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Ammo rationing at Wal-Mart as panic buying sweeps US

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Anonymous Coward
Thumb Down

Stephen Hawking comments ...

It's a good thing that Charlton Heston was not American. If he was, the NRA would have shot him and stolen his ammo.


"...welcome a country where the citizens can become unified enough to decide that the government needs to be stopped."

The rest of the civilised world uses elections.

Thumbs down? No, my cold, dead fingers.

Anonymous Coward

Heretic on the Loose

Ok, for all you yanks saying the author knows dick and that the .45 is fantastic... sorry guys, we know it's the traditional weapon of choice for every red neck yank, but the rest of the world thinks it sucks. Author never said it had poor stopping power. He said it performed no better than a 9mm and worse against an armoured target.

John104 - some issues with you piece me ole' mucker. Firstly 7.62mm short as fired by AK47 is scarce because it's damn near the only weapon firing it and the West doesn't use it. We use standard NATO 7.62mm, very different kettle of fish. Secondly, agreed, you don't shoot at armoured soldiers, you shoot at armoured coppers instead. Thirdly, it's 9mm, not .9mm. Frankly if someone's shooting .9mm ammo we've got issues because that's flechette territory and there's a whole world of grief we aren't discussing here. Fourthly, beware of saying "I don't know much..." and then ably demonstrating it.

Frankly, if I'm wearing a Class 2 vest, I'd rather be shot with a boggo, normal, off the shelf .45 ACP than a 9mm because I'd rather be knocked on my ass than have my ribs broken.

Which I kinda think is what the author, you know, the former military "I shot people for a living" author meant.

AC because I am bored rigid by yanks who belive they are the only people in the world who know about guns. 90% of the guns you guys make suck, that's why I prefer Glock, Sig, H&K, in fact anything (with the exception of the M16 which is a versatile little puppy) to anything which is designed and made by you (ok slight exaggeration but I am royally pissed)!!!!

kain preacher Silver badge

@AC 22:06 GMT

First off I don't any one that would write .9mm. Funny thing is most red necks I know prefer .357 mag or .44 mag..

Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward


Wow. .45 flamewar. I never thought I'd see El Reg turn into /k/.

Anonymous Coward


George Carlin was wrong. It's the _median_ person's IQ that just over half are equal to or below.

Wasn't there a candle shortage artificially created in the UK a few decades ago? Couldn't this be the same thing?

Adrian Esdaile

7 billion per year

I'm still trying to fathom 7 billion rounds per annum.

What the hell do merkins do with the damn things, eat them?

Nexox Enigma


"""I'm a British ex-pat, and in the part of Northern California where I live I know nobody who owns a gun or wants to. Probably the same in most urban areas in California, except for the gang members and the minority of nervous householders."""

If you were to get on I-80 and head east for 45 minutes or so (assuming no traffic, so do it at 4 AM,) you'd be in a portion of California that owns quite a few guns. As soon as you drift from the coast, they are actually quite popular. In places like Bakersfield, there are loads of gun shops and shooting ranges, and that's fairly representative of the parts of non-costal California that I've visited.

It turns out that Northern California isn't representative of anything, ever. Basically everything that goes on here shows some form of statistical anomalies, guns included. Some brief googling suggests that total gun sales in California were somewhere in the half a million range each year between 2000 and 2008, which is a hefty number of guns.

Malcom Ryder 1

Don't ride the bus

An 18 year old high school student was walking toward the bus stop when 2 16 years rode by on bicycles and shot him. All you NRA freaks can go to hell

Hud Dunlap
Big Brother

@will 12

It is because of americans are used to taking care of themselves. What most non-Americans don't understand is how many Charity hospitals there are in this country. I have been un-employed and uninsured and ended up in the hospital. I got the treatment I needed. We have Seventh Day adventist, Methodist, Baptist and others. Does Great Britain have anything like the Shriners Hospitals?

One of the reason health care is so expensive is because Hospitals have to bill the people who do pay to cover those who don't. When I got a job I paid my bill. Not everyone does.

And it is not just the guns we are worried about. It is the violation of the Bill of Rights. If one says that the Second Amendment doesn't apply then you say that you don't have the right to free speech, freedom from search and seizure or even the right to a jury trial.

Anonymous Coward


I'd like to point out something which most British people fail to appreciate (and I am a Brit too, although I'm now a permanent US resident):

American police have *no* duty to protect individuals - so the US Supreme Court has said a number of times (google "Warren v. District of Columbia", if you think I'm kidding). Think what that means - if you hear your door being kicked in at 3am, you're totally on your own, mate.

I'm reminded of something Massad Ayoob said: "Unfortunately, by their nature, the sheep can’t distinguish between wolves and sheepdogs and seem to fear any creature with canine teeth, even those that are there to protect them."

Besides which, don't I remember seeing an article recently that Britain now has the highest crime-rate in the world? Believe me, I feel far safer in Dallas than I ever did in Blighty.

kain preacher Silver badge

Adrian Esdaile

Simple mate. Take %10 of to population(30 mil) . 30 million x 250 rounds a year and you get 7.5 billion. I've gone through 10 rnds in a day before .

Good Ole Paul

As a gun owner, I've got to disagree....

As an owner of many handguns in both .45 ACP and 9mm Parabellum, I must disagree with the article's footnote on the utility of the .45. Both are excellent defensive rounds, but achieve their effects through different processes.

The .45 IS big and slow, but it makes a big hole and deposits most of its energy in the target rather than zipping through like a light and fast 9mm. Unless I have to shoot through cover, I'd take the .45 in most cases. Neither round will penetrate most forms of body armor (another error in the article), but the 9mm's big advantage is that most pistols in 9mm will carry more rounds than those in .45.

I'd say the reason most stores are short of .45 is that most handguns sold today ARE in 9mm, and so the manufacturers tend to make a lot more 9mm than .45. In addition, .45 ammo is marginally more expensive, so folks don't tend to use it for "plinking." Now that people are buying cases of ammo for prosperity, they're buying .45 in greater quantities than they normally would.

For what it's worth, I've got over 12,000 rounds stockpiled myself, but only about 8,000 rounds are in pistol calibers, and about 3,000 rounds are in .22 Long Rifle, and really, who counts .22s?


Anonymous Coward


Regarding your little rant about "Native American". Just for the record, anybody born here is a native american. period. The "native american" you seem to want to refer to is a diverse group of people who....wait for it.....CAME HERE FROM SOMEWHERE ELSE AND SETTLED.....just like the europeans!!!!! Imagine...dumbass

Good Ole Paul

Note for StarMartyr

Really, all these accusations that opposition to Obama is due to racism is getting rather old. If we can't express our opinions of his policies without being accused of racism, well, I guess these's nothing left to do but go buy more ammo.

- - - Good Ole Paul

Charles Manning

7 bn per year isn't much

That's just a magazine and a half of 9mm per person.

If you have a gun, then you should be going to the range and keeping your eye in - shooting at least 100/year otherwise you're just a hazard.

I'd expect 5.56 is pretty popular these days. When I was in the South African army many hunters used .308 (== 7.62 NATO) because that's what fell off the back of Army trucks back then and a crate of 2000 goes quite a long way even when shared with all your mates. Sure, mil jacketed rounds don't kill as well as hunting rounds, but that's why you have a magazine.

sT0rNG b4R3 duRiD
IT Angle

Hai Gusy

I can haz cheatcodez 4 infinite ammos?

Anonymous Coward

Civil War American Style

2008 Obama, ammo shortages, banker bailouts. 2009 Tradewars, 16% unemployment. The die is cast...

In 2012, when Palin versus Obama goes Obama- the ammo will come out of the caches. All the 'recessionary' anger will come bubbling up (the last civil war was economic disguised as racial too) and once again 'brother' will be set against 'brother'.

Martin Nicholls Silver badge


The only place real soldiers special ops or otherwise use a .45 is in rifles, only a moron would use a .45 in a pistol other than for showing off or display purposed because usually if you're in a firefight you're going to want to but the second, third, fourth, etc rounds somewhere near the target rather than in the head of an innocent bystander.

The american .45 phenomina is how you know all their right to bear arms talk is bull and that they're just clueless morons. It's an absolutely worthless round to defend yourself, family, country with. All it's good for is putting holes in armour with a suitibly long barrel/skilled sniper.

Jason Tan

The rerst fo teh world knows sh*T

Re this comment:

"Ok, for all you yanks saying the author knows dick and that the .45 is fantastic... sorry guys, we know it's the traditional weapon of choice for every red neck yank, but the rest of the world thinks it sucks. Author never said it had poor stopping power. He said it performed no better than a 9mm and worse against an armoured target."

As an Aussie and an ex shooter - before our gun laws got screwed - the rest of the world may not like the .45 but most of the rest of the world does not shoot very often and consequently know much about guns.

The Americans shoot a lot more than most people and therefore have more experience what's your experience?

Anonymous Coward


"Wow. .45 flamewar. I never thought I'd see El Reg turn into /k/."

If this was /k/ there'd be some 13 year old ranting about how anything less than a .50 cal is a waste. Except, he'd be calling it a "Deagle" (teenybopper speak for "Desert Eagle"). In reality, he owns no guns and has never shot one, but on /k/ he'll act like the world's foremost expert.

Anonymous Coward

@Adrian Esdaile

"I'm still trying to fathom 7 billion rounds per annum."

"What the hell do merkins do with the damn things, eat them?"

Well, there's little point in owning a gun if you don't shoot it. It's not very effective for hunting nor for "home defense" when the first time you ever draw and fire it is the first time you NEED to draw and fire it. Practice, practice, and more practice.

One guy with one handgun at the firing range can probably shoot through a couple hundred rounds in an afternoon.

raving angry loony

@Adrian Esdaile

Shoot each other, apparently. The USA has one of the highest rates of firearm deaths in the world, outside of actual combat areas.

Winkypop Silver badge

America eh?

I'm just so glad it's a looooong way from here.

Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

@retired spook

"Someone with sufficient experience with the round and the guns that fire it, however, can safely engineer handloaded ammunition which will knock down and demolish a 55 gallon drum full of wet sand at 25 yards."

Using bullets made of unicorn droppings no doubt?

Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward

@AC at Thursday 24th September 2009 20:16 GMT

My right to bla bla bla... You really are a twit aren´t you. You have a big gun to protect your family and that makes your cock feel big is that it? because having a gun in your home dosen´t actually improve the safety of your family. US tops the world for gun related deaths in the world. Gun accidents in the home are the most frequent of these. Having a gun in the home and being American at the same time is as safe as walking down the highway with a blind fold on during the rush hour. Any rational human being would not have a gun in there home.... Oh waite... you are american right? guess that rules out the common sense then.

(AC cause its none of your business)

asdf Silver badge

yep right wing broken wing

Got to love the right who get their man in for 8 years who proceeds to put America on the edge of a steep cliff (who by the way started all the socialism, yep bailing out rich Republican insider donators is the Reagan way I guess) and then they turn around jack up the FUD to record levels for anyone that tries to fix the mess we are in. Don't get me wrong there is much to dislike about Obamas policies but relax right wing nutters restricting guns is about the last thing on the Pinko Liberals minds right now. Still you really do have to congratulate the right for saying the government causes all our problems and then getting elected and proving it. Keeping yelling the loudest nutters as it will make everything rosy like the 1950's all over again (half of all marriages then caused by woman getting pregenant but don't step on the illusions of the right).


A fanboy's posting

That bootnote alone was worth reading the Reg today. I wish the Reg would show the author's name on the / and /week.html-pages: I basically read any article written by Page simply because he wrote it.

Jobs Horns

Old news, keep ur hands off my guns!

One: this is old news. Walmart started ammo rationing months ago and nowadays I can go into any walmart (3 in a 6 mile radius) and walk out with up to 4 boxes of 9mm, that's 400 rounds per trip. So in a day I can buy 1200 rounds. That is plenty for a few days of target practice.

Two: I was a former brit and my family lost their entire collection of firearms, some dating back many years because of the slowly encroaching rules of firearms ownership. I am told it started with rules regarding registration (so the guvment knows where to come when the confiscations begin), and then proceeded to increasingly difficult rules. It all happened quite reasonably (so they said) and quite slowly. Before they knew it, the only way to shoot was to keep the gun at a very expensive shooting range, so they had to get rid of them. Since no one was buying at the time, some family heirlooms went to scrap. A real shame as there were some WWII things stolen off the battlefield that got melted down. Ah well. Anyway this is why the NRA and most of the American public is so vocal against any new gun laws... it is a very slippery slope.

Three: Good luck with the anti-stab knives. Personally I prefer my pro-stab knives and the thugs on the street being somewhat concerned that the person standing next to them (me!) just might be carrying a .380 Auto pocket pistol. If for nothing else, it makes me feel safe, not that I'd expect anyone to understand. You get used to it and it is a helluva lot of fun shooting stuff to pieces. Good luck, pretty soon you guys will be following Germany and banning paintballing and violent video games. Then what'll you do?

Ian 11


Which country has much rural, untouched terrain, contains many poorly educated people who are deeply religious, paranoid about a relatively new government and are armed to the hilt?

No, it's not Afghanistan, it's America.

Isn't it funny how America is, what America hates? The reason middle America and the Taliban are such big foes, is because they're actually just too much the same.


What is it with septics and guns?

Guns are for girlies

Real men use axes or swords


They are getting prepared for...



The Other Steve

@Martin Nicholls

"The only place real soldiers special ops or otherwise use a .45 is in rifles,"

Nope, 22 SAS troopers have been known to carry M1911A1 as a sidearm, their personal choice, doncha know.

Look before you leap.

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

You know ammo's getting scarce...

...when the mugger shoots you, and then takes the slug back.

JohnG Silver badge

Re: Will 12: " is the right to bare arms more important that the right to free healthcare!!"

I think "the right to bare arms" will be all about various establishments banning rednecks wearing sleeveless shirts.

"The right to bear arms" is all about rednecks shooting stuff.

From Hud Dunlap: "Does Great Britain have anything like the Shriners Hospitals?"

No mate - not needed. Anyone legally resident in the UK is entitled to free treatment under government-run healthcare. Users only pay fixed fees for prescription drugs and dental care (if you can find it), other treatment is free at the point of use. The National Health Service (NHS) is funded by the tax payers, which is a smaller subset of those that actually use it.

There are also private hospitals, for which one can have separate private insurance.

Anonymous Coward

Bootnote - "many diehards"?

Even John McClane has waded into this argument? Well, "Yippee ki yay" for that!

Bad Pritt

23 rounds per head

now there's a thought

TeeCee Gold badge

Picture pedantry.

As the article's about a Yank ammo shortage and the quotes are all from Remington, why is the .45 ACP cartridge in the accompanying icon an Israeli Military Industries product?

I'd send you a better pic, but I've just turned over the Czech firing range souvenir on my desk to find that it's (unsurprisingly) a Sellier-Bellot product......

@Dave 32: While I'm feeling pedantic, you omitted .45 GAP (Glock Automatic Pistol).

Toastan Buttar

Re: Old news, sort of...

"rimfire ammunition"

...otherwise known as a Vindaloo !

Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward

Novelty Bullets

I wonder if rednecks in America can buy bullets with Barack Obama's name stamped on them?



Give 'em enough

rope (or in this case, lead) to hang (or shoot) themselves.

Why would gun control be a bad thing? Newsflash, fuckwits; we (the UK) don't want to take your country from you, and I doubt arming the populace will deter al Qa'eda.

I mean, for fuck's sake, by antiquated law, you can shoot a Welshman with a bow and arrow (or is it a crossbow?) for being inside the city walls of Chester after dark. You don't see a bunch of mental-case Lancastrians (and they are a dodgy bunch) arming up in case the Taffs come.

So why does America hold on to this backward "right"?

Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)


I know it's futile, because once you've got the bit between your teeth there's no stopping you, but please try not to descend into international mud-slinging. America as a nation seems quite fond of guns. Britain does not. The US and the UK have done heroic things and horrendous things. Yeah? Yeah.

Any more mention of septics or limeys isn't getting through, you've had your fun. Try and discuss things without resorting to lame insults.

Tam Lin

For everything else, there's Mastercard

Colt 45: $560.00. Box of Wal-Mart ammo: $89.00. 3000kg fake-armor SUV: $65,000.00. Petrol from Alabama to Gettysburg at 5km/l: $727.00 ($1615.00 from Idaho). Civil war that wipes out a large percentage of dimwitted, mouth breathing, bible thumping americans at the 150th anniversary of their first one: Priceless.

Anonymous Coward

By Anonymous Coward Posted @ Friday 25th September 2009 06:48 GMT

"...Having a gun in the home and being American at the same time is as safe as walking down the highway with a blind fold on during the rush hour..."

Walking blindfold down a highway during RUSH hour will more likely mean slow traffic - hahahaha! Safe as houses?

Rick Byers

Doing my part

To use all that lovely US ammo!!!

As a Brit, ex service man, who can no longer shoot anything in the UK (my father is an ex Olympic shooter - you know the sport where the UK actually win stuff!!), I took an opportunity to go shooting with a colleague from our US office when I was over.

He even let me buy ammo in Walmart. I must of have through a good few hundred rounds of varius calibres (9mm, 5.56, .45 7.62) and enjoyed my self more than I had in years.

It's a very sad inditement of the UK that we cannot enjoy the use of weapons anymore, and (IMHO) our gun laws (and self defence laws) are counter productive and dangerous to the public at large.

Having said that I saw a lot of shocking (lack of) gun knowledge/control whilst I was in the US, and it's not wonder that most of the time gun owners hurt themselves/their loved ones.

The one thing the US has and the UK needs back is being responsible for one's own actions and safety. If a burglar breaks into a house in the US and is shot (or bashed on the head), it's tough on the burglar as they shouldn't have been there in the first place. In the UK the first thing the Police do is arrest and proescute the householder. To me this is far worse than the alternative.

Fail: because that's what the UK gun/self defence laws are doing.

Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward


Damnit - I like a country where you can pick up "4 boxes of 9mm" along with a five pack of cheap nylon underwear.

Hope the ammo is better quality than the pants, though, or those zombies/democrats will be walking all over you ...


Anonymous Coward


In the UK, we're shocked that Wal Mart sell guns in the US.

In the US, they're shocked that Wal Mart in the UK sells Alcohol (not just beer, but wine, whiskey etc.).

Can you imagine prohibition in the UK? Similarly, those in the US cannot imagine the gun controls we have in the UK in their own land.

Also, it's hard to generalise - some states have the death penalty, some don't. California is different to Texas and both are different to Massachusetts.

Similar language, entirely different countries.


Do we approve the use of force?

Interesting debate here, and I dont mean the one about the virtues of different kinds of bullet.

The gun owners think the euro liberals are fools for giving away the ability to protect themselves by force of arms.

The euro liberals think the wide ownership of guns encourages the very problems it is supposed to prevent.

The US Right preach to the world about peace and democracy, but spend their personal and corporate energies on up-cannoning. Once you own the worlds largest hammer, every problem begins to look like a nail.

The euro liberals are determined to find a better way to get along with everyone else, even at some considerable personal and international risk.

Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward

Ammo problems?

Get yourself a crossbow or a bow and arrow if you must, they're just as effective if you need to really shoot something and with a crossbow it's highly unlikely that your child will be able to load it and accidentally shoot his brother as they have draw weights typically in the order of 150lbs!

Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward

Things fall apart

Please, no more about the disfunctional side of US life. (Guns, irrational 'news' program(me)s, banks run by greed, political debate turned into chaos, weird ideas on religion, etc...). Either they will get over it or the USA will become a failed state. Until then, it's too painful to watch.

Doug Glass


There are only three mechanism to kill a mammal: deny oxygen to critical organs, interrupt the central nervous system or drain the body of a critical amount of blood. Generally these are interrelated in some way. That being the case, neither energy nor momentum are the sole definers of lethality. One can cause death with an icepick which has very little energy or momentum.

The critical factors are sufficient penetration (with or without high energy or momentum) and shot placement to cause one or more of the mechanisms in paragraph one to come into play. As to how to do that it's always your call, but always remember, when it comes to saving your hide from imminent danger it's far better to make a hit with a .22 Short than a miss with a 454 Casull.


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