We’ve all heard that amusingly hypocritical line, “Lay in a big supply before the hoarders get it all!”  Indeed, we shooters all lived through that in 2008 and for a good time after.  People who feared the Obama administration would make good on the new President’s previously declared wishes to ban assault rifles bought up every AR15 and AK47 clone in sight, and ammo was so scarce people were waiting in line to buy the six measly boxes that WalMart allowed per customer.  Some of those folks in line were gun dealers, who took the six boxes back to their own shops to sell for inflated prices.

Whether you call yourself a survivalist, a prepper, or simply self-reliant, it makes sense to “buy it cheap and stack it deep” when it’s something you need, like food or medicine.  At least in terms of ammo, it’s too late to “buy it cheap,” but since I need a continuing supply of ammunition for training and match shooting, I’m stacking it deep right now myself.  The rumor mill whispers of coming shortages, due partly to the strongly-grounded perception that the Obama administration’s anti-gun leanings will come out of the closet once he’s re-elected. There are also certain other market factors.  Foreign countries fearful of the second term President pulling US troops out of their countries are rumored to be ordering small arms ammo in large quantities from US manufacturers, who have a finite production capacity.

Much has been made of Homeland Security’s recent contract with ATK for 450 million rounds of Federal HST 180 grain hollow point ammo, caliber .40 Smith & Wesson.  I don’t see that as a harbinger of martial law and civil war as some do. Being in law enforcement myself, I’ve seen the severe shortages that have plagued even police agencies in the last several years.  The contract is for up to all those millions of cartridges, and may mean nothing more malignant than that a huge government agency wants a contractual guarantee that they’ll be able to get enough to train and qualify their people, even if their actual deliveries never come close to the top level to which that contract holds the manufacturer.

If you’re a reloader, stock up on components, particularly primers.  Keep both components and loaded ammo in a cool, dry place.  If nothing else, if inflation runs rampant and turns hundred dollar bills into toilet paper, ammo is always worthwhile for barter…

What’s you folks’ take on the situation?


  1. Things he said he’d like to do before he was president and vague talk about ‘would seek to’ ‘would like to’ ‘is working on under the radar’
    If those aren’t promises made specifically so he doesn’t have to keep them; I’d like to see ones that are.
    If this fellow is so rabidly anti-gun as you claim; where is the evidence he has lifted a finger to ban guns in the 3 years he’s been in the white house. Why put forward these ridiculous arguments?
    It’s the reverse of the democrats problem with gun control. Why should anyone believe in their other policies when their gun policies are fact free? So why should anyone believe Mr Ayoob on guns, when his political pronouncements are invention?
    Some of your readers; the ones who think O’Bama is a communist and you are living in a dictatorship lol; obviously believe anything they are told.
    The rest are going to question your judgment.

  2. quickjoeysmall, I’ll refer you to my blog post of March 28, 2012, and the reader commentary attached thereto. Follow the links. Stay tuned for the speeches that will be made this coming Friday through Sunday at the NRA National Meeting in St. Louis. I believe that will collectively answer your questions and provide the information you request.

    clark, no need to comment on your melange of links. A hollow point bullet “packed” with lint as you describe it will very likely fail to expand when it strikes, but does not constitute a barrel obstruction per se. You might want to consider a magazine pouch. Foreign objects do not belong in gun barrels or in the ammunition supply, whether they consist of dirt, metallic obstructions, packed snow, or lower life forms.

  3. Mas:

    When you refer to “lower life forms” do you mean Communists, Democrats, Marxists, Socialists, or all of the above? Must be a very small liberal to be lodged in a bullet’s hollow point, even a .45 caliber projectile.

    Seriously, methinks this blog has been infiltrated by slimy individuals sucking up to our Dear Leader and his anti-gun cronies. Anyone who does not know of The Anointed One’s radically liberal voting record during his brief political career cannot be enlightened by any amount of facts or reason. Those folks are like zombies, whose only thought is to eat, except devoted disciples of the White House occupier will always cling fanatically to his every word, no matter how blatant and ridiculous those lies may be.

  4. Thank you for your reply Mr Ayoob. I followed that blog and comments and in fact contributed with the same points I’m making now.
    Raking through a politicians past for any anti gun comment he’s ever made and then claming this proves they are going to be actively anti gun now there is no political gain; is an exaggeration. Politicians on both sides have more or less decided there is nothing in it for them from pro or anti gun moves. So both sides make vague comments to please their supporters and then do nothing.
    I’ll look for some hard evidence of his anti gun activity in the white house from the NRA; who so far have only used the same exaggerations as you and if they come up with some, I’ll apologise promptly

  5. Germany had a “dept of homeland security” called the SS. In ours at this time 135,000 and growing. These bullets are someof the ammo they will be shooting the general population with while confiscating the guns. Now believe me when I say it. Any student of history will tell you the same. This man in the white house hates you and all whites, everything out of his mouth is a lie or 100 year old Marxist crap that did not work anywhere..Wake!

  6. If Obama is re elected, all hell will break loose right after. He has laid low on this gun thing to get the votes of the “necessary Idiots”, what commies call the little folk that they do not kill off right after they take over.

  7. well everybody expressed their thoughts on what obama will do. what we have to do is make sure he does not get another 4 years. we all need to get out vote. if your are not regestered,do so.. if you have kids get them to vote. there are many sportsmen clubs out there fighting for your guns & rights suport them. i still say he was born in africa and is illegail president .

  8. Actually I’ll tell you in advance what is going to be said at the NRA National Meeting in St. Louis:

    Every anti gun comment ever, or anything that can be construed that way (someone thinks another constitution might be good for other countries is purely an attack on the second amendment) by anyone associated with O’Bama, is going to be represented as a concrete set commitment by him to attack gun rights.
    Anything O’Bama has ever said that was anti gun or any vague promise to ‘do something’ is going to be presented the same way.
    The record of what actually happened on his watch: the right to carry guns in national parks is now allowed and it’s easier to carry a gun in DC is not going to be mentioned.
    This standard will not be applied to republicans.

    And I ask again: if the reverse of his record had happened: he removed a right to carry guns in national parks and made it harder to carry a gun in DC but made a vague promise to pro gunners to ‘possibly do something’ in his; second term. Would you be now saying ‘we can ignore what he actually did; because of what he says? You know full well you wouldn’t.

  9. I am anxiously awaiting November. But just a reminder, as I have been reminded by others over the last half year of primary campaigning. Unlike any other election we participate in, the general election in November will be determined by the Electoral College. Remember that popular vote is NOT what elects the President. Just as we cherish and honor the Second Amendment to the Constitution, we should likewise cherish and honor the system our founders put in place. The Electoral College has some very powerful plus’s that safeguard our states and the general populace.

    You need to really look and study the electoral votes in your state and determine if your vote really matters. I live in an occupied republic and sadly it won’t matter one thin dime’s worth if I vote or not. Yeah, I’ll probably head to the polls but it is an academic exercise for me and my family.


  10. Yep, agree with article, buy components, bullets and primers especially, brass can be scrounged anywhere there is a fight or a range, powder is a variable. Often you can use one powder for several calibers. Versitility is the key to powder….. Protect your reloading equipment, stock spares, and store you components and finished products in easily moveable moisture proof containers. Even a zip bag is better than nothing. Don’t tell every body you reload either. Keep enough to make movement easy and enough to protect what needs protecting. Stock pile only in your final secure spot. Otherwise you risk losing it to smarter better shots. or bigger firepower……….

  11. There is a lot of talk about ammo for barter. But ammo is not only the one thing a lot of people have, it is usually the only thing people have as emergency supplies.

    How about water filters, rain barrels, kerosene and propane heaters and stoves, grain mills, non-hybrid seeds, soap, socks, garden tools, chickens, etc. How many people are going fight off the zombies only to starve sitting on ten thousand rounds of ammo? And if bartering, what better than to spread around means to build long-term solutions for food production, heating, etc.

  12. It would be interesting to see the terms of the DHS contract. As others have noted, there’s an impressive number of feds who are either part of DHS and are covered, and other agencies who can piggyback on the contract at the specified price.

    IIRC, NYPD used to go through some 3 million rounds per year themselves. Considereing the changes made in training since those days of yesteryear, the total is probably up.

    My employer once had a contract with Federal, I don’t recall the total number of rounds-if there was one. I do recall that it ran 5 years and stipulated lots of not less than 100,000 rounds per order.

  13. Ive been an NRA member most of my adult life. I have way too many guns (thanks Dad) and conceal carry. I really think some of you guys have been watching too many apocalyptic movies and “Doomsday Preppers” episodes. Yeah, ammo is expensive and firearm manufacturers are slammed. But too many people are churning up dubious scenarios that create these problems. Try to relax a little. Moderation in all things ain’t a bad thing. Yeah, we will have some planetary ELE (that’s an Extintion Level Event) at some point, but you won’t survive to shoot it out with rampaging neighbors. And, Obama is not a communist. That’s ridiculous, and I hear so much crap comming out of people’s mouths blaming him for the most inane things that happen in their lives, I have a hard time keeping from laughing. Try not believing everything uninformed and schizoid friends and aquaintances utter. Research it for yourself. That’s the greater part of self reliance. Nuff said.

  14. What insane thing health care system that counrty can not afford push down are throat make US all buy goverment run health care threatening those who do not fines jail time. Hand out billion dallors abrams tanks to unstable Egyptian govermt Obama aprove him self. Obama had Hillary Clinton sign Un treat which would allow him ban small arms from his owen people with Un treat allow him to do so becuase buy pass congress to do so. I am spit ball but I say wait for second term in White house before spring that on all of us. Obama main man Erick Holder run Doj in so many scandal that he been in more congressional hearing from what happen with fast and fours to salander than run Doj. White House Aft along with Obama try blame gun dealers for what happen across board in mexico when got caught when Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was killed one semi out rifles that Aft lost down there from Operation Fast and Furious. The fall out from that been really along with facts Obama give full apovel over matter how being handle buy Erick Holder. There fact Obama way in on matter Trayvon Martin case before all facts have been know state thing about if Florida laws had been way where writen this would happen. Be careful looking in Obama four year in White House there reason attack NRA people support. He can not run on his record for it sucks . He spent frist four years not pass goverment budget can not blame republican for that becuase Democrat ran both House and Senate with majority out number republican for frist 3 year of him being in white all that time only thing that majority pass health care bill no one read. He not provide any jobs any numbers that have matter. He spent trillions dollars that Obama keep spending. I find all people trying tell other people well should scare people should look at fours years Obama been in White House realize they have real reason be scare have four more years of him in White House base on record. Unless live in Obama state denyle. Research so called people claim if your not smart enough know Obama becuase your friends with NRA or claim to be with NRA they may not be who they seem.

  15. If they were contracting for standard wad cutters or FMJ type ammo, with part of the contract being for the HST Critical Duty, I might not be too shook up about it. However, it is my understanding, that the entire order was for the new HST Critical Duty ammo. This ammo is for LE primarily, with the Critical Defense ammo for John Q Public. I’m not sure what the difference is, or even if there is a difference. But this ammo was designed for urban and/or suburban operations within a building, or to go through barriers with the polymer tip blocking foreign material from entering the hollow point, thereby preventing proper expansion of the projectile. I highly doubt they will use this ammo for practice, as expensive as it is.

  16. Russian and American airborne forces to hold joint training exercise at Colorado’s Fort Carson.

    Navy. Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff congratulates Gen. Nikolai Makarov, Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Russia after signing a memorandum of understanding to continue combatting terrorism at the Russian The Central Navy Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia on May 6, 2011. Mullen is on a three-day trip to the country to meet with his counterparts discussing issues of mutual interest. (Department of Defense photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Chad J. McNeeley/Released)

    For the first time in history, Russian and American airborne forces will hold joint drills in the US. The anti-terror exercises scheduled for May 2012 will get off to a flying start with a tactical landing operation and “terrorist” camp raid.

    ­“This is the first time such an event is being held,” Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Col. Aleksandr Kucherenko stressed, announcing the plan. “The Russian airborne will contribute a special task group that will exercise with US special service weapons.”

    Russian soldiers will receive preparatory training in Colorado’s Fort Carson with the US weaponry and equipment they are to use during the operation. The drills include parachuting, operation planning, reconnaissance, assault operations and evacuations by helicopter.

  17. Sorry but I’m going to disagree that shortages won’t be here soon. ATK the worlds LARGEST supplier of ammunition was responsible for the last shortage. Their contract was up for renewal. They are 100% dependent on the government for survival of the company. 75% of their company is military contracts for rockets,propellant,etc, they run the lake city ammo plant and lots of others. They make the wal mart brands. ALL IT WOULD TAKE for them to create a cascade shortage across the market would be for them to short civilian supply 25%. Shortly after the supply problems started in 2008 their contract was renewed with the government. I can all but guarantee that the Obama admin told them to short supply or else. This created a cascade breakdown of supply. All the Primers, and Powder, and reloading presses vanished from the shelves. Yes some of this was panic or hoarding but that has a limited effect. Eventually people run out of room in their apartments. Stock up now!

  18. Whether we like it or not the great gun and ammunition shortage of 2012 (and beyond?)
    has started.
    The reasons for it do not matter, its here and
    we have to deal with it !!!!
    You can thank the internet.
    Rumors or facts are instantly traveled around the
    world to billions of people.
    30 years ago all this would not be happening.
    We wouldn’t know what everyone else is thinking.
    Anyway its started and we have to deal with it.
    I used to buy a couple of boxes of 9mm/380/22
    just when needed. Now I buy 5 to 10 boxes at
    a time. And soon millions of others will be doing the
    same thing. And BINGO, empty shelfs everywhere.
    And you can bet that will happen !!!!!!

  19. Today I purchased 400 rounds of PMC Bronze .223 55 grain FMJBT right at 34 cents a round shipped. Three months ago I was getting Lake City XM855 penetrators on stripper clips in ammo cans for that price. Now that Lake City package is rapidly approaching 50 cents a round if you can find it. What is causing the shortage may be debatable but the impacts are not. Fortunately for me I got my base stock numbers up to what I wanted before the big jump. Todays purchase was for plinking ammo. To that end the PMC will work fine.

  20. Shortage or not all reloaders should be buying as many primers and projectiles that they can afford. I bought 20,000 primers and enough powder and projectiles back in 2007 and just recently did the same thing. Every time I look at any reloading component or ammunition it is more expensive than the last time I bought it. So it will never be as cheap as it is right now and I would stocking up. In 07 primers were 16-19 dollars per 1,000 when I just stocked up this year they were 33.00 a 1,000. In 5 years they are guaranteed to be well over 45.00 a 1,000

  21. If you think Obama and his admin support individual gun ownership, you are delusional. Obama is the best reason to stock up on ammo and components before his views evolve.

  22. in 2008 hillary clinton running for president in one of the debates made a statement (like) “THE CONSTITUTION GUARANTES YOUR RIGHTS TO BEAR ARMS BUT SAYS NOTHING ABOUT YOUR AMMO.” that made my hair stand up on end. i told all my shooting friends to start buying ammo and stock pile as much as you can. those who did not suffered badly during the ammo shortage a few years ago. now the liberals have full control and the congress is willing to wheel and deal with the president ( Speaker of the House
    John Boehner) willing to meet half way which means we are screwed.
    yes buy that new gun but by all means get lots of ammo ( if you shoot alot think of reloading) about 500 to 1000 rounds per weapon is needed and safley stored. remember one thing from history. never never never give up ( winston chruchill) the fight is just beginning and remember we and i mean we are not alone. there are 90,000,000 of us out there who own weapons and the guys i know have at least 20 of each rifle and guns.
    hang tight and store alot.
    big mikkel (doomer)

  23. heh heh glad I am paranoid delusional old guy! It is now Jan 31 2013.no guns or ammo available. Obammy on his soap box. many soap boxes trotted out. I don’t have enogh cases to last forever, but I won’t be going down swinging a baseball bat. .22,9mm, .45 30-30, 7.62 54r, .38, .357, 20 ga. Come ‘n’ git it, Obammy! lol Catch me if ya can!! I’m an old fart but learned a lot over the years.

  24. Why doesn’t some credible sports or gun journalist simply call the ammunition manufacturers and ask them why their ammo is in such short supply? Is it simply because of panic retail buying, or because of huge foreign contract orders, federal government purchases, or what? All I see on the Internet is pure speculation by frustrated ammo buyers.

  25. Dear shooters,

    I’ll tell you a couple reasons why we are short on ammo, because the industry is gouging and taking advantage of the fears, confusion and ignorance of the climate in America that the Oboma administration and liberal media have MANUFACTURED I mean, why is it we can’t even get freakin 22 shells and if we can they are about $50.00 a brick, that’s bull. In addition, some will say the military gets priority in the purchase of ammo, and they do, I spent 35 years in the Army and retired last year. We used to turn in all expended brass and it was in-turn sold to ammo producing industries for reload. As of 2009 all recovered spent brass in the military is ground up and so;d as scrap metal. I can’t even talk about this any more the industry and the Obama administration are generating the same outcome, but for two different reasons, one for power the other for money. The thing is they both only need one thing from the population of America and that one thing is in GREAT abundance, and that is stupidity.

  26. I remember getting angry at myself for buying up so much powder, bullets and primers during the last two years. Well, now it’s 2013 and my buddies can’t find any ammo and some are (shocking) wanted to try reloading! Trouble is, there’s nothing to buy…

  27. I have a friend in the service, SP, MSTSGT, that buyes Ammo for the unit and indicated that they were supose to double thier supply. And the reson they can get it, 1 GOV. & 2 the Gov has put a hold on any other sell. Meaning there is NO shortage, never has been. makes sense to me.