The expanding coronavirus outbreak isn’t only inspiring Americans to buy out hand sanitizer, groceries, flu medication and toilet paper -- it’s also leading to increased ammunition sales, one company said.
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On Friday, Ammo.com announced that in the 11 days from Feb. 23 -- when news of COVID-19 reached high levels of interest in the U.S. -- until March 4, the online ammunition retailer has seen a 68 percent increase in transactions and a 45 percent increase in conversation rates compared to the 11 days before Feb. 23.
"We know certain things impact ammo sales, mostly political events or economic instability when people feel their rights may end up infringed, but this is our first experience with a virus leading to such a boost in sales,” Alex Horsman, marketing manager at Ammo.com, said in a statement.
"But it makes sense,” Horsman added. “A lot of our customers like to be prepared. And for many of them, it's not just facemasks and TheraFlu. It's knowing that no matter what happens, they can keep themselves and their families safe."
Ammo.com said that four states saw an increase in sales greater than 100 percent. At the top of the list was North Carolina, which saw an increase of 179 percent, followed by Georgia with an increase of 169 percent.
Pennsylvania and Texas followed in third and fourth places, with increases of 140 percent and 128 percent respectively.
Other states also saw increases, including Florida (76 percent), Illinois (67 percent), New York (48 percent) and Ohio (40 percent), according to Ammo.com.
The retailer also reported the specific calibers and brands that had the greatest increase in sales.
The calibers with the highest increase were 40 cal (S&W) ammo, with an increase of 410 percent, 223 ammo, with an increase of 194 percent, 7.62x39 ammo, with an increase of 114 percent and 9mm ammo with an increase of 101 percent.
The brand with the greatest increase in sales was MBI ammo, which increased by 179 percent. MBI was closely followed by Federal ammo, which increased by 176 percent.
Other brands that saw a rise in sales include Fiocchi ammo (an increase of 122 percent), Remington ammo (an increase of 116 percent), Winchester ammo (an increase of 107 percent) and PMC ammo (an increase of 101 percent), according to Ammo.com.