CCI Vice President on Future Rimfire Prices

The Lewiston Tribune recently awarded Vista Outdoors (parent company of CCI and Federal Ammunition) Vice President Marty Zacha the Business Person of the Year award. In the following business profile, Zacha gave his insider’s opinion on future rimfire prices and production. As the largest producer of rimfire ammo in the US, Vista Outdoors is comprised of CCI, Federal Premium, Independence, Blazer, and many other shooting sports companies.

Vista Outdoors Makes Huge Investment to Ramp Up Ammo Production

Marty Zacha

Marty Zacha, Vice President of Vista Outdoors.

Vista has just begun work on a $70 million dollar expansion plan to increase rimfire and primer production. Zacha explained that they are expanding their primer production lines as well as ordering a substantial amount of new equipment for faster, more efficient production of ammunition and components. Vista will also be rearranging their manufacturing structure, as rimfire production facilities will be expanded and consolidated and centerfire ammunition production will also be housed under one roof.

When asked about how the election has affected the market, Zacha explained, “There’s been a few order cancellations. Not a lot, but a few. If you go into a gun store…you see a lot of guns on the shelf, where a few years ago you wouldn’t have seen that. It was harder to find what you really wanted.” Many others in the firearms industry could testify to the dropping demand for ammunition, firearms, and gear. “Historically in the ammunition market, when things start to go soft, which we’re starting to see right now because of the election,” Marty replied, “it becomes a price war.” Prices have been dropping steadily since November, and great deals on ammo have been easier to find.

Vista’s Plan for Future Rimfire Production

But what happens when demand for rimfire ammunition drops amid Vista’s huge investment to increase production? Zacha answered, “If the market changes, the rimfire equipment can be switched to manufacture power loads that drive fasteners into steel and concrete in construction and stunners for the meat processing industry.” This would mean CCI, Federal, and Blazer can switch production over to non-ammunition products and keep the doors open. He also added that plans for continuing the upgrade process have not changed, but also stated that a substantial market shift could halt the expansion.

What This Means for Future Rimfire Prices

CCI Rimfire AmmunitionPrices are dropping and supply is swelling, which is good for the shooting community. Plinkers can enjoy a day at the range for much less and not have to worry about the lack of ammo on the shelves. It has been a long four years as popular calibers like .22 Long Rifle and .22 Magnum have been scarce and pricey. But, with the lower demand it should start being more plentiful and less expensive. And, if Vista’s investment project can increase production, we may see even more rimfire ammunition available.

On a less optimistic note, if demand for rimfire drops, Vista’s production will have to focus on non-ammunition products. Zacha mentioned the manufacture of power loads for the construction and meat processing industries. Large construction projects (such as a border wall) may increase the need for power loads, and also increase their profitability. If that happens, rimfire ammunition will slow, and prices may rise. We’ll have to wait and see what 2017 brings!

What do you think of Vista’s expansion and Marty Zacha’s words? Let us know in the comments.

Read More on Vista Outdoors’ Website.

71 Comments On This Article

  1. I’m glad to see prices coming down but rim-fire prices are still obscene. I have shifted my plinking to my spring, and gas piston airguns. They can keep their .22 ammo until they offer it for a fair price.

  2. Really looking forward to a return to affordable target and training range time with the increased availability and drop in prices. Shooting practice has become quite cost prohibitive and we have been storing up because of the possibility of Ammo being so unavailable over the last 6 years.

  3. It will be nice to see .22, especially.22 Mag, stacked on the shelves again. Right now if you do find it plentiful it’s overpriced and/or has some stupid limit rule that makes the trip a waste of gas and your time.
    When 500rd bricks of plinking LR are under $20 and 500rds of MAG are under $75, I’ll be happy.

  4. Great news!!!Buying .22LR is getting harder and more expensive w/ each passing year.I know obama did this because he could not take our guns but he was able to buy the ammo for the government,taking it away from gun owners.A gun is no good w/o ammo.Hopefully, Trump and his new administration will bring America and guns back into our lives….

  5. Lower prices are great, but it seems they’re kind of closing the barn door after the mule got out with their expansion plans. The last time I bought rim fire ammo I think it was around 10.00 for a 500 rd brick of 22 lr. If it gets there again I may buy a few more bricks, but I don’t think I’ll hold my breath waiting.

  6. In my area, northern NC, there has not been any .22 to be had on the shelves of a department store for a couple of years or more. Yes, it has been available in gun shops at scalper prices and gun shows, but not a round to be had anywhere else. Anyone buying a gun in .22 would have been crazy around here because it would never have been used. It would be good to see the shelves full again IF this were indeed true.

  7. I agree with Gunny. I used to shoot at least 100 big bore pistol rounds a day and a brick of .22 every day or 2. I got caught on the road when the shortage happened and had very little ammo on hand. I stopped shooting and saved what I could buy for hard times. When .22 were $8.50 a brick I shot every day, now I celebrate when I find a brick for $26. I stopped loading because of cost and hard to find primers. I flinch now due to a lack of practice. No competition any more. We should have 4 good years.

  8. It wll be nice to not have to pay an arm and a leg for .22LR anymore. Hopefully the morons who stockpiled 80,000 rounds are done and feeling pretty stupid about now.

    • Maybe the morons who never had more than a 100 rounds at one time, will also learn their lesson. Somewhere between 100, and 80,000 is a reasonable amount, that will vary by person, and needs. There is no shame in stockpiling ammo. It doesn’t go bad, doesn’t take up much room, and ensures you don’t run out. It is insurance for your shooting needs. You do carry insurance on your house, don’t you?

      • You should feel stupid. It’s idiot’s like you that drive prices up and availability down. You are just a scared paranoid person and need professional help.

        • Well Kurt you apparently buy and fire a box at a time so you are unhappy when the guy in front of you buys the last two boxes on the shelf. I just hope I was the guy in front of you.

        • It’s kind of like smoke um if u got um. I have to say it’s really odd to read about a gun person calling another stupid or a moron for stocking up on ammo. Sounds like our current administration talking. Everybody I know will stock up if they have the money and can find ‘scarce’ ammo. Ain’t nobody’s business how much ammo another man has. It’s like saying you have too many firearms. Truth be told, when somebody else gets more ammo then me I do get envious but I damn sure don’t call them names.

        • So Kurt, “scared and paranoid”? For some – yes, but for most prepared folks – no.

          How about being self reliant and aware of the very shaky state of the country and the looming civil war between the liberal fascist types and Americans? Or economic collapse (as predicted by many economists) due to the gross inflation of the value of the mostly worthless dollar?

          When a currency collapses, items like guns, ammo, food, medicine, clothing become the staples of barter.

          I can see that 80k rounds of one type of ammo could be viewed as excessive, but what about 5k rounds of .22LR? Is that still “excessive”?

          If you own firearms with 10 different calibers and you have 1k rounds for each, that is already 10k – and 1k rounds of .22LR or 9mm is grossly insufficient for being prepared for civil breakdowns.

  9. DROPPING FROM WHAT? the inflated prices we have been hit with the last fer yrs. ? I’ve seen some marketing 22 lr 40 to a box rather than the traditional 50 to make the price appear lower. When i see what I bought before metal price went up for $18-20 bux being listed at $39- 49 even now when metal prices are down. It doesn’t make me happy camper . The “shortage ” was manufactured so supply & demand would cause people to buy. .Guys would;d hoard all they could because it was scarce . Lucky O bought a lot HM2

  10. Come on Guys. We can’t hate on fellow gun owners and shooters. Especially the Newbies. Many of us long time shooters didn’t like overpaying for any ammo, especially .22 LR. Like Gunny said, with cheaper ammo comes more range time, which we all need. And it helps Gun range owners and operators with more business as well. So it’s a win / win. Let’s have a Great 2017 and beyond!

  11. I have followed pricing for 22LR through several outlets and it always turns out to be right around .10 to .12 for a shell. I did some stocking around Sept. when my local gun dealer made me some pricing I couldn’t refuse. I don’t feel stupid, just more secure. Glad to hear Vista is working towards better availability and pricing

  12. What this country needs is a CCI mini-mag HP that costs $0.05 a round or less. That would put me back in a comfort zone for shooting .22’s again. That’s the only round I have used for decades – if I can find it at a decent price.

  13. I for one would like Thank You for expanding your rimfire market, making it possible to spend more time at the range. For beginners, they are great cartridges. It helps eliminate the flinch factor.

  14. it sound promising…..i just hope that the price drop will encourage gun owners to shoot more so the manufactures can still make a profit…….i also hope if the demand for ammo drops, the manufactures don’t slow down production so they can increase the price …..just like the oil producers do…………

  15. For many years I shot 22 in competition and recreation however that has changed. Due to shortages and subsequent price gouging I have simply ceased shooting 22 …period. Lots of new 22 firearms on the market…but I am not buying. Yes 22 ammunition is expensive to manufacture equipment wise but why no major investment until now ? Go figure but it’s about time. Demand for 22 ammunition has not and will not be going down…so finally there is some response. I doubt I will reinvest in much 22 wise due to that manufacturers failure to respond until this point, but it is encouraging that someone is finally stepping up to the plate.

    • not in Califoreignia starting in 2018.. they will come a knocking if you buy too much as they are going to track purchasers and people have to apply for background investigations before giving a 4 year permit to buy any ammo using an ID.. so all the stocking up will have to be done by the end of 2017..

    • That’s only a couple of bulk packs – about 2 to 3 trips to range for me. I probably have 4-5,000 rounds on hand and i got most of that before the shortage. I’ve just been picking up the 100 rnd Minimags since the shortage for my pickier rifles.

  16. I feel ya, Gunny! People have always looked for the best deal available, but, for the past how many years, .22 ammo has been impossible to find! People, customers and sales staff, both, have become very rude, when it comes to .22 ammo, or even the popular calibers! It will really be nice to walk into Wally World and buy a couple hundred rounds of .22, and not have to pay a car payment to get them! Shoot, I wish I could remember how many CCI Mini-Mags I’ve burned thru, especially when they were only a couple of penny’s apiece…

    • We haven’t seen .22 ammo at Wally World here in rural Ohio in 8 years. I finally quit looking. They say the liberals are buying guns, ammo and survival stuff now, because they believe “it’s the end of the world as we know it” since the election. Liberal=mental illness, so I expect some craziness from the cry baby fools. Incidents of negligent discharges will increase as well. RO’s be aware, your jobs going to get a lot harder baby sitting them. And yes, they are stupid enough to show up at the range with a Ready for Hillary bumper sticker on the Mini Cooper, Soul or Scion.
      We’ll see what happens. Hopefully prices will get back to normal. If Clinton had won we’d be seeing $40.00+ magazines and outlandish prices for ammo and guns again, that much is for sure.
      We had a pretty good reserve of ammo , and mags in all the popular calibers, so all the chaos and high prices haven’t hurt us too bad. Still it pissed my off seeing the way prices were crazy, greed is correct, but that is capitalism working. I saw one local gun shop go belly up, they cleared out inventory and re-stocked black guns only, and at outlandish prices, once the fear crazed run on them saturated the market, they had a lot of guns everyone already had. Don’t want to pay the price? Don’t buy it. I quit shopping at stores that dropped black guns after Sandy Hook, even if they had a decent price on the ammo.
      We have AirSoft and pellet rifles and guns as well, replicas of our real firearms, a cheap way to save on ammo and shoot on our property without bothering the neighbors down the road.
      I purchased a book by Dustin Ellermann at the NRA meeting some years ago. He turned me onto AirSoft, and Pellet guns. I thought that AirSoft stuff was toys for kids. I had no idea that there were quality, blow-back, realistic replicas of the guns we own. He trained with AirSoft for dry fire and live drills and credited AirSoft for his Top Gun win as well. We still shoot the expensive ammo at the range or here on the property, but AirSoft and Pellet replicas have given us a lot of trigger time for pennies during the dark days of Obama! They are now making realistic replicas of SASS cowboy action guns as well. I just purchased a brace of UMAREX Colt SAA pellet revolvers. I look forward to getting the great grand kids started with them as well. Get the gun safety ingrained using AirSoft, then ramp up to Pellet, and .22 finally.
      Merry Christmas to all and hopefulness in the New Year.

    • I have not seen any .22 ammo at Wally World in years. I got lucky about 3 years ago and scored a couple of bulk packs but thats been it. The only places I’ve been able to find anything at a close to reasonable price has been Dick’s on a Black Friday Sale last year – they actually had stacks of it the Saturday after Black Friday and Cabelas. You have the hit Cabelas on a week day – forget about weekends.

    • Horders are not the cause of any of this… People please remember who is to blame, Barack Hussain Obama…. He and his legions are the cause and the only ones to blame.. Please don’t ever put the blame on our fellow shooters and country men.. Those like me who stock piled were doing so to fight and not beg if needed… Thanks.

    • Expanding a gun or ammo business under Obama was no easy task. Let alone the fact that gun stores were raided unjustifiably and put out of business for political purposes.

  17. Just about any time I want to I can go and pick up .22 LR in unlimited quantities for 6 to 8 cents a round, with tax. I keep a lot on hand, just in case, plus I teach a lot of newbies to shoot supplying the guns, ammo & time at no charge.

    • Apparently you live in an area that is not gun oriented. I traveled a lot and the weird thing was I could find ammo in areas that were clearly liberal in nature, or not areas that had broad gun use, and guess what, there was the ammo. But get into a more conservative area or where guns were more widespread, no ammo!

    • I wish that had been the case around here. Buying .22LR around here has been like finding unicorn teeth, with prices reflecting that rarity. I’ve seen it for as high as $10.00 for a box of 50. And people were buying, because everywhere that had lower prices also never had any to sell. If you don’t have any, you can claim any price you want.

  18. I never believed the whole we are making it as fast as we can excuse . The demand is still big around here . Wally World never has any 22 on the shelf . Powder and primers are scarce . Production must be ramped up . It is not that demand has faded but that the shooting consumer is broke from overpaying for the last 8 years . Give us time to catch up we are still here and wanting more . The only way we have made it thru is reloading and online sales .

  19. I would never look for ammo prices to decline, ever. Have any production/manufacturing costs savings ever been passed down to the consumer? Seldom. Look for the savings in the bonuses of a select few management personnel as per usual. Just a fact. Look for the scumbags in Congress to continue the war on our 2nd Amendment from every possible angle and everything associated with personal freedoms. Never relax. We are under siege. The Socialist/Communists planted deep in every facet of our government will take decades to weed out. It may finally erupt into another civil war. It will be very vicious. Those armed and not living in the urban decay will prevail. ‘m too old and worn to make the cut but have done my best to insure my offspring have a fighting chance.

  20. any huge ammo buy in Califoreignia has to be done by the end of 2017 unless a lawsuit reaches SCOTUS and it rules the ID, background investigation and permit law is unconstitutional..which they will force a limit on purchases..

  21. Explain to me how one retailer can sell Federal Automatch for $17.99 a brick and another for $39.99 a brick? When the price stabilizes after dumbasses stop overpaying because they can afford it, we who are not so well off and extravagant might be able buy .22 and compete and practice again. If stocking up on ammo at twice what the normal cost is, not feeling stupid, than I want to know what stupid is?

  22. All ammo has returned to the pre-Sandy Hook price except 22lr. Price should be close to $18/500. I understand supply and demand, but some of this is industry gouging the public.

  23. It’s always about the money. But that’s business and they shouldn’t be blamed when it comes to making a living. Still I’ve lived through the .22 LR drought and am glad to see the prices are reasonable once again. Still can’t buy bulk in stores, only on line.

  24. In a series of transactions that aren’t marred by either greed or fear, the retail price is based on what the seller has to pay to replace his inventory. I am suspicious of a local gun store that has displays of bulk ammo at 50 bucks for 500 rounds, which is 10 cents per round. I think they are trying to gouge, and I ain’t buying. I’m looking for the price to go down to a nickel per round pretty soon. Tomorrow, I’m buying 700 for 8+ cents per

  25. Only time will tell. The article is full of supposition about what might happen. I hope the price and availability does come down but you never know what the hoarders will do. The market will react the way it always does for supply and demand.

  26. Kenneth W Miller Jr

    The problem with the ammo industry has been the consistent consolidation by merger , instead of investment in modernization ! You just gotta love & admire greed that results in driving up prices to the break point where people just say to hell with it . I think that ten cents a round for 22 ammo was lunacy, and stopped buying at that price, and even urged others to stop also . Even if the few mega companies start modernizing, and producing more, the price they want is at least eight cents a round for a three cent round, but most shooters will think that’s a wonderful deal and live with it . But that’s what we love in this country MONOPOLIES, and fooling ourselves about the real realities of runaway greed ! That’s my 3 cents ……shoot you hearts out folks, the mega corps love you for it !

  27. There has never been any discussion of the very important topics of lead and powder availability. Since the liberal fascists drove all lead smelters out of existence in the USA, we must now buy fro foreign sources (the real driver behind the banning of lead, not any “green” issue).

    Also, the same “green” fascists have been working hard to eliminate many types of gun powder (use or production) as part of the same scheme.

    The use of lead in rimfire primers (and the attempts to ban this as well) is another factor.

    How about some intel on these topics?

    • I’d like to add that before I retired I worked for a nationally-known appliance manufacturing company that used an incredible amount of copper tubing. The price of tubing started climbing until we were forced to change to a steel tube. We often suspected that the government was inflating the price of copper. Now we’re seeing a rise in the number of cartridges with steel or alloy cases. Coincidence I’m sure.

  28. The kids and new shooters are the ones who are hurt by the lack of availability of rimfire ammunition.

    This is extremely good news from CCI. I have almost stopped shooting rimfire, as I can load 22 Hornet with cast bullets for about 5 or 6 cents per round, and 223 for 12-13 cents per round.

    I have declined buying anymore rimfire guns, with this shortage going on, there are a few that I wouldn’t mind picking up, perhaps in the future, if the stores will have the ammo in stock for a better price than 9 or 10 cents per round. That price just takes the fun out of it.

    I hope the kids will once again be able to buy the stuff at the store whenever they go there, for perhaps 5 or 6 cents per round, less would be nice, but I don’t know if that is possible. Thanks CCI.