Things have been extremely tough here lately. We have seen our inventory levels drop to an area we haven’t seen in the last 15 years.
As we’ve seen the demand outpace supply we have also seen a significant number of price increases. We are doing everything we can to keep our prices down and continue on focusing on Shooters supporting Shooters. We have seen the price increases level off recently but we do anticipate there could be a couple more since some manufacturers have fought hard to keep their prices down and had forward contracts on metals that have or will soon expire.
I’m going to hit on each component below:
We have seen very small amounts of primers. They come and go very quickly. With the small quantities we are receiving it’s hard for many people to even notice we had any for sale because they sell so quickly. We will continue to have extreme limits on primers per individual purchase. We do have reason for a positive outlook and I anticipate seeing improvement on primer availability within the next couple of months. There has been additional manufacturing capacity added and Remington is back online. Foreign primers are coming into the US for OEM only use which will allow for some relief on the US manufacturers.
This is the scariest part for us. We are known for powder. Many people refer to us as the Powder Folks. It is tough and stressful to be Powder Valley and literally have no powder. We had been receiving a consistent amount of shipments and those shipments weren’t anywhere close to meeting demand but at least the supply line seemed open. We were able to keep somewhat of a consistent supply to our large dealer and retail networks. However, recently our quantities received from the manufacturers have decreased even more and the outlook on the horizon doesn’t look any better. We anticipate availability to get worse before it gets better.
Generic caliber target bullets are starting to become more plentiful. Demand still outweighs supply on precision long range competition bullets as well as hunting bullets. But, it is good to see inventory available on handgun target bullets. Berger has done extremely well with the manufacturing upgrades they have done over the past several years and supply has been pretty decent. We are seeing only tiny quantities coming out of Sierra. Hornady has been supplying a steady stream of bullets.
Brass from big manufacturers has been very sparse. We have seen a pretty steady supply of Starline, however sparse the caliber availability may be. Lapua has been great with their deliveries as most calibers are readily available. Prvi has also been pretty decent.
We chose some time ago to stock only Hornady equipment. We are receiving shipments from Hornady daily and recently the availability of equipment has been much better.
I thought I’d also list the most popular questions we’ve been receiving:
How can you guys stay in business? You have nothing in stock. Are you going out of business?
It is definitely a challenging time. Powder Valley is not going anywhere. I mean, really, can you imagine a world without Powder Valley? Yeah, me either.
When will you receive your next shipment? When do you update the website?
We receive shipments daily from the manufacturers. However, we rarely know when we are receiving a shipment. Many of the products we are receiving now were placed on order 9-11 months ago. We update the website when our receiving department gets everything checked in.
Every time I try to order anything the bots beat me to them. I can not buy anything. Why don’t you do something about the bots? I can’t just sit at home for 24 hours at a time and monitor your website.
We have taken extensive efforts to combat bot traffic. It is highly likely somebody else was just a little bit quicker completing their order. The things we have done have had a tremendous effect on decreasing the bots. Some people complain about the efforts we have gone to with new product codes, product combinations and encaptcha. As we continue to combat bot traffic we will keep working on creative ways to combat their evolving sophistication. I know this is annoying to some people but if we must continue to be creative in our efforts. Every time products are made available for sale we literally have thousands of people trying to buy as fast as they can.
What is causing the shortage of product? When do we see things going back to normal?
I’m going to refer this answer to our blog as we have written an article on this. Check out our blog on the website for lots of good information. The short answer is that there are so many contributing factors to the shortage that it’s impossible to list them all here. But, #1 is unprecedented demand. The better question is “What will be the new normal?” Because I don’t think anything will ever get back to how it used to be. Millions of new firearm owners will create extreme demand for many, many years to come.
Do we have a notification system and do we accept backorders?
We do not have a notification system and do not accept backorders currently. It would be impossible to manage the backorders and people would receive notifications after the product was already gone. Therefore we feel it would be counter-productive at this point. There’s a good chance we will begin allowing notifications on some items within the next few months.
As troubling as current times appear we are optimistic for the future. We fully anticipate that supplies will improve this year. With tens of thousands of new gun owners the future of our industry is bright.
I hope these words provide you some comfort and help you understand the current status of the industry. Please take a look at the website Blog Page for more information and like us on Facebook for updates. Keep an eye on the website frequently.