The End of 22LR Rationing – Wal-Mart Removes Purchasing Limits

After almost half a decade, the long-standing drought of 22 Lone Rifle ammunition is finally behind us. Confirming this triumph is good old Wal Mart who announced internally that any and all restrictions on purchasing 22 ammo in bulk have been removed.  Up until about a year ago, 22LR was reasonably difficult to find in both bulk and inexpensively.

Shared across Facebook and other social media, the new policy was announced to managers, loss prevention, and sales clerks. The new policy is a welcome change, especially for this in more rural areas where Wal-Mart was the major, if not only, purveyors of ammunition. By the announcement, the policy applies to any and all types of 22LR ammunition including bulk packs, match loads, and specialized rounds.

The change is one of many signals that the industry is catching up with demand. Various ammunition manufacturers have announced layoffs and furloughs as demand for ammo has decreased rapidly while manufacturing capacity has continued to increase. Fortunately for us consumers, this combination will mean ammo will likely be both plentiful and cheap for the foreseeable future.

A second effect will be the resurgence in interest in rimfire weapons, who’s primary draw was inexpensive shooting. Smith & Wesson, Ruger, and others have been quickly pushing new 22 LR models and innovations including the latest Ruger Integrally Suppressed 10/22 Takedown model.





Frank.K

TFB’s FNG. Completely irreverent of all things marketing but a passionate lover of new ideas and old ones well executed. Enjoys musing on all things firearms, shooting 3-gun, and attempting to be both tacticool AND tactical.


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  • cowboybob

    PRAISE BE TO GOD EMPEROR TRUMPIUS REX THE FIRST!

    • valorius

      MAGA! If Hillary had won……

      • Ark

        And it only cost us our pride as an entire nation…

        • valorius

          My pride is just fine, thank you…as are my 2nd amendment rights.

    • Bill

      You mean Immortan Don, or the Bullet Farmer?

  • JD

    I wonder how many millions of rounds are now sitting in peoples basements/garages that were bought when ammo could be found. Now that supply has caught up with demand how long will it take shooters to go through their personal reserves before they go to the store to stock back up?

    • Palmier

      I’m not going to ever touch my reserve, but now that you can buy it on shelves I may start shooting that stuff again as it becomes available.

      • Just Say’n

        You might want to rotate your stock though. It’s not unheard of that the priming in .22s go bad. Unsure if it’s temperature or shock & vibe or a combination of the two.

  • 22winmag

    I once saw a bunch of grown men at WalMart lunge at a small pallet of ammo and tear it apart before the clerk had a chance to stock the shelves with it.

    Once.

  • valorius

    Make America Great Again! 😀

  • Tim

    “The Great .22lr Drought” had some good lessons for us regarding ‘shortages’ and human behavior.

    Let’s hope we have all learned something.

    • Brett baker

      Yeah, airguns are great training aids. Hopefully, people will use’m and prevent runs.

  • Major Tom

    Now if only 7.62x54R could be made more available…

    • Veteran for Trump

      I reload mine. Get the brass and bullets from Graf & Sons, buy primers and powder locally to avoid the HazMat fee, unless you do like I do and buy several thousand primers and many pounds of powder online from either Powder Valley or Midsouth Shooters Supply.
      I use Prvi Partizan (PPU) brass and Hornady Match .311″ or .312″ BTHP.
      A Lee single stage press and dies and a powder measure and you’re all set.
      Probably around $100 to start and you will never run out of ammo.
      The PPU brass can be reloaded 10 or more times. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/61537ac3de326a52be013943833bb3cbf8de2663940db47a9e2d502933b51391.jpg

    • .45

      Well, I wish that too, but my understanding is that the reason we don’t have spam cans lining the shelves of every gun shop ever is that the main exporter is Ukraine, and they are too busy using it to export it these days. Kind of makes our petty concerns about ammo prices look exactly that: Petty.

    • Ark

      Oddly, I can never find .22lr at my local Walmart, but they always have Tula 7.62x54R. Nobody ever buys it. I have to very specifically direct the clerk where to find it.

  • RSG

    And in some yet undiscovered federal warehouse, lies 30 BILLION rounds of unused/unopened commercial 22lr ammo. Amazing what an election will do.

  • bpegg72

    Still no 22lr ammo at my local Walmart’s do to employees selling it out of the back to their buddies.

    • derpmaster

      Our Cabela’s has probably a million rounds of 22lr on hand at any given time. It’s not always priced great, but it’s there, and you have your pick of like 20 different loads.

      Also Dick’s always has a couple thousand rounds of Winchester mini-mag clones for $8 a sleeve.

    • John

      I expect this notice to be good for 15 minutes, then rationing begins anew.

    • Jtrain

      The guy in charge of the gun counter in my local Walmart is a world class Fudd/***hole. He tried to tell me they won’t price march ammo, which isn’t true. I suspect that he doesn’t bring out the 22 until his buddies come by. I really wish they would put someone else in charge because I’m convinced all of a sudden I would see 22 in the cabinet when I go by.

    • Russ Kell

      None around the 5 WMs I visit in my area. When I’m in early (the only time I go in) I see the ammo-campers waiting at the ammo counter sitting in lawn chairs taken from the gardening section. I should probably know them by name now that I’ve seen some of the same guys so many times.

  • Sua Sponte

    I’ve never really understood people’s issue with Wal-Mart and .22LR, sure I’ve bought boxes there if they had any at a decent price, but, for the past several years have bought on line using various ammunition search engines and have never really had an issue with obtaining it. Not saying there wasn’t a “drought”, but never saw enough personally to see it as a crisis. Wal-Mart has always been one of those “if I’m there I’ll see what they have” stops..

    • derpmaster

      Wal-Mart used to be the choice spot for getting 22lr. You could get Federal bulk pack 550 cartridges for $11, which ran well and was accurate in most semi autos. They didn’t even have it behind the counter where I used to shop, it was out on a shelf.

      I’ve heard that their gun/ammo stock is entirely up to the store manager, but I doubt it’s a huge profit maker except in a select few stores. In the Wal Marts I’ve been in during the last few years, it’s basically just a lip service double refrigerator sized cabinet with some miscellaneous boxes of ammo. I’d never go in there expecting to find anything I’m specifically looking for.

    • .45

      Ditto. I didn’t have much trouble, simply bought whatever I came across that was a decent price from local shops and kept my .22s well fed. The best deal I ever found came from wandering into a local mom and pop that I check out once or twice a month for deals on used guns and finding they had just received a shipment of Winchester .22LR…. Came back the next day to see about another couple of boxes and it was all gone, but they let me buy a thousand rounds at under 10 cents a round as I recall, which was a decent price at the time.

      Anyway, I never had much trouble keeping a few thousand rounds laying around and doing the odd Appleseed shoot with my Mossberg Plinkster. Never had any misgivings about purchasing a .22 firearm either. As Hickok45 likes to say “Life is good.”

  • Clinton Matthews

    For 22lr ammo, nothing changed in Australia price wise or supply. We make our own

    • M.M.D.C.

      What does it cost down there?

      • Tassiebush

        I think about $60au for a brick of 500. Our dollar is about .75$us currently so something around $45 in your money for a brick of 40 grain Winchester PowerPoints and the fancier 42grain ones cost more.
        I haven’t bought any for a while though as I have plenty of it. Some types may cost more or less of course.

        • M.M.D.C.

          That’s about what we’re paying. 22 is a great round to shoot. Sometimes it’s the only thing I shoot on a range day.

          • Tassiebush

            Yeah I don’t feel concerned about it’s price. It’s certainly a good little round. It does it’s job on a lot of things if you can get close enough and it’s cheap enough to use without thought for it’s cost.

      • Clinton Matthews

        Yes it’s 50 too $65 and always available Aud about $49 USD for something like CCI quiet which is on the high end of things 22lr

  • Veteran for Trump

    Not in South Carolina along the Coast. None to very little in any Walmart. Some don’t even have a shelf space for it anymore.

    • Gary Kirk

      Same up here

      • bluecheesedressing

        Same here, it’s seems the coasts and peripherial areas of the country are still in a drought.

        • guest

          Pretty much. In Michigan if you want to shoot .22 LR you have to go to Cabela’s and pay $65 a brick for “Aguila” crap made in Mexico–or forty-cent-a-round Eley match, or almost forty bucks for a “bulk pack” of 525 Remington “Golden Bullets.” Availability of anything else is spotty at best. Wal-Mart still hava-no .22, damn little Russian steelcase 7.62×39. Some gun stores have .22 and some don’t.

    • M.M.D.C.

      I’m in Hanahan. I quit Walmart when Gander Mountain opened.

  • Raptor Fred

    I actually sold all of my .22lr pistols and rifles due to the buffoonery and jackassery involved with purchasing ammo. Never in my life have I seen so many fat inbred overall wearing Jimbobs , try and catch a murder case fighting over boxes of Remington Thunderbolt for the value price of $69.99. All to be the King having acquired a mountain of suspect quality .22lr ammunition. Because “22lr is worth more than diamonds.”

    • Paul White

      I did too; made a killing. Now that it’s calmed down I bought 2 inexpensive .22s (one on black friday and one at a pawnshop) and a few K rounds of decent 22 ammo…given that I got almost 15 cents a round for the 1000 or so rounds of .22 I sold back then, no regrets!

  • Swarf

    .22 Lone Rifle rides again.

    • .45

      I would watch that movie/show.

  • Ratcraft

    Can I shoot my 120,000 rounds I have hoarded now…… says Billy Ray Mufflerdick in Hopewallow Murica.

    • Cory C

      That is without a doubt the funniest thing I’ve read in years.

    • Dan Crocker

      No, you can’t. Mamma says you didn’t do the dishes and take out the garbage yesterday like you were told to. Oh and your bed in the basement hasn’t been made in a week. And your socks are starting to pile up and make one heck of a stink.

  • Audie Bakerson

    Hopefully we’ll end full auto rationing soon too.

  • Gary Kirk

    Great, now if I could just find mini mags or velocitors priced halfway sane around me..

  • Gary Kirk

    Great, now if I could just find mini mags or velocitors priced halfway sane around me..

  • maodeedee

    My local wal-marts must not have got that letter or it =f they did it makes no difference how much they can sell because they rarely have very much 22 LR to sell.
    Other stores in my area have 22’s but not the brands that I like. No CCI blazers or mini-mags, only standard velocity CCI, and no Velocitors.

    • Ark

      Same here. Either they worked out a deal with some people who jump whatever stock comes in, or more likely they got sick of dealing with it and a manager is simply loathe to reorder.

  • USMC03Vet

    People still buy ammo from retail? Shocking.

    • Paul White

      I can buy .22 cheaper at Academy than I can online most of the time.

    • n0truscotsman

      Havent done it in years. Aint worth it IMO.

  • Bal256

    I’ve never seen .22lr at any WalMarts near where I go to school in Florida. I’m spending summer in Texas and there’s a decent amount of .22lr on the shelves here. Hopefully it’ll be available nationwide.

  • Darren Hruska

    Did everybody’s American-180 break or something along those lines?

  • Ark

    I still have yet to see a single bunk pack of .22, on the shelf, in my local Walmart. Doesn’t matter if they’re “rationing” or not, it’s never there.

    Also they just dropped the Perfecta brand, so I now have virtually no reason to ever buy ammo at Walmart.

    • Veteran for Trump

      I bought 2 boxes of Perfecta 308Win. when I bought my rifle last October. Empty space for it ever since.

      • Ark

        They discounted the Perfecta .223 when it got discontinued. Kicking myself for not getting there in time to grab a few.

  • jonp

    I see it on the shelves in several places but not the walmart. At the price they have on it I won’t buy it and I have never seen anyone else grab any.

  • mazkact

    Still no .22 on the shelf at Walmarts in the Houston area.

  • Veteran for Trump

    So today I took my camera to the North Myrtle Beach Walmart and checked Sporting goods.
    ONE shelf space for bulk packs of Thunderbolt .22LR. $24.97. Don’t know how many rounds. Sorry about the reflection.
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/97abbd6ad8e5194d8d4516ea77b047cd0b8913f7eb6064238d933cd47a95109b.jpg EMPTY.

    • Russian Under Your Bed

      They often keep .22LR behind the counter at my local WM and others. It’s not worth the effort to track down an employee to track down the person that might know who has the key. Academy is 28.99 on their site. 500rds, limit three. Other brand bricks are 24.99 but limit one.

  • papabear101

    Here in Idaho it is still very hard to find 22 and now you are looking at 30 to 35 bucks for 333 or 525 rounds.

  • Peter Levakis

    Of course why ration what you don’t have or can keep in stock? When you do a basic analysis of the approximate rounds that say Federal can produce during any given period, divided by the number of Walmart’s, even taking into account the ones like the Commifornia cities that don’t allow ammo sales, they can send but a few boxes a week to each store. Both the manufacturers and Walmart do not want anything to sit in a warehouse or shelf for any given time, so will never produce what we need right now for fear of just that scenario. The cost is reflective of supply and demand, not the cost to produce. Do what I have done; reload and make all you need in centerfire. May cost a little more, but you will always have it.

  • Sahdow

    it’s long rifle – not lone rifle ammunition

    Otherwise, good news!

  • needful

    there was no shortage,the whole ammo shortage was government sponsored,they were the hoarders,it started right after the Connecticut shooting. did you notice that a month after obama leaves office and trump takes over ammo is back on the shelves,like magic,RIGHT!!!

    • Russian Under Your Bed

      Guess the same line of dumb looking guys buying up all the ammo at my Wal-mart were with the government. Employee told me they were there every morning ammo came in for over a year. Other Wal-marts in the area often had .22LR a few months after the shortage started. Just go to the more affluent area where you are more likely to see people driving a Mercedes E-class and less likely to see Skeeter and his reselling buddies in their beat up Dodge Ram. Good luck finding a WM employee to retrieve it from the case. Easier to buy online.