Where's the ammo? - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Where's the ammo?

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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) -- It has been a question nagging gun owners and recreational shooters: where's the ammo?

We spoke with one gun dealer who's having trouble keeping the shelves stocked.  Just two days ago reports from Iowa indicated a short supply of popular calibers such as the 9mm, .22 long-rifle and .223's. But the squeeze is being felt in Rochester.

"Somewhere, out there in the world, there's one hell of a war being fought with .22's," said Wild Goose Sports Owner Ralph Hettig jokingly.  "I don't think that's the case but they're sure going." "The .223 and .22 long rifle are the hardest to get right at the moment -- at least for us."

Like many other ammunition dealers, Hettig is rationing his supply. 

"Right now it's two boxes per person," he said.  "Normally, we can just order two, three, four cartons at a time. In the last two weeks, three weeks, I was able to order one carton. That's 500 rounds."

Internet web forums are plastered with possible speculations as to what is causing the shortage.

Is it a case of supply and demand? Government hoarding of bullets? Or factories shifting quantities?

Hettig doesn't need the Internet for that, he hears it first hand. 

"I get guys that are telling me some of the wildest stories," he explained.  "They know a guy who knows a guy who's in the state department and they're going to do this or they're going to do that."

Whether or not the rumors are true may not matter. 

"Lately it's been, pretty much, a kind of panic-buying because people are afraid that they are going to put a limit on it," Hettig said.

Reloading supplies are also in strong demand at Wild Goose.  Paul Glowacki was able to find what he was searching for. 

"I reload to save money and also to have more precise target-loads. And also to be able to shoot more," he said. "It's more affordable."

Currently, a box of shells may be tough to come by, but Hettig said the market tends to fluctuate.

"It'll come back again," he said.  "I suspect two, maybe three months."

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