President of Vista Outdoor Ammunition Brands Jason Vanderbrink—in a video released by his company last week—said Federal, Speer and CCI factories are now producing 40 percent more cartridges than it did before the shortage. Bolstering that effort is the return to full production at the Remington plant he oversees in Lonoke, Ariz., which has more than doubled its staff in just the last year.
The Arkansas facility currently employs 1,050, but another 100 jobs are open. The campus covers nearly 1 million square feet, which makes it the third largest ammunition factory on the planet.
Vanderbrink emphasized the company is still shipping to the same customers and distributors it did before the shortage and—despite calls for de-funding—that list includes police departments. “Some of our ammunition goes to law enforcement, and it is our obligation to keep supporting law enforcement,” he said. “We are steadfast supporters. We will always back the Blue and we appreciate the service they give to keep our communities safe.”
Raw materials, including brass, resin and powder, are a constant concern, although he assured viewers his team continues to meet the challenge. This month he explained to newspaper NW Arkansas, that the competition for some of ammunition’s key ingredients originates from some places most gun owners would never suspect.
Among them is the U.S. Mint, which produced more than one billion coins in September—for the eighth month in a row. Over 605.6 million of them were copper-plated zinc discs most refer to as Lincoln pennies. The Federal Reserve website explains, “Since mid-June of 2020, the U.S. Mint has been operating at full production capacity. In 2020, the Mint produced 14.8 billion coins, a 24 percent increase from the 11.9 billion coins produced in 2019.” Another culprit in the shortages, according to the newspaper story, is the electric vehicle industry.