By: Enid Burns
Last week, some angry sportsman/sportswomen expressed frustration on social media that two of the nation’s largest ammunition producers were donating a million rounds each to the people of Ukraine. While most could respect the efforts of the manufacturers, the large allotments of ammunition were concerning as the U.S. market continues to experience an ammunition shortage.
“How about replenishing shelves to a reasonable price, before giving away millions of rounds. We could gear up with 5.56 while you replace their needed 7.62×39,” wrote one user, while another added, “But you can’t send 100 to my local Walmart, thanks.”
There is no denying that many American shooters still have to hunt to find ammunition. And even as production has ramped up, prices are still far higher than pre-pandemic levels. Thanks to several factors – including high demand, the ongoing supply chain bottlenecks and record high inflation – it could be well into next year before prices decline even slightly. In addition, Russian-produced ammunition was also banned as part of the sanctions against Moscow that were issued within the last year, and those certainly won’t be lifted anytime soon.
However, shooters should be patient. The ammo going to Ukraine is just the latest effort by some American firms to provide the material to stand up to the unprovoked invasion from Russia. If there is a delay in restocking shelves domestically, it can be considered one of the “sacrifices” Americans are told to make, along with paying more at the pump.
Last week, AMMO Inc. CEO Fred Wagenhals announced that his firm will send one million cartridges to Ukraine following calls from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
“I need ammunition, not a ride,” Zelensky remarked when he declined an offer of safe passage out of the capital of Kyiv.
Ammunition manufacturers were quick to answer the call.
“First of all, I believe in the Second Amendment,” Wagenhals, who made his fortune in NASCAR before founding his company, told Fox 10 News in Phoenix. “I also believe in freedom and democracy.”
The Scottsdale, Arizona-headquartered ammunitions manufacturer quickly said that it would send the cache of rounds to Ukraine free of charge. Worth around $700,000, the ammunition is being produced at the company’s facilities in Wisconsin and then will be delivered via a private plane.
The only thing slowing down the delivery is regulation on exports, which is being worked on. As of last week, Wagenhals was waiting for the green light from the United States government.
“AMMO, Inc. Offers to Donate One Million Rounds of Ammunition to the Armed Forces of Ukraine in Support of Their Fight for Freedom,” the company posted on social media last week.
AMMO, Inc. was just the first company to pledge such support. Remington Arms also announced that it would send an additional million rounds of ammunition to Ukraine.
“We heard President Zelensky’s call. Remington is sending 1M rounds of ammo to Ukraine,” Remington also announced via social media.
It is still likely to have little impact on American shooters. Each of the companies produces billions of rounds annually. And according to the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), the firearms industry trade association, at least 12 billion rounds were manufactured last year in the United States. It is very safe to say that American shooters won’t be facing added shortages simply because a few companies are offering to help the people of Ukraine defend their homeland.
Enid Burns is a freelance writer based in Michigan. She covers a wide range of topics from antique relics from around to the world to the latest bleeding edge technology. Her exposure to military history and firearms comes from her husband, fellow freelance writer Peter Suciu, and together they have traveled the world visiting about 20 countries on five continents. Together, they have built a collection of helmets, uniforms and small arms representative of armed forces and conflicts that span the globe. She and her husband continue to travel to military collectibles and antique arms shows around the country to find more treasure and discover more topics to research and write about.