Speculation of the impact of the lack of ammo...
I was at a few local gun stores last week. One store had just got a shipment of .223 55 grain ammo. They expected it all gone in two days. Another had some P-Mags and had a limit of two per customer. No one had .22LR. In one of the stores the reloading supplies were 95% bear. This is a big store and I was amazed. No powder. No primers. One box of RCBS walnut tumbler media, yes the most expensive media they have and only one of those left. No pistol dies. Rifle dies were reduced in number and there were no 5.56 or .223, and if I recall correctly only neck sizing dies for .308. They had some various dies in other calibers, I recall .220 Swift, .243, etc.
The ammo was 99% gone as well. I thought for sure that things would be improving. But it is not. What struck me was that there has always been a bunch of Weatherby ammo and I noticed there was only one box of .257 Wthby Mag left.
I am starting to think people are buying ammo and then going to buy a gun that matches the ammo they found.
So, my speculation is this, as the 2013 bolt actions rifles start to flow in, I think they are going to sit on the shelves. First time purchasers may not be interested in a rifle that doesn't have ammo, or costs a dollar a round. Bolt actions, lever actions, and various hunting guns may not sell, and there may be more supply than demand. Especially if the rifle is in .223 or .308 and has to compete with all of the owners of semi-auto rifles in those calibers.
My second speculation is that if the reports are true of the billion rounds contracted to the government and the military really is destroying their range brass instead of selling it to civilians is that this is an old fashion economic attack that is trying to corner the market. I recall about a year and a half ago an ammo maker that fills military contracts lost the contract to a UK firm, which resulted in layoffs here in the U.S.
So, will hunting rifles supply out pace demand and thus the prices come down?
Is the government manipulating the ammo supply?