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The extremely high demand for ammunition in the U.S. is currently expanding into other parts of the world, including Australia and New Zealand. As a result: ammo is in short supply worldwide and for the first time experts are talking about a market under stress. Suppliers are reporting challenges in keeping up with demand; powder, essential for firing the bullets, is falling in short supply.
Strong demand in the U.S. is mainly explained by on-going concerns about stricter gun laws. There no actual increased demand for weapons and ammunition, however. But we have all seen how emotions can swing markets. This is true not just for the international stock exchanges.
U.S. customers have always tended to hoard ammo even if they were unaware of how this might affect worldwide ammo supplies. The effects are being felt all the way to Australia and New Zealand, where wholesalers, shooting ranges and even farmers have upped their normal order quantities tremendously.
Conclusion: panic is contagious!
An insider at a U.S. weapons manufacturer explains it as follows: "The customer might buy a new gun, but often buys ten packs of ammo, just to be sure that he's got enough supply." Some U.S. gun shops have even taken to limiting the amount of ammo a single person can purchase, but online shops are booming in the United States.
This applies to both weapons and ammunition. The demand is mainly focused on brands and products manufactured in the U.S., but European manufacturers are also increasingly coming under pressure. There is talk of an "overheated market," especially when driven by emotions, instead of reasonable need.
The impact is also being felt in Europe for the first time. As British magazine "Gun Trade" wrote recently, large UK importers of U.S. ammo are receiving smaller amounts than they had originally ordered from the manufacturer. Some types of ammunition and calibre are not even available.
In Europe, the situation is currently still under control. The inventories at the retailers are well stocked and the American and European manufacturers are responding.
Two concrete examples of what ammo manufacturers are currently planning:
Just recently, U.S. ammunition manufacturer Remington announced that it would open a new plant in Lonoke, Arkansas in mid-2014, at a cost of $32 million. The plant is expected to produce an additional 2-3 billion round per year.
The Swiss RUAG Ammotec Group, producers of the RWS, ROTTWEIL, GECO and NORMA brands, also announced two weeks ago that it was going to invest "tens of millions" in new production facilities. There is talk of up to €50 million being invested. The money will be going to the factory in Fürth, Germany, for investment in new equipment and additional staff. But production capacity and improved manufacturing processes are expected. This will have a positive effect on the ability to deliver high quality ammo "Made in Germany" which will now be manufactured on the most modern machines. Buyers can only benefit from this development.
The tip from all4shooters.com:
Buy what you really need. Hoarding in the U.S. is currently leading to panic buying in America and other countries that is truly unnecessary. But for some people, that is just difficult to understand.
For more information on the manufacturers/brands mentioned in this article: