Supply of 223 /556 first to go in times of crisis

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Feb 4, 2003
The argument that getting a rifle in 223 or 5.56 because of availability of supply and easier to find vs the rest in times of crisis has been proven wrong. We are now seeing how difficult it is to find this caliber . And even if you can find them the prices are a rip off. You will be at the mercy of the seller.

The AK SKS caliber are even more easier to find and at a better price. NOt to bust those who have ARs but it s been the talking points of many to rationalize their decisions to buy the AR platform.
Well, aren't buyers always at the mercy of sellers? At least in a free society? It's called supply and demand.

I think some of the reasoning about availability of 5.56 is that so many people shoot that round so there is a lot of that caliber available. You may not like the price, but it is available.
When its something you like to shoot but it hurt s to open your wallet and hand in the credit card, then its a double edge sword.
I can recall several times over the years when 7.62x39 was in short supply. Imported ammo is always going to have a higher chance of being restricted so I am not sure that I buy the argument.
Sounds to me like the OP is attempting to rationalize his choice of AK/SKS. But, whatever.
"In time of crisis", every popular caliber disappears. Haven't we learned from the most recent panic?
1. Shoot less, save more.
2. Reload, as stated above.
3. Accumulate stuff over time, and not wait until there's a crisis, then start whining.
I gotta say, 7.62x39 did dissappear off the retail shelves but here in texas ti never went above 400/1000.... Now truly that is double the cost of any of the steel ammo pre panic... But the same stuff could be found in .223 for the same price at that time. Now i know for a fact people paid $1:-1:50 a round when that panic stuck for .223 or 5.56... The guys at the gun shows has lines out the door for it. I think it's a valid thing to say. Unfortunatly though most of the cheap 7.62 stuff is steel... I always save any brass I shoot. I dont reload... yet anyways... But I know it has a value, so I don't just give it to my ranges.
Our local shop took his purchase limits off 223 a while ago (he still has limits on other ammo).
He now has so much 223 on hand that he joked the other day he thought he was going to have to reinstitute purchase limits in order to boost sales...
In a time of true crisis .223 will be one of the most plentiful. Maybe not during a supply shortage but that is not a crisis too me.
I've had no trouble lately finding .223/5.56 in stock at about .60 a round...
My LGS does limit it though...20 box limit of 50 round boxes per day. If you want more just go in multiple days.
With just in time stocking that retailers use any disruption can cause trouble. Throw in poltics,fear,an increase in new shooters and you have the makings of a shortage. Any one of the aforementioned reasons alone can cause a shortage but two or more and you get this mess we find ourselves today.

As far as reloading its just as bad a situation as the ammo problem. Powder,Primers,Brass and Bullets are as diffcult if not more so to locate these days as factory ammo.

If you are waiting for the crises pricing you can forget that. Prices have been going up at stores with ammo. Calibers such as 9mm which one could have bought in Nov. for $9 a box of 50 is now going for $20-$22 a box and in some areas its $35 -$70 box. Other calibers are seeing the same increases.
.....getting a 9mm because of availability of supply and easier to find vs the rest in times of crisis .........

Fixed it for you.

.....getting a rifle in .22LR because of availability of supply and easier to find vs the rest in times of crisis ...

Dang it. I had to fix it again!

I've related my story several times here. I had people of all stripes the last few years say nearly exactly the above. And I would just say it does not make much sense to get what everyone else has because that will be where the HUGE demand is coming from. And while I do own 9mm, .22LR and 5.56x45 guns (and have large stock piles)- I also own an array of many other calibers (I did before the tragic boating accident)

To put it simply, for the the last X months I have been able to buy .40S&W, 10mm, .357SIG, 7.62x25, 9X18, etc for a lower cost than 9x19 plinking ammo.
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Those millions of rounds of .223 didn't just disappear, just like the 9mm and .22. There's still a LOT more of it around than 7.62 or 5.45, it's just that it's in personal possession rather than on the shelves ATM. If you're really talking about a time of crisis, do you think there's a better chance that your neighbor will have .223 to trade with or 7.63x39?
The key to cheap common calibers is to stock up on them when they are cheap and common. Then when they are expensive and scarce you can laugh all the way to the range. Same goes for stocks, socks, food etc. Even better is to hedge and also use calibers that don't run out in a panic. Then you are double covered.
What makes anyone think that in a crisis you will be able to pop down to your local sporting goods store and stock up on 5.56mm., or any type of ammo, for that matter?
Depending upon the nature of the crisis you may have only the stock of ammo you have in your house available.
So stock up in advance!

I am not sure what the point of your post is??? At first I thought it was a "sour grapes" posting that you could not find any 223/5.56 ammo, then I re-read it. And it seems that you have a AK or SKS that uses 7.62x39. So why the rant??

Are you arguing with a friend or maybe a non-friend about their purchase of a AR??

Who cares. The problem is that PEOPLE do not learn from the past, they should but don't it seems. I have been reloading since 2004 and have been follow the routine of load 100, shoot 50, load 100 shoot 50, over time that means you build up quite a stock of surplus ammo on hand. Any time someone asks why I reload the question is am I trying to save money. My answer is yes, some, but the real point is that I can pick up a box of ammo off my own shelf and go shooting any time I want.

Farmers understand that when you harvest a crop, you sell/use only 90% of the crop. The other 10% is used for seed for the next planting or an emergency like a crop failure.

I was born just after the great depression and during WWII. You want to talk about shortages. No civilian production of just about everything, no butter, very little milk, I still to this day hate powdered milk, no cars even if you could get gas. And steak, I could talk for hours about the lack of red meat.

So you are inconvenienced by a short term lack of ammo. I haven't purchased a commercial round of ammo in over 6 years, nor do I intend on doing so in the future.

I am really getting tired of hearing people wine about their failure to plan ahead and save for the future, it does not matter if it's savings in the bank, extra water and food for an emergency, or savings for a vacation, PEOPLE JUST DO NOT LEARN.

They think it is always someone else's fault, I just don't buy that. Like my dad (may he rest in peace) always said: "Jim, grow up" (Happy fathers day by the way).

This too will pass.
Easiest solution, own rifles in both calibers.

And toss something like a nice .30-40 Krag into your safe: The easiest ammo to find these days is classics that only the old guys shoot ... ;)

Nobody ought to be surprised that the most popular calibers sell out first. Here, there were piles of .40 long after all other handgun ammo was gone, and there was always .270, .338, and things like .30-40 Krag, etc., available.

I never had a hard time finding .375 H&H... :p

Just goes to show that you ought to have a balanced portfolio in the safe.


You have to consider that the current situation was a result of someone misusing that caliber. So of course panicky people hoarded it over 7.62x39.
Somebody mightve mentioned this but I think if their was a civil war/war/zombie crisis you would want to have the most popular caliber so you can find ammo for your firearm, laying about, on dead folks, etc.
If I had to shoot a coarsely-made rifle such as an AK or SKS, I just wouldn't do any rifle shooting. I have 3k rounds of .223s, with components to load another 5k or so. Have 15k pcs of LC brass; plenty of powder; 80k primers.
I have yet to have a problem finding 5.56. I still have just over 6k rounds that I replace as I shoot. A LGS near me has 1000 round cans of XM855 and XM193. While they are $.40 a round I don't consider it too bad considering the inflation on 7.62x51 or 7.62x39 too. Plus I reload and have a good supply of components. Not really an issue to me either.
I simply reload. So for me this has all been a non issue.
that's great but cant get no reloading supplies because of hoarding oops foresight into the future. who has time to load for a semi auto? I guess the guys that go to every store every day lol
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