2021 started off with a major ammo shortage that made even the cheapest 9mm ammo sell at more than $1 per round – until it was all gone. The cost for other types of ammunition were also heavily inflated.
Most people believe the shortage was caused by people panic buying firearms and ammunition, including thousands of first-time gun owners. People were buying up everything from AR-15s to a variety of handguns both online and from their local shops.
During the first part of the ammo shortage, anyone going to the range had to use up ammunition they knew wouldn’t be easy to replace. It was a gamble to go to the range, not knowing if or when supplies could be replenished.
Halfway through 2021, the ammo shortage still exists, but retailers are starting to put some stock back on the shelves. Prices have come down slightly as well. For example, FMJ 9mm ammo went as high as $1 per round several months ago. Currently, you can get it for $0.50 per round. That’s still a far cry from $0.20 – $0.30 per round that used to be the norm.
Technically, it’s now more affordable to go to the range – even if you have to shoot your backup firearm or use lower-quality ammunition. However, if you don’t want to waste your ammo and you don’t want to gamble with availability, there are other options.
Alternatives to visiting the range
There’s no way to replace a trip to the range, but there are a few alternatives that can help you get by until the ammo shortage and crazy inflation is over.
· Buy a laser cartridge for your gun. There are a variety of products on the market that allow you to safely shoot a real firearm in your home using lasers. The mechanism is pretty cool – you add a small component containing a laser to your gun and the natural mechanism of your gun triggers the laser. Nothing is fired or ejected from the gun. It’s literally just a laser light that gets projected from your gun and onto a target.
Some laser products use a bullet-shaped cartridge, like the iTarget Pro, while others require a more complex assembly, like the Laser Ammo training system. Both styles have their pros and cons.
When connected to a smartphone, the iTarget Pro system will track your shots and map your accuracy, which is a great feature. You can also share your results with your friends right from your phone. However, the Laser Ammo system comes with targets that are more interactive. These targets can be connected and have multiple settings that make shooting more fun. For example, one mode will light up a target and when you shoot that target, another target will randomly light up for you to shoot. You may want to get both types of laser systems to see which one you prefer.
· Go to a laser range. Although the lasers are the same, a laser range isn’t as fun as shooting a laser from your own gun at home. However, it’s an option if you can’t get your own system. At a laser range, targets are projected onto a giant screen and you fire at the screen with a laser cartridge inserted into your weapon. You also have the option of using a laser-ready gun provided by the range.
Going to a laser range is probably the cheapest way to target practice since you don’t need to buy ammo and you don’t need to invest in a laser target system. However, if you plan to go more than a few times, you should buy your own laser system.
· Shoot Airsoft or CO2 pistols. While there’s no comparison between shooting real ammunition and plastic or steel BBs and pellets, shooting an airgun is fun. There’s a huge difference between Airsoft and airguns that use CO2 for power. However, they’re both cheaper than shooting real ammunition.
The best reason to shoot an airgun is that you can shoot in your backyard without worrying about disturbing (or scaring) the neighbors with the sound of gunfire. It’s perfect if you’re in the city. As long as you create a safe backdrop and shoot in a safe direction, airguns are a great option when you can’t get to the range.
Ammo prices will drop and supply will increase
Eventually, ammo prices will drop again and there will be plenty of ammo available. Unless you have a serious stockpile and you need to get in some practice, wait for the cost to drop a bit more before heading out to the range for fun.
Laila Azzahra is a professional writer and blogger that loves to write about technology, business, entertainment, science, and health.