Vista Outdoor, owner of the Federal, CCI, Speer, and Remington brands of ammunition, announced that they have back orders that extend over a year, and amount to over a billion dollars of orders at wholesale cost. This was revealed by CEO Chris Metz during the company’s second quarter earnings call.
For Vista Outdoor to be back ordered this badly is unprecedented across the industry. Everyone is asking the question of when will the ammo crisis end, and this doesn’t paint a rosy picture for gun owners looking to get back to normal. Vista is currently running three shifts non-stop at their plants, as is Olin (Winchester) and Magtech in Brazil.
The good news for Vista is that their sales are up 29% compared to last year, and their gross profit has increased 78% relative to last year. On the earnings call, Mr Metz disclosed their current gross profit is $162 million dollars. This reflects the record-breaking year that the firearms industry has experienced across the board, and Vista’s benefited from having fingers in every pie in the industry.
Vista Outdoor’s back order status does have some negative implications for gun owners. Unless demand drops off precipitously, every round of ammo leaving the factory for the next year is spoken for, which means there won’t be a return to normal availability levels until late 2021 in the best case scenario. If demand doesn’t drop, shooters can also expect to see elevated prices for common calibers like 9mm and 223 Remington stay in place for some time. With 9mm selling as high as $1.25 p/round on Gunbroker, this is definitely going to curtail people’s ability to practice.
With the Biden administration already working with the ATF to enact gun control via executive action, it’s a safe bet that the demand for ammo will stay high for some time. Good luck, everyone.