Saturday, October 10, 2015

"Panic At The Gunstore", a forum post

This was linked to at Pistol Forums. It's quite good, well worth the time to read it.*

Panic at the Gunstore--The How, When, and Why of Gun Panics - SigForums

There are a few nuggets of wisdom in there that are worthy of quoting, but first, it must be noted that the point of this article is gun-buying panics, not "imminent gun bans/control/regulations."

Nugget #1:
The bottom line is, if you are a hobbyist, buy what you want now. Once you have it, it’s very difficult for civil authorities to take it away simply by declaring it illegal. Folks always fear door-to-door confiscation, but that would be difficult on a state-level, even more so on a national scale. Gun Control is the death of liberty by a thousand cuts. And those who oppose freedom have time to play the long game if their legislation moves progressively in the direction they want it to, which, historically, they have every reason to believe is true.
If you have your AR lower, lower parts kit, "evil features", standard capacity magazines, etc. today, even they are banned tomorrow, chances are good that they will be grandfathered. No guarantees, of course, as Mark Twain recognized ("No man's life, liberty, or property is safe while the legislature is in session.")

Speaking of magazines, PMAGs are fairly inexpensive, but the price appreciated 300% or more after Sandy Hook. I think I'll buy an assortment new, in-wrapper, and keep them around for trade material...

On ammunition:
I have a general rule when observing panics: Watch .223/5.56. If you get to the store and you can’t find .223/5.56, then buy 9mm. If you can’t buy .223/5.56 or 9mm, then buy .22lr. If you can’t buy either of those three, you’re too late.
His discussion of ammunition includes a look at .22 Long Rifle that is very succinct;
Ok, so what about .22LR? .22LR is actually a really interesting case of fixed supply/increasing demand. This tiny cartridge is really the perfect storm. As I’ve told customers: “There are many rounds that can kill a man, but there’s only one that can make him sit up and beg—the mighty .22LR!” Let’s look at the supply side of .22LR:

1) .22LR is the least profitable per round cartridge to manufacture. And while we as consumers may be paying more per round than we ever have, that does not mean that manufactures like Federal, CCI, (actually both are owned by ATK), or Remington are making more money per round.

2) The machines that make .22LR cannot make any other cartridge.

If you don’t make a lot of money per round, and you can’t use that machine to make rounds that are more profitable, that really puts the damper on expansion plans for .22LR production. I haven’t been able to confirm that the machines that make .22LR are more expensive to set up than centerfire ammunition machines, but I suspect this to be the case due to the specialized nature of .22LR manufacturing.
IOW, while the shortage of .22 is partly due to people stocking up, the production lines are running at capacity, and consumption is up because more and more folks are shooting .22 versions of their standard pistol, or using a sub-caliber adapter, as a substitute for the larger, more expensive, calibers. My Friendly Local Gun Store & Range uses .22s almost exclusively in their Beginner/Basic/Introductory shooting classes, which is an excellent idea. (During the post-Sandy Hook panic, they had a plentiful supply of .22 LR, and would estimate the needs for classes and training, and break out the excess and sell it over the counter for a decent price.)

With the inherent inability of Some People to avoid the blood dance, and others' desire to Do Something, no matter how pointless, these may (unfortunately) be some good pointers to keep in mind in the coming weeks and months.

*And could serve as testimony that brand-specific gun fora are not simply and exclusively filled with unthinking fanbois...

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