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So, Really, Where Is The .22 Rimfire Ammo?

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So, Really, Where Is The .22 Rimfire Ammo?

Are you still having trouble finding .22 ammo?

The problem with rimfire production is that adding capacity is incredibly expensive and not easy. The machines are very spendy and cannot just be ordered out of catalog. And then you have to train the workforce, too, after the tooling is in and the plant built. And there are aspects of rimfire production one simply cannot rush—nor should it, ever. The priming of rimfire case borders on alchemy, dangerous alchemy. And priming compound is something one cannot take any safety shortcuts with, period. That said, more .22 Long Rifle was produced last year than in any other year in the history of mankind. And it was still not enough.

So, with demand outstripping supply, hoarding and speculation continue. Technology, too, has exacerbated the problem. Social media and instant communication continue to play a role. “Wal-Mart truck is in. In line now” read a Facebook post from a friend. And I received a text from another friend recently: “IV: Bass Pro has bricks of Auto Match. How many u want?”

What we need to come to terms with is that no one knows how long current levels of .22 demand will last—if the big ammo makers knew that they would have known whether or not to build a billion dollar rimfire plant or three. No company wanted to risk that level of capital expenditure, for good reason. Know this, though, the level of demand will remain higher even when the ammo companies catch up, if they ever do so.

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