Why is ammunition so expensive?

a man reloads a gun at a shooting range with targets in the background to illustrate How To Dispose Of Ammunition

If you’ve been watching, listening to, or reading the news over the past two weeks, or even if you haven’t, you are probably familiar with COVID-19 – the Coronavirus. Announced as pandemic during the last month, President Trump declared a national emergency in the United States.

Major cities around the country have closed bars, restaurants, and other meeting places to hopefully slow the spread of the virus. Grocery stores have been cleaned out of bottled water, fruits and vegetables, and toilet paper (of course). Workers that are able to are being sent home to telecommute while other businesses are taking extra precautions in the workplace.

Everyone is Feeling the Effects

It doesn’t matter if you feel COVID-19 is being overblown – or the dangers not stressed enough – the virus is affecting us all. Regardless if you’re just looking for a bag of pet food or stocking up for a long quarantine, in both cases, chances are they’ll be at the same store.

Sporting Systems and other hunting, sporting goods, and outdoor stores are no different. While there are many factors at play, gun stores around the country are seeing an extraordinary influx of customers. First-time gun owners, collectors, hunters, and others exercising their 2nd amendment rights are flooding gun shops.

Gun sales are always brisk during an election year (such as 2020). However, gun sales are outpacing 2016 sales by 350,000 over the first two months. There are several reasons for this, and with the added stress of COVID-19, many folks are preparing themselves. NICS background checks are running at 300% of the historical average.

Fears of gun control legislators being elected, uncertainty over 2nd amendment rights being curbed, or protecting themselves from those that may go to any length to secure food and other necessities. Whatever the reason, firearms are in high demand, and ammunition manufacturers increase production.

Needs Lead Prices

Some stores are limiting the number of firearms bought in a day. Background checks are considerably higher during the first two months of 2020. Retailers are facing empty shelves in some cases or limiting the amount of ammunition gun owners can buy.

Sporting Systems isn’t here to tell other shop owners how to run their business or to explain economic intricacies. But we will say this: When a lot of people want the same thing – whether it’s toilet paper or ammunition – the demand can create long lines, shortages, and depending on the length of time, higher prices.

Under normal circumstances, ammunition prices can fluctuate when prices for raw materials go up or down. Certain items, such as brass casings, can be affected by those fluctuations. After all, ammo manufacturers are looking to make a profit, too.

With COVID-19, however, prices are more about supply and demand. If it’s been a few months since you last bought a box of 50 cartridges, you may be surprised by the high price tag. Just like Pokemon cards or Super Bowl tickets, ammo prices go up when inventory is low.

Just to be clear, though: Sporting Systems does not increase their prices based on demand. Prices only increase if our distributor increases prices.

Reliability Counts

When looking for a new rifle, pistol, or accessories, come by Sporting Systems first. We’ve been working with people in Clark County for years, offering great prices and experienced help. We carry standard firearms, specialty items, and anything else the experienced hunter – or the first-time gun buyer – needs.

Sporting Systems also gives gun owners of all stripes a place to gather and talk about issues that affect us. This includes concealed carry classes, scheduled “Bull-Shooting” events, and a social hour for LEO, active military folks, and veterans. Come by Sporting Systems to take a look at our inventory. We still have plenty of firearms, ammo, and accessories in stock.


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