It appears the current political environment concerning guns and ammo may have relaxed a bit. But constant vigilance by all who want to maintain an ammo supply for their favorite firearms should be the norm.
As a current firearms instructor in both civilian and law enforcement venues, it never ceases to amaze me as to how little thought is given to ammo and its availability. In many instances, students often arrive for training reporting they have limited ammo for that day’s range work because they could not find it at the local retailer in the required quantity. Likewise, ammo cost and supply are a constant concern and discussion in the law enforcement arena.
With increasing frequency, ammo is becoming the focus of control efforts by politicians on the local and federal level who view guns — and all associated with them — as evil.
The following are just a few of the challenges we are facing today when it comes to ongoing ammo acquisitions:
Leave your fingerprint/show a license to purchase ammo. California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois and Massachusetts all have passed such laws or are considering them.
Environmental. In a nutshell, the shaky theory holds that lead-based projectiles will compromise certain wildlife species (and humans, too) if ingested or physical exposure occurs. The result is lead-based ammo being restricted or banned.
Public safety. Attempts to eliminate .556 green tip or other “ballistic tip” ammo because it could penetrate all law enforcement body armor. Any high-velocity rifle round has this capability … it’s just political posturing.
Quantity restrictions. In some states, there are many restrictions on purchases of large quantities of ammo via the Internet. In addition, some retailers restrict how much of certain calibers one may purchase at any given time. This is still not uncommon for 22 rimfire ammo.
Import restrictions. There has been much discussion on limiting or banning importation of foreign-made ammo in such highly used cartridges as 7.62×39 and 5.45×39.
Non-availability. Ammo manufactures may limit how often they produce certain calibers based on the market demand. This means you better have laid in a good supply of all necessary reloading components if you need a particular, less common caliber. I personally have encountered difficulty in finding 218 Bee and 348 Winchester. To my knowledge, neither is currently in production. And one that’s around but continues to be difficult to find is 22 Magnum!
So, what are your needs and use for ammo? And how much is enough? That depends on you. Uses and needs in my world encompass the following: hunting, shooting sports/competition, training, defensive, bartering/investment, and leaving something for kids/grandkids when they find ammunition even harder, costlier and perhaps commercially unavailable to obtain in the future.
Many methods exist for long-term storage. But keep in mind: It must be cool and dry! Also, don’t store all your ammo in one location; spread it out. This provides some degree of insurance against fire, theft and catastrophic events.
Bottom line, if you want to have ammunition available at all times, you need to have a continuous plan for acquiring and replacing it. Just remember that just a few years ago, it wasn’t merely rimfire ammo that became scare; many pistol and rifle calibers also were hard to find!
Can you have too much ammo? That is for you to decide.