Gun Stuff That Doesn’t Sell During A Panic

Anti-gun folks like to say that companies in the gun industry are gleefully profiting hand over fist every time there’s some sort of panic, but that’s not very accurate. Some companies do well – if they can keep a regular supply of desirable products in stock – and others do not do well at all, especially small local gun stores. If a company sells their entire inventory of desirable items in a few days, and is unable to restock within 3 or 6 months, they will soon face financial ruin.

As we enter what is hopefully the downward side of the price curve of the Great Firearm And Ammo Panic Of 2012/2013, I think it’s time to reflect upon a few things.

Of course, it’s interesting to note which items are in the highest demand during such an event – the current price of .22LR (according to my friend Kristofer at J&G, 500rd boxes of .22 are selling for as much as $200 at gun shows) comes to mind, for example.

Since I was hoarding before hoarding was cool*, I’m not going to run out of .22LR any time during the next century. The lack of a perceived desperate need to acquire things right now has allowed me to step back and notice which items aren’t selling.

Pictures of bare store shelves within a few days of the election were enlightening when they showed items like the Kriss Vector still available. I found great humor in this, as I see the Kriss as a firearm hopelessly outclassed by everything else on the market. Apparently I’m not alone in this.

KRISS: The very last defense-oriented firearm to leave store shelves.

Local to me, there were plenty of Thermolds available when a near-fistfight broke out over the last PMag. I’m not joking about that – tensions were reportedly high.

It turns out that consumers aren’t crazy about magazines made of papier-mâché.

And as the panic winds down, we’re seeing things like PS90 mags and M4 barrels remain in stock for more than a few days at a time. I’m hoping that this means we’re seeing the end of the whole panic, with the least desirable tulip bulbs items becoming available first. If so, that means I can go back to my normal routine of randomly visiting gun stores to grumble about how they smell and how their prices are $10 too high, not my latest routine of just staying home because nothing good is in stock.

For manufacturers and retailers, this might be an important lesson about the current state of their product quality/desirability or purchasing processes. On the manufacturing side, if your semi-auto-related firearm product wasn’t backordered 50,000 times, maybe you need to work on making it better or more desirable (or maybe your marketing sucks). For retailers, if you haven’t been able to secure any shipments of desirable product, you might want to consider strengthening your relationships with suppliers.

In any case, I’m glad to finally see the light at the end of the tunnel.

*I stole this line from a friend.

19 thoughts on “Gun Stuff That Doesn’t Sell During A Panic”

  1. As a shotgun guy, it’s been amusing to see cases and cases of those crappy Winchester Universal target loads sitting on otherwise naked store shelves. Here in rural Idaho, folks know bad ammunition, and Wal-Mart’s the only place in town that hasn’t stopped carrying them altogether.

    1. ‘Round these parts, I can hardly find any 12ga birdshot on store shelves. Plenty of 20ga, but not much 12.

  2. Prices are beginning to fall around me. I have a local store that has federal 115 gr ball in boxes of 50 for 18 bucks. Not great but it ain’t bad and again, always in stock.

    1. You must still be desensitized by all of this craziness. A box of 9mm should cost $13. $18 is a 40% price hike. That’s pretty bad. 😉 This all makes me want to get a .45. At least around me, there was always .45 fmj in stock for around $25 a box.

      1. You also must be desensitized by all of this craziness. A box of 9mm was costing $9 on sale within the last year. $13 is a 44% price hike. That’s pretty bad. 😉
        Those sales are the reason I’ve still been shooting over the last few months – I bought a few thousand rounds when I had the chance. Sadly, a buddy of mine added another 500 to one of his orders for me a while back but I never picked it up. I’m not sure he’ll still hand them over for $9 each…

  3. I suspect barrels are lasting longer because uppers and BCG’s are still almost impossible to find.
    What use a barrel without a means of using it?

    1. You can always use the spare barrel as a MAYpole, its coming up soon!….
      just kidding, I feel your pain.

  4. My LGS in Oregon has plenty of black rifles, magazines, and BCGs. After selling out of all that stuff back in December, we’re pretty well stocked again but the ammo (22, 9mm, .380, 30-30, .38, .357) is in short supply.

  5. I haven’t even seen a retail box of 9mm ammo in 3 months. The only place in town that I know has 5.56 in stock is selling PMC for over $0.90 a round(no one seems to be buying it).

  6. Bro, the PS90 tulip mags that are “in stock” weren’t factory. Anybody worth their salt knows to treat them like a half step better than thermolds.

      1. Yeah … airsoft … uh … um … me neither … um … just weapons familiarity and all that … uh-huh … you know … in case I have to pick one up off a … um … “dead” … um … fat pimple-faced teenage boy … you know … the kind whose physique is directly cut from the rigors of first person shooters in their mom’s basement.

        Nice 5.7 slander, btw. You made me resort to that response, completely ruining all of the “yeah, well, I’d rather get hit by airsoft than 5.7” or “the secret service use them to protect the POTUS” or “my spouse/children shoot it better than other guns” or [insert whatever cliche PS90 justification here] type of responses.

        That’s OK. I’ll admit it. I like my PS90 and Factory Mags. It has a place in the safe, right next to all of my other pretend firearms. And you can’t have it. 🙂

        (Though I’m probably not shooting it until after this panic is over and ammo prices and availability resumes normalcy.)

  7. Light at the end of the tunnel?? As far as ammo is concerned, what light? In my neck of the woods I’ve seen no light. 9mm, 45 acp, 22 lr, l, s, and any other variety of 22 including .223/5.56 have all been practically non-existent here and what little that does trickle through gets snapped up within minutes by the vultures that camp out in front of various little shops and big boxes.

  8. hmm. if only there was a way for the home reloader to make propellant. you can get dies for brass, and press copper jacketed bullets from lead rod and copper tubing. it’s handling nitrocellulose that stops us from having our own millitary cottage-industrial complex.

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