Ammo Prices Going Down? Federal .22 at Walmart, 6.5 cents/rd

Ammunition at a Yuma Walmart on May 19, 2022

U.S.A.-(AmmoLand.com)-– In 2020, demand for ammunition grew. Ammunition became difficult to find. Ammunition prices shot up. Record gun sales were recorded in 2020 and 2021. We were in another ammunition supply bubble.

The ammunition bubble may be starting to leak. At the local Walmart, on May 19, 2022, there were about 20 thousand rounds of Federal Automatch in 325 round bulk packs. At $21.16 per 325 rounds, that is 6.51 cents per round, significantly lower than this correspondent has seen for months. The Automatch has generally received good reviews for reliability and accuracy, when used for the ordinary tasks a .22 rimfire is set to perform.

In addition, there were about 7 thousand rounds of CCI standard velocity at $4.83 per 50 rounds, or 9.66 cents per round.  There were about a thousand rounds of Winchester Super X in 222 round packs at $18.83, or 8.48 cents per round. Much of the Federal .22 was stored on the bottom shelf, outside the frame of the picture above.

The clerk at the store was very helpful. He said ammunition had been coming in more regularly than had been the case in the last several months.

These prices may appear high in historical terms.  When we look at them under the lens of inflation, they appear more reasonable.

When inflation is taken into account, ordinary .22 Long Rifle rounds in 1950 would cost 16.8 cents in 2022 dollars.

In 1960, they would cost 15 cents in 2022 dollars. In 1970, they would cost 9.5 cents. Jumping to 1990, they would cost 5.6 cents. In 2005 the cost had dropped to 4.2 cents. Those prices are from price lists, known today as manufacturers suggested retail prices.

Alert shoppers can find sales, discounts, or other ways to lower the price even more.  Many shooters have told of finding sale prices lower than  2 cents a round in the 1990s. Those prices were equivalent to lower than 4 cents a round in 2022 dollars.  In 2018, particular sale prices dipped to 2.5 cents a round.

The 6.5 cents per round price is higher than it was 17 years ago.  There has been a historically high demand for ammunition for several years.

This correspondent is unwilling to predict whether the price of ammunition will rise or fall in the immediate future. The future seems especially murky at the moment, with many trends toward instability.  The war in Ukraine, supply chain woes, and soaring energy costs all have the possibility of pushing ammunition prices up. If the American Republic survives, constant dollar ammunition prices will probably trend down in a few years, but inflation may have raised to nominal cost as the value of the dollar deteriorates.

Ammunition manufacturers are working hard, running as long as possible, and putting out about 5 billion rounds of .22 rimfire for the United States every year. A fair amount of that ammunition is imported. Aguila ramped up its production significantly in the last decade. It exports significant amounts to the USA from Mexico. While the volume is not as great, Armscor is sending .22 rimfire to the USA from the Philippines.

The United States is the biggest market for .22 rimfire ammunition in the world. No other country comes close. The single Walmart sighting of a lower priced ammuntion supply may be an unrepresentative blip.

Readers are invited to inform us of .22 rimfire prices at their location.


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 retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.

Dean Weingarten

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Mike

But Walmart a commie store buy from a local business such as a gun store and avoid commie businesses

Russn8r

F the WalComs!

john

The manufacturers work on supply and demand “capitalism” the system works better than the alternative “Socialism”. Today we are in a whole different world thank you Democrats. The price of shipping or freight is over what most retailers are accustomed to paying and that is being passed on to the customer. Independent drivers who call the big road home are now spending not just a little more a hell of a lot more just to stay on the road. Remember 7-9 miles to the gal x $6 gal of diesel fuel cost 4 times as much today. Now add in… Read more »

Oldvet

John …Don’t forget to add in the $4/gal for the green required DEF fuel additive .

ashort

I do not see how these ammunition & firearm manufacturers get away with these criminal prices. They should be ashamed of themselves for what is being charged for ammunition, and don’t blame the ammo sharks. yeah they are jacking up prices for ammo, but not much higher then what it actually is. In most cases and places it is the manufacturers prices that are criminally high the do not care about the consumer long as somebody buys the ammo, even QC had diminished. In most instances brass cased ammo is not much better then the so called cheap steel cased… Read more »

JSNMGC

There’s nothing criminal about the pricing. Under socialism/communism it would be criminal. Of course, after people are lulled into the promises of socialism/communism, they would find out it’s all a big and lie and there would be chronic, long term shortages of ammunition. You could have purchased all you wanted for low prices in 2017-2019. Capitalism rations scarce (as compared to demand) goods and services based on price. The alternative is much, much worse.
 
If the price is more than the product is worth to you, you may want to consider not buying it.

Last edited 1 month ago by JSNMGC
Russn8r

~Whined, Alexandria Occasional-Cortex.

john

As I understand it each walmart orders by the store if you have a anti gun mananger than you need to call walmart headquarters and complain. Walmart is not my first choice for off the shelf ammo. If there is shotgun shells for use at the clay range and I am in the store I buy it as it is mostly under ten dollars a box. 20 ga for the wife is hard to find when I do I by a case for clays as the range does not often have 20 ga in stock. Would love to get back… Read more »

David Tong

This is a red herring. I have not seen ANY .22 ammo of any brand, bullet weight, or manufacturer in well over two full years, in Cottonwood, Arizona Walmart. Matter of fact there have also not been any centerfire rifle or pistol ammo, nor even one firearm despite comments to the contrary at Christmas, 2020. I know of shops that do have some ammo, but the prices are still under universal hoarding.

ralph

This is wonderful news, especially since it indicates that WalMart actually does sell at least one American-made product.

Russn8r

Yep. I’m sure the WalComs hated to do it.

buzzsaw

Thanks for the heads up. I haven’t been to Walmart in years–mainly because of their virtue signaling on guns and gun stuff. There’s other reasons, cheap crap from China, 48 check out lanes and never move than two cashiers, and it’s apparently illegal to return your cart to where it belongs when you’re done with it.

Finnky

My experience varies a bit, but still avoid the place. Never go after 10pm – 40 checkout lanes plus 10-20 self serve stations, all open and LONG lines at each one. Store near me no longer carries firearms – associate told me it’s because of wok3 complaints – here in Texas!!! They’ve had a little ammo, but pretty much limited to occasional-expensive 22 or birdshot over whichever gauge they got that week. Those shelves have been repurposed, not sure whether they’ll ever carry ammo again. I may walk in to check (ammo) but otherwise will no longer shop there.

GomeznSA

buzz – you forgot to mention that they are a charter member of one of little nanny warbucks anti gun groups. It is something like ‘retailers for common sense gun laws’ – can’t recall the exact name but I will NOT darken their doors ever again.

StLPro2A

Get back to me when you get to 300NM and 338NM for my MRAD MK22……

willyd

This is why I only own guns with STANDARD AMMO that is used by our MILITARY, 30-06, 762×51-308, 9mm, 45 ACP, 556, I do have some different ammo, but these units I have a surplus long before this AMMO? shortage came about?

JNew

We (well, some of us) already knew once people slowed purchases, the prices would go down. But we’re not even remotely close to acceptable prices. And .22 was consistently the cheapest ammo throughout the last 2+ years.
The whole “it’s either this or nothing” attitude should be called to task if you ever want to see the industry catch up.

Montana454Casull

Where are primers ? 22 shells are nice but reloaders need primers ???????????

TexDad

Spot checked that list. It’s not accurate at all. Prices are pre-pandemic and none of the “in stock” items were actually in stock.

DDS

The site posts an aggregate of data scraped from other sites’ ads by a “web crawler” bot..

Just did my own spot check and found the bot seems to be scanning at least a few sites that are defunct and not picking up “out of stock” indications on others.

The web crawler seems to be running but something is not being maintained.

Sad. It was something I used and relied on in the past.

Last edited 1 month ago by DDS
TexDad

Ditto. The industry has had years now to do something about this. They need to stop acting like they can’t invest because this is just temporary. Can you imagine the investment capital they have from charging these ammo prices for two years?

There have been some available recently but prices are $85-$100 per thousand and type and brand are just whatever you can get and won’t be in stock long.

Make primers!

JSNMGC

There was significant capacity available to manufacture ammunition in 2017, 2018, and 2019, but consumer demand was significantly less than it is now.

Did you step up and buy huge quantities in those years? Not many people did – that is why so much of the capacity remained idle during that time.

TexDad

And for the last two years they’ve gotten twice or more their pre-pandemic prices, so I’m guessing there’s capital there.

In the case of primers, $130-$150 a case has become $450-$500.

Expansion needs to happen. Gun grabbing politicians aren’t going away.

JSNMGC

A large percentage of firearm owners made the economic decisions they felt were best for them in 2017, 2018, and 2019. They had panic-bought during the Obama years and were sitting on large quantities of ammo. Their level of fear decreased substantially when Trump was elected, and they were confident he would be in office for eight years. Therefore, their purchases decreased substantially. They were under no obligation to do what was best for ammo companies, some of which had recently made capital expenditures to keep up with expected demand that might continue if Hillary won. The ammo companies made… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by JSNMGC
Russn8r

The ammo companies were wrong. There was EVERY indication it would happen again. There’s ALWAYS a panic every few years. Any firm or speculator that gradually built an emergency inventory in an orderly fashion when ammo and labor were normally priced and available would’ve made a huge killing during the panic. Worst thing, if they were wrong, they could’ve offed it at a small loss in storage cost. But they would’ve been right and made a yuge profit compared to storage.

JSNMGC

Odd that someone downvoted you – it was a good article.

Some people continued buying ammo without reading anyone’s articles.

It’s a shame the Americans on the L.A. rooftop had to defend themselves after they already paid government employees for this service, but yes that’s one reason it’s a good idea to have ammo. They are true heroes.
 
This comment in the article reflected a lack of consideration of all the variables:

“The reason is obvious: lightly armed militias cannot win a direct fight with a modern military.”
 
That is not obvious at all.

Russn8r

Dean was downvoted by WB’s Oathbreaker Posse for replying to you.

JSNMGC

Whoa! That’s crazy. Regarding his comment about Americans being lightly armed and therefore no match for the military. I wonder what scenario he had in mind.    Let’s say politicians keep going down the road of pushing the socialist/communist agenda: Massive growth of the size and intrusiveness of government; More laws and more unequal enforcement of the laws; Expansion of crimes defined as felonies; Expansion of offenses considered capital offenses; More exemptions from the laws for government employees; More wealth redistribution; More interference with the private sector (price controls and therefore rationing, etc.); More control over education; More control over healthcare;… Read more »

Russn8r

Good article. What kind of dude discourages stocking when prices are low, thus worsening periodic panics, high prices & “shortages”?

If manufacturers, distributors & speculators stocked up in the good times, they’d make a mint during panics, while helping mitigate price hikes & “shortages”.

Non-commie economists know there’s no such thing as a shortage without price controls. Folks who whine about “gouging” create shortages, pressuring sellers to ration at below-market-clearing prices, disincentivizing production.

Ammo manufacturing is not a socialist cause. It is & should be driven by profit.

Last edited 1 month ago by Russn8r
JSNMGC

“What kind of dude discourages stocking when prices are low, thus worsening periodic panics, high prices & “shortages”?”

The guy who wrote the article:

https://www.ammoland.com/2019/05/ammo-stockpiling-busting-myths-real-data/#axzz5nKteOia8

is known on youtube as “Rational Preps.” He believes “civilians” who own AR15s are “wannabes.”

Russn8r

I know. I was going to say douche, but I didn’t want bubble boy bill to start whining again. Oh wait. I said it. Doh!

Patriot Solutions

Yeah, I’m still good…..

JSNMGC

Me too, but we are obviously in the minority – demand was low for three years (most firearm owners decreased their purchases after Trump was elected).

How have you been?

buzzsaw

Yes, I did. Especially .22lr and reloading components. You might not consider it huge quantities, but my local Fire Marshal probably would if he knew about it. My strategy has been to pick up what’s available when it’s available, especially on sale. A case here, a case there, over time it adds up. I got my first gun in a caliber using large pistol primers in the fall of 2019, and was able to buy a quantity of these, just as small primers were drying up, which was the tip-off that here we go again…I have an adequate supply of… Read more »

JSNMGC

Glad to hear you are in good shape.   There was a dramatic reduction in demand in 2017-2019, some people kept buying, but the vast majority did not. The people in the ammo manufacturing business had excess capacity they could have used to produce ammo for anyone who wanted to get into the ammo speculation business. Since no one did (to any great extent), ammo production decreased and remained low for three years.     All the people (?) who knew (sorry, KNEW) in 2019 that: A worldwide pandemic would hit (and cause fear); Federal/state/local government employees would do a bad job… Read more »

Finnky

Did not directly buy primers, but stacked factory loaded ammo – so indirectly bought primers. Stacks are getting lighter, range trips shifting to 22 and oddball calibers. 32acp is inappropriate for self defense, but using up my last case won’t bother me like running low on 9mm would.

JSNMGC

That’s how I buy primers as well – in loaded cartridges.

If your average annual purchases in 2017 to 2019 equaled or exceeded your average annual purchases in 2014 to 2016, you are one of the few.

buzzsaw

Part of the problem is that there are only two primer companies left in the US. Yes, there are four brands, but three have the same owners– CCI, Federal and now Remington. The other company is Winchester. This kind of industry consolidation is not good for the reloading public. Hopefully, CCI, Federal and Remington will remain distinct products, with the specs they’ve always had, so as not to mess up your pet loads, but there’s no guarantee. Unlike last time, S&B primers, and for obvious reasons, Wolf primers are not appearing in the market. I doubt that we will ever… Read more »

TexDad

100%. I just want to see availability become somewhat reliable again and whatever price improvement we get from not treating primers for sale like white unicorns.

buzzsaw

This is wonderful news, and they are 100 million dollars serious about it. I see that they are already an ammunition manufacturer. I hope they will sell primers to the reloading market. I think that part of the primer shortage is that the manufacturers are needing all of their primer production to make their own ammunition. I do not like the idea of making my own priming compound and refurbishing spent primers. I’m a chemist and could do it, maybe even safely, but prefer to leave making toxic, shock-sensitive explosives (lead styphnate) to those who really know what they are… Read more »

buzzsaw

I don’t know Dr. Thompson personally, but do have the pdf of his instructions. They look good. I do want to emphasize safety first! Heed all of the warnings. Make no more of the priming compound than you plan to use in a session. If you have an explosion it’s less bad if it’s a few grams rather than a few pounds. When I was in graduate school earning my doctorate, I used TATB, a military high explosive related to TNT, as a starting material to make another compound (not explosive) to study in my research. TATB is less shock… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by buzzsaw
pro2nd

TargetSportsUSA has CCI, Federal & Remington small pistol & small rifle primers in bulk (5K) with free shipping but after paying sales tax they are .125 plus per primer….tooooo much in my book. I’m buying Ginex small pistol and small rifle primers from Capitol Cartridge for $450 per 5K or .09 per primer delivered. This is the best price for Ginex Primers on the internet today. I along with friends have used Ginex Primers on thousands of reloads and have had no problems at all. Freedom Munitions loads millions of rounds using Ginex Primers. Use AmmoSeek, Wikiarms or just Google… Read more »

buzzsaw

My only “large rifle” is a .308. I have found primed brass at two companies, Armorally, and The American Marksman. It is pulled military brass, nearly all Lake City. Nearly all seems serviceable. The downsides are: 1) A few percent have cut necks from the pulling process. Unfortunately, the crimped primer precludes decapping and salvaging the primers. 2) There is tar-like bullet sealant in the necks, and some residual powder stuck to it. Some remove this, some don’t. 3) The necks are a bit distorted and the cases need to be neck sized to true this up. Even then, when… Read more »

Wild Bill

Excellent report.

Arny

Some can be had, but not at past prices. I saw large Win rifle primers for $200.00 @ 1,000. Twice the going rate for current deals. But I also noticed they were asking the same for small rifle mag, CCI. Which Ammoland had a sales promotion for 5,000 small rifle mag for $ 419.99.from KYGUNCO. They also had a deal for Federal 205m a while back. I think that was Brownells (around $90.00 @ 1,000. When they have them. You need to buy. I have noticed the large rifle are like unicorns. I was wanting some but not at the… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by Arny
john

Nothing wrong with good old fashioned ball ammo the marines found it very useful in there 1911 45 acp while protecting our country. It is powder and primers brass that need to become available. Learn to reload if your have the space then you are independent and self sufficient.
Plenty of 22 cal 9mm 5.56, 223,308 on the shelfs it is the other hunting calibers that are still in short supply.

Grigori

While it is good that any ammo is available, I hate that almost all of it is ball ammo. Little to no high performance (JHP, +P, +P+) stuff out there, especially in 50 rd boxes.

GomeznSA

Not sure what vendors you are checking but a lot of the ones I check had the good stuff listed earlier today/ Price wasn’t all that bad considering what it had been. TBH I didn’t check as I have a ‘fair’ stock in my ammo pile :-0 likely not really enough though. BTW – I saw at least one source that had .22LR for $3.99 per box of 59, not sure what shipping and/or tax would be.
PS – my local Academy had copper jacketed .22LR for 4.99 – only allowed 4 boxes at a time.

Russn8r

Sweet. Looks like this is the one thing holding inflation under 30% annual.

Autsin Miller III

That’s good to know. Maybe if walmart has it, the stores that aren’t against the 2A or acting “Woke” will get it. Walmart’s can rot on the shelf as far as I’m concerned, but glad that bubble is leaking! Thanks for the update.