Why is 22 LR sold out everywhere?


March 31, 2013, 04:50 AM
Does anyone know why 22LR seems to be sold out everywhere this time around?

As I recall,... when we went through the shortage 4 years ago, 22 LR wasn't much an issue. So why this time?

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March 31, 2013, 05:27 AM
90% is flippers on armslist/gunbroker. 10% is people who have bought or already owned .22 firearms and are interested in shooting them because its by far the cheapes to shoot nowadays. When they can buy it for 15 a brick and sell it for 100$ and people are dumb enough to pay those prices then they do.

Also ammunition companies are producing more 5.56, 7.62,9mm,.40,.45 to keep up with demand so hunting calibers and rimfires are pushed back on production.

Its been like this for 4 months where you been man?

March 31, 2013, 05:34 AM
22 LR is not produced on the same equipment as centerfire ammo so production allocation shouldn't not an issue.
As for flipping, the same thing happened 4 years ago, but 22LR wasn't an issue then.

March 31, 2013, 05:56 AM
Well I see your point there, guess it could also be the massively successful gsg-5-22, the mp5-22, and the m&p15-22. I couldnt tell you how many people ive seen lately jumping on the m&p's. I owned one myself and stupidly sold it.

March 31, 2013, 07:12 AM
Add the fact that many have an old .22 kicking around that is now dusted off and used because the ammo is cheaper, others want a stash of it in case it becomes highly taxed or somehow restricted. Don't forget that a bunch of new shooters bought/also bought a .22 to shoot until other ammo becomes available again and this has happened. FWIW Around here the ammo on the shelves seem to be expensive options of uncommon calibers of long gun ammo, .22 MAG, .17 HMR, 40 S&W, and some shotgun ammo, mainly buck and slugs. I purchased a couple 40 S&W firearms last fall because the ammo tended to stay on the shelves after other things were often sold out everywhere.

March 31, 2013, 07:27 AM
Four years ago wasn't as bad by any measure. In economic terms 22LR is going through an economic bubble. The asset value (22LR ammo) far exceeds its intrinsic value (the value of the components to make it).

I'm not an economist but it's still quite interesting to watch.

March 31, 2013, 07:48 AM
Finding .22lr was horrible 4 years ago, not quite as bad as today. Still quite short. Everything has been amplified this time.

Before the line was they were not going after our guns. After successfully winning his second Presidential bid, and Newton they changed their tune. They are calling for all kinds of GC. Hence, the larger panic. Everyone has a. 22 or two, three, ten....

March 31, 2013, 09:57 AM
One factor may be that many shooters became reloaders after the last shortage but they can't reload .22LR so they have to buy. While .22LR can be reloaded, it's more difficult than other cartridges.

It's probably just supply and demand. AR platform is very popular. In recent years, many gun manufacturers produced AR type rifles in .22LR. I am sure shooters bought up and buying up .22LR ammo as fast as they are produced like .223/5.56 ammo and reloading components.

March 31, 2013, 10:25 AM
The Chinese are buying them, lol, I'm surprised the government has said that.

March 31, 2013, 10:43 AM
4 years ago I would walk into WW and buy 100 rounds of CCI mini-mag for $6.50 when the .380acp and .45acp were sold out, so yeah it's different now and according to CCI they can put out about 4million rounds of .22lr a day. Makes me wonder how deep in the crap we really are.

March 31, 2013, 10:54 AM
22 was getting scarce in my area even before Newtown. I had to start buying online instead of locally back in August 2012. As for flippers, they are a symptom of the 22 shortage, not the cause. I know the local sporting goods mgr at Walmart and they are getting about 1000 rounds per week in 22LR on avg, some weeks nothing. They used to get 20x that. Flippers got nothing to do with that.

March 31, 2013, 11:03 AM
22LR DID in fact disappear 4 yrs ago in Louisiana, but it didn't take this long to start trickling back in.

March 31, 2013, 11:05 AM
The 4mil rounds per day that CCI can produce is not just for .22lr. It also includes .17HMR, .22mag, .22long, .22short, and crimped blanks (aka powerloads, used mainly in construction). They probably don't produce all those calibers everyday, they most likely switch out tooling every so often. Based on how much .17HMR I've seen floating around, I'd say they were probably setup for that caliber when the panic hit. But there's Remington, Winchester, Federal, CCI, Lapua, Wolf, Aguila, Eley, Armscor, Fiocchi, and maybe a few others that make .22lr. If they all made an average of 2mil rounds of .22lr per day, that'd be 20mil per day. If it were sold only in the US, that only would only be 1 round per week for every one of the 100mil estimated gun owners in the US. It would take over 1.37 years for them to make a common 500 round brick for every US gun owner. Now factor in everyone else in the world that shoots/owns a firearm chambered for .22lr. If stuff ever gets back to "normal" I'll be planning on never letting my .22 stash get below 5k. I never thought about it until this panic started and got caught off guard with only 1 brick of Federal. Haven't shot a single round of it since.

March 31, 2013, 11:49 AM
Goes to show its good business to be producers of ammunitions and its components. You will have a boom every few years or so.

March 31, 2013, 12:05 PM

I don't believe the machinery the various ammunition is made on makes a bit of difference in the situation. I do believe that the allocation of resources does make the difference. In other words, that sheet of brass stock doesn't care if it's made into .22lr cases or .308 cases. Same for the ton of lead that ABC ammo has for bullet production.

However, if your company has a contractual obligation to make and deliver 10X million rounds of .223 & .308 that order gets filled first. Particularly if there are penalties involved for failure to meet the contract specifications for quantity and delivery. I strongly doubt that any wholesaler has an iron-clad contract with (name the manufacturer) to sell them X amount of .22lr at all. Retail gets the short end of the stick compared to government and law enforcement orders.

Guess who's buying a helluva lot of ammo lately?


David E
March 31, 2013, 12:06 PM
90% is flippers on armslist/gunbroker.

No, because "everyone" owns a .22 and realizing centerfire ammo is getting priced out of reach, they buy .22 to still be able to shoot something,

Also ammunition companies are producing more 5.56, 7.62,9mm,.40,.45 to keep up with demand so hunting calibers and rimfires are pushed back on production.

Except that it's not. CCI for one is cranking out 10,000,000 rds of .22 per DAY.

In 2012, ATK sold 1 billion dollars worth of ammo. By 01-21-13, they had 3 billion dollars worth of orders for 2013. Don't know how much higher the orders have gone since then, but I doubt the orders stopped coming in.

The local store has a standing order of $20,000 worth of .22. They recently got 2,000 rds of it, 4 boxes of 500.

And there was a .22 shortage 4 yrs ago, too.

March 31, 2013, 12:13 PM
Some of it has to be the regular Joes who see that it's hard to find. If they walked by a stack of 500-rd bricks a few months ago, they might pick up one or two, maybe none, just depending on how much extra cash was in their pocket. If they walked by that stack today, they'd likely grab all they could afford just to be sure and have some on hand.

March 31, 2013, 12:16 PM
If you re an investor, better invest in factyory producing .22 Rimfire ammo . Its the thing to have when times like this comes around.

March 31, 2013, 12:16 PM
This is weard, I am starting to panic reading all these threads on 22 LR shortage. 4 years ago yes I was lite on 22 LR but as soon as it came back in stock I was buying and stocking. Buy the time I stopped I had 5,000 rounds, not a lot about 10 bricks.

Well I am still sitting on 3 or 4 thousand in an ammo can. And I am panicing?? Does not make sense since I can shoot at least for a couple of years if I am carefull.

You guys are driving me crazy as well as the price up, up and away.


March 31, 2013, 12:19 PM
I have only less than 2000 right now. Much of it are the crappy Remington Golden Bullet i got from Walmart. Its dirty alright but its better than nothing.

March 31, 2013, 12:24 PM
With literally millions of handguns and rifles probuced over the last century I can understand the popularity and demand for 22 Long Rifle ammunition.

What is a puzzler for me is why there is a shortage of 22 Magnum ammo. The 22 Magnum traditionally has been a rifle cartridge with a realitively small, specialized market and users. It came on my radar screen as a potentially serious handgun round a couple of years ago with the Kel Tec PMR-30 and most recently in the Taurus small frame 8 shot revolver. (IMHO Ruger missed the boast by making the LCR with only 6 rounds).

Anyway even with the introduction of these handguns the availability of them is small. The Kel Tec is waaaay overpriced at $800 at the last gunshow and most of the LCR's are in 22 L.R.

I read something once that suggested the reason the 22 LONG (NOT Long Rifle) cartridge stayed in production is the average buyer doesn't know the difference between the two rounds and, since the Long will fire in the Long Rifle chamber, never know the difference. In the case of the Magnum I wonder if folks figure since it says 22 on the box they think one size fits all and the word "Magnum" just means higher velocity?

March 31, 2013, 12:32 PM
I dunno, store owners I know tell me they're having problems getting 17HNR too, along with everything else.

March 31, 2013, 12:40 PM
Why no 22 Magnum?

Fewer manufacturers produce 22 mag ammo than the 22 LR. I haven't purchased any in a while (years) since I bought it at $6.00 per box of 50 when Walmart was having a special on them, still sitting on a 1,000 rounds. It can be found if you look around but it is pricier than 22 LR, so people stick with that.


I have a Marlin 22 mag that is supper accurate and fun to shoot, but I am hoarding my stock of ammo.


March 31, 2013, 12:45 PM
Like what we know Wideners has them in stock but double the price.

March 31, 2013, 12:58 PM

There is .22 mag ammo around here. What I don't know is if this is new production, which I doubt, or existing stock in the pipeline.


Peter Kuykendall
March 31, 2013, 02:06 PM
(IMHO Ruger missed the boast by making the LCR with only 6 rounds).
The .22LR version of the LCR holds 8 rounds. The .22 magnum holds 6. The .38 SPL and .357 magnum versions hold 5.

Ruger's web page with specs on the various models of LCR is here (http://www.ruger.com/products/lcr/models.html).

BTW, I bought the .38 SPL version with the fat Hogue Tamer grips and Lasermax at the front, rather than the much more common versions with the Crimson Trace in the skinny grips. The downside is not having the laser come on via grip squeeze, instead I have to poke the switch. With my giant mitts I couldn't go with the skinny grips.

I absolutely love the gun! It's light as a feather, even loaded, and like all my other Rugers, it's solid as a rock. It has a really great trigger, especially for a DAO.

March 31, 2013, 02:15 PM
Excellent question.:)

David E
March 31, 2013, 02:16 PM
The .38 SPL and .357 magnum versions hold 6.

Ruger's web page with specs on the various models of LCR is here (http://www.ruger.com/products/lcr/models.html).

How do you get that 6th round of .38 or .357 into that 5-shot cylinder? :confused:

Peter Kuykendall
March 31, 2013, 02:21 PM
Here's a post I made on another site a few months ago. It has a lot of info as to why we have an ongoing ammo shortage.
I've been searching a bit and found some interesting docs. They explain just how limited the production capacity is. For example, the US military annual requirements for small arms ammo in 2007 was 1.7 billion rounds. Consider that DHS has put in a multi-year purchase option totalling about that many in just the last year alone. WW2 annual requirements were 21.6 billion rounds, about 13 times higher. Clearly production capacity is a tiny fraction of what it was 70 years ago.

Imagine if each of the US civilian gun owners (about 50 million, depending on who you believe) decided to purchase a combined total of just 1,000 rounds, spread across all of his guns (not 1,000 rounds per gun). That's 50 billion rounds, over 29 years' worth of US military consumption.

After reading this stuff I'm redoubling my commitment to ammo purchases. I can't see this shortage being alleviated soon. My next research is to see how I can best invest in ammo producers. They must be rolling in profits now.

Small-Arms Ammunition Production and Acquisition: Too Many Eggs in One Basket?
by Major Mark W. Siekman, USAR, Dr. David A. Anderson, and Allan S. Boyce. 2010
Link (http://www.almc.army.mil/alog/issues/SepOct10/spectrum_smallarms_ammo.html)

USA Today article from 2007, "Ammo makers prepare for drop in demand"
Link (http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/topstories/2007-07-23-2938580624_x.htm)

Peter Kuykendall
March 31, 2013, 02:24 PM
How do you get that 6th round of .38 or .357 into that 5-shot cylinder? :confused:
Oops good catch, sorry. I went back and corrected the post.

Peter Kuykendall
March 31, 2013, 02:26 PM
Investing in ammo companies:

Investing In Guns And Ammo (http://onlygunsandmoney.blogspot.com/2012/01/investing-in-guns-and-ammo.html)

Bottom line: It's not possible to buy stock in a pure US ammo manufacturer, as they are either private or part of a much larger, diversified company. It may be possible to buy stock in an overseas ammo manufacturer.

Of the four companies, Ruger is the purest play in firearms. While the company does own Pine Tree Castings, it only provides about 1% of their revenues. The other three companies are more diversified. This diversification which in normal times would help them seems to have depressed their growth as compared to that of Ruger. With other sectors of the economy not having the robust growth of the firearms industry, this has hurt Smith and Wesson, Olin, and Alliant Technologies.

March 31, 2013, 02:38 PM
Yea right. People are flipping the one or two boxes they are getting every week. Easy way to explain things but totally bogus.

If you haven't noticed all of the 22lr firearms have disappeared and until this past week I had not seen one in 3 months. Those firearms sold out and the owners needed ammo with the result of 22lr disappearing from the ammo shelf. Add the 5-10 million new shooters and you start to realize where all of the guns and ammo went.

Now if the above isn't good enough then this is the other reason for ammo disappearing. After the shooting a lot of people saw this coming and bought every single round they could and are now selling at a profit. Good for them. I'm sorry I didn't react fast enough. In fact I made the wrong decision by buying another AR instead of using that money to stock up on ammo. I should have zeroed out my CC's and loaded up the house with ammo. Instead I ended up standing in line hoping to get a box or two of ammo like the rest of us that we're slow to react. I did though get in front of the reloading rush. Thank goodness for that.

There are a lot of reasons one can use to excuse their failure to be prepared but the reason we don't have the ammo to shoot is we screwed up. It's our fault and no one else's. So quit whining.

March 31, 2013, 03:13 PM
Imo we are seeing the perfect storm of increased demand vs a gunshy (pun intended) banking and buisness climate.

We are recovering from a huge banking and lending bubble that has EVERYONE who makes ANYTHING scared |^_[[less of allocating for growth they simply cannot depend on being there.

Everyone except for the shooting sports wich has seen unprecedented growth in the same time frame.

So what you have is SOLID (not a bubble) higher than ever demand on top of absolutely no increase in production capacity. AND THIS IS BEFORE you throw a panic driven buying spree into the mix.

Suffice to say 22 is gonna be tight for awhile

posted via that mobile app with the sig lines everyone complains about

March 31, 2013, 05:52 PM
4 years ago, 22LR was starting to ease up by this time. But Walmart kept their 3-box limit on things into the summer and a few stores never seemed to get the corporate message and it stayed on. It was in short supply then too. But the buying started earlier like in September prior to the election because people started seeing the writing on the wall and believing it.

Sauer Grapes
March 31, 2013, 07:14 PM
I'm disgusted. I've pretty much given up looking for 22 ammo. :cuss:
I'm concentrating on shooting sporting clays, 5 stand and skeet. :p

March 31, 2013, 07:20 PM
22LR shelves are empty because a) other ammo is rising in expense and many are practicing with 22LR, and b) it's a good round for meat on the table (squirrel, rabbit, etc). Ask anyone from the Depression.

Now ask yourself why so many people are worried about being able to shoot squirrels next year.

March 31, 2013, 08:17 PM
Not too many depend on 22LR for meat on the table any more, but I suppose some still do in the remote parts of Canada and Alaska. When that is the reason, it is usually being stored for a survival situation that will likely never happen.

March 31, 2013, 09:10 PM
O...then its just DHS.

They cant take our guns legally yet...so they get around that, and like we always said they would get the ammo. I just didnt think they would get it by buying it up.

David E
March 31, 2013, 09:36 PM
Oops good catch, sorry. I went back and corrected the post.

Actually, I was hoping you found a way to "ghost-load" a revolver....


March 31, 2013, 10:11 PM
"George Sorros..owns controlling interest in the major cartridge manufacturing companies."

You, of course, have proof that George Soros owns these companies, right? Here are three big ones.

L-3 Communications

April 1, 2013, 07:09 AM
Except that it's not. CCI for one is cranking out 10,000,000 rds of .22 per DAY.

I've tried to get production figures on .22LR for a while from all the major companies. I feel like if I had an idea about how much was being produced per day I could estimate how long this would take to resupply ammo shelves. Could you link me to a source for this data about CCI's production capability? I'd like to check over their figures.

On other threads I estimated a nationwide production of .22LR at 20 million rounds per day from all sources. At that rate, estimating 3 box demand of 50 (and later for 500 rounds per box) I ended up with a range between 6 months and 2 years in order to supply the US with 3 boxes of either 50 rounds (150 rounds total) or 1500 rounds (3 boxes of 500), per person owning .22s. I felt like I used very conservative figures on estimated demand and estimated ownership of .22 firearms for the most part when I did this estimate. Gets really bizarre when you think about how few people will be satisfied with 3 boxes and would be back for more.

If the actual production figures are higher I might be able to get a newer, more favorable, time line for when things will improve.

April 1, 2013, 07:19 AM
Obviously certain pro gun states should heavily invest in building production facilities. Jump start and hire local, ignore any federal interdiction, no federal contracts allowed. made in state, sold in state.

Alaska is already there, you make it there and the feds are locked out.

April 1, 2013, 08:50 AM
.22 is in short supply because there are .22 rifles that quilify for fieinstiens gun ban bill.

David E
April 1, 2013, 09:14 AM
Could you link me to a source for this data about CCI's production capability?

Unfortunately, no. That figure was via an industry contact. But.......

I'd like to check over their figures.

.........have you tried calling them?

April 1, 2013, 01:33 PM
Bought some 3,000 rounds of .22lr last week while out of town and I didn't have to wait in line at opening. I don't resell but I've already given away 525 rounds and will likely do more of the same later this week. It can be found in a lot of places. Typically, a big city Walmart isn't the best choice for finding ammo. Also bought bullets and powder and could have bought dies for .308, 9mm, .223 and a number of other calibers but I already have them.

April 1, 2013, 03:49 PM
I saw a documentary a few days ago (two part) that had been placed on YouTube about CCI's production from one plant. Don't know if that is their only plant or not. IIRC, their capacity was 4 million rounds per day. Sounds like a lot until you saw one truck getting 8 pallets of 250K each. Not even half a truckload.

April 1, 2013, 03:53 PM
I have been pondering lately that since so much 22 ammo can be cranked out daily by the ammo makers that perhaps they are just delibertly holding back shipments of the produced ammo and are about to release an avalanche of ammo to be sold.

April 1, 2013, 04:00 PM
Why is 22LR so hard to find? Because DHS is finally arming the TSA :D

Seriously though, I still don't understand why anyone would either wait in a line to buy .22 ammo or pay anything close to centerfire prices for it.

April 1, 2013, 04:38 PM
I paid $23.95 for the bulk (525 rounds Federal Champion) and $3.95 for the subsonic (Federal Quiet 22). Not outstanding but hardly gouging. I did run across a shop in Ozark Beach offering Federal AutoMatch for $35.00 (325 rounds, bulk) which the local Gander sold for $22.95 last November.

April 1, 2013, 05:14 PM
Guess who's buying a helluva lot of ammo lately?

Good point.
I would chime in with the rest that it is likely result of lots of mp15-22 and the like out there, with panic buying, and the number of 22's around of old with the increase in 22 semi's (which are great for learning to shoot handguns!)
Hence a bit of a shortage along with most everything else!

April 1, 2013, 05:52 PM
the same thing happened 4 years ago, but 22LR wasn't an issue then. Okay, you have said that twice. It wasn't true the first time, and saying it again doesn't make it any truer.

.22LR, along with everything else, was sold out at all my local WMs, gun stores, etc., four years ago. The difference is, (almost) nobody was asking $75-100 per bulk pack, and (even closer to) nobody was paying it.

This time, a lot of people have the advantage of "last time", and I have a feeling that a lot of them think they are going to "cash in". Probably, many already have.

The guy behind the counter at Bass Pro told me two weeks ago that every morning they have the same guys coming in as soon as the doors open and buying all ammo of any type, taking it and re-selling (either in their gun shops or on-line). I would bet the same thing is happening at Wal-Mart, Academy, Dicks and so on, across the country.

I saw him again last week. BP now has the ammo behind the counter and is enforcing a however-many-box limit. Difference is they are now controlling the number of boxes leaving the counter.

When they first started enforcing the limit, they were still putting the ammo on the shelves and only allowing each customer to buy "x" boxes. "Somebody" would grab all the ammo, put it in a shopping cart, stash the cart somewhere, and "somebody" would buy x-number of boxes, then his buddy would buy x-number of boxes, then he'd come back later and buy x-number of boxes again...

It is a never-ending cat and mouse game. This time, both the cats and the mice are smarter, but the mice have been thinking about this for four years...

And there are more mice out there. We'll get over it, just like we did last time, but there will be even more mice...plus a lot of average guys who will want to put back a couple hundred (or thousand) rounds so they don't get caught out "next time". And there will be a next time. Count on it.

David E
April 1, 2013, 08:04 PM
perhaps they are just delibertly holding back shipments of the produced ammo.....

How does that make any sense whatsoever?

April 1, 2013, 08:33 PM
.22LR, along with everything else, was sold out at all my local WMs, gun stores, etc., four years ago.

In 2009 I added 1850 rounds of .22lr to my pile, I was buying 2 boxes of mini-mag and a box of Sluggers twice a month at the local WW because there was no pistol ammo but the .22lr was always on the shelf that year.

April 1, 2013, 09:40 PM
I was in a hole in the wall shop this afternoon for the first time in several months. He was asking $9 for a box of 50 Remington Thunderbolts. I visited a somewhat larger shop a few miles away. They wanted $80/ for CCI primers.

My Dad used to tell stories about being a kid and walking to the country store to buy loose 22 ammo for a penny a round to shoot squirrels for the family. He was born in 1930. A penny a round in 1939 translates to $8 a box in 2012. Based on these prices it looks like the new Depression is here.

April 1, 2013, 09:42 PM
The wholesalers have nothing in stock.

This means your LGS has nothing to sell.

April 1, 2013, 09:49 PM
4 years ago I was working the counter at the Reno Sportsmans Warehouse. After about 3 weeks of getting wiped out by the same 6 guys (LGS owners/managers I might add) coming in and packing off with all the desirable ammo (9, 40, 45, .223, 308) we had to institute a limit. I myself was a nazi about it as I was tired of seeing a lot of people in actual need of practice ammo not being able to get it. And yes I watched as several people tried to pull the hidden shopping cart trick. At any rate we did have .22 and got it on a regular basis, just not the amounts we were used to in the past I.E. our average shipment pre-Obama was a pallet of maybe 100,000rds. After; we were lucky to get 15,000 or 20,000 every couple weeks or a month. If memory serves me correctly, in the middle of the last drought unless you shot .204 ruger, 22-250 or one of the 17 calibers, there wasn't much to be had really. I wonder if those two ancient boxes 356TSW are still there?

April 1, 2013, 11:39 PM
Arguing about the past makes no difference, nor does speculation as to why. What's clear is that demand has currently outstripped supply and in many cases price has increased. Am I guilty of hoarding? Maybe but I have no intention of selling off my supply and have given a fair amount (more than 2,000 rounds) away since December including 9mm, .223 and .22lr. The remainder of my .22 is allocated to Spring and Summer practice sessions with my kids.

What I found here and there on a 10 hour trip, stopping to stretch along the way...I encourage those who cannot find local sources to stop :banghead: and take a drive...


April 2, 2013, 12:07 AM
If you're a suffering .22 shooter, buy yourself an Elite Force 1911 Tac (http://www.eliteforceguns.com/Products/40/Elite-Force-1911-Tac/) for what you're overpaying for a 555 value-pack. It's surprisingly satisfying (relative to .22) and will save you a bunch of money.

April 2, 2013, 05:40 AM
Can we, as a logical group of rational human beings, get over the George Soros fascination/obsession? AS much fun as pretending to know what this ammo shortage is really about and conveniently being able to solidly place the blame on a certain entity, the theory has been proven false on multiple occasions. Let it die. Resurrecting this rumor and swearing its the truth does nothing but muddy the waters with disinformation and paranoia. There's plenty of real reasons why ammo is in short supply, and they have nothing to do with Soros. For the love of all that is holy, please, just let this one die out!

April 2, 2013, 07:02 AM
If you're a suffering .22 shooter, buy yourself an Elite Force 1911 Tac (http://www.eliteforceguns.com/Products/40/Elite-Force-1911-Tac/) for what you're overpaying for a 555 value-pack. It's surprisingly satisfying (relative to .22) and will save you a bunch of money.
Won't the cost of all those CO2 cartridges quickly exceed the cost of rimfire ammo even at current hyperinflated prices?

April 2, 2013, 08:44 AM
Unfortunately, no. That figure was via an industry contact. But.......
.........have you tried calling them?

Well it wouldn't be just them. I'd have to call Remington, Federal, Winchester and a whole host of ammo suppliers to get an industry wide estimate of .22 production. It's not that important to me.

Someone mentioned the 4 million round video that CCI produced a few years ago. I feel comfortable in assuming that level of production is still correct.

Assume US .22 production is 10 times bigger than CCI's publically stated production, or 40 million rounds per day for all ammo makers. That would be 800,000 boxes of 50 per day. Or 80,000 boxes of 500 per day. That would be 1600 boxes of 500 per 50 states per day. If you buy those boxes at Walmart, you can buy 3 of them and get 1500 rounds. Out of 1600 boxes, 533 people in your state per day can buy 3 boxes of 500 rounds.

Estimating the demand of how many people in your state own .22 rifles and pistols and who want ammunition right now is the tricky part. Nationally, I have estimated it at 20 million people. That might very well be low. .22 firearms are extremely popular as "entry/learning" firearms and as sporter and plinker firearms. So it might be higher than 20 million. Double or even triple that wouldn't surprise me.

But at 20 million people in the US wanting .22LR (average of 40,000 people per state...which seems low to me) we can take those 80,000 boxes of 500 rounds of .22LR produced per day (40 million rounds per day), and divide those boxes of .22 into 20 million people. It works out to 250 days, or about 8 months. For each of those 20 million Americans to get 1 box of 500. 3 times that number for each of those 20 million to get 3 boxes of 500, or 750 days. Around 2 years.

These figures change if a) .22LR production in the US is higher or lower. But even if we raise production to 80 million rounds per day you would still be talking about a year before those 20 million got 3 boxes of 500. If production is lower, then 2 years for everyone to get 3 boxes of 500 becomes longer. Or b) if demand is higher or lower than 20 million people wanting .22LR in the US then the figure of 2 years could be 3, 4, or 5 years before everyone gets to have 3 boxes of 500...assuming a 40 million round per day production rate on .22 or, if demand is lower, it could be 6 months or so. I personally believe that 20 million (40,000 people on average per state) is a low estimate. .22 firearms really are more popular than that.

But, that's my formula for what I think is going on with .22

April 2, 2013, 09:20 AM
Hey Killian, Very well said, it's responces like yours that help make sense of this issue
Good post!

April 2, 2013, 09:48 AM
Just got a phone call warning me that the price of a brick was going to $50.

April 2, 2013, 11:27 AM
Yes,a good post Killian.
Which is why I have been thinking the ammo makers may be holding back shipping so they can send an avalanche of the product to prevent the very issue you brought up.
Or perhaps to raise the price of it.

hang fire
April 2, 2013, 12:07 PM
I am under no illusions, we haven't seen nothing yet. What we see today is merely a prelim for conditioning of the low information idiots, the antis have their final solution plan drawn up and resources in place, just waiting to be implemented.

There will be another mass killing, it is not a question of if, but of when, and that will be trigger to unleash their steamroller to flatten any and all opposition legalities.

April 2, 2013, 04:37 PM
Reloading .22lr is downright difficult but manageable with BP. Mind you I'm firing this in a Heritage Rough Rider 6.5" if I remember right (I lost the box forever ago) and the report is not terribly more than Colibri and I have done zero penetration tests.

I load with my homemade black powder done as a fine mix then granulated with dextrin. Get the pin imprint out with a punch and brass hammer. I create the primer compound out of paper roll caps, the white part. I mix it with acetone till it's a fine paste. I use three caps, same number I use for loading small pistol magnum primers. I let it dry outside in the sun for a day. I then turn each upside down to see if anything spills out, if it spills out I can't use it, if it doesn't I know it's become a solid granule. I then use super glue to create a cap over the primer, a very small amount (I just came up with that on my own, figured it would work like an anvil). I let it dry for a few hours. I then add the black powder. It's not a lot of black powder but I do go to the rim and then create a compressed charge when loading the projectile. The Rougher rider is setup for .22 magnum as well but I never use the cylinder, so if the charge is a little hot I don't think it provides any real concern.

Now here's the tricky part. The projectile. I used modeling clay prior to hardening (curing) in the oven. In its moldable state I pushed an unfired bullet into the clay and guestimated the depth. I've never actually weighed any of these rounds but they're accurate out to twelve yards as far as POA. I made a mold brick 4" by 4" with four holes and repeated this four times so I had a total of five blocks. I took spent cartridges and put them in the holes for the curing process.

I fired up the caster and ladelled in the lead very carefully. After this first time I realized I need to use a pen head to create first a pouring hole and then do the bullet imprint mold. Before I used the bricks or hardened them I cut them very carefully with a block cheese cutter I had laying around. I used it in conjunction with a bowie knife I had. I ruined two blocks figuring out how to cut them exactly and had to remold them. I used the cartridges in an attempt to keep the holes uniform during hardening. Only three blocks were successful.

For casting I took painter sticks from home depot and tied the blocks together with basic string till they were tight enough. After all that effort I only had seven usable rounds and I used a permanent marker to mark the good holes. This was an all day adventure for the mold blocks. I've cast, loaded and fired a total of fifty rounds for pure amusement.

When you're done shooting clean it for the left over potassium chloride in the barrel and black powder.

Black powder was my own recipe plus denatured alcohol with the mortar and pestle to create homogeny and I added dextrin made from corn starch to create granules.

Do this at your own risk mind you. I'm surprised I'm still alive. Expect to blow yourself up if you try this and size your bullets properly.

I didn't crimp or load the bullets in a typical fashion, I used a plumbers wrench I had laying around plus a pair of wrench pliers (not a tool guy so it's not the correct name but if you have ever seen a plumber's wrench you should get the gist).

I've used the modeling clay method successfully .454 conical rounds (not sure that's the exact measurement but I used .454 balls), 9mm rounds, and .38 Special rounds. I'm still amazed I haven't hurt myself yet. I really need to get a scale to weigh the rounds.

April 2, 2013, 08:17 PM
There's no .22lr around because everybody bought those .22 AR's when they couldn't get the .223 version.

April 2, 2013, 10:24 PM
I don't think prices will ever come down to pre hysteria pricing. Usually a surge in pricing like this never 100% corrects itself. In order for prices to drop back to 2012 prices you will have to see a comparative decrease in demand. With all of the semi auto 22 rifles being sold as well as the surge in overall firearm sales, that ain't happening. Also, consumers change their standards after prolonged price increases or shortages. When item that used to be two turns into ten people will eventually react negatively. But when it drops down to four people accept it and move back purchasing the same quantity at four that they did at two. The same thing will happen here. Bricks of 22 that used to be 12 are now 70. Eventually, as the increased demand wanes, the prices will come down. But when it hits about twenty most of us will start buying in quantity again.

April 4, 2013, 01:03 AM
Well hopefully prices will return to normal when there is stock on the shelves again. After people are well stocked from all this run away buying, demand should slow down, This lack of demand should in turn cause prices to come back down to normal again.
At least that is how the theory goes!

April 4, 2013, 03:25 AM
Ammomakers are NOT holding anything back, they're running & shipping at full capacity.
People are just buying it as soon as it's made.

I can't for the life of me understand why this is so hard for people to comprehend.

April 4, 2013, 08:45 AM
I guess people don't believe antitrust laws and their associated penalties or the loss in income would be enough to prevent manufacturers from shooting themselves in the foot? Maybe we should write letters and tell them to release all those AR bolt carrier groups as well...and lower parts kits...and stripped lowers...and barreled uppers...and pistol magazines...and...

April 4, 2013, 09:01 AM
While I love a good conspiracy as much as the next guy people need to understand that the ammunition industry in this country is not the size of General Motors. It is pretty small and the demand for their products has became HUGE. They also have another customer base - law enforcement and the D.O.D. They have been several years behind on D.O.D. orders since the Clintons closed down most of the Government operated Armories in the 90s. When they get what they have ordered then it will be your turn. And a lot of Americans ARE buying and stockpiling. We saw this in 94 as well. The shop I worked for at that time could not keep ANYTHING in stock. We would drive 3 trucks to each gun show and when the show ended there wasn't very much left to pick up and load back in the trucks.

April 4, 2013, 09:40 AM
I think most everybody is snapping up "reasonably" priced ammo (say up to 1.5x the pre-Newtown price) as soon as they can find it. And they are looking diligently. I am. So, we have a whole lot of mini-hoarding. It will self-correct, but probably not for a few more months.

First, the availability of high-priced ammo will hit and stay on the shelves, and the dealers will have to lower prices until it sells. Once it comes down far enough, the strict ammo-flippers will drop out of the market, and it will drop further and be even more readily available. But I doubt, seriously, that it will get back to pre-Newtown prices as many others have noted. Just like gasoline will not drop below $2 (likely ever).

April 17, 2013, 12:30 AM
Well if this is any indication of what the market is doing,.. A friend was at a gun shop about 3 weeks ago that just got in a shipment of ammo. They priced Federal .22's at $5.00 / box of 50 with a limit of 5 boxes. He said people were grapping up handfulls as fast as they could.

I just went to an gun & sports auction over the weekend where there were several bricks of .22. The auctioneer desided to sell the .22 bricks per/box (instead of by the brick as usual) It was mostly Remington & Winnchester target, nothing really special.
People were paying anywhere from $6.60 to $12.10 per box with many taking all 10 boxes at that price! Unbelievable!
Other ammo was selling at somewhat higher than normal prices but nothing like the .22's.

I sure hope this isn't a long term sign of things to come for the world of .22's.

Ignition Override
April 17, 2013, 01:06 AM
At this moment on Gunbroker, I hit "Ammunition" in the right box, and ".22". in the left. 54 pages are numbered at the bottom.

Even clicking ".22LR" in the left box, there were 30 pages.
But many entries on the first two pages had 0 bids. Never checked the other 28 pages.

It has appeared for over a week that there are many more sellers than bidders.
Maybe I'm wrong, but this bubble might not last much longer, due to so much availability at high prices.
When the price bubble starts to whistle like a Rolls Royce Dart engine at takeoff power -whenever it happens- it will be fun to watch Them panic.

April 17, 2013, 07:12 AM
Does anyone know why 22LR seems to be sold out everywhere this time around?


As I recall,... when we went through the shortage 4 years ago, 22 LR wasn't much an issue. So why this time?

The only 22LR available this time 4 years ago was rat shot.

April 17, 2013, 07:34 AM
Four years ago, during the last panic, I had no problem finding 22 LR. Now, all I have found at reasonable prices, was a few local dealers and only for a short time.

April 17, 2013, 08:29 AM
It's out there, if you're lucky and quick. I've seen .22 LR bulk on the shelf at Bass Pro here twice since February - both times I've been there.

RWS .22 LR - $7.99/box, limit of 10.


April 17, 2013, 08:38 AM
MagnumDweeb- that is absolutely fabulous.

If I ever needed to do it, that sounds like it works.

Now, I have a 22 bullet mould, so it'd be a little easier.......... but I like it !

Carl N. Brown
April 17, 2013, 09:05 AM
All I have seen is speculation. The ammo was dry at WalMart and Dick's and I asked, what are you distributors telling you. Well, the retailers are not getting any reason.

I suspect there are millions of people panick buying guns and stockpiling ammo. Looking at the NICS figures posted by the FBI, there has been up to a three million a month up tick in NICS checks (usually 4473 gun sales at FFLs and used as a proxy for gun sales in academic studies). Remember, a 4473 has space for 5 guns listed (one NICS check). If I were in the market for an AR, I would be buying a .223 M4gery and a .22LR Colt(Walther) M4.

So my speculation is people are buying a lot of .22 rifles and dragging that old .22 out of the safe or closet because other calibers are in short supply, creating a run on .22LR.

It would be nice to hear something from the distributors, wholesalers and manufacturers.

April 17, 2013, 12:32 PM
Last time I want shopping, couple weeks ago, the three stores I went to and talked to the clerk/manager, they all said they were not getting any in, or if they did get it in, it was only a couple boxes. They said their is demand, but not crazy demand, just no supply. The big demand at the time was for .223 and the popular pistol calibers. None knew why they were not getting any .22 in.

If I had to guess, I would guess that the profit margin is higher on other larger calibers so the manufactures put the limited resources (powder, lead, brass) to these more profitable calibers. It will come back when things settle down a bit.

April 17, 2013, 02:11 PM
Won't the cost of all those CO2 cartridges quickly exceed the cost of rimfire ammo even at current hyperinflated prices?
Only if people start hoarding C02 cartridges and drive the price up.

April 17, 2013, 03:46 PM
This is weard, I am starting to panic reading all these threads on 22 LR shortage. 4 years ago yes I was lite on 22 LR but as soon as it came back in stock I was buying and stocking. Buy the time I stopped I had 5,000 rounds, not a lot about 10 bricks.

Well I am still sitting on 3 or 4 thousand in an ammo can. And I am panicing?? Does not make sense since I can shoot at least for a couple of years if I am carefull.

You guys are driving me crazy as well as the price up, up and away.

That is ok. Panic is very good for business of selling ammo.

April 17, 2013, 04:03 PM
I don't know if this is some great secret or what, but there still are retailers getting 22LR in stock regularly. Sure, you can't lollygag up any given day and buy it, but if you're willing to spend a couple of hours in line, you can still buy CCI Stinger 100 rd packs, 500 rd boxes of Golden Bullet, 100 rd packs of Subsonic, etc, etc. And its still selling at prepanic prices.

Idk if everyone knows that and some of you just love complaining, or if I should write out the process. I'll leave it at that for now.

April 17, 2013, 06:02 PM
I know I'd like to see you write out the process. :D

April 17, 2013, 06:30 PM
Went into Bass Pro in Toronto this weekend . CCI Mini Mags $29.95 for 375 round. They had a small skid of them locked in the cage .

David E
April 17, 2013, 06:50 PM
If I had to guess, I would guess that the profit margin is higher on other larger calibers so the manufactures put the limited resources (powder, lead, brass) to these more profitable calibers.

No, that's not happening. They are cranking out millions of .22 rounds each and everyday.

April 17, 2013, 09:59 PM
They are cranking out millions of .22 rounds each and everyday.

Ok. so who is it going to? Definitely not any of the retailers...I doubt all these "new" shooters with AR's in 22lr or anybody with a 22lr could cause any shortage like this. Obviously, because they cant even find it on the shelves and what there is on the shelves its being rationed to 1-3 boxes.

People must be really naive not to there must be some other reason why retailers are not getting in little..... to no stock.

This is the new form of gun control.

David E
April 18, 2013, 12:55 AM
The .22 numbers have been crunched before on this forum several times. A best case scenario is around 10 months before you can find it on the shelf at any given time......but I don't think we're looking at a best case scenario.

April 18, 2013, 06:36 AM
What's weird is that here in Oz we don't have any supply issues with US made ammo. I am fortunate to live in a rural area so I try and shoot every day. This can of course get expensive, even for a .22 so I was in my LGS looking for Federal 525 as my CZ 452 likes them almost as much as Power Points (made here) they were out, but had Winchester 555 so I bought a pack for $32. Compare this to PP @ $58 per 500 and Federal 525 @ $ 42

I erroneously assumed they were made here, in the same plant that make the other Winchester ammo, when, I looked at the box and a made in USA stared back!


April 18, 2013, 10:52 AM
What's weird is that here in Oz we don't have any supply issues with US made ammo.

Not very weird. Most likely the US made ammo currently being sold in OZ was there before the current hysteria.

If you're lucky, there was enough in stock to meet your needs until the current hysteria blows over in the US. If not, then you're going to gradually see what we're seeing here.

Doesn't Oz have a total population of just over 20 million? I believe that over 20 million new guns have been sold in the US since Sandy Hook. Imagine if EVERYONE in Oz bought a new gun then went looking for ammo!

David E
April 20, 2013, 02:14 AM
Gun store manager spoke to ATK Rep and was td they are cranking out as much .22 LR as possible. Rep also said most of it is going to govt agencies.

And.....that they haven't seen demand plateau......at all since December.

Beau Bo
April 20, 2013, 12:28 PM
Which Govt agencies use 22LR?

April 20, 2013, 05:15 PM
I may guess that the ammo crunch reasons, is that Winchester (Olin), is moving their ammo plant to Mississippi from Illinois starting in 2010..... and the various reasons and problems with that move.....

April 20, 2013, 06:15 PM
You really think their 3 year-old centerfire move is having that much of an effect on the rimfire operations they moved 10 years ago?

Olin Corp., moved its Winchester Rimfire operations to the community in 2003

April 20, 2013, 06:17 PM
I scored some Winchester at Academy this morning, an entire box! (50 rounds) :) $2.99

April 20, 2013, 07:06 PM
Which Govt agencies use 22LR?
Dog catcher or animal control? I saw a TV show about those Swamp Rats called "Nutria" and the Sheriff of some Parish in Louisiana shoots them several nights a week with .22 cal.

April 23, 2013, 11:50 AM
Nutria control in the city at night with suppressed .22LR from the back of a pickup truck.
Drainage ditch slopes as backstop

Nice work when you can get it.

The segment I saw had the SWAT guys doing the shooting.

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