We all do it….
We take a quick detour from the department we are in and cut across the whole store to the ammo in hopes of finding the particular caliber we need in stock and in large supply. When the shelves are empty, we start blaming the government, the Preppers, and even Homeland Security. Yes, I am sure each entity buys their share of ammo, but the reason it is not in stock on the shelf in front of you is simply supply and demand, and may have more to do with us than we might think.
There are others out there besides us and our shopping trip and it goes like this: Your store is most likely getting the supply of ammo in, and others are most likely demanding it right off the shelves again. Yes, Wally World may have to wait a little for the shipments, but 15 years ago, the shipments would actually stay on the shelves; slowly selling off till the next shipment in a month or two is needed. Now, we have the entire stock of .22 selling in less than a day. I remember when the .22 boxes had dust on them from sitting on the shelves for a year before being sold in some stores.
In short, yes our stores of choice must wait for ammo unlike the days of yester-dacades, but we are the cause of the ammo shortages at our local Gander Mountain, not Homeland Security or the local PD. We have to be honest with ourselves: If we actually saw a pile of 500-round boxes of .22 in stock at our local Dick’s Sporting Goods, would we not buy the limit?? Right now, being in the position I am in with friends, ranges, and this website, I do not need ammo as much as some of our readers may, but I could say that I would be bringing out the wallet and credit card for that one. And that is my point. The guy a few hours in front of us at Wally World got there first, and did exactly what I think most of us would in the same position; he bought the limit because he had his own reasons for needing/wanting it. It is a free country, and you got to love it.
Good thing though is that prices are coming back down and availability is going up.
I will say that I have seen this to be true at several stores I have stopped at during my recent travels. Prices are coming down and inventory is going up.
So next time you see your favorite round out of stock, keep your head up, and try to drown that negativity with a milk shake or something.
(UPDATE: As of November 22, 2014 I have noticed a huge increase in the amount of 5.56 and 9mm in my local stores. .22 LR is still scarce though…)
Stay Safe out there,