Friday, June 16, 2017

.22 Ammo Prices Dropping

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% 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 Stores, 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% 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 bottom shelf 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. The 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.

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.

Gun Watch


Anonymous said...

Most retailers have a 100% markup on just about anything they sell. I say let the market get flooded and force the price down. when inventory is not selling is when the price wars start. Until the diesel engine was invented, diesel was a waste product of creating gasoline. now it sells for more than Gasoline. demand drives price. when retailers stop buying wholesale the manufacturers lower the price. HANG ON TO WHAT YOU HAVE AND DONT BUY 22S FOR A FEW MONTHS AND THE PRICES WILL DROP. As long as the customer is willing to pay the high price no retailer is going to sell for less. when I had my gun store I created a price war and closed down five competitors. I was making a fine profit the others were gouging. My volume in sales made up the difference. would you rather pay 78 cents a box for 22s or 2.50 a box, How about DuPont powder for 3.25 a pound or 9.50 a pound? No advertising required, those kinds of prices create a run on your inventory simply by word of mouth. Most of the time I never got the inventory on the shelf before it sold. when I opened the door I had customers waiting. from as far a way as 100 miles and more. almost everyone bought in quantity and very regular. special orders of gun parts, guns, guns accessories, reloading equipment, ammunition, hunting and camping supplies. I could get anything any body wanted. No one ever complained about waiting. it took about 15 minute to sell three Remington 270s. a half hour to sell nearly 600 dollars of reloading equipment. One guy came 65 miles to get three reloading die lock rings. another guy bought a ton of reclaim shot.

Anonymous said...

No .22LR at any South Carolina Walmarts.
One store has a space for Thunderbolt bulk packs at $24.95, but it is always empty.