However, amid nationwide ammo shortages, sky-high demand, and record-setting gun sales, it is not surprising to see prices for ammunition continue to soar.
“There comes a point when you say, ‘I’m not going to buy it,’” Jeff Williams, a range instructor at the Westside Pistol & Rifle Range, one of two remaining gun stores in New York City, recently told Forbes.
“Every time you pull the trigger, it’s a buck and a half,” he added.
According to Mark Fiacable, who runs FloridaGunSite.com, ammunition prices for some calibers have skyrocketed four-fold in recent months—though they have fallen to about double the prices seen before the pandemic.
For example, boxes of 9mm rounds were selling for $12 pre-pandemic but that surged to $40 to $60 during the peak. Meantime, a box of .380 caliber rounds that are usually only $15 were going for $50 to $60.
Such shortages are also being witnessed in Iowa, a state popular with pheasant and deer hunters.
“We are in fact seeing the impact here in Iowa not only for hunting but for recreational shooting as well,” Jamie Cook, hunter education coordinator for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, told Iowa Capital Dispatch.
“Certain rounds are hard to get, there are limits being put on how many you can purchase and manufacturers just can’t keep up with the demand due to the spike in interest and the fact that factories were shut down during COVID,” he continued, adding that manufacturers and retailers are telling individuals engaged in shooting sports to place orders for spring ammo as soon as possible.
Guns vs Ammo
According to Smith & Wesson, more than ten million people have purchased guns for the first time during the pandemic. But according to retailers, firearms aren’t as vulnerable to inflation like bullets.
“There absolutely has been significant price inflation at the retail level for ammunition, though less so for firearms,” said Rommel Dionisio, an analyst for Aegis Capital, per Forbes.
“The shortage of ammunition in the U.S. had resulted in dramatic price escalation—as well as rationing, for example limiting customers to a certain number of boxes to be sold per visit—since last year,” he continued.
He added that prices for firearms “have not gone above manufacturer’s list prices, but certainly promotions and discounting has been minimal.”
Ethen Kim Lieser is a Washington state-based Science and Tech Editor who has held posts at Google, The Korea Herald, Lincoln Journal Star, AsianWeek, and Arirang TV. Follow or contact him on LinkedIn.