The shooting world is awash in rumors and speculation. The rumors I hear range from the obvious to the ludicrous.
I got hit by this weird rumor, that ammo companies have stopped making ammunition, right before the SHOT Show, and have heard it many times since then. The folks that espouse this one seem to believe that many or all of the ammunition manufacturers have ceased production in an effort to run up the prices of thier goods. Then, at a later date, the companies will trickle the ammunition stockpiles back into the market at inflated prices.
I suppose this could make sense if you believed the firearms industry was run by a cabal, like OPEC controls the middle eastern oil production. There are many problems with this theory, including the number of people and companies that would have to be involved, and that many ammo companies are happy to give customers and the media tours of their production facilities.
Ammo is made by a large number of companies all over the world. All of them are experiencing shortages due to increased demand. That includes manufacturers in the United States, South America and Europe. While technically possible all of these companies could collude, reality dictates otherwise.
As I mentioned above, many ammunition manufacturers are happy to give tours of their facilities. It is hard to imagine all of the efforts a company would have to go through to hide their production with regular tours taking place. Heck, even if companies didn’t give tours, I imagine all you would have to do is sit outside the plant and count the UPS trucks coming and going.
Regardless, this rumor has gotten strong enough that manufacturers are having to respond to it. Just last week Hornady Manufacturing published a response to questions and rumors on the company’s web site. Included in the article was a denial of any kind of production stoppage. In fact, the company detailed the extra shifts and hours Hornady employees are working to get ammo to consumers.
Demand far outstrips supply for both ammo and guns right now. It will likely continue this way for months, if not years, to come. It is a reality of capitalism.
And as for why companies don’t build more manufacturing facilities, who wants to invest millions of dollars into new buildings, equipment, people and infrastructure in such uncertain economic times? Take Magpul, for example. Here is a company that could expand production, but instead it looks like they are going to have to move their entire company to another state due to the Colorado legislature passing new gun control laws. Why would anyone spend money on buildings and land they might have to abandon tomorrow due to the shifting political situation?