What's with the availability of .22 ammo?

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What's with the availability of .22 ammo?

Post by moab » Sat May 30, 2015 11:09 am

I don't mean to start a political discussion. SO please don't go there. But what's with the unavailability of .22 ammo? Is it just manufacturers holding supply down to raise prices? I also heard the gov was buying it all up. If so, what is the allure of getting .22 ammo out of the hands of civilians? Is it that effective of a round? Is it sheer numbers of those rounds in the general public vs what the gov has on hand? I don't get it. The 5.56 ban made more sense to me. My grandfather used to stockpile .22 ammo. Maybe he was onto something.

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Re: What's with the availability of .22 ammo?

Post by KnifeStyle » Sat May 30, 2015 12:03 pm

It's not so much a political issue as an economic issue. Back during the ban scare, a large jump of demographics bought guns including .22s as an entry level. This rush initially hit all calibers, but .22 being the cheapest was bought in bulk whereas usually it was bought casually. The manufacturers actually don't make much off .22, and while they added a few more machines to try and compensate for this shortage, it's simply a matter of more people buying larger quantities because it's now seen as a 'buy it all because you won't see it again for a year' product. When I was working at a big box retailer, we got in shipments a few times a week, but it simply flew off the shelves because people would buy the limit, then bring friends or try coming back multiple times per day. This was just a couple months ago, not a year or two back when the shortage began.
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Re: What's with the availability of .22 ammo?

Post by KGBrick » Sat May 30, 2015 2:43 pm

The other side of the problem is that if manufacturers spend money to increase production of .22 to match current demand, the demand would start to fall because many people would then stop stockpiling; they would go back to buying a brick at the store only when they were almost out or were about shoot it all. The manufacturer(s) who expanded production would be left trying to make back their costs on a product with reduced demand and a consequently falling price. The safer bet is to keep producing as much as you currently can & let someone else take the big risk on a low-return product.

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Re: What's with the availability of .22 ammo?

Post by Hollis » Sat May 30, 2015 4:21 pm

KGBrick wrote:The other side of the problem is that if manufacturers spend money to increase production of .22 to match current demand, the demand would start to fall because many people would then stop stockpiling; they would go back to buying a brick at the store only when they were almost out or were about shoot it all. The manufacturer(s) who expanded production would be left trying to make back their costs on a product with reduced demand and a consequently falling price. The safer bet is to keep producing as much as you currently can & let someone else take the big risk on a low-return product.
Those are my thoughts too. Those manufacturers have years of data on how much will be needed. Another side is much like the 2000 scare where people where buying "survival" equipment in records amount, later where dumping them it at big discounts when they realize the panic buy never had a real need.

In the past people did not keep large quantity of ammo in their house. I wonder what it looks like today. Also what will happen when a owner realizes they will never shoot all of that ammo.
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Re: What's with the availability of .22 ammo?

Post by TheLastOne » Sat May 30, 2015 4:26 pm

I don't even look for it anymore. I have a pile of it I bought years ago and if I shoot 22 I go from that pile. 7-10c a round is stupid.
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Re: What's with the availability of .22 ammo?

Post by zero11010 » Sat May 30, 2015 4:44 pm

The last time I got 22 ammo outside of a gun show I waited in line the day the shipment was going to come in. I got to the store 2 hours early. I was third in line. Everyone was in line for 22LR.


Just as much is being made as ever. The supply isn't diminished. The demand has shot through the roof. The current demand is artificially high. The demand seems to be high because there is a perception that there is less out there. A combination of individually minor things is creating a perfect storm to manufacture this "shortage."

There are a LOT of crackpot conspiracy theories out there. Try to ignore those.


Because people cannot readily buy it on shelves, it's becoming a business model for people to go to a store buy it for a "regular price" and then sell it online for a huge mark up. This is what is happening in my area. The same people are at these stores every Friday morning waiting for the store to open so they can buy up as much as possible. From what I can tell, this is the biggest cause.

I've heard reports that some smaller gun/ammo shops are buying it for regular pricing, then instead of selling it in their store they're selling it online. I have heard that from a couple of sources, but it's more like "this guy online says he knows three shop owners who are doing this thing, and he's a good customer so they've let him know that they can set aside some 22 for him if he needs it."

Some people hoard stuff. Particularly stuff they think they may not be able to get in the future. There were HUGE runs on guns and ammo each time Obama got elected, and I imagine if a Democrat wins the next major presidential election there will be another huge rush of orders for guns and ammo. These hoarders can be sitting on tens of thousands of rounds and would still be buying more by the case.


From what I can tell, the single thing that will have the largest impact on "returning 22LR to store shelves" will be people refusing to pay extra high prices to buy ammo. The issue is, if you can find it, even with inflated prices the 22LR ammo is still cheaper than any other common round.

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Re: What's with the availability of .22 ammo?

Post by 91Eunozs » Sat May 30, 2015 5:10 pm

Hmmm... No issues w/availability around here, and hasn't been for months.

Thought the insanity was over.
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Re: What's with the availability of .22 ammo?

Post by doitnstyle1 » Sat May 30, 2015 5:46 pm

Depends where you are from. I was just in the store the other day and they were keeping it under the counter as opposed to in the cabinet where it should be. Which tells me someone is alerting their buddies to the stuff when it arrives in the store so it doesn't sell so fast. Their buddy picks it up and they sell it on the black market and split the costs. i am about to call corporate to let them know of what is going on.
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Re: What's with the availability of .22 ammo?

Post by zero11010 » Sat May 30, 2015 7:24 pm

I was at a shop last weekend. I asked about 22LR the day after the shipment came in. They told me that I had to be there on the day of shipment to get any, but said I didn't need to be there hours before it opened anymore. He said something to the effect of "we had some last until a whole half hour after we opened a couple months ago."

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Re: What's with the availability of .22 ammo?

Post by MacAttack » Sat May 30, 2015 10:46 pm

Its funny around here.


the three small gun shops here can not compete with WM so every delivery day you see those same three guys inline to buy all they can.

They then slap a dollar more on the price and sell it out of their stores.

I no longer buy from them anything. Instead I travel an extra hour to get my firearms or .22lr ammo.

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Re: What's with the availability of .22 ammo?

Post by doitnstyle1 » Sun May 31, 2015 7:39 am

MacAttack wrote:Its funny around here.


the three small gun shops here can not compete with WM so every delivery day you see those same three guys inline to buy all they can.

They then slap a dollar more on the price and sell it out of their stores.

I no longer buy from them anything. Instead I travel an extra hour to get my firearms or .22lr ammo.
I wouldn't even mind paying an extra dollar for it, it's just they sell it for 3-5 times what it's really worth.
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Re: What's with the availability of .22 ammo?

Post by quazi » Sun May 31, 2015 9:32 pm

It is still difficult to get here.

Luckily I had a decent stockpile to start with, and I got a couple bulk packs for Christmas in '13 (it sounds like my mom had to just about physically fight people to get me those). Even so, I've cut back on the amount of .22 lr shooting I do.

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Re: What's with the availability of .22 ammo?

Post by raptor » Mon Jun 01, 2015 11:25 am

I still have not seen .22lr in a non-gun show retail setting in the GNO area except at a shooting range for use in their rental handguns at a price that is basically silly ($11.99 for a box of 50).

It has been this way since late 2012. Other calibers are now generally available.

Obviously I can get .22lr via mail order or drive to BR where there is a Cabellas and a Bass Pro which stocks it more often than not.

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Re: What's with the availability of .22 ammo?

Post by crypto » Mon Jun 01, 2015 11:54 am

moab wrote:I don't mean to start a political discussion. SO please don't go there. But what's with the unavailability of .22 ammo? Is it just manufacturers holding supply down to raise prices? I also heard the gov was buying it all up. If so, what is the allure of getting .22 ammo out of the hands of civilians? Is it that effective of a round? Is it sheer numbers of those rounds in the general public vs what the gov has on hand? I don't get it. The 5.56 ban made more sense to me. My grandfather used to stockpile .22 ammo. Maybe he was onto something.

(Setting down my tinfoil hat.)
The government is not buying up .22. They don't have anything to use it for. They aren't stockpiling it, and they aren't destroying it, either. There is no conceivable or credible way that they could either fund or operate a program of that magnitude without everyone finding out about it through whistleblowers or people who thought it would make a valuable story.


Here's the important facts to consider:

1. There have been a LOT more .22 guns sold in the last 15 years as people have looked for lower-cost shooting options.
2. People are in a self-sustaining panic mode and are sitting on far deeper inventories of .22 in their basements and closets than they used to: Shortages beget shortages.
3. Rimfire manufacturing equipment is expensive and single purpose. You can use .22LR manufacturing equipment to make other .22 rimfire rounds, and maybe .17. That's it. As for .17, there's really not a lot of extra demand for it. So ammunition companies are not super excited at the idea of making a 20-year capital investment in new factory equipment when they're currently reaping the benefits of selling every box they can make on the current equipment.
4. People with the available time and means are still buying all the available rimfire inventory from normal sales channels and reselling it on the secondary market (gun shows, etc). There's a lot of people looking at this as an income stream now, so if they're using it to feed their families, its probably not going to get any better any time soon.
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Re: What's with the availability of .22 ammo?

Post by raptor » Mon Jun 01, 2015 1:45 pm

Actually if .22LR shooters want the supply to get back to normal, everyone (and I do mean everyone) should just not buy any .22 rf in the month of July. By August 1 the shelves will be overflowing with it. :D

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Re: What's with the availability of .22 ammo?

Post by Roch » Mon Jun 01, 2015 3:40 pm

.22 ammo is plentiful here in Canada, I can get pretty much everything I want without paying ridiculous inflated prices like I see in the states.

That being said myself and some of my family stockpiled all we need "just in case" with some extra to "trade or maybe pay some bills with"

Local retailers seldom have reloading powder, or at least what I want. Buying it online is hassle free though.

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Re: What's with the availability of .22 ammo?

Post by ManInBlack316 » Mon Jun 01, 2015 6:09 pm

In the Tampa Bay area, the local walmarts might have some 22lr in stock in the afternoons about every two months, I've seen the same people always buying the limit and then coming back later and ect. But I've gotten lucky lately and got some CCI mini-mags. The two local shooting ranges, last I checked, always have a nice supply of 22lr; but one only allows it for range users and the other generally only has Aguila.
In my area, I'd say most of the shortage is from the people making profit off of buying walmart's stock and then reselling it at the local flea markets.

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Re: What's with the availability of .22 ammo?

Post by doitnstyle1 » Wed Jun 03, 2015 3:09 pm

I sent an email to the corporate office of Wally World and had the local Assistant Manager call me back. I sent the email about .22lr being kept below the counter away from customers sight and being kept under the register and how that just wreaks of impropriety on the CSR running the shop at the time. He said he would look into it because it definitely was not store policy to keep ammunition out of the sight of the customer and out of the glass cabinet where it is locked up.

He said he would poke around because there is no way to keep secrets there. He said it was the first time he has heard of this or the rumors of ammo being hoarded by employees to sell to their buddies to make a profit on the black market. I kind of find that hard to believe but he did tell me that the local gun club had two pallets of brick ammo available at comparable prices to Walmart. So a buying we will go!

I personally hope they find someone doing that and fire their asses! I would hate to think that someone has been getting away with perpetuating this ammo crisis thing or building up their stock while the rest of us suffered in silence. I am hoping that .22 WMR will soon be available too. Which I haven't seen in forever either.
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Re: What's with the availability of .22 ammo?

Post by Stercutus » Wed Jun 03, 2015 5:48 pm

I asked the girl at Walmart why the .22 was behind the counter. She told me that is sells so often that it was a PIA to unlock the ammo case all the time so they stuck it behind the counter. This made the most amount of sense to me.
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Re: What's with the availability of .22 ammo?

Post by Mountainsquid » Thu Jun 04, 2015 12:34 am

moab wrote: I also heard the gov was buying it all up.

Infowars is not a good place to get your information.

As has been commented:

-A lot more .22 Rifles out there

-Increase in popularity of things like Appleseeds which means more .22 is used

-Most of these new .22 rifles are semiautomatics, and have higher capacity mags available compared to years past

-Fudds buying up ammo to sell a brick at $75 at gun shows

-People now tend to buy .22 if they see it at reasonable prices. I know that in summer of 2012, I had an attitude of "I can always get ammo on the way to the range". Now, I buy ammo(of all types) cheap and deep since I essentially ran out in 2013. A lot of people do this.

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Re: What's with the availability of .22 ammo?

Post by TXYakr » Thu Jun 04, 2015 7:07 am

I spend an excessive amount of my spare time at gun counters checking out firearms and getting to know many sales people on a first name basis and some local ammo and gun sales reps and gun range owners etc (gotta try out guns before purchase). This is what I have gathered not sure what is fact and fiction y'all be the judge.

Several large chain discount sports stores plan to have large bricks and or ammo cans of .22lr for sale on Father’s Day, so if you need some at a reasonable cost (not like the old days of below 4 cents/round) then get there early. Some of the Dick’s Sports Stores will have 1400 round cans/buckets ($80 in TX) of Remington Golden Bullets, and Federal AutoMatch (325 brick) for about $20, neither is a great price, but if you have a $10 off purchase of $50 coupon it is better. (or price match with another store) Locally Academy has better prices and availability but no coupons, they had Rem-GB ammo-cans of 1400 rounds for $62 which I missed, but I have purchased CCI Mini-Mag Ammo Cans of 1600 rounds at Academy Sports Stores for $120, but at Bass Pro had same for $110 and I had discount on top of that so it was even cheaper, local Cabelas almost always has plenty of .22lr but for higher prices and my discount there is only 4% off (debit cards sold at Sam's Club, or Cabela CC). I call local Academy often where I can buy 525 round bricks of Remington Golden Bullets for $22 so cost per bullet is well under 5 cents per round, I have purchased several thousand of these in the last few months, they know me well. Rem-GB do not cycle as well in Sig pistols, but fine in most of my and friend’s Ruger firearms semi-auto rifles and pistols. Your experience may vary. Personally I prefer CCI mini-mag HP (7 cents/round at Walmart call often), but everyone has their own preference, I know people who swear by one brand or type over another like it was a religion. I sell Rem-GB to friends mostly, some like the cheapest .22lr round they can find for kids who enjoy plinking spinning steel targets with 25 round magazines like it was a video game and kids of all ages go through 500 rounds in a morning or hour. This seems silly to me, but it is basically cheaper than a movie and snacks, i.e. good clean fun. And .22lr is still the cheapest firearm round that I know of for a semi-auto, under 5 cents/round compared to about 20 cents or more for almost everything else. So happy plinking with your Ruger 10/22 or AR-15/22 OR careful paper target marksmanship training of youth and small game hunting for survival “practice” if you are more like me. Overall .22lr seems to be dropping in price some and getting a little easier to find locally but this IS Texas (not freaking Austin or big city TX), I am thankful for that.

In my personal experience there are NO strategies of buying .22lr and other hard to find ammo that work 100% of the time but if you have a group of friends that work together and text each other such an “Ammo Pack” is a big advantage! Walmart is NOT always the lowest price or highest allowable quantity (retail not wholesale) but one of their biggest problems is that they are hit up the hardest. Also I noticed by checking online that at least CCI Mini-Mags are only $6.77/100 in Texas but $7.47 in almost every other part of the USA including where they are made in Lewiston, Idaho Zipcode 83501, go to Walmart dot com put in the info and verify for yourself. If checking stock for your local WM please be aware that just because the computer says some is in stock there does not mean it is true, call and ask. Then someone from a different department (toys or automotive) may see CCI shot-shells and say yes we have it, you drive down and are disappointed (personal experience, I was so ticked off!!!).

"Sorry" I have rambled on far too long, basically some local gun counter managers from various chain sports stores have strongly hinted to me that they have been instructed to hold back significant numbers of bricks and cans/buckets for Father’s Day of .22lr. This MAY be false information, if so I apologize, but I doubt it. It is sort of like the day after Thanksgiving “Black Friday’s” loss leader sales, only not an actual loss just a way for stores to increase traffic to their particular store. So “HINT” to those that "love you" fathers that another .22 firearm (or something bigger) and a bucket of bullets would be a great way to spend the day with the kids and/or grandkids out in the backyard, ranch or local gun range etc. Personally I spend far to much of my spare time at gun counters, looking at firearms getting to know all the sales people on a first name basis, at gun ranges and then when super lucky at family land going crazy shooting like it was a freaking video game (safely of coarse.) Some of my friends think it is funny to show off by shooting my wooden clothes-pins I use to hold paper targets on to cords between poles and trees in front of a dirt berm. That is NOT cool! Might only be 2 cents each but wasteful! Spinning steel targets for you fools! Ha ha ha. I even put a loop of rope on my leg, run around some stakes to jerk the skeet/clay pigeon thrower for shotgun practice when I am by myself. I'm a bit of a shooting freak. Happy shooting.

OH BTW I have seen temporary shortages of .38, .40 and people buying up all of the .22WMR on the shelf, and of coarse the .223 and NATO equivalent years ago but none of these persisted like the .22lr where the factories have not caught up with demand in over 3 years. Read what CCI has to say about it here at their Education FAQs, specifically, “Letter to customers” but also some of their other comments are here:

http://www.cci-ammunition.com/education/faqs.aspx

One of their sales reps told me he blamed it on hoarders, and I heard that some sports stores HQ send more to stores near areas with many rural customers with lots of ranch land where they can shoot it for free (not expensive gun ranges), because hoarders tick them off (i.e. make less available for other customers who may actually shoot it on a regular basis, especially with kids.) I don’t know for sure what is true, just what I was told.

I hope all this blah blah blah was of some help or interest to a few. :words:

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Re: What's with the availability of .22 ammo?

Post by 3cyl » Sun Jun 07, 2015 1:19 pm

Stercutus wrote:I asked the girl at Walmart why the .22 was behind the counter. She told me that is sells so often that it was a PIA to unlock the ammo case all the time so they stuck it behind the counter. This made the most amount of sense to me.

If that was true than why not put some in the ammo case so regular customers could see that they had it, and fill their orders from under the counter?

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Re: What's with the availability of .22 ammo?

Post by MacAttack » Sun Jun 07, 2015 5:23 pm

Every WallMart is different.

Our one store used to keep all its ammo out open on a shelf just like underwear.

The next WM down the road had all ammo in a locked case. Everything went in that case. As soon as it came off the truck it hit the case. It was everything they had.

Now due to theft all of our local WM's keep ammo of ALL types locked up. Even pellets.

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Re: What's with the availability of .22 ammo?

Post by teotwaki » Sun Jun 07, 2015 11:00 pm

In Southern California the gunshows peaked at $90 a brick late in 2014. Earlier this year it dropped to $60 and two weeks ago the bigger sellers such as Miwall had all you could buy for $47 a brick. I don't need any at the moment and can wait for it to drop some more.

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