Posted On: 04-06-2021

I am sure most are well aware of the shortage of shot shells this season.  Couple that with prices, in some cases at almost twice what they were a year ago, and this sport is becoming a very difficult to afford youth shooting opportunity.  I don’t want to dwell on the politics of ammo production except to say according to a recent National Shooting Sports Foundation survey, the growth in personal protection shotguns has increased 74% (many first time gun owners), while target shooting has only increased by 9.5%.  The simple economics is a supply and demand situation.  Secondarily, we all know as supply diminishes, price increases.  The pandemic has disrupted supply chains, fewer employees to work, and a brass shortage all contribute to supply shortages. What I read is this may continue through the summer of 2021.

Keep in mind the shell shortage parallels any other shortage we have experienced from toilet paper to hand sanitizer to disinfectants.  It only takes one or two new reports that a shortage is eminent that creates a surge in buying.  This goes back to last March and continues now.   

So, what can we do about the situation to put shells in the hand of youth shooters this year, especially knowing prices will be high:

  • Access and use your Midway USA Foundation account to purchase shells
  • Consider fund raising opportunities
  • Don’t be a hoarder
  • Time your visits to stores that sell ammo and ask when deliveries are occurring
  • I would say reload, but primers are hard to come by, reload what you have
  • Don’t be too restrictive – get and shoot what is available
  • Share with others if you have supply
  • Now more than ever make every shot count in training and practice
  • Think about ways to instruct that do not include shooting
  • Put the word out at your club to see if people have supplies, they are not using
  • Be diligent online
  • Use family and friends as a resource to be on the lookout for shells

This all will pass, but for now it might be a tough season ahead for finding shells and having to pay the high prices.

David R. Vaught, Ph.D.

Executive Director

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