Monday, June 24, 2013

Crowds subside, but ammo still a big draw at gun show

Another Atlanta area gun show yields a new report from Don Dickinson, who walked the aisles last Saturday:
Gun Show Report
22 Jun 2013

Don Dickinson

This morning I went to the gun show at the North Atlanta Trade Center. This is always a big show with hundreds of vendors. I got there at 8:30 and the line less than 50 yards long. By the time the show opened at 9:00 the line was 150 yards long. This is about a 50% decline in opening line length compared to the last show I attended there on 18 May 2013. The crowd never got big enough to crowd the aisles and was about the size of crowds typical before the fall of 2008 first gun and ammo shock.

Ammunition was far and away the hottest selling item. Many of the first people in the door went directly to the Georgia Arms ammo area and some were bringing out multiple GI ammo cans of their purchases before I got into the show. Center fire ammo was readily available in case lots. I saw off brand but plenty good 9mm for 32 cents a round and .45 ACP for 42 cents a round. Rifle caliber ammo also seemed to be returning to near pre-crisis prices. There was even some .30 carbine to be had 80 cents a round.

There was still no .22LR generally available except from secondary vendors selling their personal stocks at about $60 to $75 for a brick of 500. For this ammo, I saw no improvement since the May show.

There was not a single reloading components dealer at the show. Georgia Arms had some small supplies of bullets and powder as did two private sellers but the overall availability in this category was the lowest I have ever seen at a big show. My assumption is that supply has mostly diverted to the manufacturers of factory ammo.

A new outfit was offering an ammo purchase agreement whereby if you paid about $125 up front you got the right to buy up to $3,000 worth of ammo at wholesale prices if another crisis occurs. The spokesman said they were able to do this because they had bought several big reloading machines in Utah to fulfill the expected demand. It seems to me that a better idea is to get the stocks of ammo you think you need whenever you can. A paper contract to buy ammo is not the same as ammo in the bunker.

Guns were readily available in most types and prices were at or just a few tens of dollars above pre-crisis prices. I saw a man carrying around a pristine blued Ruger Mini 14 with a flash suppressor and a sign that said $550. He told me he had been at the show for over an hour and no one had shown any interest.

ARs and their magazines were abundant and at close to pre-crisis prices. The category weapons still in short supply were highly accurate long range rifles. These have never been in large supply but clearly demand has remained above supply through the length of the crisis so far.

Gun shows are not quite back to normal yet but without another crisis, it looks like they will be there in a few more months. I am not betting on the lack of another crisis either generated by the Democrats or evil doers.

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