Monday, May 23, 2022

Ammo Prices Starting Down? Federal .22 At Yuma Walmart, 6.5

Ammuntion at a Yuma Walmart on May 19, 2022

In 2020, demand for ammunition grew. Ammunition became difficult to find. Ammunition prices shot up. Record gun sales were recorded in 2020 and 2021. We were in another ammunition supply bubble.

The ammunition bubble may be starting to leak. At the local Walmart, on May 19, 2022, there were about 20 thousand rounds of Federal Automatch in 325 round bulk packs. At $21.16 per 325 rounds, that is 6.51 cents per round, significantly lower than this correspondent has seen for months. The Automatch has generally received good reviews for reliability and accuracy, when used for the ordinary tasks a .22 rimfire is set to perform.

In addition, there were about 7 thousand rounds of CCI standard velocity at $4.83 per 50 rounds, or 9.66 cents per round.  There were about a thousand rounds of Winchester Super X in 222 round packs at $18.83, or 8.48 cents per round. Much of the Federal .22 was stored on the bottom shelf, outside the frame of the picture above.

The clerk at the store was very helpful. He said ammunition had been coming in more regularly than had been the case in the last several months.

These prices may appear high in historical terms.  When we look at them under the lens of inflation, they appear more reasonable.

When inflation is taken into account, ordinary .22 Long Rifle rounds in 1950 would cost 16.8 cents in 2022 dollars. 

In 1960, they would cost 15 cents in 2022 dollars. In 1970, they would cost 9.5 cents. Jumping to 1990, they would cost 5.6 cents. In 2005 the cost had dropped to 4.2 cents. Those prices are from price lists, known today as manufacturers suggested retail prices.

Alert shoppers can find sales, discounts, or other ways to lower the price even more.  Many shooters have told of finding sale prices lower than  2 cents a round in the 1990s. Those prices were equivalent to lower than 4 cents a round in 2022 dollars.  In 2018, particular sale prices dipped to 2.5 cents a round.

The 6.5 cents per round price is higher than it was 17 years ago.  There has been historically high demand for ammunition for several years.

This correspondent is unwilling to predict whether the price of ammunition will rise or fall in the immediate future. The future seems especially murky at the moment, with many trends toward instability.  The war in Ukraine, supply chain woes, and soaring energy costs all have the possibility of pushing ammunition prices up. If the American Republic survives, constant dollar ammunition prices will probably trend down in a few years, but inflation may have raised the nominal cost as the value of the dollar deteriorates.

Ammunition manufacturers are working hard, running as long as possible, and putting out about 5 billion rounds of .22 rimfire for the United States every year. A fair amount of that ammunition is imported. Aguila ramped up its production significantly in the last decade. It exports significant amounts to the USA from Mexico. While the volume is not as great, Armscor is sending .22 rimfire to the USA from the Philippines.

The United States is the biggest market for .22 rimfire ammunition in the world. No other country comes close. The single Walmart sighting of a lower priced ammunition supply may be an unrepresentative blip.

Readers are invited to inform us of .22 rimfire prices at their location.


©2022 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch


Anonymous said...

The ammo listed, I have more than that on hand. When will reloading supplies become available, at reasonable prices instead of the price gouging for the last several years? I load five gauges and 25 different calibers. Last time I was in Yuma I was allowed to buy one of anything , in stock. I used to sell powder for 3.25 a pound. maybe if they stop blowing up the powder mills the price will drop.

Anonymous said...

I can make black powder and it can be used in any gun, new or old but smokeless powder can only be used in non black powder guns. black powder is just a pain to clean up. So Pyro-dex is a good fall back but you have to cut the charge by 10 percent for smoke lees use.

thinkingman said...

Howdy. CCI Standard Velocity, 40 gr. $4.83/50 (0.0966 cents per round) same as in Yuma. Had some of that Federal, a couple of boxes of Stingers, a couple of boxes of CCI .22MAG. OH YEAH- LIMIT of 3 boxes of 50, somehow don't think they'd let you buy 3 of the big boxes of Federal!

Anonymous said...

If you want prices to drop let the supply catch up with and surpass the demand don't waste what you have and wait for the prices to come down.

Anonymous said...

Many, Many years ago I had to drive to southern Arizona, while there a K-mart had .22 long rifle shells on sale for 78 cents a box of 50. I went in and asked if there was a limit. the guy said buy all you want, OK, I said I'll take five full cade. He said take this slip to the cashier and pay for them give me the key to your car and I will load them in your car while you pay for them and I'll give your keys back at the car when you show me the receipt. I could see they were in the car and showed my receipt and he gave me my keys and I drove home. when I got home 300 miles away I started unloading. there was exactly twice what I paid for. good buy?