A brick of 22LR ammo is a 500-round case of cartridges, containing ten 50-round boxes arranged in a 2×5 formation. While its shape and size may resemble those of an actual brick, a brick of 22 LR makes for terrible construction material!

Are you having trouble finding a brick of 22 LR ammo? There are two main reasons why: raw material shortages and consumer demand.

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Raw Material Shortages Cause 22 LR Shortages

The production of 22 LR ammunition demands copper and zinc (to make the brass for its shell casings), lead (to make its bullets) and the chemicals requisite for formulating propellant and primer compounds. When ammo manufacturers have difficulty sourcing these materials, their production capabilities resultantly suffer for it.

Raw material shortages have historically occurred during wartime. For example, the 70,000 tons of copper produced in America during 1939 were wholly inadequate to support the war effort, which is why the U.S. government imposed rations, prompted mining companies to focus on copper production by putting a temporary halt to gold mining, and eventually imported copper from other countries.

The pandemic created a similar shortage of raw materials. During the 2021 World Copper Conference, industry leaders announced government-imposed lockdowns reduced worldwide copper production by approximately 500,000 metric tons. For the worst-hit countries this meant copper production fell by about 15 percent.

Obviously war and lockdowns create raw material shortages for different reasons: War forces us to use more raw materials; lockdowns prohibit us from producing them. But regardless of the reason for a shortage of raw materials, its effect on ammo production is the same.

Increased Demand Causes 22 LR Shortages

the author shooting 22LR ammo at the range

We typically see demand for 22 LR (including all other types of ammunition) spiking in response to great upheavals. When a democrat saunters into the Oval Office, we can inevitably expect increased demand from American consumers who (justifiably) expect the new administration to take an adverse stance against firearm ownership.

Americans bought ammo in massive quantities when Barack Obama took office. Then, when Biden took office amid the Covid pandemic, Americans purchased more ammunition than any other population had throughout recorded history.

The 2020 election wasn’t the only event that increased demand for 22 LR ammo, of course. The recent wave of civil unrest and accompanying calls to “defund the police” spurred many Americans to ensure they had the tools they would need to defend themselves. Although 22 LR isn’t an extremely popular solution for self-defense, its relatively low price and light recoil made it a popular option among people who weren’t already experienced with firearms. Thus we saw plenty of people buying more 22 LR firearms and ammo in response to the peaceful protests which coincided with wholly unrelated acts of looting, vandalism and arson.

22LR for Prepping

But whereas 22 LR is arguably suitable for self-defense, it is indisputably awesome for varmint hunting. That’s where the prepper and survivalist crowd comes into play.

If you’re anticipating the imminent fall of civilization, then naturally you would want plenty of ammunition ready to deal with the Mad Max hordes that will soon start roaming the landscape. But you also have to eat, and if you’re content to eat raccoon, squirrel, crow and other “single-serving” critters, then you don’t want to waste your larger, more valuable cartridges hunting them.

In other words, the recent high demand for 22 LR ammo resulted not just an increasing number of people concerned about their personal safety, but also from folks who wanted to make certain they could always put dinner on the table.

Don’t Worry – 22 LR Is Here to Stay

In all fairness, 22 LR ammo has always been in high demand. Its low price, gentle recoil and soft report all make the 22 LR marvelous for target shooting and varmint hunting. And because it serves no practical military purpose, even more restrictive national governments typically have no issues with their citizenry owning it. This is why the 22 LR is the most popular cartridge in the world!

That’s ultimately good news, as the constant high demand for 22 LR will ensure its ongoing production – in at least some capacity – forever. You may not be able to find the bricks of 22 LR you need right now, but take heart. There’s always more 22 LR on the way!