Less than three months ago during an ArmoryBlog shootout, I remember thinking that I should actually enjoy loading my “normal capacity” (more than 10 round) mags because these days it is a luxury to have any ammo at all. I used to think it was a drag to load up all my mags so many times at the range, now I’d kill for a chance to have those sore fingers from all the loading and shooting. Even the tried and true .22lr is pretty impossible to find, the plinking round known for its cheap price and availability has become a “white buffalo” with its rarity. These days if you can find any, they go for around $10 a box of 50 rounds, some places may have it at pre-panic prices but good luck getting any.
Because of the drought, there is no such thing as “ugly-duckling ammo” anymore. With all the “popular” ammo calibers (such as .22, .223/5.56, 7.62x.39, .308, 9mm…) gone; it’s been giving way to the less popular rounds such as .17hmr, .22 mag, .38special/.357 mag, 30-06, 22-250, 20 gauge, (and surprisingly 40 cal).
On the bright side, this drought has given a renewed opportunity to the “safe queens” chambered in the now readily available calibers left on the shelves. Moreover the “safe queen” firearms tends to be in an action differing from “traditional” semi-autos, such as the lever actions in 38 special/.357 or 30-30, a bolt-actions in anything from .17hmr to 30-06 and even 22-250, and even semi-auto pistols/revolvers in .22 mag.
Finally, with all this said, as shooter we do not need to give up a way of life or stop exercising our second amendment right. We must learn to evolve and adjust with the (hopefully temporary) supply and demand, even if that includes dusting off an “old” rifle or pistol, and even finally learning how to reload ammo. We’ll get through this shortage, in the mean time we don’t have to give up our trigger time. Let’s all keep calm and shoot on.
In case you want to try and find ammo, we’ve put together a list of ammo sources online, happy hunting.