By Dean Weingarten
Arizona – -(Ammoland.com)- When I go to the local WalMart in Yuma (there are three), I check to see if there is any .22 ammunition. At some point, increased production and falling demand should cross, allowing for more .22 on the shelves. At the WalMart on Frontage road, toward the Foothills, I was surprised to see .22 ammunition. It was the first time in three years.
There were 2,300 rounds of CCI Mini-Mags and 1,000 rounds of CCI Standard Velocity. The Mini-Mags were in plastic 100 round boxes at $7.47 a box. The Standard Velocity were in paper, 50 round boxes at $3.47 a box.
A perky, pretty clerk, Yittzel, was happy to answer my questions. She was a joy to deal with, and did not have any problem with me taking pictures. She said that they seldom saw .22 ammunition, perhaps once a month. She thought it might be coming in a little more frequently lately, but it was still uncommon. She was surprised when she came in and found .22 ammunition on the shelves that morning. She doubted if it would last more than a couple of days.
A customer came up to the counter and bought 300 rounds of CCI mini-mags, the maximum allowed. He wasn't interested in the Standard Velocity.
He asked when Yittzel went off shift, or if he could come back in 15 minutes and buy 300 more. She told him that three boxes was the limit. I expect he came back later, when someone else was at the counter.
I asked Yittzel about ammunition availability and the effect of politics. She agreed the ammunition bubble is driven by people's fear of potential legislation during the Obama administration.
Resellers who buy ammunition from WalMart to sell at gun shows, or over the Internet, help to keep the bubble inflated.
She said when she came to work after the Orlando shooting, most of the ammunition shelves were bare.
.22 ammunition manufacturers have increased production in an attempt to balance long term supply with demand. At the Shot Show in January of this year, Aquila said that they were increasing production about 30%. Industry sources assured me that CCI/Federal were increasing their production by 20%. Those increases should be coming on line about now. Those increases should bring .22 production to over 5 billion rounds each year. Industry sources believe demand has increased with all the new shooters and firearm sales.
The machines to manufacture .22 ammunition are expensive. Manufacturers are hesitant to invest in expensive machinery, only to have it sit idle after a bubble of demand has burst. After three years, manufactures have decided there is a long term component to the increase in demand.
Every time it appears that production has started to meet demand, the Obama administration pushes another infringement on the Second Amendment, and demand spikes. The House Democrats throwing a tantrum on the House floor, and demanding that American civil rights be violated, did not help.
We may have to wait until there is a Republican administration for .22 ammunition to become plentiful again. The Democrat nominee, Hillary, is pushing harder for more Second Amendment infringements than any other nominee in history.
©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
About Dean Weingarten;
Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of constitutional carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and recently retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.