If you haven’t picked up that box of cartridges for your trusty deer rifle already, you may be out of luck.
Another pandemic-pushed rush on outdoors sporting goods — we’ve already seen it with ATVs, bikes, canoes, fishing gear and boats — now has caused a shortage of ammunition across much of the U.S., including here in the Northland.
Unlike past runs on ammunition, which impacted mostly handgun and AR-calibers, this shortage is also hitting popular deer-hunting calibers and even shotgun shells.
The run started early in the pandemic, sporting goods retail officials have noted, as more people purchased more stuff to do outdoors. Then supply chain issues hit, and now stores aren’t getting new merchandise to fill their shelves.
“The popular deer calibers are all gone: .308, .270, .30-06,” said Dan Parkinson at Superior Shooters Supply. And the store won’t be getting in any more this year. “Our wholesalers can’t get any.”
It’s the same at Fisherman’s Corner outside Duluth.
“We are out of .270. .30-06, .243, .308.... We do have a few oddball calibers in,” said Gary Tessier at the store. “We haven’t seen a .30-30 bullet in probably a year.”
Tessier said even reloading supplies are in short supply.
Vista Outdoor Ammunition, which owns Minnesota-based Federal Ammunition (as well as CCI, Speer and Remington brands) declined to offer any details on why the shortage has occurred at the retail level but did release a prepared statement.
“We operate our factory continuously and have added jobs and capital to support the current demand,’’ the company said in a statement. “Shipments of ammunition are made daily to our retail, wholesale and online customers.”