Reader Steve writes:
With the price of .22LR being what it is I decided to do some research and compare costs between 1998 and 2016. The above chart lists my costs if I were buying in commercially available small quantities, i.e. pounds vs. tons. Pricing for quantities that manufacturers would buy would of course be significantly lower. Sources for the indicated costs came from sellers on the .net using Google terms like “cost of brass (lead) from 1990 thru present (2016). While it is to be expected that, like everything else, prices of metals go up over the years, this shows that the increase in cost of basic materials isn’t consistent with price of the final product . . .
My numbers don’t take labor or other costs of production into account, just the materials. I used 700 rounds based upon brass case weight of an average .22LR case which averages to about 700 cases per pound of brass. Then I used grade school division/multiplication to determine the cost of 50 and 500 rounds.
The retail prices don’t include taxes/shipping, just a cost comparison of the average cost of materials for both years. Even factoring in inflation and increased labor rates in comparing 1998 to 2016, this doesn’t account for the current price, even figuring in overtime costs. In short, adjusting for inflation, why is .22LR so much more expensive today?