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The .22 Caliber Ammo Conspiracy Revealed

Updated on September 9, 2014

Welcome to the Great American Ammunition Shortage!

There is no denying the national shortage of ammunition in the United States. The shortage applies to several different calibers, including but not limited to 300, .303, .243, .223, .38, .45, 9mm and AR15’s. However, the hardest hit caliber is undeniably the .22 long rifle. There are numerous theories as to why there is such a sudden huge shortage which has many finger pointing and claiming it is a gun control conspiracy.

Just two years ago, .22 caliber long rifle ammunition could be purchased by the truckload. It was (and still is) the most common and popular ammo available. Used for small game hunting and target practicing, these bullets are only ¾ inches long and are made of lead, primer, gunpowder and brass. The .22 caliber firearms offer minimum recoil making them desirable as an introduction to adults and children to guns.

Today retailers cannot receive enough .22 caliber long rifle ammo to stock their shelves. Ammunition sales have steadily risen for the last six years. Deliveries of .22’s became sporadic in 2012 with shipments reaching retailers several weeks apart. People are lining up as the trucks are unloading, not giving any time for dust to accumulate on the ammo boxes. This has caused many retailers to put a limit on the number of boxes of .22 long rifle ammunition that is allowed to be purchased per individual per day in order to be able to spread out the sales of the ammo.

Ammo display picture courtesy of Battlefield Firearms located in Locust Grove, Virginia
Ammo display picture courtesy of Battlefield Firearms located in Locust Grove, Virginia | Source

Why the Shortage?

There are many stories as to why there has been a rapid decline in the amount of ammunition available. Many of these stories have to do with gun control and government regulations Others are about the manufactures holding back in order to spike the prices. Stories have even surfaced as to additional taxes being applied to the purchase of ammunition. But what is the real truth behind the shortage found in the United States?

Gun Control Conspiracy

There is no secret to the agenda of the Obama Administration for gun control measures. Because of this, many stories have surfaced indicating the ammunition shortage is related to government officials. By slowly removing the ability to purchase ammunition, the citizens will eventually be disarmed ultimately applying gun control measures without having to pass legislation.

There are rumors and stories about Homeland Security buying up the ammunition as quickly as it is being manufactured. It is said that the government is stock piling the ammo in order to keep it out of the public’s hand as a measure of gun control.

The .22 caliber long rifle ammunition was rumored to be the first to be confiscated by the government. As the story goes, considering that virtually every gun owner will have at least one .22 caliber firearm, almost all newbies are introduced to safety and shooting with a .22 caliber firearm and this is the most popular caliber firearm on the market, it has been rumored that the ammunition will become no longer available in order to remove the .22 caliber firearm from gun owners as the beginning of gun control.

There are many more rumors and stories flying around as to why there is such a huge shortage in ammunition purchases across the United States. Too many to even begin to list!

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Ammunition Shortage

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How Much of This is True?

Would you be shocked to hear none of this is true? Seriously! There is no gun control conspiracy. The government is not stock piling. The government is not the cause of the shortage. The Federal Government annual purchase of ammunition is only 15% of the total production in the United States. In fact, the entire shortage is solely related to economics, production and demand of consumers.

In 2008 gun owners throughout the country felt the heat on the Obama Administration proposals for gun control measures. Many Americans are feeling as if the 2nd Amendment is threatened along with feeling “skepticism of government” have triggered a rise in the purchase of firearms and ammunition. According to the National Instant Criminal Checks for Firearm Purchases (NICS), gun ownership is at an all-time record under the Obama Presidency.

Following the horrible tragedy in 2012 in Newtown, Connecticut, gun and ammunition sales spiked even higher. .22 caliber handguns and rifles remain the most popular among consumers and the numbers of sales of this caliber firearm remains at a steady increase.

In addition, there are now kits available to change other caliber firearms to a .22 caliber long rifle. There is also the introduction of the Smith and Wesson M&P 15-22 and the popular Ruger 10-22. These two rifles can be fitted with a 25 round magazine that increases the amount of ammunition that can be rapidly shot. None of these items were available on the market 5 years ago and ultimately increasing the demand on .22 caliber long rifle ammunition.

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What Does the Ammunition and Firearm Industry Have to Say?

All the ammunition and firearm manufactures have disputed the conspiracy theories from the beginning. They have all been reported to say the problem in the United States is demand exceeds the supply. Because of the spike in demand, ammunition has become harder to find and difficult to produce fast enough.

The ammunition industry in the United States has been hit hard with the rising cost of raw materials along with a competitive and globalized market increasing. With concerns of this surge only being a market bubble, many manufacturers have been hesitant in over investing in the upgrading the manufacturing machinery. This includes hiring more employees to keep up with the demand to produce more ammunition faster.

The salespeople of both Federal and Winchester have stated production is at maximum capacity in order to help eliminate the ammunition shortage. They are producing millions of rounds of ammunition a day. However, when you divide the production amount by the number of retailers and consumers, it still is not enough to fulfill the market demand.

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The Future

The Great American Ammunition Shortage is upon us! How long it will last, nobody knows. As long as there is a high consumer demand, the unavailability of ammunition will continue. One thing is certain, the shortage is not a conspiracy to secretly enact gun control.

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Battlefield Firearms

A special thank you to Battlefield Firearms for allowing me to use their pictures.
A special thank you to Battlefield Firearms for allowing me to use their pictures. | Source

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