Vista Outdoors opened their new rimfire production facility in Lewiston, Idaho last week. The facility covers 37,000 square feet. Vista Oudoors owns the CCI and Federal ammunition brands and are major suppliers of .22 rimfire ammunition for the US market.
The CCI facility in Lewiston, Idaho has been running almost non-stop to meet demand in the United States for the last four years. It producing about four million .22 rimfire rounds a day.
To meed the increased structural demand for .22 rimfire, Vista Outdoors made the decision to increase and improve their rimfire production. The new plant automates the production to modern standards.
The latest addition provides room for a variety of proprietary equipment used to make .22-caliber rimfire ammunition.
Much of the equipment was designed by company engineers, in cooperation with outside vendors. The focus, Mackleit said, is on “continuous flow” – starting out with raw material and moving through to the finished product in a sequence of steps without building any pockets of inventory along the way.
The result, he said, has been a substantial and “very satisfying” reduction in the time needed to complete an order.
This 10 minute video of how .22 ammunition is made at CCI was made a few years ago by 22Plinkster. It shows how the old process produced .22 ammunition. I recommend it to see how high quality .22 rimfire ammunition is made on an industrial scale.
The priming segment particularly interesting. It was still done partly by hand, likely for safety reasons.
The price and availability of .22 rimfire ammunition has been steadily improving in recent years. Production is gradually meeting pent up demand from the great ammo rush of 2013. The new CCI plant would appear to speed that process along.
The CCI plant can be seen as work by Vista Outdoors to keep its share of the competitive rimfire business. It has brand recognition, an excellent reputation, and is the major player in the market. The new process and capacity should keep them very competitive.
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