Saturday, August 12, 2017

CCI opens new .22 Rimfire Production Facility in Idaho

.22 Rimfire case block being filled and checked at old CCI plant in Lewiston, Idaho
Vista Outdoors opened their new rimfire production facility in Lewiston, Idaho on 10 August, 2017. The new facility covers 37,000 square feet.

Vista Oudoors owns the CCI and Federal ammunition brands. They are major suppliers of .22 rimfire ammunition for the United States. The CCI facility in Lewiston, Idaho has been running almost non-stop to attempt to meet demand in the United States for the last four years. It produces about 4 million .22 rimfire rounds a day.

To meed the increased structural demand for .22 rimfire, Vista Outdoors made the decision to increase rimfire production, years ago. The plan has been in process. The new plant automates the production to modern standards. Much of the new machinery was designed by CCI engineers. From the Lewiston Tribune:
The latest addition provides room for a variety of proprietary equipment used to make .22-caliber rimfire ammunition.

Much of the equipment was designed by company engineers, in cooperation with outside vendors. The focus, Mackleit said, is on "continuous flow" - starting out with raw material and moving through to the finished product in a sequence of steps without building any pockets of inventory along the way.

The result, he said, has been a substantial and "very satisfying" reduction in the time needed to complete an order.

This 10 minute video of how .22 ammunition is made at CCI was made a few years ago by 22Plinkster. It shows how the old process produced .22 ammunition. I recommend it to see how high quality .22 rimfire ammunition is made on an industrial scale. The priming segment particularly interesting. It was still done partly by hand, likely for safety reasons.



Link to video

Perhaps a new video will be made of the plant that opened on 10 August, 2017.

.22 rimfire ammunition has been slowly increasing in availability and dropping in price for months. Production is gradually meeting pent up demand. The new CCI plant will speed up that process. 

The lowest priced .22 ammunition consistently available is the Aguila brand. On the Internet, prices have been about 4.2 cents per round. Aguila quality control is said to have been increased significantly in recent years. Aguila nearly doubled its ammunition production over the last four years.  Aguila uses an Ely priming process. They are striving to get and keep a significant market share of North American demand.

The CCI plant can be seen as work by Vista Outdoors to keep its share of the market. It has brand recognition, an excellent reputation, and is the major player in the market. To keep that position, CCI .22 rimfire prices will need to be competitive.

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

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