During the 2015 SHOT Show in Las Vegas Breitbart News had the opportunity to speak to Midway USA CEO and founder Larry Potterfield about ammunition supply and demand going into the year ahead.
We previously interviewed him at the 2014 SHOT Show — when the industry was just coming down from a year of panic-buying in which demand grew so high that Midway’s typical reception of 50 to 100 emails overnight grew to 1,000 and their typical thirty minute response time to email inquiries stretched to six days.
So this year, nearly two years removed from the defeat of Sen. Joe Manchin’s (D-WV) gun control push and the panic-buying it helped spur, we asked where things were and where they were going.
Potterfield told us that demand remains high enough that there is still a problem getting certain types of ammo . He said .223, .308, and 7.62. x 39 ammo are plentiful and cheap, but when you move into handgun ammunition you start to run into thinner supplies. “Things are spottier there,” he said.
But where the real demand remains is for .22 ammunition, and because of that demand, a shortage of that ammo exists as well.
I can tell you that .22 rimfire ammunition is still very difficult to get. When one million rounds comes into Midway, we sell it by the carton–500 rounds each–with a limit of two, because it’s not really fair to limit consumers to one carton because the postage expense becomes so much of it. So you can get 1,000 rounds.
Now, there are a thousand thousands in a million, so while we may have 10,000 customers waiting for .22 ammo only one thousand of those will get ammo at two cartons each.
Think about it — one million rounds only feeds one tenth of the demand that Midway sees for .22 ammo. Because of this, Potterfield said one million rounds “sometimes stays on [Midway’s] shelves three days, but an awful lot of times it’s a day.”
Potterfield did point out that with the price of copper and oil coming down, “favorable prices on commodity ammunition could re-emerge in 2015 and 2016.” But he stressed that not knowing what will happen with “international terrorism, [heinous public gun crimes], and all that stuff just drives people crazy” and could easily drive demand to 2013-type levels, thereby sparking a broader run on ammunition.
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