On Friday it was announced that
The result? Just try buying any M855 ammunition online tonight . . . or the older M193 55gr. rounds, for that matter (the US Army's original cartridge for the first-generation M16 rifle used in Vietnam). I can't find any supplier with stocks available. Glenn B. reports likewise.
This is just plain stupid. For a start, anyone with half an ounce of sense in his or her head has already built up a reserve of ammunition in calibers and cartridges that are important to them. I've got plenty of M855 in my ammo locker, and twice that amount of M193. I don't even shoot M855 much - for civilian shooters and our needs, it isn't necessarily the optimum round to choose. For most defensive purposes, at the ranges and for the targets we're likely to face, M193 is probably a superior choice, and modern expanding ammunition is even better. (I stocked up on that a couple of years ago.) Come to think of it, I might even swap out some or all of my M855, because given the current panic I reckon I can get two rounds of M193 in exchange for one round of the supposedly 'good stuff'!
The other thing is, panic buying only drives up prices and disrupts normal commerce in the shooting industry. Ammo makers will make what sells; but if a given caliber or cartridge is suddenly in overwhelming demand, and they cut back on producing other cartridges to make more of what's popular, those who shoot those other cartridges will find themselves short-changed. What's more, the increased production of the popular ammo won't make much of a difference, because panic buyers will grab every round they can and hoard it. Opportunists will try to sell their stocks of the 'good stuff' at exorbitant prices to desperate shooters who don't know better, and are willing to pay whatever it costs to ensure that they've 'got theirs'. It's messy, distasteful and ultimately counter-productive. (Just look at the situation with .22LR ammo, which still hasn't returned to normal following the last ammo drought.)
As I said some time ago, it behooves all of us to keep adequate stocks of our cartridges of choice at all times. That way, when something like this happens we're minimally affected, if at all. I've got my stash of 5.56x45mm. ammo safely tucked away. I'll ride this one out.