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What is up with .22lr ammo?!?

Discussion in 'Rimfire Forum' started by wingryder, Mar 20, 2013.

  1. wingryder


    Oct 9, 2012
    28.420, -81.171
    I bought my wife an M&P22 last month. I can't find any ammo for it ANYWHERE!!! I feel like an idiot because I told her that .22 is ALWAY available because it the "single most popular round in the world" Where is it all going? The guys at the gun store yesterday were baffled as well. They have been out for 2 months. Anyone here got any theories as to why .22lr is gone? I don't think DLHS is eating it all up!

    Another question, Does anyone here know if .22Long will work in a semi-auto? I have been using a little google-fu but mostly have found that it is cross compatible with .22lr bolt action, but no specific info on M&P...

    Thanks for the help!
  2. CanMan

    CanMan Silver Member

    Jun 15, 2012
    in flagrante
    Here's one dismal scenario about the ammo shortage;

    Ammo Shortage Explained
    From an unknown source...

    [FONT=&quot]Subject:[/FONT][FONT=&quot] Common sense explanation of the ammo shortage[/FONT]

    No Conspiracy:

    For the last few years, the number of gun owners has been on the rise. Increased gun ownership means more ammunition being fired, and the increased demand meant that the existing supply of ammunition was insufficient. Manufacturers were already producing for the Iraq and Afghanistan wars (which was taking a ton of ammo) and as such, any slack there may have been in the system was taken up by those conflicts. We’ve been seeing the effect of the increased demand as the price of ammo has slowly been climbing, especially during the first Obama election stampede in 2008 when prices went through the roof.

    That’s the last time we really saw a run on ammunition remotely as bad as the current state of affairs. With manufacturers busy producing for the war effort, there wasn’t enough slack in the supply chain to allow for the ammunition hoarding that took place. And, as a consequence, ammo became scarce and expensive.

    When the wars started slowing down, the extra ammunition flooded the civilian market. Ammunition prices bottomed out, and especially 5.56 ammo was dirt cheap. As demand slackened, the manufacturers responded by slowing down manufacturing as well. Production lines that were running 24/7 went back to 9 to 5 shifts.

    When Barack Obama was re-elected, there was a mini panic buying spree. But this time, the gun stores and distributors were ready. Remembering how crazy things were during the last Obama election, they ordered extra ammunition ahead of time and there was plenty available on the shelves. The demand by gun owners was sufficiently satiated by the available supply, and life returned to normal pretty quickly.

    Thanks to the mini-panic, the ready reserve of ammunition was completely gone. Manufacturers had nothing in stock, and distributors were sold out. While the lack of ammunition available might be concerning to some, seeing nothing on the horizon, manufacturers continued their slacked production schedule. Since everyone who wanted ammunition had bought it already during the panic, demand was way down and they figured that they could gradually re-fill the reserves.

    For a few weeks, life was good. Distributors were starting to build up their ready reserve of ammunition once again, and store shelves had ammunition in stock at normal prices. Then, Sandy Hook happened. Almost overnight, the demand for ammunition shot past the peak of the mini-panic from a month before, completely draining the ammunition reserves of manufacturers and distributors. The shelves were literally empty.

    Right now, we’re dealing with the aftermath. Ammunition manufacturers quickly ramped back up to 100% production, running their lines day and night, but that’s proving to be too slow to replenish the supplies of the distributors and gun stores. Ammunition is being sold as fast as it can be manufactured. There is no slack in the distribution system whatsoever.

    Normally, there’s a built-in relief valve for panic buying. Namely, people run out of money and then stop buying stuff. People would still want ammo, but they wouldn’t have the money to get it. Unfortunately, this has happened at the absolute worst time — tax refund season. The government is handing people tons of spare cash, which they are dumping immediately on more ammo. Which in turn leads to the ammunition scarcity.

    Since ammunition manufacturers are producing at 100% capacity and distributors are selling what they get as soon as they get it, that means that distributors are continuously adding new orders to the queue. And the queue continues to grow, since orders aren’t being filled fast enough.

    Let me put it this way. Right now, ATK (manufacturer of Federal ammunition) has an order queue that will take them three years to fill. That’s for orders through today. The line will inevitably grow tomorrow.

    As the demand for ammunition slows down, we’ll see more availability and lower prices. There’s a massive cliff on ammunition prices coming as market saturation (or rather market bankruptcy) is reached, and life will once again be good. But for right now, it’s still insane. And showing no signs of stopping anytime soon.

    As to longs working, well, in a revolver just fine. In a semi-auto usually not so good if at all unless loaded individually into the chamber. Wish I could find .22lr too. :crying:
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2013

  3. cj5mrt


    Dec 26, 2005
    Central FL
    Around here it's people buying up all they can and then trying to sell it at much higher prices. I ain't paying inflated prices, so I'll just wait till the supply catches back up.
  4. wingryder


    Oct 9, 2012
    28.420, -81.171
    A very comprehensive viewpoint, Thanks... Since people have been buying up firearms lately.. and ammo has been going through the roof, perhaps many are stockpiling .22 so they can afford to shoot without eating through their supply of "real" ammo... Also, because it is so cheap, it is easier on the budget to grab a 1000 rds here & there (unlike 9mm or 5.56) just a thought.

    I am hoping that .22 will be one of the first rounds back on shelves when this all dies down.

    Also thanks for the 22long tip. I saw a case of that @ Basspro and almost bought it thinking it MAY work, since I currently only have about 50rds of .22LR... but I don't want to get stuck with 1000 rds of ammo that won't run...
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2013
  5. kirbinster


    Jan 28, 2013
    New Jersey
    Wingryder, yes .22LR can be used by some semi handguns. I have a Kimber conversion slide for my 1911 that let's me fire .22 rather than the normal .45 cal.

    I don't get why .22 is in such short supply, its not used by DHS or other government agencies. And almost no one uses it for concealed carry or home defense. Behind it is 9mm which is probably the second hardest size to find.

    At my range things have gotten so bad that these are the current ammo policies:

    Members may buy only 2 boxes of ammunition per day - excluding 9mm (limited to 1 box)
    * Non-members may only purchase ammunition if renting a port and a firearm and are limited to 2 boxes
    * No walk in sales right now
  6. cyphertext


    Jan 6, 2004
    He isn't asking about .22lr (long rifle), he is asking about .22 long. Different bullet, and no, probably won't work in a semi-auto pistol. It may feed ok, but typically the .22 long won't cycle a semi auto.

    This pic shows the difference between .22 short, .22 long, and .22lr.

  7. oppi27


    Jan 28, 2013
    South Western PA
    If you think 22 ammo is hard to find, start looking for another mag for that gun. They are like gold.
  8. joeshmow


    Jun 6, 2009
    I was amazed to see 550 bricks of .22lr at the Walmart last week, copper clad Winchester, $23 a box, 3 box max. They're all gone now.
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2013
  9. wingryder


    Oct 9, 2012
    28.420, -81.171
    No doubt! I won't even begin to look until this thing all blow over. The mags are expensive enough without inflating the price.
  10. wingryder


    Oct 9, 2012
    28.420, -81.171
    Great illustration. I can see there is a lot less powder in the .22long vs 22LR. So, even if the gun will autofeed, it may not have enough ummmphf to cycle the slide.
  11. Cole125

    Cole125 Silver Member

    Apr 5, 2008
    Far West, USA
    The consensus I have heard is 9-12 months until .22 lr is back to being available.
  12. joeshmow


    Jun 6, 2009

    The Walmart allowed purchase of up to three boxes so that's what I got. They had about ten boxes left on the shelf after I left. The W man said they were the first .22's he's seen since Christmas. He said they also had 9mm in earlier but they were already sold out. I thought that was a great sign and ammo is coming back, but I went back the next day and the shelf was bare, as was the shelves of a couple of other W's I've looked at in different cities since then, and I see that .22's are still selling for extortionate prices elsewhere and likewise 9mm etc. Walmart does beat everybody in selling ammo cheaply and not price gouging when it is available.
  13. johnny00


    Nov 26, 2005
    It's just the way things are nowadays. I never thought I'd see a run on .22lr like this ever, but oh well. I'm waiting for 525 bulk packs to show up at Walmart for $15ish bucks again.
  14. fuzzy03cls


    Jan 28, 2010
    I just bought a .22 rifle. My 1st & only .22 firearm. No ammo locally. I bought 400 rounds I saw online for $51 shipped......Yeah I know I overpaid, but I need it to at least make sure the thing works. 3 hours Saturday looking for .22 ammo. Every walmart near me, the 2 bass pro's, gun shops, I spent half of what I paid on gas.
    But I am not buying any more till I see it locally at low prices.
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2013
  15. sublime


    Nov 20, 2001
    The explanation is fairly plausible. I don't think manufacturers have been on a 9-5 leisurly pace in a long, long time. And I don't remember 5.56 being "dirt cheap" amytime in the last few years, but I guess he's talking in relative terms. I think the author is missing another factor. Election and Newtown definitely. Take that and add the Christmas season to it and it was all over.

    So now I sit on what I amassed last summer before all of this. :(
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2013
  16. RUT


    Jan 30, 2002
    New Hampshire, USA
    This gun hobby of mine just may get put on the back burner for a year or so. Oh well, luckily I've got others to fall back on! :)
  17. fuzzy03cls


    Jan 28, 2010
    That's why I got the .22. Can't afford to shoot the big boys any longer. Ammo is too much $.
  18. Faulkner

    Faulkner Patriot Millennium Member

    Aug 21, 1999
    Arkansas Ozarks
    I just pulled out a 500 round brick of Winchester .22LR from my stash to take to the range tomorrow. It still had it's price tag from when I bought it . . . $8.99 a brick.
  19. wingryder


    Oct 9, 2012
    28.420, -81.171
    My birthday is coming up next month and I am not sure what to get. I would really like a M&P 15-22, but if I can't get any .22 ammo, I may as well get my next choice, a .380 summer carry pistol... but no .380 ammo to be had either.:dunno:

    Once the ammo situation normalizes, I would rather have a .22 rifle for plinking. Right now is not a great time to buy anything gun related. I may just have to get myself a telescope and jump back into astronomy for a while.... a more expensive hobby than guns though!
  20. ChiefWPD


    Dec 25, 2004
    “What is up with .22 ammo?” Nothing really. As stated in the famous Pogo cartoon, “We have seen the enemy and they is us!” When ammunition was purchased by shooters at normal rates of usage there was plenty to go around. What we are seeing here is an artificial demand based on fear and rumor.

    Many years ago one of the popular TV late night talk show hosts (Johnny Carson??) joked about a toilet paper shortage. Sure enough, that crack caused a real toilet paper shortage as people bought up store supplies and horded what they had. Same with ammo now.

    It’ll get worked out eventually. And some folks will have found they’ve paid three or four times the value for the ammunition they own. Such is life.