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This is from a press release written by Chris Hodgdon:
Why is there a powder shortage and when will it end?
The answer is really quite simple. In November 2008 a liberal government was elected by the majority of voting Americans. Beginning the next day some of our fellow shooters began to purchase and stock-pile powder, primers, bullets, brass, ammo and guns. Soon word spread person to person and with the ease of communication through the internet enough shooters ran to join in that an unprecedented demand has occurred.
Literally within weeks – before the end of November, the distribution pipeline was empty and demand far outstripped supply. The manufacturers of our industry, including Hodgdon® Powder Company, ordered new supplies trying to meet customer needs. We have been working at maximum capacity since that time.
There is no more capacity to make powder. We are currently making all burn speeds of Hodgdon®, IMR® and Winchester® powders. We are shipping these powders as soon as they are made and packaged. We are shipping every day.
Some will ask why we do not build more plants. The answer is simple, time. There is no time to build the plant before the unprecedented demand for powder slows down.
I have received calls from shooters who have heard all kinds of rumors why powder is so hard to find. These rumors are not true; there is no vast government conspiracy, the military is not buying up all of the powder and other components, we are not withholding powder from the market, no ships carrying powder are being held hostage by pirates, there is no magic chemical we are being forced to include in the powder which would shorten the shelf life.
When will the demand end and powder become available again? Who knows? Your guess is as good as ours. We have not found it possible to determine the end of this buying and hoarding as purchasing is being driven by emotion. The best advice is just be patient. As soon as the market relaxes the supply chain will fill back in and your favorite powder will come to your local store.
Hodgdon-The Gun Powder People