Good News/Bad News About Ammo Prices. First The Good News…

Image courtesy Ammo Supply Warehouse

Economics is supposed to make such clean, perfect sense. Heaven knows I spent enough time believing that back in college, studying how purely hypothetical ‘demand’ lines cross with purely speculative ‘supply’ lines to determine a perfect market price for any commodity. After keeping my eye on ammo prices for the last several years, however, I’m pretty much ready to dismiss everything that Professor Paranthap Basu taught me in Microecon 101 as total bullshit. (And don’t even get me started about airline prices) . . .

Like I said, there’s good news and bad news about ammo prices. The good news?  .45 ACP FMJ only costs twice as much as the lowliest .22 Long Rifle. The bad news? The lowliest .22 Long Rifle costs half as much as .45 ACP FMJ.

Steel-cased .45 ACP can be purchased by the metric ton, right now, for $.31 per round. Brass-cased .45 ACP is just a little spendier, at about $.35 a pop. These are about 30% higher than it was before Newtown, but both the price and availability of .45 ACP have been holding steady. This is good news, of a sort, since it means we can all afford to shoot our 1911s without breaking the bank.

.22 Long Rifle prices continue their rocket ride into geostationary orbit, however. Gunbot and Ammoseek show the cheapest .22s hovering around $.15 per round, which is nearly triple their lowest prices of a few years ago.

The price difference between brick-grade and match-grade .22 used to be mind-boggling: $2 a box for Blazers compared to $10 for Eley Match. Now the price differential is almost negligible: $7.50 a box versus $10.50 a box.

Once again, this might be good news of a sort, but only for those of you with Anschutz or Kimber target .22s that can take full advantage of the increased accuracy of Olympic-quality Eley and RWS rimfire ammo.

This also might be good news for 9mm shooters, because factory-reload 115 grainFMJs only cost $3 more per box than plinking-grade .22s.

What’s the big takeaway? Probably that now is a decent time to order a boatload of 9mm or .45 ACP (and maybe even a carbine to shoot them through) and a terrible time to look for .22 Long Rifle.

 Image courtesy Plinker Tactical

All of this takes place as I’m waiting for UPS to deliver a .22 AR upper for testing. It won’t be my first .22 AR upper, since the execrable Chiappa .22 AR upper is burned into my memory as the least-functional, most-dangerous piece of firearms kit I’ve ever laid hands or eyes on.

With the bar set so low, I’m extremely confident the Plinker will pass it with flying colors. I just wish I could still afford to put 1,500 rounds through it in testing, but those days are gone.

comments

  1. avatar Sixpack70 says:

    Cabelas had awesome deals on Herters ammo this month. Their 9mm has been cheap so I have purchased a good supply and it runs perfectly through my M&P. .22, only priced well when I find it at Wally world.

    1. avatar RALPHIE says:

      You got that right sixpack70, I also have found cabelas to be quite reliable when it’s time to order up ammo at the right price. Especially when I need 22lr tick tacks for plinking

    2. avatar Citizen says:

      Herter’s 40 is reasonably priced, too, but it’s also the only new ammo that’s ever given me an FTF in my G23.

    3. avatar IdahoPete says:

      Haven’t tried the Herter’s 9mm and .40, but their steel-cased .45 acp ruptured nearly the length of the case when I fired it in my Marlin 45 Camp Carbine. About every 5th round had this problem.

  2. avatar shawn says:

    We know about ammo prices…look deeper and find out why .22lr is 3x so much. Are we being screwed (most likely), raw material cost, etc. Also find out where that cheap 300 blk ammo is and why it costs so more than it is. Please.

    1. avatar DBM says:

      Shawn, I saw 5700 rd buckets on sale in Canada for $235 Canadian. The price and availability or lack of is pure Bullshit. People are making fortunes selling 22 at the inflated prices we are seeing.

    2. avatar JeremyR says:

      I get the 525 packs from Walmart on a regular basis for $21 to $26 depending on brand, All the other retailers are gouging. Its a simple solution, quite supporting the gougers. Yes, the line at Wallies is a bit long, but most stores put out a list as soon as the truck leaves the warehouse. Things are not so desperate that anyone should be paying a rip off artist. Just let them know why you are taking your business to Walmart, and they will think twice about bad business practices. Remember, boycott means nothing, nada.

      1. avatar ihatetrees says:

        I support the so-called gougers. And more power to them for meeting a market need. My free time & shooting time is valuable.
        Furthermore, shopping at Wally World has it own costs in frustration and crap customer service.

    3. avatar Grumpy in Kali says:

      So the boutique round 300blk isn’t cheap? Who woulda thunk it.

      Reload and save yourself some money.

      1. avatar Bob says:

        You cant reload .22 dumbass.

        1. avatar Jason says:

          300blk isn’t 22 genius….it’s more or less necked up 223/5.56 with a 30caliber round jammed in it. Probably time to pull the foot out of your mouth.

  3. avatar benny says:

    Sigh. I never know when Walmart has 22 in stock. I bought a box of 550 for $20 during a black Friday sale.
    Me thinks alot of stores might be keeping prices high to nickel and dime us consumer folk. But that’s just my take.

  4. avatar ST says:

    Behold, the fruits of groupthink behavior.

    I’m relatively new to shooting, but I’ve been in the hobby long enough to know that pre-Newtown the lowly .22LR was continually hyped as the SHTF gun to have.Not only that, but the guns it’s chambered in are small , inexpensive,and fun to shoot.Add in that many folks fired bulk .22LR to maintain skills ,and when Sandy Hook happened the balloon simply popped.
    Folks might own one or two .45s, or one or two 9mms, but darn near every shooter these days has a .22LR for some reason or another.Lots of shooters equals lots of buyers, which combined with limited supply=shortage.Thus, we have the demand isolated.

    Then there’s the supply side of things.From an ammo company’s perspective, the marginal cost to produce a .22LR round might not be worth bothering with when 9mm and .45 can be sold for more marginal profit per round given a similar cost to make.If it costs an ammo firm 10 cents per round to make a .22 versus 12 cents to make a centerfire round,why bother making the cheaper product given restricted resources?

    1. avatar Rad Man says:

      Agreed. As 22lr is both a popular pistol and rifle caliber AND everyone has at least one of those, S&D economics would predict high prices. By comparison, not everyone owns the same centerfire pistol caliber so there’s more parity in demand – theoretically.

    2. avatar (Formerly) MN Matt says:

      I’m kinda the opposite. I’ve only started shooting in the last few years. I didn’t want to “outgrow” a .22, so I bought a 9mm for my first handgun. I was comfortable already with it, and I wanted something I could carry and not just plink or practice with.

      Fast-forward to now… My collection has modestly expanded, and I still don’t own a .22. And I don’t foresee myself buying one, at least not yet, with food for it being so hard to come by.

      1. avatar KCK says:

        One can never out grow a .22!
        I don’t try to holster and carry a .308 bolt.
        I don’t hunt deer with .38 Snubbie.
        Purpose and use are the key factors
        A 9mm hand gun hardly covers the spectrum of tasks assigned to fire arms but your 9mm AND a Ruger 10/22 is a hell of a two gun combo.

  5. avatar Jay in Florida says:

    My feelings are pretty simple.
    Im sure the large increases are due to the distributors.
    The manufactures are still at the same price give or take a few cents a round.
    Running 24/7 to try to keep up with demand.
    Why make 22s when a 45 makes them more money??
    The distributors always use the supply vs demand BS.
    Large demand for 22s, short supply from manufacturers larger cost to the consumer.
    Right now look on the ammo sights and there is pages of 45acp.
    Look at 22s and very few retailers have any cheap plinking ammo.
    Except for match ammo which was always priced high.
    Tons of that.
    380 prices bother me then any other.
    No cheap 380 to be had lately.
    So 22 and 380 which are my main rounds hard to get.
    45,and 9 all over the place.
    40 my least favorite seems to be the same more or less.
    Plenty to be had.

    1. avatar dlj95118 says:

      @Jay – I’ve been able to pick up .380 for 30 cents/round. Is that cheap? I don’t know.
      It bothers me that I paid 31 cents/round for .38 special, and that cartridge is nearly 2X the size.

      1. avatar Jay in Florida says:

        380 was about 13$ a box per 50 for cheap FMJ say a year 18 months ago.
        $20 for brass FMJ has been the cheapest Ive seen,.
        You can get reloads and steel cased for less.
        But I don’t use them myself.
        22s Were 8-9$ a brick a few years back…….not today $39 is a super cheap price for plinking when it can be gotten.
        Most bricks in the $70 and up range today.

        1. avatar dlj95118 says:

          …yeah, the price I mentioned was for reloads (Freedom, Selway). I’ll pick up new .380 if the price/round isn’t higher than 34 cents. New .38 special seems to float around 40 to 45 cents.

  6. avatar caleb says:

    Times like these i am so very glad i reload for dirt cheap.

    1. I love it if you would share your recipe for reloading 22LR! I’ve been searching high and low for one over the last 20+ years of reloading and still haven’t found one I like.

      1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

        Ha!!!

      2. avatar Bova says:

        I DO NOT recommend anyone try this(in fact, I recommend you DON’T TRY THIS), but there are people who have reloaded rimfires.

        http://castboolits.gunloads.com/showthread.php?112989-success-in-reloading-a-22-long-rifle-for-survival

        “success in reloading a .22 long rifle for survival
        Well, I tried it and it worked! I ground up some match heads into a red powder, and then liquified it with water. I then poured the mixture into a spent .22 case ( just enough to cover the bottom). After letting it dry overnight, I charged the case with powder from another .22 case and stuck a #4 buck pellet in the case mouth.
        I loaded it into my Remington Apache 77 ( a late 80’s run of a nylon 66 made exclusively for Walmart) and POW!! It shot through a phone book at 15 yards with “minute of rodent” accuracy. I can’t say that it was a practical thing to do, but it’s good to know that just in case, it could be done. I would like to know what powders and in what quantity can be substituted for the .22 powder without blowing something up. I wonder also if enough match head compound would “

        1. avatar DBM says:

          Bova,
          The powder info is out there somewhere. Back in the 70’s I knew guys who bought primed 22lr cases and hand loaded them. Too much time on their hands I guess.

  7. avatar Pat says:

    Our Gov purchased all that 9mm and 45mm for a war in Syria. To give to the rebels . So now, no war, they will sell it to all us gun slinggers. Merry Christmas. Peace to man.

    1. avatar DBM says:

      Pat,
      Unless things have changed since I was in, the US military purchases all of its 9mm pistol ammo from Israeli Arms and about 15% of its rifle ammo from them also. Its part of our military assistance program and keeps their ammo factories working at a constant optimal level. They have Billions of rds of ammo awaiting schedualed delivery to the US which is available to them whenever they need it. WIN WIN. We have asecond source of quality ammo (don’t shoot Brit made 5.56 ammo. Its the dirtiest shooting crap I’ve ever shot (worse than Tula) and under powered. BTW about half of the Remington White Box ammo (which is just as good as any other but cheaper) is made by Israeli arms. Now that the wars are winding down maybe Israel will start exporting ammo to the US.

      1. avatar Michael says:

        Nothing wrong with Radway Green, better than WWB.

    2. avatar Chad says:

      45mm is that a new antitank round?

      1. avatar Hannibal says:

        Makes about as much sense as thinking the government bought up all the .45 caliber for the rebels… them and their 1911s were gonna take over the country. Screw AKs!

  8. avatar Kris says:

    My big question is “what happens now that all lead needs to be imported?” I know that the ammo manufacturers have already stated that the closing of the last domestic lead smelter won’t impact price because they can get cheap lead elsewhere. My concern is that a) the EPA will find a way to make imported lead unsafe and therefore costly or b) we’ll find ourselves in a pissing match with soviet crowd and no more cheap import rifle ammo.

    Now that .223 and 7.62×39 can be had for $.25/round again, I’m ordering cases as the funds become available.

    1. avatar LKB says:

      The last domestic lead smelter that the EPA recently regulated into oblivion was the last one that produced highly purified lead. There are still smelters in the U.S. that produce lower grade stuff, plus lead is a big recyclable commodity.

      My understanding is that none of the bullet mfgrs used the high grade stuff anyway, so the closing won’t have a material impact on ammo supplies.

      1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

        This is basically correct. As I understand it, the ammunition manufacturers get all of their lead from recycling smelters. And the recycling smelters get all their lead from recycled lead-acid batteries in cars, tractors, motorcycles, backup/emergency power supplies, etc.

        We would only be hurting if we had to import raw lead-bearing ore. And apparently we let some other country do that and pollute the planet without environmental controls. We simply import the refined lead in batteries.

        1. avatar Jay in Florida says:

          O will find some way to restrict the importation of refined lead from scrap.
          Just wait.

  9. avatar dodgeman says:

    Day after day the NRA sends junk mail crying about UN laws, blue helmet invasion, secret Senate meetings, proposed confiscation laws, etc and so forth. One conspiracy after another and we need your donation NOW to secure 2A rights!!!!!!!

    But along comes a real hit to shooters and the American Rifleman published a big long article about how there’s no conspiracy, market forces, supply and demand, nothing to worry about.

    Strange days indeed.

  10. avatar William Burke says:

    Trouble posting, again.

  11. avatar DBM says:

    Get a 10/22 for the same price and don’t bother with this stuff.

    Recently I was on a Canadian gun website and the place was selling 5700 rd buckets of .22lr for about $235 Canadian. This tells me if you can easily buy this quantity of 22lr in other countries for so little money its a BS shortage to keep the price sky high.
    Walmart is now selling bulk cans of 5.56 again and they are at semi-reasonable prices.

  12. avatar Dogman says:

    From what I’ve encountered recently, the good news is .45 Auto ammo is only a couple of bucks more per 50 rounds than 9mm. The bad news? Nine millimeter ammo costs 50% more than it did only a couple of years ago. More bad news? I can’t find .22 LR ammo.

    1. avatar rawmade says:

      9mm was $6.50 a box a couple years ago?
      Can get quality brass 9mm for $13-15 a box all day

      1. avatar Stinkeye says:

        Bad math. If it’s 50% higher now (at $13-$15), that means it was $9-$10 then. Sounds about right.

        1. avatar rawmade says:

          Yeah im a dummy lol

  13. avatar Aragorn says:

    I just don’t get the crazy demand for .22lr…yea we all love them but I’d say after a year since newtown, things should be back to normal. Demand shouldn’t be THAT much higher… The only thing I can imagine is that retailers(Walmart) is holding out to create scarcity…which therefore inflates demand. I know if I saw a brick of .22lr for $20 I’m buying two or three of them without thinking about it…because I HAVE NOT SEEN THIS IN A YEAR. That means people want to get it. I did see a friend by cheapo Remington .22lr for $40. I hate a heart attack seeing that!!!

    Makes me sick the retailers screwing us like this combined with Obama having DHS buying up ammo left and right.

    1. avatar JeremyR says:

      Why do you blame Walmart? They are not the ones jacking the price. They are still in the $21-26 range. Demand from the gougers is hurting them, but they are shipping it as fast as it rolls into the warehouse.

    2. avatar CA_Chris says:

      More people are buying guns and going to the range. Distributers know this because they are also selling the guns.

      Just look at the performance of SWHC (Smith and Wesson) and RGR (Ruger) stocks over the last couple years in spite of all of the new and proposed regulations and bans.

    3. avatar Stinkeye says:

      I know if I saw a brick of .22lr for $20 I’m buying two or three of them without thinking about it…”

      And that’s why there’s still a shortage. Everybody else is doing the same thing, so when any of the non-gouging retailers gets some, it’s snapped up immediately, to be used, resold on Armslist, or hoarded. At normal, pre-panic prices, .22LR is just cheap enough to be an impulse buy. So anyone who’s lucky enough to be at the store at the right time will buy it up, even if they don’t “need” it right now. Eventually, everybody will have a few thousand rounds of .22LR socked away, and the demand will die down. But it’s going to take a while.

      1. avatar rlc2 says:

        This makes sense. picking up one or two boxes of whatever i hunt or target shoot whenever available while doing other shopping is sort of a routine for me. And Id guess more are practicing basics or buying gjns for wives and kids so 22lr will be the lasy to drop back to $0.05 pre Obsma gungrab prices. Especially if makers hsve large orders to fill for MIL and LEO in 9mm and 40. Last I read the were all working 3shifts to meet orders and havent read any new plants being added so my guess is the makrrs and retailers are fine with supply fakjng awhile to catch up. Ive heard from reloaders that powder is still expensive and supply limited but defer to others. When that gets better I would expect retail ammo prices to start to drop a bit. Doubt we will ever seepre 2012 prices tho.

    4. avatar Roger says:

      Walmart has not significantly raised prices so they have no incentive to hold back to “create demand”. Demand already exists and they can sell all they put on the shelf. Your theory doesn’t hold water. They’d be shooting themselves in the foot to restrict supply.

  14. avatar Buzzlefutt says:

    7.62x54r is the new 22lr.
    Mosins are back in quantity too.

    1. avatar Davis Thompson says:

      Cabelas in Hamburg, Pa had a whole rack of them for 130 bucks a pop. Tempting.

    2. avatar Buuurr says:

      I’m happy with my 7.62×39… $4.99 for 20 is a great price if you ask me. That and no shortage.

  15. avatar rawmade says:

    When (and only when) its in stock you can find 22lr for 7-10c/rd, remington at under 5c.
    9mm is 28-30c for brass no problem with stock there.
    .223/5.56 is $350 shipped for a case for european SS109, Wolf Gold and a couple other quality brass, in stock pretty much all the time now.
    Its a lot better than it has been the past year

  16. avatar BLAMMO says:

    I’m not so much finding sticker shock on most ammo just spotty availability. I’ve been buying .22.LR and .223/5.56 for 20-30% above pre-election prices.

    But I have no choice. I live in NY. With the SAFE Act background checks for ammo not being implemented by the State Police, it’s not clear what will happen after January 15. Everybody I know has been buying like crazy before the deadline.

  17. avatar Mike in NC says:

    Your econ supply-demand problem is complicated by one factor: Ammunition manufacturers are disinclined to expand capacity when there are recurring threats from government to make the product itself or devices which use the product illegal.

    1. avatar Curt Bibb says:

      So you’re not aware then that a year ago ( + -) Remingtom brand started construction/plans to build a 32 million dollar ammo plant expansion? This info was not only on Remington’s website…it was also in industry info websites as well. Suppose to be up and running by mid 2014.

      There was a ammo shortage before this current politicalclimate began and of course not as accute. Imports if I understand were taking up the minus catagory at about 20%…now?

      Throw in the drama queens of doomsday preppers and the sky is falling political bobbleheads and there you go……IMI ammo is starting to flow (Israeli Munition Industry) as is new production lines from all parts of the world to feed the frenzy.

      Now about those 22’s….everyday production day here in the USA…there are 11 million rounds of rimfire ammo produced. You were probsbly not around when the “Canning Lid Shortage” and “Toilet Paper Shortage” hit in the 1970’s…where did the T.P. and lids go?! Bottom line is you and I are on the bottom of the feeding order. Plus when people do see 22 ammo…and they can…instead of buying a brick or none at all the way it use to be…now people will instantly buy all they are allowed to 22 rimfire wise. It’s no surprise. I ‘ve seen this happen…22’s inside the locked case and boom!! How much can I buy?!!! And the supply is gone in moments.

      G.D. it if only I had the bucks to invest into a 22 rimfire plant but with lead being so deadly…and it is….I now limit my bullet casting sessions to one large session instead of a as needed casting session…less exposure chronically.

  18. avatar Backyardsniper says:

    Wow, $7.50 a box? Cental MN has it at about a $5.00 average.

  19. avatar maynard biggs says:

    People thought I was weird stocking up on .22 (at 2 cents each) back in the ’90s. I have enough to last me another decade.
    I’ll leave you with this Yuletide ditty:

    “…laughing all the way! HA HA HA!”

    1. avatar araomd says:

      Do people still think you’re weird?

      Considering the price of .22 has doubled (about .05/rd), you would have made far more money investing in gold (up 3x since 1990) or stocks (up 4-5x) than your 2x on .22lr.

      1. avatar Steve says:

        Ammunition won’t lose value… gold and stocks do as a rule.

        1. avatar araomd says:

          Would you rather have a brick of ammo from 200 years ago or a brick of gold from 200 years ago?
          I thought so.

      2. avatar mike says:

        Actually if you would have sold off all your stash of 22 at the highest point during this stupid buying frenzy at 200 plus a brick of 500 you would have made way more than you would have on any kind of precious metal. 2 cents a round to 40 plus a round, not a bat return.

  20. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

    .22 is still priced normal here in the portland metro area, when it’s in. Which is every few weeks. $17.99 for the 525 golden saber packs or the 500 round thunderbolt.
    My cmmg upper eats it all with no problems.

  21. avatar uncommon_sense says:

    Just the other day my father purchased a 550 round box of .22 LR ammunition from Gander Mountain for $24 … which works out to about 4.4 cents per round. In other words .22 LR costs about 33% more than it did before Newtown when you could purchase the same box for about $18 give or take. That is a price jump but I would hardly call it crazy. And by the way, they seem to have those bulk boxes whenever we stop by, which is probably due to the fact that they limit sales to one box per person per day.

    And this is the other aspect of Economics 101 that lots of people forget: you can keep prices relatively low in spite of high demand if you limit how much anyone can buy. Of course limiting how much a person can buy artificially reduces demand … and in reality doesn’t reduce demand at all. But it enables more people to buy limited quantities. As we always say, you don’t get something for nothing. Either people can buy as much as they want at true market price. Or, people can buy quite a bit less than they want at an artificially low market price. Take your pick.

  22. avatar jwm says:

    .22 is the gateway drug for new shooters. No .22 or really scarce and expensive .22 effects us all in the long run.

  23. avatar WV Cycling says:

    Having about 8000rd of 22lr, I don’t feel as if I am well equipped. I haven’t seen any in my local stores since, well. almost 13 months.

    I’m starting to forget what bricks look like.

    I’ve recently bought a 9mm pistol, and was able to swiftly purchase boxes of 50-100rd to reach 1000 rounds without paying gouged prices.

    Our Wal-Mart has been getting in the 9mm in brief intervals.

    I’ve stocked up on 20ga shotgun shells (of different loads), just in case… There was about a three month period where I couldn’t find any of those either.

    My 10/22 and 22/45 LITE have seen VERY, VERY little action since purchasing them in late 2011. When I go out in the woods, I’m shooting wax slugs made from target shot, and 9mm, just to stay proficient. 🙁

    1. avatar KCK says:

      Your 8k rounds of .22 will never give you joy if you never shoot them but your heirs will love you.

    2. avatar Hannibal says:

      “Having about 8000rd of 22lr, I don’t feel as if I am well equipped.”

      …for what, exactly?

  24. avatar Davis Thompson says:

    Every once in a while my local shop sells 1000 rounds 22lr for 80 bucks.

    Ammo prices are reflective of market forces. One people stop buying every box of .22 the second it hits the shelf, prices will cone down.

  25. avatar Independent George says:

    I’m not following where the supply/demand explanation is BS.

    1. Supply has been more or less fixed due to the low margins of .22LR and the cost of expanding manufacture.
    2. Demand seems to have spiked over fears of gun confiscation.
    3. Price has increased as a result, as evidenced by the gun show re-sellers.

    The only thing that has not happened so far was increased manufacture of .22 rounds to meet demand. This indicates that manufacturers do not believe that the increased demand is high enough to merit the costs of expanding their output.

    I actually think they are right about that – look around at the range. Do you see more people shooting .22s? I don’t, but I do see a hell of a lot of people putting it up for auction on Gunbroker for, and (for the most part) not being able to sell. Right now, the market clearing price seems to be around $0.10 per round. That may change in time, but this looks to me like a bubble – the people currently buying up a storm aren’t actually using them, but either stocking up or trying to resell them at a higher price.

    This works for a while, but eventually it collapses when people start to realize they’re sitting on a pile of ammo they can’t find buyers for. That guy is loss-averse and probably doesn’t re-sell his ammo below what he paid for it, but he also doesn’t go to Wal-Mart at 6AM to swipe a brick.

    What we really need is a futures market in .22s. I’d be willing to short it over the next 12 months.

    1. avatar ihatetrees says:

      +1 on the need for a futures market. That said, I bet the folks at Gunbroker and other sites are selling their deep transaction price and quantity data to manufacturers. They may know that a market correction is on they way.

    2. avatar CA_Chris says:

      Speculation buying has been shown to increase prices and supply problems. It happens with real estate, oil, etc. The factors effecting price and availability would swing even more toward emotion, hypotheticals, and ultimately in favor of whoever has the most money (to buy the most volume when prices are low, as opposed to having the cash to pay the highest unit price). Add in speculation on borrowed money and competiting rates of return from other commodities and you end up with a few buyers acquiring the bulk of the stock and being locked into selling at a price that is higher than most would buy and always rising.

      1. avatar Hannibal says:

        Exactly, a futures market- assuming one doesn’t exist- would screw over consumers and put a little extra money in hedge fund manager’s pockets (that money would come from the consumers, of course).

        It’s a terrible, stupid idea from the perspective of anyone who actually wants to buy and USE ammunition. So I’m sure it’s being done at this very moment.

  26. avatar mike says:

    Sucks even more for silencer users. You think general bulk 22 is pricey and hard to find? Try finding standard velocity (subsonic) 22 out there 🙁

    1. avatar jwm says:

      My Winchester bolt gun does real well with the 60 grain sub sonic Aquila’s. Try finding any.

      1. avatar DBM says:

        My 10/22 Break Down worked great with the 60 grain sub sonic Aquila’s. Makes one hell of a nice hole in half in plywood too

    2. avatar CA_Chris says:

      My subsonic stock was the next cheapest available, after the federal bulk box. And the one most often available. But suppressors are generally black and intimidating in appearance, so they’re banned here in CA.

      The good news is that 2A and shooting sports awareness is growing here in the SFBay. Even the hipsters (ok, only some hipsters), who are dropping out of the vegan fad, are realizing that if they want the most sustainable and humanely harvested meat then hunting game is the way to go. And, if you’re hunting then a rifle is usually the most effective means for making a quick kill at range.

      1. avatar rlc2 says:

        yup. despite common sense and a long tradition in Europe for using sound suppressrs to save hearing damage I dont see CA legislature giving ok to evillll prohibited weapons like silencers. Right up their with zip guns and knuckle busters for panty twisting at the ruling elite I guess…

        time to dust off the old compound bow….

        as that a wacky wabbit i saw in my garden? – Elmer.

    3. avatar jwm says:

      The only .22 handgun I own is a Ruger Single Six. Single action, side gate loading six shooter slows your ammo consumption down quite a bit.

      1. avatar SteveInCO says:

        CZ Cadet conversion here. Gotta spend five minutes doing surgery to my CZ-75. That doesn’t slow me down as much.

  27. avatar Peter says:

    Thank God that last year I bought a .22 SIG 1911 and a S&W M&P 15-22 so I could get in more range time.
    This year I said screw it and just bought the full sized versions of each.

  28. avatar Jonathan -- Houston says:

    Nobody claims that the simplistic models of one’s Intro to Micro class are 100% realistic, clean or perfect; or that the typical state college student would understand more sophisticated models, anyway. They’re the distilled representation of the billions of daily economic decisions made by millions of consumers and suppliers in any given market. They’re presented only as being useful tools for understanding and predicting the interactions and behaviors of consumers and suppliers overall. In that regard, mission accomplished. Nobody ever promised you pinpoint accuracy to 10 significant digits about each and every last individual transaction. In fact, there are entire economics subfields devoted to rationality, imperfect and asymmetric information. Bullshit? Says you.

    This “bullshit” works and predicts everything we’ve seen in the ammo market. But hey, if you think it’s such bullshit, if you think there’s so much easy money to be made in the manufacture of small arms ammunition for the civilian market, if you think ammo aplenty would be had if only we had better Econ 101 text books, if you think you can do it faster, better, cheaper………..then put up or shut up. Go start your own Dumm Ammo, LLC overnight and show this centuries old industry how it’s done, will you? I thought not.

    Geez, some of the same people who whine and cry about “clips”, “assault weapons”, “that shoulder thing that goes up” and the abundant impertinence of other people pontificating on issues about which they know next to nothing, sure show similar lack of restraint when it comes to spewing about their own particular pet bete noir. Good grief.

  29. avatar Greg McKing says:

    I bought 1300 rounds of 22LR for $125, tad under 0.10/round. Although I re-load 9mm for under 0.20/round ($10 for 50), it is about s $16-$18 for box of reloads (.32/round). Before the tragedy at Sandy Hook 22LR was 4.5 cents apiece and 9mm was about .21-.23 cents apiece. I don’t believe 45acp brass is cheap as he claims. There’s really no point to the article and simply as time goes on prices will fall again.

  30. avatar Hank says:

    I can’t believe people are spending $500 for a rimfire upper. Years ago I bought a Ciener .22LR chamber adaptor with a 30 rd. mag. for $160. Works great. Some brands of ammo may not eject reliably so I keep a short aluminum rod in the kit to poke them out of the adaptor when it happens.

    Also, to compensate for bullet drop you have to max out the rear site when shooting at 100 yds. Before rimfire became so expensive it was the only way to play John Wayne and spray up targets as fast as you could pull the trigger.

  31. avatar Michael says:

    I would buy .22 bricks for $8 about 15 years ago, still have a couple left. I see everything at Gander, Walmart and LGS apart from .22lr. Oh well I guess I will have to shoot my 5.7×28, which is the only thing that has not gone up in price

    1. avatar racer88 says:

      Ummm… 5.7 hasn’t gone up?? LOL! It’s doubled or more. A year or so ago, I never paid more than $21 for a box of 50. Of course, I’m talking about the REAL 5.7 ammo from FNH, not the American Eagle (which I understand is NOT even close in quality).

      1. avatar Lars says:

        The FN SS195(98)LF 27 grain cartridges are no better performing than AE or Hornady or other 5.7 brands. This has already been proven online. And the fact that the original military grade 5.7 is not available to the public tells one that any brand ammo for it will be inferior. Good luck reloading this garbage! If you can find FNH brand it averages over $1 a round for the sole reasoning that it’s FN brand, if buying 500-1000 at a time maybe .75 a round. Similar to .223 prices but the firearms and calibers are night and day, one has many uses and the other is one of the most worthless calibers on the market. I’ll let you figure out which caliber I’m talking about.

        1. avatar DBM says:

          The military grade has a steel core so other than that its about the same as a civilian round. Flying ice pick.

  32. avatar Pro-Liberty says:

    I missed the part of the post that debunked (any) economic theory.

  33. avatar Steven says:

    A buddy of mine had a Chiappa .22 AR kit and it was god awful! It jammed multiple times with every magazine. It sometimes just wouldn’t fire (for reasons unknown to us) and it finally backfired on me! I am so glad he got rid of that thing! He got a S&W .22 afterwards which I can appreciate a lot more!

  34. avatar Lars says:

    What is this obsession with .22? While it’s a great caliber to start with, as a child, in adult life there is little to no reason to own one unless you shoot .22 competitively. For killing small game around the garden a pellet gun will suffice. It’s nice to have one, I have a browning handgun and marlin rifle in .22 but haven’t shot em in years, will probably put em up on armslist soon.
    As to ammo itself for the adult calibers, start reloading already! I’m so sick of hearing people whine about shelf ammo prices, a big reason for the high prices other than the gungrabbers antics and high demand in a growing sport is the fact so many of you keep buying up the expensive ammo you are always bitching about. Stop. Invest I reloading equipment which is widely available and priced great, most components are available at fair prices in most calibers especially the most popular ones, and while reloading prices are high as well in the end if you can control your shooting habits you will still save 50% on ammo costs, or more depending.
    Again, .22 is for little girls like Weiss who can outshoot all of you all day with it, and they are for children learning to shoot. While one can never really outgrow any type of firearm, hell I still shoot slingshot at our warehouse site to take down the icicles in the winters months, but if this unnecessary caliber is so over-priced and hard to find put the damn thing away for awhile.

    1. avatar DBM says:

      Everyones got their opinion on weapons and what works for them. So just call me a little girl but I have three .22’s which I plan to keep and use.

      Large calibars have their uses but .22s are great all around guns and have put more meat on the table than my rifle through the years. If the SHTF large game will disappear fast and the ammo will be needed to defend against the two legged animals that will emerge. Rabbits, squirrels and other small game reproduce quickly.
      .22s are also fun and cheap to shoot.

    2. avatar whit says:

      I mostly agree Lars, my only .22 is an AR-7, and my only ammo is a 100 round box of rounds that I bought in early 2012 but haven’t opened yet. For small game, a 20 gauge shotgun is far superior to .22s (especially squirrels, plus you can hunt gamebirds with it)…and for practice, I prefer to use the real thing, not scaled down .22 versions.

      The rarity and rising cost of .22 LR directly corresponds with the popularity of these scaled down firearms, many of which use full capacity magazines equal to their larger counterparts. It’s easy and fun to blow through a ton of rounds with them. This seems to be blowing over everyone’s heads faster than a summer storm.

    3. avatar rlc2 says:

      Thjnkjng about a pellet gun for yard pests but unfortunately they are technically firearms and no no for shooting in my suburban city limits. So keeping the wrist rocket skillz up to date for the rats and possums and coons that love the fruit and veggies too.

  35. avatar rlc2 says:

    Theres another economic factor at work too. “Strategic metals investing”…. a little brass copper and lead gives a hedge. Keep seeing more quiet advice in mainstream blogs like Instapundit…other sources. H/t Drudge:

    http://washingtonexaminer.com/be-prepared-wall-street-advisor-recommends-guns-ammo-for-protection-in-collapse/article/2541205

  36. avatar Dustin Eward says:

    I don’t see how this is economically confusing. Everybody in the country has decided to buy a .22lr or .22lr conversion “because it’s so cheap.” I didn’t bother because I understand the herd mentality. I also bought a bunch of Bricks before the first Obama Election because, again, I understand the herd mentality.

    There has been a huge, huge spike in demand for .22lr, several orders of magnitude disproportionate to the already large spike in demand for other ammo types. It’s not just people ruishing to buy guns. It’s everyone who already has guns knowing they can’t afford to shoot them, all hearding at the same time to the one thing “they know is cheap” so it isn’t cheap anymore.

    I told my friends that .22lr was going to cost only a little less than the real ammo and they all told me I was stupid.

    I guess it’s hard to figure out what’s wrong with the herd when you’re part of it. IT’s part of a dirty slight-of-woord-play… “That’s just how society works!” NO. The word you were looking for is “functionions” that way would could use the proper converse to tell the truth. “That’s how society dysfunctions.” America is a horribly disfunctional society that doesn’t work at all. Figure that out and all the rest is pretty easy.

    I’ve got over a dozen bricks that cost me barely a thing. It’s one thing to compare the Ant with the Grasshopper. But if the Ant is blind to reality, he still won’t do the right thing and be left starving out in the cold just the same as the Grasshopper. Smart brains running on bad information will make decisions that are just as dumb as the dumb brains… GOT IT?

  37. avatar Roger says:

    You make it sound like .45 is cheap. It’s not cheap. 22 has just gotten expensive; sort of.

    I’ve been picking up 22 lr for 6 to 8 cents a round for several months. You just have to look, look and look.

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