The Great .22 Rimfire Ammo Shortage of 2014

Wish I had some!

Wish I had some!

Well, most of the ammo shortages that we have experienced over the last few years are not a problem at the moment.

We visited Hoffman’s in Newington, CT over the weekend and they had virtually every handgun & longarm ammo conceivable.  Pallets, literally pallets, of .223, .380, 9mm, .40S&W and .45acp; both range ammo and defensive ammo, in multiple bullet weights for each caliber.  Every hunting caliber was available.  Even ammo for Tokarev and Nagant handguns was available.

Ammo Bingo

What caliber of gun to buy...

What caliber of gun to buy…

I have read a lot of articles about the ammo shortage.  Some on the internet, some in glossy gun magazines.  Lots of people claim to be able to explain the situation, but no one seems to be able to point to any proof that they are right.

2 weekends back I went to a major dealer in CT to see what ammo they had.

Pallets, literally, of .40S&W, .45acp, .223 and .380.  Enough hunting ammo to keep people’s rifles sighted in.  A little .38.  A single countertop display of match .22 for $12.99/50 rounds.  And no 9mm at all.

I personally bought a Ruger SR22 many months ago to address the lack of 9mm, but now there is no .22 to be had!  My .40 and .45 guns are getting more frequent workouts because I can replace any ammo I use in them.

If all you have are 9mm and .22 caliber guns, you’re pretty much out of luck.  At what point do you step up and buy a new gun in a caliber that you can feed?


The cupboard is bare (mostly)

Where da white boxes at?

Where da white boxes at?

Like the rest of you, I am feeling the effects of the ammo shortage.

I am using .22 guns for practice as often as possible.  Why?  Because 9mm is nearly impossible to find.  Not surprising, given its popularity.  .223 range ammo (as opposed to defensive/hunting loads) is scarce too.  I prefer not to deplete my reserves until that becomes unavoidable.  The similarity of the Ruger SR22 to many tactical pistols (in terms of ergonomics and sights) makes it a good alternative for low-cost practice.

What is surprising is how much .380 I am seeing still on shelves.  Also, .45acp is usually available, and most of the time .40S&W too.

There’s a lot of factors at play in this shortage; war production, other government contracts, panic buying, hoarding, etc.  I cannot say if there is any opportunism or profiteering going on, beyond a few unscrupulous dealers that I make a habit of avoiding. I would imagine that it is a good time to be in the ammo manufacturing business.  None of their product will sit idle waiting for a buyer.

Retailers are weary of getting phone calls from ammo-seeking customers.  Many of us have uncovered the delivery schedules for our local retailers, and are scheduling visits to coincide with the deliveries to ensure first crack at any ammo they get.

The shooting ranges that I frequent have ammo to supply their shooting customers thus far; they are sick of being asked to sell it to retail customers.  One owner hides the boxes so that people won’t see them and ask to buy it.

Hope it loosens up soon…


Range Rules, part 2

Range Rules

Range Rules

(Updated) We have posted about range rules before, specifically the issue of ammo restrictions and brass retention policies.

Another set of rules that many shooters encounter is restrictions on the amount or frequency of shooting.

While it is common for publicly-accessible ranges to exclude full-auto weapons, certain ranges take the principle farther.  Some ranges limit the number of shots you are supposed to take without a pause between them (a “5-shot rule” or a “no rapid fire/double-tap rule”).  Others limit the number of rounds you put into the magazine.  One range (according to a commenter in this post by SayUncle) doesn’t allow semi-auto rifles to be fired with a magazine inserted!


Sporting Wood

Got Wood?

Got Wood?

I have always liked the look of a Mannlicher stock.  They just seem…old school, traditional, classy.  I have read that the style originated from the need to use a longarm as a walking stick in the hilly parts of Europe.

Yes, I know that the barrel isn’t free-floating.

Yes, I know that the full-length stock might change the point of impact when the gun heats up.

Don’t care.  Maybe it’s an engineering-centric preference, with the barrel being “protected” by the full-length stock.  Or maybe it’s aesthetic, with no skinny barrel sticking out “unsupported” to offend anyone’s sensibilities.  Whatever the reason, guns with Mannlicher stocks draw my attention, pop into my head for no reason, and make me dawdle at gun show tables.  But I hadn’t pulled the trigger on one, so to speak.