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December 26th, 2020

Primers — Why There is a Primer Supply Shortage

primer shortage availability CCI Federal small rifle pistol Wolf Tula
Photo courtesy UltimateReloader.com.

Editor: This article is from the Powder Valley Website. The original release date was in October, 2020, BEFORE the election, so some factors have changed. But we are still seeing extreme shortages of primers.

primer shortage availability CCI Federal small rifle pistol Wolf Tula

If you’ve tried to purchase ammo or reloading supplies lately, you’ve probably noticed a lot of products are out of stock. Of all the components needed to reload ammo, it seems primers are the toughest to find, prompting many reloaders to refer to the current crisis as “The Great Primer Shortage of 2020″. The primer supply shortage doesn’t just affect reloaders, though. It’s also limiting the production of many popular types of ammunition. This can be frustrating for shooters and hunters looking to keep their edge on the range, and can be concerning for preppers, survivalists, and others who are concerned about their safety.

We are in the midst of the greatest primer shortage of all time, and we don’t see things getting better anytime soon. Read on as the experts from Powder Valley delve deeper into the primer shortage of 2020.

A Massive Increase in Demand
Like any other product in a market economy, primers are subject to the whims of supply and demand. As far as demand is concerned, a perfect storm of factors has caused a run on the ammo market like we’ve never quite seen before. A mix of the Covid-19 pandemic, civil unrest, and the possibility of an anti-2nd amendment President and Senate has caused demand to skyrocket. The pandemic specifically has incentivized shooters to learn how to reload their own ammo.

We have an extremely large number of new reloaders who have entered the market. The NSSF estimates that first time gun owners has increased to 6.2 million people over the past few months. [Editor: Vista Outdoor says the number may be 7 million by the end of 2020.] Unfortunately, many of those reloaders entered the market anticipating that it would be easier to make their own ammo since readily available ammunition was so difficult to find. With shortages of bullets, powder, brass and primers, that has simply not been the case

Since so many people have lost a chunk, or all of their income, it makes sense that reloading, which saves on the cost of ammo at the expense of time, would become more popular than ever. Even if you’re financially stable, reloading and shooting are great socially distant activities you can do while the movie theaters, bowling alleys, and bars are shut down. With little answers on the virus, it’s hard to see when these closures and limitations will end. This is why we believe this could end up being the greatest primer shortage of all time.

CCI PrimersHoarding of Primers
When there is a primer shortage the first thing people normally point to is consumer hoarding. We believe this is having an impact on availability, but probably not to the extreme that many think. There are definitely some profiteers who buy primers and then sell them on auction sites or other multi list sites. This is why many online retailers have now chosen to limit the purchase quantities to an extreme low level in an effort to reduce this.

Disruptions in the Supply Chain
Demand, however, is just one part of the story. Disruptions in the supply chain have also made a big impact on the availability of primers. When it comes to ammunition supplies, bullets are easy to manufacture, brass can be re-used, and powder is generally stockpiled by companies (though perhaps not the kind you’re looking for). This leaves primers, which are relatively difficult to make, as the component that causes the bulk of ammo shortages.

In the USA, only four companies (Winchester, Remington, Federal, and CCI) manufacture primers for civilian use, law enforcement, and the military. Even under perfect circumstances, there’s only so much they can produce at once, and needless to say, circumstances have not been perfect during the pandemic. People getting sick, missing work to take care of their kids, and self-quarantining – from factory workers to delivery drivers, and all throughout the supply chain – caused a lull in manufacturing this spring.

primer shortage availability CCI Federal small rifle pistol Wolf Tula

The Remington bankruptcy has had a large impact on the shortage of ammo and primers. With Remington in a state of financial insolvency for the past two years, suppliers were demanding payment upon delivery for products. Remington simply did not have the financial capabilities to have an abundance of raw materials on hand and had to shutter some of their production capacity. Barnes bullets and primers were hit particularly hard in the reloading market. With the recent purchase of Remington by Vista Outdoor, there is a good chance that Vista will be diverting CCI and Federal primers that would typically go to reloaders to Remington ammunition production. Remington primer production capacity has never been great. The hope would be that Vista will place more emphasis on getting the Remington primer production capacity increased substantially and quickly. The best news coming out of this is for Barnes fans. With Sierra’s purchase of Barnes we anticipate the availability of Barnes bullets to increase substantially in a very short period of time.

Reduced Supplies of Foreign-Made Primers
In 2008 we saw a huge influx of Russian primers. We are not seeing that this time as the Murom Apparatus Producing plant is only producing at partial capacity due to the COVID-19 restrictions. On top of that, there have been changes in upper management at Murom which have caused further disruptions. But, we are very hopeful that these changes will have a positive effect on production and distribution in the long run.

The situation has been worsened by dramatically reduced imports of Russian primers.
Russian Wolf Tula primers

With import restrictions out of Russia, we do not anticipate seeing the help we had from them in 2008-2012. We had also seen S&B, Unis Ginex and other foreign brands of primers enter the market during the shortages to relieve some of the pressure, but aren’t seeing that influx of primers this time around. The lack of foreign primers on the market is a major reason we believe this shortage is going to last for quite some time. We may see some help from foreign primers, but we don’t anticipate the large volumes we’ve seen previously.

What Should You Do?
CCI PrimersAs an individual, as of right now, there’s little you can do in the face of the reloading equipment supplies shortage. Keep checking your trusted online distributor Powder Valley for new arrivals of primers from all four manufacturers.

We have created some very stringent limitations on the purchase of primers in an effort to help as many people as possible work through this extremely tough time. Normally, we would say “stock up”. But that time has passed, and I would encourage everyone to learn from this. Stock up in times of plentiful supply so that you are not affected as greatly during these times of extreme shortage. In the meantime I would encourage everyone to pray for our country and our leaders[.]

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May 11th, 2019

May Is Mentor Month — Help a New Shooter Get Started

New Shooter Mentor program NRA May month

To help the shooting sports thrive, we need to introduce new participants. And now is a great time to bring a new shooter to the range — the NRA promotes May as Mentor Month. This month, make a commitment to enlist a new shooter. You’ll be helping the fight for the Second Amendment, PLUS you can get a chance to win valuable prizes in the NRA Mentor Sweepstakes.

Tips for First-Time Range Sessions with New Shooters:

1. Start with rimfire — bring a .22 LR rimfire pistol and rifle if possible.
2. Shoot a variety of targets, both paper and steel. The satisfying “clang” and movement of a hit on steel provides “instant gratification” that can make shooting more fun.
3. Invite a buddy AND his spouse. It’s great to get couples involved in the shooting sports — we need more lady shooters. And there’s evidence that women learn faster than guys!
4. Be sure to bring good ear and eye protection for yourself and all guests. We recommend ear-plugs under muffs for maximum sound protection.

new shooter NRA mentor initiative Pete brownells training safety

The NRA Mentor Initiative is designed to bring new participants, of all ages, into the shooting sports. The aim is to expand interest in firearms, and foster hunting, competitive shooting, and support for Second Amendment rights. CLICK HERE to find a range near you. On that page click the “Places to Shoot” button and type in your Zip Code.

Former NRA President Pete Brownell states: “May has been designated NRA Mentor Initiative month. We are calling on … NRA Members [and] the firearm community, to find someone who has never fired a firearm before, take them to the range and help them put their first rounds on target. It’s been my experience that within minutes of the safety briefing, a lesson on marksmanship and the first pull of the trigger, all of the preconceived notions and media-fueled biases melt away…”

new shooter NRA mentor initiative Pete brownells training safety

The NRA has a good resource for mentors (and their students). The NRA’s A Guide for New Shooters contains essential safety information and range etiquette instructions. You’ll want to download this PDF to share with your trainee(s).

Click photo to download PDF Guide for New Shooters.
new shooter NRA mentor initiative Pete brownells training safety

The NRA offers helpful, short videos for new shooters. This video covers safety basics, with a focus on indoor pistol shooting. We actually prefer to start novices at an outdoor range, shooting .22 LR rimfire rifles. Indoor ranges tend to be dark and noisy. The outdoor experience is more like a day at the park.

New Shooter Mentor program NRA May month

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December 19th, 2018

Introduce Someone to Shooting — NSSF +ONE Mentor Program

Shooting Sports hunting new join mentor movement +1 +one plus one

Editor’s Comment: For the shooting sports to thrive, we need to add new participants — get new people involved in marksmanship and competitive shooting. Unless we add new shooters, we can expect more range closures, and more political attacks on our gun rights. The NSSF is starting a “Plus One” (+ONE) campaign to help build the ranks of shooters. The idea is basic — make a commitment to act as a MENTOR and encourage at least ONE new person to get involved. We think this is a worthwhile objective. As the NSSF says: If just one in three of America’s recreational shooters adds one new person to the shooting sports, we’ll secure a strong future for generations to come.”

The +ONE Movement — The Mission

In response to studies showing millions of people want to know more about hunting and target shooting, the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) has announced a new mentorship initiative called the +ONE Movement. “We all know that getting involved in hunting and the shooting sports can be a challenge for people who have never gone before,” said NSSF President Joe Bartozzi. “Having a mentor at your side makes it much easier for someone to get started. With the +ONE Movement, we’re challenging every hunter and target shooter in America to introduce at least one new person to the sports we love.”

Shooting Sports hunting new join mentor movement +1 +one plus one

A major barrier for people wanting to learn about hunting and target shooting is that basic knowledge of these pastimes is not passed down from adults to youth as commonly as it once was. That’s where mentoring programs can make a huge difference. Watch this video to learn how you can become a shooting sports mentor:

This Video Explains How to Get New Shooters Involved:

Learn more abou the NSSF’s +ONE Movement at LetsGoShooting.org and LetsGoHunting.org. Those sites offer how-to articles and videos, along with tips on getting folks involved in the shooting sports (and hunting). But honestly, the websites are only an invitation. For this program to succeed, each of us needs to make a commitment to mentoring a new shooter in 2019.

MENTORS — SHARE THESE TIPS WITH YOUR +ONE INVITEES
1. Always Keep the Muzzle Pointed in a Safe Direction:
Simply put: Never point a gun at anything you don’t intend to shoot—even when dry firing.

2. Keep Firearms Unloaded When Not in Use:
Never load a gun until you are ready to shoot. When not in use, store firearms and ammo separately.

3. Don’t Rely on a Gun’s Safety:
Treat every gun as though it can fire at any time. Safeties are mechanical devices that can become inoperable without your knowing.

4. Be Sure of Your Target and What’s Beyond It:
No target is so important that you can’t take the time before pulling the trigger to be certain of where your shot will stop.

5. Use the Correct Ammunition:
Using improper or incorrect ammunition can destroy a gun and cause serious personal injury. Always double-check your ammo.

6. If the Gun Fails to Fire, Handle with Care:
If nothing happens when you pull the trigger, keep the muzzle pointed downrange, unload the gun, and dispose of the faulty cartridge.

7. Always Wear Eye and Ear Protection:
Exposure to a firearm’s report can damage hearing; adequate vision protection is essential at all times while shooting.

8. Be Sure the Barrel is Clear of Obstructions:
Before loading a firearm, open the action, check that there’s no ammo in the chamber or magazine, and make sure the barrel is clear.

9. Don’t Alter or Modify a Gun, and Service Regularly:
Any alteration or change made to a firearm after manufacture can make the gun dangerous. Also, follow the manufacturer’s service recommendations.

10. Learn the Mechanical and Handling Characteristics of the Gun:
Every firearm is different. Never handle a gun without first familiarizing yourself with it and the way it works.

Many people who may not be interested in target shooting or competitive shooting may find hunting appealing. Bring new people into the ranks of hunters will also help protect our gun rights.

Shooting Sports hunting new join mentor movement +1 +one plus one

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July 26th, 2018

August is Shooting Sports Month — Take Someone to the Range

August 2018 National Shooting Shoot sports month celebration

August is officially National Shooting Sports Month (NSSM), sponsored by the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF). To help promote the shooting sports, we suggest you bring a new shooter to the range next month. Introduce someone to the fun of shooting, and the camaraderie associated with shooting activities. We need to educate and involve new shooters. That’s the best way to preserve our Second Amendment rights, given the mainstream media’s constant attacks on gun ownership.

50 Million Americans Enjoy Target Shooting
An estimated 50 million Americans participate in target shooting sports, and millions more have expressed interest in learning about rifle, shotgun, and handgun shooting, according to NSSF research.

This coast-to-coast celebration spotlights the fun and enjoyment of target shooting. Newcomers can take their first shots, and experienced shooters can invite someone new to the range or help an erstwhile shooter rediscover the fun of target shooting. This month-long event involves all the shooting sports: trap/skeet, action pistol, smallbore rifle, long-range rifle , 3-Gun, blackpowder shooting, Cowboy Action and more. In 2017, the program’s inaugural year, nearly 200 ranges and retail businesses hosted 345 events and promotions.

August 2018 National Shooting Shoot sports month celebration

What Shooters Can Do to Promote National Shooting Sports Month:
The NSSF says: “As shooters, you serve a critical role in the continued growth of gun ownership and shooting sports participation. We urge you to join us this August for National Shooting Sports Month.” There are a variety of ways you can help this August:

— Introduce a family member, friend, or group of friends to the shooting sports by taking them to a local range that’s hosting an event.

— Spread the word to family/friends and encourage them to get out to the range in August.

— Encourage the ranges and retailers near you to host an event this August and add them to the official events calendar at www.ShootingSportsMonth.org.

August 2018 National Shooting Shoot sports month celebration

“With so much going on in people’s lives today, the shooting sports offer an opportunity to tune out distractions, learn a new skill, socialize and share their experiences,” said NSSF President and CEO Steve Sanetti. “It’s important to remember to pass on our traditions and to reflect on our unique freedoms that make participating in them possible.”

Find Shooting Sports Events Near You
The NSSF plans to provide a comprehensive, searchable database of National Shooting Sports Month events and promotions. When launched, this database will let you search for ranges, events, and sales promotions near you. Learn more at www.ShootingSportsMonth.org.

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March 10th, 2012

300 New Shooters Attend ‘First Shots’ Programs in CA and FL

Intro Training Programs in CA and FL
More than 300 first-time shooters came out to six ranges in California and Florida this past weekend to attend NSSF’s First Shots events. The 20 filled-to-capacity seminars in these two areas served as yet another demonstration of the growing interest in gun ownership across America. “[We give] a sincere thank you to the ranges, their staff, volunteers and participants for making these events a huge success,” said Tisma Juett, NSSF’s First Shots manager. “First Shots also thanks Remington for providing all of the .22 ammo and Birchwood-Casey for the Shoot N See targets.”

Florida ranges offering First Shots Programs included: Hollywood Rifle & Pistol Club (Dania Beach), Arizona Shooting Range (Fort Lauderdale), and National Armory (Pompona Beach). California ranges that held events were Sacramento Valley Shooting Center (Sloughhouse), El Dorado Shooting Range (El Dorado), and United Revolver Club (Sacramento). Learn more about First Shots at NSSF.org/firstshots.

Story tip from EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
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