Current Ammo Availability Report – Southeast Georgia
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As most of you know, ammo availability has been very hit or miss for the last 12-14 months or so. During early-mid 2013 you were lucky to find any ammo for sale, let alone for a decent price.
Now, at least in my neck of the woods, it seems things are just about back to normal. I checked three area Wal Mart stores that sell ammo as well as one large, chain sporting goods store today to take stock of ammo availability and prices. I didn’t get into documenting calibers available, price per round, etc. Rather, I just wanted to see how likely it was to walk into any given retail store and be able to walk out with some rounds in common calibers.
Between those 4 stores (took me about 3 hours to hit all four), I could have found virtually any caliber you could have wanted (with one exception). The sporting goods store even had a good stock of traditionally harder to find calibers such as FNH 5.7×28 and .338 Lapua. I also saw quite a bit of .44 Mag, which I haven’t really seen in any substantial quantities since 2012 (I picked some of these up to feed my SW Model 29 and Marlin 1894).
All of the stores had defensive ammo and target ammo available. The defensive ammo was a little on the pricier side, but that was only because I could only find 20-25 round boxes. Fifty round boxes tend to be a much better buy for defensive ammo (cases of 500 are even better as far as price per round goes).
Given that these stores were all large chain stores, their prices were in line with 2012 prices (adjusted for a slight price increase that we’d probably see anyway).
However, the one caliber that remains more elusive than a unicorn is .22LR. Not a single round was anywhere in sight. On top of that, despite the huge stock of other calibers, I’d say 60-70% of the other customers I talked to were also looking for .22.
Stores are still getting .22 in on a regular basis. I talked to a clerk at each store today and they assured me several boxes of .22 come in nearly every time they get an ammo shipment, however those boxes sell out within an hour.
One Wal Mart clerk I talked to said an older gentleman comes in everyday at 7:30am to check for .22 availability. If they got some in, he buys the maximum allowed 3 boxes. He’s been doing this every single day for the last several months according to the clerk.
There’s also no shortage of 22 at online retailers. I’ve been monitoring the popular online ammo store, Lucky Gunner, for the last month (they post their current in-stock inventory of each round type, so it’s easy to monitor). As far as I can tell, they are selling 100+ boxes of .22LR every single day at .15-.30 PER ROUND. Absolutely ridiculous prices, but even at that price point, they can barely keep the stuff in stock.
While it does seem that the centerfire market has finally caught back up to (and possibly surpassed) market demand, the rimfire market is still far, far behind getting back to normal.