I had the chance to talk with a few industry insiders at a match yesterday, and they basically said that most of the issues are being CREATED, they are not organic.
They tell stories of manufacturers receiving calls asking for their entire years production of uppers or lowers, with payment up front for 20% of the order, and the rest on shipping receipt each month.
One told me that he generally keeps a running order of upper parts for about 9-12 months of production in stock, and then has standing orders for a months worth of production each month, but that his standing orders are now only being filled with 25% of the order.
Another said that he can order entire pallets of stuff, but not smaller orders.
This on top of an ammunition wholesaler who told me that he orders about 6-12 months of stock at a time, but that following SHOT he received an order from ONE customer for his entire years supply of 5.56. He wouldn't tell me who, but he said it was the largest single order, by far, he has ever had, and completely wiped out his 5.56 inventory, an entire warehouse. He would tell me it was not a .gov, .mil or a foreign buyer, though.
Several places told me that they cannot get small parts at all, ejection port doors, or gas blocks, or lower parts kits, etc.
Someone (or maybe multiple someones!) somewhere is stockpiling to beat the band. Or someone is about to raise the rates on everything because they control the market!