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CHRIS SMITH

This goes without saying, but the last 20 or so months have been like no other in our history.

It seems the most unlikely things have been disrupted or interrupted by the pandemic. Shortages seem to be the norm now as deliveries are held up, delayed or simply “out of stock” has become common. Finding ammunition for your specific needs is becoming increasingly difficult and in some cases impossible.

For the most part, ammo is available for the more popular caliber/gauges but only in short supply and only available in limited quantities. This recently hit home for me.

I recently found an over and under shotgun that I just “needed” to go with my other shotguns. I’m a sucker for a good looking O/U and this little 16 gauge was a perfect idea for the latest entry to the Smith household. Of course I had forgotten about everything going on and started looking for a case or two of 16 gauge shells.

There are plenty of 12 gauge and 20 gauge. There are even a surprising amount of 28 gauge shells available but I have plenty of 28 gauge ... because I’m saving it.

The new 16 seemed ready to stay in the safe for some unknown period of time. Scouring the internet, I found a place in North Carolina that had five cases of Remington 16 gauge with 1-1/16 ounce of 7.5 lead shot. For 5-10 minutes, I looked at other offerings on the site, discovering the only other 16 gauge available were Italian.

To top it off the Italian “Sport Nobel” brand was more expensive than the Remingtons. I scrolled back to find the Remingtons and ordered three cases. Well someone else had purchased all five cases at $229.99 each.

Of course, I scrambled back to the Italian rounds and ordered three cases.

This action returned a comment stating only one case was available. I took it, acting like I got some sort of a deal.

Folks, I paid a price I never thought shotgun shells could bring. A case is only 10 boxes of 25 which totals 250 rounds. I paid $24.99 per box plus shipping.

The shells arrived a couple days later and I was set. I headed outback and never fired a shot. The closer I got to the shooting range, all I could think was “I shouldn’t be wasting the shells.”

So now I have another O/U I don’t want to shoot because I am “saving” my ammo. Oh and for research purposes, I checked the ammo site again for this article. The Sport Nobel is in stock with 6 shot at the same price, the Federal and Browning rounds average $28-$30 per box. Retail outlets have imposed limits, usually one case per customer.

If you have not purchased any shotgun ammo lately, may I recommend starting now for the upcoming waterfowl season and other shot-gunning fun.

Good luck and share any info.

 
 

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