This Whole Ammo Shortage Thing by the Numbers

22LR ammunition
This Whole Ammo Shortage Thing by the Numbers

PHOENIX, AZ –-( I haven’t seen anything that suggests foul play of any kind, to me, it’s strictly supply and demand, and it shows you what panic in a market looks like.

Rationing and price spikes are the result of demand far outstripping supply.

Sure, government ammo purchases should give you pause, it’s the reason we’re all armed.

A trusted source provided this:

“Take for example .22LR ammunition. The industry as a whole (all manufacturers combined) is setup to produce 4,200,000,000 (4.2 Billions) .22 LR annually. That is running all the machines, full capacity all the time, all manufacturers together.

There is NOTHING they can do to produce more.

That corresponds to 230,137 cartridge per State per day, which is 460 bricks of 500 .22lr per day per State. That means that if less than 50 people per day in each State are buying 10 bricks of .22, it is enough to dry up the entire supply as it is being manufactured.”

News from ammo makers seems OK too, but it’s right to be wary. Trust but verify. How do you do that?

If you don’t have ammo, you’re stuck in a high market. If you’re like many Americans, you’ll comfortably ride this out until the market corrects.

Scottsdale, Ariz.-based Bloomfield Press, founded in 1988, is the largest publisher and distributor of gun-law books in the country. Our website,, features a free national directory to gun laws and relevant contacts in all states and federally, along with our unique line of related books and DVDs. “After Your Shoot” for media review is available on request, call 800-707-4020. Our authors are available for interview, call to schedule. Call for cogent positions on gun issues, informed analysis on proposed laws, talk radio that lights up the switchboard, fact sheets and position papers. As we always say, “It doesn’t make sense to own a gun and not know the rules.” Visit:

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Just buy as much as you can whenever you can. I buy ammo calibers that I don’t even have firearms for. Look at is as gold right now !


let me chime in from a different perspective if i may. for many years ammo, 22lr, showed up in stores the same every week or two no matter where i lived in this country. they say it’s panic buying, etc. but this is an impossibility because you cannot panic buy until it’s on the shelf, right? gun stores tell me they are not getting any 22lr ammo because people are panic buying, funny how people believe hype in this country. remember the gas shortage of 74 and 79, more BS. friends they just do this to get prices higher and… Read more »


If you look into background check figures, you’ll see that during the Bush years gun sales were around 5m a year. Then Obama took office in 08 having a antigun history, with a democrat majority in both sides of congress. Sales rose to 14m per year his entire first term. Outside of political fear reasons, the sunset of awb in 04 gave rise to the recreational and competition tactical shooting community. Then there were the 2012 doomsday preppers, and the people who prepped against a self induced collapse from doomsday hysteria. All of these newbies were directed towards an ar15… Read more »


To clarify my last comment, the scalpers will go away if we just don’t buy from them, or else if we accept these prices the companies may adopt them. On the issue of hoarding, everyone has their own definition. Mine is to irrationally possess more of an item than you can possibly use or sell before it becomes useless. Like 100 gallons of milk when you will only go through 1, or 1000’s of batteries that go dead before use. Ammo has a long shelf life if stored properly, I regularly shoot 7n6 thats 40yr old however it is sealed… Read more »


Has anyone considered an alternative like a .22 cal. pellet rifle? A very good one can be bought for less than 150.00 and the pellets are less than 10.00 per 500 (at Wal Mart). I bought a 100.00 pellet rifle at Wal Mart 2 years ago and shoot it at least 4 days a week. Tough trigger pull but that helps practicing trigger control. My gun is very accurate even with a less than target trigger. I would be comfortable squirrel hunting with it and it has plenty enough power to kill at 75 yards or more.


If thats the case then how come when you go into stores they say they haven’t gotten any for a long long time?


“Temporarily unavailable from manufacturer.”
That is what it says under about 90% of the .22LR entries on the Graf and Sons wen site.
Graf is a MAJOR distributor.
So, the stuff we have been being fed about hoarding and excessive demand.
Absolute nonsense.
If Graf can’t get it from the manufacturer it’s either going somewhere else, or it’s not being made.
Would really like to know what’s actually going on, as opposed to the fiction of the past two years and more.

ThinkingPlinking According to this video CCI makes 4 million rounds of .22 every day. At only 300 days of production that’s 1.2 billion rounds. Do you mean to say that there are only 3-4 companies in the US producing .22 ammo? I think your reliable source needs to make up some new numbers…

james armstrong



I do not understand when the Government orders 12 Billion rounds of .22 lr for “training” no one even notices. That is a 3 year production run for all US manufacturers, 24/7. So now you tell me why they need enough training rounds for 250,000 soldiers to have to have 48,000 rounds of .22 lr each. Why are they training with a round that neither targets nor travels nor drops anything like the live rounds they chamber and carry into action?
To assume sheer stupidity is to rule out all other possibilities and thus rendering the conclusion stupid and shallow.


I Drove 140 miles round trip to get primers and powder that had increased 60 to 180% in price over a couple years. I passed on a box of 50/22’s at $11/box. That’s 22 cents a shot!

Ammo has gone via the 10 cent cup of coffee. I’m sure the supply will eventually come back, but don’t look for the price to come down. Visit your local gun store, express interest in buying a gun and say, “I’d love to buy it, but why purchase something I can’t afford to shoot”?


What is the point of the story????

aaron k

i just bought 500 rnds of Winchester 22 lr for 20 bucks at cabelas. only problem is im from Canada! 22 cal lr in stock and lots! 9mm too! 40 cal too, 45 too, 223 too, 308 too everything available and regular prices!

Barack Osama

I love it when a plan comes together. Who needs your guns? They are worthless without ammo.


I have seen them stock ammo at Walmart late at night, early morning 12:00am to 4:00am. Most of the time it is just a few boxes. I go grocery shopping at these times, because there is less people and this is when things get restocked. I have personally found boxes of .22, but they have a 2 box limit per person, per day. I bought 2 boxes(about 15 boxes left) at about 2:00am, then went back at 7:00am (should be a new shift) to get more, but they were all gone already. I talk to a of managers for stores… Read more »

Patrick McWilliams

.223 seems to be back. 9mm Makarov is cheaper than .22 LR. Cabelas has plenty of 7.62mm Nagant. .22 LR is a precision product, tough to make in quantity and quality. But the math rings true, if everyone buys it, there won’t be any on the shelves. I don’t recall the Chinese ever making .22 LR. I wouldn’t trust Russian stuff except in calibers they use themselves: Mosin, Mak, Tok, Kalashnikov.


Well, it’s been 9 months of .22 ammo shortage, enough time for everyone to buy 10 500 round bricks of ammo…so why aren’t the shelves filling back up? After someone buys a million or so rounds, don’t you think they’d stop? What about other calibers? Where’s the .308, 30-06, .45acp, 9mm, 12 gauge buckshot, etc? ANYTHING THAT MIGHT BE CONSIDERED A DEFENSIVE ROUND IS NO LONGER AVAILABLE!!! Don’t piss down my leg and tell me it’s raining…Im 57 years old, and I’ve never, NEVER seen such an all encompassing shortage.


My luck with Made in China products has been horrible. Not sure that I would like every third round going halfway down the barrel because the charge of gunpowder had just a bit more drywall dust than powder. I think I will stick with the reputable manufactures even if it is a bit scarce or over priced.

Cliff E.

There is plenty of .223 available now, in the past month, there hasn’t been a day I couldn’t walk into cabelas and pick up 100 rounds of .223. Haven’t seen a single round of .22lr or 9mm on the shelves in the past 9 months. It makes no sense.

john henley

Everything comes from China, I just bought a radiator from China, WHY NOT 22 LR AMMO? They could cover us in Ammo at 50 cents a box. But I was told the clinton adms put on a ban.

Chick Stoll

223 is on shelves all over the place, don’t see a shortage of that, bought an overpriced brick of 22 ammo from a guy in NC. He sells at gunshows and admitted to me that he bought all the 22 ammo he could get when prices started going up and is rakeing in the profits now.


You also have to take raw materials into account. From what I’ve heard, .22 isn’t very profitable for ammo companies, so with high demand for center fire and large government buys, they’re probably rationing their raw materials to mostly certain center fire calibers.


Well heres the way i see it.There aint ever no ammo to even to buy on the shelves so how can people be buying it up?Where is all the wolf and other imported ammo?This aint demand and supply nomore.Something is stopping the ammo from getting to the shelves.


How much paper do you need to shoot at to get better? I quit shooting at paper yrs. ago. I save may ammo for hunting and self protection. Shooing squirrels, with a .22, is much more challenging than shooting at paper. The paper doesn’t move. One very good shot tells you that you are good. What else do you need? You can lie on a hot dusty range and fire all your ammo,then go buy more that has risen in price, since yesterday. I’ll sit in the woods and take my few shots and know I am good, plus get… Read more »


I heartily agree with you. I would rather spend my ammo money to shoot squirrels and experience the outdoors than punch a lot of paper. When you get a new gun or pistol the range can be good to sight it in on a good bench rest with bags, so as to take out the shooter from the equation as much as possible, but to really have some fun and to use your skills and your ammo for the most profit, do not simply unload on a paper target. I go to a range with some of my friends, and… Read more »


And the the air gun makers are happy they have guns that can kill things like ammo cost
The PCP guns are going up now faster then ever.


That’s the difference between a hunter and a shooter. I am both. I love to hunt and I love to shoot. I don’t shoot paper just to improve my shot I shoot paper because I like shooting. My hunting rifles get shot once just before the season to make sure their still on. The rest of the time I’m shooting paper, bottles, clay and any other target just for the fun of shooting. I respect that your a hunter and you prefer to shoot at game. Good for you and keep knocking them down. Just please respect shooters for doing… Read more »


Today I bought to boxes of 30-06 just because they were there.


What isin’t mentioned is the importation of ammuniton to the states .We have a ban on chinese ammuntion like norenco for good reason, because they could supply our demand . Instead they want the prices to be high .I personally think .22 is being targeted because it was cheap and economical and easily available .Most kids start out with a .22 as their first rifle. Them days are over with ! the prices they are demanding is outrageus.Even retail shops are tacking on higher prices because everybody wants to make a buck . Sad thing is .22 can not be… Read more »

Doug Rink

These .22 calculations ring true with what a friend of mine worked up last Feburary. He suspects .22 LR supply could remain tight for some time.

Of course, any waning of interest by today’s ammo buyers could help supply recoup faster.

D. Murphy

I do not trust this administration nor the democratic senate. They are oily and have back door ways of restricting and overiding our rights. The “ammo shortage” is one way to limit gun use, there are others which will be coming at us.

Chris Rakes

who’s buying 10 bricks a day of .22s? and why hasn’t the market corrected itself? anything else had a 6 mos. of very high demand, there would have been more manufacturers to jump in and also there would have been more foreign sources.
could it be over “regulation” by the government? could it be that it takes more time to go into business then it’s worth? does the president knows


Chris Rakes: “…who’s buying 10 bricks a day of .22s?…”

I don’t believe they are buying it to shoot — they are buying it to re-sell on gunbroker and the like.
If folks would just quit paying 2 to 3 times (or worse) the normal price to these gouging resellers, I believe we would see the prices resettle back to historical norms. The biggest problem is getting folks to quit feeding the gougers.


I totally agree stop paying the high prices of ammunition. Once you stop buying it they have to reduce the prices and thus you will eventually be able to buy ammuniton especially the 22lr for less than 5 cents a round. I refuse to overpay for any ammunition unless i absolutely had to have it which i dont believe none of us do unless we needed to hunt with it to kill our prey to put food on our tables in remote areas. I can reload 9mm less than i can buy 22lr in the stores and thats rediculous. Be… Read more »


Ammo can be found. LuckyGunner


I disagree that it’s widespread panic. The government is buying up all the .223 so people are buying and shooting their .22s more often now because they can’t find .223 but still want to practice.

lil. pup

Well the only ammo that you can not walk into your loco gun store here in Kansas and buy is .22 l/r.
I believe the problem is all do to cost of ammo. Everyone went to the cheapest ammo you could buy, cause the cost to shoot .22 L/R is and always will be. So now we are forced to shoot what ever other caliber we have or can get, but at a steeper cost.


When did you last try to purchase .223? Its in bulk in walmarts everywhere! Have had my ar almost 2 years and never have I been out of ammo for it or not been able to find it. 22lr on the other hand i can rarely find


Can’t find .223/5.56 ammo ? Really ? Must not be looking hard. Just bought 2000’rds last month and about to buy the same amount the first of May !