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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Attention Walmart shoppers... or where ever you shop and have actually found .22 ammo.

What are the date codes on the ammo you are buying right now?
I think it would be interesting to know when the ammo that is hitting the shelves today was actually made. That may tell us something about the supply chain and give a clue as to how long this mess may actually last. So... if you have bought .22 ammo just recently in 2013, please post the the details such as brand of ammo, what store it came from, purchase date and manufacture date or lot code. No need to post info on known new old stock ammo. Just interested in ammo purchased from someplace that just received the shipment from their distributor.

As an example, I happened to stop by my nearby Walmart this morning around 11:00am and low and behold there were 2 boxes of CCI Quiet in the ammo case that were not there last night at 9:00pm. I just could not stand to let them sit there all alone, so I made the purchase. I have been in this same store numerous times in the last 2 months and this is the only .22 ammo I have ever seen there.

So anyway... I just checked the date code and guess what.... they were made on October 17 of 2012.... BEFORE the great ammo shortage of 2013! What gives!! Where has this ammo been sitting for the last 4-1/2 months??
This MUST be some Walmart conspiracy! :harry: <- said jokingly. :D

To see when your CCI ammo was made:

first letter in the lot code is month (A thru M, skipping I)
A - Jan
B - Feb
...
skip I
...
M - Dec

the next 2 numbers are the day of the month (1-31)

the second letter represents the year. ( starting in 1995 with letter A, skip I and O)

2010 - R
2011 - S
2012 - T
2013 - U

The 2 boxes of Quiets I bought today are stamped:
K17T23 = Oct 17, 2012

Anyone know how to date Federal, Remington, Winchester, Aguila, etc? If all of these companies factories are cranking out .22 ammo at maximum capacity, shouldn't we expect to be seeing stuff that was actually made in 2013 on the store shelves?
 

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I got a few boxes of "Swamp People" CCI Mini Mags from Cabellas on the 22nd of Feb. The lot number indicates it was manufactured on Feb 2nd of 2013. So that batch made it through the system pretty fast. 20 days from factory floor to my doorstep.
 

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They have ZERO incentive to NOT sell ammo. I would be amazed if any of it is older than two months at this point. Remember most does not go from factory to store. Most go to distributors first and even WalMart ships to regional warehouses first.
 

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1FJ429 - fed 550 from 2-13 - Anyone happen to start into this
lot and notice results that are better/worse than normal. This may
be my plinking round this year but I wont be behind the trigger for
a couple more months.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
They have ZERO incentive to NOT sell ammo. I would be amazed if any of it is older than two months at this point. Remember most does not go from factory to store. Most go to distributors first and even WalMart ships to regional warehouses first.
Exactly why I was surprised to find 4-1/2 month old 'specialty' ammo on the shelf. I suppose it could have been leftover stock shipped from another store because it did not sell in that market. Who knows...

I still think it will be interesting to see what lines of ammo the manufacturers are producing, when it is made, and how long it takes to get into a consumers hands. My expectation is they will concentrate on the bread and butter bulk ammo until they get caught up, then start filling in with the specialty stuff.
 

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just got a case of lot#1JF444....

1FJ429 - fed 550 from 2-13 - Anyone happen to start into this lot and notice results that are better/worse than normal. This may
be my plinking round this year but I wont be behind the trigger for
a couple more months.
I just got a case with lot #1FJ444 AM22(AutoMatch) a week ago. Will be shooting it in 2-3 weeks when I finish my current one off. The current open case is 1FGxxxx purchased in December 20112. Maybe that is a clue? Two months later the letter goes from G to J. Sure hope someone comes up with the way to decipher Fed Lot# codes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I found an old thread on another forum that has some great information on Federal lot numbering.

http://www.iaaforum.org/forum3/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=6307

This is consistent with other information I have read, but much more detailed. The last three numbers in the lot code represent the day of the year. To figure the date, subtract 400 from the last 3 digits in the lot number. The result is the day of the year and will be a number from 1 - 365, or 366 for a leap year. Use a Julian calendar to figure the month and day.

So lot number 1FJ429 would be

429 - 400 = 029 = Jan 29th

Not sure how to decode the 1FJ to get the year. Anybody know? Anyone have other lots of Fed 550?

I do not have any Federal 525/550 bulk with me. I do have some Federal 510b. It's lot code is

2GN512
2GT611

Both of these were purchased in 2012.
 

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1FJ429 - fed 550 from 2-13 - Anyone happen to start into this lot and notice results that are better/worse than normal.
I've gone through 220 rounds from this lot and the results were no different than the RGBs that I'd been sending through my Ruger Mark III Target. No FTFs, no FTEs, and accuracy was the same.

I'll be making a trip to the range this weekend and plan to shoot more of the same and will report back. The only difference will be that I've put on a fiber optic front sight and run a bore snake through the barrel.
 

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I purchased 5 boxes of AutoMatch Feb 21st, Lot # 1HJ431. BTW, the store I bought it from is only 5 miles from the Federal Cartridge plant here in Minnesota, so I would assume it was made on January 31st.
I also bought a box of Federal 525 Bulk on Feb 13 with a Lot # 1FN648.
 

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Purchased from LGS after arriving today mid morning:

Blazer, 50 rd cardboard box, $2.55/50, lot # 2FJ407

Winchester 37 gr HP, 50 rd cardboard box, $3.95/50 (OUCH) lot # 1GA41L

I haven't a clue how to decipher these, anyone want to help?

BTW, I was allowed to purchase 5 boxes of Blazer & 2 of Winchester. This is actually a local industrial supply house. No parking spaces anywhere when I arrived. Folks were buying powder in 10-25 lb. quantities, CCI sm pistol primers were extremely popular, I was actually one of the few buying rimfire at the time I was in there.
 

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So it appears the stuff has a very short travel/shelf life. The ammo companies are doing everything they can to help us.

Got to remember that companies like CCI, Federal, Nosler, Speer, Hornady, Sierra, Hogdgon and others are run by shooters for shooters. Most of them started out as one person or family businesses and some still are.:bthumb:
 

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I bought a brick of Winchester 333's at Walmart yesterday, on the bottom of the box it says:

RCLR94Y
E129734
K7526

I have no clue what these mean, or if I'm even looking in the right place... does anyone know?

Thanks,
-N.
 

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And also remember that most manufacturing and distribution these days is done on a JIT model where warehousing is avoided at all costs.

The idea is to get your raw supplies in "just in time" and use them immediately, and the same goes for shipping out the finished goods. Warehousing is expensive.

So it only makes sense that it would be fairly rare to get an "old" box of most ammo, especially these days, unless someone is pulling out some of their personal "hoard" to sell.

The manufacturers, distributors, and retailers have zero incentive to warehouse anything. Stuff sitting on shelves costs you money and ties up your working capital.

I figure everything is flowing through the pipeline pretty much just as it always has. Perhaps at a higher volume due to the manufacturers trying to keep up with demand. But the demand is just enough higher than the current rate of production that nothing sits on shelves in stores for any time.

However, it's been somewhat encouraging to see that ammo is available and being sold for "normal" prices by many retailers. It just disappears quickly which makes it hard to get for people who don't have the time to camp out at their local Wal Mart or spend all day with their fingers poised over their keyboards. :rolleyes:
 
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