Welcome back to another edition of The Rimfire Report. This ongoing series is all about the rimfire firearm world and its various guns, ammo, and trends that change from year to year. Overall, 2021 was a relatively good year for rimfire guns. As rimfire shooters, we received a lot of new options in regards to rimfire pistols and rifles with the introduction of the TX-22 Competition model from Taurus at the beginning of the year as well as the delivery of some of the first Beretta 21A Bobcat Covert models to the US. On the ammunition side of things, Federal released their new Punch lineup of ammunition which included a new nickel-plated lead core 29-grain bullet intended for personal protection. On the competition side of things, I think we also saw more and more people taking on precision rimfire competitions on a more frequent basis. The last couple of weeks of 2021 made me reflect on how much we really have been given in terms of rimfire releases and that also leads me to today’s rimfire topic – my predictions for the rimfire firearm industry in 2022. What are we going to see and what can we expect?
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The Rimfire Report: My Predictions for Rimfire in 2022
So far we’ve already seen a few new releases in the rimfire world including a new styling of the TX-22 pistol from Taurus as well as several new 10/22 chassis options from a number of new and familiar companies. With ammunition prices continuing to increase and showing no signs of coming back down any time soon, I think it’s a safe prediction to say that more and more people will continue to adopt rimfire firearms for training and practice for its decreased cost to shoot.
The average price of rimfire ammunition as of writing is sitting around $0.12-$0.15 per round for a standard 40-grain round nose .22LR. This is about the same prices that we were seeing about the midpoint through 2021. One interesting thing I noticed from last year was that while mainline calibers like .22LR, 9mm, .223, and other popular calibers continued to rapidly climb in price, some of my less popular cartridges saw less of a spike. What this means for rimfire is that .22LR is sort of closing the gap between it and other rimfire cartridges like .17HMR and .22WSM. This might actually make rifles and pistols chambered in these rounds more popular as both rounds provide superior range and terminal ballistics over .22LR.
So in terms of pricing and availability what are my predictions for rimfire in 2022? I don’t think we’ve seen the last of the ammunition price increases, unfortunately, and I wouldn’t be entirely surprised if we saw one or two more price increases across the board for ammunition due to increased material costs. I also don’t think we’re going to see any price decreases any time soon even if/when the material shortages and prices come down. I do, however, think rimfire ammunition will more or less stay in stock on the shelves barring any catastrophic bumrush on ammo like we saw towards the end of 2020 and into 2021.
New Guns? Yes, Please
We’ve already seen a handful of rimfire guns released towards the end of 2021 and 2022 has already given us the TX-22 Competition SCR, the Ruger Wrangler revolvers with birdshead grips, and Savage’s two new.17 WSM offerings for their A-Series lineup of semi-automatic rimfire rifles. Ruger has been curiously quiet on the rimfire rifle front and while that isn’t all that odd, it has been quite a while since Ruger has released a completely new rifle for their lineup. One wildcard that you can never count on in terms of consistent or predictable releases is Kel-Tec and I think they are honestly overdue for either a new pistol or rifle design chambered in a rimfire caliber.
Glock’s release of the Glock 44 a couple of years back was met with a mix of both praise and confusion but I think that now that the Glock 44 has been out for a while, we might start to see incremental improvements to the platform. Perhaps a Glock 44 Gen 2 with increased magazine capacity, and an optics-ready slide? Smith & Wesson has been really hot and heavy with their recent releases and I also wouldn’t be surprised if we saw either updates to the M&P 22 and M&P 15-22 lineups or completely new firearms. If I would want anything from Smith & Wesson, it would be a new micro-compact sized .22LR pistol similar to the LCP II LiteRack. New pocket-sized .22LR pistols could take advantage of Federal’s 29-grain Punch rounds that can reach velocities of up to 1,070-fps out of a 2″ barrel.
Similarly, I think we’ll see some good releases for sure from companies like Volquartsen and Vudoo Gun Works as they’ve already expanded their lineups in 2021 and with the increased popularity of rimfire shooting sports, these companies are poised to fill some gaps that the rimfire community has. In short, I think we’re going to be in for some really good releases this year, more than 2021.
These are just a few of my predictions for rimfire firearms in 2022. What do you guys think is going to happen for the rimfire firearm world for 2022. I’d like to hear your predictions specifically for what types of guns and ammunition we might see either new or updated for 2022 as well as what you think ammunition and firearm prices are going to do as we progress through the year. I’m sure we are going to see some great stuff at SHOT Show 2022 and I’m really looking forward to that next week. Thanks as always for stopping by to read The Rimfire Report, and we’ll see you in the next edition.