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Why the Great Ammo Shortage Is Here to Stay

Great Ammo Shortage of 2021

The Great Ammo Shortage: Will It Ever End? A shortage of ammunition throughout the U.S. continues to have an effect on those who use guns, including hunters, enthusiasts, and others. A new report looks at how one part of Pennsylvania is dealing with the shortage.

In Jefferson County, Pennsylvania — the county in the Western part of the state, where  Punxsutawney is located — as well as in surrounding counties, gun stores are having trouble meeting ammo demand. That’s according to a report that appeared on the Explore Jefferson PA website.

“Hunting ammo is tough to get,” Levi Miller, manager of DSD Sports in Brookville, told the website. “Guns are also a little difficult. It’s just tough.” Those sentiments echo reports from around the country over the course of the last few months, especially as hunting seasons have gotten underway in several states.

Jefferson County, as well as  Clarion and Venango Counties, are reporting shortages of .243, .30-30, and .30-06 hunting rounds.

“It’s still a big problem. Ammo is trickling in,” Jody Maurer, owner of Maurer’s Trading Post, told the website. Maurer added that while he used to get 100 boxes per shipment of .243 rounds, he now gets four to eight boxes from suppliers. And it tends to all go quickly once it reaches store shelves- if it makes it to the shelves.

“People are passing through every day, and if they see it, they buy it,” he said. “We’re limiting it to one box per customer per day, but it still doesn’t last.”

Other gun dealers, such as Scott Keen, manager of Long Shot Ammo and Arms, say that business has been good, despite the shortages, noting how busy things have been during hunting seasons.

What’s the reason for the ammo shortage?

It’s been attributed to many things. There’s been a huge rise in demand since the start of 2020, due to the pandemic, civil unrest, and the arrival of a Democratic administration, all of which have led to millions of new gun owners. There were supply constraints during the pandemic, including some brought about by the bankruptcy of Remington in 2020, which knocked some supply offline for a time last year.

One report, from The American Prospect back in October, noted another partial cause of the shortage: Nearly all of the ammunition sold in the United States is ultimately sold through two companies, following a wave of consolidation, which culminated in Remington’s bankruptcy and Vista Outdoors’ move to purchase most of the company in 2020.

Therefore an industry, which is prone to shortages anyway due to its cyclical nature, has been less likely to mobilize to increase supply.

“With a market controlled by two major players, companies have the latitude to raise prices without fear of competition,” that report said.

 Stephen Silver is a journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philly Voice, Philadelphia Weekly, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Living Life Fearless, Backstage magazine, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.

Written By

Stephen Silver is a journalist, essayist, and film critic, who is also a contributor to Philly Voice, Philadelphia Weekly, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Living Life Fearless, Backstage magazine, Broad Street Review, and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.



  1. Ray Sullivan

    December 9, 2021 at 2:15 pm

    Clickbait headline. Nothing in this article is presented to tell us why “The Great Ammo Shortage Is Here To Stay”; rather some opinions of why there is an ammo shortage. The absurdity of the statement”…Is Here To Stay” requires a explanation, but none is given. No anaysis of whether ammo manufacturers are increasing production, no analysis of whether raw materials are in short supply, no analysis of whether the industry will recover as they did in the last great ammo shortage from 2008-2016, with critical shortages in 2012-13. If it was the intent of the author to explain why the shortage is here to stay, he did woefully poor job.

  2. Damon

    December 9, 2021 at 2:47 pm

    I’m not seeing an ammo shortage, or over priced ammo. There is plenty out there and back to the prices it was before the shortage of 2020. The writer needs to do some actual research instead of spewing lies.

  3. Tony Davis

    December 9, 2021 at 3:10 pm

    This guy must need readers there’s no shortage.

  4. Charles

    December 9, 2021 at 3:35 pm

    The article is out of date and does not even relate to what’s in the headline. Click. Bait.

  5. Mark Spehar

    December 9, 2021 at 6:51 pm

    This is not factual information. Supplies have been steadily increasing most calibers are readily available right now.

  6. Bob Penny

    December 9, 2021 at 6:54 pm

    When was this article written? This article, as others have said, seems to be outdated or perhaps written a while ago and then recently published. I really did not notice if there was anything in the article related to the title of the article. The ammo shortage continues in our area around Puget Sound in Washington State. It does show a little, but slow improvement as I wonder through the ammunition areas in the stores I frequent. There are some ammo calibers that I have not viewed on any shelf for a long time. I hope it continues to improve. It’s got a long way to go.

  7. Sean M

    December 9, 2021 at 7:45 pm

    Tony Davis, research the local stores, online stores and find some 3030, 357, 3006, 243….. If you do find some 3030, will it be less that 2.60 a round? There’s a shortage and major mark up on most ammo.

  8. Rex T. Dog

    December 9, 2021 at 8:18 pm

    I was in a big box store today…compared to January and February there was a lot of ammo, all of it higher priced than a year or two ago…some calibers were well stocked, others were missing completely…this article didn’t get into any depth about the situation, which admittedly has a lot of moving parts…oh,well…

  9. Montana 454 Casull

    December 9, 2021 at 8:37 pm

    We will have ammo shortage and higher prices as long as Brandon bans imported ammo and he did . Let’s Go Brandon!

  10. Chris jensen

    December 9, 2021 at 10:56 pm

    This is a sorry excuse for an article. It presents little factual information with a click bait headline. Pathetic.

  11. Lsi

    December 10, 2021 at 6:20 am

    For people who reload, primers and powder are just not available. Loaded ammo is definitely available and prices have come down dramatically. Hopefully primers will start showing up at some point.

  12. NorgeX

    December 10, 2021 at 8:30 am

    The industry is shooting itself in the foot. (Pardon the pun.) Just when a desperately needed infusion of young shooters was joining the ranks of the shooting public, suddenly there isn’t enough shotgun ammo for any of the high school trap and skeet leagues that have been growing in popularity over the last 2 decades. Or it has become prohibitively expensive. Now those young folks are heading into other activities and the next generations of 2nd Amendment supporters are disappearing. One of the top priorities should have been to keep high-school shooting teams…..shooting! Once again, it is proving to be that the shooting sports industries biggest enemy isn’t liberals, the biggest enemy is in their mirror!

  13. Clifra Jones

    December 10, 2021 at 11:47 am

    This author has zero knowledge of why the shortages are here nor when and how they will be over. His statement about manufacturers is also very incorrect. While there may be a smaller number of major manufacturers in the US there are many smaller ammo manufacturers that will fulfill needs, one of them is Freedom Ammunition who I buy ammo from on a regular basis.

    Yes, there are shortages at your local gun shops and I’ll tell you why, people know when the shipments are coming in and they will camp out at the shops and buy out the ammo that very same day! That is why I do not buy ammo from the local shops! I buy all my ammo online. A good site to find the best price is If you don’t live in a state that allows ammo to be shipped to your home then, well, sucks to be you!

  14. Clifra Jones

    December 10, 2021 at 11:56 am

    @Montana 454 Casull
    “We will have ammo shortage and higher prices as long as Brandon bans imported ammo and he did . Let’s Go Brandon!”

    WTF are you talking about!? I buy imported ammo all the time! I’ve bought a significant amount of 5.56 made by Israel Military Industry (great ammo), I’ve also bought ammo from the Czech Republic, Taiwan, Italy, etc.

    The only thing Biden has tried to ban in imported ammo from Russia. Most of that is crap steel case ammo!

    • Michael Zellhart

      May 10, 2022 at 1:15 am

      The problem with Russian ammo isn’t the steel cases, unless you want the brass to reload. The problem is dirty powder and quality control. Steel cases do not harm firearms, as many have tried saying over the years.

  15. Tom Szczepaniak

    May 4, 2022 at 12:59 pm

    I keep reading about the “surge” of new gun owners and COVID has caused the issue but, if all this is the case, how can we, all of a sudden, send millions of rounds of ammunition to the Ukraine.

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