According to an industry insider, all the major firearms manufacturers and bullet builders are gearing-up for a post-election sales surge. “They’re creating huge inventories,” he said. “This time they’re ready if Obama gets re-elected.” We’ve discussed the possibility of an Obama administration second term leading to a major push on gun control. I reckon it’s paranoia-fuelled hype; lame duck or no, the President is smart enough to realize that gun control would enrage a good part of the electorate, who would take their (non-violent) revenge in subsequent Congressional elections. TTAG’s AI reckons I’ve got my head in the proverbial sand. Anyway, perception is reality is sales. If Obama is turfed—or everyone who wants an AR already has ten—the gun industry could be left with millions of excess-to-demand firearms and billions of bullets, lowing prices. Watch this space.

60 Responses to Gun Glut Ahead?

  1. Reality check: There is no “shortage” of ammunition, or firearms. There is a high market demand, but nobody is plain out. Rationed perhaps, but not out.

    You can still get a new in the box, full auto mac 10 or m11, and they have not been manufactured since May of 1986. An ammunition wholesaler I acquaintances with has shown me pictures of their secondary warehouse full of surplus ammunition while their website shows numerous calibers unavailable. Why? It’s reasonably obvious.
    Of course, that is his livelihood and we shouldn’t begrudge anyone a fair profit. That said, this person has a yacht, and is not known to commute to / from the warehouse in a Yugo, or for that matter anything one might consider low rent.

    You probably have a friend of a friend who is reported to have bought ammunition by the tractor trailer load. It’s reported on just about every internet forum & email list, but how many have actually seen such first hand?

    Sometimes we are our own worst enemy, and this is such a case. We hear that Uncle Jed’s best friend is buying up all the .223 he can get his wealthy hands on and think – I’d better get mine before it’s out. Only Uncle Jed’s buddy was only talking. It’s good that the industry is healthy, but we have fallen victim to hype that is responsible for probably a little more than half the quadrupling of some calibers prices. Fuel is more expensive now than back in 2005-2006 so shipping of goods is costing more, but that’s only part of it.

    So the moral is, just let the ammo sit there unsold and the prices will come down.

    • Commodities (brass, copper, etc.) are also pricier than they were a few years ago (at least priced in devalued Bernanke Dollars), so that accounts for part of the price rise. I was in Hoffman’s, a big gun store here in CT, and their shelves were well stocked with any caliber and type you could want.

    • I imagine most of the prices right now are artificially high. Sure there is a high demand but I think that supply is being artificially lowered by the ammo makers. Following an example set by oil cartels. Just a conspiracy theory, really, as I have no proof or inside sources.

      • I wouldn’t call it a conspiracy theory so much as the rules of supply and demand. Make something scarce, or create artificial limits where none exist, you can adjust your price accordingly for a higher profit. Blame capitalism at its worst by dragging the greed out of many if you want.

        Oil companies (cartels?) are already notorious for this, if not the oil producers themselves (who also have gas so cheap in their own countries that we in comparison look like we are getting gouged.) Oil companies like the excuses of EPA regulations and Federal and State taxes as the reasons why, (other than the games OPEC plays) the prices are so much. While they do have a role, it is more smokescreen than full truth in order to get billions of dollars in profits.

        Fortunately, not everyone buys into that game and they look at the big picture for the long-haul, and some play the game just a little bit in comparison.

  2. Think of any future lower costs of guns/ammo as an opportunity for a long-term investment strategy known as “dollar cost averaging”. Since you bought an AR for $1500 during the Obama sales promotion, buying one at $900 when Romney is President will lower your average cost to $1200. It will also offer an opportunity to diversify your holdings – adding a .308 to your .223 stable. And hey, in 20 years you will be able to brag about how cheap that gun was before you became an OFWG (assuming you are now a YWG). (Feel free to change the acronym to suit your current condition of gender, race, sexual preference, ethnicity, yadda yadda.)

  3. i have all the guns and ammo i need. want is a whole other subject. i would like to see a glut on the market. but obama is likely to get re-elected. when that happens there’ll be a surge in sales based on fear, real or imagened, and prices will rocket up again. i hope he loses, but too many people can’t go for romney and the only way to beat obama is a united front. i claim no religion, never have. my wife is a mormon and she can’t get behind romney so i really think we get obama for another 4. sucks, but there it is.

  4. There’s four more years of kids who’ve come to the age of majority since the last election. Most of whom have played a lot of COD. If there is a glut, it just means they’ll have a chance to stock up to match us OFWGs. Good for them. Good for all of us. Bring it.

  5. Prices are still historically low in my opinion. AR 15 weren’t as cheap or available back when everything else was much cheaper. In my area house prices are double what they were ten years ago and gas is more than double.

    • Where do you live? In the condo building I live in (not own) on the far north side of Chicago, about 10 years ago 2 bedrooms were going for 180k+, in the mid 2000s they peaked at 220k, now they’re in the low 60ks, and still aren’t seling. I even had a guy walk up to me today asking me if this building accepted Section 8 vouchers.

      • The value of the Federal Reserve Note (we have not had US Dollars for many decades) has dropped because of the monetary policy and liquidity easing. Stating it simplistically, inflation is a mix of demand for a product and the value or strength of our currency’s buying power. Digitally mass ‘printing’ money not tied to any physical standard, absurd interest rate manipulations, taking out huge trillion+ government to government loans, etc have butchered our buying power.

        I think in most areas overall housing prices have dropped. That drop combined with the decrease in our buying power is telling about the perceived value of houses, the economy, and the wealth of America.

  6. I reckon it’s paranoia-fuelled hype; lame duck or no, the President is smart enough to realize that gun control would enrage a good part of the electorate, who would take their (non-violent) revenge in subsequent Congressional elections. “

    Guess what cowboy, Obama does not give a flying fart in a hurricane about congressional Democrats or anyone who does not have the initial B.H.O. Did he care that ObamaCare/Tax killed their majority in the House – not in the least. Now, even if BHO keeps the WH, the GOP will likely hold the House so any major legislation is unlikely, but there’s always Executive Orders – what, do you expect the Roberts Court to protect us?

  7. With the American military involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan winding down, I would expect ammo availability to increase and prices to fall a little bit as manufacturing capacity for civilian ammo increases. Commodity prices have also stabilized and, in some cases, fallen. Fuel prices, too. All things remaining as they are, I’d expect a good supply of ammo at reasonable prices.

    Guns are a different issue. Ruger recently started accepting new orders after its stock price took a significant hit because the company was capacity constrained and refusing new orders. Smith & Wesson is able to meet demand, but barely and not for every sku. Foreign manufacturers may have problems, and the effect of the ATT (if any) remains an unknown. All things remaining as they are, there’s no reason to expect across-the-board shortages of firearms, but highly desirable models will remain hard to find.

  8. We of course have to remain vigilant, but I’m not terribly concerned about any major threat to gun-rights should Obama be elected.

    The reality is that public opinion has experienced a major shift in favor of gun rights, to the point where even a substantial portion of elected Democrats are pro-gun. There’s just no political impetus for gun control. Even if Obama remains in the White House, chances are that the House will remain in GOP hands and they may even take the Senate. There just isn’t that much that the Obama Administration can do without congress, even if they were so inclined.

    It’s true that a second term would likely give Obama the opportunity to appoint more justices to the Supreme Court. I don’t think that a more liberal court would reverse the Heller decision, and the reality is it hasn’t really made much practical difference in American gun laws anyways. For most practical purposes little has changed in DC and Chicago post-Heller and post-McDonald.

    The reality is that the biggest fights for gun-rights will always be in state and federal legislatures, not in the courtroom. Consider the fact that we went from eight shall-issue CCW jurisdictions in the 70s to becoming the-rule (rather than the exception) almost nation wide, all before the courts even recognized that the 2nd Amendment actually protected an individual right to bear arms. The courts have been, and will continue to be, a mere side-show in the quest for greater gun rights.

    • Have you heard of the dream act? Obama just made 800,000 to 1,000,000 illegal aliens instantly legal with a simple public statement. No congressional approval. You don’t think there’s a chance he’s going to pull the same stuff with gun-control?

    • >> There just isn’t that much that the Obama Administration can do without congress, even if they were so inclined.

      Take a look at Kimberly Strassel’s (Wall Street Journal) and Charles Krauthammer’s (Washington Post) this weekend regarding Obama’s “imperial Presidency.”

      He’s taken several extra- (actually un)constitutional actions while he’s facing re-election (though with ACORN fraud on his side, he may not be that concerned).

      He hails from Chicago with some of the most draconian guns restrictions in the country, and when in elected office there he was one of the prime supporters of gun control.

      When he no longer has to face re-election, do you think he’s going to give a damn about Constitution, Congress or how Congressional Democrats might fare in mid-term elections (don’t forget that he considered them expendable and collateral damage necessary to enact his socialized medicine scheme).

      • I believe he already sent a message to Putin in Russia to wait until he is re-elected so that he has more flexibilty to eff the USA.

  9. If we can get people back to work, they’ll gladly take care of any excess firearms and ammunition capacity.

  10. I am see at my local stores that ammo is flying out the door fast, next fast seller are magazines AK and AR , yes they still have a large supply , of everything and firearms sales are still strong…We will see war with IRAN if not in 2012 , look for it early 2013, you can count it and it means sky high gas prices, and lots of controls ,,, I am also telling stock up on firearms cleaning gear, this is the calm before all hell hits… YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED,,,

  11. I think that the stress of this probably gets me the most. Why? I’m sixteen years old. and I live in california. I plan on moving to my very gun-friendly neighbor Arizona after i’m done with Junior college, in 2016 by the earliest, where, as I will probably be not legally “living” there until i’m half-done with my time at their state university, and won’t have very much money until I graduate and actually get a decent job. So why is this hard for me? I don’t have any “Assault” weapons. hell, I don’t even have any guns. I personally want one… er, a few. but if somebody in a high position starts pulling federal laws out of his ass, I’m gonna be caught with my pants down. In other words, compared to me, you guys have no problem on your hands because the majority of you already have what you want.

    P.S. don’t screw up this election season. Because then you’d be making me sad.

  12. There will be a “glut” in some sectors. The AR sector, from what I see, has some real excess capacity. You can see the economics starting to kick in – a stripped lower receiver has been coming down in price across the industry for the last two years. I can find lowers down for $70/per, and less if I buy 10 or more at a go. The only part of an AR where I don’t find a glut just yet is in premium (read: Non-milspec) barrels.

  13. All the “sky is falling” idiots are the reason ammo is 3x what it used to be.

    Gun rights are 10x better now than 20 years ago.

    • Gun rights are ten times better now than they were 20 years ago because people wised up then and recognized the threat, which was anything but imaginary. About the first thing a certain political party did when it had both houses of congress and the White House was to enact the assault weapons ban.

      And not that high prices on guns and ammo is something to be happy about, but high demand certainly is, because it means Americans are that much freer. If there’s a glut in a year or two, that won’t be something to complain about either. It’ll mean range time will take that much less of a bite out of the wallet.

  14. I hope like hell there is a glut of guns and ammo after November ’12, not only because of lower prices, but because it will also mean the naked Emperor has been evicted.

  15. both Obama and Romney support war with Iran, now what does this all mean, with Both Russia, and China giving Iran all types weapons , aid, and support, this will if i must say will be one hell of tough nut war, a cut off of Iran’s oil could push prices at the pump to $10 or more and that may also be under rations, now also take note that we keep bailing out the Euro union, It’s only a matter of time for a total market crash, now our FED. Res. Bank is up to their Eye balls in debt. will the FED. crash yes and soon but we just do not know how much more time is left… TAKE it at this point we could see our markets and Fed. bank all crash.. what does this mean about Gun owners … I will only say we will all be in big HURT ,,, all of us …

  16. Of the two major candidates for President, only one has signed an Assault Weapons Ban. Both are grabbers, and I bet you dollars to doughnuts that if Romney is elected, the Dems will finagle another AWB through the congress and DARE him not to sign it. 2nd amendment friendly my ass.

    -Richard

      • Huh? Nonsense? Nonsense is thinking that Romney is going to finally park himself on a single political position once he gets elected. I am going to do the same thing I did in 2008… Get drunk and put my mark next to the republican candidate for president, holding my nose the whole way. I was simply reminding folks that the fight doesn’t stop with Romneys inauguration, should we be so lucky. He signed a permanent AWB in Massachusetts and hasn’t ever said it was a bad call (“we had pro gun folks there like the NRA with us when we signed this thing”).

  17. real simple folks. do you want obama for another term? if yes vote indepent, don’t vote or vote democrat. as for me i’m voting romney. don’t like him but his party is easier to work with in regards to guns. not perfect, but what is.

  18. Its all good fun and games, but, given the economy is in the crapper, Europe is a mess, and China is now starting to crack….I do not believe any gun agenda either way will be on the table.

    This election will be about Jobs, healthcare and entitlements. If the unemployment creeps back to 9%, whoever wins will be effed because the Fed is out of bullets.

    The fact that we now cities and town claiming bankruptcy and there is some news that more than handfull of muni-funds are in danger of default, does anyone believe with all this other noise that there will be any gun agenda at the federal level?

    The noise will continue at the state level provided that state is not in the economic crapper like CA, NJ and NY.

    We are at a point that another natural disaster like the earthquack in Japan or Iran sending over a few roman candles or Greece finally defaulting or N. Korea doing something stupid could tip the balance to world wide financial mess and all the world is looking to the USA to get their political and financial acts together.

    Nope, there is to much noise for a gun debate at least in the near term or perhaps for the next 4 yrs. When Rahm and Hilary hold hands for 2016, then we will have trouble.

    • Rahm cannot run for president. Or vice president. He is one of the most powerful men in the country right now. And he can probably hold on to that juob for the res of his life. Why would he go back to national politics? And Hillary–if she stays Sec State for four more years, she’ll be burned out and done with politics.What concerns me most is that I don’t see any really interesting candidates on either side of the aisle. Bobby Jindal? Christie? Nah. Maybe Jeb will stick his nose under the tent?

    • P.S. North Korea is always pushing the limits, but it has avoided doing something unforgiveably stupid for the last 60 years, and its current ruler has a dynsty to protect. He will do just enough to gain friends in the military and thus cement his power structure. I don’t see Iran as a big issue at the moment. Sanctions are working; engaging in war with them, particularly if we or the Israelis start it, will unify the people there in patriotic fervor, which is exactly the opposite of the result sanctions are intended to produce. We will remain vigilant, but not offensive. Same with Syria. We cannot afford to start a war their either; a war could result in WWIII, with Russia and China on the other side of the battlefield. I don’t think our military is any condition to take on a war of that caliber.

      The financial mess is the financial mess. We’ve been there, done that, as has Europe. A boom bust cycle was the norm until recovery from the Great Depression–and it seems that we are returning to the market’s natural cycle. Interesting potential effect, as it will drag down China if the world goes to hell in a hand basket. Doesn’t matter how cheap labor is in China if there is no market for its products. Will China act to save the world in order to save itself? Will it emerge as the new economic superpower? Or will a major depression in China result in the fall of the Communist Party? The next quarter century (about all I’ve got left) will be “interesting.”

    • “Nope, there is to much noise for a gun debate at least in the near term or perhaps for the next 4 yrs. When Rahm and Hilary hold hands for 2016, then we will have trouble.”

      Could be all the cover they need to sneak gun regulation, and other ill-conceived trash through before we realize it.

      VIGILANCE is more than the word of the day… it should be part of your lifestyle.

  19. If Obummer gets re-elected, you will see a push to reinstate the AWB. Any one who thinks otherwise is living in a fantasy world.

  20. we have major cities like detroit getting a state “receiver”, Stockton ca. bankrupt, the states of Ill, Calif, and NJ with insurmountable deficits as far as te eye can see.
    our economy is closely tied with europe, because all of our major companies have operations there , and there is more debt there than the whole world could pay. I have been arround a while and haven’t ever seen this kind of thing before. it would really make me happy if any of you can lay out a plan of how we get out of this without serious problems. otherwise, I think lots of things are moving in a bad direction. no matter who is elected.
    I don’t know if its SHTF, but who could really say. I may not be alone in worrying about this.

  21. i don’t know who said the feds where out of ammo thats not what i heard they purchased 500 million rounds of .45 cal ammo they are the only organization that can use that calaiber of ammo it was banned from military use i believe it has been stock piled for the day when our second is taken away i hope i’am wrong

    • huh? 45 isnt banned from military use. I’m assuming your referring to hollow points. They have a contract to buy up to 450 million rounds of 40 S&W JHP over a five year period. They don’t have to buy that much, but they can if they want to at a pre-agreed upon price.

      • As of 2002, there were over 93,000 federal LEOs. Assuming they order the maximum possible, that equates to 967 rounds per officer. Assuming they practice once per month, and fire 100 rounds at practice, that contract would not provide enough ammunition. It isnt really all that alarming.
        http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/content/pub/pdf/fleo02.pdf

        Ironically, the IRS and every other major federal LEO agency has more LEOs than the ATF.

        • Remember, these are HOLLOW POINT rounds the contract is for, not FMJ range fodder. I think they ARE preparing for some serious crowd control and why wouldnt they expect rioting when there’es no money or food for the masses?

        • Remember, these are HOLLOW POINT rounds the contract is for, not FMJ range fodder. I think they ARE preparing for some serious crowd control and why wouldn’t they expect rioting when there’es no money or food for the masses?

        • Rybred: For most people, using FMJ range ammo is an economic decision. Ideally, training ammo should be the same as defense/duty ammo so that there are zero surprises with weapon function but cost keeps most of us from doing that. These agencies are using OPA (Other People’s Ammo) and have little or no concern for the cost.

        • In my Homeland Security Unit we only shoot at the range what we carry on duty which are HP’s.

  22. 0n the face of it 450 million rounds of ammo seems like a lot. but when you’ve been to a military range where 600 guys are working out with automatic weapons it puts the level of consumption into perspective, especially if the contract is spread over several years.

  23. Off topic, but someone should politely suggest to that gentleman: Collapse the stock, and put that nose to the charging handle.

    • Continuing the off-topic topic… You would probably not like my AR handling either. I find a nice fit with an ACS stock fully extended with the optional thick pad for a LOP of 14.75 inches. Note: I have a very large wingspan and only use iron sights, so eye relief is not as critical as with optics.

  24. How’s that sand down there? I saw this coming miles away. Guess the excess inventory still wasn’t enough.

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