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4-H urged to switch to air rifle/pistol due to ammunition shortage

4-H urged to switch to air rifle/pistol due to ammunition shortage

We have written before about the severe ammunition shortage ever since Democrats announced broadened gun control plans, with store shelves almost bare.

Reader Danelle writes about a shortage of .22LR ammunition affecting youth shooting groups:

As you know, one of my other jobs is teaching youth shooting sports disciplines. This morning I was included in the forward of this letter from Federal Ammunition sent out to our State Shooting Sports directors. For many years, Federal has provided good pricing and great service to help out our youth programs. My program was fortunate to have a small stockpile last fall, but we’re jealously guarding it. Fortunately, we already had an air rifle/air pistol program in place.

The entire letter from Federal Premium Ammunition, a division of ATK in Minnesota, is embedded below. The key part is (emphasis added):

There are a lot of programs that simply cannot get .22LR ammo in the market right now, and we are painfully aware that many of these programs will have to shut down as a result. We are looking at options to try to help, but every option is painful to someone. We are seeking concessions from some of our biggest customers to try to get more ammo to youth organizations, but I don’t know if that will be successful or not.

Many of you have already taken action, but for those of you that have not yet I would strongly recommend that you encourage clubs to direct kids to shoot air rifle/pistol this season rather than .22LR. (Keep in mind that we don’t make or sell any air rifle products.) I have also heard from a few clubs that have created their own new disciplines- shooting 17 HMR at 50 and 100 yards for example- to take advantage of equipment and ammo that is readily available. Flexibility during these crazy times is a good thing.

Federal Ammunition Letter to Youth Groups re Ammo Shortage

Danelle included this photo of her daughter on the range:

4-H Shooting Daughter


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I note Danelle’s daughter uses a “kneeling-pad” for that shooting position.

I used to have to use one, too. That position always killed me, even as a kid.

    jdkchem in reply to Ragspierre. | March 18, 2013 at 6:30 pm

    That’s still far more comfortable than the Marine Corps style kneeling position. Though USMC style is more stable.

      Ragspierre in reply to jdkchem. | March 18, 2013 at 7:32 pm

      Yeah, I never could assume the proper kneeling position, and profound pain does nothing for your breathing.

    2nd Ammendment Mother in reply to Ragspierre. | March 18, 2013 at 6:35 pm

    Project Appleseed talked me into moving to a sitting position for my old age as well as helped me work out a long term cross dominant issue. Both fixes put my targets back on track.

2nd Ammendment Mother | March 18, 2013 at 5:36 pm

And if anyone is wondering – Air Rifles and Air Pistols are by no means inexpensive or underpowered. I own a couple of US built Crosman’s which are good intermediate level competition rifles.

And they’re out of stock as well.

This is a piece I found informative about the shortage, it seems to predict at least a few more months of this, until people stop panicking and hoarding, and start cancelling unnecessary orders.

    2nd Ammendment Mother in reply to Awing1. | March 18, 2013 at 6:46 pm

    Interesting thoughts, except…. although they were not on the same scale as today shortages and longer wait times were already evident over a year ago to competition shooters.

BannedbytheGuardian | March 18, 2013 at 7:02 pm

Hehe the phone in the back pocket.

The air rifle that helped settle the west.

Lewis and Clark carried one and used it to help convince the Indians they met along the way that there were better ways to spend their time than attacking a small but well armed group.

    Ragspierre in reply to Anchovy. | March 18, 2013 at 7:38 pm

    Truly a weapon before its time. I’m sure it provided many an “Oh, SPIT…!!!” Moment for all races, including the Indians.

When I was in grade school in the fifties in LA, we brought our .22 rifles to school so we could attend the NRA shooting safety class afterwords. Damn I’m old…

    Here’s a picture from 1942:

    “Training in marksmanship helps girls at Roosevelt High School in Los Angeles develop into responsible women. Part of Victory Corps activities there, rifle practice encourages girls to be accurate in handling firearms. Practicing on the rifle range in the school’s basement.”

    Owego in reply to snopercod. | March 18, 2013 at 9:29 pm

    Class of ’64 at a state university in the east. Eight AM Saturday morning classes (imagine) in the fall and winter would occasionally find several long guns, smooth bore and rifled, lined up against the wall inside the entrance to the building, placed there by students returning from an early hunting outing while they attended class. They were still there when class was over; I do not remember one ever being stolen.

    But then, probably neither we nor the parents of my generation were as advanced socially as are today’s. Not that it would be remembered, but I can’t recall the case of any divorced mothers, living in million dollar homes, separated from responsible, (and absent) senior executive husbands at large multinational firms, who bought fire arms for their emotionally disturbed children as therapy. We had a lot to learn.

I don’t see this slowing down any time soon. I placed an order for 1000 rounds of .357 SIG in December, prior to Sandy Hook. It was supposed to deliver at the end of this month but I received an email yesterday pushing the date back to sometime in June.

I stocked up on 9mm, .45 and .38 last summer. At the time, I was selling to students who didn’t want the hassle of trying to track down ammunition in time for a class. Now I’ve stopped selling any and I direct them to places like and tell them they’re just going to have to suck it up on the prices for the next year or so.

I have a suspicion ammo makers are holding back stocks until demand dies down.

Why? Profit taking could be one reason. Another could be govt contracts being held over their head by the Dictator.

Incidentally, as most gun enthusiasts know, spent.22 casings cant be reloaded unlike center fire ammo.

    Crawford in reply to VotingFemale. | March 18, 2013 at 8:16 pm

    “Profit taking” would be the exact opposite result of holding back stock when demand is high. Once demand dies down, the price will as well.

Perhaps folks will get around to snooping the ammo makers to see what shipments are going to govt entities and in what quantities in addition to total quantities shipped year over year.

BannedbytheGuardian | March 18, 2013 at 8:49 pm

So , if I were on the other side ,I would put in a massive order to hog the production line. For companies one big sale is better than 1 million small orders. Then when that order is almost ready , compliant agencies & states put theirs in . Then the cycle repeats .

In effect , The Constitution & second amendment might win small & varied legal battles but it will not , by itself , win the war. Guns are not much use in organised resistance If ammunition is unobtainable.

Besides going back to basics – spear them with a bayonet & when they are down club them to death – it is looking trickier every day to hold onto ownership of guns as a saviour against a totalitarian Guvmint. Waving a piece of paper might not work either.

Then here are the drones.

BannedbytheGuardian | March 18, 2013 at 9:55 pm

Actually , I ( hypothetical ) don’t really want those 47%. Either. so I should let these social divisions & the anger grow. I have already let out 2,200 criminal illegals like Castro . I would be happy for you to track them down & shoot them for us. Our hands will be clean.

It will like Dr Zhivago out there without the trains.

Henry Hawkins | March 19, 2013 at 12:18 am

I already had a full stock of .22LR, .32, .35, and .38 before the shortages started, thank goodness, but it’s dragging on so long that I’ve put the range on temporary hiatus. A buddy is teaching me reloading.

    But, Henry, even reloading supplies are scarce, including presses and dies. And you still need brass, powder, primers and bullets.

      Henry Hawkins in reply to Towson Lawyer. | March 19, 2013 at 11:09 am

      Think “capitalism”, wherein production follows the market of needs. My buddy is a master machinist. He can make presses, make dies, make every bit of it. This may seem extreme, but only by pre-shortage standards. Even if Homeland Security bought up all the steel, iron, and brass stock, we could still mine and forge our own. Where there’s a will…… Necessity is the mother….. Etc.

no need to buy ammo to kill supply, just buy all the primer material.

[…] week Federal ammunition contacted youth groups and told them there was no .22 ammo to be had, and not to expect that to change for awhile.  In fact, Federal suggested they look to airguns as […]