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Uninvited Ombudsman - Update on 'Ammo Shortage' - by Alan Korwin


As expected, the end of the ammo shortage is a spotty affair, with readers writing to say that their neck of the woods is still sparse or barren. I did say it was ending, not that it's over, sorry if I overstated the case. Cabela's locally (Ariz.) has goods on the shelves, as does WalMart and local shops, and prices are dropping. Hang tight fellas and gals, the boom is off the mad rush and I believe things will normalize soon. Sorry if I implied it was done and gone and everything was universally hunky dory.

One local customer at Walmart reports: "Just left with 6 boxes of blazer gold 50rd boxes for 8.95 each . (No more left ); and 2 boxes of .40 Blazer Gold 12.95 each. they still had 20+ boxes left; Lady behind the counter said they got in 5K of WBW yesterday in 9mm and one customer bought it all. How much you want to bet it will be out at the gun show for $25-30 per 100rd box."

One major distributor was flooded with calls because of that Page Nine report, called to set me straight that it's far from over. Gun dealers are paying retail at WalMart to obtain something to sell, ranges are suffering and having to ration, even PDs are curtailing practice. But the military has few problems, says this insider, because their small arms ammo comes mainly from AFT's Lake City plant in Missouri, and commercial providers like PMC don't compete directly (but really straight answers are a little hard to come by). Some calibers are more scarce than others, with handgun loads in shorter supply. Like I said, it's a spotty affair. And let's face it, marksmen have plenty of ammo, right? you just can't get more, or replace spent shells at a good price.

In other news, CBS TV reported on 9/23/09 that there's an ammo shortage, and background checks on gun sales have spiked. They're only ten months late, why is no one surprised.

The Austin Star-Telegram quoted me in a story suggesting there is light at the end of the tunnel: The Huffington Post carried an AP story with a dimmer view: Perhaps the real news is that America's position is more precarious than we realize, and ammo's just the bellwether -- this could happen to toilet paper, batteries, canned goods, liquor, cigarettes, candles, bottled water-- any consumer goods struck by a rumor or perceived threat, and manufacturers would not be able to meet demand.

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