My post yesterday included a little whining about why I can’t take my Lovely Wife shooting this weekend—I can’t find cartridges for my little .22-caliber target pistol due to the ongoing run on weapons and ammunition. Here’s more information about the scope of the shortages, from industry sources, relayed by a friend who keeps track of these things. He’s trying to dig out the original source of this report, and I’ll post that when he finds it, but it seems legitimate. If true, the situation is worse than I thought:
Smith & Wesson – Running at Full capacity making 300+ guns/day—mainly M&P pistols. They are unable to produce any more guns to help with the shortages.
Ruger – Plans to increase from 75% to 100% in the next 90 days.
FNH – Moving from 50% production to 75% by Feb 1st and 100% by March.
Remington – Maxed out.
Armalite – Maxed out.
DPMS – Can’t get enough parts to produce any more product.
COLT – Production runs increasing weekly…bottlenecked by bolt carriers.
LWRC – Making only black (fw – powder?) guns, running at full capacity…can’t get enough gun quality steel to make barrels.
Springfield Armory – Only company who can meet demand but are running 30-45 days behind.
Ammo – Every caliber is now allocated! We are looking at a nationwide shortage of all calibers over the next 9 months. All plants are producing as much ammo as possible with 1 BILLION rounds produced weekly. Most is military followed by law enforcement, and civilians are third in line.
MAGPUL – Behind 1 MILLION mags, do not expect any large quantities of magpul anytime soon.
RELOADERS – ALL Remington, Winchester, CCI & Federal primers are going to ammo FIRST. There are no extras for reloading purposes… it could be 6-9 months before things get caught up. Sorry for the bleak news, but now we know what to expect in the coming months. Stay tuned, we’ll keep you posted.
(fw – they’re talking about retailers here) …they didn’t know when they’d be getting anything back in stock, from magazines to rifles to pistols. Manufacturers were running full-bore, but couldn’t come close to keeping up with market demand. It wasn’t just the AR-15s, the AK-pattern rifles, the M1As, and the FALs that were sold out. It really hit me when I realized that the World War-era M1 Garands, M1 carbines, and Enfield .303s were gone, along with every last shell…Every weapon of military utility designed within the past 100+ years was gone.
Note the paragraph on reloaders. Do-it-yourselfers are out of luck in this situation as well. A primer is the little doodad on the cartridge’s posterior that ignites the gunpowder when struck by the weapon’s firing pin. This is not something the average Joe can manufacture. Cartridges for my .22 pistol are “rimfire,” a different design, and not reloadable. So—no primers, no bullets. Black-powder muzzleloaders might be better off, though I’m wondering about the state of percussion caps, another item that doesn’t lend itself to home brewing. I suppose they could go back to flintlocks…
The report ends with a grim assessment of the motivation behind the panic: “This isn’t a society stocking up on certain guns because they fear they may be banned. This is a society preparing for war.”
I don’t find myself agreeing with this opinion, because, well, Tickle Me Elmo…and Twinkies. I’m not trying to be flippant here, but nothing motivates the American consumer like telling them they can’t have something, and the run started when government officials began making serious noises about gun control.
Yes, there’s a legitimate threat to the Second Amendment lurking behind all this, but I think the federal government has as much chance of successfully enforcing any substantive restrictions on citizen ownership of guns and ammunition as they had enforcing a ban on bathtub gin. I do think the situation speaks to a pervasive loss of trust in the benevolence of our government, which is a sad thing—but if people are really prepping for war, what war, exactly, is it?
“Never take counsel of your fears.” — Thomas Jonathan “Stonewall” Jackson