections, even Mickey Mouse, Elvis, Donald Duck, etc. who I’m sure made the patriotic decision to vote for Harris and Biden.

      • Tom606,

        We the people need to get out of the way and let our leaders lead. America was created by white male slave owners, and it only works for white males. Everyone else who lives here has a miserable existence. Yes, I have to admit those white males invented a bunch of practical, helpful inventions that make our lives easier, but easier lives are not better lives. Wait till you see the country Hillary, Obama, George and Kamala will create for us. It will far surpass anything the Founding Fumblers ever did. Our leaders know how to bring about the just society envisioned by Marx and Engels. Never mind that others have already tried that. America’s liberals are better people, and they will get it right this time. Paradise, here we come!

  9. I remember Jeff Cooper writing about an ammo shortage in the earlier years of the XXIst century. It must have been before 2006, because he died that year. He remarked that he was glad he had enough guns and ammo at the time.

    At the time I thought, since this was a shortage of a desirable product, capitalism would view this as a money-making opportunity, and catch up with demand in 3 or 4 months. Boy, was I wrong. I think it was two years before the supply caught up with the demand.

    Imagine being a first time gun owner at this time. You have a hard time buying guns and ammo, and you have to spend more than ever before. Scary, and sad. I wonder if people are buying baseball bats, crossbows and compound bows too.

    • @ Roger Willco – “I wonder if people are buying baseball bats, crossbows and compound bows too.”

      Don’t know about the bows but I suspect that there is a good market in baseball bats right now. Enough for Amazon to advertise specialized bats for the purpose. See this link:


      I suppose that, at a price of only $20, plus tax and shipping, one of these bats would be a low-cost self-defense option. That is, assuming one is young enough and strong enough to swing it effectively.

      One should check your local State laws before carrying such items. At one time. the Laws of my State (Tennessee) contained prohibitions against all types of non-firearm self-defense weapons. It was illegal to carry (A) a knife with a blade longer than 4 inches, (B) an automatic (switchblade) knife, (C) a club such as a nightstick or one of these bats or (D) any kind of brass knuckles. Of course, it was (and still is) also illegal to carry a handgun without a carry permit issued by a State Government or the Fed’s. An exception was also included for carrying a nightstick if you were a law-enforcement officer or a private security guard.

      These prohibitions dated back to the 1950’s and pre-dated the current self-defense movement. At one time, carrying almost anything for self-defense was forbidden. The exceptions were pepper sprays and electric shock devices which came to the market after the 1950’s and never got included in the old blanket prohibitions.

      Fortunately, these laws were revised a couple of years ago. The prohibitions against knives and clubs have been dropped. It is still illegal to carry brass knuckles in Tennessee. Recently, Tennessee has loosened the requirements to obtain a handgun carry permit but one is still required for carry. Tennessee is not a “Constitutional Carry” State.

      • Correction to my comment above. While the knife carry laws have been revised, a further check of Tennessee Code Annotated shows that it is still illegal to carry a club, nightstick or baton in Tennessee if one has the “intent to go armed”.

        I suppose that, if one could show that he or she was carrying a club-like object for some other purpose (carrying a bat on the way to play baseball or carrying a heavy flashlight as an illumination tool, etc.) then it would be OK. It is also OK to carry a club or baton, in Tennessee, if:

        “… a person possessing a club or baton who holds a valid state security guard/officer registration card as a private security guard/officer, issued by the commissioner, and who also has certification that the officer has had training in the use of club or baton that is valid and issued by a person certified to give training in the use of clubs or batons;

        … By any person possessing a club or baton who holds a certificate that the person has had training in the use of a club or baton for self-defense that is valid and issued by a certified person authorized to give training in the use of clubs or batons, and is not prohibited from purchasing a firearm under any local, state or federal laws.”

        These laws shift around all the time. One almost has to have an attorney on speed-dial in order to keep up. With the Leftists back in power, expect things to get even worse. The Leftists love to use complex and every-changing weapon laws to entrap law-abiding citizens. All the better, from their point of view, to discourage an armed citizenry. The Leftists want disarmed subjects (slaves, really) who have no choice but to crawl and obey. Armed and free-thinking Citizens is the LAST THING that they want!

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