A WalMart in North Dallas, Texas, just off the George W. Bush freeway and Marsh rd, consistently had 5 cent .22 ammunition when I visited my Daughter in October. When I checked in late November, there wasn't any more on the shelves. I was disappointed, and believed that the .22 bubble was re-inflating. I was gone for a couple of days, but checked out the display again on 29 November.
In October, a WalMart employee, who wished to remain anonymous, told me that the same people came in when .22 bulk packs were available and bought them all up. They did not buy the 50 round boxes, because they were not worth their time, with a 3 boxes per day limit. The bulk packs were bought up regularly.
Maybe the ammo resellers were on Thanksgiving vacation on the 29th of November. Maybe they noticed a slump in demand. I cannot be sure why, but there on the shelves were five boxes of Winchester copper-plated .22 LR, 333 round boxes for $14.97. This was late in the afternoon, about 4:30 p.m. WalMart restocks .22 ammuntion in the morning, I have been told.
That price converts to a little less than 4.5 cents per cartridge. I predicted the bubble would be considered burst when .22 ammo became commonly available at 4 cents a round. The demand is still up, and supply has not increased enough to get to that point, yet. But I am commonly hearing of people being able to obtain .22 cartridges in limited quantities for 5-7 cents a cartridge, and 8 cent ammunition is fairly common.
The production plus shipping and retail profit price of inexpensive .22 ammunition is likely below 3 cents a cartridge. Most of the current profits are going to middlemen like the enterprising Wal-Mart shoppers, pawn shops, or local gun shops. I have seen quite a bit of .22 ammunition at 10 cents a cartridge or higher.
Much depends on the political climate. The more President Obama talks of the necessity of restrictions on gun ownership, the more the bubble will re-inflate. The more the media cartel publicises public shootings and/or terrorist attacks, the more demand will remain high. But, the desire to have a supply of .22 ammunition on hand at home is being satisfied. When the demand drops below the level of supply, prices will come down and stay there.
It is hard to predict when, in the current political climate.
©2015 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.
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