Editor’s Note: This is the second story in a two-part series about ammunition shortages throughout Canadian County.
Oklahoma state rep. Jay Steagall said his ammunition and gunsmithing business has provided ammo despite the nationwide shortage.
“Manufacturing is an essential business,” Steagall said. “It’s critical for national security and national defense.”
Ammunition shortages haven’t stopped Steagall from trying to provide bullets to customers who stop by his store or give him a call.
Steagall said his business, Cloverleaf Precision, manufactures ammunition with a certified ammunition manufacturing license but also used to buy ammunition from other manufacturers.
He hasn’t bought anyone else’s ammunition since October 2020.
“As long as we could get them ammo at a reasonable price then I was willing to buy it,” Steagall said. “Ammo is out there. You can still buy ammo. The question is: ‘How much do you want to pay for it?’”
He said he was not willing to overcharge customers after buying over-priced ammunition that would sit on the shelves of the shop for customers.
“I didn’t want to be associated with charging people too much for ammunition when I know what they should sell for, what it costs to build,” Steagall said. “But our ammo has always been reasonably priced.”
The shelves that once held his supply of ammunition were fully stocked about a year ago.
“We get several phone calls a day – I’ll have guys drop in every day to see if we have any ammo on the shelf,” Steagall said. “Unfortunately, I have to tell them no. But of course, I send them out with a business card and tell them to keep checking back in with us.”
Steagall said he could make 500 to 600 rounds of ammunition if he had all the materials to create ammunition on-hand. He added the toughest part of making ammunition is getting materials like powder and primer.
He said he cleans and resizes bullet cases that have already been fired to help his customers acquire ammunition like 9 mm, 2.23 bullet and 12-gauge shells.
He said the problem was that the ammunition manufacturing plants were located on the east coast of the United States where COVID restrictions were stricter and held back the manufacturing plants from creating ammunition.
“The law enforcement agencies looking for ammunition and not getting a date on delivery is because every vendor is dealing with the same problem,” Steagall said. “This is what we consider a supply chain issue.”
Steagall said we should see a return to normal soon for the firearm enthusiast. He said as soon as it starts to get more normal then items will return to his shelves.
“I suspect that things will probably start loosening up in the next 6 to 8 weeks,” Steagall said.