While an ammunition shortage may be easing across much of the nation, Alaskans are still having a hard time finding .22-caliber ammunition, the smallest of rifle and gun cartridges. In fact, if you aren't at the sporting goods store or gun shop when it opens in the morning, you might have a better chance of encountering Bigfoot roaming the aisles than of finding ammunition for your .22-caliber weapon.
... About 20 people lined up at the Sportsman's Warehouse store on Old Seward Highway on Tuesday -- many had gotten there a half-hour before the place opened, hoping to get their hands on one of the 30 boxes of .22-caliber cartridges that would be available that day. Once the store opened they made a mad dash to the gun counter, where waiting employees -- without saying a word -- simply handed each a 500-round box. Within 10 minutes it was over.
"There are a lot of wild stories," said NSSF public affairs director Mike Bazinet. "One story we've heard anecdotally is that the government is buying up all the ammo. That is not true. Government purchases have gone down over last three years."
Bazinet said the .22-caliber shortage is easing up in the Lower 48, and the rounds can be found from Texas to Connecticut. But in Alaska, the ammunition is still hard to find and even harder to buy.
Some are buying it up and hoarding it, or re-selling boxes of .22-caliber ammo for a profit on websites like Alaska's List. Stores that do get the cartridges can't keep them on the shelves. Most have limited the number of boxes any one person can buy in an effort to keep ammo available.
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