This is a real, un-doctored photo, taken just this morning. This ammo was purchased Wednesday evening. Really. And I could have bought more.
Yes, .22LR ammunition is a lot more scarce than it used to be, especially those bulk packs of Winchester, Remington and Federal. But just because you don’t see those 300 and 500 round boxes sitting on the Wal-Mart shelf doesn’t mean that .22LR ammo isn’t available. It is. You can get all you want, with two conditions:
- You have to work harder to find it.
- You have to pay more.
It’s a basic economics decision. You can clutch the memories of old prices while sitting at home not shooting your .22s, or you can accept the new reality and shoot. Your choice.
I’m going to work harder and pay a little more because I really like shooting my .22s. I’m not going to hoard what I have and continue to buy ammo to squirrel away – that’s exactly what’s causing this problem for all of us. I’m going to shoot my .22s and have fun doing it. As I write this, I’m testing a CMMG .22 conversion kit for AR rifles, the new Smith & Wesson M&P 22 Compact with a SilencerCo Sparrow and a Ruger 10/22 with a Timney Trigger upgrade. I intend to shoot lots and lots of .22LR through these guns.
Subscribe to the emails
I few months ago, I got an email from Cabelas letting me know that they had 2,000 round cans of Federal Champion .22LR ammo. I clicked, and a ton of .22LR ammo was on its way for a good price. Subscribe to emails from companies like Cabelas, Webyshops and Brownells, and you just might be surprised at what lands in your inbox. Most companies place a lot of value of their email subscribers and are more than happy to tell them first about new product availability. It’s a win-win – help them communicate with you! Just be sure to keep a close eye on your inbox as you’ll need to act fast.
New stores are opening all over. Chains like Academy Sports, Bass Pro, Cabelas and Gander Mountain can’t build new locations fast enough. Guess what? When they have a grand opening for a new location, they want to create excitement and buzz. Every single grand opening I’ve attended in the past year has managed to offer plentiful supplies of .22LR ammunition. In fact, the ammo in the picture above was purchased at the Grand Opening event of a new Palmetto State Armory store here in South Carolina. Keep an eye on the news and make time to attend. It’s fun, and you’re sure to find some deals.
Set product alerts
Brownells has a neat feature (and plenty of other retailers do also) that allows you to set an automated alert for out of stock products. Use it. You’ll get a text message or email as soon as new product arrives and can be the first to order. I use this all the time with great success. You never know when an alert will come in, so again, keep an eye on that inbox and act fast.
Here’s a great example of American ingenuity that solves a frustrating problem. The creators of GunBot.net have established wonder-magic connections to dozens and dozens of online retailers for ammunition. Their website checks availability and pricing of ammunition, magazines and reloading supplies. All you have to do is visit gunbot.net, and you’ll see a consolidated list of retailers that have the products you’re looking for. You can display in-stock products only and sort by price per round. Just click and you’re linked to that particular retailer to place your order. Couldn’t be easier. As of today, you’ll see that you can buy all the .22LR ammo you want for about $.10 per round. Yes, that’s more than it used to cost. Get used to it – it’s still half the price of centerfire ammo. Oh, and don’t gripe at the GunBot.net folks about prices, they don’t set them, they just link you to the folks who do. Make it a point to check GunBot.net a couple times a day and you might find a deal closer to the “old” prices.
These are a couple of the methods I use to shop for my .22LR ammo. I’ve yet to run out, and shoot my .22s as much as ever.