People should really review how much they actually shoot, and damp down the competitive hoarding.
To some extent it is panic buying, I agree. The I am going to buy it because I finally found it state of mind. When you hear old guys at the club talking about having 20 flats of shells on hand and they shoot two rounds a week type mental mindset. Does it really matter if they shoot one type of shell or another for their once a week round of trap? But part of it is a real shortage of ammo to buy. It is not even a state where you know if you wait it will be right back in stock. Today, if you ask, the honest response is nobody knows when, if, or in what quantities it will be in stock. That creates extra buying demand because of the uncertainty and anxiety.
The second reason is the 5.4 million first time gun buyers last year. That is a big increase of people looking for ammo right when supplies were dropping. All they know is ammo is in short supply so buy what you see, when you see it. You don't know it has always returned in better supply later. You see bare shelves, in every store around you for 20 mile or even 200 miles and know it is like Russia store in the bad old days. So buy, buy, buy.
I reload almost all my ammo needs. What has impacted me the most is powder shortages. I keep an ungodly amount on hand because to load six gauges, in four different lengthen and everything from 1/2 ounce up to 3 1/2" 10 bore, lead, Bismuth and steel shot, it takes so many different powders. I think the last time I went over the different types it ended up more than 20. Some for low pressure, some for the .410, some for small bores, some for higher velocity hunting loads, some for one type of empty and some for another. Seven different primers for shot shells alone. Wads must be near 40 different types on hand, stocked from one bag to one case depending on the type. With this entire storeroom of components I have been able to load what I need to keep myself and two boy shooting. I never could have found factory ammo to meet my needs even if I traveled to three states looking for shells. The internet does not even have what I want and need. So am I a hoarder? To many I am sure I am but I have not increased my inventory at all from what it was four years ago when the store shelves were full. I do restock incrementally more than I did in the past because when I see it I might buy it if my levels are dropping for it. Heck I have lent or given stuff to about a dozen others, so they could reload this year because I know how frustrating it can be to find things these days.