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Andrew Scott of A&A Ammunition writes [via ammoland.com]:

As a commercial ammunition reloader, I cannot, unfortunately, manufacture 22LR ammo (obviously). However I do get nonstop calls from people in my area looking for the all-popular cartridge, so I try to keep my finger on the pulse of the market and snag some up when I can find it, then resell it at a reasonable, not-gouged price. One would think that I would be able to pick up .22 more easily than the retail purchaser, but this hasn’t been the case for me for the last several years. I’ve had just as hard of a time picking it up as most. Today I did another customary search for in-stock .22 ammo from my standard suppliers, and something odd happened . . .

They were in stock. And not just one or two brands, they had a LOT in stock! Certainly the most I’ve seen since the 22 shortage began.
Like most happy tales, this one has a caveat. While they had a number of brands in stock, they were all of the premium brands and cartridges (Eley, Norma Tac, etc.).

The prices aren’t great, they aren’t even good as far as plinking ammo is concerned, but they were relatively in line with what one would expect for ultra-premium 22 ammo ( http://goo.gl/YIQ5b9 ) prior to the shortage. They ranged from 8 to 20 cents a round, but this is with a dealer discount.

For your average Joe, still waiting to spend 4-5 cents a round, this might not seem significant, and maybe it isn’t, but I think it is. Here’s why:

1. The pricing I’ve seen from my distributors for brick-pack premium .22, around 8-12 cents/round, is roughly in line with what I’ve been seeing at gun shows recently in Arizona for non-premium ammo. Add in a profit margin for the business selling premium stuff to customers on the one side, and add in the $8-$10 cost for gun show entrance on the other side, and this pretty much evens out. Most customers, when faced with buying from a gouger at a gun show for common ammunition, or buying premium ammunition from a local business (who might be able to stock it regularly now) for roughly the same price, will opt for the Premium Ammunition.

2. This shifting of demand away from gun-show price gougers will force them to drop their prices (which I’ve been observing in my area). If this continues, their profit margins will become too slim for it to be worthwhile and they’ll cease their operation, which will help eliminate the artificially driven price increases.

3. It makes sense for a .22 manufacturer to stabilize their supply on premium brands prior to tackling their common brands. Not only do you get greater profit margins, but the lower demand will make it easier to stabilize. Once supply and demand has stabilized there, it is easier to transfer resources to stabilizing mid-level brands, and then rinse and repeat for common plinking ammo.

4. This shows that the panic-driven demand for 22 ammunition is tapering off. A year ago I couldn’t find any .22 ammunition at all, not even the Eley I’m-Training-For-The-Olympics priced rounds. The fact that these are available, regardless of their high-end pricing, shows that the demand and the panic are both waning.

5. The laws of supply and demand are, at times, self-fulfilling prophecy. If we begin to see a shortage, we as consumers panic, buy everything we can, and make the shortage worse. Conversely, when we begin to see product on the shelves regularly, we’ll no longer feel like we have to stock up, and demand drops. As we see more and more brands becoming regularly available, starting with the high-priced and moving towards the low, demand will weaken and it’ll help the situation even more.

What all of this boils down to is this: I think we’ve hit a tipping point in the .22 market. Now that we are beginning to see high-end brands in stock, I think the rest of the obstacles standing between us and cheap 22 ammo (price-gougers, panic-driven demand, scarcity-driven demand, etc.) will begin to topple like dominoes.

If you want to help speed up the process, I would recommend spending a few extra dollars on the better .22 ammunition at your local gun store rather than supporting the gun show price gouger. Their prices (should) reflect the actual demand for a superior product, and buying from them will limit the ability of the gouger to artificially inflate the price of his product.

Andrew Scott is the Founder and CEO of A&A Ammunition, an ammunition manufacturing and sales company located in Tucson, AZ that specializes in reloading high quality training ammo. He is also a Veteran currently serving in the Arizona Air National Guard, and has previously worked in numerous industries ranging from food prep to stock trading.

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104 Responses to 22LR Ammo Market at a Tipping Point?

    • I have 5 online sights that I visit almost daily and search all my favorite calibers and specific brands , grains etc. and even at the height of the shortages I could normally find 22 at fair market prices via mail delivery . After paying S & H I would generally pay about .16 cents a round for the plinker stuff and .24 cent for hunters . The.22 magnum is the tuff to find stuff , except for Armscore ,but the premium ammo in WMR has continued to be hens teeth . Speer just had a big run on the Gold Dot and Seller and Bellot have produced some 45 grainers , all running between . 29 cents and .45 cents , not real impressed with the 45 grains . I hope to see some mag rounds hit the shelves soon .

  1. There isn’t one bulk pack of 22LR in any WalMart, Outdoor Warehouse, WalMart, Dick’s, or anywhere else in my town – or surrounding counties.
    If an email notice appears for Midway or Cabelas, it is sold out before I can get on the site.
    The only bulk pack is on some specialty sites – and that is junky Golden Bullet stuff for 10 cents per round +tax +shipping. Not interested.
    When is the 4 or 5 cent per round decent stiff, like Winchester M-22 ever going to return? Used to buy them in boxes of 1000 and also 2000.
    I understand some increase, but not OVER double the price!

    • To paraphrase the author: We can see the light at the end off the high price/low availability .22 tunnel. However, that means we are still in the tunnel.

      • Just yesterday bought two bulk-pack (325 rounds) boxes of Federal AutoMatch at my local Walmart for $18.97 a box; just under 6 cents a round. They had much more on the shelf than normal; I didn’t count, but I’d estimate between 60 and 80 boxes. This may be partially attributed to the programs/apps that track Walmart’s ammo inventory no longer functioning (been 2-3 weeks since the last update on most sites), but the cell-phone pyramid alert systems was still working fine (everyone who was waiting in line at the showcase to buy some ammo had a phone stuck to their ear, telling a buddy about it).

        It IS getting more common, even the cheaper stuff. Don’t buy from the scalpers if you can avoid it, and (as said above) that will help accelerate the restocking by taking the flippers out of the market.

        • I blame stores like Walmart for the problems. Instead of raising the price at the store level like they should, they have chosen to keep prices low and thus create a shortage.
          It’s simple economics. Price controls always cause shortages.
          Plus the guys are buying out all the big box chains that keep the old prices and then re selling at a profit. If Walmart had raised prices when demand went up versus supply this would not have been profitable enough to support this secondary market.
          We all complain about gougers like cheaper than dirt, but when prices rise( or availability drops ) stores should raise in stock inventory prices to reflect the LIKELY replacement cost of merchandise PLUS their standard margin.
          It may cause high prices BUT not shortages.

    • Haven’t seen .22LR since December 2012 in a physical store around here. I had around 8k around that time. Down to 5k now. Craving some mini magd though. Seriously forgot what they look like.

    • Curious to know whereabouts you are.

      Outside of Houston, I wandered into Bass Pro on a whim and happened upon a couple of buckets of Golden at 5.4 cpr (plus tax). Not the best, but not bad. I bought one, kind of wish I’d bought the other. They had a few more boxes of CCI and others on the shelves.

  2. There is a bunch of bulk pack available, at decent prices. Unfortunately, subs are still spotty. I run a bunch of BP through my suppressed pistols, but it sucks in a suppressed rifle.

  3. Anyone who paid an inflated price should be ashamed. YOU are the problem, not the ones accepting your money.

    Personally I’m ready to drop .22 from my arsenal altogether in favor of reloaded .38 special and 9mm with home cast bullets. I don’t expect the price to ever return to pre-panic levels. It would be illogical if it did, now that manufacturers know how much people are actually willing to pay.

    • Uh huh.

      So our local HS shooting teams are partly to blame, then, for wanting to keep kids engaged in the shooting sports?

        • I don’t know what you know. I just know what you wrote.

          I know our local HS teams have been hurting due to the prices, but they kept buying because the young gentlemen and ladies are worth it.

          And I know a gent who works with both youngsters and troubled teens, who’s been buying 22LR with his own money for years, because shooting helps the young ones and the troubled ones learn self-respect and responsibility. I guess he’s to blame, too.

          Or am I at fault for giving him some of my (pre-SH) 22LR stash?

          Or maybe I am at fault because I bought the last two 50-round boxes of 22LR at the not-so-LGS for a friend, who knows little about guns but who bought a 22LR pistol so he could do something with his son that his son was interested in. (These were about 20-year-old boxes, though, so I swapped them out for a couple of newer CCI mini-mags I had been saving for a special occasion.)

          Blame whoever you want; there are good reasons for buying even at high prices.

        • There’s always the boy scouts…..BTW big tip of the hat to Federal Ammo for having a program to make sure scouting programs get. 22lr.

    • >> Anyone who paid an inflated price should be ashamed. YOU are the problem, not the ones accepting your money.

      Neither of us are the problem. If I’m willing to pay 10c/round for .22, then I’ll do so. If you have a problem with matching my offer in the market, it’s YOUR problem, not MY problem. Why should I stop buying the ammo that I need just for the sake of market correction in your favor?

    • Ah, yes, the evils of the free market. People buy things at high prices! We need laws and regulations against this horrific capitalism. Join us comrades in our glorious revolution against high priced .22 ammunition! We will overthrow the bourgeoisie who purchase ammunition at high prices and leave none for the proletariat! The workers deserve to have .22 ammunition at low prices! From each according to the size of his .22 ammo stockpile, to each according to his need!

      • I have made similar comments like this in the past , doesn’t always go over well , but spot on . It isn’t a conspiracy , it’s market driven economics and if it goes back to being hard to find again and people start paying $1.00 a round I’ll break out a few bricks and sell them for that and feel absolutely no remorse . I probably don’t need 30,000 rounds anyway .

    • The thing I like most about people is that they’re all exactly the same, with the same priorities, interests, and economic situation. I would hate to live in a world where someone could choose to spend their own money in a free market however they wish, and they might choose to spend it differently than I would! What a horror that would be!

  4. I don’t think we’ll ever see 4 or 5 cent stuff again. Since it was there, the cost of copper, brass, lead, etc has all gone up enough that even without any changes in historical demand I think we’d still be a bit higher for the ammo. Not entirely reasonable to expect prices to be exactly the same as they were 4 years ago. Even just accounting for inflation (ammo isn’t more expensive, your money is just worth less) and disregarding the fact that the cost of these raw materials has gone up.

    Of course, I still have a box of 500 rounds of American Eagle here with a $14.99 price tag on it. That’s 3 cents a round, and I remember when there were pallets and pallets stacked with bricks at that price. I’m sure lots of folks remember less (I remember Remington for $12.99, but hated that ammo with a passion). So even stating that we hope it comes “back” to 4 or 5 cents is recognizing non-demand price inflation…

    • I agree. I would have no problem paying more per round if I could go in and buy it off the shelf anytime like it used to be. I refuse to pay more per round so some twatwaffle can make a buck reselling it.

      • Wow , I’m a twatwaffle , that freaking hurts , If you ever do really need them and I am the only person alive who has them and you have changed your economic status and are willing to pay my price for them I will refuse to sell them to you because you called me a twatwaffle .
        Just kidding , get in line . Your money is still good , but now you have to be the twatwaffle .

    • I don’t think we’ll ever see regular gas below $4.00 a gallon again.

      🙂 Just sayin’.

      • It was a quarter a gallon when I was 15 . I don’t remember what a 50 count box of .22 was then , I think about a buck forty nine . You could fix your own car back then and repair appliances without a diagnostic computer and my first apartment was a four room efficiency for $125.00 a month . Television was free with three channels and PBS and a four finger ounce was twenty bucks .
        I have now given up trying to figure out what’s wrong with my auto and I have no idea how to even open our new clothes washer , my mortgage payment was only $440.00 a month before I paid it off and my daughter is paying about $750.00 a month for a four room efficiency , television is costing us about $100.00 a month for 500 channels of which I only like about three and I don’t imagine I could afford a four finger ounce today and if I did pay the going price I can’t imagine just smoking it up . I think I would vacuum seal it and put it in my gun safe for an investment .

    • I was just at Cabela’s today, and they had two shelves full of Blazer .22LR for $28 a brick. That’s 5.6 cents per round, and Cabela’s has never been the cheapest option for ammo. I think we’ll get back to 5 cents per round being pretty common eventually, though 4 cents might not be very likely.

    • Prices on raw materials did spike for a while there, but they’re actually about the same or even less than when Walmart still had all the Federal 525 bulk you could ever want at $18 a box.

      Copper is the cheapest it’s been since 2011: http://www.kitconet.com/charts/metals/base/spot-copper-5y-Large.gif

      Lead is at one of the lowest points in years, only being beaten by a brief drop in mid-2010: http://www.infomine.com/ChartsAndData/GraphEngine.ashx?z=f&gf=110567.USD.lb&dr=5y

      Iron and other steel components are down too:
      http://www.infomine.com/ChartsAndData/GraphEngine.ashx?z=f&gf=140262.USD.t&dr=max
      http://www.infomine.com/ChartsAndData/GraphEngine.ashx?z=f&gf=110564.USD.lb&dr=1y
      http://www.infomine.com/ChartsAndData/GraphEngine.ashx?z=f&gf=110538.USD.kg&dr=max
      etc

      We’re seeing fantastic prices on centerfire ammo now since that demand bubble burst, I have a feeling that eventually prices will normalize on rimfire again once supply catches up.

    • your probably not going to believe this, but, around 15 to 20 years ago, K-Mart had a sale on 22 Mini-Mag. regular long rifle, at…………wait for it!…………………………………………One dollar a box! And, these were the 100 round boxes. I still have a couple of boxes, anybody want to buy them, $20 a box! (kidding)

  5. I’ve only seen 22LR once and that was CCI at Walmart over the last few years. Pretty expensive, too, for Walmart. What little 22LR I do have is for my son to use (sparingly) . Just yesterday we splurged and he shot 100 rounds of it. Personally, I really miss shooting my grandfather’s Mossberg 151k and probably won’t be able to shoot it for the foreseeable future. I’m living vicariously through my son in that respect. He needs the 22LR more than I do.

    • Yep; 4-5 months ago, it was ONE box per order (I bought a box of specialty .22 ammo that couldn’t be found anywhere else).

  6. I haven’t seen much of the cheaper stuff. I’ve been shooting self reloaded 9mm in place of 22LR, or airsoft for my 3 gun practice.

    Reloaded 9mm is almost the same price for 22 and it puts steel down better and runs better in a handgun. I haven’t had a 22 gun out in a while.

  7. Another thing that doesn’t really matter but is worth knowing or thinking about is who’s profiting from this. It isn’t the dealers, because despite the 10+ cent per round bulk box prices they’re making the same profit as before since they’re paying way more for it also. It isn’t the distributors either, because they’re still making their 15% or whatever and are charging the dealers more because they’re paying more also. It’s the manufacturers who are charging the distributors more for the product than they used to. And don’t get me wrong, I have no issue with that. Charge according to demand. Even now they’re all already sold out of ALL of the stock they’re capable of producing for the next 18 months running 24/7/365 production so, yeah, they should be raising the prices.

    …but anyway, don’t get mad at your LGS because they likely aren’t making a different margin than before at all and, most likely, they’re making less total money selling .22 LR because they can barely get any in stock to sell in the first place…

    • Most of the tooling to make that rimfire is 50+ or 50++ years old. I’m some of it needed some expensive maintenance.

      For decades they were running on paper-thin margins. One penny a round difference was a 20 percent price difference.

      I don’t begrudge the established manufacturers.

    • It most definitely is *not* the manufacturers. I kind of wish it were, because then they would have lots of money to build plant and increase production.

      Some distributors increased prices, but most of the profit is going to resellers and online sellers.

      They have seen an opportunity to profit, buy the bulk stuff when it comes in at $20-30 a brick and resell it at $50-$100 a brick.

      They could do it when the demand stayed high. As it drops, they will drop out of the market.

      • Weird, as the wholesale pricing I’ve seen from various distributors has been higher and in line with the higher retail prices. Maybe some smaller dealers just get screwed and really large ones were able to maintain pricing from their distributors that was closer to “before” pricing…

    • According to a manufacturer rep I listened to, they weren’t making that much more, either. The reason is that to (try to) keep up with demand, they were running production lines at absolute maximum, which is hard on everything involved and racks up more costs in wear and tear, accidents, and the like. I forget which manufacturer it was, but he said they were building an entire new production line to increase output — a VERY expensive start-up cost — and expected to have it running before summer, so I presume it’s up and going. He commented that they wouldn’t drop the price much initially, but expected that by midsummer they’d be able to relax production rates to more usual levels, still keep making more than at the peak, and be able to begin lowering prices.

      Wish I could remember which company it was, though it doesn’t matter all that much because if one starts dropping prices the others will have to follow to some extent. But either way, we’re going to end up with a slightly higher supply than was the case for a couple of decades when the industry-wide production rate was static. Given that this is a result of the panic buying, maybe the whole thing was worth it.

      • Tom Gresham hinted at some inside information he knew (but couldn’t say directly) that Sig Sauer is getting into the 22LR business. As far as I have heard though, not a single other facility has opened or would open. The margins are so small in 22 production, that no maker wanted the exposure to market fluctuations DOWN when supply/demand is finally in balance.

        I think Sig Sauer is the company you’re talking about.

  8. I’ve seen lots of 22 in the local gun shops I frequent(NW Indiana).Blythes/Griffith and Cabelas. Not at the new Wal-mart across from Cabelas Hammond(they had lots of 9,40 and 45). Happy I have NO interest in buying or shooting 22. Good luck…

      • Sorry John L.-no boutique Filipino bullets for me-impressive ballistics but I’ll stick with “normal” calibers. A scant 2 and a fraction years ago the only major caliber I always saw was 40…

      • (CAN’T edit)-anyway exactly ONE armscor 22TCM on cheaper than dirt(not that I would EVER buy from them-but they have ballistics on what they sell)…

        • I hear what you’re saying, and I was/am a little leery of investing in a wildcat, but I have to say I’m hooked. That’s why I’ve purchased reloading dies etc. for it.

          Re availability of firearms in 22TCM, both Buds and Davidson’s show several models of the handguns in stock. Rifles are more scarce, but this past Friday I picked up one of RIA’s bolt action rifles in 22TCM from the not-so-local GS. Bought it from a shop in PA via Gunbroker. Can’t wait to clean it and get it to the range; sadly a plugged drain, rain, and other chores pretty much derailed the weekend. Sigh.

        • Yeah – sigh.

          I seem to have developed this habit of collecting weird stuff, firearms-wise.

          Oh, well. My wife and I had “the talk” about our burgeoning collection. I pointed out to her that given my love of things mechanical, it could have been a yard full of old cars…

  9. Tipping point? no, it’s just barely starting to level over to the point that if I look for more than a couple of minutes I can find some in stock online bulk .22LR for around 9-10 cents/rd before shipping. 6 months ago I could not find without searching for an hour. a year ago I could not find any at all. Still none in stock at Wal-mart, Turners, any other LGS I happen upon.

  10. Oh the good old days.

    Seriously, people. .22LR is still inexpensive compared to larger calibers, just not as much so.

    I’d really like to pay $0.10 for 45ACP but don’t expect to be able to do so from anyone I’d be willing to buy from. At least I *can* get it. Same with .22LR.

    • Manufacturers want .22 LR to be cheap; the practice used to be to not worry about making much on it, because the idea was that lots of people use .22 to keep in practice, so as long as people were buying .22 they’d keep buying bigger stuff.

  11. I’m not taking microeconomic prognostication from someone who tosses around dubious phrases like “gun show price gouger” and “artificially driven price increases”, even if there is a passing nod to panic buying.

    • “I’m not taking microeconomic prognostication from someone who tosses around dubious phrases like “gun show price gouger””

      There was nothing dubious about the prices I saw on .22 at gunshows during the panic.

      Were you in some kind of an altered dimension? 🙂

    • Actually, there is no such thing really as gouging in economics. If there really is a greater demand than supply, then the price should go up.

      One of the reasons the .22 ammo shortage has been so prolonged is because there is so much fear in the marketplace of being accused of being a “gouger” that no-one, suppliers nor retailers have the guts to price the ammo at true market prices.

      If .22 ammo (and any other caliber) was priced to true market demand, the price would have gone much higher which would have stopped people like me who purchased .22 ammo whenever I found it even though I didn’t need it at all. This would have allowed the ammo to remain on the shelf long enough for Dad to buy for his kid’s first gun on his birthday (he would have gladly paid the super-high price). Instead, I bought it, and I didn’t even need it. I would never had bought it if it wasn’t selling for the same price (roughly) as before the shortage.

      Also, if prices were set to market, the high prices would have financed and/or inspired new production for obvious reasons. And this would have brought the price back down because of increased supply.

      So to those who say the word gouge like in this article, I call bullshit. This ignorance of basic economics is exacerbating the problem.

      • I agree. Prices would have leveled off a long time ago and it would have been on all the store shelves.

      • So to those who say the word gouge like in this article, I call bullshit. This ignorance of basic economics is exacerbating the problem.

        +1.

        There was never a shortage of .22 ammo IF you bought online and were willing to pay. The daze of 5 cents per round of good .22 ammo are probably gone like $1.75 per gallon gas. Git Over It (yo).

        Who knows why the price is what it is (for this long). The market is not knowable by mortals who are not Paul Krugman…
        IMO, it’s many factors like:
        – Obama
        – Lots of new shooters
        – More plinking
        – Russia is out of the US market and/or is too busy making ammo to shoot up the Ukraine.
        – AND (most important) there’s NOTHING nearby in price to compete with the .22.
        – and probably 10 other reasons I can’t think of…

      • Of course there’s such a thing as gouging — it occurs any time that a seller believes that enough people will perceive that they have no choice but to buy from him. Think of it as taking advantage of a perceived, if not real, monopoly status.

        It can also occur when there’s government interference that severely limits buyers’ options. A classic case is when a municipality approves an ordinance endorsing the practice of various venues to forbid bringing in refreshments from outside — in effect, a state-mandated monopoly. Thus at a hypothetical festival on city grounds, one might be stuck paying $8 for a food item that just three blocks away could be half that. A quite common instance of gouging is theater snacks, where it’s not uncommon to have to pay $5 for a drink that just down the street would go for $2 to $3.

        When the market is actually free, gouging is hard to get away with and is thus rare, because enough people see through it that those who don’t aren’t enough to make the scheme work (which is why there doesn’t actually have to be a shortage so long as most people can be convinced there is one — but let enough people figure out it’s not a shortage, and the game will come to an end).

        • @ Roymond:

          Of course there’s such a thing as gouging — it occurs any time that a seller believes that enough people will perceive that they have no choice but to buy from him.

          That’s general enough that almost everyone could be guilty at one time or another. Getting a sizable number of economically illiterate people to “perceive that the have no choice” is a fairly low bar. Of course, such thug-illiteracy is common in places like Cuba where ‘gougers’ and entrepreneurs are routinely jailed and beaten.

          A classic case is when a municipality approves an ordinance endorsing the practice of various venues to forbid bringing in refreshments from outside — in effect, a state-mandated monopoly…
          A quite common instance of gouging is theater snacks, where it’s not uncommon to have to pay $5 for a drink that just down the street would go for $2 to $3.

          There is no monopoly here – there is a Property Right, which you ignore like a socialist thug. In the movie example, you have choices.
          You don’t HAVE to buy a drink, use a drinking fountain (it’s covered by the admission cost – and health codes).
          If you don’t like the price of seeing a movie AND eating a snack at the same time, don’t.
          Eat before the movie.
          Eat after the movie.
          Wait and see the movie at home where you can eat (and poop on the couch if you like).
          Open your own movie theater and ALLOW people to bring in outside food. (My guess is that the movie experience at your theater would degrade for everyone).

          Bottom line: The pricing of movies with snacks and .22 ammo are not an immediate life and death concern. There is no reason for the government to be involved.

  12. The Cabela’s near my house has slowly started stocking .22LR again. Mostly Golden Bullets and CCI Standard Velocity, though they do have some match grade in stock. I have been going in about once a week and buying a couple of boxes, just trying to get my stock back to where it was before the panic.

  13. I’m doing my part by not buying/hoarding every 22LR deal or in-stock notification. I’m letting all the high velocity ammo pass. Which happen to be the cheapest ones that still appear occasionally between 5-7cents per round. But when it comes to standard velocity/subsonic rounds, I’m in no-holds-barred mode again.

  14. If you buy .22 to resale it you are a first class D-bag. While I am at it….F – walmart as well and their policies. The geniuses that work at Walmart are Ohhhh so friendly when you ask about ammo. Once 22 went up in price like crazy I simply stopped shooting it to hold on to my last 1200 rounds.

    I hope the hoarders, and I know a few, got so obsessed with that they get their car/home repossessed because they missed a payment. I will buy it from them at half of what they paid for it. I won’t pay for the gas they used when the drove to some 24 hour Walmart at 2am 50 miles aways to get that ammo.

    • Larry, I don’t disagree with anything you said, but we should all take the “22lr insanity” as a lesson regarding mob behavior. We are, in fact, going to have tough times ahead, and this is how people are going to behave. Not just regarding ammo, but every-frigging thing on the shelves. Watch what’s happening in Greece today; it’s a window into our future.

    • Ah, generalizations!

      Any time a group of us gets organized to go shooting, someone will inevitably fail to bring enough ammo. A few guys always buy extra — to resell, at a slight markup, to the forgetful. And some will aski by email if there’s any ammo they can pick up for someone else who is short and can’t get to the store.

      I once stocked up with about 10k rounds of .22LR before a LGS closed, because I knew there would be guys panicking and needing some NOW. Yes, I sold at a slight markup, but I was doing them a service they paid for.

  15. Aside from the initial 4-6 months, I haven’t had much trouble getting Fed Automatch or Norma Tac-22. Additionally, it has been at what I think is pretty typical price for this ammo (~.08 and .10/rd, respectively). Looking on the bright side of the .22 shortage, I had shot the cheap stuff exclusively before and didn’t have any idea of the performance I could get from the slightly more expensive .22 ammo. The precision is substantially better. Additionally it is much more reliable in both feeding and ignition. Even if/when the cheap stuff returns, I will be sticking to the “expensive” .22 varieties.

  16. No problem with buying .22 near me. My go to local gun store has had plenty for a few months now. Not 3-4 cents a round but more like 8-12. cents depending on what you buy.

    I’ve been getting 555 white box at Dicks for $30 one per day limit. Got a few. They have mini mags at 10 cents per round and some other smaller packs for around 8-9 cents per round. I’m not frantic for it but will buy a box when I see it for a good price.

  17. I found some federal 525 22or box of bullets recently for 29.95 plus tax. Limit 5. Came out to about 6.1 cents per rouns after tax. There were 3 pallets of it.

  18. Starting to see Federal Blue Box for $4 per 50 in my LGS. Still being rationed at 200 rounds per purchase.

  19. Bricks of .22 are available fairly steadily at some of my LGS’s or at Dicks. $25-$35 is the new norm it appears. I pass at anything above $30, and only bother buying it anymore if it is a really good deal.
    Forget Walmart! Forget Gun Shows! Walmart hasn’t had any bricks in a few years and the Gun Shows are way overpriced. Shop your local LGS’s for the best deals – that’s where I’ve gotten most of mine.

    • This. Walmart employees hide the stuff under the counter and only sell it to their buddies, who then resell it at a ferocious markup and split the profits. The same 3 or 4 families line up to buy it all up at 3 boxes per person limit at our local Wallyworld. Yes, capitalism at it’s best, market will bear etc. I hope they get stuck with 10’s of thousands of rounds and have to dump it at below price.

      as for me, I leave the 22lr on the shelf at the LGS and Turners, let some one else score a win and feel lucky.

  20. The local Cabela’s (upstate SC) has relaxed the limit some and has a lot more available, just in the last month or two. Not there yet but it does seem better.

    • Well now I know where I’ll be going this weekend. Thank you for the tip. Haven’t seen .22 in the wild in Columbia for a long time.

  21. It’s pretty easy to find around central Illinois. Most of the local stores have 4 or 5 brands every time I stop in with no limits. The ones I usually pick up are the 325 round federal bulk packs for $18-20, or minimags for $7-8. Light at the end of the tunnel indeed

  22. I can usually get mini-mags for $8.99 a box if I want to make the half hour drive to Cabela’s. Walmart never has any on the shelf and I’m fairly sure the employees there are hiding it and either buying it when their shift ends or having family members come buy it.

  23. My local Cabelas generally has some stock, depending on the day. I just picked up a brick of CCI Blazer .22LR for about 6 cents a round. They still limit purchases to 500 rounds. I did score some mini mags not long ago for slightly more.

    Any local Walmart I’ve visited I get the same story I’ve heard since the shortage started: never know what they’ll get, and guys still hang around on the days the truck with the ammo order comes in.

    This is front range metro Colorado.

    I managed not to buy any from the gun show guys or at what I’d consider unreasonable prices.

  24. So what the writer is saying is that .22 prices are beginning to stabilize? Just in time for the 2016 election panic to begin! So by early next year, .22 will once again be plentiful at .05 per round for plinking ammo. Great. Don’t know if there will be an actual window to stock up between when that happens and when the stampede for all things gun begins when the Dems have their anti-gunner out in front in Iowa and New Hampshire.

    Mark my words, panic for the 2016 election. It’s just a matter of which month the stampede will begin. Gun people are easily spooked critters, ironic when we berate anti-gunners for being sheeple.

  25. It’s one thing for prices to go up when there’s a shortage.

    It’s another when a group of people deliberately create the shortage so they can exploit it. I refer to the people who manage to divert the 22 before it even hits the shelf, then flip it for multiples of what they paid because there’s a “shortage.”

    Are they doing something illegal? No. Will I *ever* reward them for what they’re doing? Nope. They can collectively eat their own shit and die.

    • I don’t like getting into the fray with the “gougers are noble capitalists” crowd (probably coming from the people with $120 bricks next to the beef jerky tent at the gun show themselves.) –

      However that’s exactly the fault I find in their “argument” that it’s “just capitalism” as well. If it was actually a supply and demand issue, then they’d have a point. Buying up a cache and letting it out slowly in order to produce the *appearance* of a shortage is not capitalism, it’s manipulation. “Oh well when demand goes up and supply goes down then the price SHOULD increase!” – Yeah. If it wasn’t an artificially limited supply, and if the “demand” wasn’t chuckling old guys hovering at the ammo counter at the crack of dawn on a Tuesday.

      And no, the resellers aren’t smarter/richer/more clever/etc either; they’re just usually retirees and don’t have to work for a living. Easy to show up at Wal Mart at 6am when you don’t have a job to get to.

      Yeah, sure, some of the blame lays with people who buy at those ridiculous prices, but I really doubt that’s going to last. The people who have had the stomach for $100 bricks are going to see Cabelas having stock once or twice and likely won’t be able to return to paying that much.

      7 cents a round is my hard upper limit. Forget the 30-36 cents a round I saw at the Tanner Gun Show in 2013. And like others, I’m just not really that interested in .22 deals anymore; if it’s not a plinking round then there’s no reason to buy it.

      Sorry, don’t buy the AJ and friends concept that it’ll be “currency” in a few scant years when they start lining us up for FEMA trailers after the chemtrail apocalypse and the lizard people take power, or whatever it is now.

  26. Why would any manufacturer make cheap plinking .22 ammo when they can sell every round of expensive target .22 that they can make, and then some?

    There’s no light at the end of the tunnel, boys. But there’s a tunnel at the end of the light.

    • Because .22LR was never about profit, it was about having a teaser, and ammo that kept people shooting and hopefully buying other calibers, plus hopefully taking along friends on the cheap and introducing them to shooting.

  27. I bought a bunch of 22lr before the craziness ever began. As a result, I only bought when I found decent deals, mostly online. I now have more 22lr than before. Last time I was at the local gun store and range, they let me know they had CCI Mini Mags, so I picked up a couple of boxes. They were more than the last time I found some, but not crazy.

    If you think the price is too high, don’t buy it. That is capitalism, and it will exert a downward force on the price. But don’t expect the prices to go down to what they used to be, because of inflation and increased demand.

  28. NY State does NOT allow internet sales of ammo, thanks to Cuomo and the SAFE Act.

    There’s a lesson here for everyone. Be prepared, just like the Boy Scouts say. You could see this coming. AND it will get worse.

  29. Been holding off on buying .22s for my nieces and nephew because they won’t have any way to feed them.
    Gougers and hoarders are hurting everyone.

  30. Let us not forget our springer’s , super cheap , have to be really quick on the trigger and they are a blast learning to shoot . I love my .22 and .50 caliber springer’s .

  31. My local Gander Mt had 30K-40K rounds on the shelf last time I stopped in.

    5 box limit and around $0.06rd

  32. One thing I thing a lot of shooters have learned through this whole 22lr ordeal is the “beauty of match grade ammo”. I had never bough anything less than a 300 ct box before the drought. When I started running out I’d find standard type ammo on the shelves along side match grade stuff for the same prices. Federal match, Ely, and Wolf Match,.. basic changed my rimfire experience. I have a Savavge 93 FVSR all tricked our in tacticool wear. Boyd’s stock, 14x scope, muzzle break. Rem Golden Bullet was the best bulk stuff that it liked. shot .750 at 50 yards. But when I ran out I started up with some Wolf Match. At first I though I had poi had shifted so bad that I only had 1 shot on paper. Well, you can guess what I found. 1/4″ to 3/8″ groups ever since. I have to put a steel target behind the paper reassure my self at the range.


  33. Reporting from SW New Hampshire:
    Dicks has some 22lr periodically – Walmart never.
    For 22lr, Dicks still has a three box limit, or one bulk package: 500, 555, etc.
    None of it lasts too long, unless it’s the quiet stuff that won’t cycle a semi-auto.
    Given our recent experiences with our solons in Washington, if you have the room,
    I think you could pick worse things to stockpile than CCI 100 packs.
    Lead, the other precious metal.

    Thanks for the information about Cabela’s…
    I didn’t realize Cabela’s had changed their one-box-limit policy.
    That made mail order from them impossible unless you were ordering something else.
    Now mail order shipping for 5 boxes of CCI is $8.95. So, not too terrible.
    If you do the CCI rebate you’ll get $10.00 back, which will cover the shipping plus a buck.

    Important: Be aware that the rebate only applies to the round nose.
    CCI Mini-Mag Copper Plated Round Nose Part #0030 ONLY.
    http://sporting.myonlinerebate.com/04427/
    Cabela’s still had these in stock as of the time of this post.

  34. If you are going to get into guns you better learn to hoard ammo. When it gets cheap stock up! This isn’t the first time that ammo became hard to get. Better plan on it happening again, always build up a three or four year stockpile. Sooner or later you’ll be glad you did.

  35. Yesterday I was in Cabelas. They announced that 22LR rationing was over. They had plenty of Blazer 500 bricks in stock at $26.99. And Federal 333 bricks also

  36. Too many comments to read them all but I will say this much. I have not bought any 22 ammo in at least two years and will not support these money hungry stealing manufactures. I urge all of you to cut back on the 22 ammo usage, back backs are a bitch.

    Lets turn to tables back on these a..holes.

    Just like the gas prices now look at where they are not.

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