Is there an ammo shortage or a customer surplus? If you consider the current situation rationally without the bias of emotion or paranoia, a shortage of any product historically takes place after some unforeseen event. For instance, a long and brutal winter or a late spring frost can damage or completely destroy fragile crops like oranges, strawberries, etc. Every few years the price of orange juice will spike dramatically because a late frost killed a certain percentage of the crop. That leads to an “orange” shortage and a corresponding increase in price.
A Midwest drought can lead to less hay production or wheat or corn, take your pick. Less available product translates to higher prices. You either pay those prices or you buy less of that product. It’s simple economics.
As these words are penned we are experiencing the largest customer surplus in the ammunition market in my lifetime. More people are buying more ammunition than at any time in recorded history. It’s not that the ammunition manufacturers slowed or stopped production; they are operating at maximum capacity. There is a customer surplus, just as you will see before a hurricane makes landfall or when a major snow storm is predicted. Well, there is a storm brewing in this nation and gun owners who haven’t purchased a box of ammo in a year ran out and bought a thousand rounds last month.
Police Training Ammunition?
Last week I saw a piece online that explained how even law enforcement officers are feeling the crunch. The article bemoaned the fact the police officers were not able to find the ammunition they needed to train and practice. I laughed out loud. Unless things have changed dramatically in the last year or two without my notice, since when is having enough practice ammunition become a big concern?
A good friend of mine was the chief firearms instructor for a mid-sized sheriff’s department. He once related that his agency stocked fifty rounds of training ammo per deputy per month in addition to ammunition needed for mandatory qualifications. All a deputy had to do was walk to the armory and ask for ammo and they’d give it to them. My friend related that perhaps two or three deputies of the nearly one hundred full time officers would check out the free training ammo each month.
As you are actually reading this piece I can safely assume that you are indeed part of the choir and are at least mildly concerned with a shortage of ammunition with which to practice. Proficiency with a firearm requires regular practice, it is a perishable skill.
You should already have a solid dry-fire or dry-practice regime programmed into your routine. If you don’t have a current routine, seek out a qualified instructor and have them run you through some dry-practice drills. Keep in mind, simply snapping a trigger is not dry-fire training.
One Box Workout™
Dry-practice is extremely beneficial from the aspect of body mechanics and training neuromuscular pathways. However, as every fifteen year old boy knows, there is no actual substitute for the real thing.
When you hit the range to practice, you should first have a plan. If your plan is simply to shoot up a hundred rounds, that’s little more than noise-generation and empty brass creation. A couple of years ago I developed a simple base-line training or practice drill that I call the One Box Workout™.
By one box, I am referring to a single 50 round box of designated training ammo. The workout includes five separate stages with a ten round count per stage. If by chance the handgun you are using holds less than ten shots simply load it to capacity.
With your target set at five to seven yards, begin with a two-hand hold and slow-fire your first magazine or cylinder. Take your time and focus on a smooth deliberate trigger press and clear front sight.