Two years into the ammo drought…

…and I expend every round of commercial .44 Special with a pained grimace that would look good on Ebenezer Scrooge. For the first time in my career as a cedar rat I’m asking myself why oh why did I decide that that was the EDC caliber for me? Here at the tail end of the ammo supply chain no amount of money will conjure a box into being and I’m down to anemic ‘cowboy action’ ammo that, even when they appeared on shelves at all, cost as if they were cast from pure plutonium.

But I can still do some judicious practice with reloads…


I indulged in a solo Jeep ride to chicken chores right after feeding Tobie lunch, then took the wash back home past Ian’s range. I stopped at the 100 yard line just long enough to check the zero on my rifle, then set up at 25 yards to burn some pistol powder.


Not a lot: I’m okay for powder but I’ve cracked my last big box of bullets and can’t afford to waste them. I went on Midwayusa and Wideners yesterday and neither is selling cast .44 bullets. On primers I’m down to a couple of thousand-unit boxes so old they’re actually good for malfunction drills because they don’t always go bang the first time around in double action.

Fortunately I’m okay for .22, thanks to a gradual buying program after the last ammo drought and also a massive and very timely gift from Ian just before the ‘rona and riots turned everything upside down. So most of my practice shooting is recoil-free, which isn’t the greatest way to practice but one does one’s best.

And may I say something about old .22 cartridges…


I found this baggie with the very last of some scrounged .22lr cartridges I had to break loose from a lump formed inside a submerged brick of them in the cargo bed of an ATV in 2008. And every one of them went bang this morning, though there was one hangfire. That drowned brick got me through the Great Ammo Drought of 2013, when I got caught with my pants down, and it really has made me wonder about all the stories I’ve heard about .22 unreliability. Been shooting .22lr, sometimes quite old .22lr, since I measured my age in single digits and I can’t say I’ve ever noticed any big problem.

About Joel

You shouldn't ask these questions of a paranoid recluse, you know.
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11 Responses to Two years into the ammo drought…

  1. Bill says:

    Prices are pretty stupid for that .44 stuff. $100/box around here.

  2. The Neon Madman says:

    .38/.357 isn’t any better for availability or price. If I didn’t have some stocked components for reloading I wouldn’t be able to shoot. And I don’t see this shortage resolving for a long time. We’re already long past the point where I thought that things would start to loosen up.

  3. Steve Voss says:

    Missouri Bullet Co is still shipping Keith style 240 gr LSWCs.

  4. Joel says:

    I jumped on that information, only to fall prey to my second piece of debit-card bad news this week (long story, not for public display). I ordered a box of 500, filled in all the form blanks, then got a nastygram…

    AVS-Sale did not pass min AVS requirement…

    And I don’t even know what that means.

  5. Steve Voss says:

    AVS is Address Verification.

  6. Mark Matis says:

    Is your wallet in need of another hit?

  7. Anonymous says:

    This made me curious, so I took a look at the places where I get my ammo. Oh my goodness, it sure looks like .44 and .44 magnum are unicorn calibers.

    One thing you may want to think about, casting your own bullets for reloading if you don’t already do so.

  8. taminator013 says:

    I buy pretty much all my cast bullets from T&B. I just recently purchased 500 each of .44 cal. 200 gr and 240 gr……

    https://tbbullets.com/bullets/traditional-lubed-handgun/44/

  9. Check your email and get back to me, hermit.

  10. Eric says:

    Joel,
    My offer of all the casting metal you could ever need is still open.
    I’m also willing to throw in some primers if needed, and I also have a few hundred shot shells you can have for the asking (home rolled by my dad)
    I just can’t afford to ship them as I mentioned before.
    So if Ian or BB or anyone else is up my way I’d be happy to hook you up.

  11. Beaner49 says:

    Bayou bullets has 44 coated bullets.
    Shipping times can be long just fyi

To the stake with the heretic!