Can you imagine my excitement? I have 327 rounds of .22LR. That’s it. I just reviewed the new .22LR Walther PPK. I’m in the process of reviewing the .22LR ZIP. I have one of the most badass .22LR’s ever made on the way. And this trusted friend informs me that he is standing in front of several thousand rounds. And 550 are selling for less than $20.
Get me 3,000 rounds, I texted back. Now. Get them now. Put them in the cart. I proceeded to explain why I needed them, though he knows. He writes reviews for Guns.com, too.
He didn’t buy any.
In fact, he was in the car, driving away, before I figured out he hadn’t bought a single round.
The next 47 texts I sent him are not re-printable. I dropped f-bombs on him like a B-52.
It seems he has enough .22 to last him through this ridiculous drought. And he assumed I did, too. His last text said he was headed to a home-brew convention out of state, and would check for me when he got back. When he got back? Wait. Let me count up all of my .22 again. Yep. 327.
What to do?
I think the ammo shortage is resolving itself. Slowly. But I’m seeing more varied options in stores. I bought some small pistol primers last week, something I hadn’t been able to do for three months. And I can order almost anything, if I’m willing to pay for it.
And maybe the best sign I’ve seen is that the black rifles are back. I almost fell over when I walked into my local shop and saw a Bushmaster on the wall. For sale. And I got a flier from RRC Firearms yesterday. They have AKs in stock, and on sale. They’re selling the 5.56 Arsenal SGL 106-31for $1,095. Their AK-47s are selling for well under $1,000.
We ran a piece in the Bazaar recently that deserves more attention. Here is the video again, in case you missed it. It is by YouTube user Sootch00. His points are valid. He’s way ahead of me in the ammo finding game.
I’m going to repeat some of his ideas, and add a few more. What you need to remember is that there are options. As my 327 rounds of .22LR would surely suggest, they may not always work. But here are 10 ideas that might help you score some bullets.
1. Buy small. I look for ammunition everywhere I go now. If I’m on the road and I pass some mom and pop gun store or hardware store, I will pop in and ask. It may not be the quantity you’re looking for, but it can build up. I’ve got a decent stock of 7.62 x 39 that I’m building three boxes at a time every time I stop at Walmart. They’re getting regular shipments in from Tula. So if you don’t mind steel cased ammo, Walmart might be the place.
Who knew I’d come to equate Walmart with Cold War surplus weaponry?
2. Be nice. Meg Fears, manager of Rebel Sporting Goods in Keysville, Virginia, explained it nicely. “I see these people in the grocery store, in church–my kids go to school with their kids….”
The people at the counter are people, too. And it isn’t their fault that they can’t get supply in. Meg has seen some really mad people lately. But it isn’t her fault.
Sootch00 hit on this point, and it is crucial. Establish a relationship with a retailer. Get to know them, just enough. Shake their hands. Touch their elbows. Ask about their kids. And thank them for suffering through the this with you.