Federal, Hornady Address Ammunition Demand

"Doing Everything We Can"

(Source: Federal Premium, YouTube)

Earlier this month, executives from two of the nation’s largest ammunition manufacturers spoke to consumers in separate, but seemingly coordinated videos. Published on the same day, they addressed the current ammunition shortage, their response to increased demand and internet conspiracies. The executives featured were none other than President of Federal, CCI, Speer and recently acquired Remington ammunition, Jason Vanderbrink, and Vice President of Hornady, Jason Hornady.

While the videos were different in length and production style, with Vanderbrink touring their factory in Anoka, Minn. and Hornady standing behind walls of boxes waiting to be shipped from their Grand Island, Neb. facility, both covered the same themes in their videos.


Basic Economics

When consumer demand is greater than the available supply, the result is a shortage. For Vanderbrink, this year’s ammo shortage can be explained by basic economics.

“Seven million new shooters since March, times two boxes — which is a conservative estimate — is 700 million new rounds of ammunition our three factories have to help produce,” says Vanderbrink. “That is impossible to do in nine months.”

Not alone in their attempt to fulfill consumer demand, Hornady mentioned similar economic- and logistics-related limitations, half-jokingly stating “we don’t have an extra factory lying around, we have ‘X’ number of people and we are certainly trying to add as much extra capacity as we can.” Still, Hornady has been able to produce one-third more ammunition this year than last, with rounds shipping just one day after being loaded.

For gun owners watching their ammo dry up at home and in stores, ‘economics’ isn’t the answer they want to hear — but it’s the truth.

Internet Conspiracies

Of course, not everyone is willing to accept the truth as misinformation runs rampant online. Both Vanderbrink and Hornady attempted to squash various internet conspiracies in their videos, including the existence of secret warehouses, selling to specific customers and averting resources to non-ammunition products, like apparel.

“I can promise you, there is no government conspiracy,” says Hornady. “No one is paying us not to ship.”

“Every day I hear something new, and it’s simply not true,” says Vanderbrink, asking viewers to help stop the spread of rumors.


Frustration Abound

There’s no sugarcoating it — 2020 has been a difficult year for everyone. But, for those in the firearms industry and those who partake in shooting sports, it’s been especially frustrating. Gun owners want to shoot, but can’t find ammunition, while manufacturers can’t keep up with demand despite nonstop, increased production. Coming to a head, Vanderbrink aired out frustrations to start his video.

“I am tired of all the hate mail. I am tired of people showing up at our factories. I’m tired of reading the misinformation out on the internet right now about us not trying to service the demand that we’re experiencing,” says Vanderbrink. “It gets really old.”

While Hornady didn’t say if they’ve received unwanted visits from ammo-hangry shooters, he shares in Vanderbrink’s frustration.

“We understand it’s frustrating,” Hornady says, “it’s frustrating for us, too.”

Doing Everything We Can

Despite the unprecedented demand, internet conspiracies and frustration, Vanderbrink and Hornady assured each respective manufacturer was doing everything they could to produce and ship ammunition. Hornady’s video is even titled “Hornady: Doing Everything We Can.”

“Everybody here is working as hard as they can to make sure we ship as much as we can,” says Hornady, promising “we’re going to keep making more.”

Dodging carts and equipment in the busy Anoka factory, Vanderbrink stops to point out handgun and rifle cartridges in various stages of production and shipping.

“We are making this ammo every day, more than we ever have,” Vanderbrink says. “We’re making everything as fast as we can, so bear with us.”

(Source: Hornady, YouTube)

Unfortunately, there doesn’t appear to be light at the end of the tunnel anytime soon. During a recent company earnings call, Vista Outdoor CEO Chris Metz shared they have “over a year’s worth of orders for ammunition in excess of $1 billion.”

Having personally toured both Federal and Hornady facilities, it’s almost unfathomable how much ammunition both manufacturers are capable of putting out, so if one thing is for sure, it’s this: Federal, CCI, Speer, Remington, Hornady and the entire industry are doing the best they can. After all, that’s what we’re all trying to do.