.22LR ammunition is now as low as 3.4 cents per round
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The .22 LR bubble is well and truly over. With the Trump presidency now almost a year old, gun owners are no longer worried that ammunition might be hard to find in the indefinite future.

I visited the WalMart in Northern Dallas on the corner of Marsh Lane and Frankford Rd recently. It’s had more ammunition available, at lower prices, than the others I have visited in Arizona and Texas.

As seen in the photo taken on December 20, Federal bulk packs of 550 rounds of 36 grain high velocity .22LR cartridges were priced at $19.94. According to my calculator that’s 3.62 cents a cartridge. And that’s the lowest price I have seen in a store since the end of 2012, when the great .22 ammo bubble began inflating after Sandy Hook.

The Obama administration’s attempt to use the tragedy to enact strict gun control ultimately failed. But for years, with tens of millions of gun owners determined to stockpile a few hundred or a few thousand rounds of .22, the shelves were bare and middlemen made a killing as the price of .22 ammunition doubled, redoubled, and redoubled again.

At the height of the bubble, 500 rounds of .22 LR ammo went as high as $100, or more. That is 20 cents a round! Just before the bubble I purchased bulk Federal .22 LR on sale at 2.6 cents a round.

I predicted that with the election of Donald Trump, .22LR prices would go below four cents a round by October of 2017. Many scoffed at the idea, saying that manufacturers would conspire and never allow prices to fall that low. Online sources showed multiple outlets selling .22 below four cents a round in October.

The question now is, how low will .22 ammunition prices go? Stockpiles of .22 ammuntion have been accumulated millions of gun owners over the last five years. And millions of new gun owners have been created. My hunch is that most gun owners won’t continue to build their stockpiles, but will keep some “just in case.”

On the other hand, at a recent gun show in Yuma, Arizona, I saw 10,000 rounds of .22 ammunition for sale for $420, or 4.2 cents a round. The price was reduced from six cents a round after I told the sellers that WalMart had plenty on the shelf locally for 4.2 cents.

In the mean time, production of .22 LR production has been increased by about 20%. There are bound to be ups and downs in the market. Metal prices and energy prices are considerably lower now than they were in 2008.

Here’s a new prediction: Before the end of the Trump presidency, we’ll see .22LR on sale for 2.5 cents a round or less. It may not be common, but it will happen. I’ll report it here when it happens so we can all say the “good old days” are back.


©2017 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included. Gun Watch



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    • Premium brands will almost always command higher prices, especially if they are in shorter supply.

      But there’s always mail order. AmmoSeek is showing them for 4¢/rnd just now.

      • As a fellow SE PA resident, I’d recommend going online for all ammo purchases. You’ll have better selection and better pricing (including shipping, etc.) then what you’ll find in any store down here.

      • I just checked ammoseek.
        Saw Blazer for 4c by the case, Mini Mag for 6.3c by the case and 7c in 100 packs.

        • Not mention that $0.063 per round of Mini-mag excludes shipping. You’re pretty much right at $0.07 a round by the time you pay shipping.

    • South Central PA

      All my dealers are still out of brass…. STILL!
      ONE, has ONE bag of 357 brass for $30.

      WTF is with brass, at least here in PA?

  1. I guess it’s time to start burning through some of the 20,000 rounds I loaded up on in the summer of 2012, BEFORE Obama was re-elected.

    And replace it, of course.

    • No need to just burn it up, ammo doesn’t spoil like old food. But it is a great excuse to practice, practice , practice.

      • 22 ammo does, they aren’t sealed very well and I have had MANY fails to fire from old ammo, old being maybe 5-10 years old.
        Plinking, eh, who cares. But it doesn’t hurt to cycle some of the really old out, even though it was made better back then.

        • People give me old ammo, 22’s included, that is 20 to 40 years old; it has all gone bang. Stored in low heat & humidity is the key.

  2. Maybe in FREE STATES. Here in commie kalifornia, the ammo control ( ban) is about to hit and hit hard. Prices have already stated their climb. Of course its for our (cough cough) safety. Hell, it gets worse Jan 2019.
    I warn America. Kalifornia is like an STD. Infectious and spreads. Happy effing new year 🙁

    • STD. Yes. This. It is just in the latent stage. Once we become complacent. They will be back. They are not coming for our guns. Until they do.

      • They ARE coming for our guns. They’re just doing it in little steps at a much quicker pace than on the national level. Today is another day closer to retirement. The countdown to moving to free America has begun.

    • Testify. The “Just move!” responses to folks in ban states misses the bigger issue.

      Over here on the East Coast it’s transplants from the large metro areas bringing along their delicate sensibilities and general cluelessness about guns. In PA I’m worried the NYCers moving into the Lehigh Valley and Philly refugees settling in the surrounding counties will start pushing (and succeeding) for control measures in Hburg in a few years.

      • The time to stop it is NOW!

        PA is like that guys house in the Louisiana floods with the walls keeping the filth back, we’re surrounded.

  3. During the 22lr before the drought slowly acquired a good supply. Have a Ruger SR 22lr pistol and Bersa Thunder , Ruger LCR 22lr
    Probably still have around 5,000.00 rounds left.
    All are fun to shoot as long as you keep feed ramp squeaky clean! With LCR 22lr revolver, not picky about brand and doesn’t require as much cleaning just make sure ejection rod & ammo chambers is reasonably clean.
    Good to hear 22lr back in supply

  4. The possibility that I’ll buy another .22 is getting better. My want for .22 firearms is not rational I know. Sometimes you just have to let rationality go, to fly in the face of popular/expert opinions, to be yourself, run thru the jungle naked…………….wait, I’m getting carried away here.

  5. It’s .05/round in Denver. I WISH it was .036, but a nickel a round is a lot better than two dimes.

  6. I just purchased 10,000 rounds. It cost me about $525.00. I will continue to stock up because I have too much fun (and a suppressor). Hopefully, it will all be in vain and my stockpile will remain at about 20,000 or so.

  7. So, we are no longer so desperate that we even buy Thunderbolt/Federal , and the price is dropping. Woo buddy!

    Still, the only CCI product that’s on the shelves, is the low-line/ sub-sonic stuff. The Velocitor and such? Gone within hours of being stocked. Same as it has been for recent memory.

    People are still stockpiling, and desirable .22LR ammo is still tough to find. It’s just priced a little less rapey when you do find it.

    Oh well, Merry Christmas.

    • Yeah, for the premium ammo like Velocitor or Aguila SSS, I would buy a thousand rounds of each even though I’m pretty well stacked with .22 ammo already. Just that those types of ammo disappear when a panic hits, while the cheap stuff is so mass manufactured it doesn’t get affected by panics as much.

      I mean, even during the panic, I was able to find bulk Winchester and Federal .22, it just wasn’t cheap. I even paid $75 for a brick of Armscor at one point.

      • Pssst…..YOU’RE the panic buyer. You make prices “rapey” with your frantic stockpiling. Cut it out.

        • Riiiiiiight. I’m the problem. I should just close my eyes, pretend it’s the ’80s, and tell myself in the Dorothy voice, ”It’s gonna be all on the shelves, it’s gonna be all on the shelves”.

          I barely have 10K rounds, not the 50K (100K+), of many people I know. The ‘Invisible Hand’ of the markets works in much more complicated ways than they taught you in Econ 101…

  8. Hit an unannounced sale at Cabela’s, then got a checker with a friendly smile and a random 25% off, so I picked up a case of 3,250 for $126.00.

    The grand daughter now has a pretty good supply.

  9. “Gun owners are no longer worried that ammunition might be hard to find in the indefinite future.”
    Wow speak for yourself. I live in a slave state. Online sales and transporting it from out of state are verboten come January 1. Now I’m just hoping the venders are even able to get the right licenses to sell. And I hope my ammo purchasing card doesn’t cost too much and lasts several years.

  10. Not really interested in 22lr any more, should get some anyways. I don’t have a lot in 22lr and that probably won’t change for the immediate future unless I can get a 9 shot H&R.

  11. I considered the .22 LR shortage/crisis over when I was finally able to buy Speer .22 Mag Short Barrel Gold Dots from MidwayUSA. Until then, I had spent years looking for defense .22 Mag ammo for handguns and couldn’t find jack.

    Hornady and Winchester .22 Mag short barrel I still can’t find, but I believe they’ve discontinued them.

    The only .22 LR I’m having trouble finding right now is Aguila Supermaximum HV. Been wanting to get a box or two to see how it shoots.

  12. Loosen up a bit if you are a slave to the Calicommies. What happens in Vegas and Reno stays there and black market ammo is on the rise. Unless there is a manufacturing date on each cartridge it will be hard for the state to prove in court when you purchased your stash.

    • It would be very easy for CA to do targeted border checks against this.

      CA already has border check stations for agricultural products. CA also has a database of all in-state guns and their owners. Cross link that with the DMV license & registration database and toss in a license plate reader, and, done.

      Using a rental car might be a way around this, but still.

      • That BS is already in the works. Border sellers will be monitored my kalli DOJ, plate numbers will be noted. CHP and other kalli PO PO will be notified. You’ll be pulled over for some phony crap, or worse your home raided, bingo bango you’re a criminal. Oh, and the kalli boarder fruit checkers will be looking too.
        Now tell me this is not an totalitarian state! Go on tell me!

        • Gotta love the gun Nazis out there.


        • Like MI gun shows, OPP walking through the parking lot writing down all the Canadian license plates…I can see CHP or some similar agency doing the same thing in Free States near the Californistani borders.

      • Come on you guys, you can drive around almost all of the fruit inspection stations. And there are many highways over the Sierras from Nevada without any inspection stations. And do you really thing there will be a bolo for your car’s license plate?. And if a “raid” was done on your house, whats the proof on where or when you bought it? There is no legal requirement for you to show where you purchased it or if its just a part of your pre-ban stockpile? I will be driving to Nevada as needed once I go through my personal stockpile…

  13. My Major concern is quality. All the plants going from 40 hour weeks to 24/7 can be problematic for quality of all ammo type’s.

    • Lot of fun in those. Have a .22 break barrel piston driven rifle as well. Added a stock to the .177 vari-pump pistol. Both are deadly on cans. The piston driven break barrel is deadly on optics as well, (it has no iron sights). It has eaten 5 scopes costing up to $100 (lot of money for me) for the last one. Finally just found where I needed to aim to be able to hit the cans without sights at 25 yds. Use the peep sight on the pistol over the same distance, drilled out a bit more.

      • Get an airgun scope designed for spring piston guns and you should stop having the scope problem. They’re death on scopes due to the different recoil characteristics. A scope made for spring piston guns should hold up just fine, and not cost an arm and a leg. I got a good one for $50.

        • Yes, thank you. That $100 scope was approved for spring/piston pellet rifles. It lasted about two weeks, a little longer than the $24/$34/$45/$70 ones. The rifle cost $140 and it is a good one. I simply set up a large piece of cardboard on my backstop, aimed at lower edge, saw how high it hit using top arc of buffer tube as front sight, 8 inches high. Just so happens the seam between the 2x6s below the top of the shelf is 7 inches low. Center top edge buffer tube on that seam and center imaginary vertical line under can, hit it every time. I didn’t get a lemon scope, I got the whole tree. But hey, it’s fun. (I am careful with my sights, so they are not banged around). I have to go now, my gf thinks I am on a porn site.

    • Every once in a while Amazon has Crosman Premier (tins, not foam padded cardboard boxes) in .22 for .177 prices, that’s when I stock up.

  14. Laughing at the hoarders and profiteers out there.
    Build up around 3000 rounds and rotate it accordingly. Holding 10s of thousands isn’t necessary. I look at how many rounds I shoot a year and go 5x on what I hold.


    • Unless you like to shoot, and don’t want to be disappointed when nobody has a refill of what you like to go ‘bang’ when you depress the trigger.

      Back when Norinco AKs were $120 and a case of ammo was about $80, 4 of us would routinely blow through 8 spam cans in a day of shooting, once a week (that’s a little north of 7K rounds). If a group gets together these days (albeit a bit larger) we’ll easily shoot 10K rounds of substantially more expensive ammo (yeah, the autoguns do some damage).

      Point being, having 10K rounds in your own cache is better than counting on a store to hold that inventory for you. And certainly quite reasonable.

      Just imagine being Jerry Miculek, or any number of competitive shooters. They blow through thousands of rounds per day themselves.

      • I’m pretty sure Jerry’s not paying for his own ammo, nor does he have to try to fight other people for it at Walmart.

  15. Nothing on the shelf in W-Mart last time I checked, probably June or July, I don’t go there very often.

  16. I still pine for the days when a brick (500 rds) could be purchased for $10 or less on sale. That’s the trouble with being old, too easy to make comparisons.

  17. My LGS had bought too much Agullia and had a pre Christmas sale $25 a brick he said he was talking a loss. I showed some restraint and only bought 10. Well ten for me some for the guys at work some stocking stuffers a few bricks for my dad….

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