2013 was an interesting year for shooters. After a couple of high profile shootings, the Obama administration started talking about banning guns which spurred one of the craziest ammo crunches I can recall in my lifetime. For most of the year popular calibers such as 9mm, .45 ACP, .223/5.56 and even .22 Long Rifle were nearly impossible to find. When you could find ammo, it could cost 2x-3x’s more than 2012 prices. Some ammo, like .22 LR, is still nearly impossible to find and commands a premium when you do stumble across a box or two. Our ammunition selling friends over at LuckyGunner.com compiled a list of the most popular calibers for 2013 based upon traffic to their website. Let’s take a look at the top calibers according to their analytics.
Not surprisingly, 9mm tops the list by a considerable margin. If you follow my posts on TBS, you’ll know I’m a 9mm kind of guy. It seems I’m not alone given the massive volume of 9mm ammo being consumed by follow shooters. It’s also not surprising that .223 Remington comes in second place. The little hotrod centerfire .22 is as American as baseball and apple pie and it feeds the most popular rifle in the U.S., the AR15.
Was this years hunger for .223/5.56mm driven by fears that the government would ban the rifles that chamber it? Quite possibly, but based on data collected by LuckyGunner in 2012 the sales seem to be fairly consistent in terms of ranking. In 2012 9mm again took the top spot with .223 following less than 1 percentage point behind. If anything, 9mm sales took off like gang busters in 2013 while .223 lost a couple of percentage points. Another interesting tidbit of information is which states are consuming the most ammo. Check this out.
What I find interesting is that California, New York and Illinois make it into the top 10 list over a state like Tennessee which is known as being one of the most gun populous states in the country. Cali, New York and Illinois are generally thought to be anti-gun states with laws that make most gun owners cringe yet shooters in these states are obviously very passionate about shooting and consume copious amounts of ammo.
I hope the trend of buying guns and ammo continues, although I have to admit, I’m running short on .22 LR. I hope shooters by more center fire ammo in 2014 and let me get restocked on my dwindling stash of rimfire.
Here’s to 2014!