Ammo Shortages

Ammo Shortages, what is the truth?

The national ammo shortage continues in the USA, and it is for a number of reasons. Just like the toilet paper issue during COVID-19, and even again recently. One of the major factors is good old-fashioned supply and demand.

In 2020 more, there were 16 million background checks for firearm purchases nationwide between January and April, a 31 percent increase from the year before. Later in 2020, as riots happened, the sales only increased. Good people whom may never had considered purchasing a gun were buying them.

A 2020 survey by the National Shooting Sports Foundation, a trade association for gun retailers, ranges and manufacturers that lobbies Congress, said gun shop owners reported 40% of customers were first-time gun buyers from January to April 2020. Again, that data is before another major jump in firearm sales.

Before COVID-19 and the supply chain issues that have impacted virtually everything available for sale, there were already major pressured on ammunition supplies. Major ammunition purchases from the Government had already seen prices increase, and supply drop.

New Gun Owners

The NSSF estimates that 8.4M people bought their first firearm last year. That is 8.4 million people that all want a supply of new ammo for their gun. Most people reported that the reason they purchased their new gun was self-defense. So those people do not just typically want a single box of ammo. Understandably, new gun owners were a supply that they feel comfortable would help them protect their home and family.

In 2020, gun retailers reported a 95 percent increase in firearm sales and a 139 percent increase in ammo sales compared to the same period in 2019, according to survey results published in August by the National Shooting Sports Foundation, or NSSF, a firearm industry trade association. (

Even hunting license sales were up by nearly 5%. Likely because people wanted to do an outdoor activity more, and some were hunting for additional food stores.

Hunting license sales were up five percent in 2020 over 2019, and a significant portion of that boost was from first-time license buyers. Meanwhile, the firearms industry welcomed more than 8 million new gun owners in 2020. (

Ammo Shortages Likely to Continue

According to the weapons website The Reload , those in the industry expect the shortage to continue for years.

So, it should be reasonable to say that demand itself is way up. Higher than normal. More new gun owners, more overall demand, and people stocking up because of the crazy times.

There are also supply chain issues from COVID-19. Some factories had to close down, or work with reduced staffing. Others are still finding labor hard to find. Right now, in October 2021, over 10.44 million jobs remained open and unfilled. These are jobs in all parts of our economy, and this has caused a breakdown in services, as well as parts of our supply chains.

Even if an ammunition manufacturer is fully staffed (few are) because of demand, they want to hire more labor and can’t find the help. Then these manufacturers also need materials and parts to make their ammunition. The metal, gunpowder, and even the ammo boxes may all be low on supply. While some manufacturers would like to start a 3rd shift and run 24 hours a day to meet demand, they themselves can’t get the supplies they need to make their products.

That is what people talk about when they talk about supply chain issues. Everything that is made or produced is impacted by other parts of a supply chain. Even simple items not as complex as ammunition still need other parts like packaging, and labor to get their goods to market.

Experts say these supply chain issues are likely to last for years to come.

Since the ammunition shortage may continue for some time, we need to think about our needs, and where we purchase our ammunition. These days you can purchase ammo online and have it delivered in many areas.
The ammo supply issues have these reasons, and likely others too many to list.

So what can the consumer do to find the ammunition they need. The best solution is to find an online retailer that has an outstanding reputation and that is, in fact, a licensed firearms dealer. This way you save time, and do not end up driving all over town looking for your desired ammo caliber. You can also find a local retailer whom you trust and go to that single location. We just think online is easier for most people.

Our favorite online seller who has an outstanding customer reputation is Top Gun Supply the owner and staff have worked very hard to keep as much ammunition in stock as possible. They have retail locations in Ohio and Florida, but also sell ammunition, supplies, and guns online. Shopping online for ammunition just makes sense. Driving all over town just hoping to find a box or two makes little sense. Especially, as gas prices continue to soar. Just simply go online and find what you need. Check back often for stock updates as well.

On a recent search myself I was happy to find all the ammunition sizes I wanted in stock with several available from different manufacturers. I found 9MM ammo at prices I thought I would never see again.

For target practice with the kids, I also found 22LR ammo that was at a bargain price. This reminded me of a summer camp where I used to shoot a 22 at targets as part of my daily camp adventures. Imagine finding bricks of rounds for less than $10 these days. Truly wonderful prices.

Thinking rationally about the amount of ammunition you may need can help control the desire to purchase or hoard ammunition. This should help decrease demand as people think more reasonably about their needs.

Read this post in Ballistic Magazine about the amount of ammunition someone should have on hand.

How much ammunition should you keep on hand?

Before answering that question, ask yourself how much ammo you need to protect yourself under the two most likely scenarios. Those scenarios are sheltering in place and relocating to a safer location if staying home becomes untenable. Do you stay put or bug out If sheltering in place, most of us would choose a semi-auto centerfire rifle or a shotgun, along with a centerfire pistol or revolver. Under those circumstances, 300 rounds is a good starting number to have one hand for each primary defensive firearm.

That means every time you practice, you should replace the ammunition used with new fresh ammo; that way you won't be unprepared if there's a sudden increase in demand. If there's more than one household member with a gun, then this would apply to each primary defensive gun used by each person. (

Now that you may have a better understanding of what you may need or like to have on hand, when it comes to ammo get shopping online with a trusted retailer like and get what you need.