Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Where'd All the Ammo Go?

Ammoland is reporting that an analysis of various stats reveals that ammo sales in December 2008 came in at (get read for this):


Yeppers, a billion and a half rounds that could be tracked...I'd bet there's at least half that number (and I'm being very conservative). By the way, that doesn't count reloading components.

At the RangeMaster Tactical conference, one of the biggest dinner conversation topics was how instructors were cutting down ammo requirements for training because the students either couldn't afford the training with the higher ammo component or simply couldn't get the ammo. Several of the instructors reported students coming through classes with .22 LRs, something they probably wouldn't have allowed in years past but now is completely acceptable.

I TOTALLY agree on this point — training is critically important, and I think training with a .22 is still good quality training. We've talked about this on SHOOTING GALLERY last season and repeatedly on DOWN RANGE Radio. At this point, I'm doing most of my own practice with .22s, and I'm pretty worried about the big chunks of ammo we use each season in the television shows. I've already started drawing on my own "strategic reserves" for the shows...I'm buying on a weekly basis, but there's just not that much out there.

So I strongly urge you to augment your basic personal defense battery with a "mirror" .22s for practice. Best cases are conversion units because you get 100% "look and feel" of your carry guns. You guys know I work with Tactical Solutions...the reason I do is they make the best .22 conversion units in the business, not to mention their superb Pac-Lite top ends for Rugers and Browning Buckmarks. For 1911s, I can also recommend Kimber .22 conversion units. 

If you carry a snub revolver (and who of us doesn't at some point), take a look at this Charter Arms Pathfinder, 2-inch .22 LR snub with an MSRP of $379! I'm using my old Walther TPH .22 for BUG practice these days.

On rifle practice, conversion units are the best, but it's most important to match optics. Again, . I have a Tac-Sol unit fitted on a Stag lower and it is my main AR these days. The Black Dog mags are 100%. On your .22, as much it may simply be too expensive to go out and duplicate the optics. My "working" AR, an S&W M&P, is fitted with an Aimpoint M4 and 3X magnifier, which costs a tidy sum. The Tac-Sol .22 is fitted with an inexpensive BSA red dot, but it does the job and gives me the same red dot. Again, in full disclosure, BSA is a sponsor, but they've long been known for their great rimfire scopes. BTW, they have a reasonably priced fixed 4X coming out specifically designed for ARs...I've handled an advanced copy and like it. You don't need the top-of-the-line stuff on a  .22, but you do need rimfire optics that match what you use on the working gun.

If money is tight (and it is), look at a 10/22. I didn't have to tell you that, right?


ericire12 said...

Hmmmmm..... maybe its time to do a DRTV .22 giveaway. Rifle + pistol

You can call it the post Obama practice pack.

nj_larry said...

Next stop ... air guns....

Hazcat said...

I shoot .22 all the time and love 'em. I am a revolver guy so I have both a DA and SA in revolvers. I also have a MKIII and a POS Sig Mosquito.

Several .22 rifles and am in the market for a .22 lever BUT I am looking for one that loads other than the tube (do they make a side load .33 lever?)

Hazcat said...


.33 lever = .22 lever (sorry).

Anonymous said...

Charter Arms? You gotta be kidding. The triggers on CA guns require a force best used for weasel strangling. At least that's my experience. I'd take a Taurus any day over a CA. Of course, a Smith Kit gun is best!

Anonymous said...

I was thinking of a 10/22 but I won't buy a gun I can't get ammo for!

Stephen King said...

My TPH walked off with somebody else! I miss that little pistol!

EJ said...

Sounds like a lot, but that works out to less than six rounds per American.

Couple that with all the new gun sales, growth in shooting sports, and some of those popular Best Defense episodes, and demand will continue to climb.

Brother, can you spare some .40 S & W?

Anonymous said...

While I agree with the economical incentive for using .22s I'm wondering what extent will practicing with this caliper might adversely affect training/practice "reality" (with your own gun & "real" caliper)?

HaroldB said...

Already had two Ruger 10/22's, and just bought a Single-Six for SASS-gun practice.

Now if we could just find .22 ammo to shoot.

Anonymous said...

I have to balk at buying anything Ruger, especially a 10/22 all because of Bill Ruger's comments that simple civilians don't need more than 10 rounds.

Yeah, I know the old man is dead, and the place is probably under different management since he stuck his foot in his mouth some 15 years ago.

Lawrence said...

I have a neat little stainless rossi 22 kit gun that is the shiznit for snubby practice.

Ive shot the heck out of it over the past few weeks and have rediscovered what fun shooting a 22can really be.

top accompagnatrici milano said...

Quite helpful piece of writing, thank you for this article.