February 27, 2013
Gun Sales: Is The Freak Out Over?
By Phil Bourjaily
I walked into my local sporting goods store yesterday to see three consignment ARs and a whole tower* of Mosin Nagants in the used rifle rack. All of them had been there last week, too, except five or six of the most attractive Mosins that had been culled from the tower. The handgun case was fuller than it had been in months, and it contained several 1911s, a couple of Beretta 92s and quite a few other pistols I hadn’t seen in a while.
Three or four weeks ago the whole collection would have been wiped out in a day by desperate gun buyers. Meanwhile over on the ammo shelf the .223, the 9mm and several other calibers remain completely cleaned out.
I asked the kid at the counter what it meant.
“Our reps say the freak out is over,” he said, referring to the panic buying of recent months. “Now the ammo makers have to catch up.”
That’s good to hear. But, I also keep hearing stories of ammo shipments bought up the instant they hit the shelves and of people ordering enormous amounts of guns and ammo. One source in the ammo industry told me: “Guys who usually order 6,000 primers are ordering 60,000. Then they wonder why there’s a shortage.”
Based on that anecdotal evidence I’m guessing the gun buying frenzy has peaked, although I also wouldn’t be surprised if renewed gun control debate doesn’t reignite it. What are you seeing where you live?
Some day the gun and ammo market will return to normal. Several months after that there will be great deals on used AR 15s as people who rushed out to buy them find out how much it costs to shoot one.
*A “tower” is the term for a group of giraffes. It seems appropriate to apply it to Mosins, too. Mosins have barrels like giraffes have necks. Both look awkward as a result.