Ammunition shortage hits northern Nevada

RENO, Nev. ( & KRNV) -- A specific type of ammunition is getting tough to find here in northern Nevada, and officials say hoarding is the reason for the shortage.

A box of .22-caliber bullets is not easy to find, even though manufacturers are not slowing down production. Manufacturers are making .22-caliber bullets at a high rate.

However, the demand is even higher. "They're producing billions of rounds every week, it's just, you know, gone," said Jay Hawkins.

Jay Hawkins is the Training Manager at Reno's U.S. Firearms Academy. The store received five cases of .22-calibers last week, and sold out in two hours. "It's always been a popular round here; it's just more popular now."

The ammunition is popular for training, because it is inexpensive and reliable. Hawkins said gun owners began hoarding 22's a year ago, thanks to government regulation conspiracies. Now, he says people are buying more and shooting less. "Because the fear of it not being available, the demand has just gone through the roof."

"For the past year, this country has been in the toughest shortage of ammunition it's ever been in," said Jim Harwin.

Safe Shot Indoor Shooting Range sees the demand and matches it. Harwin is the General Manager, and said distributors prioritize indoor ranges over retail stores. "We don't have a limit, it's not limited to two or three or four boxes. If you want to come in and buy twenty, thirty boxes, you are welcome to buy it."

Safe Shot is the only indoor range in Reno. The store sells 200 to 300 boxes of .22-caliber ammunition every day, with plenty in stock for the next.

"Because of our range and the amount of ammunition that we purchase on a weekly basis, that our distributors and our ammunition providers are providing us with a very fair amount of .22."

To put this shortage into perspective, we made calls to Sportsman's Warehouse here in Reno, Cabela's in Verdi and Scheels in Sparks. Between all three retailers, not a single box of .22-caliber ammunition is available for purchase.