So what have we learned from the recent shortage?
Conventional knowledge pretty much went out the window as soon as supply started to dry up and shelves went bare. Most of the guys I know had argued in favor of only keeping firearms chambered for NATO calibers. It seems that the 9 mm, 45 ACP, 5.56/2.23, 7.62 x 51/.308, and 12 gauge were the first things to disappear. (This was not my personal philosophy, and I was glad to see .40 S&W, 7.62x54R, and 7.62x39 price and availability fluctuate very little in comparison.) The biggest surprise probably came when the .22 LR vanished from shelves. How many articles were written or conversations had that the .22 would be in limitless supply because it is the most common target, plinking, and recreational round available? Conventional wisdom told us there was no possible way we would ever have a shortage of .22. Boy oh boy, were we wrong! I'm not even going get into prices on some of the other rounds but we saw a $17 box of .22 long rifle go all the way up to $120 in the course of three short months, thanks in no small part to shady dealers like Cheaper Than Dirt and unscrupulous "ammo scalpers" who looked to make a quick buck. (CTD will never see another penny of my money!)
We can get into several theories as to why supply and demand shifted the way it did or why the supply dried up so fast but the bottom line is if you hadn't stocked up on ammo prior to this rush you're feeling the shortage more than anybody else. I'm curious to hear from any new marksman out there who recently started purchasing firearms and ammunition how they've budgeted for not only the price of the firearm but also the over inflated price of the ammunition. Unfortunately, I suspect most new folks coming into the firearms culture have no idea they're being overcharged.
The short lesson is this: The Mosin and SKS continued to eat well, but the AR and Ruger 10/22 ate very lean. Be careful with "Caliber Consolidation", because you might be surprised with what disappears when times get tight. And if you haven't started backing up your ammo supply, maybe you need to rethink some purchases.