How crazy is the current ammo shortage?
Well, one Scottsdale-based manufacturer told a local news affiliate that it now faces an $80.1 million order backlog.
“We’re working right now seven days a week, 24 hours a day in all the manufacturing plants,” Ammo Incorporated CEO Fred Wagenhals told AZFamily.com.
“We just bought 2.8 million dollars worth of machinery and equipment last week to increase our production and increase our volume,” Wagenhals added.
Along with Scottsdale, Ammo Incorporated has facilities in Payson, Arizona, and Manitowoc, Wisconsin.
Wagenhals attributed the jump in demand to various factors, including COVID-19, the upcoming presidential election and widespread civil unrest following the death of George Floyd.
“The start was the pandemic that was going on. But there was always that fear of the election. Of who’s going to be elected of the next President of the United States,” Wagenhals explained. “But thirdly, I think the unrest in this country right now. And as you’ve seen in a lot of cities, the looting and the burning, and I think people are just scared.”
Mark Oliva, the Director of Public Affairs for the National Shooting Sports Foundation, told GunsAmerica via email that the spike in demand for ammo mirrors that of firearms. The numbers tell the tale.
“The sale on ammunition goes hand-in-glove with the sale of firearms. NSSF estimates there are more than 5 million people who bought a gun for the first time this year and we’ve recorded more than 13.8 million background checks for the sale of a gun this year. That tops figures for all of 2019 in just the first eight months of 2020. Those new buyers are joining existing gun owners on the range to learn to safely use and store their firearms. That’s caused an unprecedented demand in the marketplace and we’re seeing this happen everywhere,” said Oliva.
“Ammunition makers are working as quickly as possibly to meet this demand,” he continued. “We’ve seen spikes before and we’ve seen sustained period of demand. This year, though, is unlike any before.”
How long the demand will remain high is anyone’s guess. But certainly, much of it will depend on who win’s the presidential election next month and how the nation responds to the victor.