Originally Posted by H Richard
Wait abut a few mongths, and the stocks will be back up and the prices will be back down.
Everyone predicted that the last cycle and it didn't happen. In 2008 around the election, Wally World had Federal 550s for $13.+ each. It was about $144 after sales tax for 10 of them. Then the price increase a couple of dollars and everyone was so smart. They suggested waiting for a couple of months and the prices would drop. But guess what, they didn't. The last time I saw any in a store the price was $19.95 (same store as earlier.) What happened wasn't return to the old structure but a 50% price increase. If a store around here had any 550s, they'd quickly sell out at the $20 price (but not including sales tax, which would bring it to over $21.
All this is just predictions. If you base yours on prior experience, it would seem the higher prices will become the new normal. I will also guess the shortages will eventually correct itself. Any business loves to get so swamped they can't keep up. Its a good kind of problem to have.
I'd guess the ammo makers have their machines cranked up to full output. The scheduling guys are pulling their hair out trying to calculate which change over takes the least time and how long to run a caliber. The rimfire machines are probably going gangbusters. History has also shown workers love OT and especially right after Christmas to pay their bills. The problem is that the pipeline is dry. No matter how hard they work anything they manage to pump into it will be immediately absorbed and it will look for a while like they're making no progress. And the classic fix is to raise prices. Demand will take a price increase for a while.
Some of us are kind of evil. We really don't care about you or if you've stocked up. We have ours and we're not sharing. We had foresight, if you didn't, its not our problem.
I don't really understand the idea of High Quality 22s. Back in my youth the term seemed to mean something made by Remington, Winchester, or the foreign match suppliers (not the Ruskies or Chicoms.) Then for the next 20 or so years, CCI kind of produced rimfire ammo that seemed to work pretty good. But then the top names started producing an economy line and it had a big problem. It was plagued with misfires. Often you'd get one or two per box. If you pulled the bullet and dumped the powder, you'd find no priming charge down in the rim. And it seemed to be the worst with Remington. Even the top shelf stuff in the yellow and green boxes. By 10 years ago it had gotten so bad many of us just gave up on the fine old brand. My guess is the quality control has gone to the bottom, and its due to the machines running too fast.
Many folks these days swear by CCI. But its moved up to being the "high priced spread", like real butter.
All the makers produce a real premium line or two. But you won't be buying it for a nickel a shot. More likely you'll be spending $.20-30 a round. And it will be the "high quality" folks all speak about. And nearly no one will blow that kind of money to burn a brick or two on a weekend.
When I look at my pitiful stocks of 22s, the very best I have are the now despised Remington Golden Bullets, except mine are from the 1960s, and they're as good as anyone can find in that same price range today. My all time favorite were the SuperX brand ammo from the 1950s. For a while I was finding it at rural barn and yard sales. Just a box here and another one there. It had the very fine print of the Super X on the bottom of the nickel plated 22 cases. But I don't shoot it up, I keep it just to look at and remember.
So you've got to ask yourself "can I take the truth?" The answer will come back that no, you really don't need match quality for your plinking fun. If one or two out of 50 fail to ignite, you'll live.
And back in 1970 I remember the math. A primer cost under a penny ($7.99 a thousand). Bullseye powder cost nearly nothing (3 grains out of 7,000 per pound and a pound under $10). Cases lasted nearly forever if you kept shooting target loads. The bullets were the huge expense, costing a couple of cents each or nothing if you cast your own. You could then shoot center fire ammo for less than today's rimfires that cost $.04 and are undependable.
Tell me again how much progress we've made?