Matt Reams, the V.P. of Sales for Sierra Bullets, recently addressed the burning question in the minds of many shooters these days: “Where did all the .22LR rimfire ammo go — why can’t I find any?” Here is Matt’s answer, from the knowledgeable perspective of a firearms industry executive.
Why Can’t I Find .22 LR Ammunition?by Matt Reams
Even though Sierra Bullets does not make .22 LR ammo or projectiles, we are constantly asked “Why can’t I find any .22 LR ammo anywhere?” Even the conspiracy theorists are at a loss on this one as they can’t even blame it on the government. They toss around thoughts of warehouses full of .22 LR rotting away just to keep it out of their hands, but that does not seem very realistic – even to them.
So what is going on here? Why is it that 1.5 years later, the shelves are still empty and bricks of .22 LR can still be seen selling for upwards of $75-$100 at gun shows? I do not believe there is one answer, but rather a few. Here are my opinions on the matter, for what they are worth.
Hoarders – Some people are piling it away in their basements, garages, bunkers, and under their beds due to fear of not being able to find it again. This is not a huge factor in it, but it is still a factor to some degree. When these hoarders can’t find it on shelves, it only panics them more and causes them to buy even more when they do find it.
Gougers – These are the guys who prey on the fear of the hoarders. These are the guys that wait in line at Wal-Mart at 3 a.m. to buy up the daily allotment that Wal-Mart puts out at normal retail prices and then double or triple their price on the weekend gun show circuit. Again, not a huge factor, but keeping the shelves looking empty which keeps the panic level higher for those that are looking.
Demand – Now we are getting to the real meat of the issue. You hear manufactures say they are running 24/7 on their rimfire lines which is putting somewhere around 25-30 million rounds PER DAY (estimate on my part from numbers I have heard from the big rimfire guys) into the market – so how can there be a shortage? I have asked this myself – until we start doing even a little basic math. You hear all kind of numbers about how many firearms owners are in the USA, but you hear 70-80 million quite often. So for the sake of us not arguing that number – let’s cut it to 35 million. Do you know a gun owner that does not own at least one firearm chambered in .22 LR? Do you know any that are not looking for .22 LR ammo or would at least buy some if they saw it for normal prices? How many would they buy when they found it? A lot – right? But again, just to keep the argument on the low end, let’s say they would all be satisfied with just a single 500 pack. 35 million multiplied by 500 .22 LR rounds for them all – is 17.5 BILLION rounds. Let that sink in. Even at 25 million rounds being made PER DAY – that is 1.92 years’ worth of production.
Starts making some sense then doesn’t it? Hoarding and panic emptied the shelves. Gougers try and keep them empty and demand does keep them empty. Then factor in that I probably cut the real number of 22 LR shooters in half and probably underestimated the amount everyone would buy if they found it at normal prices by 300% and you can see how deep the problem really is and why it is not going to go away tomorrow. It also does not take into account the world market – just the USA.
How will it get better? Slowly. The hoarders will get to a point that they feel they have enough or will run out of money. The shelves will start getting enough on them that the gougers cannot buy it all. This will make people stop paying $50-$75 for a brick at gun shows. That will make it less profitable for the gougers to spend their money on and they will stop. The shelves will start to have product again which will ease people’s fears and get them back to buying what they need today instead of what they need for the decade. There is no fast answer.
Are the manufactures hiring people for extra shifts and adding capacity – sure they are. But it is easy to just expect them to ramp up production overnight to take care of our needs, but that is just not realistic. We get the same thing here. The market certainly has not grown 500% so what happens when companies add all that super expensive equipment when things get back to normal? They take a bath on it for sure and waste capital that they could have used to improve their company in a way that makes them stronger. Instead they just added equipment they may never need again and have to mothball while they lay off workers they no longer need. Not a great way to run a business and not a fair way to treat employees.
We all just have to trust that it will get better, do not buy more than we need and wait it out. It will not get better overnight. It will start out with a box here and there and then a few and then slowly the shelves will get back to having all the supply and selection we picky consumers are accustomed to and will certainly appreciate much more than we ever did before… if only for a little while.
Share the post "Why Can’t I Find .22 LR Ammunition? Sierra VP Speaks Out"
The number one complaint among our readers is: “I can’t find any rimfire ammo … where did it all go?” Well, though .22 LR ammo is in very short supply in the United States, you can find plenty of rimfire ammo in other countries around the globe, including many of the world’s most popular tourism destinations. With the availability of cheap .22 LR ammo overseas, you may want to plan an ammo-buying adventure in an exotic location. Sun, sand, and ammo galore make for a perfect getaway.
Recognizing the unprecedented demand for rimfire ammo, a new specialty travel company, Ammo-Ventures.com, is now offering “ammo buying spree” holidays in exotic destinations worldwide. Participants can jet off to Brazil, Costa Rica, the Philippines, and Thailand. All Ammo-Ventures tour participants will be allowed to purchase up to $3000.00 worth of rimfire ammo while on holiday. Ammo-Ventures will handle all the packing and shipping chores, and will arrange for your ammo to be air-freighted right to your residence in the good old USA. In addition, if you’re itching to go shooting once you return home, you can pack a limited amount of rimfire ammo in your regular luggage. From most locations you can bring back up to ten boxes (i.e. 500 rounds) of rimfire ammo in your checked luggage.
Along with ammo-shopping sprees in exotic locations, Ammo-Ventures offers its customers a wide variety of adventurous diversions and “daily escapes”. In Costa Rica, you can enjoy the famous San Jose nightlife, raft a wilderness river, or go deep-sea fishing in the Gulf of Papagayo. In the Philippines, tour participants can go on a jungle jeep tour or dive idyllic, unspoiled coral reefs in Palawan province. In Thailand, Ammo-Ventures offers remote beach getaways, plus scintillating Pattaya nightlife.
About Ammo-Ventures LLC
Ammo-Ventures LLC was founded in 2013 by Frank “Cisco” Leland and Sam “Stinger” Yee, two seasoned world travelers who are also avid shooting enthusiasts. They personally accompany each Ammo-Venture holiday. For over two decades these rugged adventurers have organized exotic travel holidays including “romantic adventure” tours to Thailand, the Philippines and Costa Rica. Cisco Leland says: “With our interest in shooting and tropical destinations it seemed natural to organize specialty travel trips for shootists who need to stock up on ammo. With the current ammo shortage in the United States, it makes more sense than ever before to visit an ammo-rich, gun-friendly tropical destination. Now you can enjoy the sun and the fun, and come home with with a crate full of ammo. If that sounds like the perfect vacation… well it is!”
Share the post "Ammo-Ventures.com Offers Offshore Ammo-Buying Holidays"
Looking for the best prices on rifle and pistol ammo? Here’s a service that can help you comparison-shop pricing among multiple online ammo vendors. Starting this week, The Firearm Blog will be researching and posting ammo prices from two dozen different websites. Prices are displayed for 500 and 1000-round lots of the most popular pistol and rifle calibers: .380 ACP, 9mm, .40 S&W, .45 ACP, .22LR, .223 Rem, 7.62×39, and .308 Win. This is a useful service. Not only do the charts help you find the best price, but this weekly report helps spotlight sources of hard-to-find ammo, such as .22 LR rimfire ammunition. Among the 24 vendors surveyed, Alamo Ammo, Outdoor Limited, and Smokey Mtn. Munitions, are showing some kind of .22 LR ammunition in stock.
What happens inside a rifle chamber and barrel when a cartridge fires can’t be seen by the naked eye (unless you are a Super-Hero with X-Ray vision). But now, with the help of 3D-style computer animation, you can see every stage in the process of a rifle round being fired.
In this amazing video, X-Ray-style 3D animation illustrates the primer igniting, the propellant burning, and the bullet moving through the barrel. The video then shows how the bullet spins as it flies along its trajectory. Finally, this animation shows the bullet impacting ballistic gelatin. Watch the bullet mushroom and deform as it creates a “wound channel” in the gelatin. This excellent video was commissioned by Czech ammo-maker Sellier & Bellot to demonstrate its hunting ammunition. The design, 3D rendering, and animation was done by Grafické studio VLADO.
Watch Video – Cartridge Ignition Sequence Starts at 1:50 Time-Mark
Video find by Seb Lambang. We welcome reader submissions.
Share the post "How Rifle Ammunition Works — Amazing CGI Animation"
Lapua has a very cool video — “eye candy” for any precision shooter. Definitely WATCH THIS VIDEO. This 12-minute video contains a surprising amount of “hard” info on Lapua products. As well, there are some amazing segments showing Lapua brass and rimfire ammo being produced. Watch carefully and you’ll see most of the processes used for forming and loading brass. Another short segment shows a Lapua technician inspecting a case for run-out. Neat.
The video spotlights some of the important American and international records set with Lapua ammo. You’ll see top 300m and Olympic rifle shooters in action, and there are also short comments from many champions, including American Benchrest legend Tony Boyer.
Yes, this video is first and foremost a marketing tool, but that doesn’t lessen that fact that it is fascinating to watch. We suspect many of you will want to save the video to your computer for future viewing. That’s easy to do. Just click on the link below. (Note: After downloading, we suggest that PC users play it back through Windows Media Player. You can then drag the Media Player corners to expand the video viewing size.)
For top-level competitors, hand-loading is truly the “relentless pursuit of perfection”. To build ammo capable of winning major long-range matches, you’ll need the best tools — and an almost obsessive attention to detail. The bullets must be ultra-consistent, powder charge weights must be “dead on”, seating depths (as measured from base of case to ogive) must be precise, and neck-tension must be the same for every round that goes in the chamber.
When you get it all correct, when every phase of the reloading process has been carried out perfectly, then you have rounds that can set records and win world titles. So what does championship-grade ammo look like? Take a look at the photo below. This is the 7mm RSAUM ammunition used by Kenny Adams at the Berger Southwest Nationals (SWN). Kenny is the 2013 F-Class World Champion. And he was also a member of Team Grizzly which won the SWN F-Open Team Grand Aggregate, setting a new National record in the process. Does your ammo look this good?
Kenny’s World-Beating 7mm RSAUM Load
For his 7mm RSAUMs Kenny loads Hodgdon H4350 powder and Federal 215m primers into Nosler or Norma RSAUM brass. In the RSAUM he runs Berger 180gr Hybrid bullets seated “just touching” the lands. Kenny is very precise with his charge weights. Using a Sartorius Magnetic Force Restoration scale, Kenny tries to hold his powder charges to within 1-2 kernels charge-weight consistency.
Share the post "Record-Setting 7mm RSAUM Ammo from Berger SW Nationals"
On January 13, 2014, Winchester Ammunition will roll out new products during Media Day at the Range (held at the Boulder City Range outside Las Vegas, NV). We’ll have reporters on hand to check out new ammo options and new hardware from other manufacturers. Here’s a sneak preview of some new products that will be unveiled on Monday. In the box below you can scroll though Winchester’s 2014 new products, which include Winchester Match Rifle Ammo (.223 Rem, 6.5 Creedmoor, .308 Win, .338 LM) Win3Gun ammunition, Win1911 cartridges, new VarmintX ammo, and the new Long Beard XR and Defender shotgun ammo.
To learn more about these new items and other products visit Winchester.com. There you’ll find the latest product new, Information on Rebates and Special offers, plust a free online Ballistics Calculator.
Share the post "Winchester Ammunition Unveils New Products for 2014"
What do you get for the shooter “who has everything”? How about a custom-crafted, laser-engraved ammo display case. Technoframes produces a series of ultra-sleek Ammo display units, and high-tech pistol racks. The CNC-machined display boxes, fitted to your choice of cartridge, look great. There are many varieties to choose from, including wood, metal, and plexiglass. We like the fact that many of the boxes are lockable.
Technoframes’ impressive billet-aluminum pistol racks, with magazine-style gun holders (fitted with Neodymium magnets in their bases) put ordinary plastic or wire-framed racks to shame.
Last but not least, Technoframes also makes a plexiglass-sided gun transport box and a double-tiered, two-pistol/six-magazine gun display box with removable inner tray. These units look like they were produced by “M” for James Bond.
Technoframes is the world’s leading producer of high-end CNC-machined ammo and handgun storage solutions. For more info, visit Technoframes.com, or download the latest Product Catalog (PDF).
Share the post "Ultimate Gifts: Technoframes Ammo and Handgun Display Units"
Get an inside look at the how ammunition is made with this step-by-step production guide from Hornady. The video begins by showing the stages in production of a lead-core jacketed bullet with exposed tip, such as the Hornady Interlock. Next, at the 1:38″ time-mark, the video shows how cartridge cases are made, starting with small brass cups (photo right). The brass is lengthened in a series of stages involving annealing, drawing, polishing, and the formation of the case head with primer pocket. Finally, at the 2:40″ time mark, the video shows how bullets and powder are seated into cartridge cases on the Hornady assembly line. In the final production stages, the completed ammunition is tested and packaged.
Watch Ammo Production Video
Share the post "How Hornady Ammunition Is Made — Step-by-Step Process"
Here’s a resource of interest to shooters, hunters, and bullet-makers. Now you can dazzle your friends with your command of arcane ammo acronyms. ArizonaGunlist.com has compiled an excellent Glossary of Ammunition Terminology which explains the myriad “alphabet” shorthand terms used to described bullet and ammo types. If you’ve ever puzzled over the meaning of acronyms such as BEB, FNSP, LSWC, NTF, SST, TAP, and TBS, this glossary will give you straight answers. The glossary explains the actual meaning of over 200 “alphabet soup” ammo terms, both common and not-so-common. This glossary will also help you understand the bullet references commonly used in reloading manuals. A few selections from the Glossary are listed below. (NOTE: these are mere snippets — there are actually 14 entries just for the letter “B” for example.)
Reloaders Rejoice! There’s a new source for bullets, brass, powder, and primers, as well as loaded ammunition. The all-new Bullets.com website offers all these products, plus reloading tools and dies, barrels, gun stocks, scopes, rings, shooting rests, range bags and much more. Primers, you need primers you say? Yes, Bullets.com currently has some types of CCI, Federal, and Remington primers in stock, including the hard-to-find CCI 450 small rifle magnum primers.
You definitely want to include Bullets.com among the vendors you visit when you need components and gun hardware. The new Bullets.com webstore will carry 8,000+ shooting-related products from over 50 top brands such as Lapua, Norma, Federal, CCI, Berger, Sierra, Berry’s, Bald Eagle, Bushnell, Hodgdon, Alliant, Nightforce, Kowa, Vortex, Winchester, MTM, Magpul and many more! Check out the website at www.bullets.com or call 1-800-235-0272 to get a free 60-page color catalog.
POWDERS IN STOCK — Among the popular powders in stock at Bullets.com today are:
Bullets.com carries projectiles from the leading bullet-makers including Berger, Lapua, Sierra, Speer, and Berrys. Yes Bullets.com has premium bullets in stock right now, including the hard-to-find Berger 6mm 105gr Hybrid, and 7mm 180gr Hybrid. Grab ‘em while you can boys!
Along with reloading components, factory ammo, and reloading dies, you’ll find the hardware you need to build a complete rifle. Bullets.com caries Bartlein barrels (in a wide range of calibers and contours), laminated gun stocks, and a full line of optics, including Nightforce, Kowa, and Vortex rifle-scopes and spotting scopes.
Who Are Those Guys? About Bullets.Com
Bullets.com was launched as a result of the intense passion for shooting by its President, Shiraz Balolia. Shiraz has been shooting pistols, rifles and shotguns for almost 40 years and has been involved in long range rifle shooting at the National and International level for almost 10 years. He served as the Captain of the U.S. F-Class Open Rifle Team for the 2013 World Championship and was a member of the 4-man team that won the 2013 Nat’l 1,000-yard Championship. He has won numerous gold medals in long range shooting and has set several National records.
Bullets.com is a division of Grizzly Industrial that was started by Mr. Balolia in 1983. During those 30 years, Grizzly became a powerhouse in the metalworking and woodworking machinery industry serving over a million regular customers and growing its warehouses with 1.2 million square feet of space in three states (WA, PA, MO).
Share the post "Bullets.com — New Shooting Supplies and Accessories Webstore"
Need .22 LR rimfire ammo? As of noon on November 4, 2013, Creedmoor Sports has 1100 boxes of SK 40-grain High Velocity HP ammunition (item #SK-HVHP) in stock. This is available in 50-count boxes or 500-count bricks, at a sale price of $8.95 per 50-round box or $83.95 per 500-round case. This is good ammo, suitable for club-level match shooting or general plinking use. If you have been searching high and low for rimfire ammo, you may want to jump on this before it’s all gone.
Caliber: .22 Long Rifle | Bullet Weight: 40 Grains | Bullet: Lead Hollow Point | MV: 1265 FPS
Share the post "Creedmoor Sports has SK .22 LR Rimfire Ammo in Stock"