A rifle is nothing without ammunition. Nothing is more frustrating than getting a brand new rifle and not having ammunition to try it out. But finding ammunition in Arizona should be easy, right? WRONG! What once was easy to find and obtain is now as scarce as water in the middle of the desert.
After unboxing a brand new .308 rifle, scoping it, cleaning it, and slapping a bipod on it, I wanted to take it out shooting. So off I go to the local gun shop to pick up some ammunition. Lo and behold, they were out of .308 caliber ammunition! It was shocking to say the least.
Next up, to Wal-Mart. Surely they have ammunition, heck they have everything. The hopeful thought I had quickly faded as I saw the shelves formerly stocked with boxes of ammunition completely empty. I had a chat with the man behind the ammunition counter.
“We never keep much ammunition stocked anymore; they fly off the shelf as soon as they arrive,” A very sad situation indeed.
Perhaps this lack of ammunition was just because we were in a small town I thought. A journey to the big city was in order.
Down in Phoenix, the first stop was Cabela’s. I really thought that it would be just a quick trip to grab ammo. Nope. First thing I was greeted with were lines. Not at the checkout counter but at the gun counter. People were there buying shotguns, rifles, more shotguns, and more rifles. I thought “Great! No one’s buying ammo, more for me!” That was not the case. The reason for no one buying ammo was simple: there wasn’t any. Well technically they did have ammunition, and pretty exotic ones at that but none of the formerly common ammunition. It was the same sad situation at the Sportsman’s Warehouse.
Back in my favorite gun store here in Prescott, I tried once again to see if they had some .308. At last, I found some; a box of 7.62 x 51 mm, the metric measurement of the .308 ammunition, there. After about 2 weeks and at least 200 miles traveled, I finally was able to go out to the range and try out my new rifle.
Tough times abound for many of us who take up recreational shooting as a pastime. The plentiful supplies of ammunition that once graced the shelves of many stores are becoming empty. While people can argue about laws, and rights, and wrongs, and so on, all I want is to be able to do what most people 50 years ago considered just another pastime: a weekend outdoors with a few good buddies, some empty cans and bottles, and a bag full of ammunition for my guns.