No, Virginia, There Is No Great Conspiracy Keeping Ammunition Prices High

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A photo from The Time Before (Dan Z for TTAG)

Around the fall of 2020, I started to see forum comments, social media posts and reactions, remarks on web articles, etc.—and I mean tons of it— from upstanding, law-abiding, patriotic Americans. Virtually all of them were whining about first the lack of availability of guns and ammunition, and soon after the increased prices of both.

To start, virtually every single one cried foul about the lack of supply. Despite a healthy dose of reporting on the subject in shooting media outlets and even coverage in the mainstream media, almost everyone who commented about the issue insisted that there must be some conspiracy restricting supply. The fact that there was a pandemic that made work conditions less-than-optimal for production and disrupted supply lines, or the fact that five to 10 million new gun owners entered the market in a period of about 90 days did not matter. There must have been some sinister force at play.


The supply problems were entirely due to an unprecedented increase in demand combined with COVID social-distancing measures and some resultant hiccups in the supply chain. But that was merely the start of seeing how fine Americans who likely identify as conservative or libertarian—but certainly not leftist, socialist or, with apologies to P.J. O’Rourke, puke-gutted-bolshevik-rectum-eater—slowly morphed into dirty, filthy communists.

Around the beginning of 2021, the complaints began to change as the ammunition supply began to increase and inventory started to show up on retailers’ shelves, albeit at prices most would consider ridiculous, like $50 for a 50-round box of Russian steel-cased 9 mm. I get it; that commie garbage should be like 15 cents per round, not a buck per shot. But, why might prices have increased?

Because. Of. Demand.

I will say it again: because of demand. Everyone knows that the whole damn country is buying or wants to buy ammunition. The pandemic, violent rioting in our cities, cuts in law enforcement budgets, calls to eliminate the police and hateful, eliminationist rhetoric directed at supporters of the 45th President of the United States are but a few reasons why many—if not most—Americans thought 2020 would be a good year to arm up to protect hearth, home and family.

— Koba in Everyone is a Communist About What They Want

[ED: Be sure to click over and read the entire post.]

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