The United States saw exponential firearms sales in 2020 thanks to the coronavirus pandemic. Early on, states shut down all non-essential businesses, including gun shops. When the gun shops reopened, millions of people, including first-time gun buyers, stood in long lines to grab up as many firearms and as much ammunition as possible. AR-15s flew off the shelves leaving most empty-handed, while smart gun owners bought backup AR-15s online from Primary Arms and other popular online shops.
Although gun shops have remained open for many months since the initial shutdown, certain states have initiated a new round of shutdowns, forcing gun shops to close once again. This has only accelerated the demand for ammunition.
Are you struggling to find the ammunition you need? Here are some tips for securing a stash.
Post ads on Craigslist
Post ads on Craigslist asking for the ammo you need. You’d be surprised how many people are sitting on a stash of ammunition they can’t use. Right now, people are out of work, and some people will sell you their stash of unusable ammo for the right price.
Some people inherited ammunition from relatives who passed, and others may have old stashes for guns they’ve sold. It’s quite common. The only downside is you can’t guarantee how the ammo has been stored, whether it’s been exposed to moisture, or how old it is if it’s been dumped in a container. However, since there’s a mass shortage, you can’t be too picky.
Be willing to travel 100 miles (or more)
When calling gun shops to find out what’s in stock, expand the radius you’re willing to drive to about 100 miles (or more if you like road trips).
It’s very possible that a gun shop 100 miles away has the ammo you need. Considering some ammo is selling for $2 per round, driving 100 miles seems like a burden and a waste of gas. However, consider that ammo manufacturers are literally years behind on production and that 100-mile trip could be your only opportunity to get ammunition.
Sign up for gun shop newsletters
Online gun shops with a newsletter will probably let people know when ammo is back in stock. Sign up for all the email lists you can find. You can always filter the emails into a special folder/tag, and unsubscribe later.
Most online gun stores also offer email alerts when products are restocked. Sign up for these restocking lists and be prepared to place an order immediately; you won’t be the only person on the list.
Check out flea markets and garage sales
It sounds like a long shot to find ammo at a flea market or garage sale, but it’s entirely possible. People who have no interest in firearms will sell ammo like it’s a used toaster. They may not even realize there’s an ammo shortage.
If you find any ammunition at a garage sale or flea market, buy it. Even if you can’t use it, you can trade it or sell it to someone else.
Still can’t find ammo? Get a firearm that shoots in-stock ammo
This final tip will create an unexpected expense, but it’s a wise move.
Look for a gun shop online that has a bounty of in-stock ammunition, even if it’s not ammo you can currently use. Buy a decent stash of that available ammunition and a firearm that uses that type of ammo at the same time. Don’t buy your new firearm and ammo separately because you don’t want to risk the items running out of stock between your purchases.
You have to really love the craft, but it’s possible to make your own ammunition. Other than a moderate learning curve, the only roadblock would be getting quality supplies since you’d be competing with manufacturers for the raw materials.
Time is running out—secure your ammo now
Under a Biden presidency, purchasing ammunition and guns online could become illegal. Biden openly supports current legislation that would limit firearms sales to one per person per month and outlaw all online gun and ammunition sales. If this type of legislation passes nationally, nobody will be able to get around future business shutdowns by shopping online for ammo.
Hopefully, you already have a good stash of ammunition, and you’re just looking to supplement that stash. However, if you don’t have a good stash, you must obtain ammunition before it becomes impossible.