Friday, June 09, 2017

Wal-Mart Removes 3-Box limit on .22 LR Ammunition?

I have been monitoring the availability of .22 rimfire ammunition at Wal-Mart stores whenever one is convenient or I am visiting one. The availability of .22 ammunition has been creeping up for about a year, but the pace has been variable and slow.

I was surprised to see four buckets of Golden Bullet .22 Long Rifles at the local Wal-Mart, with 1,400 rounds each, available for $73.64 or 5.26 cents per round.  The hundred round boxes were much more expensive at $7.76 per box, or 7.76 cents per round. Together the buckets and boxes amounted to 6,400 rounds.

What was interesting is was what was missing.  The signs on the displays that declared a limit to retail customers of three boxes of .22 ammunition a day, were gone.

None of these signs were visible at the ammunition counter. They have been in Wal-Marts for years during the .22 ammunition bubble. Most retail stores had limits on how much could be purchased, in an attempt to make some .22 ammunition available to most customers.  The three round limit was routinely circumvented by people who wanted to buy more ammunition. They left the store and came back to purchase from a different clerk. They brought in wives and girlfriends to purchase three boxes each. They brought in relatives and friends. They recruited non-shooting neighbors. The ammunition delivered to Wal-Mart disappeared from the shelves in hours to semi-professional ammo buyers who sold it online or at gun shows, with prices doubled or quadrupled over what they had paid.

This could only continue as long as demand outstripped supply. Numerous new shooters have joined the gun culture under the Obama administration. Fear of the imposition of strict controls lead to the desire to stockpile ammunition. In response, the manufacturers eventually increased plant to produce more supply. Aguila doubled their production. Vista Outdoors (Federal and CCI) increased there production capacity by 20%.  It was scheduled to come online this year.

I asked the person at the counter what had happened to the limit signs.  He said they had been gone for about a week.  I asked him if it was an individual policy of this store.  He said that he understood it to be a policy that "had come down from Corporate".

Looking at ammo sites that aggregate online ammo sellers and prices, nearly all the limits had been removed two weeks ago.  There were four brands that were being offered with unlimited .22 LR at prices under 5 cents per round, not counting shipping. They were Aguila, Browning, Federal, and Remington.

Considerable .22 ammunition has been available at many dedicated gun store for months, but limits were still common, and prices were relatively high, often 10 cents per round or more.

To confirm the Wal-Mart removal of the .22 LR limits as a national phenomena, Wal-Mart public relations was contacted to comment.

No response has been received as of publication.

Readers who are in a position to check Wal-Mart ammunition counters near them are invited to report on what they find. Is there .22 LR available? Are there signs limiting the purchase of .22 LR? What is the price of .22 LR in your location?

In November of 2016, I predicted the price of bulk .22 LR ammunition would fall to 4 cents a round or below by October of this year. I stand by that prediction.

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

Gun Watch


Anonymous said...

No limits seen in Sheridan, WY Walmart.

Anonymous said...

I did not see any limit signs in the parker Wal Mart but I only bought two boxes of 30-30 150 gr sp fn.

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