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Why is 22 LR sold out everywhere?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by TooManyToys, Mar 31, 2013.

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  1. orionengnr

    orionengnr Member

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    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.
     
  2. David E

    David E Member

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    How does that make any sense whatsoever?
     
  3. huntsman

    huntsman Member

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    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.
     
  4. Elkins45

    Elkins45 Member

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    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.
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2013
  5. foxs

    foxs Member

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    The wholesalers have nothing in stock.

    This means your LGS has nothing to sell.
     
  6. SilentScream

    SilentScream Member

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    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?
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2013
  7. Skylerbone

    Skylerbone Member

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    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...

    [​IMG]
     

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  8. mrvco

    mrvco Member

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    If you're a suffering .22 shooter, buy yourself an 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.
     
  9. Davek1977

    Davek1977 Member

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    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!
     
  10. Elkins45

    Elkins45 Member

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    Won't the cost of all those CO2 cartridges quickly exceed the cost of rimfire ammo even at current hyperinflated prices?
     
  11. Killian

    Killian Member

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    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
     
  12. TooManyToys

    TooManyToys Member

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    Hey Killian, Very well said, it's responces like yours that help make sense of this issue
    Good post!
     
  13. j1

    j1 Member

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    Just got a phone call warning me that the price of a brick was going to $50.
     
  14. heeler

    heeler Member

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    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.
     
  15. hang fire

    hang fire Member

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    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.
     
  16. MagnumDweeb

    MagnumDweeb Member

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    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.
     
  17. Ledgehammer

    Ledgehammer Member

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    There's no .22lr around because everybody bought those .22 AR's when they couldn't get the .223 version.
     
  18. Agsalaska

    Agsalaska Member

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    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.
     
  19. TooManyToys

    TooManyToys Member

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    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!
     
  20. DPris

    DPris Member

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    Ammomakers are NOT holding anything back, they're running & shipping at full capacity.
    There IS NO CONSPIRACY.
    People are just buying it as soon as it's made.
    Period.

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

    Skylerbone Member

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    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...
     
  22. Drail

    Drail Member

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    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.
     
  23. Batty67

    Batty67 Member

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    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).
     
  24. TooManyToys

    TooManyToys Member

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    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.
     
  25. Ignition Override

    Ignition Override Member

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    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.
     
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