Saturday, October 11, 2014

Inventory's back, prices way down from panic levels

Been to a gun store lately, or seen the gun counter at a big box sporting goods store?

Most cases, they're back to being well stocked, at least as far as new stuff's concerned.

File photo from the panic. Empty
shelves like this no longer the norm.
I made calls on some of my favorite suburban Atlanta sellers earlier in the week, and am happy to report that not only has inventory returned, but prices have also dropped reasonably close to what they were before the buying panic that started in December 2012.

Revolvers are harder to come by. Handgun displays are overwhelmingly stocked with semi-autos.

I did note that used inventory is still scarce at many places both for handguns and long guns. When I asked, sellers who used to carry a wider assortment just said they can't sell what people aren't selling to them. Many of the used guns I did see appeared the type and vintage that might have come from estate sales.

Ammo's is also back both online and in retail stores. At least one big box chain still enforces a two box limit on some varieties. And, forgive me, but I didn't think to look to see if .22 LR was back on the shelves.

Online ammunition sellers may not have inventories as broad as two years ago, but what they do have is sometimes priced where it was in fall 2012. For example, I've seen 50 round boxes of Brown Bear 9mm selling for $9.95, and Prvi Partizan .38 Special priced from $13.50. Shop around, prices still vary widely from seller to seller. For those who got caught short on ammo in the 2013 panic, now seems like a good time to build a stash to counter personal impact of any future panics or retail shortages.

There was one thing that sort of bugged me. The one time I stopped by a shop with an indoor range, most the lanes were empty. Maybe it was a slow night. But just over a year ago, you'd have had to wait in line for a lane to open up. I hope those folks who bought guns in the panic have taken time to train with them. Semi-autos especially often need a break-in period to perform dependably.

If you haven't taken a new gun to the range, now might be a good time to do so. Might also be a good time to invite a friend to go with you.

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