Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Economics of Ammunition

If you are a regular shooter, you already know that ammunition supplies are low relative to demand, resulting in scarcity and high prices. Over at the National Association for Gun Rights Blog, M.L. McPherson has written a piece on the economics of the current situation.

Unfortunately, Mr. McPherson places the blame entirely too much on the election of Barack Obama. It is true that His Peacefulness's elevation to the throne office of POTUS did send people scurrying to gun shops in record numbers: at the time, I worked part-time in a gun shop and witnessed the phenomenon at first hand. The coronation of Emperor Barack I actually began the third phase of our ammo woes.

Phase I was caused by increased industrialization, particularly in China and India, which increased demand for industrial commodities like lead, copper, and tin. I recommend Hot Commodities by Jim Rogers if you want the full picture of of the commodities shortage (BTW, food supplies also are at record lows). Ammo was readily available; we just had to pay more for it.

Phase II began with Dubya's Grand South Asian Conquest. Ammo disappeared from store shelves as the manufacturers switched over production to satisfy the feral federal government's demands. Police departments were forced to cancel firearms training and qualification due to uncertain ammo supply. Prices increased sharply.

Phase III, of course, began the day after the 2008 federal elections. Prices skyrocketed, and still stores and ranges had to resort to rationing ammunition sales.

The market has normalized a bit, with the reduction in industrial demand resulting from the global recession and the reduction in military demand resulting from the downsizing of military operations in Mesopotamia. I predict a new round of market disruption next spring, as O-BOMB-A! attempts to play Alexander to Dubya's Philip. "I am Yeswecanias, King of Kings! Look upon my works, ye Mighty, and tremble!" Stock up while you can.