If you have purchased any ammunition in the past six months, you know how prices have changed, and not in a good way. Finding ammunition is not that difficult. Paying the much higher prices is difficult. Ammo prices have gone up almost 400 percent since March 2020. Firearm prices have increased maybe 15 percent, unless you are looking to buy a Modern Sporting Rifle (“MSR” aka “AR”), in which case prices have gone up some 25 percent.
On the demand side of the economic ammo pricing equation, we have six million first-time gun owners in the last 16 months, according to the latest estimates. Many people have uncertainty over the long-term societal effects of COVID-19. The US economy appears headed for a recession (at least). There are surges in violent crime in many major cities (defund the police … really?), and there is a new regime in D.C. that is not likely to be firearms friendly. Demand is at a record high.
On the supply side of the equation, the workforce has been reduced, ammo-making materials are in diminished quantities and shipping of those materials has been disrupted. Supply is at a record low. Ammunition manufacturers indicate that they are, in spite of the supply challenges, currently producing some 20 percent more ammunition than in 2020. Manufacturers believe that eventually demand will level out and start decreasing, and then the prices will come to a new normal of about 50 percent higher than they were before all of the demand kicked in.
They may be ultimately correct in this belief, but what they do not say is when that may happen. The moral of this story is: Get your ammunition now for your department and for you personally. If you are looking for an MSR or a handgun, buy now. Prices on these will likely keep going up.
Never neglect training. If department ammo is in short supply, inexpensive airsoft guns are a truly viable alternative and they can be implemented in scenarios of many types. Traffic stops are far too often taken for granted. Room-clearing training can be done in any room. Domestic incidents can be easily recreated. Force-on-force work with airsoft weapons opens your training to new dimensions limited only by your imagination. Force-on-force work is challenging and won’t break your budget. Just don’t forget eye protection for all participants.
Stay safe out there.