FILE - Ammunition

Boxes of American Eagle rifle ammunition. American Eagle produces high quality range ammunition suitable for use while target shooting. Shutterstock/Sask Photography

(The Center Square) – Don’t expect the national ammunition shortage to wind down once hunting seasons end.

Attributing a run on its products amid violence and election uncertainty, an Arizona ammunition maker says it's facing tens-of-millions of dollars in order backlogs. 

Ammo Incorporated announced earlier in December it's working to fill a record number of orders.

“This continuing market surge is reflected in our $135 million in open orders and the Company receiving a $5 million [purchase order] for Streak (specialty ammunition) just last week,” Ammo Inc. Chairman and CEO Fred Wagenhals said.

The company expects $55 million in sales in the current year, a 272% increase year-over-year. Wagenhals told in September the company purchased $2.8 million in machinery and equipment to increase production.

Minnesota-based Vista Outdoors, which acquired ammunition and rifle manufacturer Remington, announced in November a list of pending orders totaling $1 billion. 

The National Firearms Industry Trade Association estimated a record-breaking 17.2 million background checks for firearm sales in the first 10 months of 2020. The same report estimated 7.7 million Americans bought a firearm for the first time in 2020, 40% of whom were women. 

This increase, Ammo Inc. said in a release Monday, was fueled by current uncertainty in the U.S. political landscape, COVID-19’s adverse social and economic effect, and the evolving military and law enforcement markets.

There is widespread concern President-elect Joe Biden will tighten gun regulations, banning many popular types of firearms or subjecting them to an expensive and complicated process under the National Firearms Act before attaining them.

Biden released a statement on the Sandy Hook Elementary School mass shooting anniversary that left more than two dozen children and teachers dead, promising to enact “common-sense reforms” that the majority of Americans support. 

“You’ve helped us forge a consensus that gun violence is a national health crisis and we need to address its total cost to fully heal families, communities, and our nation,” he said.


Regional Editor

Cole Lauterbach is a regional editor for The Center Square covering Arizona, California, Oregon, and Washington. For more than a decade, Cole has produced award-winning content on both radio and television.