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Powder Supply Concerns Prompt Action by Congressional members

Powder Feature

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Hey all, we here at True Shot Academy wanted to go over some recent action regarding the circumstances surrounding a potential powder shortage on the horizon. Our goal with this blog post is to discuss the potentiality of a powder shortage and other implications, both domestic and global, that are worth considering. The point of this blog is not to fear monger or alarm anyone unnecessarily, it is to inform shooters of a potential shortage and provide context and information to arm them for this possibility. Without further ado, let’s get into it.



Senator James E. Risch (R. Idaho) and Representative Tom Emmer (R. Minnesota) are at the head of this legislative action. The two Congressmen are supported by a number of their colleagues as well as forces in the firearms industry such as the Kinetic Group and the National Shooting Sports Foundation.

Stay Ahead of the Curve and Stock Up
Stay Ahead of the Curve and Stock Up

What Did They Do?

The aforementioned Congressmen and their supporters are attempting to address the concerns of Americans, specifically shooters, regarding a potential powder shortage. They want to hold the current administration to task on ensuring that the supply chain of powder is investigated and supported in the future. They are also concerned that the domestic manufacturers of ammunition will suffer if such a powder shortage strikes and ammunition production is impeded. In addition to the manufacturers and their workers being hit with hardship and struggles, proponents of the legislation also claim that warfighters and others who depend on American ammunition production would also suffer from the effects of a shortage. Furthermore, the Congressmen argue that Americans will be hindered in their ability to exercise their Second Amendment rights if an ammunition shortage were to occur.


What Powder Shortage?

The supply of ammunition and components was hit hard in October 2023 as a new wave of panic buying and stockpiling set in. This came a few years after the industry was burdened and stretched thin during the COVID-19 pandemic and period of scattered civil unrest. These factors increased demand exponentially and led to increased purchasing and stockpiling. Many forces in the industry, specifically manufacturers, could barely keep up with demand. Long lead times and supply shortages inevitably arose.

Given the current state of the world with the conflicts involving Ukraine and Israel as well as the fact that we are in an election year in the United States are certainly factors which can contribute to a shortage. With many components being diverted to produce munitions for foreign aid purposes, the commercial market is essentially getting less to work with. The increased demand for firearms and ammunition seen in election years is certainly capable of straining an already tight supply of ammunition.


What Does a Powder Shortage Mean for the Industry?

Simply put, a powder shortage means that ammunition manufacturing will be impacted. Powder, specifically nitrocellulose, is an integral component needed to produce ammunition. In metallic casings, the powder is what is ignited when the primer is struck. A potential shortage of ammunition on the commercial market can also be made worse by defense industry manufacturers dipping into the incoming supply. This is mainly due to the fact that supplies are needed for domestic forces and are used for munitions sent to countries such as Ukraine.


Why is America Particularly Vulnerable to a Powder Shortage?

While the United States may be known for its freedoms surrounding firearms and their use, the nation is not known to be a large producer of powder. In fact, the United States is considered a net importer of powders such as nitrocellulose and other propellants. Some of the biggest producers of these propellants are China, India, and Thailand. Simply put, the United States depends on the foreign production of propellants, and lacks the capacity to domestically produce enough powder to negate a potential shortage.


Global Effects of The Potential Powder Shortage

Due to the fact that not many countries produce powders and propellants, a powder shortage can have global consequences. Many countries are dependent upon the powder produced by countries like China, India, and Thailand and simply do not produce enough powder of their own to be independent. This is particularly evident with the European powers who are seeking to support Ukraine with munitions and other supplies. Simply put, a powder shortage will assuredly affect more places than just the United States. Consider how many ammunition manufacturers reside beyond the borders of the United States.  The nation imports a considerable amount of ammunition, this supply could potentially be stemmed by a potential powder shortage.

Stay Ahead of the Curve and Stock Up
Stay Ahead of the Curve and Stock Up

What Should You Do?

Ammunition seems to constantly fluctuate in terms of price and availability. Many factors will impact the supply and demand of ammunition. The point of this blog post is not to get people riled up and encourage panic buying. If you can find the ammunition you need and if you can afford it, you should buy it. If you shoot frequently you may want to buy more. If you are an infrequent shooter, you can generally get by with less and don’t need to purchase pallets of ammunition. Simply put, at this time there is no need to panic. Buy within your means and keep an eye on the supply and price of ammunition over time. Slowly building a stockpile over time is a surefire way to build a healthy supply of ammunition before a panic buy hits and prices increase and stock plummets. One should try and keep themselves aware of external factors which may impact their ability to get ammunition and act accordingly. Again, there is no reason to panic buy and stockpile.



All in all, this legislative move represents an attempt to safeguard the supply of powder within the United States. If the supply of powder is good, the industry will not have to worry about shortage issues relating to scarcity of propellants. Granted, other components may become scarce over time as well besides powders and propellants. A prepared shooter should strive to keep an ample supply of ammunition on hand that is realistic for their intended use case. Doing so will ensure that they aren’t caught by surprise when supply and demand shifts and that they won’t be at the mercy of high prices and low inventory numbers. Prepare accordingly and realistically within your means and you should be fine. As always, happy shooting.


Need bulk ammo? At True Shot Ammo, we have a wide variety of handgun ammo and rifle ammo available to purchase. Please visit our website trueshotammo.com, call us at (888) 736-6587, or you can email us at [email protected] for more ammo options.

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