The .22LR has long had a rightful place in American gun culture.
Simply put, no gun collection is truly complete without some form of a .22 rifle. But in addition to being a necessity in any gun owner’s home, the .22 rifle is also a necessity for a survival or prepper situation. Many may debunk this idea in favor of owning an AR-15 or AK-47 rifle, and while both of those are excellent choices for such a situation, a semi-automatic .22 is one of the most important and essential guns you could own.
The .22 is an excellent round for hunting small game like birds and rabbits, and with a properly placed head shot, can even be used to take down bigger game like deer. The .22 can also serve as a decent self-defense round if you need it to be. The .22 also delivers very low recoil and is therefore an excellent round to keep up on your target practice. Plus, .22 ammo is interchangeable between rifles and pistols, so you’ll be able to keep up your shooting practice with both and not worry about buying two different types of ammo.
But perhaps the biggest advantage of the .22 is the actual weight and bulk of the ammo itself. You can easily store roughly 500 rounds of .22 ammunition in the same amount of space that 100 rounds of 9mm or 50 rounds of .308 would take up. You’ll be able to keep more rounds of .22 ammo with you than any other type of ammo.
A rifle-chambered in .22LR is an absolutely essential weapon for a survivalist. And for many years, .22 has been among the most abundant and cheapest ammo you could find on the shelves at your local sporting goods store. A package of 250 rounds of .22 ammo alone would often be near to or equal in price to a box of 50 rounds of 9mm, for example.
Unfortunately, in the last couple of years that hasn’t been the case. Many states are experiencing a shortage of .22, and the price of a box of .22 has nearly tripled. This ripple effect originated with the mass shootings in Aurora and Sandy Hook Elementary that ignited a new debate over gun control, causing many Americans to believe their Second Amendment rights may soon be restricted even further by President Obama’s pro-gun control policies. Hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of Americans decided to stock up on guns and ammunition, which included .22. Many common calibers such as .22, 9mm, .45 and .223 were difficult to find and skyrocketed in price.
In recent months the shortage of common guns and calibers appears to have nearly ended, but this has not been the case with .22LR. Ammunition companies have been producing .22 at a faster rate than they ever have before, but as soon as the boxes hit the stores, they continue to be snatched up and left scarce on the shelves. Some sporting goods stores don’t even sell .22 at the shelves and only allow a customer to purchase a limited number of boxes at the check-out counter.
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So now that we know how essential .22 is, the question that remains is: How can you acquire it in the continuous shortage? Many people might say, “Well, if I can’t get it, then why should I even try?” The truth is that the shortage and increased price of .22 doesn’t disqualify it from being an essential survivalist round, and you still can get it.
First of all, you’ll probably need to cut down on how much time (and ammo!) you spend on plinking your .22 rifle out on the range or in your backyard. Yes, there really is nothing more fun than spending a few hours in the day out shooting your .22. But due to the drastically increased prices and limited number of .22 rounds available, it’s a sacrifice that you’ll have to make in order to keep enough .22 shells in your stockpile. Of course, this does not at all mean that you should give up shooting .22s entirely. It’s always necessary to keep up on your shooting, even if it means cutting back on the number of rounds you fire.
An excellent tactic to use to stock up on ammo is to buy one box each time you visit a sporting goods store or a place that sells ammunition. If you can buy just one or two boxes of ammo each time you make a stop in for whatever reason, you’ll gradually see your stockpile increase. Despite the shortage of .22, this tactic is still very effective since .22 ammo is still available in limited numbers in most sporting goods stores.
Hopefully in time the shortage of .22 and other types of ammo will gradually come to an end, because the .22 cartridge remains not only an enduring American caliber but also an absolutely essential rifle and bullet you need. It will serve you well in almost any survival situation, so it’s important that you do whatever you can to stay ahead of the game.
Have you experienced a .22 shortage, and how do you get around it? Tell us in the comments section below.