Ruger Rimfire is the newest discipline that we shoot at NVSA. It's a lot of fun, and a great way to introduce newbies - especially youngsters - to competitive shooting.
Unfortunately, over the past year or so, .22LR ammo has become increasingly scarce. Prior to the ammo shortage, the club could count on 20 or more shooters to show up at each match. Nowadays, it's difficult to get half that many to commit to showing up. The Nov 2013 match was cancelled due to a lack of shooters willing to commit to showing up. That's really unfortunate, because I believe the rimfire matches are
It doesn't look like the ammo availability issue is going to go away anytime soon, so I thought I would share with you some of my thoughts about how to deal with it:
1. A couple of years ago, you could walk into your local gun shop or sporting goods store and buy a 500 round brick of .22LR for 20 bucks or less - 4 cents per round. Today, when and IF you can find it, .22LR ammo is selling for 2 to 4 times that much. Until supply catches up with demand - IF it ever does - forget about paying less than 8 cents a round for quality ammo.
2. Rimfire guns can be very finnickey about the brand and type of ammo (RN, HP, lead, copper plated, etc.) that you try to feed them. I KNOW what runs best in all of my rimfire guns, but my preferred brand/type of ammo may not always be available. So, I buy what's available, and see how it runs. If I try a new brand/type of ammo that proves to be problematic, I don't buy it again. If it runs OK, I'll buy it when my preferred band/type of ammo is not available.
3. Bulk-packed .22LR (500 and 300 round "bricks") is harder to find than 50 or 100 round boxes. So don't get locked into waiting for the bulk-packed stuff to be available. Buy what you can, when you can.
4. Check the shelves of your local gun/sporting goods store(s) on a regular basis. If possible, find out when they receive their ammo shipments, and be there early on the day when the shipment arrives.
5. If you encounter a situation where there is a limit on the amount of ammo that a particular store will sell you (usually X number of boxes per customer per day), recruit family members or friends to make multiple purchases over multiple days. I successfully used this strategy recently to acquire 500 rounds of quality ammo (100 rounds at a time) from a local retailer.
6. If you regularly buy stuff from Midway USA, you probably have an account with them. If you do have an account, you can set an email alert to notify you when anything that is out of stock is delivered to them. I currently have alerts set for 15 or 20 different brands/ types/package sizes of .22LR ammo. BE ADVISED, however, that once you receive an alert, you probably have only minutes to act on it before the item is sold out.
7. Visit the website ammoseek.com on a regular basis (I generally do so once per day). This site is an automated search engine that monitors the websites of numerous online ammo vendors to report - in real time, as nearly as I can tell - the availability of specific types of ammo. The last "big" .22LR ammo buy that I made was via ammoseek from a mail order source in Georgia - 1300 rounds of Federal AutoMatch.
I'm sure others have found their own ways to deal with the rimfire ammo shortage. If you do, please share them on this forum.
Hope to see you soon at an NVSA rimfire match,