A returning American ex-pat recently asked about ammunition hoarding on one fo the forums I am participating on. I posted these thoughts:
Over the past two years, there are at least 10 million new gun owners in the United States.
These are people presumed to have their first firearm and starting with zero ammunition. If each bought 100 rounds of ammunition, that represents new demand for one billion rounds of ammunition from new customers in the Untied States.
This occurred at the time when Remington bankrupted. The holding company that included Remington also had an ammunition manufacturing plant in Arkansas. It’s one of the three major manufacturers of ammunition in the USA, and it closed down. That restricted supply at the same time the demand skyrocketed.
In the absence of supply, the distribution chain quickly emptied of product, especially of the most popular calibers.
This is not an unprecedented situation. I am a Ruger stockholder, and their financial people showed us a long term product demand curve at a recent stockholder meeting that traced demand back to the company’s inception. It showed a steady growth with sporadic peak spikes that could be associated with highly publicized and politicized events. Each of those peaks generated gun sales, and each of them generated ammunition sales and another draw down of the distribution chain.
So… a rational person would prepare for those periods of peak demand by stocking enough ammunition to last over those market draining peaks in demand. Each usually lasted between six months and a year, and they were always followed by higher demand along a smooth predictable curve (when prices continued to rise regardless of economic conditions).
In those conditions, a prudent person would look at their normal usage and store away two to three years of anticipated needed ammunition stock. That involves building the safe storage space for that stock, and protecting it from access and misuse – so it involves taking responsibility for what you are doing.
Some of us learn to reload ammunition and recycle the brass boxer primed cases with new power and primer and bullet components. That conserves resources, and lets you make very high quality precision ammunition from common resources. I tend to stock those components in more depth than loaded ammunition.
“Hoarding” is a term only used with prejudice by people that want to criticize patriots and gun owners. Buying ammunition in anticipation of future peak demands and your normal usage is just plain sensible and responsible behavior. It doesn’t stop anyone else from doing the same thing, especially when you ignore the media propaganda and panic fear they are trying to genreate.