BUTTE, Mont. -

Sporting goods shops told NBC Montana they can't keep small-caliber bullets on the shelves.

Bugs and Bullets owner Ray Nichols said the demand for bullets, like .22 caliber is so high because they are the least expensive, with about 500 rounds in each brick.

Nichols said these bullets are good for beginners and are used to hunt gophers and small pests.

Nichols said he only gets about five bricks of .22 caliber ammunition a week, but sometimes receives up to 50 calls a day asking for them.

"It's gotten to the point where when the phone rings you automatically just want to go 'Press 1 if you're looking for .22 shells, press 2 if you want to talk to somebody immediately,'" joked Nichols.

Nichols told NBC Montana he doesn't see the ammo shortage going away any time soon and reminds people to look for hunting equipment well before hunting season.