The .22 rimfire market has been in a bubble for the last three years. Total production has maxed out, and still demand hasn’t been met. Part of the problem is that increasing production is expensive, and manufacturers don’t want to overshoot the market and be left with a lot of manufacturing capacity that can’t pay for itself. Aguila Ammuntion has been producing innovative .22 ammo for years. They made quite a splash with their 60 grain .22 SSS Sniper Subsonic and primer powered Colibri rounds . . .
I talked to Rodney S. Taylor, chief engineer, at the SHOT Show, He said that the .22 ammunition is the company’s mainstay, by far the majority of the ammunition that they produce. Much of the ammunition goes to the Central and South America markets and Aquila made the decision to significantly increase production a couple of years ago. Their machinery is state of the art, an almost completely automated, top of the line, process.
Last year, in 2015, they increased their production by close to 30%, producing a little under a billion rounds. I recall a figure being mentioned of about $2 million dollars being invested in .22 rimfire production last year.
Taylor said that they were hoping to increase production again this year, somewhere in the neighborhood of another 30%, and that total capacity would be “over a billion rounds per year.” Exact numbers were impossible, because no one can predict the market entirely, and no one wants to give a possible competitive advantage to other producers.
I hope to see more Aquila ammo on the shelves soon. Adding a few hundred million rounds per year production can only help to relieve the .22 ammo shortage.
©2015 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.