Sunday, February 3, 2013

GNB: Ammo availability hits training industry

With new restrictive laws that are being talked about, there has been a tremendous increase in demand for semi-auto rifles. Unfortunately, similar experience of 4 years ago has crept up and availability of ammunition has taken a hit.

Currently, 5.56/.223 Rem and 9mm rounds seem to be the most difficult calibers to find. This meant that a few training classes had to reduce round count.

It started with Magpul Dynamics on Jan. 8th and several prominent instructors such as Kyle Defoor, Larry Vickers, and Redback One(Jason Falla) also made such announcements. There probably will be some announcements from a few more well-known instructors soon.

Even before the spike in ammo demand, there were predictions that some high-round count instructors would have to adjust their curriculum. Now that there is an actual run on ammo it seems like it affects more than such instructors.

It is difficult to gauge how long this situation would last. Whatever that is available is priced at 50% - 100% more than what it was last year. If past is any indication, it would take at least 6 months for ammunition to be reasonably available and about 1 year for the prices to come down.

There are several things students could do to ride it out.

Dry-firing is one of the nicest things that doesn't cost much money and it helps with many facets of shooting. It is not as fun as using live rounds on the range, but it works. While dry-firing cannot help with some other aspects of shooting, one can really focus on getting proficient.

Using .22 conversion kit is another. While it may not be same as a centerfire pistol cartridge, using a .22 lr ammunition is better than just leaving your gun in the safe. You can actually shoot and practice marksmanship on top of dry firing.

If you have a GBB airsoft, it probably could fill the gap during live fire sessions. One unfortunate aspect of it is that a good GBB tend to go for a few hundred dollars and hard to articulate how much one would save.

Whatever the solution is, it will be a bit of pain for next few months. No one likes it, but learning how to adapt to and overcome given situation is possible. And hopefully when the prices come down, we can increase our ammo reserves again.