Gun-Day Monday: Filling in the Holes

Perhaps you haven’t noticed, but there’s been a run on arms and ammunition lately.

Here’s an excerpt from one report from my hometown gun show, posted on Rawles’ site:

Once in the door the line went straight to the back where the ammo dealers were.  The dealers were advising people to not even shop for themselves but to simply line up for the cash register and tell their staff what ammo they wanted and it would be handed to them as they waited for their turn to pay.  No mention of brands, just calibers and quantities. …

Shooter grade ammo in .223 and.308 was a buck a round!  AK ammo was only slightly less.  And that was the price by the case!  A 1,000 round case was $1,000.  No negotiation.  No discount. …

Magpul PMAGs were averaging $50 to $60 each. As low as $45 if you bought in quantity or were a regular customer of the dealer.

Genuine AK mags were $60 bucks each.  Perhaps somebody had them at a better price but I never saw them except for the cheap plastic junk.

(Oh, and follow the embedded link at the very end.) This jibes with everything I have seen and read and heard. Check AmmoEngine. Check AIMSurplus. This is ugly, but it’s reality.

How to get around it?

Over the last couple of weeks I have been trading excess stocks of one caliber to fill in the holes I have in stocks of other calibers. I’ve been using Virginia Gun Trader with great success; I expect those in other states will have similar venues. (I’ve also scored four brand-new PMags this way.) Although these trades weren’t for huge amounts of ammo, as in the thousands of rounds, they have been quite acceptable and furthermore they’ve had an added bonus– widening my circle of contacts. I’ve met some interesting folks. I recommend you do the same.  As a SEAL once told me, stop looking for excuses to lose and find an excuse to win.


  1. Rusty Bill says:

    One of the advantages of being a shotgunner. Ammo stocks are low, but shells are still available – at least, for the moment.

    • LTCOL P says:

      Oxidized William:


      LtCol P

      • Rusty Bill says:

        Payday's Friday, and nothing due but the water bill. Going to "make the rounds" and see how much ammo I can score…

        "O. W." Heh :)

        A few years ago, a bunch of net-friends decided to donate blood on the birthday of our favorite sci-fi author, the immortal Heinlein. I got rejected for elevated iron levels, hence "Rusty".

        • Lt Col P says:


          I commission you our special correspondent for your ammo search. Please report back with what you found– availablility and prices– and what you bought.

          LtCol P

          • Rusty Bill says:

            Roger that. I'll be doing my run on Sunday; I work Saturdays. I'll post my results as a reply in this thread. For the record, I'm looking for 20 gauge target (#7-#9 lead shot) and heavy shot (#3 Buck). I'm also considering a Mossberg Maverick 88 12-gauge pumpgun…

  2. Rusty Bill says:

    Ammo Run After Action Report

    Location: Northeast San Antonio, Texas

    Stopped by 2 Academy Sports & Outdoors locations and 2 Walmarts.

    Life is hard out there for a 20 gauge shotgunner – there was no, repeat no 20g ammo to be had, of any type. Plenty of 12g, mostly birdshot, although I did see a few (very few) boxes of buckshot and rifled slugs. Also a smattering of "off" gauges – 410, 8, 10, 16. Only a little .303 and 7mm ammo on the open shelves; those stores that had any popular (9mm, .22, .38, .40, etc.) centerfire or rimfire ammo were keeping it behind the counter. Open-shelf ammo at all four stores filled less than half of the available space. Quantity restrictions were in effect at all four stores. Prices were not marked up much; a box of ammo that I know sold for $5.29 pre-Connecticut was now selling for $5.49 (Remington 12g #7 shot, IIRC).

    Both Academies were light in the firearms stock, as well. Display cases that could hold 6-8 shelves of handguns had 1 (at Loop 410/Perrin-Beitel) or 2 (Loop 1604/Highway 281) shelves on display. Longarms were also light – a few shotguns and a handful of rifles at each store; about 30-40% of display capacity. I didn't see anything fancy, just basic, workmanlike weapons.

    One of the Walmarts (Austin Highway) had no firearms at all. The other (Loop 1604/Nacadoches) had one – count 'em, ONE – shotgun and a half-dozen rifles in a case that could easily hold 40 weapons. There appeared to only a half-dozen or so handguns in the counter case, where there was space for 20 or more.

    I'm not familiar enough with "normal" firearms prices to judge whether there had been markups. On the other hand, the Academy website is still showing the Mossberg Maverick 88 12g pumpgun I'm interested in at the normal price.

    So there you have it, from one limited perspective. I came out of the exercise with no ammo, although I did pick up two pair of jeans and a pair of work shoes at Walmart.

    Looks like my next range day is postponed, indefinitely.

    • LTCOL P says:

      OUTSTANDING REPORT, many thanks.

      I can't believe 20g was sold out but there was some 12g. I thought it'd be the other way around.

      I suppose we should get it any way we can, when we can. Ouch.