Ammo Demand Spurs Increased Production For At Least One Company

AP Photo/Lisa Marie Pane

Ammunition is a little hard to come by right now. With so many new gun owners coupled with the shutdown of many plants during COVID, it really shouldn’t be a surprise that ammo is hard to find.

Regardless, though, it is and that means it’s a pain because you kind of need ammo to shoot. It’s kind of how guns work, after all.

Now, though, at least one company is stepping up production to meet demand.

Ammunition manufacturer Ammo Inc. is building a new factory as American consumers deal with an ongoing ammunition shortage caused by unprecedented demand for guns.

While a new factory is welcome news to gun consumers, it won’t go online fast enough to solve this year’s problem of overwhelming demand versus limited supply.

Arizona-based Ammo Inc. broke ground on a 160,000 square foot factory on June 21 in Manitowoc, Wisconsin. A new plant from an upstart U.S. manufacturer is a ray of hope for gun enthusiasts, who have been scouring gun stores for ammunition and finding bare shelves, especially for popular calibers like .22 for target shooting, 9mm for pistols and .223 for AR-15s.

Ammo Inc Chief Executive Officer Fred Wagenhals joked at the groundbreaking that he was the only one of his co-founders who “knew what a gun was,” according to a local news broadcast, which said the company plans to finish the project in 2022, bringing 300 jobs to the town.

Ammo Inc. did not respond to messages from Forbes.

It seems like good timing for the groundbreaking (which was also attended by former NASCAR driver Rusty Wallace, a board member of Ammo Inc.) Americans have been buying millions of guns and stockpiling ammunition since the coronavirus pandemic swept through the country early last year. Gun sales have soared to record heights, according to earnings reports from leading manufacturers Smith & Wesson and Sturm, Ruger, and background checks from the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

“They’re certainly riding a historic surge in consumer demand for ammunition in the past year, following the spike in U.S. firearm sales since early 2020,” said Rommel Dionisio, a gun industry analyst for Aegis Capital. “Firearm sales, initially spurred by increased concerns over personal safety in the wake of widespread civil unrest, are currently being driven by heightened consumer fears over potential tightening of gun control legislation under the Biden Administration.”

Now, I’ve never shot any of their ammo, but if they can put more on the shelves before their competitors can–and that may be tricky after Vista Outdoors bought Remington’s ammo division last year–people will buy it out of desperation if nothing else. If they like it, they’ll be more likely to buy it in the future.

If they don’t, well, you can’t exactly return shot ammo for a refund.

The truth of the matter is that the last year or so has been a great time to get into the ammo game or expand operations if you had the means to do so. Most shooters aren’t able to be that picky and whoever puts ammo on the shelves is going to be the one making the money, at least in the short term.

If you make a quality product, though, it’s a good way to get up there with the big boys.

Oct 24, 2021 2:30 PM ET