It's become a weekly pilgrimage for a lot of South Dakotans. Making the rounds at the sporting goods and gun stores in the search for ammo.

2020 has been a perfect storm for shortages of everything from toilet paper to coins, but finding ammo is rarer than a unicorn right now.

Ammo shortages are nothing new. We've had shortages in the recent election years of 2008, 2012, and 2016, but 2020 has been the worst by far. Of course, the 2020 election wasn't the only reason for this lastest shortage. Throw in a pandemic, a severe economic downturn, mass unemployment, and unprecedented social unrest, and it's a recipe for an ammo shortage like we've never seen.

I've seen the line of people at Scheels when a new ammo shipment arrives. Customers are taking boxes off the shelves as fast as the worker is stocking them. Within a few hours, hundreds of boxes are gone until the next truck comes.

Reports of ammo factory shutdowns due to workers contracting COVID-19 is slowing the supply down at a time when the demand has never been higher. Some ammo manufactures are running at 40 percent of capacity.

If you can find ammo, be prepared to pay more for it now than this time last year. As with any shortage you can expect price increases and the law of supply can demand kicks in.

Will we ever see ammo supplies return to 'normal'? Ron Menning, owner of K&R Firearms in Edgerton, Minnesota told Dakota News Now don't expect it anytime soon.

“Right now I’m telling my customers I have no idea what’s going to happen after the first of the year, but I don’t see an end to this very soon,” Menning said.

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