Ammo Shortage 2013…What To Do?

I’m sure all of us notice the ammo shortages when we visit our outdoor sports stores, Wal-Mart, etc., but just why is there such an ammo shortage and how can you stock up and purchase the ammo when you need it. Common calibers routinely sell out within minutes of appearing on store shelves and prices have soared as much as 70 percent.  After all, its somewhat annoying when you go to the store and the sign behind the ammo counter reads ” 1 box, per caliber, per day”.

Why The Shortage

Panic Buying

After the horrific and tragic events that occurred during with year with all of the mass shootings, and now the August 20th shooting/incident at an Atlanta elementary school (no one hurt), gun buyers are worried about a ban on certain types of weapons and ammo, I don’t blame them.  With the panic of a ban on these items, men and women go out and buy a large quantity of ammo to stock pile in their basement.  Another reason why is also due to the obvious price gouging, supply and demand.  With everyone buying the large quantities of ammo, shops are forces to restrict the amount we can purchase in order to somewhat please future buyers.


I’m not 100% certain as to why the D.H.S is purchasing over 1.6 Billion rounds of ammunition this year, 16 times more than objectionable, and more than 1,000 rounds per person than the United States Army.  ICE’s ammunition requests alone in the last year included:

–450 million rounds of .40-caliber duty ammunition

–40 million rounds of rifle ammunition a year for as many as five years, for a total bullet-buy of 200 million rounds

–176,000 rifle rounds on a separate contract

That is one “metric dung ton of ammunition!”

With these organizations purchasing such large quantities of ammunition, it leaves us “regular” hobbyist out in the cold.


What Can You Do?

Luckily there are a few ways we can still acquire our ammunition without worrying so much about “limitations” and price gouging.


Reloading your own ammunition is probably the best way to avoid the ammo blitz, and something I find to be extremely affordable.  The general public tends to stay away from reloading their own ammo in fear of not knowing how to do it, lack of time, or simply just don’t know.

The actuality is that when or if you decide to reload you own ammunition, you’ll be spending mere pennies per round.  You can buy the factory loads at $1250 per 1000.
Or load your own at $310 per 1000.  For those of us shooting .40, .45, .223, .308, etc., the supplies aren’t that hard to come by and are relatively cheap.  New brass can be had for 14 cents a round without even trying. Once fired brass is about half that.  Powder is about 1.3 cents a round.  Primers are 3 cents per round.

Materials Needed:

  • Press 
  • Dies
  • Case Tumbler
  • Case Trimmer (Most handgun re-loaders don’t trim brass, but there are some that do.)
  • Powder measure
  • Powder scale
  • Calipers
  • Case Lubricant

For those just starting, you can get all of the necessary products anywhere from $400-500 and start producing your own loads at an extremely low-cost.

Times of Day and Internet Apps

You can also try visiting your local Wal-Mart between 6:00 am and 7:30 am on a Sunday or Tuesday to get your hands on some ammo at a 24 hour Wal-Mart.  You can also try your luck at this internet App that I’ve found online:

About the Author

is a former U.S. Army Ranger with multiple combat deployments to both Iraq and Afghanistan. During his service within the 75th Ranger Regiment, Nicholas served as an Assaulter, Heavy and Light Machine Gunner, and Designated Marksman.


This is one of the most over exaggerated conspircaies since the Kennedy assassination.  DHS has NOT purchased several BILLION rounds of ammo this year WHY because the manufacturers can't produce that much!!  Ask the manufacturers.

 The shortage is because of freaked out panic buying and THIS IMPORTANT ammunition distributors bottlenecking the supplies.  Go to Gunbroker and Gunauction and see how many dealer bulk cases are being sold.  Specifically check out places like Sportsman Supply in Pennsylvania and see how how much NEW amoo they are selling out of bulk dealer cases!

Far too often I have seen cases of the old style bricks of .22 LR ( you know the old style bricks which had 10 boxes of 50) going out in these dealer cases.  These are the lind of bricks small dealers use to sell individual boxes.  The same is applying to .223, 9mm .40 S&W.  Large quantity cases that COULD be going to law enforcement agencies who can't get it are being sold bulk.

 People need to get their heads out of their asses and try to think instead of listening to the hysterical drivel put out by the far left AND far right.

What IS happening is that all the crack pots hoarding ammo and automatic weapons are making people nervous.  In other words crackpots and greedy jerks are creating the ammo problem and may actually fuel a problem they thought existed beforehand.


I'm seeing more squib rounds (manufactured & rounds by reload), with this demand & shoddy qc all over, by individuals and companies, I can only predict more eyes and hands fucked.

Too many people tap rack their way thru this... KaBOOOOOOOOOOOOOM!!!


Another tip for those starting out. I have the Lee Breech Lock Hand Press. It's under $100 and works great for pistol ammo. Some reviews I saw on it when I bought it stated the it doesn't work well for rifle ammo. But it's definitely a good starter for pistol shooters on a budget


Seems like 9MM and .40 is always out of stock but .45 is always available.


Reloading. That's genius. I'm definitely  investing in  that next year. 


Good article, Nick.  Reloading is the way to go if you shoot more often than just casually.  Nothing like going out in the garage here in the AZ summer to load up some rounds!   


@Jake75 I highly recommend it. Not just for the savings. I shoot and reload 9mm, when I first started reloading I experimented with the powder charge until I found just the right amount that made my gun as accurate as I can fire it. I haven't shot but maybe 150 factory rounds since I started 5 years ago

Old PH2
Old PH2

@ABLE1 @Jpc1 .45, 9mm, .380, .223, and .308 are all hard to find around my part of Central Ohio.  Find that bulk brass and buy it, hell I'm having a time finding small rifle primers, at a good price.  You can find them, but you'll pay!   


@Old PH2 @ABLE1 @Jpc1 i no your right i live in central ohio to only 9mm i could find was 115gr but my berreta nano doesn't like it then i went to ck last week to see what they had nothing and don't no when they going to get any it really sucks 


@Jake75 @DoubleB1521 It depends mainly on if you decide to trim them or not. I don't bother with it. I as a rule of thumb shoot a case 3 times then throw it away. You'll want to inspect each one closely before reloading and shooting it. Looking for dents, cracks, and anything that doesn't belong. Buy a good manual or 3 before you start. I have the Lyman 49th Edition. It goes into detail and has good clear pictures of want you'll want to look for