By Glen Wunderlich
Some four years ago, an ammunition shortage of unprecedented proportions hit the market and sportsmen and women felt the pinch. Conspiracy theories materialized in attempts to explain the reasons we couldn’t get what we wanted, but the fact remained: Factory ammo and components had dried up.
The rimfire segment of the market was particularly troublesome insofar as it represented the most popularly used ammo world-wide. As supplies continued to dwindle, suppliers gobbled up what remained in an effort to gouge everyday shooters. Although we’ll never again see 500-round bricks for $10, today’s rimfire options present plinkers a vast array of selections.
As a matter of fact, one of the best sources, www.MidwayUSA.com, currently has over 80 different rimfire options in stock and available for immediate shipment. You won’t find this selection at the local Cheap Mart, if you find anything at all, as shoppers continue to grab the stuff as quickly as it arrives.
From sub-sonic to super-sonic, it’s all out there and here are some examples of some rather interesting offerings.
Federal AutoMatch Target Rimfire ammunition is specifically designed for use in semi-automatic firearms with less powder and lead residue. At 6 cents per round, it is one of the most affordable high-velocity choices.
A favorite among plinkers is the Winchester Super-X ammunition at only 9 cents per round and offers a plated round-nose bullet design with a high velocity of 1300 feet-per-second.
Another popular choice is CCI Mini-Mag ammunition at 9 cents per round. This ammo sports 40-grain, plated round-nose bullets with a velocity of 1235 feet per second.
Federal’s Game-Shok Rimfire high-velocity selection offers 40-grain copper-plated solid bullets at 7 cents per round.
Not to be omitted is the Remington Remington Golden Bullet loads at 10 cents per round. The solid bullet is 40 grains with a muzzle velocity of 1255 feet-per-second.
If you are more accuracy-minded, I’ve found nothing better than the Lapua brand but at 25 cents per round, some friends have questioned my sanity. My choice over the years has been its Center-X loads, because they perform superbly in any rimfire rifle I’ve tried. Each sub-sonic cartridge is checked individually and tolerances are extremely tight.
Also available in rimfire configuration is the .17 HMR and .22 WMR calibers, which were non-existent to the market for the past few years.
Times have changed and the prices reflect the new normal. But, the rimfire options have never been as numerous as they are now.
Rimfires are a great way to introduce new shooters to the sport, because of their low recoil and report and relative low cost. And, once a youngster begins to punch paper and moves onto reactive targets, you’ll want to stock up. And, for the first time in years, it’s possible once again.