Vista Outdoor on .22 Ammo: Supply up, Demand Down, Price Down

By Dean Weingarten

Vista Outdoor on .22 Ammo: Supply up, Demand Down, Price Down

Dean Weingarten

Arizona -( The new .22 rimfire plant in Lewiston, Idaho, is on line. Vista Outdoors owns the CCI and Federal rimfire brands. They have increased production for both brands by 20 percent.

With end of the Obama administration, the .22 ammunition bubble is deflating. Most stores have ammunition available. Prices are coming down.

From the Lewiston Tribune, November 10th, 2017:

Parts of Vista’s approach have worked well, such as investing in infrastructure and preserving market share, Metz said.

Vista recently debuted a new, 37,000-square-foot, $35 million rimfire ammunition plant near the Lewiston-Nez Perce County Regional Airport, which has resulted in what company officials describe as a “very satisfying” reduction in the time needed to complete an order.

“It pays dividends when you come out of the trough,” Metz said. “We’re able to make some changes in our facilities that will enable us to participate really strongly as the market returns.”

Vista Outdoor has reduced ammunition prices to maintain market share as its customers work through stockpiles they amassed under the administration of Barack Obama – when they feared new regulation that never came to pass.”We’re the market leader in rimfire,” Nolan said. “Brand preference in ammunition tends to be somewhat sticky. It took us a long time to gain our market share. … We are loathe to cede that during a period of challenging pricing because it’s going to be very difficult to get that back.”

The ammunition manufacturers, such as Vista Outdoors, do not want to lower prices. As with any manufacturer, life is easy and smooth when both prices and demand are high. But the market does not guarantee that prices and demand will remain high. Only force, in the form of government granted monopolies, or collusion, as with the OPEC cartel, can do that. Neither of those things exist in the United States, where a mostly free market in ammunition is enforced.

The CCI and Federal brands have an enviable reputation for reliability and quality. They have customer loyalty because of that.  Stephen Nolan refers to this when he speaks of brand preference being “somewhat sticky”.  Market competition works. Aguila of Mexico saw opportunity and increased their production before Vista Outdoors did. Aguila almost doubled their production to capture some of the increasing American market. That is reflected in the availability and price structure seen today.  Aguila’s brands are at the lowest price point in the market. Vista has to reduce prices to keep market share. Federal low price brands are in direct competition with Aguila.

The lowest prices are now at 3.7 – 4 cents per round.

Prices are going to continue to fall. If you look at the prices on the old Remington box, it was purchased on sale at less than 2 cents per round. I will not be surprised if we see prices at or below 2 cents per round, at sporadic sales, before the end of President Trump’s term.

For those looking for even lower prices, look for estate sales. Prices of ammunition at estate sales are going to be in the basement. Because of liability, gun stores will not buy ammunition back from private owners.

Many people who inherit ammunition are afraid of it, know nothing about guns, and want to get rid of it. I have heard of thousands of dollars of ammunition being turned in to police to be destroyed.

Many people bought thousands of rounds of ammunition in the last four years.

©2017 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.

Link to Gun Watch

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.

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anuel jackson

I live not more then 15 miles away from the said factory and the price here has not gone down, but the quality has they no longer sell high velocity 22 ammunition, all the stuff I see in the local stores yes even Wal mart is the sub sonic stuff it sound like a pellet gun going off and not the crack of high velocity rounds of year’s of my youth, I can remember before 9-11 ammunition was in bulk packs for $17.00/550 these were Federal rounds, now around here we cannot even find 22 Stingers


PSA has been running CCI promos all year.

thomas griffin

Still not seeing much CCI Mini Mag 22LR in my area. I am seeing a lot of the sub sonic & match ammo and no 22 Mag ammo. So, where is the 20% increase in production?

joe martin

Glad to see the ammo coming back and coming down in price.

Wild Bill

Turned in thousands of dollars of inherited ammunition to the policeto be destroyed!? I bet it got destroyed. The old fellow should have chosen better will beneficiaries.

Clark Kent

Yes; it does get destroyed. Not worth losing your job over taking old ammunition, even if it is worth ‘thousands of dollars’ (NOT). And if an officer was hurt shooting issued old ammunition the department would be liable. P.S. Going on a few ‘ride alongs’ with your local police would assist you from making such extremely ignorant and laughable statements.


There was an estate sale in my area last week; the old lady that had bought something like 20,000 in ammo passed her nephew sold the stuff the whole lotof of ammo was sold for less than 100 bucks, he even gave the guns away, there were some nice ones too. Rifles that dated back to the 1880s and 1890s all the way up to rifles and pistols that were bought last year, the nephew just gaveme them away thinking they were just toys.

Wild Bill

Bla bla bla Clark bla bla bla.

Wild Bill

@Bandit, The old lady should have picked better will beneficiaries, too.


No police dept. will spend money to dispose of unwanted ammo turned in or donated by a citizen.
The ammo will be evaluated and used at the local PD range.

Clark Kent

Wild Bill: Sounds like your relatives are sheep. Grow up.

Clark Kent

James: WRONG! You win the clueless comment of 2017 award!


Still pre-dawn ammo campers waiting on lawn chairs in the ammo sections of Walmarts here in Vegas. .22LR vanishes before the sun comes up, to be sold on backpage and local gun shows.

Wild Bill

@nota, Skip Walmart. Try or Or just come to one of the Walmarts in NE Texas and you won’t have that problem.