Skip to comments.Is Wal-Mart's Shortage of Ammunition for Real? (A Personal Investigation)
Posted on 01/19/2009 9:15:17 AM PST by OB1kNOb
A week or so ago I read in a FReeper thread where someone made the claim that Wal-Mart was running out of ammunition and apparently lacked the resources to restock it quickly. I thought to myself, surely this can't be true. Afterall, Wal-Mart is huge enough to have access to unlimited supply to anything they choose to sell. I mean, they are Wal-Mart.
So, this past weekend I decided to conduct my own investigation into this claim. On my way home from work Friday evening I stopped by three Wal-Mart's and visited their Sporting Goods (SG) department to buy some 9mm shells.
The first store I visited I made a bee-line for their SG dept. What I saw of their ammunition shelf behind the SG counter reminded me of the bread and milk aisles a day before a predicted snowstorm. Except for a few specialty shells it was basically bare. I was wanting to buy a box of 100 9mm shells, but all they had was one box of 50. That's strange, I thought, but surely one of the other two stores I planned to visit would have what I wanted in stock, so I preceded to the 2nd Wal-Mart store just a few short miles down the Interstate.
When I walked up to the 2nd SG dept. counter a young lady was there. I made a quick scan of the ammunition shelf behind the counter. It was the same as the first, pretty much empty. I asked the young lady if they would have a new shipment of 9mm shells in anytime soon. She shook her head and said "No, in fact the warehouse that supplies us told us to quit calling them and asking when they would have anymore ammunition to deliver."
Whoa! That response somewhat surprised me. Surely though my local store in a smaller town would still have what wanted. Au contraire. When I walked up to my local store's SG counter, I didn't even bother asking the clerk if they had what I was looking for. Their ammunition counter was emptier than the first two I visited.
By the time I got home, I decided that Saturday morning I would visit a couple more Wal-Mart stores in a neighboring city 20 miles away. The next day the 4th Wal-Mart I visited was the same - very little on the shelves, and no 9mm's. By now I was wishing I had bought the one box of 50 I had seen at the first store.
I decided before I visited the last Wal-Mart across town, I would make a visit to the local gun store where I recently purchased my pistol. Surely, they would have an ample supply of shells, and I could put my growing angst to rest.
Fat chance. Their ammunition shelves looked like Wal-Mart's. They had one box of 9mm's remaining which I quickly bought. I asked the owner if he would be getting anymore in soon, and he said, he would make a note to order more Monday. Hmmm. That's a strange response I thought. I figured he would have a better handle on his dwindling supplies and would already have made a new order, that is if he could get more supply.
I then went to the 5th and last Wal-Mart on my personal investigative tour. Ammunition shelves were the same as the previous stores, practically empty, but LO! What do I spy but two lonely boxes of 50 9mm shells sitting by themselves. I quickly pointed to them and told the clerk I wanted to purchase them. As he was ringing be up he said, "You're lucky. We just got these in today.".
So, it appears the rumors are true and that Wal-Mart is experiencing a shortage of ammo. and it appears this shortage extends beyond Wal-Mart and is affecting local gun stores as well. At least in my neck of the woods that's true.
Are your local Wal-Marts like the five that I visited, basically empty of ammo?
What are your personal favorite and trusted on-line ammo suppliers that you use and would recommend?
I didn’t wait until the news reports. I figured it out for myself and stocked up there and elsewhere in October.
The shortage is real, and it is everywhere, coast to coast, depending on what type you want. People are hoarding and buying like crazy due to the election of an anti-Constitution president. It is really that simple.
I don’t know about Wal Mart...but this morning I hit ‘cheaperthandirt.com’ for some .30 caliber ammo for my M1.
Every brand was ‘sold out’ with the exception of their highest priced stuff, $38 per box.
Today is ‘the day before the snow storm’ as you put it so well up above.
I posted a couple of days ago where the WM near me was all out of pistol ammo. I bought the last box of 30 carbine and 30-30 for my dad. Another WM nearby was also out. Shelves bare ....
The local shops are having shortages and difficulty getting stock. Haven’t checked Wallyworld, they don’t usually have the stuff I’m looking for.
I've done business with him, although not recently. I made sure I had at least a couple of thousand rounds of everything I shoot well over a year ago.
Add to that the fact that I reload and I don't have to worry much about 'shortages' in the market.
So that's my advice. Buy yourself a press, dies, and components. Learn to reload.
I got the last 4 boxes of 9mm (100 count) this weekend. .45 is out and has been for awhile.
I have an expensive trip coming up, but feel that I also need to buy this stuff while I still can.
There was an article in the paper that said that, not only were gun sales up in Eastern WA, but that concealed carry license applications were up 40%. That’s a whole lot, considering the numbers were already high.
FWIW, at Walmart there were boxes and boxes of 40 S&W.
I think this bullet id story is having an effect on buyers.
My local place has been out of 5.56 since November, they were able to get the cheap Wolf ammo tho, but its corrosive so many people wont use it. Quality 5.56 is the hardest to get, its one of the most popular calibers due to the AR15.
A very cursory internet search does suggest that gun-owners have bought out the current supply of ammunition.
I wonder if they will consume the supply, or store it? I wonder if the sellers have the same question, and if that is what is keeping them from restocking so quickly?
“I think this bullet id story is having an effect on buyers.”
Agree. It has gotten me buying when I otherwise might not be.
Have you tried any of the Academy stores?
Thanks for the link and info, L. I have a friend who can reload for me if needed, but right now I’d just like to find a trusted on-line source that FReepers like you trust and have had good experiences with.
The on-line ammo stores are being hit as hard as Walmart.
I was able to buy another pistol this weekend, but there was no .25, .380, 9mm, little .45 in auto. Plenty of .223, 22LR and revolver ammo. The place was packed as well with first time buyers.
I finally found what I needed at about the fifth stop.
Forgot to mention that I was to Dick’s this weekend, and there shelves were more bare than I have even seen them. Even 00 shotgun shells were sold out.
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