In case you hadn’t noticed, we are in the midst of an ammunition, primer and propellant shortage. Stories are making both local and national news, and rumors abound on the Internet. I understand there have been large Federal contracts, but those cannot come close to explaining the increased demand for ammunition and components. There is more than a billion—that’s billion with a “B”—rounds of .22 Long Rifle produced in this country every year. One estimate puts it at closer to a billion and a half. The DHS has not bought a billion and a half rounds of .22 LR, so it cannot be pinned on them. Also, it is unlikely to me that Janet Napolitano is trying to corner the world market on Hodgdon Varget, even though it is one of my favorite go-to powders.
I have some anecdotal evidence of what is going on here. A friend called me from the parking lot of a gun store in Southwest Virginia, “Mark, I just scored 5,000 rounds of Federal .22 Long Rifle!” I cut his euphoria short by saying, “Tim, you have never bought more than 500 rounds of anything before.” To which he replied, “Yeah, but I bought all they had.” I believe Tim’s “score” is being replicated all across the country every time the UPS truck arrives.