For the past 18 months or so, there has been an acute shortage of ammunition throughout the nation. Every gun owner knows this, but fewer know that the shortage has caused problems when it comes to getting you information about guns.
Yes, we get the ammunition we use to test firearms for free, so we are definitely not whining here. Rather, we seek to assuage those who may complain that the spoiled gunwriters sleep on piles of ammunition like Scrooge McDucks of the gun world. Rest assured, the ammo manufacturers are not diverting pallets of ammunition to us that they could sell to you. They are in business to make money, not to get exposure through media or please the fickle tastes of a bunch of pampered scribes who would rather spend their money on bourbon.
During the shortage, we have had difficulty scrounging enough rounds of particular loads to use in testing. Sometimes, this determines what guns we can test—if there's not enough 9 mm, we can't review a 9 mm handgun. Often, this is not a huge problem, because we can test the same model in a more plentiful chambering, but occasionally it has caused much consternation. When 5.56 NATO was essentially nonexistent in early 2013, it became exceptionally difficult to test any AR-15.
It remains tough to find .22 LR, but fortunately we were able to acquire some to bring you an interesting look at rimfire loads designed for use in semi-automatic guns in our July issue. Other than that, however, it has been tough to cover rimfire guns, so we haven't been able to run many in the magazine or on the web.
As you can see, the ammo shortage has hit all of us hard, and we humble gunwriters are not the cause.