The Obama-caused bubble in ammunition prices seems ready to bust. Over the last few years gun owners have seen ammunition prices double or even triple. Handgun and rifle ammunition has been hard to find at times and .22 long rifle ammunition tripled in price over the last 18 months. People would line up to buy ammunition at prices two and three times the level that they were just two years ago. But all of that is about to change . . .

Ammunition supply looks as though it is ready to catch up with demand.  Centerfire pistol and rifle cartridges are available on most store shelves. When I walked into a local Wal-Mart this morning, their were over 30 signs on the ammunition case indicating a rollback of prices by 10-15%.

In classic economic fashion, the bubble was fueled by actions of the federal government. Many federal agencies bought enormous quantities of ammunition. The Obama administration’s actions fueled fear of coming shortages, gun bans, registration of ammunition sales, even potential low level warfare. All of this led to the current bubble of ammunition sales.

In response, the economy reacted the way free markets are supposed to work. Ammunition suppliers started running their manufacturing plants day and night, adding additional shifts. Importers scoured the world markets, trying to buy everything they could to satisfy the insatiable demand. Foreign manufacturers bumped up their production to try to fill the desire for more and more ammunition. Ammunition production was at the highest level ever for small arms, short of war.

But unlike during wartime, this ammunition wasn’t being fired in combat. Most of it wasn’t being fired at all. It was being stored against future need. Very little was actually being used.

There are limits to this sort of demand. I gave away a couple of thousand .22 rounds to make a point. A person who only had 37 .22 rounds out of a box of 50 is well justified in wanting a thousand or two, or a case of 5,000 “just because”.  Once they have the 5,000, their desire for more is reduced. Ultimately, demand drops.

In the meantime, manufacturers can’t stop production on a dime. They have orders in the pipeline. They have raw materials coming in that they may have no storage space for. They have employees that they have trained and who they do not want to lay off.  For all these reasons, when demand drops, supply can’t drop as quickly. Just as supply took a while to spin up, production will take a while to spin down.

This means retailers and wholesalers will be saddled with a glut of merchandise that they can’t sell at the current high prices.  They will have to put product on sale. Lower prices bring about the expectation that prices will fall even further. The prices crash.

That’s when a prudent person buys what they want, at very good prices. Demand won’t stay at the artificially low prices of the crash. The new crop of young urban shooters will want to feed their equipment, and overall demand will be higher than it was before the bubble. But it will take a while to settle out.

Metal prices have already fallen from the highs of the bubble. Copper and lead prices are far lower than they were. You will know that the bubble is close to the bottom when you see .22 LR on sale for below four cents per round. At their lowest, we might just see .22 cartridges below $10 for 500 again.

©2014 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
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232 Responses to The Coming Crash in Ammunition Prices

  1. I made a rare stop at Cabelas recently and was seriously amazed by the sheer quantity of ammo. Talk about orders in the pipeline… There were easily 20k rounds of 9MM alone. Cheapest price was about $27/100 though, hope you’re right about prices.

    At least I can find most powders and bulk bullets again.

    • I work nights, get off in the early morning, and have cabelas on the way home. The ammo at my store is wells stocked, and i can find everything with regularity except .22lr . Still hasnt stopped me from accumulating over 2000rnds of it for about .05$ ea w/ tax. As far 9mm, i have been able to get American Eagle and Herter’s brass case for .28$ a rnd tax included for awhile. And its not a mad dash to get to it when the store opens, thwy usually have a mountain of it on the shelf that i have yet to see run out. Still havent seen .40 really drop in price though.

    • trouble is most are selling all this ammo but almost no one is selling the weapons themselves. even the local wal-marts, alcos, k-marts, etc., that used to sell such do not any more. for the most part, they have even quit selling the b-b and pellet weapons and paintball equipment that I use on the strays and wild animals that come around. local leos have made some monies, by fines, on my shooting animals with paintballs when their owners have complained about it. I live on outskirts of town and am more or less confined to house by disability, so I do not get out much and cannot drive vehicles due to same disability. foodstuffs are delivered or brought over by wife when she returns from work some four hours away; a couple times a month.

    • That’s the truth. I walked into my local Field and Stream store (which I believe is actually operated by Cabela’s) for something different and they had all sorts of ammo stacked high on pallets on either sides of the aisle. Then I saw the price on 9mm was good… and there was a 20% off all 9mm too. I walked out with 1000 of UMC 9mm for 22 cents per after tax.

    • Still almost impossible to find powder around Tacoma. I’m looking for Varget and H4350.

      Just got 8 pounds of some Vihtavuori that I had ordered from Brownell’s 14 months ago.

      • My local Cabelas had about 75 one pounders of Varget on the shelf last week. They had a bunch of other powder too, BLC2, H335, H322… the previous month when I was there they only had a few pounds of random stuff.

    • ah yes the 1/2 penny 22lr…. oooh what time that was. this time around will put $500 in to 22s alone. i shoot about 1000 a month, classes students can use a crap ton in one session. allways need 500-1k on hand in the bag.

      was looking at a Pallet of .308/7.62 but $25k is insane. maybe the drop will be really soon.

    • This.
      2015 is the year smart potg will stock their personal shelves.
      If you think the fearmongering has been bad before, wait until the wife of the president to pass the last national AWB contends for the prize.
      I didn’t buy in the last panic and have no intention of getting caught flat footed in the next.

    • Then support your Libertarian candidates and see some actual CHANGE.

      (D) and (R) are the same side of the coin who have no interest in seeing you prosper. They are beholden to corporations only.

      Give me Liberty or Give me Debt.

      • Oh BS.
        Three is a real concrete difference between the R’s and D’s on guns as this graphic makes clear.

        Libertarian ideas are GOOD, the libertarian party is BAD.
        The libertarian Gods have proven that a libertarian can be at home in the R party.
        The libertarian party is a vanity project and more typically just used by Democrat operavtives to split the R vote.

        • The libertarian Gods have proven that a libertarian can be at home in the R party.
          Like Ron Paul?
          The republican party machine worked as hard as it could to marginalize him: minimizing his time in debates, asking him loaded questions, changing procedures and rules at caucuses and primaries, disqualifying Paul supporters, etc.

          I attended the WA 43rd district caucus in 2012. The party officials in charge (all Romney supporters) refused to let the local head of the Santorum campaign speak for Santorum, because he favored the Paul-Santorum alliance (the Paul supporters controlled almost half of the delegates, and offered Santorum’s supporters a few alternate spots in exchange for their votes). Instead they had a Romney supporter speak for the Santorum campaign, telling people to vote for the Romney-Santorum alliance. Then, the establishment guys tried to prevent non-officeholders (i.e. anybody who didn’t support Romney) from taking part in, or even observing, the vote tallying.

          Or how about this spring’s primary season? The republican establishment has squashed almost every candidate who doesn’t toe the line for big government conservativism.

        • If Republicans would just stop with the social issues they would win most if not all of the time. Take for instance Republican Governor Brian Sandoval of Nevada. He’s pro-choice and pro-gun enjoying a 60+ approval rating. He’s charismatic and everyone likes him, except of course his own party.

        • The libertarians have no hope of striking out on their own. You can’t run the country on an ideology that 10 or 15% of the population adhere to. They can however become a major force in the Republican party, not so much with the Democrats. Progressivism and libertarianism are the far ends of the spectrum. The establishment Republicans are in between the two. You can pull the Republican party to the right, but you’ll never get the Democrats to go completely against their ideology. If you want to radically change the politics of this country you’ll have to change the culture and wait a generation. Otherwise take what you can get and deal with it.

          And Mr. Beatings, the majority position in this country is now the pro-life position. It ain’t the ’80s anymore. If Second Amendment rights are your single issue you should welcome the social conservatives as your allies. Yes they’re fighting a losing battle on gay marriage, but they’re winning on abortion and gun rights.

          And Mr. Kali, I assume you don’t have a 401k. Otherwise you’d be aware of the fact that you are a corporate fat cat and shut up.

        • Did you even look at that poll? 21% favor abortion being illegal in ALL circumstances including rape, incest, etc. vs. 28% who favor no restrictions and 50% who think it should only be legal in certain situations (like rape, incest etc.). I’d wager that most of the 28% don’t actually favor late term abortions either. Still, 71% favor restricting or abolishing abortion and 28% don’t. Sounds like most people are on the pro-life side.

          Ah, and scroll down and you’ll find that people who wish to see abortion laws be stricter outnumber less strict by 26% to 8%.

        • Sorry, I finally got down to the bottom. Opposition to third trimester abortions has been running in the 80%-86% range and second term 64%-71%. Most states allow abortion up to 22 weeks (a trimester is 13) and the push from the right is to push that back to 20, so roughly 2/3 of the population support the pro-life side on the current battle zone the two parties are fighting over. In fact they’d favor even stricter limits.

        • Whether one self identifies as being pro-life or pro-choice does not change the position that an overwhelming portion of the population favors the legality of abortion with some limitations, a position than has remained virtually unchanged since Roe v. Wade.

          There is majority support for legal abortion through the first trimester, 61 percent to be precise as the Gallup data clearly shows. Also 90 percent of all abortions take place within the first twelve weeks:

          Considering that the Republican platform has been abortion should be illegal in all circumstances this would hardly be considered a “win” in anyones playbook. And please don’t rattle off that’s not their position:

          “Faithful to the “self-evident” truths enshrined in the Declaration of Independence, we assert the sanctity of human life and affirm that the unborn child has a fundamental individual right to life which cannot be infringed. We support a human life amendment to the Constitution and endorse legislation to make clear that the Fourteenth Amendment’s protections apply to unborn children.”

          The GOP platform is completely out of the mainstream view of most Americans. The simple fact is by moving to a more moderate position the GOP would render the issue moot, but the party of stupid is all too ready to fan the flames of the “Culture Wars” instead of winning elections.

        • That may be the official Republican “platform” but that’s not what’s being pushed in the statehouses across the country. The push is for a 20 week limit and there’s also a push to increase regulation of abortion clinics to avoid any more Kermit Gosnells. As far as 20 weeks go, 2/3 of the population would support limits down to 13 weeks, so I would consider that an overly moderate position. And since the left is always harping about sending women to the back allies, I can’t understand why they would condone and support butchers like Gosnell, but if it takes a few dead women to push their “war on women” meme I guess those women are expendable. I don’t see this as a winning issue for the Democrats.

        • And while you guys are fighting over an issue that does not personally affect you personally some Democrat just took more of your rights away…Please, get over the social issues. No one’s forcing anyone to have an abortion, have a gay marriage, etc.

        • Dear Republicans,
          Keep nominating milquetoast establishment statists like Romney or McCain, and I’ll keep staying home, along with the other 15-20% of us “independents”. Maybe after a few defeat cycles and rounds of suffering, the pain will finally make it up the spine and into the brainstem of the “Stupid Party”, and they’ll start nominating Reagans and Goldwaters again.

          – Libertarian.

        • Dr. Noisewater, that approach really worked out great for the folks in the UK. And Kevin, turning your nose up at social conservatives will only accelerate the Democrats’ destruction of you Second Amendment rights as well as every other right they haven’t taken from you yet. The social conservatives are pro-Second Amendment and pro-economic freedom. Are you really going to sit out because you’re afraid that they might limit abortions to 20 weeks? If conservatives and libertarians had shown up in 2012 we would have President Romney right now, and while that might not be the ideal it beats the hell out of what we’ve got. This is the biggest problem with libertarians, they’re way too picky and in the end they get nothing.

        • >The libertarian Gods have proven that a libertarian can be at home in the R party.

          Just stop right there. Pushing homophobia, theocracy, authoritarianism, failed war on drugs, costly and largely unjustified wars, plunging national debt, decreasing civil liberties, increasing government with huge executive power grabs, etc etc etc, anyone who is actually for real liberty is not at home in the party of theocratic authoritarians.






        • As I understand the Independent American Party is either an affiliate of or has similar views to the Constitution Party. I appreciate some of what they do, but I’ll stick with the Libertarians!

        • Your cheap shot against Libertarians is a poor reflection of your understanding of the matter at hand!! You clearly DO NOT understand the situation!!! Libertarians didn’t ‘steal’ any votes away from Republicans. There were NO Libertarians standing at the polls armed to the teeth forcing people to vote for Johnson; or Sarvis last year in Virginia! Moreover, the GOP did themselves a find job of shooting themselves hole in their own foot by shunning Paul and his supporters and running a lackadaisical campaign!!! The GOP deliberately set Romney up as their sacrificial lamb as they KNEW he couldn’t win! What I cannot comprehend for the life of me is why anyone would point the finger at Libertarians when Obama won with over fifty-percent of the popular vote!? In Virginia last year, Robert Sarvis didn’t STEAL any votes from Cuccinelli. Cuccinelli did himself a fine job at doing a bit of an open-mouth-insert-foot campaign. On top of all this, NO ONE is willing to address the FRAUD which took place in BOTH of these elections! THAT is where the blame REALLY needs to be focused!!!


      • omg no! any 3rd party vote only help the Democrats win! any vote for or helping a Democrat is basically Treason.

        like it or not… libertarians can only win as part of the republican party. they cant raise money or votes for any national election. they can barely get enough at local elections. we need to reform the Republican party, not create a new one when the Democrats have Media Control and over 40% are locked into free goodies they provide. the BOY KING would not even be in office if not for Voter Fraud and that 3rd party nutjob, who was that Crazy guy? hmmm not sure he is to irrelevant to care.

        Carson, Walker, Huckabee are the only good choices. the rest are not eligible like Rubio, Gendal, and Cruz, or Democrats with red jackets on. Ran Paul is just as bad as his father, just 1 degree less crazy and could never win. hes the Jester of Congress, nothing more till he stops the silly agendas and focuses on what is really needed. till then he will remain an entertaining Joke.

    • Another three words: Benghazi, Benghazi, Benghazi. The deliberate killing of Ambassador Stevens.

      • Which the American People don’t give a flying F*** about. The waves of brainwashed liberals will vote for her even if she was waltzing around swinging a dead baby around by the head.

        • The population will be voting for the D because you are right they don’t care about Benghazi because they are receiving checks from the government. Why would they cut off their bread and butter and be forced to get a job to support themselves.

        • Considering her pro abortion stance, that’s exactly what she’s doing! That picture is the perfect portrait of the abortionist and those who support abortion.

      • “In that case, they need to find and stop this assassin name Benghazi”. Sarcasm, just emulating a clueless voter that automatically reaches for D at the lever.

        • No don’t worry they will run a puppet with a red tie who will likely get the office. If you actually believe anything will change with the election of a new president I pity you. Keep voting for people like Boehner and you better believe you’ll get what you ask for. I’ll keep my bets on the one Goldman Sachs gives the most money too, it hasn’t failed me yet.

      • Wow….I simply can’t believe how many people are still caught in the demopublican, republicrat web! Can’t you see that they are both the bought dogs of the multi national corporations? I get so sick of people telling me to “hold my nose and vote republican.” If I had done that the last go round, I would have been voting for a gun banning supporter of government controlled, socialized medicine! How is that different from what we have now? Wake up people! If you vote for the lesser of two evils, YOU’RE STILL VOTING FOR EVIL!!!! The definition of insanity is to keep doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different outcome each time. Go ahead, vote for another republicrat; vote for another tax and spend, expand the government, raise the debt ceiling, endless utterly useless wars, pretend to be “for the people” while funneling the wealth of the nation down the throats of the military industrial complex corporations republicrat. Go ahead, give us more of the same. We can afford it; Yes We Can! China’s still lending us money…….

        • A voice of reason has no place in an unreasonable world 😉

          But it totally agree.
          Its like choosing whether to cut off your right hand or your left.
          And will they use Vaseline or do you dry.

  2. To be fair, Wal-Mart has kept its prices steady at 2013 levels. $.50-.60/rd for Federal 55gr .223? Yep, and my local one sells for even more. Its no wonder they’re cutting prices but the rest of the market has them outpaced by a fair margin.

    As soon as I can buy a $20 box (or two or three) of bulk 22LR at Wallyworld, I’ll accept things as “over”.

    • Why restrict yourself to Walmart?

      You can buy brass-cased 5.56 (not .223!) online for 32c/round now. That’s lower than I ever saw it go back in 2011, and it’s not even a bulk price. 7.62×39 was selling for under 20c/round a couple days ago. Prices have been dropping all across.

      The only thing that’s still relatively expensive is .22 and 9mm.

      • That’s why I thank the Lord for my Lee press, Hornady tumbler and my shooting buddies who bring me the brass. Bulk bullets and powder have gone up; primers are my main concern.

  3. +1 on Cabelas. There seems to be ammo everywhere I look. Prices are still high, but they seem to be coming down FAST.

    Other consumables are still hard to find – powder, anyone, anywhere? Unless, of course, you’re into black powder – you can find black powder substitutes everywhere . . .

    Magazines are still expensive – Glock 17 17rd magazines, either $35 at Cabelas or $25 at Midway – and Midway is backordered all the way to hell . . .

    • Fast for Cabelas anyway. I’m graced with one of their stores an hour from me. Their prices are never low in general, but on ammo and reloading stuff they’re competetive. When a price goes up though it seems like they take their time dropping it, sometimes even ratchet it back up a bit before dropping it again. I’ve been watching their rack of 91/30 Mosin Nagants for a while, which go up and down in price with no apparent rhyme or reason, but never drop low enough for me to buy one.

  4. “Betting, talking or hoping?” I haven’t seen prices drop at all. And I’m of a mind where I don’t see 5K rounds for each caliber as excessive, more like a basic precaution. Firearms are of no particular value without ammunition.

    • Prices have been steadily dropping for a year man, check ammo to go and wiki arms.

  5. “As soon as I can buy a $20 box (or two or three) of bulk 22LR at Wallyworld, I’ll accept things as “over”.”

    As soon as I can buy a box of .22 off the shelf anywhere I will consider it near over.

    • I saw a bunch at my LGS this morning. $12.95/box for CCI SV, CCI RBG, RWS, Remington, etc. Automatch was $60 for 325rd box.

      Keep in mind…pre-derp prices were about $35/brick for CCI SV (10 boxes). They’re gouging big time, but its available.

      • No, PGT, they’re not gouging. They’re asking a price they think they can get. And if the price stays that way, they probably are getting it.

      • Just keep in mind giving the extra money to your local gun shop is way better than giving it to some opportunist scumbag on craisglist or gunbroker who didn’t own a single round till they heard they could make a buck off it.

  6. On the few times I’ve looked, I haven’t seen any .22lr on the shelves.

    Yesterday I went to Academy to buy some Spurs gear, and asked the man at the ammo counter about .22. He told me it still sells out before lunch on the days he receives it, and the other Academy in town gets more of it. He said people are still hoarding and flipping, and didn’t want to express his thoughts further of the people involved because he didn’t want to cuss in front of a lady.

      • I’d rather give the high prices to a store though (and have it on their shelf when I need some), rather than some unemployed dirtbag on craigslist who is flipping ammo and using the money to start up a meth lab for when his ammo scalping business falls through.

        • Meth lab? LOL. That’s pretty funny. Seriously, though, no way is anyone going to start a meth lab from the profits on ammo sales. Not enough money there.

  7. This is good news and it had to come sooner, or later. There was no way most people could sustain the purchases they were making – at the elevated pricing for too much longer.

    The one issue I have in this very well stated piece is the reference to the “enormous purchases” made by the government.

    It wasn’t that long ago that Sierra and a few others stepped out of the shadows to straighten out the series of stories that seemed unwilling to die, stating that not only had purchases not been made, but there hadn’t been any requests for bid, either.

    The last supposed purchase order, was a five year “dream order” in typical government fashion; requesting what they knew would not be approved, and spread over a series of years. To date, that “order” has not been placed.

    The only entity which may have seen something like this, doesn’t have a tremendous impact on the industry (Lake city), and there was no indication that they were ramping up for anything unusual (information I got from someone inside…).

    In any case, IF, the ammo manufacturers are now able to catch up with a slowly decreasing demand, that is good news.

    I tend to think any serious discussion about firearm disarmament will not be had until at least after the mid-term elections.

    • The news of the government ammo purchases spurred the panic buying. I agree that the contracts themselves, looked at very carefully, were not that much greater. But, with the Obama administration and the lack of trust by gun owners, the stories amplified the panic considerably.

      • Oh; I agree with your statement, 100%! That is exactly correct. The government brought this on by making it clear what their intentions were – and then by following through (at least at the state level). The USG contracts (some of which were never written or acted on), were not unusual in scope; they reflected real-world need. If you have a bunch of trigger pullers, you want them well trained and that takes ammunition. You also want ot keep something on the shelves for contingencies.

        While many see this as an affront to US citizens, I see it as a real time view of the world as it is; dangerous and full of crazies. I want all my fellow and former US Marines (many now LEO at all levels) armed with the best.

        I have built carbines for some of these Brothers and we talk and train together. They are level headed and think like all of us; but they have a duty that puts them in harm’s way and I want them coming home to their families at night….as I know you do.

        I understand the angst, but I also know not all that is written or “warned of”, is accurate, either.

  8. I got another 2 bricks at Wally World last Wednesday. $18.97 per brick.
    Powder is still a little hard. I’m trying to load up a few hundred .375 h&h.

    • Just out of curiosity Tom, what are you doing with all that 375 H&H. If your shooting it, I’ll bet you have a sore shoulder.

      • I just like big bore rifles. I was able to buy a really nice Sako in the mannlicher stock a few months back and love shooting it.
        It’ll be my primary hunting gun for a bit, so I want to be competent with it.
        Moose, bear and elk this fall!

        • Sounds like a good choice, I’ve got a thing about mannlicher stocks. Made a couple a long time ago, one, for a gun that wasn’t worth a hundred bucks. Used to own a Mannlicher Schonaur, in the old 6.5 x 54. Wish I still had it.

  9. Still no .22 on the shelf here, not even hunting loads. Almost bought a .17hmr because I see the ammo on a regular basis.

  10. Ammo market prices to collapse?

    Yeah sure whatever you say. And you think the anti-gunners are wackjobs. High prices are here to stay!

    • I was initially excited, until I thought about gas prices. They went way up and only came down a little. I think ammo prices will do the same. It’s better than nothing, but I don’t feel like dancing about it.

      • I see places like lucky gunner and freedom munitions have good supply of most calibers, but prices aren’t really going down. They might have some extra inventory after the great scare, so prices on some calibers could come down a little, but for the most part I expected the current prices to hold for now and they’ll go up eventually. Too much inflation, high cost of materials, higher minimum wages being imposed by the government etc. And we’re just one stupid legislation proposal away from another rush to buy more ammo. You can’t expect prices to come down in such environment.

    • “High prices are here to stay!” Yeah, we’ve been hearing that since the panic began about guns and ammo… except ever since the panic ended both guns and ammo have done nothing but fall. Check wikiarms or ammotogo if your still not convinced.

  11. I’ve only been shooting for a little over a year, and I’ve literally never seen any .22 on the shelf anywhere. Ever.

    • I haven’t thought about the perspective of shooters who joined our ranks post-Newtown. That’s just sad and wrong.

    • I’m going to tell a story about the good old days.
      I remember when new in box SKS rifles were $99 each, Chinese AK copies were $299 and 20rnds of 7.62×39 was $2.99. I remember when paying over $10 a box of 50 for 9s meant you were in the wrong store and .45s could be had for about $12 a box. Ah yes, the good old days, but then a pack of Marlboro was only about $1.25 and a gallon of gas was about the same or a little less. I’m not talking about the 50’s here for you ‘youngsters’, I’m talking about the mid 1990’s. Inflation hasn’t been level across the board, but in tobacco & gasoline it’s approaching 400% since the early 90’s and ammunition is still at prices exceeding 100% (way more for 7.62 but those prices were an anomaly).

      Will the prices come down? Yes, will they crash? If so not for long, and afterwards they will stabilize significantly higher than they were but lower than they are.

      • It’s 1969 the dollar has silver backing, gas is .24/25 cents a gal. you got a free drinking glass, your gas pumped for you and oil/tires checked, 22 shorts 25 cents box of 50, 22 longs 39 cents., 22 long rifle 50 cents box fifty all USA made, MINT condition Mauser rifles $29… got a M1 carbine from uncle Sam for $20 and a 1911 pistol for $18.00, the good old day are now ! We will never see better and the only REAL SHORTAGE in AMERIKA IS TRUTH…

        • +1

          That’s what you get when you have a population that is ignorant of basic economics and partakes in electing people only for what that person will give them.

  12. No 22LR on any shelves at the Wal Marts where I live. Employees say that people are still lining up in the morning to buy it as soon as it comes off the truck. I understood the 9mm shortage last year, but I’ve never understood why people are hoarding or flipping .22LR, then or now. Well, I guess they’re flipping it because there are people dumb enough to buy it at an inflated price.

    9mm is still often hard to find at my local Wal Marts. Can’t remember the last time I saw WWB. 223 is prevalent, now, and that’s a good sign.

    During the panic last year, I shot a lot of clays =:)

    • Same here. I haven’t seen any .22 LR at all, 9 mm is hit and miss. There is always plenty of .40, but I don’t have a .40, and lots of rifle ammo. FMJ .45 seems to be staying on the shelves a little longer, and I bought two boxes at a local LGS for $22 ea., which beat WalMart pricing. 9 mm has dropped at times to $15 a box. I did score two 100 round boxes at another WM at $26 each, but I think that just maybe they were mismarked. Had a great time shooting them. But JHP SD ammo is still over a $1.00 per round.

    • I live in Northern Virginia. The only thing that is regularly stocked on the shelf at my local Wal-Mart is .223, 7MM, 30-06, .45 and.40. All the other space is filled up with shotgun shells. I asked the guy that runs the sporting goods section when he was getting some.22lr in and he just laughed. They havent stocked any in almost 2 years.

  13. Raise the price on a hotel room 20.00 during a hurricane, the (in)Justice Dept. is on your back. Triple the cost of .22 and meh, so what.

  14. Hope you are right Dean. But no 22 on the shelves and hasnt been any for months in SoCal.

    Hey, if you need to get rid of some to make the point again,, I’ll be glad to make your prediction come true, and take two case at four cents a round…:-)

    What part of the country are you in, anyway?

  15. Dean, I disagree and here’s why. Although supply of the most popular calibers seems ample right now and metal prices have gone down a little (they’re actually up over a 5 year period), there’s just too much inflation for the prices to go down to previous levels. I can see a short-term price decrease so that manufacturers and suppliers can unload their build up excess after the “great scare”, but this will not long last at all.

    Although the Fed estimates current inflation at about 2%, that is simply fantasy. Depending on the industry, prices have gone up maybe between 7 to 30 percent if not more. The Fed, along with the ECB, in their infinite stupidity, are proclaiming that “deflation is bad” and they’ll do anything to fight it. So let’s see a show of hands here, who among you hate lower prices and just love those high prices? Oh, you mean to tell me you don’t like paying more for food or gas or oil or services or anything else? Well, guess what, the Fed thinks you’re a fool, because according to them prices should be going up and we should be taking on more debt. *facepalm* Add to this the race by state and local governments to see who can set the minimum wage at a higher rate and we have a real disaster on our hands. Higher unemployment and higher prices.

    So for the reasons above, any price reduction will be minor and very short lived. On average, I expect prices to stay the same for a while, and eventually they’ll go up. I wish I was wrong though.

    • The reason, as you probably know judging from your economic insight, is that BANKS and GOVERNMENTS loose money during deflationary periods. Inflation is a retro active tax on everything you have worked for or saved. We have a debt based monetary system (we are indebted to the fed for every dollar in existence) and a fractional reserve banking system which inflates the monetary base exponentially, both of which deplete the purchasing power of our fiat currencies. And if you think things are bad now, imagine how difficult it will be when banks start charging you for deposits. About 1 year or less from now.

      • Governments benefit from inflation, yes. Banks? Not so much. Banks benefit indirectly, through low federal funds rate, since they essentially get free money and lend it out at higher interest rates. But most of US banks are leveraged so high that almost all of them would fail if the rates went up. Debts are wiped out during high inflation periods, so creditors lose and debtors win.

      • “BANKS and GOVERNMENTS loose money during deflationary periods.”

        Um, no. That is only half true. Deflation is good for creditors and bad for debtors. Let’s say you are bank and you write a loan for $50,000 at 8% interest. Interest earnings would be $4,000 (I’m keeping it simple with yearly compounding and assuming no principal reduction). Now, lets say that we experience some deflation, at 25% (extreme, yes, but it is just an example). So, now it only takes $.75 to buy what cost $1 before. In other words, $1 now has the buying power of $1.33 from before. So, the bank is still getting $4,000 which now has the buying power that $5,333.33 did when the loan was originally written. Conversely, this is bad for the debtor because the interest he is paying is now worth a lot more and is therefore more costly than it was before. And what is the U.S. Government? A huge international debtor. So, you were half right because Banks benefit from deflation and the government suffers. Note, many banks are heavily leveraged, meaning they are debtors themselves, so deflation would be both a blessing and a curse for them. Anyway, this is why the Gov’t will do anything to avoid deflation because there would be serious concerns about possible default. As long as Government can keep inflation above the majority of its rates on T-Bills, then they think they can run a delaying action indefinitely. Unfortunately, everything WILL crash and burn when the world gives the U.S. a big F-U and stops using the Dollar as the world reserve currency. Then we are toast. Piss poor planning by our politicians to maintain irresponsible spending for short term personal political gain. On both sides of the aisle, but mostly on the left.

        • Except that the banks know your scenario would cause many of their debtors to go bust, which isn’t good for the banks.

        • Precisely why we need limited government, a free market, gold/silver backed currency, and no more fractional reserve banking system.

      • Nobody can predict what will happen 1yr from now. We are in uncharted territory, all we know historically is the Fed is always wrong but we do not know how bad or in which direction.

  16. Watch for this later rather than sooner– especially here in gun-loving Dixie. Yes, everything but .22 has pretty much returned to the shelves, is readily available and can be bought at post-2012 prices… It’s there but the prices haven’t even begun to drop in this part of the country (TN)– except maybe on birdshot.

  17. I hope you’re right. I’m about to hit Cabelas. I NEVER see .22-affordable or not

  18. Dollar cost averaging. I am sitting on 15k rounds and would gladly buy another 5-10k just because but for now, I am good

  19. I wish all the big 22LR retailers would just jack the prices up to market rate (10-15c) to burn the flippers out of Gunbroker. Then just march the price back down. Would be a win for the big vendors, a loss for the flippers, and ultimately things would get back to normal for POTG. This panic has been set on STUPID for 18 months now and every day it gets more stupid. The big change from previous panics has been the rise of Internet/Gunbroker flipping capability (and a ready supply of idiots) and the large vendors selling at under market rates is fouling up the market.

  20. On which planet does Mr. Weingarten reside? I’d like to visit and buy some .22lr ammo. Oh yeah, I also need 9mm and .223 rem…..BECAUSE I CAN’T FIND ANY! What a bunch of malarkey!

    • You know, ammo to go’s had both 9mm and .223 when I’ve needed it lately. Even Walmart and academy here have it (though still at high prices). If you don’t live in an area that prohibits online sales, you *can* get 9mm and .223. .22 is still hit or miss though.

  21. I’m seeing plenty of ammo online and much of it at reasonable prices. 22LR is abundant, but the prices are not reasonable. The same box ‘o ammo that once cost $17 or less is now $50. Yikes!

  22. The only thing I see cheap is shotgun shells for clay (e.g. Estate) everything else is still fairly expensive and when 22lr does make an appearance, it is gone in 1 or 2 days. better than a few hours, but it is still very scarce.

    The only ammo that is cheap is 380ACP which I have seen come down and down over the last few weeks.

    I have enough powder, shells and primers to keep myself in supply and prices on presses have come down such that I may get a second one just for rifle reloading.

    I do not see prices coming down, they have leveled off and they will go back up

  23. There’s a part of the equation missing here, the millions of new gun owners the big O has recruited. I think demand is permanently higher than it was 6 years ago, so I don’t see a crash.

    Now if someone will kindly point me to the .357 magnum ammunition I’d be much obliged. Let me guess, right next to the .22LR.


      I’d say that demand for most calibers is relatively stable. Anything produced in excess post-Newtown will see a temporary price drop, but not by much. Too much inflation, new higher minimum-wage rates, general uncertainty about new possible anti-gun legislation and you have a recipe for higher prices.

      • Definitely can’t discount the rising cost of hiring employees thanks to governmental interference, or the fact that most Americans under the age of 30 would rather live in their parents basements than work with their hands. However, these factors apply equally to all manufactured goods, not just ammo.

  24. I disagree:

    1. The government is printing too much money. Too much money chasing too few goods, prices will stay the same or go up.
    2. Hillary, more attempts at controlling ammo. They are hitting the banks with heavy inspections to force them not to support FFL’s etc. sssooooooo….
    3. Next step is ammo. There will be more OSHA and EPA inspections, blah, blah, bah. . . and more attempts to attack the ammo supply chain and more fun with gun ranges.
    4. Many more shooters means much more ammo being used.

    Prices will not come down but ammo availability will get better . . . someday.

  25. Did some looking today at one smallish gun show, two LGS, one mid size sporting goods chain (Academy) and one big chain (Bass Pro) in the Oklahoma City area. No .22 to be had at any of the stores. .22 was available at the gun show for .15 to .25 per round and more from the guys who stand line at Wally World and Academy. Most other rifle and pistol calibers were available and fairly reasonably priced.

    Gun show vendors and stores had plenty of primers in the $30/1000 range. A little steep in my book but not outrageous. The big surprise on reloading components was that nobody had any pistol powder. I don’t know if that’s a local problem or there’s a national trend here.

  26. I’ve been predicting an eventual crash in ammo prices since the panic began. My prediction has largely been met with utter contempt and ridicule by most. My contention with falls in line with this article’s mention of the ammo not being USED (just put away). Eventually even the so-called hoarders’ appetite will be satiated and they’ll stop buying. The demand will drop off a cliff just as the supply peaks.

    I have effectively not bought any ammo since the panic began. I didn’t need to… fortunately. I’m looking forward to much lower prices. 🙂

    • Exactly, with guns and ammo I’ve been telling people not to buy at these prices and just wait it out, and ever since the panic ended prices steadily fall. Meanwhile the fools panic and believe 5 grand for an AR and a dollar a round for 5.56 is the new norm.

  27. I read something about the military destroying billions of spare rounds and no mentions of selling as surplus

    • Yup it happened. You can thank lawsuits against the military for that. They rarely if at all will officially surplus military equipment anymore. To many people buy it, get injured using it, then sue the military. That’s why in the post ww2/cold war you could get willies jeeps a dime a dozen but finding a surplus Humvee is damn near impossible, and you’ll pay out the ass for it.

    • While I disagree with almost everything McCain says he is right on the money here, prices are not going down and supply are just barely lifting past horrible to bad. The scares will continue and demand will rise, rise, fall, rise, rise, fall and so on. One step forward and two steps back doesn’t get you closer to your destination it gets you further away. And for specialty caliber folks forget about it. I do .308, .223, 10mm, 5.7 and .44mag and only .44mag has dropped noticeably. Everything else is pretty steady high unless we are talking crap target ammo. I hope for this fantasy of cheap ammo but don’t believe in it. Much like god.

      • Except prices are going down. Check the online retailers. I’ve been watching prices steadily drop for months now. Keep ignoring it if you want but its all there and falling. Just like the price of guns.

    • The part about 22 LR anyway. The big boxes need to raise their prices until they can keep some on the shelves.

      • Or they could just simply put not for resale on the ammo at the factory. It would then be a crime to “hawk” it and the police could get involved with these squerlly fuckers!!!!

  28. sounds too hard to believe , I have not seen 22,s in any stores or gun shops in 2 years, was a little at local gun show at $ 60.. for a brick of 500 and not USA made…and all the other ammo I see is way up in price and with 3 box limits…

    • For a while in Utah you could find 525 bricks of .22 LR at most pawn shops and even some LGSs. Of course, it was around $90 (seriously, the highest I saw was $93 last July), but that at least kept the flippers out of the game. Most of the prices are about half that now, so supply is slightly down.

  29. I purchased a 525 brick of .22 this week for $40 at my lgs. Too high but I was thrilled to find it. Used about 200 rounds this morning from my existing supply. I hadn’t shot in a long while.

  30. Why this obsession with Walmart and ammo?

    I never buy any ammo from a LGS or any Walmart.

    It is stupid.

    Add up the time you spend driving there, buying it, paying taxes on it, and calculate the wear/tear on your car….

    Just buy it online, no taxes, shipped to your door.

    No fuss. No muss.

    • …….So then you’d know that prices have been dropping for months now, slowly but steadily.. yet you claim the exact opposite. You drunk dude?

    • Yeah, Paul, it is stupid to support your LGS. And shipping on the net is always free, right?
      You’re the kind of guy who “shops” @ the LGS but only buys online. What really pisses me off is how proud you are of your actions.

    • I’d normally agree, except you can get decent target and hollowpoint at Wally’s, for not much more than online, and if you are passing by, or buying something else anyway at Walmart, then time and gas are not in the equation, and I have found the shipping costs for online more than make up the small difference in price.

      I’m just not going down there at 5AM every day of the week hoping some will come in on the morning pallet, even though I hear some do, religiously.

      So thats probably part of the problem- there are enough folks willing to pay the flippers prices. Me I just shoot the cheap .223 and .40 instead, now approaching 30 cents a round, which is easy and not much higher than .22 prices at a quarter a round at the gun show.

    • Gave my sister-in-law my Bersa Thunder .380 (she only had .22 & a .32) but then missed my Bersa so purchased Bersa Firestorm .380 still have 8 to 10, 50 round boxes inherited from my dad’s estate along with his Colt Govt .380

      Go though 200 to 300 rounds a month (annually) so usually shoot whichever caliber I have the most of. So far for the past year have been shooting a Ruger SR pistol. When I purchased it .22lr was cheap/plentiful so brought a whole lot of it in bulk. Still have a large supply left. But would really like shoot my 9mm Bersa or Ruger SP101 9mm revolver, put bigger holes in paper

  31. so .303 british is gonna come down in price 😀 and 7.62x54r brass case is gonna go down too OH GLORIOUS DAY !!!!!!!!!!!

  32. I think a lot depends on where you are and how close to major population centers you are.
    I live kind of rural, but within 30 miles of Portland. Too far away for most folks to drive to maybe find ammo.
    I see prices dropping on the really common stuff. 9-40-45-223. And it stays on the shelves.
    .308 is still pulling 50 cents a round for plinking ammo.

    I’m glad I reload.

  33. Hit or miss at wally world in Billings Mt. Large amount of 9 mm website at one store but no 40 s&w. Other store opposite situation. Means more travel but things are better.

  34. And yet, here in central Texas, so many are still hoarding and buying everything in sight that all area WalMarts still can’t keep anything on the shelves. I haven’t seen .22lr in town in over a year. At. All. The only handgun ammo that’s completely reliable to find is .45. 9mm is off/on. 5.56/223 is in good supply, though.

  35. I just picked up 3 – 1000rd boxes from my local Walmart for $50.97/1000. It was the Winchester M*22 (and no, it wasn’t the recalled lot numbers). I have found that if I go to Walmart at around 10:00pm or from 6-8:00am, I can always find some brand of .22. And Palmetto State Armormy was selling 325rd boxes of Federal Match for $29.99 a couple of weeks ago. That’s still not cheap, but if you need it, it’s there. If you want to pay a little shipping and skip all the running around from gun store to gun store, pretty much everything (even .22) is available online for the same price as you’d find it in some stores right now, or cheaper. is the site I use to find the best deals. Except for .22 ammo, I buy all of my ammo online.

  36. It’s the prepper mentality that’s fucking shit up. They hear the word ‘ban’ and ‘shortage’ and they start buying the crap at 5x their normal volume. Then they tell their prepper friends, and they tell their prepper friends, etc., and next thing you know *BOOM* high ammo and gun prices. Prepping on a normal basis is fine, it’s when the speculations begin then their supplying turns into oversupplying & messes things up.

  37. With all but 22nd I believe a correction is in store. Based upon dealings with many 22nd ma u factures you statement is premature.

  38. This is the same thing that happened in the early 90’s

    9mm was $20 a box one year…$8 the next.

  39. ST nails it: Hillary Rodham Clinton.

    Bear in mind the next President will appoint the next SCOTUS Justice. 2A hangs by a single vote right now-

    My guess is ammo prices start climbing as HRC shows good poll numbers and then accelerates like crazy if she’s elected. Ginsburg retires and prices go white-hot. Same for Breyer.

    Five years later and there won’t be any need to worry about ammo prices because there won’t be any for sale.

    Think of the children-

  40. A crash in anything 223/556 related (especially mags) was to be expected. No surprises there. Things just got utterly stupid really fast.

    But the scarcity and demand of 22LR was THE shocker. Storing 5000 rounds is no problem. Shooting them is easy too. Now the average Joe sets a goal for 10k rounds. So don’t hold your breath for a crash in 22LR like for other calibers.

  41. People – I agree that the Obama scare was the primary cause of this shortage and the price spikes, but you can’t seriously think you’re gonna get any good deals at big-box stores like Cabelas or Walmart? Buy your ammo online and use tools like the Gunbot dot com site and they’ll aggregate EVERYTHING on one page, what’s in stock, and sort it by price per round. You can’t lose by doing that and that’s where you’re gonna find your best deals. I hope and pray that prices will come down, but for now do your buying online – you’ll save $$$ !

      • Gas was less than $1 a gallon at one point, too. Prices go up due to basic inflation, but the ammo scare is entirely the fault of price-gouging jackasses and the fools who pay their absurdly gouged prices.

        • gas was .25 cents a gal. until Jimmie Carter (Dem.) came to D.C. its been all down hill after that… all we have gotten is lots HOT AIR and LIES… prices have never gone down …………

        • Growing up. I remember gas being $.219/gallon, when I started driving, 1976, it was between $.60-.65/gallon…

      • I venture to say that I’m as old if not older than you…$10/500 .22lr is a phantom, prices of days gone by…pay the price or move on, there are plenty of others will to pay .06-.08/rnd…

  42. Places here in the PR of NJ don’t have ammo of any kind for any reasonable amount. Hop over the border to PA and visit the Cabela’s there… Oh nothing available for any reasonable price, either. Sorry, but believing that ammunition is about to become wonderfully cheap is naive at best, and disingenuous at worst.

    As prices of the big 3 calibers (9mm, .45 ACP, and .223/5.56) catch up to the supply/demand equilibrium, the manufactures will shift from the popular calibers they’ve been making in triple shifts to all the other less popular calibers they’ve been neglecting since the boom started. Feeding my .25-06 is way more expensive than it used to be because everyone essentially stopped making it for a time. So sure, prices there may fall a little bit to get them closer to pre-panic prices, but that’s not going to help the bottom drop out on the others.

    And that’s to say nothing of the rimfire ridiculousness. Which, depending on the outcome of the next election, may never be below 10¢ again.

  43. If you haven’t seen the youtube featuring Steve Hornady, its worth googling up. He says its due to people hoarding. Since there are more folks in the prepper community, thinking 22 will be more valuable than silver dollars for barter and such, there are probably some fools folks there with round counts in the double digit thousands, and buying more.

    22Plinkster notes there were a lot of semi-auto AR pattern 22s made a couple years ago, that probably contributed to larger round counts at the range, and higher number purchases to feed them since.

    I dont care – eventually it will come down, and since I wont buy some ammo flipper’s old stock, not knowing how its been stored, just like I wont buy fly-by-night-reloads for my G23, so I’ll just be patient and get the decent stuff new at a reasonable price.

  44. Nice article.

    It is missing alot of facts that drove the demand for ammunition but a great laymans article.

    Now to bring you back to planet earth.

    .22lr for under .04 cents a round. Or $10 for a brick of 500rnds. LOL

    Keep dreaming.

  45. Have any of you looked around at the country we live in and the staggeringly bleak future to come? When are we ever not going to be in a scare? Face it, every single day could be the last day you legally own anything gun related.

  46. When the big ammo glut started I got started in reloading. At the height of it all I realized that I could make my own 9mm and 45ACP for less than I could buy 22lr. The most expensive part being the brass. But a lot of the new shooters would just let it lie and walk away. Nothing like finding little gold nuggets (Brass) at your feet. I will strike up a conversation with newbies about reloading and most say maybe someday but they let me sweep up their gold and take it home for processing. Powder and primers have been scarce on occasion but I keep my ammo-cash in the back of my wallet just in case I come across much needed supplies when I least expect it. As said in the TV series “Patience Grasshopper.”

  47. Ammo prices will come down just like gas prices have come down. On wait a second what am I saying? Gas prices HAVEN’T come down and as far as ammo prices I’ll believe it when I see it. Until then the reloading bench is where you’ll find me churning out 9mm for about $7/box.

    • Gas prices isn’t a good analogy since you can’t store 10 years of gas in your closet, unlike ammo. Also, ammo doesn’t go bad so eventually this old ammo will flow into the market.

  48. So ammo goes up 200% and more in some cases and you think a 10 to 15% drop is a sign of prices coming down?? Right now I cant afford to go shooting due to A. the lack of ammo. B. .223 ammo going from $125 for 1000 rounds to now it being $250 and up for 500 rounds. Not sure I agree.

  49. I think I’ve weathered several ammunition supply shortages by buying in bulk when available, reloading for common use cartridges, and altering my usage to take this into consideration.

    The only thing I’m really short on is .22LR, which I last bought a brick (500 rounds) about a decade ago. I think I’ll buy several and stockpile for increased future use when my son starts shooting when he is 12.

  50. The only thing I have to say is that people are still looking for ammo out there. The so called demand has dropped off because those that still demand it are not willing to spend even more that 2-3 times on certain ammo and the ones they do want are no longer in stock or still behind in production. America is on the lines of another civil war its just that the people still have hope Obama will stop pushing on them and will be gone. Otherwise we get a Buchanan and Lincoln back in the day episode, but this time it will not be North vs South. If another Obama like person took over the country in 2016 the country would more than likely split.

    • I’m not sure there’s ever been a time in this country’s history where certain states or even parts of states haven’t been talking about ceceeding. For example, parts of Colorado, northern CA, Texas, etc. Very interesting.

  51. We Aussies can only dream of the prices you complain about! I just paid $55 for a pound of powder and $65 for Nosler Accubond .375 cal 309gr projectiles, $55 for 50 Winchester .300WSM brass. Factory ammo – Federal .375H&H 300gr x 20 $80, Remington .300WSM 180gr x 20 $62. Our imported ammo from USA has gone up 130% in 3 years, and still climbing. By comparison world-class Aussie-made Woodleigh projectiles cost half their US counterpart.
    Adding to our agony, there are too many middle men between us users and US ammo manufacturers.
    For us reloaders, I’m doing well if I can produce a .375H&H round for <$4(AUD), which is almost at factory prices.
    If prices do indeed 'normalise' in the US market, there are certainly no guarantees we Aussies will benefit, with middlemen enjoying high demand and high profits from high prices.

    • $55 for a pound of powder? Holy crap! Isn’t it interesting how different our perspectives are? Even within the States, we all have different perspectives. Some think $20 for a brick of 22 is cheap. $10 seems right to me.

      As far as middlemen go, a study of basic economics will show you that they exist for a reason. It’s because of the market. There are things that have to happen (shipping, etc.) that certain businesses aren’t willing to deal with (like a company that makes ammo or a retailer that sells it to you), but that other companies with the appropriate expertise are.

      Anyway, good luck with your situation and wish us luck with ours!

  52. I can tell you that within a 30-mile drive of DC, Virginia still has small amounts of handgun ammo at reasonable prices, slightly greater amounts of rifle calibers, and only dust bunnies where the .22LR sits. I’m still buying the last via mail order and paying 50% of the ammo price in shipping charges.

  53. Walmart is to blame for most of the price gouging. When you have (as quoted by others here) “people lined up at 7:00a to buy all the ammo that came in” it means the prices are too low. Walmart needed to immediately double the price of 22lr, 9mm, .40, etc, and keep doubling the price until there was NOT a line at 7am to clean them out.

    They are responsible for giving the ammo vultures a market. There would be no 40 year old unemployed men at the gunshows selling .22lr at a 900% markup if Walmart would have let the market determine their prices.

    • +1 that Walmart is to blame.

      Hopefully, what we’ve seen in ammo is the classic climax run and the resulting crash in prices later, especially in the secondary markets (gunbroker, craigs list, etc.).

      I personally think we have seen the climax run of gun control as well. Bloomberg is operating as the Hunt Brothers in the short term, but his days are numbered like them, ie his recent quote about supporting the 2nd Amendment.

    • The same thing happened at Brownell’s and Midway. They kept their prices the same as before Newtown and were constantly sold out of primers, powder, bullets, brass, etc. People who are economics ignorami (some of whom frequent this site and whom I would’ve expected to be educated in at least the basics of economics) called companies who raised prices “price gougers” and praised those who kept their prices constant, even though they were constantly sold out.

      I expect liberals to be ignorant of basic economics, but it’s shameful for conservatives to be.

  54. I have been purchasing 5.56 military 20 round boxes for about 10 bucks at walmart for my 14.
    I can live with this. NO 22 lr though. They even have a sign up stating this.
    OK, every one STOP buying ammo for a week !
    Let us see if it realy is the government forcing high prices and scarce ammo.

  55. What I have noticed, no matter how full the shelves are, there is no hollow point ammo for any caliber other than the high priced “self-defense” ammo. Round nose if fine for target practice but i’d rather have some JHP for defense.

  56. Well I hope 22L get stocked some time soon. I have 3 kids that all have 22 rifles and can not shoot them cause we can not find them in Indiana.

  57. It’s currently cheaper to by .17HMR than good to high-quality 22LRs. Scattergun loads started appearing in bulk quantities about 8 weeks ago in Mid-Missouri. Handgun and rifle ammo now showing up in good quantities with prices somewhat less than they were a couple months ago…when/if you found it. Fun and ammo poor, but firearm ownership and use has been in my blood for generations and it’s continuing in our children and grandchildrens hands now. Ain’t much of nothing they’d rather do than burn powder and sling lead. Fishing is a close 2nd. Busy hands, building hand/eye coordination and spending quality time is what the art of arms brings throughout our big, extended family. The America traditions continue and will as long as I’m still sucking air on God’s Earth!

  58. The reason .22 is not on the shelf is because it’s not the manufacture that’s jacking up the price it’s the retailer. .22 is still the least profitable round for the manufacturer therefore they spend way less time building it in their factory. When the backlash of center fire rounds finally reaches back to the manufacturer you can expect to finally see .22 on the shelves again with some regularity.

  59. All Who Are Righteous Are All Also The Most Accurate, Never Missing A Chance To Fix The Entire Creation, For All Time And Eternity. We Remain Calm And Steady, At Least Till The Job Is Completed, And From Then On, So Be It.
    Good Work All Ye True Men And Women, Boys And Girls!!!

  60. Stopped by our local Bass Pro Shop yesterday. They had hundreds of boxes of 50rd LRN .22lr. Blazer and American Eagle at less than 5 cents a round. For a little more, they had 100Rd boxes of CCI mini mag HP for $8.49. Strict limits were in place, which I am sure helps account for the stock on hand. Things are looking up.

  61. Our current two-party system serves their corporate masters. Republicans would rather see an end to civil redress in the courts by promoting tort reform (the taking away of the power of the people, juries, to decide damages). They seek to erode the only remaining level playing field left for the citizen who has been wronged by big pharma, the medical establishment, auto manufacturers, and other big business through damage caps and immunity from suit. Then you have the Democrats, who seem perfectly happy appointing Monsanto executives to the FDA and giving a free pass to all of those Wall Street clowns that plunged us into the recent recession. You may think you have a choice, but, in the end, you are voting for two puppets corporate America has placed before you.

      • There is already a system in place to stop frivolous lawsuits. It is called summary judgment and Rule 11 sanctions against the filer and sometimes even against the attorney if it is egregious enough. And, if that fails, there is a multiple tiered appeals court system. Interesting how a frivolous lawsuit is worth nothing, but the tort reform only targets those cases where the courts and juries find that the lawsuit has merit….Guess you will have to get injured to know to what degree you have screwed yourself by supporting this nonsense.

  62. Wake me when I can buy 9mm White Box for $20 with no limit any day I choose to walk into a Walmart, Cabela’s, Academy, etc.

  63. My Wally World has started getting ammo back again. 9mm is usually available and is affordable.
    22lr is about 4 cents a round too. Problem is an asshole gun store owner in town keeps scooping it up at 7am and reselling it for 14 -15 cents a round. You have to be there first and stare the little shit down. PITA!! Is that even legal??

  64. I usually only go to WalMart for my ammo. If they have it in stock its usually fair priced. That said I just bought .22 LR at Bass Pro for $0.059 per round in 40 round boxes mind you. Things are going back to normal.

  65. I live in Vancouver Washington, and I have a sporting goods store apprx. 20 mins from my house that has 22lr. On the shelves. Cci, Remington, and Aguilar the Aguilar is a 500 round brick 37.00 not to bad. Limit 1 but hey go by 1 every week lol

  66. The last time I bought .22LR was in 1984 , and I paid about $11 or $12 bucks a brick at K-mart. My stock was last topped off in 1985, and I have been working out of that all these years. Now when Obama started to run for Dictator, I saw the handwriting on the wall, so in 2006-2007 I started making buys of ammo, in 1000 rnd lots, and apparently was ahead of the curve, as I had no trouble filling my bunker with good and affordable ammunition. in 5.56. 7.62, .40, .45. .38, 9mm and .30 carbine but I failed to stock up on the .22 LR, as I wrongly assumed that pea shooter stuff would always be available and dirt cheap. During todays ammo shortages I refuse to buy .22 at prevailing prices. Will 22lr eventually settle out at pre Obama prices at is a million dollar question. I would hope it eventually retails at 5 cents a rnd, or $25 a brick.

  67. Someone wake me up when I can find bricks of 22lr at every Walmart at any time of the day (not just after delivery).

    A crash?? More like return to normalcy.

  68. Ammunition prices, like any other commodity, work based on supply and demand. The demand is high, prices are high and they never go back down. The curve is inflationary, always been and always shall be. I you do not believe it look at fuel prices since Katrina in 2005. The other factor in the inflation curve is that it can be panic driven, like the stock market. Obama has nothing to do with the inflation, panic and prejudices of the ignorant public do. I buy quality stuff and I am very selective for I handload for 10 different calibers. I have never bought “cheap” 22 LR; I have an Anschutz Super Match Model 1913 ($3500.00) and like a Ferrari, it demands high quality fuel, so paying 80 to a 100 dollars for a brick of Eley or RWS or LAPUA is not unreasonable since I do not waste ammunition when I shoot. I make every shot count. It offends me deeply that 22 lr ammo that I consider garbage is being sold at the current prices. The quality ammo has never gone up in price as the cheap stuff for they did not need to, it was already high but quality has a price, like an European luxury car and it has a specialized user anyway. Panic in the buying public is the real factor affecting any market but that is a problem without a solution. Still, I am offended that people are stupid enough to pay up to a $100.00 for crap that as recent as two years ago was worth $10 to $15 for a brick and even then it was a waste of good money.

  69. I agree with other posters commenting that left-right, red-blue, dem-repub is irrelevant … a magician’s trick to misdirect our attention from the loss of civil rights and the ascendancy of The Corporation as the most powerful but also the dumbest crap-in-their-own-kitchen-short-sighted citizen. Give the country back to the people — if you can find any still awake.

    Still and all … is this really an Obama-generated bubble? When and where, exactly, did Obama say he would take our guns? Or did the anti-Obama folks create that one out of thin air with fear-mongering rhetoric?

    In any case, whoever it was that started it, we consumers bought into it, like we always do. Who can blame business for manipulating the masses to drive up demand when it is so easy to do? Shame on us.

    • Sir, IDK if you have been paying attention, but Obama rarely spells things out exactly. He almost never says what he is precisely going to do and not do.
      Rather, he speaks using a lot of vagaries, euphemisms, and flowery language.
      But, if one observes a politician over a period of many years, one can easily establish ways to “read” a politician, by parsing through their statements, and then watching carefully what they do before/after such speeches.
      By observing Obama, many of us have been able to accurately predict some of the gun control things he has done, as well as what he may do next.
      To put it succinctly, one doesn’t need to be a rocket scientist to figure out the man.

  70. All it takes is just one-more whack job lunatic to ruin all of this—both guns and ammo prices and availability—for us.

    Just recall what happened after the last 5 mass shootings, both politics and market-wise.

    The idea: you HAVE to stock up BEFORE another incident. Just the same way you build your storm shelter BEFORE a tornado, and not after.

  71. My guess is fear is the root of all the problems we are facing with ammo supply. When people get scared they want the ammo and the demand goes up. When a lot of people are scared then a lot of people are willing to buy alot of ammo at high prices. When demand goes up in relation to supply then the sellers can charge more. The price of anything is determined by how much people are willing to pay. If the people selling it could charge 100 bucks a round and enough people still bought it at that price than that’s what its value would be and that is what they would continue to sell for. We determine how much anything is worth by how much we are willing to pay for it. I might be wrong about this and I am curious so I welcome anyone that can educate me further or point out other reasons why the prices have gone up and there has been shortages. A good question I think to ask is are who benefits from a ammo shortage and raised prices?

  72. The was entirely predictable. Too many gun owners are subject to hysteria born of paranoia. If any of them had actually paid attention to the administration’s proposals following the New town shootings, they would have found them to be wrong headed, but pretty mild. Nothing in them threatened anyone’s ability to buy ammunition. In addition, nothing in the government’s entirely normal contact to buy a couple of billion rounds over several years contributed to the shortage.

    Instead, the shortage was brought about by delusional paranoiac hoarders, and the ammo speculators who exploited them. To all of the jerks selling ammunition on gunbroker for unconscionable prices, I hope you lose your phukking shirts on your remaining stocks. To all of you who bought from them, seek professional help.

  73. If anything, the demand should not decrease as much. With political nervousness and people practicing and the influx of new shooters at an all-time high, there will be plenty of demand for cheap (practice) ammo. The hoarders made their impact and may they sleep comfortably on all those cases of M855 they hoarded anticipating a ban that was nipped in the bud. Good luck selling that anywhere near the $0.70-$1.00 a round you paid for it. Serves you right trying to rape your fellow gun owners… if, in fact you are actually a gun owner and not some opportunist.
    When prices level out it will be a welcome sign to those of us that shoot regularly for practice and recreation. I know personally I’ve cut my range time and ammo usage 90% since this asshat in the oval office caused this surge in prices. Even before then, I’ve used cheaper .22 in conversion kits to offset my need to practice with my economic situation.
    It would be wonderful to be able to have affordable .22LR again as well as affordable full-sized cartridges to practice and have fun with.

  74. James said>>Still waiting…..February 19, 2015 at 08:22

    Me too. Local Wal-Mart has no 22LR in stock anytime I go. They say they get hardly any at all compared to years ago. Same with 5.56, 9mm, 38 Special. And 357 Mag never shows up. The local independent sporting goods stores, that has a big gun and hunting department has NO 22LR, except for some of those expensive tiny shot cartridges (suitable for a mouse, I suppose). They told me that they have some boxes of 100 in the back, but are only allowed to sell TWO to anyone who buys a 22 rifle or handgun. Not give out with the guns – sell.

    There’s more going on here than hoarding. Maybe metals shortages or metals price increases (copper for brass, lead) or increases in the prices of chemicals for making powder and primers (due to government regs?), or the government putting in huge DHS orders – disrupting civilian production (documented on government bid websites and by Congress.) Powder and primers are hard to find and the prices have gone up. Reloaders hoarding too? Everyone could have hoarded and hoarded and hoarded by now – it’s been years since this started. I don’t see boxes and boxes of 22LR or 7.62×39 being sold at high prices by hoarders at gun shows – I see diddly squat being sold at any price.

    Since this IS shotshell ammo, I think that the likely explanation is government disruption of the pistol and rifle ammo supply due to large orders and restrictions/regs concerning raw materials. The contract specify that government production gets priority over civilian. Yes, they are planning for “civil unrest.” It is no secret, and has been in D.O.D. publications and training for years.

    • I meant to say “since there is shotshell ammo …” This is interesting. If it was just hoarding, why wouldn’t the same thing be happening with shotshells? I imagine there are as many people that own shotguns as rifles and pistols, so why isn’t there a shortage of shotgun shells? The local stores in my area DO have 12 and 20 gauge buckshot, and all of the large-size pellet hunting shells – which will serve for self defense in a pinch. This reinforces the idea that it is federal government disruption of the rifle and pistol ammo market with purchases and regulations. The government doesn’t buy many shotshells, and state/local law enforcement are limited by state budgets – and probably already have huge stocks of 12 gauge buckshot for any department that still uses it.

  75. Q1 2015 here and gone….. .no change in 22LR supply. We’ve been told ammo makers are running all lines 24/7/365 to keep up, and they can’t. We’ve been told its hoarders, we’ve been told the Govt has nothing to do with it. ect ect ect. Just a supply/demand issue. 3 years this goes and continues. Lets see here… 3 years * 365 days per year = 1095 days. In 2013 AmmoLand told us that running all makers all lines as hard as they can go would get us 230,137 rounds per day. Well lets see here. 1095*230,137=252,000,015 rounds made in those 3 years. 252 Million,15 rounds. 252,000,015 / 500 (brick) = 504,000.13 bricks made. 504,000.13 bricks / 50 states = 10,080.0006 bricks per state over the 3 years we’re talking about. Bricks per state / days = Bricks available per state per day to max supply = 9.20548. Think we’re still buyin 9 bricks per state per day of 22LR in 2015? I do.

    Here’s the part i don’t buy…. the first number. no frakin way that’s right. I have no proof or even evidence of this, however, i fully believe that in 1950 the shooters of America could, did, would, always have shot 9 bricks per day per state of 22LR ammo. 4500 rounds of 22 down range on any given day in each state. Easily done. There never has been any way on God’s Green Earth that 4500 rounds per day per state has ever satisfied demand in this country. So, how about some truth…wheres it going? Where’s them fellas on gun broker getting the case after case of this stuff to sell? Here’s some more math for ya. 53′ enclosed cargo van trailer. Standard run of the mill semi freight hauler. 53′ by 8′ by 8′ = 3392 cubic feet of space. 5,861,376 cubic inches. 1 standard 500 round brick = 96 cubic inches. 61,056 bricks (theoretical) per trailer. Reduce for palettes and packaging… 60000 bricks per trailer. 1200 bricks per trailer per state. 1 Trailer! ONE! But, you can’t haul that, 200,000lbs of freight will get ya in trouble at the tire store and the DOT. So, we’ll put 12,100 bricks on a trailer and call that a load. 5 trucks to haul off that 60000 bricks. So only 41 trucks left the entirety of 22lr makers shipping depots over the last 3 years?

  76. And… this is why I shoot airsoft most of the time. Sure, it’s not my 22lr hand gun, but I can buy 5000 airsoft rounds for $19 shipped instead of $60 for 500rds of 22lr.

    If you get your hands on a decent electric airsoft gun, you can rip through any soda can or even a glass bottle with a couple well aimed shots, and engage in some distance shooting. All for a cheap price.

    I go to an outside gun range with my airsoft gun and use the airsoft range, going through 1000 rounds while the real shooters leave after just 100 rounds. Some of them even come up to me and ask where I bought mine.

  77. What’s with all this “thanks Obama!” bullshit. Ammo manufacturers just took advantage of the negative hype and have all you rednecks up in arms at the wrong person. Blame the manufacturers for colluding on price and take your gripes to the source.

  78. To be fair, the dramatic price increases started during George W. Bush’s tenure. At that time, it was said the two wars coupled with the sky high metal and scrap metal prices (because China was buying huge quantities) caused the price increases. Prices doubled before Obama ever got into office. The shortages and subsequent increases weren’t caused by Obama, they were caused by the NRA and other groups preaching doom and gloom about Obama coming after guns and banning ammo. That started the buying/hoarding frenzy that lead to more shortages. That was all well before any government orders were placed. I wonder if the ammo manufacturers participated by slowing production to fan the flames. Really, who stood to gain from this? Certainly not Obama. Gun purchases more than doubled and ammo was flying off the shelves faster than it could be stocked. That was the opposite of what Obama supposedly wanted. I agree that ammo prices are now falling, in part, because production is catching up with demand, but also because both wars have significantly wound down and metal (as well as scrap metal) prices have also significantly fallen over the past few years.

  79. A year and a half after you wrote this and .22 LR is harder than ever to find at anywhere near a reasonable price. Ridiculous.

  80. It is Shot Show 2016 this week. How about the arms and ammo manufacturers go back to their factories and lend a hand on the lines, rather than showing us more or their products that will be sent to hillbilly gun stores and end up on gunbrocker

  81. The crystal ball must have been all fogged up at the time this article was written. Even as I post this (end of Apr ’16), we are still feeling the effects caused by the Obama Scare of 2013. Pick your conspiracy theory – but whether caused by overreacting consumers or some plot by ammo manufacturers, its effects were quite real and long lasting to the avid gun enthusiast.

    That era ushered in what I call a two-phase effect which resulted first in ammo shortages followed closely by ammo price gouging; both of which continue to varying degrees. For the most part the ammo shortage appears to be over, but the price gouging continues. That is evidenced by the fact that most ammo prices continue to remain unreasonably high when compared against the average pre-Obama Scare prices.

    Like a Wall Street stock index, the indicator I choose to reference while I monitor the entire ammo market is the .22LR price per round. At the peak of the gouging scare we saw prices go as high as .10 to .15 cents a round. That is outrageous for ammo that could be had for under a Nickel a round just 4 years ago. Only recently are we beginning to see scant offerings of bulk .22LR prices that have dropped to around .07 cents a round when on sale. But that is still nowhere close to pre-Obama Scare prices and certainly not a ‘Crash in Prices’.

  82. Well, kiddo’s Its May now, almost 2 years after you “nutters” had to “calm down”, get released from the straps in the psych ward, and accept the author of this article’s premise that 22 lr (and other ammo) was ***headed way down***

    I think there were always only so many “hoarders” and “preppers” with a garage stacked with 22lr ammo. (what were they going to do with it? A zombie would require much more than a 22lr and the centerfires seemed less affected…) Exactly how much small “training ” ammo does one need?

    Well, I’m sure the stacking of garage’s to the ceiling of ammo has waned quite some time ago but still (two years from article inception– remember kiddos the ****drastic drop in ammo prices**** was nigh– according to the author– take you Seroquel and lithium…) still today day after day on gunbroker, other places…

    Cheap Rem “thunderbolt” ammo 5600 round bucket $600+ dollars.. (what a vol. discount!!!)

    This is miserable and there is more to it than meets the eye…

    Please don’t tell me how you have time to waste picking up 2 50 round boxes every couple of weeks from various stores, your multiple contacts with service reps behind the counter at Dicks, Bass Shop etc etc…all for the trophy price of 7c/round…

    I have 3 boxes of Remington bulk in 500 rd milk cartons with a Clinton Era receipt of $9.45 on them. Good price, but not drop down exceptional then. (you guys know– 2c/round –most of you)

    By inflation, not on sale , this should be $20.00 today, instead its $60 with few bulk discounts whether 50 round box or 200,000 round oil barrel..

    With most of our small number of “preppers” with garages still full, and more numerous folks with drawers full of the stuff, this supply, along with production should have us to 5c/round for “thunderbolt” type stuff an every day ho-hum Walmart, Kmart (oops no more) price.

    Something’s going on.. just compare google comments on boards from 36 months ago to today and see how the predictions worked out.

    Actually 9mm seems to be the best deal out there, (partially) obtainable for sub 30c round…

    Have Fun

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