The venerable .303 British: available just about everywhere!
Johnny Carson had a delightful skit on The Tonight Show called: “Carnac the Magnificent.” His sidekick Ed McMahon would hand him a sealed envelope that Johnny would press against his temple and then pronounce the answer to the question within. A good one:
Carnac: “Snoopy and Woodstock.”
Answer in the envelope: “Who is running the state of California while Jerry Brown is campaigning for President.”
On October 26, 2009, this intrepid blogger posted a short piece entitled: “A Nation of Plinkers.” Unfortunately for all of us, my predictions were uncannily accurate, and I regret to say, conditions have only worsened since then.
As mentioned in my older blog, Fleet Farm (a wonderful big box store in Minnesota and Wisconsin) was completely out of all .22 ammunition. It was last week that I found myself in their Rochester branch and meandered over to the sporting goods department.
A fairly large sign now hangs in a prominent place in the store and on it is the following:
|.22 Short NO
|.22 Long NO
|.22 Long Rifle NO
||.45 ACP NO
|.32 ACP NO
|.380 ACP NO
There was more, but you get the point. What they did have was .303 British, and I could swear there was a box of .30-40 Krag. Despite the fact that both of those rifles are in my collection, they are not exactly the types of firearms I want to be shooting all day.
My dear friend Bob, now residing in Houston and Galveston, has finally convinced his lovely bride of 30 plus years to at least try target shooting. She did, she loves it, and can’t get enough range time in with her 9mm.
Through the grapevine, he discovered the exact date and time that a fresh shipment of ammo was to be delivered at his favorite local gun shop. Arriving at 7:30 am, he reeled in shock as the line of ammo starved Texans went down the sidewalk and around the corner. He never did get his 9mm ammo.
Okay, you get the idea. So here’s my next “Carnac” prediction: It will take 3-5 years at a minimum before this shortage ends. But when the ammo reappears, be prepared to pay about 50% more than what you were accustomed to paying. Your days of plinking with .22s and blasting off hundreds of rounds at the range are coming to an end. You won’t be able to reload (components are very scarce and very expensive-- $60 per thousand for primers on craigslist) and factory ammo will be unavailable or cost prohibitive. The sooner you yield to the logic of the situation, the sooner you can find another alternative to this wonderful hobby. We must practice abstinence for a few years whether we want to or not.
In the meantime, .303 British is plentiful. “Carnac the Magnificent” has spoken.