Retailers across the country have seen their shelves stripped bare of ammunition. When I first noticed the shortage this fall I attributed the phenomenon to hunting season and an inexplicable failure by manufacturers to adjust for seasonal demand, but everything is gone now (inventory down 93% since the election), from little tiny 22LR cartridges used for shooting targets and squirrel heads to cheap NATO 7.62 (.308 cal.) ammo, sold in quantities of 500-1,000 for a full day at the range, to premium hunting loads costing $1.50 apiece.
I buy .22 ammo in bulk because it’s a cheap way to practice (4.5¢ -7¢ per), but as noted, it’s been sold out across the nation. I can’t quite figure out why there’d be such a huge demand for such a small caliber but the larger stuff is going, I assume, from a fear that ammunition will be the next battleground in the effort to confiscate all private weapons. Note that this buying surge occurred when Obama was reelected, weeks before Newtown. Now that Feinstein and her president are being more open about their plans (although Feinstein spoke of confiscation as long ago as 1990), the “paranoia” of certain gun owners looks more and more justified.
My tip to you Wall Street traders is to buy gun and ammunition manufacturers, at least short term. This thing is just beginning to heat up and as the volume increases so too will sales. Hell, I almost ordered 1,000 rounds of .308 ammunition (just a tad smaller than the 30-06 shown below) that I found still available on the Internet yesterday, even though I shoot the stuff through a single-shot Ruger No.1. That would be just about five lifetimes of supply, so I resisted the urge, but the thought was there: buy while I still can.
Multiply me by a couple of million other gun owners, and Remington starts looking like an attractive buy – too bad they make such crappy ammo. (UPDATE: You M&A guys might want to consider privately owned Hornady Manufacturing – great product, innovative management and located in Buffet’s back yard, Nebraska, Surprised he hasn’t snapped these guys up. And ignore the link’s reference to Hornady manufacturing rifles and pistols – they don’t; this is a pure ammunition play and as usual, Bloomberg Business knows as much about what it’s reporting on as its owner knows about Big Gulps.)
Here’s a snap shot of various cartridges for those readers unfamiliar with the relative sizes of ammunition.