The running joke at the local gun club, according to South St. Paul Police Chief Bill Messerich, is "anybody got any .223?"
That's .223-caliber ammunition -- the type used in controversial semiautomatic rifles like AR-15s that have been flying off shelves. The ammunition is such a hot seller that even some police departments are having trouble getting it.
The department has seen spikes in demand before, but "this one's probably unprecedented in my time," said Vague, who's been with the department for 23 years.
"We find ourselves as a law enforcement agency competing against everyone else in getting ammunition," he said.