By Dean Weingarten
Arizona -(Ammoland.com)- I have been tracking .22 rimfire ammunition and availability for some time. The .22 Long Rifle bubble has lasted for years.
With the election of President Trump, I expected the bubble to bust. Instead, it has been deflating, like a balloon with a pinhole leak.
The demand for .22 ammunition has been so great that a 20 percent increase in supply, and a Second Amendment friendly administration did not bust the bubble. Instead, they stopped the growth, poked a hole in the bubble, and started a downward spiral of prices.
At Cal Ranch Supply, I expected there to be some .22 ammunition at high prices. The prices were above historical averages, but they had dropped considerably.
There was plenty of ammunition available in several brands. The man behind the counter and I had a discussion about the situation. He showed an excellent practical understanding of basic economics.
Supply of .22 was no longer a problem, he said. The store did not have any limits on purchase. Walmart has dropped their 3 box limit nationally, as well.
Federal Champion 710 bulk ammunition in the popular 525 pack was on the shelf. He said the store had no problem obtaining it and keeping it on the shelf. The price was $25.95. That is less than 4.8 cents per round. I have found it to be excellent ammunition. Right next to it were bricks of Remington Thunderbolt. As I watched the price changed from $32.95 to $29.95, a 10 percent drop in front of my eyes.
CCI High velocity .22 with copper washed bullets was a little under 7.5 cents a round, in 50 round boxes.
The large brown boxes on the floor in the center of the picture are 8 cases of Winchester 17WinMag and at least 3 cases of CCI 22WinMag. I expect those prices to drop. The CCI 22WinMag cases have been there for months. The CCI 22WinMag ammo is priced at 30 cents a round. You can buy .223 brass cased centerfire online, with free shipping, for only a penny more per round.
A local gun store, Sprague’s, is only a couple blocks from Cal Ranch Supply in Yuma. They had plenty of .22 in stock, with no limits. The prices had not fallen as much as at Cal Ranch Supply, yet. Their lowest priced .22 Long Rifle was 6 cents per round.
Neither store had Aguila .22 LR on the shelves. Aguila purchased new manufacturing equipment using the Eley priming method. They doubled their manufacturing capacity during the bubble. There are plenty of stores that carry Aguila ammo.
They have lowered their prices to grab market share. On line, it has dropped to 4 cents a round for standard velocity. It is gaining attention.
Very few stores have limits on purchase of .22 ammunition any longer.
In November of 2016, I predicted that .22 Long Rifle bulk ammunition prices would drop to 4 cents a round by October of this year. I stand by that prediction.
What has been happening with .22 ammunition in your area? Reports around the country vary considerably. Some say prices have dropped to 5 cents and you can purchase as much as you want. Other areas are reporting shortages and 10 cent per round prices. Supplies in Wal-Mart remain spotty, but the 3 box limit is gone.
We would like to hear what your experience has been.
©2017 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are 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.