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2020-2021 Ammo Shortage: Why Did it Happen?


The 2020-2021 Ammo Shortage was a pain in the butt.

It’s no secret that there was a serious ammo shortage in 2020 and 2021. It’s well-documented.  It left a lot of gun owners feeling frustrated and struggling to find the ammunition they needed. In fact, a lot of this shortage inspired the creation of Sovereign Ammo.  In this blog, I’ll go over some of the factors that caused the shortage and explain how it affected the industry.


First and foremost, the COVID-19 pandemic played a big role in the ammo shortage. With the pandemic leading to so much uncertainty and unrest, many people felt that they needed to protect themselves and their families. This led to a huge surge in gun sales, which in turn led to a surge in demand for ammunition.


However, at the same time, many gun manufacturers and distributors had to shut down or reduce their operations due to COVID-related restrictions. This meant that there was less ammo being produced and shipped out to stores, which further exacerbated the shortage. It was a perfect storm of factors that left gun owners struggling to find the ammo they needed.


In addition to the pandemic, there were also some political and social factors at play. Many gun owners were concerned about the outcome of the 2020 presidential election and the potential for increased gun control measures (we were among these people, honestly). This led to a lot of panic buying, with gun owners stocking up on ammo while they still could.

Civil Unrest

Another factor that contributed to the ammo shortage was the increase in civil unrest that occurred in 2020. With protests and riots happening in many cities across the country, there was a lot of fear and uncertainty, and many people felt that they needed to be prepared for anything that might happen.

All of these factors combined to create a situation where demand for ammo was far outstripping the supply. Gun stores were having trouble keeping shelves stocked, and online retailers were selling out of ammo almost as soon as it became available.


So, how did the ammo shortage affect the industry? Well, it was a tough time for everyone involved. Gun manufacturers and distributors were struggling to keep up with demand, and many had to make difficult decisions about how to allocate their limited resources.

For gun owners, the shortage meant that they had to be more careful with their ammo usage and try to conserve what they had. It also meant that they had to be creative in their search for ammo, often turning to online forums and social media groups to find leads on where to buy ammo when it became available.

Overall, the ammo shortage of 2020 and 2021 was a difficult time for the gun industry and for gun owners. However, things are slowly starting to improve, and it seems that the supply of ammo is starting to catch up to demand. Hopefully, we’ll soon be back to a place where gun owners can easily find the ammo they need to stay safe and protected.

2020-2021 Ammo Shortage… How about 2023?

Well, the good news is that things have definitely improved since the height of the shortage in 2020 and early 2021. Ammo is becoming more available at gun stores and online retailers (including us!), and prices have started to come down a bit.

That being said, there are still some shortages in certain calibers and types of ammo, and prices are still higher than they were before the shortage started. So, while things are definitely getting better, we’re not quite back to pre-shortage levels yet… but we’re well on our way.


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