When I first started shooting, the rule of thumb was that practicing with .22 LR was the cheap, easy way to go about it. The round was plentiful since you could find it almost anywhere, and with the light recoil, it made practice easy.
Then we hit the dark times of no .22 almost anywhere, at least around my neck of the woods, and from what I was seeing, we weren’t alone in that. Today, ammo is there, but it costs more than it used to, that’s for sure. However, those days just might be over with.
The Obama-caused bubble in ammunition prices seems ready to bust. Over the last few years gun owners have seen ammunition prices double or even triple. Handgun and rifleammunition has been hard to find at times and .22 long rifle ammunition tripled in price over the last 18 months. People would line up to buy ammunition at prices two and three times the level that they were just two years ago. But all of that is about to change . . .
Ammunition supply looks as though it is ready to catch up with demand. Centerfire pistoland rifle cartridges are available on most store shelves. When I walked into a local Wal-Mart this morning, their were over 30 signs on the ammunition case indicating a rollback of prices by 10-15%.
In classic economic fashion, the bubble was fueled by actions of the federal government. Many federal agencies bought enormous quantities of ammunition. The Obama administration’s actions fueled fear of coming shortages, gun bans, registration of ammunition sales, even potential low level warfare. All of this led to the current bubble of ammunition sales.
In response, the economy reacted the way free markets are supposed to work. Ammunition suppliers started running their manufacturing plants day and night, adding additional shifts. Importers scoured the world markets, trying to buy everything they could to satisfy the insatiable demand. Foreign manufacturers bumped up their production to try to fill the desire for more and more ammunition. Ammunition production was at the highest level ever for small arms, short of war.
However, as the post adds, this manufacturing won’t just stop. It’ll keep going until there’s a glut of ammo on the market. At that point, the Law of Supply and Demand kick in, and prices drop.
There are two ways to look at this. As a consumer, this is a good thing. Prices dropping means I can buy more ammo for the same money. That means more shooting. In other words, I’ll get more bang for my buck. Literally.
On the flip side, however, are the companies that make this ammo. Federal Premium is already having difficulties, after all, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see other companies having similar difficulties. After all, if their current budgets are based on selling ammo at X price, but they can only sell it at X-Y price, that’s going to play merry havoc with the revenue stream.
The question then becomes whether they can weather that storm.
Not that there’s much we can do except buy ammo and shoot a lot. Still, as a consumer, I’ll consider it my sacred duty to create as much spent brass as humanly possible.
You know, for the children.