Tag Archives: ammunition

Why there is no .22 long rifle (22LR) ammo on the shelves

.22LR for saleWhile many reports blame capacity or a conspiracy theory, the real reason that .22LR  ammo is short supply is simple – us.

Don’t believe that? Remember when .223/5.56 ammo was selling for $1.00 – $1.25 per round? Remember 9mm at ridiculous prices? That’s not happening anymore is it?

Why not?

Eventually, demand quit being the problem. The average consumer decided that they would no longer pay gouged prices for .223 and 9mm and within weeks that ammo was plentiful on store shelves at much more reasonable prices.

Unfortunately, that crisis mentality has also taught the manufacturers that shooters were willing to pay more than .30 per round for AR-15 ammo, almost as much for 7.62×39 ammo and way too much for .22LR ammo. We are likely stuck with those prices for some time to come – darn it.

Now we come to .22LR.

At a recent local gun show, an older man was selling Federal 50 round red box .22LR for $15 per box – what is worse… people were paying it.

Other vendors were selling .22LR 500 round bulk packs for over $60 (some as much as $105). A complete and total rip-off, but people were paying it. STOP!

Wholesale prices on .22LR allow retailers to make significant profit at .06 – .09 per round depending on manufacturer and cartridge type. That’s $30 – $45 for a quality 500 round brick – not $60-$90 per pack.

When consumers decided that they would no longer pay too much for AR ammo, 9mm ammo or other ammo – those rounds suddenly showed up everywhere. Now, consumers must do the same or risk another year of .22 shortages.

The internals are where the difference is made (aka “grey market” selling.) If consumers are willing to pay too much for an item, a certain “profiteering” portion of the population will take advantage of them. Guess what happens to the profiteers when no one will pay for over-priced stuff?

The grey marketeers are the ones that show up at Wal-Mart and Bass Pro Shops exactly when the truck arrives. They are the close friends of those who work at Wal-Mart, Dick’s and other retailers that sell .22 ammo. They are out to make a fortune on your misfortune and they cannot allow YOU to get ammo at retail or you won’t pay their exorbitant gouge-level pricing.

If shooters want to see an end to the .22LR mess, they only need to do one thing – stop paying more than .09 per round for .22. Shopping for .05-07 would be even better.

Once the profiteers can no longer make a buck off of the shooting consumer, they will move on to something else – and we wish they would do it sooner rather than later.

Why ammo is getting so expensive

Why is ammo so hard to getAmmo prices have skyrocketed. Not only due to extreme consumer demand and an industry ill-prepared to answer it, but also because our weakening dollar means that buying the base commodities necessary to build ammo  will continue to cost more.

Commodities are bought on an open market. A dollar’s worth of copper in one year is not the same as a dollar’s worth of copper in another. As the Federal Reserve continues to pump dollar after dollar into the economy, each dollar is able to buy a much smaller amount of copper, nickel, lead, tin… All components in the making of ammunition.

There are four major components in a cartridge ,the actual name of the “round” put into a rifle or pistol:  the bullet, the case or casing, the primer and the powder.

The bullet is the projectile – that which flies from the barrel at incredible speed. The bullet is typically made from lead, many times with a copper or brass jacket and it may include a core material of steel or other material.

The case or casing is the part of the cartridge that holds the components together and is what is expelled from the gun after firing. In the U.S.A. the vast majority of cartridge cases are made from brass with a smaller number made from nickel.

Copper is used as a jacket on many bullets and is a component in the manufacturing of brass. Nickel, an alternative for case material,  mainly comes from the mining and processing of pentlandite which comes from Ontario, Canada.

As of today, Nickel is about 10% more expensive than brass, but the the possible copper shortage soon coming may change that equation quickly.

Bullets are mainly lead-core. Lead is a commodity, priced and bought at market prices. As the dollar gets weaker, lead gets more expensive – as do all the components.

The EPA has put severe restrictions around lead. What used to be a cheap and highly-available material is becoming expensive and onerous to get.

To make matters worse, some are saying that we are already at the “copper peak” and supply will only get more difficult from here:

We’re running out of soft metals! In scientific circles, this is called “Peak Copper” and “Peak Minerals.” This is when what were easy to extract metals become fewer, and we phase to expensive and smaller returns on energy expended to get those metals. –The Daily Caller

Short-term, incredible consumer demand is to blame. Some are shooters stuffing shelves so that they never have to deal with this again. Others are profiteers buying every round they can get, upcharging and reselling it. Some are simply buying the ammo as barter currency. If things get ugly, ammo will likely be in much higher demand than an inedible, mainly useless, shiny metal. Only if people agree on gold as a medium of exchange will it be worth anything. Otherwise, food, whiskey, guns and ammo may be what become most valuable.

Dear President Obama- free ammo!


Dear President Obama,

I applaud that chic who testified before the world that the right to free abortion drugs and contraception is more important than the right to free expression of religion. It helps us see clearly the only other problem that is actually more important: the right to free ammunition.

Let me be clear, it is a God given right to keep and bear arms, and that right shall not be infringed. Well, with the recent price increases of all ammunition, including practice grade, that right is almost gone. I personally know students who can no longer afford to load their primary magazine to full capacity, let alone carry spares!

Now what about safety? Clearly a person who keeps and bears arms but cannot afford to practice is much more dangerous than one who hits what she’s aiming at. This economic issue has potential to result in increases in collateral damage during self defense shootings. Nine out of ten doctors surveyed prefer to keep the innocent bystanders from getting injured.

I’m also thinking of the poor innocent animals. PETA agrees they have a right to a clean humane one shot instant kill when being hunted. But with the skill of hunters slowly eroding due to the unjustifiable cost of practice rounds, they will be more likely to merely wound their intended prey, leaving them to die slowly and painfully.

Now an important point is that both cases underscore the right to personal protection. Contraception in the form of a barrier such as a condom protects against unwanted sexually transmitted diseases as well as pregnancy- most of the time. Unfortunately, even if you can convince the rapist to use a condom, there’s still the rape part.. NOW agrees properly loaded and available firearm also protects against unwanted sexually transmitted diseases in the case of attempted rape, but is more efficient in that the rape itself is prevented. That’s a good thing. And the bad guy gets to have his potential to rape again prevented should the firearm be used towards the offending area…

There are other economic impacts as well. Katherine Sebelius, secretary of health and human services recently pointed out that preventing a baby more than makes up for the cost of taking care of that baby. Indeed, preventing a violent criminal from going to jail is much more economically efficient than taking care of that murderer for life, even with the high cost of ammo. But of course, should the ammo be provided free by the government, the widespread use of defensive rounds will more than make up for the cost through the decrease in prison overcrowding. And of course that is more humane to the less violent felons who will have better accommodations and smaller classes which train them to reintegrate into society in meaningful ways and to vote Democrat.

Prevention of crime will also rise for all the poor and disenfranchised in the inner cities who have to pay a premium for ammo. It is truly racist that ammunition costs more in the areas where it is needed the most. I’ve taken the liberty of contacting the Reverend Jackson and he’s all in. The redistribution of ammunition from the rich 1% to the needy 99% is truly the highest form of social justice. If ghetto dwellers were able to afford ammo, the criminals would move away to other countries where they stand a better chance of perpetrating their crimes without the annoyance of risking injury. Like England.

Obviously, more ammunition available means more workers to manufacture it. People have to make the ammo. That translates into more green jobs. Recycling will increase for the brass that goes into the shell casings, so it is a green endeavor that will save the planet and decrease greenhouse gasses since no coal is used in the manufacturing process. Think Greenpeace.

So I think we can clearly see the multiple societal benefits from social justice, eliminating the debt crisis, all the way to saving the planet from one simple government program, and the full spectrum of special interest groups who will be grateful for your courage to lead in this area. I thank you for your agreement and hope to see the “Heaven on Earth through ballistic redistribution” bill passed real soon.