Rimfire Ammo Availability

5 posts / 0 new
Last post
Jay Kuca's picture
Jay Kuca
Joined: Feb. 27th, 2011
Rimfire Ammo Availability

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,





Lynn Brazelton
Joined: Feb. 25th, 2011
I don't like to publically

I don't like to publically disagree with folks as that frequently results in hard feelings. That is not intended. However, I definately disagree with your approach. If everyone would just buy the ammo that they NEED there would probably not be a shortage on the store shelves. The reason vendors have places a limit on the amount that an individual can purchase is to try and be sure that everyone has an opportunity to purchase ammo. Folks doing what you are doing by circumventing this process just excerbates the  problem. Please discontinue the hoarding. and let the rest of us purchase some ammo too. Thanks.


Brian Gonsalves's picture
Brian Gonsalves
Joined: Feb. 19th, 2011
Hello Lynn,  Haven't seen you

Hello Lynn, 

Haven't seen you in a long time, I hope you're doing well!

I understand your point, but I don't believe it will work.  The problem is the majority of people won't do it.  

I used the Midway method Jay outlined above to pick up a case (5000 rounds) of Blazer .22s for $224.00 delivered 4.5 cents a round.  This is ammo I bought for $176.00 a case delivered before the latest frenzy.  I received the notification, sent Ty a text message to let him know, and placed my order.  By the time it took to do that (2 minutes?) I checked stock and it was all gone.  They were selling case quanities, there wasn't an option to buy just a brick or a few boxes.  I am sure that everyone that was on their site and saw them available bought a case, if they "needed" it or not.

The only way the "buy only what you need" plan will work is if EVERYONE else does it, until then keep buying all you can!  

If you don't someone else will!  

I'd buy another case today if it came available!  smiley


Jay Kuca's picture
Jay Kuca
Joined: Feb. 27th, 2011
Lynn, I am also pissed off at


I am also pissed off at all the hoarding that is going on. And I know a bunch of other shooters who are as angry and frustrated about it as I am. But until it stops, I try to buy enough .22LR ammo to enable me and my grandson to shoot the rimfire matches each and every month. In the current market, that means I buy what I can, when I can. It also means that I buy a sufficient amount of ammo to ensure that I don't run out. I try to maintain enough of a reserve supply to ensure that I have enough for the next few matches.

Sorry, but in my book, that ain't "hoarding." Hoarders are the folks that buy thousands of rounds and squirrel them away with no intention of shooting them until the "revolution" comes. Those people are nuts, and there isn't much that the rest of us can do about it, except hope that it eventually goes away.

The American Rifleman magazine had an interesting article in its January 2014 issue, "Why We've Had an Ammo Shortage." The author of the article paints a pretty convincing picture that the root cause of the ammo shortage is that firearms sales have exploded over the past decade or so, and ammo manufacturers have failed to keep up with the demand created by all those new guns and new shooters. That, together with the fear of new, more stringent laws governing the purchase of guns and ammo has created a "perfect storm" that has caught the ammo industry off guard. Seems plausible to me...

At any rate, I am hoping - as I'm sure all dedicated shooting enthusiasts are hoping - that the panic buying will eventually subside and that the ammo manufacturing industry will slowly add enough capacity to keep up with the "normal" demand of a growing and increasingly popular sport.

Thanks for you comments. I hope to see you on the range sometime real soon.



Craig Wilder
Joined: Feb. 26th, 2011
It's like a free-for-all. You

It's like a free-for-all. You gotta get in there and get yours. smiley

Log in to post comments