The short story?
The end is not on sight.
"If everybody in America stopped shooting tomorrow afternoon, it would take us 3 months to clear the backlog, best case."
That quote is from a friend in the ammo industry who knows his stuff. Consensus I heard was the huge shortages continue until AT LEAST through the year and maybe through Q1 2010. And - again the consensus view - when "normal" returns, it's going to be the "new normal," not the normal we remember. We've proven what we're willing to pay for ammo and components, so don't expect a return to $89/1000 5.56.
Civilian demand, military and police contracts, and issues/prices of components was sited as the culprits.
Re: primers...off-the-record advice was buy what you can find at a sane price...reloading components may well be the last to recover as the industry sucks up all the available components for loaded ammo. Some of the back orders for primers at the big Internet sellers are being filled at roughly 4-5 months lag time.
Wish I had better news on this front! Everybody seems mostly resigned for the long haul. Expect to see more consequences on events and training as the shortage continues to ping pong through the industry.
-- Post From The Road