Why are Americans buying so many guns?

Even after the failed passage of “expanded background checks” in the U.S. senate people are still buying guns and ammo by massive numbers, with Sturm, Ruger reporting sales of 500,000 each in one quarter and a backorder list of over 2 million according to a recent report at zerohedge.

Sturm Shipped_0Ruger Backlog_2_0

And ammo for many calibers is still unavailable in most areas of the U.S. for the most popular and used calibers.

Ammo shelf at my local Wal-Mart.

Ammo shelf at my local Wal-Mart.

It’s gotten so bad that retailers have started rationing ammo, selling only one  or two boxes to each customer, when supplies are available. I know that the shelves at my local Wal-Mart have been empty for months, and the clerk told me that there are people who come into the store everyday, to by any .22, 9mm, .40SW, .38, .357, .223 and 7.62X39 ammo before it is even put on the shelf.

From the Daily Caller

“The current political climate has caused extremely high demand on all shooting industry products, including ours,” according to Hornady. “Empty retail shelves, long backorders, and exaggerated price increases on online auction sites – all fueled by rumors and conjecture – have amplified concerns about the availability of ammunition and firearms-related items.”

I have a habit of going by the ammo case every time that I go into the Wal-Mart, just to check on what is / isn’t available and they recently, had two AR-15’s on the shelf, I almost fell over! I had not seen an AR for sale anywhere in months, and then bam there it was behind the glass…

pic of AR-15

Ready to rock!

Well even though I didn’t really need it, or could afford it, I  decided to buy one of them, so I rushed to the bank to get the money needed and then back to sporting goods to buy my newly found treasure. I wasn’t gone over 30 minutes, but by the time I made it back, both rifles had already been sold!

I wonder how many AR-15 rifles have been sold during the past year? I searched but could not find a reliable source, for the actual numbers… Anyone…?

According to ABC News reporting on the total number of sales in 2012:

Record gun sales were recorded in December 2012 with over 2.7 million background checks being conducted through the FBI’s National Instant Check System (NICS), the agency said today. For 2012, more background checks were conducted than any year since 1998.

In December, 2,783,765 total background checks were carried out to purchase firearms, surpassing the previous record from November 2012 when 2,006,919 checks were performed.

For the year, 19,592,303 background checks carried out for firearm purchases–a 19 percent rise from 2011.

Each check doesn’t represent a single gun, just a single background check transaction.

Go back and read that again… yep, you read it correctly the first time, but it never hurts to take a second look to be sure – almost 20 million guns sold in 2012 alone. Folks that’s a lot of iron that equals a lot of firepower in the hands of the U.S. population… A rifle behind every blade of grass

And let’s not forget the magazines (and no they aren’t “high-capacity” they are standard capacity magazines), my local hunting and fishing supplies store used to have stacks of Magpul Pmags available for $19.99 each not they have none, and it’s been that way for months. They did have a couple of used generic AR-15 magazines a couple of days ago priced at $45.99 each.

According to The Blaze:

Brownells, the largest gun parts supplier in the world, is claiming that it has had an “unprecedented” demand for AR-15 ammunition magazines of late. In fact, the demand is allegedly so great that the company allegedly sold 3.5 years worth of magazines in just three days during December of 2012.

And with the lack of inventory on the shelves, magazine sales are still going strong and I doubt it will slow in the near future…

But the question is – why are Americans still buying massive amounts or ammo, firearms and magazines, despite the fact of having already bought huge numbers of each over the past few months?  Before the easiest answer and most logical answer would have been a “fear of more gun laws and or bans” but even now with the failure of expanded background checks in the senate and any “assault rifle” restrictions or bans and magazine capacity limits DOA for the time being, Americans are still buying and stockpiling…

The only logical answer is that folks are seeing the writing on the wall and know that the poop is about to hit the fan (whether it be gun bans by executive order,  U.N. treaty of a wide reaching disaster or complete collapse of the system)…

I just hope that they’re also stockpiling food, grain mills, non-hybrid garden seed, water filters and other survival gear and aren’t just planning to use their new firepower to take what they want from others that have prepared with a well-rounded survival plan (YOU).

What do you think?

About M.D. Creekmore

M.D. Creekmore is the owner and editor of TheSurvivalistBlog.net. He is the author of four prepper related books and is regarded as one of the nations top survival and emergency preparedness experts. Read more about him here.


  1. Good Morning to all;
    Just because the bill failed to pass “this time” does not mean that the foxes in the hen house will not try it again. If they do not succeed then you can bet tdl will try with executive orders.
    The writing is on the wall, if we wish to keep our way of life an pass it on to the next generation. It will come down to our will against their. Just the thought that we have in our possession the ability to defend our home, families, and beliefs can cause them to backup and take another look at the “True American” society, not the one that has been deluded by influx of new immigrants who do not understand that “Freedom is not Free”, it carries a price tag. This is the message that needs to taught, passed on, if that is a hard stand to some, guess that comes with age.

    That being said for those who have missed the weather & crop reports this is going to be a very hard year for corn growers. Low yields for corn production means–limited supplies for cattle, gasoline, oh yes food for the table. The grain stock piles we once had are like “Ol Mother Hubbard’s cupboards, empty.

    • GA Red says:

      You must keep in mind that those immigrants who arrived here by legal means are just as pissed off as those of us born here that are not sheeple. The DH works with many who came here from other countries and they do not understand why the people of the US keep voting for socialists.

      • GA Red,

        “The DH works with many who came here from other countries and they do not understand why the people of the US keep voting for socialists.”

        See number 7 – people have their heads shoved up their own butts, and don’t know or really care what is going on as long as they look “cool”…

        • GA Red says:

          Agreed – my point is that it’s not the immigrants that don’t understand that “freedom isn’t free”, it’s the ones born here and expecting a handout. People who immigrate here legally know just how fragile freedom really is.

          • Bam Bam says:

            I might also point out that we have “illegal” immigrants serving in the U.S. military. I am not for amnesty. But I support giving citizenship to people who have earned it by serving in the armed forces.

            • GA Red says:

              Agreed Bam Bam – if you have served in the military here, then you have definitely earned your citizenship. Unfortunately, that brings up a bigger question – how did they get into the military if they are “illegal”? Just curious – I don’t know how that works.

              • JP in MT says:

                GA Red & Bam Bam:

                I had a friend who was with me in the military, he was from Canada. Turned out that he had to extend his service to become an American citizen to collect his military retirement. Since immigration was not an large issue at the time, I didn’t ask the where’s and why’s, just found it interesting.

      • GA Red you are absolutely correct. I’m a naturalized citizen and my son in law is in the process of becoming a citizen. I have been told that I am much more patriotic than some that are born here. I don’t take my citizenship for granted. Also when I became a citizen I swore to protect the constitution that includes the 2nd Amendment.

      • axelsteve says:

        GA Red. Most people who migrate here legally did so by leaving a soacialist country of some degree.A buddy of mine is from switzerland and another is from England. They are both socoalist to some degree. My buddy from England has no interest of going back due to what england has degraded into.

    • GA Red;
      I am not referring to those who have waited and waited to come here legally. I am referring to those that the State Department sent here to do conflicts in their home land(Sudan, Yeman). They were given a free pass which I feel they should have never received, not when we have others are waiting in line.
      Another thing to think about, most of those who are brought here by the powers that are in force(setting in the outhouse of DC) vote for the government that helped them.
      Yes, many Americans are out there with their hands out, guess where that concept came from. Try Lyndon B. Johnson 1965, and his socialistic agenda, not a helping hand up–a hand out. It became ingrain in the generations from 1965 until today.

      • Dan Frain says:

        Becky, I can’t speak of all refugees in the U.S. I can speak of one Sudanese refugee family. I won’t use their names because they are in fear of their lives, as they have embarrassed the Sudanese government.

        I believe I know them well enough. Papa was a well respected police officer in Sudan and a supervisor. He traveled widely in the region to teach others to be better police officers & supervisors.

        His wife is the daughter of a once wealthy farmer. When the Islamists took over the government, the family was offered the chance to concvert, to deny their Christian faith. When they refused, Papa lost his position as a police officer.

        Their cattle were stolen or killed; their farms were burned and their fields were salted. Nothing will grow there for probably a hundred years.

        They and their two children fled Sudan. They spent years in refugee camps, where a second daughter was born. They came to the U.S. about ten years ago. Papa works as a welder in a manufacturing plant, as many hours as they will let him. Mama stays home with the younger children, who were born in America.

        That is, the second home they’ve BOUGHT since coming here.

        The oldest son is in graduate school. He completed his bachelors degree on a scholarship. The older daughter is a model and has been in several national & international publications.

        It may be rare that refugees do so well in our country. I know a few other refugee families, all of whom are working steadily, many of whom have become homeowners.

        Please don’t buy into the horror stories you hear. They may or may not be true. I’m sure there are refugee families who take advantage of our generosity. I believe you’ll find the a users to be in the minority.

        • Dan Frain,
          Many folks come here from other places “legally” and often get rich. The reason is that many times, where they came from they worked 16-18 hours per day, 7 days per week, just to get by. When they came her they found that they could scale back to 16 hours days and 6 day weeks, and get rich, running something as simple as a Chinese buffet. Hard work does most often pay off.

    • Becky,
      Gasoline? Yes, unfortunately the ethanol for gasoline is a federal mandate (and a great subsidy for ADM, Cargill, and the like) and raises the cost of nearly all food.

      • OhioPrepper;
        Only when everyone is asleep does this news come across the airways…Oh, by the way. Corn fields are xx amount of days behind because of the snowy weather, or they could not plant crops until such and such a date. Like you stated it is in the gasoline, so get ready for tdl $5+ gasoline. Which means food is going to cost so much more, guess we have a choice eat and walk, or drive and go slightly hungry. Gheezz, I think I need an aspirin for the heavy duty headache, I would ship you one on this sight, but gov’s would tax it.

        • GA Red says:

          I think I need to get my bicycle out of storage and use it to go grocery shopping.

          The whole corn for ethanol thing also pisses me off – why are we burning our food?

          • GA Red;
            “Why are we burning our food”?
            As Ohio Prepper called it to keep ADM, Cargill, & Monsanto in business. Don’t just love the those business who are in bed with tdl, his cronies, other dc outhouse sitters.

            • Encourager says:

              Monsanto corn is only fit for burning as ethanol. I sure wouldn’t advise eating it.

        • JP in MT says:


          Remember, it is the cost of diesel that truly effects the cost of your food, not gasoline.

          • JP,
            As a direct cost for delivery, you are correct. However, every subsidized bushel of corn that goes to make ethanol for gasoline, is a bushel that can’t be used to feed people, or animals like chickens, dairy and beef cattle, and hogs, which makes the ultimate cost of eggs, milk products, and meat more expensive. They get you every which way you look.

            • JP in MT says:


              True. I was only responding to the direct cost of fuel producing food. Ethanol was started by politicians, and can be just as easily stopped (they won’t, but that’s another story).

        • This is one of the main reasons I started getting into the mindset of buying as much food from local sources as I can. When gas prices go up, and supermarket food prices follow, the cost of food will actually NORMALIZE. Or, from my perspective, more accurately reflect the real cost of production.

          I am still working on getting over the sticker shock from buying more food from farmer’s markets and local ranches, but honestly I will just be slightly ahead of the curve as all that subsidized food at Safeway becomes more expensive.

          As Joel Salatin pointed out in “Folks, This Ain’t Normal”, when cheap fuel isn’t cheap any more, the true cost of our food production will reveal itself.

  2. tuesdayissoylentgreenday says:

    Not everyone believes the Lap Dog Media that licks Obamas shoes…. Or the Looney Toon VP. I think folks are getting ready for the SHTF….

    Not just weapons, but all the other ingredients to.

  3. JP in MT says:

    Ammo is starting to trickle back in up here. 9mm for $13.69/50, 40 S&W for $16.69/50, and 223 for $43.99/100 and $9.99/20, and 308 for $43.99/50. All if this was FMJ, but it is better than it has been. There’s a gun show this weekend, I will be interested to see what is available and at what cost.

    22LR still seems to be unavailable, except shot shells. Haven’t heard of any being for sale at the store. Shotgun ammo is available but pricey.

    Hunting ammo for standard calibers is still coming in; 30-06, 270, 300 Win Mag, 243, 30-30. 308 not so much. Again nothing in 223 that would be considered hunting ammo.

    Reloading components are starting to come back. Not much, a box or two. Primers are still hard to find, and prices when they are are elevated. Brass is the same way. I hope to find some 357 at the show this weekend, but I don’t have much hope yet.

    Magazines are coming back. But pistol mags have always been expensive in stores here. I have found one of my favorite mags, C-Products Teflon coated stainless 30 rounders, locally for $19.99. I even found Mag-puls but they were $32.69 so I passed. S&W M&P 15/22’s are back ($21.96) but no good/quality mags for the 10/22, not even 10 rounders.

    As shooting is one of my hobbies and has been for years, turning it into a prepper asset wasn’t hard. I also got burned in the last disaster (1994-2004), so I have bought what wanted on sale as it and as money became available. This means I have been able to pretty much sit this one out. But I’m always looking. Just like checking out the Thrift Stores for prep items at lower cost, I check the gun counters too. Plus since I have been talking with these retailers for years, I end up getting little tidbits of information.

    Don’t expect ammo to get all they way back to where it was. Word on the street is that the base ammo price, manufacturer to wholesaler, is going up May 1st (May Day!). But from my hole in the fence, things are starting to become available, so the costs are coming down.

    As to MD’s point of 20 million guns sold, if you figure that 1 in 10 are new owners (it’s probably higher), and 5% of those are going to want to add a stockage level of 2,000 rounds per gun, ammo will continue to be rare for the near future.

    However, that is my opinion for what it’s worth. I’d want some, keep an eye out for more that I can afford, and stock up on food while IT’S still affordable.

  4. Mystery Guest says:

    We as Americans are avid collectors of future collectables and antiques. We find all things that interest us and we do complete research on the collectability of any such product that will BENEFIT us in the FUTURE. We prefer MIB and all items with papers to prove the history of the particular item we are collecting.
    We hold on to these collections until the full WORTH of the item is REALIZED.
    We feel that somethings are worth more than others and try to collect only things that are of VALUE now and in the FUTURE.
    We do not collect JUNK it has to be WORTH the TIME and MONEY to garner our INTEREST.
    We also appreciate the VALUE in the item being in full working order when purchased.
    Collectors are indeed a remarkable BREED.

  5. The statistics about guns sales do not take into account the back ground checks that are not needed for those who have ccw’s.( at least in AZ)

    • BK in KC says:

      It also assumes only a single gun is purchased with each background check. Many of those would be for multiple firearms, so the actual number of guns purchased is well over 20 million.

      • While the NICS check is one way to count guns sold, the manufacturers, wholesalers, and retailers also keep track of what they buy and sell also. Basic inventory control.

    • Encourager says:

      I have a CCW from MI and when I bought a shotgun from Dick’s Sporting Goods, they insisted on doing a background check (?). This was AFTER I showed them my license for concealed carry. It made no difference. Now, this may just be that store, but it took them 3 hours of wasting my time waiting around. Very annoying to put it mildly. If the gun hadn’t been a real deal, and the last one they had, I would have walked out.

  6. I think another part of it is the in your face attitude. Don’t tell me what I can’t do.


  7. bwright1553 says:

    We want all the members of our immediate and extended family to be proficient with two weapons. One for protection and the other for hunting.

  8. Sulaco says:

    Attended the states largest gun show last weekend and noted that the cost of an AR had dropped, most still in the 1200 plus asking but no takers, way down from the last months asking of 1800 – 2000 plus, many now below $1,000 asking and 900 selling price. Ammo? All you could want but boy will you pay for through the nose for it. One dealer had 500 round boxes of “factory seconds” in .223 for over $600 whew! The panic over guns is dying but the panic on ammo because its scarce is still on.

  9. GA Red says:

    Two thoughts –

    1) People still fear executive orders that will take years to fight.

    2) This may be the bigger question – Why are so many people having boating accidents and losing their guns? 🙂

    • The more important question… is the boat upon which I will have lost my guns required to be mine?

      • Hollis says:

        Jaxun, I thought you would remember that we were all pretty drunk when that boat flipped. Everyones guns went straight to the bottom but I still don’t have any idea who hosted that party. Boy that lake is deeeep.

        • LOL, I am going to have a hard time ‘splainin’ that one to my sponsor! Someone musta shoved me and I knocked my head on the side of the boat. Thanks to whoever made sure I didn’t drown!

          • Encourager says:

            I’ve been on that lake! Why, the bottom has never been found. Seems it is at least 10 feet of silt under 45 feet of water. Nothing will ever be found in that lake, darn!

            We always thought there was one of those Loch Nes type of monsters in it. Suddenly the water roils and over the boat goes. Lucky no one has lost their lives, just their guns. So sad.

  10. j.r. guerra in s. tx. says:

    I think GA nailed it on 1st thought – Americans definitely see political actions that will limit their right for self protection. Never mind the politicians who said for years they were paranoid but are now stocking up themselves.

    That was one thing (some may argue the ONLY thing) George Bush II did correctly, allowing the 1994 AWB to sunset. Went against all ‘political reasoning’, the media certainly would have supported him had he done that.

  11. Ah Crap says:

    I don’t own a single weapon. Last month my home was burglarized and part of my collection was stolen. Then just two weekends ago, I had a boating accident in which the remainder were lost when my 40′ cabin cruiser sank in 500′ of water. To top it off, I had a massive leak in my shed where I kept all my ammo. Wouldn’t you know it, that ammo was cheap garbage that wasn’t properly sealed and became water logged. I had to throw it all away!

    Talk about a bad run of luck.

    • Ah Crap,
      Perhaps it’s time to change your story a bit, since in most jurisdictions, stolen guns MUST be reported to local law enforcement. Just sayin’

      • Encourager says:

        Oh, OhioPrepper, Ah Crap was just so upset and made up that story so his wife wouldn’t know he skipped work and went fishin’ with Hollis and Jaxun. ;o)

  12. MorePooperThanPrepper says:

    I’m guessing its because we want to go into schools and shoot unarmed innocents. That is the only reason one would buy such items, correct?

    With so many firearms out there, I wonder… Take all the numbers of gun deaths (including accidents and suicides) and divide by the number of guns to get a gun deadliness ratio. Then take the number of all auto deaths divided by the total number of cars in the US to get the auto deadliness ratio, which would be more deadly?

    I don’t even like saying this but… Then one could limit it to the sad cases of minors’ deaths. 1 million guns take the lives of how many minors, and 1 million cars how many? So obviously we are probably also buying our cars to run down innocents also.

    • riverrider says:

      25 times more kids drown in backyard pools than by guns.ban pools:) over 50 a year drown in buckets. yes, buckets.

    • Yeah but the major difference, which we all seem to forget, is that guns are used, purposely, to kills others in large volume. Sure there are many more deaths due to automobiles, but how many times do people drive around just running multiple, random people over?

      It’s the same story with knives, crossbows, bolt action rifles and whatnot. How many people could be killed at once (or DO get killed at once) with knives and bows? One can do much more damage with a semi-automatic firearm than any of those weapons.

      While I don’t think banning semi-auto firearms is a legitimate action to take, I also don’t agree that comparing gun deaths to automobile or drowning deaths is a legitimate argument against banning them.

      • Thomas T. Tinker says:

        Is there a “.. legitimate argument against banning…” any sort of product? Leading the discussion down that path is rather a manipulative and flawed logic on the whole. Tell me the imperative that allows any group, be they majority or polarity, to Legislate the actions of yet another based on the poor choices or emotions of yet even another. That kind of ‘pay before you pump’ attitude … mentality is …. well you decide.

      • PB,
        “I also don’t agree that comparing gun deaths to automobile or drowning deaths is a legitimate argument against banning them”.
        I agree, and cringe when the antigun folks use the straw man and talk about how we license cars, so why not guns. My question to you and them, is, “Which amendment says that the right to drive a car shall not be infringed? Don’t remember that one.

      • axelsteve says:

        PB Why not ban abortions? How can a minor girl get an abortion without consent of parent and a minor boy can`t buy a rifle til he is 18 or 21 for a handgun?How come a minor girl can buy a morning after pill and she can`t buy a firearm or a different rx that may contain oipates? Why is abortion such a sacred right when firearm ownership which is part of the original constitution open for discussion over banning?

        • JP in MT says:


          One of the things we are trying to change up here is that a girl of 15 can get an abortion in Montana without parental consent. They had to pull me out of the ceiling fan when I found out. They even have girls coming from other states because of the consent thing. How that happens without the parents not knowing where their child is is beyond my understanding. It’s not like towns are really close here, most people from out of state would have to drive for at least an hour to get here, most over 3.

          • If the girl is pregnant, there’s a good bet her parents had their blinders on and/or didn’t care what/where their child was. Skipping school is one way to be gone for hours without your parents knowing until much later, if at all. I don’t get calls from the school about my daughter not being there most of the time. In the rare times when I do receive the call, it’s at night after the school has closed for the day. That would give a child plenty of time to drive to another state and back.

            One other thing to think about (and just thinking out loud, so to speak) – why do people make such a big deal out of “underage” sex and teen pregnancies when it wasn’t all that long ago that people were marrying at the ages of 13, 14, and 15? (I know being married was a big part of it, but that’s not my point.) Most states deem sex prior to 16 to be statutory rape (unless the age difference is 2 years or less). My ex-husband’s grandmother married his grandfather when she was 13 and his grandfather was 19. What has changed so much?

            • riverrider says:


              • RR,
                Took the word out of my mouth.

                • RR&OP;
                  You two been working on my genealogy trees??
                  To answer the question, lifespan was one of the reason for marrying so young. The other, due to illness, accidents many did not survive childhood or into middle age. If you went over the age of 30 and up you were considered OLD.

                  • k. fields says:

                    I can understand the lifespan differences but that doesn’t explain the maturity difference. Are young people today being kept immature longer simply because they have a longer lifespan to develop in? Or is it simply an incorrect perception that 14 – 15 year old girls were mature enough for marriage a few generations ago.

                    In the area I grew up in TN in the 50’s – 60’s, the age of legal consent was 16 – driving, drinking, marrying – once you turned 16 you were considered an adult (except for voting in Federal elections, that was 21). When I was 15, my great grand mother (the last of my family) passed and luckily authorities figured I was close enough to 16 that I could take care of myself so I was able to keep the farm and continue my life there. I don’t imagine that would happen today.

                    • k. fields,
                      I think we do let kids have a little longer childhood today than we did perhaps even 100 years ago. Childhood was short and life was sometimes a bit harsher. At 15 you were able to take over the family farm, and I agree that it would not happen like that today. If you look at people who live in the 1800’s and are alive today, (i.e. the Amish), they are ready for life as in marriage, running their own farms, etc. after they graduate the 8th grade. It was similar back in the 1800’s. Our children for the most part go to school through the 12th grade, and then generally go one for additional training at a college or trade school, or perhaps a skilled trade apprentice program. Letting our children have a longer childhood and longer education also prepares them for a much more complex life, and allows them to find work in a society based on technology, which the Amish would find hard to use. Even a blue collar skilled trade worker, will most likely be using computerized robots or milling equipment, which takes that additional schooling in math and science.

                  • Encourager says:

                    AND many young women did not survive childbirth.

              • Rider of Rohan says:

                Yep, although we’re heading in the wrong direction on lifespans as well, riverrider.

            • Backwoods Prepper says:

              Although I don’t believe the lifespan theory it is possible. But a high percentage of those marriges lasted the couples lifetime meaning they did not divorce. Todays youth have no morals. The boys and girls are equally promiscuous.

          • axelsteve says:

            JP IN MT. A school can take your kid to an abortion clinic without your consent,but the school can`t give her an asprin though. Kinda confusing.

            • JP in MT says:


              Yep. (1st answer was longer, but someone would have yelled at me.)

  13. In Jan. or 2009 a local talk radio show asked the same question, “Why are people buying so many guns”. Being a idiot that I am, I called in a said, ” They are preparing for the coming Civil War between freedom loving people and the Marxists which have taken over D.C.”.
    Well I got laughed off the air then…now not so much.

    Even though it crashed and burned the first time that they tried it, up here in Frostbite Falls they are attempting again to force background checks for all private sales of firearms.

    According to “Shotgun” Joe Biden, we’ll have a National Law by the end of 2013. Speaking of Biden, check out the really funny video at “The People’s Cube” on women shooting shotguns. LOL’s

  14. Bam Bam says:

    Why are so many people getting ready? I think there is a small segment of the population that understands our current government payouts are not sustainable. But this segment has to be very small–after all, almost half the people in this country didn’t know Obama care was already the law of the land. I think only a small part of the ammo shortages are the result of preppers stockpiling. I think quite a bit of it is fear buying. (I prefer to distinguish preppers and fear buyers. Preppers buy so they don’t have to engage in fear buying. I think the majority of people purchasing ammo right now are clearing the counter out of fear–gun control fears, DHS bulk order fears . . . . There’s a mentality like “I better buy everything on the shelf because next time there may be nothing left to buy.” This is why so many places have imposed limits on ammo purchases. Ammo manufacturers are not expanding production because they do not know how long the increased demand will last. They don’t want to hire people only to have to lay them off six months down the road.

    I think the ammo situation is already getting better. I checked Lucky Gunner the other day and they had both 9 mm and .22 LR. In the next two or three months I expect to see things get back to normal.

    I think the lesson to be learned is to get your preps in order now. Ammo is one thing. Most people who have guns have a backup supply. And we can reduce trips to the range to conserve ammo. When food gets scarce, it is going to be an entirely different story. Families can’t very well reduce the amount of food they eat. I fear the day I begin to see hungry children in my neighborhood.

    • GA Red says:

      “Families can’t very well reduce the amount of food they eat. I fear the day I begin to see hungry children in my neighborhood.”

      I worry about that too which is why food is my #1 prep. However, when I look around at people (including myself), I think there are many who could reduce the amount of food they eat.

      • Gary Olson says:

        ” I think there are many who could reduce the amount of food they eat.”

        There’s more than one way to prep and store food!

    • Bam Bam,
      Ammunition manufacturers are already running at 150% of last years production, and still can’t keep up. Eventually when people think they have enough, the surge will slow down, and more will become available. I’m just not sure when.

      • Rider of Rohan says:

        OhioPrepper, I go to my local Wally World every week and wait for the truck. They are not getting the same amount of ammo they’ve gotten in the past, so less ammo is available to them for some reason. My conclusion is that the government is buying a larger percentage of the ammo available as by law the government gets first chance to buy ammo. The .22 lr shortage can only be explained by the government buying up so many components like brass, lead and powder that there is none left for .22 lr production.

        • Rider of Rohan,
          A member of our gun club works in the industry and assures all of us that the ammunition (including .22 LR) is being produced at about 150% of last year’s production; however, we see a large influx (for whatever reason) of people purchasing firearms, and all of those firearms require ammunition, including .22 LR, so I think all of the new shooters are buying up at least some of that ammo. Add to that the fact that concealed carry is up in most states. I recently heard that in Ohio, Q1 of 2013 licensed about 31,000+ CHL holders, compared to about 17,000+ in Q1 2012. Assuming that each person took a class, and that those classes operate similar to the ones I’m involved in, then each new shooter / CHL holder used at least 50 rounds of .22 LR. So Q1 2013 in Ohio alone, we used an additional (31,000 – 17,000) * 50 or 700,000 more rounds of .22 RF than last year. If the rate keeps up, then we are headed for 2.5-3 millions rounds this year in Ohio alone. Supply and demand still work, and the demand has been tremendous since TDL was elected.

          • Rider of Rohan says:

            Maybe, but there is no .22 lr in my area for anyone to buy. You can buy all the new rifles you want, but there is no ammo to go with it. .22 lr is non-existant. Nada. None. Zero. You can’t buy it anywhere because no one is getting anything, whereas in past years they’ve gotten thousands of rounds. You can’t hoard what you can’t buy, so I just can’t go with your arguement. Concealed Carry may be up, but here people are having to use stored ammo if they use .22 lr. Something’s being manipulated somewhere.

  15. riverrider says:

    in my area i see a few arming for the hostilities, but far more are first timers getting a self defense weapon. the ccw classes are filled and booked for months ahead. instructors tell me many many women taking up arms. personally i was fully stocked but still fell victim to the fear of empty shelves and ordered a few thousand more rounds. luckily i did it prior to the big markups. i see mags cheap again, as are rifles, but that will change as tdl has given atf the ability to stop importation of foreign guns and ammo. ammo has come back to one of my secret squirrel sources for the first time since november, and they kept the price reasonable. i would like to add a few rounds, but my own shtf has occurred thanks to uncle sugar cutting my retirement check. in answer to your question….its a lot of reasons, but i have found a greater number than i ever expected of patriots in the area.

    • Bam Bam says:

      RR says, “I have found a greater number than i ever expected of patriots in the area.”

      I am completely amazed–most of our friends are preppers. All of dh’s extended family are preppers, serious “check out my racks of food and my AR” kind of preppers. Everyone we invited over to dh’s birthday party are long time preppers. We found out our financial adviser (and dh’s band mate) has been prepping since 1980. Even my mom is getting on board. There were even two Democrats we invited to the party–and they were getting on board.

    • RR,
      Just heard on the radio today that in the first quarter of 2013, there were 31,000+ CHL permits issued, compared to 17,000+ in the first quarter of 2012. Just FYI.

  16. SurvivorDan says:

    I know a couple of people from work who are now buying guns and ammo. When I asked them about stockpiling emergency food and supplies they remarked that it is more important to acquire weapons and that they could get what they needed (food, etc) by taking it from the government store houses. I told them that such stockpiles would be well guarded and their answer to that was that there would be softer targets (I am paraphrasing). I find it sad that people who are otherwise law abiding and seem to be decent folk, would have thievery and consequently murder as their survival plan. MD raises a good point. There are many folk, recently awakened to the coming Collapse, who think their survival should be based upon taking that which others have thoughtfully stored up. Having witnessed the atrocities committed by (average folk)in other countries in the face of disaster, I see such twisted thinking as very likely to be the basis of such anti-social behavior by desperate (non-prepping) people. Very likely if not a certainty. Most of the Pack already knows it but be prepared to repel boarders folks.

    • JP in MT says:


      Right before Y2K there was a young man who was buying a box of ammo for his rifle and one for his pistol every payday. When asked about other preps, he stated he would just take what he needed form others who stocked up on those. When asked if he understood they had guns and ammo, specifically for people like him, he had no answer. Obviously this idea was new to him.

      • JP in MT,

        I talked to a guy a few months ago (he did not know who I am) and he brought up the show doomsday preppers and how it would be easier to just buy guns and ammo then go take from the “preppers”. I was thinking great, thanks, now I know to shoot you on sight after a disaster… Problem solved!

        Our “conversation” was the spark for this post…

        • JP in MT says:


          Sometimes we just need to “thin the herd”. These guys need to get out more and watch less TV. Thinking is not their long suit.

        • Exile1981 says:

          I’m working at a remote worksite and over dinner in camp the other night someone at the table brought up that show and said they had gotten a hand gun so they could just take from the preppers. Another said he would rather die than be a survivor of a major disaster; problem is he has kids, I suspect his toon will change when his kids are starving. The only ones out of 16 people not talking about looting or just dying was the one Mormon at the table and myself and the rest of the conservatives at the table.

          I just sat there and reminded people I don’t own a TV so I have never seen the show. I was thinking that fortunately I now know which coworkers to watch out for.

          • hi. always best to keep your lip buttoned and take notice of who reveals himself to be a looter.
            keep your own counsel.
            deb harvey

          • It’s a simple equation. Gun totting person with no training, assaults prepper with guns and trading, to take food. Gun totter goes to the afterlife of his choice, and prepper adds more firearms to the stash.

        • Survivor says:

          What’s more, after you dispatch him as a courtesy to the rest of us, you have lots more guns and ammo to trade for food. Very ironic!! Do unto others before others do unto you!!

    • Damn grasshoppers!

  17. SurvivorDan says:

    I wrote about evil doers in other countries but I witnessed the same savage behavior in the aftermath of Katrina in this country. Americans are not immune to such behavior by virtue of being more ‘civilized’. Desperate people are the same all over the world. Don’t be complacent to the threat. thinking, “Not my neighbors!” Your neighbors in their jealousy and desperation may very well become your murderers…

  18. Thomas says:

    Cause we can. Wooohoooo!!!!!!!


    Actually, I live in one of the gun banning states so here its more like:

    “While we can”


  19. Maybe someone could help me with something, as I’m not an American?

    The statistics stated above for the number of guns listed are based on the number of background checks.

    So if background checks are being done, why are the dem’s going on about background checks not being done?

    Is something not adding up or am I missing something?

    • Mike,

      They want a background check (and paper trail) for all gun sales including those of individuals that are selling their legal property to a friend, family members etc… Once again, criminals do not follow the law and there would be plenty of guns for sale without a paper trail even if it were law.

      Currently, only guns sold by a firearms dealers are required to do the paperwork and background check.

      • MD;
        Question. I purchased a gun from a friend to help him out, and they had to do the background check on me(CA). I wanted to purchase it with a bill of sale but the friend said no he wanted it out of his name……….so. In your best understanding am I, an the new addition on the ” list”?

        • Becky,

          I’m not sure about the laws in CA, but if you filled out a form and the did a background check then you’re on a list as the owner of that firearm.

          • k. fields says:

            You’re correct regarding CA law. Here ALL transfers of firearms MUST be handled by a FFL holder – it’s stricter than the proposed Federal law that was debated in the Senate.
            As for being on a “list”, well, you will definitely be “listed” as the new owner in the FFL holder’s record book which the ATF can consult.
            Now whether or not any info is kept by the Feds as a result of the back ground check? They say not, but then again, they say a lot of things.
            Personally, I think anyone who has purchased a firearm through a FFL holder since 1993 is on a Federal list.

            • riverrider says:

              k, you are correct. despite the law forbidding it and a federal judges ruling to destroy it, the atf continues to collect info from background checks.

    • axelsteve says:

      Mike In Comradfornia I can will my firearms to non felon sons. Mr Sotero is trying to stop that. I guess you can`t with a daughter since she can more easily change her name.

  20. Michele says:

    “…aren’t just planning to use their new firepower to take what they want from others that have prepared with a well-rounded survival plan (YOU).”

    Well they can think that all they want. It would be pretty dumb of them to think that people who have been saving up and storing up food to keep their loved ones alive haven’t been storing up the means to protect it. And, while I’m pretty tender hearted, if it was the lives of thiefs and robbers or my loved ones …. well…

    • Michele;
      Off the subject but to let you know on Sunday 1-2pm on 1460am(KCNR)they are going to have a doctor who practices medicine with herbs etc. You will be able to listen via your computer. This is for all the others who are wanting knowledge on this subject, it is a new program.

  21. Bam Bam says:

    Michele writes, “if it was the lives of thiefs and robbers or my loved ones …. well…”

    Hum. Michele didn’t finish the sentence.

    If it was the lives of thieves and robbers or my loved ones, well, I [Michelle] would turn into Rambo and start kicking some ass, up one side and down the other. Watch out for an angry mama. They’s going down. Down to tiny town.”

    • Bam Bam,
      I thought Michelle finished the sentence quite elegantly.

    • BB,
      “They’s going down. Down to tiny town.”
      Snort. TIny Town. Hahaha. I will be saying that all day.

      Jeez………Ohio Prepper. You don’t have to be cranky ALL the time.

      • Mama J,
        I’m not cranky, I just appreciate well thought out arguments vs unfounded assertions. People (my self included) come here for accurate information.

        • Mama J says:

          You are a well spoken highly intelligent articulate person. Myself and others value your opinions and assertions.
          However, Bam Bam was being silly and you are cranky sometimes.

  22. FarmerKin says:

    I think too, that some were trying to get in under the wire for items that Ms. Frankenstein was trying to have banned, and counting on a grandfathering clause. With so much demand, there are probably many still trying to get theirs.

  23. I ordered a special deal last December from DSG Arms. 10 (windowless) P Mags for 109.95, including shipping. They were instantly back ordered, but appeared on my door step a few weeks ago. In some areas, things are catching up.
    MD mentioned Strum Ruger and I purchased some of their stock last year. It has been one of my best performers, paying a onetime $4.50 per share quarterly dividend last December. This stock has made me a lot of money in my IRA.

  24. k. fields says:

    I don’t see this run on firearms to be caused by “folks … seeing the writing on the wall and know(ing) that the poop is about to hit the fan” – I see it simply as panic buying based on a “perceived” crisis perpetrated by the NRA and the media. H*ll, you could make a big media splash that coffee may not be available next year and the store shelves would be emptied immediately. People would purchase just because it MIGHT not be available in the future – whether they drink coffee or not. I saw the same thing happen with generators prior to Y2K. “Knowing” wasn’t even in the neighborhood.

    The majority of these “new” firearm owners aren’t “informed”, they are simply being herded by the media the same way they are every year over the latest “must have” Christmas toy or the latest sports shoe. In the not too distant future, when firearm stocks and prices begin to normalize, these people will look at their new “toy” and wonder why they ever purchased it in the first place. It will be a boon to those of us who appreciate firearms because it will create a huge buyers market in used guns – most of which having never been fired.

    But there is a secondary question – why are otherwise rational gun owners becoming a part of this? Are they simply being caught up in the feeding frenzy? A lot of us here own multiple firearms already and we’re aware of their value – yet many have gone out to purchase more at top dollar when they should know better. It’s certainly not for investment, the last “assault weapons ban” showed the foolishness in that thinking. Even though Senator Diane Feinstein claimed the ban was effective because “It was drying up supply and driving up prices”, the reality was something else again.
    That is the question that really puzzles me. Well, that and why people continue to repeat “quotations” that have no basis in fact. Yamamoto’s statement? Never happened so far as any historian has been able to discover.

  25. Hognutz says:

    I have not read all the comments but I will just come out and say it.
    Americans are buying guns and ammo for the coming Revolution/Race War.

    There I said it, now what?

    • Hognutz,
      I don’t know that it’s a Revolution/Race War, as much as a basic breakdown in society. We see a porous southern border with a neighboring country that is basically a narco-terrorism state, and the violence being exported north via gangs into the major cities. At least for now I fear the government less that the potential interconnected gangs who will keep the law enforcement very busy, and perhaps too busy to protect us.

    • PGCPrepper says:

      I don’t know. A lot of folks get caught up in the hoopla to some extent as K.Fields spoke to. Check this link out. There is likely some of that going on in this poll….number of registered voters believing an armed revolution may be necessary….


      • Bam Bam says:


        I just read that story–almost a third of the registered voters in the U.S. believe an armed revolution may be necessary to preserve our freedoms. That is in incredible number of people.

    • Bam Bam says:


      I think the media will fuel a race war–much like they have done with George Zimmerman. The initial reports highlighted the fact that a white man shot a black teenage boy. When it came out that Zimmerman was Hispanic (not white), they created a new category called “White Hispanic”.

      I don’t want a race war. But if things get ugly, the press may blame America’s problems on rich white folks. And that will create a race war.

  26. I hope some of our gun guys see this…

    A local farm store that sells guns, ammo, hunting stuff has a large amount of generic looking AR15 mags. They are only 19.99 ea and look to be made from plastic. Black and also desert tan. I thought about buying one and trying it, but I am to cheap to waste 19.99 and use ammo. I waited for an attendent to show me what brand they were, but they were all busy. I left.
    All the mags I have are PMAG’s and they work just fine. These are not PMAGS.
    Can any of you share the types of mags you have used that were just garbage, so that I can avoid those? I can’t go back to tthat store until next week.

    • Mama J,
      IMO, if they are plastic and not Magpul PMAGS, then they’re not a bargain. For the AR-15 I use only Colt, Bushmaster, and Magpul, and have not had any problems until a magazine is ready for the recycle bin.

  27. there will always be a faction of people out there that will try to intimidate and take what they did not work for or toil for. if one stockpiles ammo and weapons without stockpiling food and seeds as a renewable source of food they are surely a fool. the animals stockpile food for over the winter and so should people. we are supposed to be the smarter and more intelligent mammal on planet earth and yet i am afraid alot of people are in denial. all one needs to do is watch the signs of what is going on and it does not take a genius to know that the bubble is going to burst. i am afraid that when it does blow that america will certainly become a different place to live in than it is now.

  28. there will always be a faction of people out there that will try to take what they did not work for or toil for. prime example of what can happen when the shtf. look at the t.v. show Revolution. the guy that plays the head of the militia used to be a quiet non violent man until the lights went out. now look at him. yes i know it is hollywood and they take liberties but i do believe that there will be people like that if something happens. they will try to rule by fear and intimidation. anybody who just stockpiles ammo and weapons is surely a fool. if one thinks they will be able to hunt for food after it hits they will soon find out that the animal food chain will soon dry up. one needs to have a renewable source of food available and that would be thru seeds.

  29. wonderprepper says:

    i purchased my guns prior but i felt i did not have enough ammo. i feel i have been somewhat buying in panic. my thought is i need around 1000 rounds per gun. do you think i need more? when i find 22lr i try to purchase because i know i can trade today if needed. i am short on 40 caliber because it is 3 times more expensive. both i come across at least once a month. i feel food would be an issue. i have some stored. should i worry more about food now or more ammo?

    • JP in MT says:


      You have to have food. You may need more ammo. Without knowing you, your personality, location, and intent, it’s hard to say. That being said, if you are going to eat ammo, you only need one round.

    • riverrider says:

      how many firefights do you think you can win before somene gets lucky, versus how many months of food do you have, or years.

      • wonderprepper says:

        i think we will have an economic collapse. food wise i believe 1 year at least. bullet wise i would need some for hunting, practicing, defense, and trade. i hear different people say different amounts. i was wondering if at least 1000 rounds would be good per caliber or if i need more. should i store more food? i think everything will go down by the end of this year. anyone agree or disagree? i was just wondering between the two what should i buy first.

        • Bam Bam says:

          Wonder Prepper,

          The “standard answer” is that you should have 2000 rounds for each of your primary self defense weapons. Personally, I have twice that amount in 9 mm, since that’s what both dh and I, by brother and my mother all carry. I can’t imagine having that many shotgun shells (00 buck) on hand but there are folks here who have been prepping for a long time.

          I don’t recall seeing you post before. You might have a look at M.D.’s article “10 Things to do Now” and “10 More Things to do Now” (under prepper’s list header). Make sure you food is in order.

          If there is an economic collapse, the government will likely try to control people by access to food. Check out the LDS Online Store for the basics. Check out Emergency Essentials and Honeyville Grans for the “nice to have” stuff.

        • JP in MT says:


          Bam Bam’s advice is sound. I’ve been a shooter for too long so my ammo numbers are skewed a bit. I “think” actual hostilities will last at least a year, depending upon what time of year they start (things going “south” starting in October will lead to a starvation/die off earlier and things starting in April). Then it will take at least a year to be able to produce your own food, with any degree of safety. I plan for at least another year for things that will/can go wrong. So my food storage “goals” are more like 3-5 years. But then I like to eat, I’m too old to run, and I believe in planning for “worst case” situations.

        • riverrider says:

          if you have 1k rounds, buy food, lots of it. long term storage type. superpails from ee add up fast and cheap. then add what you need to make it tasty. make sure water is covered though. i’m with jp below, 3 to 5 years. think biblical proportions, flood,famine, crop failures etc.

  30. Millie in KY says:

    Way back when, in Dec/Jan, when the ammo runs were at their highest, I ordered a ton of .22LR from Sportsmen’s Guide. Someone had posted back then, “order it, if it comes in, great, if it doesn’t, well, you tried. And if you don’t order it you will for sure never get it”. I did order and my ammo came in here in late March or early April. It was around 70 days, I think that it took They charged my credit card when it came in, not when I ordered it. I thought that was pretty good advice and now pass it on to you all.

    • riverrider says:

      i been waiting 14 months……

      • I ordered a case of .223 from sportsman guide last October, which was on sale, delivered two weeks ago. I ordered over a hundred mags, took about three months. Black guns and mags are showing up on the shelves along the west coast, ammo is still really scarce. Reloading components are scarce as well. A salesman at Cabelas informed me that the same people come in every morning when opening, purchasing whatever available when stocking their shelves, as most popular ammo is gone around 10:00 am. One of my friends has done well at Walmart late at night, asking the clerks to check the stock room, just sharing. Heck…….silver eagles are in short order as well.

  31. The gut feeling finally took over and I stocked up on ammo right before all this happened. Lucky me, but I miss target shooting, Hopefully the shortages end. Hopefully it doesn’t turn into food shortages…..

  32. Hannibal says:


    Ck. out the right side bar for a few more, especially George Carlin.

    My 10 pk of Brownells GI mags w/ Magpul followers and chrome silicone springs came in after 90 days of back order. $114.50.

    FYI: The WOLF WPA .223 FMJ 55gr. is fine, no problems. I found a case for $480 and Pmags, no windows, for $30 each.

  33. Lots of good advice here and I appreciate all of you for providing it. MD I am so thankful for the day I ran across one of your pins on pinterest!

    We do not own any guns at this time. Right now I am working on getting a minimum of 3 months of supplies. Once I get that then I will focus on more long term supplies and hopefully the price of ammo and guns will have settled down. We are looking at other means of protection such as bows. I have accomplished quite a bit in the last few weeks. I focus on doing what I can with what I have. Hopefully time will be on our side.

  34. To be able to fight the Washington District Soviet .

  35. I wish my local Wal-Mart’s shelves were as well stocked as the ones pictured above. Ever since January, everything but shotgun shells and the occasional box of hunting cartridges has vanished. I started the process to obtain my NYS pistol permit in March 2012, and by the time my application was approved, the run on guns and ammo had already begun.

    Now I’m just hoping things settle down for a bit soon so that I can actually find and afford to buy ammo for the guns I was able to get.

    • order on line , thats about the only reliable resource now , if you order from sporting chains like cabelas or the like , you can have it shipped to the store near you for pick up , avoiding shipping charges .

  36. Hey,how ya’ll doing,CheaperThanDirt and CDNN Investments have ar,and ak mags in stock,prices are not bad either.As for ammo down here in Mississippi,you can’t find ammo either.The most sought after is .22 LR,followed by 9mm,.45,.40,.38,,357,.223, 7.62 of both types.Even a lot of hunting calibers are gone,about all you can find plenty of is .35 Whelen.I read where ammo is getting hard to find in even Israel.I don’t know what is going on but it looks like people are preparing for something bad coming down the road.Be safe,be ready and Keep your powder dry.

  37. DrewfromOz says:

    As an Aussie I am a little annoyed by the gun buying panic in the US. We have lived for well over a decade with severe restrictions on semi auto weapons and pump action shotguns- pistols have been restricted for several decades longer.
    We have lived with it, adapted, and now the shooting arts are making a comeback. More legal firearms now than before the several mass shootings which started this whole sorry mess off in the late 80’s and early 90’s.
    But now- we are starting to get restrictions in the amount of ammo available. As in; your panic is sopping up supplies we are used to.
    Ask yourselves- is it possible that the US firearms industries are ‘helping along’ the scares in order to maximize their sales and prices?

Before commenting, please read my Comments Policy - thanks!