“You might have people who were more inclined to buy because they were worried they might not be able to later. That’s going away for sure. But by the same token, the shooting sports in this country are going to explode because they’re not going to be as worried or restricted about how they can shoot, where they can shoot.” – Battle Rifle Company’s Karl Sorken in Once-booming gun industry now recalibrating under President Trump [via nydailynews.com]

43 Responses to Quote of the Day: The Yin and the Yang of the Trump Slump

  1. Watch the market take off when the HPA is passed.

    I’ll be doing my part for a local machinist when he/she/other threads my beater bull barrel .22lr bolt action to directly accept an oil filter.

    I wonder how many of the larger companies right now are designing integrally suppressed weapons in anticipation of it passing…

    • Didn’t Trump just kill that by executive order?

      Okay, obviously not, but there will be a thinning out of a lot of those companies as everyone waits for that to happen. Some of the money that would otherwise be spent on guns and ammo will be held up waiting on silencer legislation that will be a long time coming. Holding your breath while waiting for Congress to do anything but blow hot air is unwise.

      • Holding your breath while waiting for Congress to do anything but blow hot air is unwise.

        You, sir or ma’am, win the Intertubez today!

  2. I’m looking for another .308 AR on the cheap, maybe a few months from now I can pickup a nice hi end gun for what it should cost instead of an inflated price.

    • If you’re not dead set on *another* AR, I suggest taking a look at the newer Century C308 CETMEs. I wanted an 308 AR (or M1A)…. until I got my hands on a modernized G3 downrange. And since the real deal is far beyond my means, the CETME is quite a reasonable facsimile.

      I got lucky and found an older Century CETME that wasn’t a lemon, with less than 100 rounds through it, for $450. But I’ve been seeing others now for 5-600, with the new C308s around 700. Prices haven’t come down on those yet, at least.

      • I was checking one of those out the other day, how is it? The G3 always was a big gun but shooting one i was definitely impressed.

  3. There is some truth to that. But, I think it will rebound for other reasons too. The Progressives are having a collective temper tantrum and they are using violence to retaliate against We The People for voting against them. The news media has not reported it, as we would expect, but for those of us who have paid attention, it is happening. Just the other day, I read an article where some armed leftist protestors matched onto a state capital building. In my opinion, this is not over. The Progressives have tasted nearly unrestricted power, and they want more. I believe another buying spree is just around the corner.

    • Bob, one article about one leftist does. To a movement make.

      The gun industry cannot survive if only current gun owners buy “another one.”

      Inbred market forces have a short shelf life. And neither is a fear-based market going to last let alone be predictable..

      Face it. The gun market is saturated and some right-sizing will be necessary to balance demand with economic stability. The profit margins on guns is minuscule which leads to three choices: 1) raise prices (won’t work in this current hyper competitive non-loyal market; 2) reduce supply (fabricated scarcity works for a while but customers catch on and feel burned); and 3) innovate to add value and excitement to the market. I prefer the latter, but innovation comes with disruption and a questioning of traditions, neither of which gun owners and the gun industry are good at.

      • “Face it. The gun market is saturated and some right-sizing will be necessary to balance demand with economic stability.”

        Ah. So, you think guns are like a commodity? That like petroleum, we have reached ‘peak gun’ sales?

        I don’t buy that.

        Scratch that, in AR platform weapons, I can see that happening. The rest of the market, not so much.

        Guys buy guns like women buy shoes. Not always for a need, but because another one caught their fancy…

        • In the case of handguns we have a new crop of 21yo’s every day. Same with 18yo’s for rifles and shotguns. Kids that have come of age on fps games and around the clock news coverage of firearms.

          The market ain’t going away.

        • jwm
          the same thing was said about hunting and its in serious hurt now. Being 20 means pawn shops and Hi Points are pretty cool. Can’t build an industry on that. Gotta go for the expendable income and purpose.

        • MD. That Hi Point in the hands of the 20yo is a gateway drug.

          As for hunting. I live in CA, the state that never met an anti gun or hunting rule that it didn’t like. And I still hunt. Whatevers in season. And on public land.

      • ” current hyper competitive non-loyal market”. After becoming dissatisfied with MANY brands of firearms, I am sticking with RUGER. 100% American Made down to the raw materials; if they can do it why can’t everyone? I am now a ‘Ruger Super Owner’ and will be adding still more. Staying with a brand I have not had one single issue with.

        • You can’t go wrong with Ruger. I have a number of their products. But I also have other companies products too.

          Ruger doesn’t make a pump shotgun. And I hunt a lot with shotguns.

  4. I’ve been to several gun shows since the election, and my observations (certainly not authoritative, but anecdotal) have been that buying by newer buyers is up, and there is a distinctive lack of “operators” at the shows. I have no idea what the latter means, but that’s what I have observed.
    Prices on the “bread and butter” guns have gone down a little, but prices on some have skyrocketed. M1 Garands that used to go for $750-900 are now over $1300. That’s probably because they are no longer in good supply from CMP. ARs are dropping in price a little, but not much. SKSs are over $1000 for nice ones with bayonet. Even Mosin Nagants are over $400 for nice ones.
    Shotguns of all makes and models are holding firm. The new shorties, though, seem to be a hard sell, maybe because no one really knows what they are good for yet. I think they will pick up as people realize how much fun they are to shoot, though.
    All this is from Phoenix, and are merely my observations.

    • “…and there is a distinctive lack of “operators” at the shows. I have no idea what the latter means, but that’s what I have observed.”

      In general, an “operator” considers themselves to be some kind of a professional, special forces wanna-be…

      • I think Big Bill knows what an “operator” is. My take on what he means by “I have no idea what the latter means” is that he doesn’t know what the lack of “operators” at gun shows means in terms of trends.

        But maybe not…

        • “I think Big Bill knows what an “operator” is. My take on what he means by “I have no idea what the latter means” is that he doesn’t know what the lack of “operators” at gun shows means in terms of trends.But maybe not…”

          You got it right, Clark.
          I thought I was clear on what I meant, but obviously I wasn’t clear enough.
          I don’t know what the fact that I saw fewer operators at the gun shows means. Obviously, there’s some rationale causing them to not show up, but I don’t know what it is.
          Then again, maybe they just aren’t gearing up to go to the shows. I see many with short beards (I sport one, though I’m no operator), but I saw them before too, so that doesn’t mean much.

    • Howdy,

      In general, we get the same tables at the gun shows down here in Tucson. I see your observations and second them. Down here, we had a couple of LGS and small FFL dealers pop up in the last year (presumably riding “the wave” of growth that was bumped a little by Hillary anticipation…). At these stores decent deals can be found, particularly on AR-15 rifles, and especially the entry-level consumer grade rifles. The Ruger AR556, M&P 15, Diamondback, DPMS, Bushmaster etc. can all be found new-in-box for under $500 now. That’s a hundred or so bucks cheaper than the year’s beginning, and two hundred or more cheaper than Fall 2016. The Springfield Saint sold out at a thousand bucks, fell to $800+, and now hover in the $700+ range during the same time frame. High end AR rifles are still commanding the usual, it seems.

      Ammo prices is what I am watching. I ride up to Phoenix to UN Ammo on occasion, as they have a good selection and reasonable prices. Still waiting for .223/5.56 new brass in the .26-.27cpr, as it hovers in the .34-.36cpr range.

      The private market is stuck in the Summer of 2014 ha… people still asking $800 for an “almost new” $499NIB budget AR with a $9 Hogue Handall sleeve “upgrade.” But, nobody likes taking a loss on gear they paid too much for, so it is understandable… if still ridiculously unrealistic.

      Be safe. Don’t get gouged on a $400 Mosin… heck of an hourly rate to pay for cosmoline cleaning.

  5. prices in my little town are climbing steadily, even the off-brand ar15 I saw yesterday was over $600, and had nothing going for it, for that price I’ll buy the cheapest of cheap parts, and have a fully custom build with a cheap optic for maybe $400.

    • Strange, I’ve seen the exact inverse here, even the high end AR prices are dropping. The only thing I see going up, as Big Bill mentioned, are collectable military rifles, though our prices aren’t as high as the ones he mentions.

      • Where are you at, because Big Bill’s price were from 4 years ago in my neck-o-da-woods. If you can get Garands for under a grand, and interesting Mosins for under $400, I might swing through sometime…

        But yeah, prices on the plastic poodle popper start NIB around $575.

        • The only reason I have a Garand is because I found a Century-assembled one (new) for $700, and that was back in ’09. It’s got GI internals from the big 2, a Berretta barrel, NOS furniture, and a new cast receiver. I was kind of leery of the receiver and the funky silver gas tube, along with it being made by Century.

          But then I looked at the real $1k+ Garands next to it on the rack; and the LGS had an old Garand-guy who inspected, serviced, and test fired it who went over the rifle with me in-depth before I bought it. He made extra sure I understood that putting anything through it other than 150gr. M2 Ball was a bad idea in any Garand, even back then op-rods were expensive & scarce. I then heard horror stories of beautiful Garands being destroyed by Joe-Bob burning through a clip of 180gr Deer Destroyers.

          My Garand has often been ridiculed both on the range & on the forums; but it functions perfectly, is more accurate than I am, and without it I’d never be able to afford one.

      • Same here. I’ve been watching the price of Kriss Vectors, especially the 10mm version with a barrel shroud. Last year, at my LGS, the price was topping off at $1800. Yesterday, when I visited the same LGS, the price was at $1399. Almost made me buy it, but, had to hold off till the next paycheck…if it’s still there.

  6. Can’t speak for anyone else obviously, but I’ve purchased 3 since DJT was elected, and I’ve got the 4th on order. Whether anyone realizes it or not, *this* is the golden age of firearms – it’s unlikely to get significantly ‘better’ than this (HPA or not) in the years to come. There are some seriously good deals out there right now.

  7. Can’t speak for anyone else obviously, but I’ve purchased 3 since I voted for DJT, and my 4th is on order. Whether anyone realizes it or not, *this* is the golden age of firearms, and there are some seriously good deals out there now, both on firearms & ammo.

    If there’s one thing I’ve learned about progressives, it’s that they never, never give up. They’ll double-down on stupid until the end of time. Right now they are strategizing. Don’t rest. These good times won’t last.

    • Pretty much exactly what I was going to post. My local gun shops are busy-maybe not November 7th busy but lots of buying customers. And lots and lots of non-white young people and women. I’m looking at buying guns I had no intention of getting(like a Shield 45 with a $75rebate and an under $500AR)…

  8. It’s not like gun sales are dropping to zero. They are merely retreating to historic rates. This is no different than the oil market. When the price of oil was $80 a barrel oil exploration and production was high and people bought hybrids and small cars. When price dropped to $30 a barrel producers dropped out and demand shifted to less fuel efficient cars. This sky is falling talk is just a sign of economic ignorance.

    Don’t expect a big surge in gun sales if HPA passes. Silencer sales will boom but there will be a minor bump in gun sales as buyers who do not have silencer ready guns go out and buy a couple. The only gun purchase I see if HPA passes in an FNX 45 tactical so I can get a can for a range toy and bedside gun. You will not be carrying a silencer equipped gun until some company figures out how to package an integral silenced gun in a G-19 sized package.

    • I’d be interested in a year or so to see how 2017 sales compare to 2007 sales. I’d be shocked if they’re lower now than then. Probably just reverted to the historical mean +20%. That said, if you’ve got a labor force for mean +80% you’re going to have to let some people go.

    • Silencerco has done it with their Maxim pistol. Probably technically more G17 than G19 size, but I don’t see how it would be any harder to carry than a normal pistol with the right holster (which I believe they’re making as well).

  9. I’m actually going through more rounds of ammo since the election although I’m spending less money to shoot. This is because I tooled up with a progressive press and now I’m loading as I shoot. So yep I am contributing to the so called Trump slump, but it isn’t because I’m shooting less. I just decided that reloading tools were a better long term buy than a new firearm and I am tending to spend my money on feeding what I own instead of finding more things to feed.

    • “I tooled up with a progressive press and now I’m loading as I shoot.”

      So let me get this straight – are you pulling the lever on your full-auto prog press with one hand, at the SAME TIME as you pull the trigger on your full- or semi-auto firearm with the other hand? Or do you alternate pulling with the left and right hands?

      Just wondering, ‘cuz that sounds like a might tricky operation… and before I give that a try I’d like a few pointers on technique!

    • I propose we rename them “conservative presses”.

      It’s just too confusing, thinking of a progressive press as a GOOD thing.

  10. There may be some recalibration, but this is common in any industry. We had a situation of panic buying for six years, and now it’s cooling off. This means that prices will drop, as they have been doing. The marginal producers will get put out of business, most likely. Eventually, the market will level out and prices will head back up a bit, at least until the next major political push for gun control.

    TL:DR – It’s a buyers market for the next little while. Complete basic ARs are had for ~$500, I’m seeing stripped lowers for fifty bucks. Ammo prices are down, though I think they can drop more.

  11. Look gun prices (and hence jobs/companies) are undeniably going down… but the real story here will be ammunition and reloading components, do they stay readily available with the couple million new gun owners out there?

    As for me I saw my first bricks of .22 lr in about 6 or 7 years on Election Day so some things are finally starting to look good for availability again.

  12. Tim above nailed it.

    The game now is use the buzz the anti’s have generated to get a few more curious people to try shooting. It is amazing how much B S melts away when they actually experience how little guns do by themselves.

    Throw in a few headlines about jobs in depressed-ville because the old and jonorable manufacturers haven’t been driven out, and converts happen.

    We’ll never convince true believers, the lower mad, Bloomie, or his paid shills … but, I tepeat myself. We can, however, incubate some budding fellow deplorables by letting them see how unhinged these irredeemable overlords are.

    Just keep poking the antis. Their insane over-reaction is our best recruiting tool right now.

    (Last week in PA, one Phili paper celebreted the exec “still no big game semi-autos for you” directive, because it will “grow the deer herd.” How many urban xplants did that nudge to our side? Bambis are cute on the screen, and woods rats to be controlled when they eat the flowers you just planted for yr mother.)

  13. Biggest concern that I see is how the industry has become more and more consolidated, a’la Freedom group buying up Remington, Marlin, DPMS, Bushmaster [and others?], and S&W absorbing Thompson Center, and maybe others I’m not thinking of right now), and considerable consolidation that I am not in on the details of in the ammo field as well. This creates greater risk that one set of management that slips and bungles (or venture capitalists that ride milking profits without investing in innovation that would pay off, but more slowly) risks, in a tighter market, taking down multiple players.

  14. With the possibility of a Clinton presidency people bought items they feared might be restricted and stockpiled consumables.

    Now there is less fear of restrictions and people are now buying what they can afford when they can to. There is probably a lot of credit card debt to be reduced before buying picks up again.

    Yes, there will be some restructuring but the industry as a whole will survive.

  15. With the possibility of a Clinton presidency people bought items they feared might be restricted and stockpiled consumables.

    Now there is less fear of restrictions and people are now buying what they can afford when they can to. There is probably a lot of credit card debt to be reduced before buying picks up again.

    Yes, there will be some restructuring but the industry as a whole will survive.

    House keeping note: the duplicate post detection is giving false positives and the Post Comment button is VERY unresponsive on my phone.

  16. A gun buying slump? Boy you elite hobbyists got it all wrong…Didn’t the gun hobby column just print an article called the worst 3 states for the 2nd amendment…But it had still quite a few listed regardless of the major 3…In my fine New England state of Massachusetts…It’s “Gun control 24-7…” I’m sure there are a lot of US/MA. Residents that would love an ” indifferent waiting period/ or instant check” at the point of sale…Than deal with the Local Police department bureaucracy, or anti-civil rights hostility without an attorney present….Since, Massachusetts is very well known for unfortunate events occurring to lone MA residents inside police stations, or state police barracks while asserting their civil rights…I believe the shooting/hobby/ self-defense/ collecting would takeoff in this state if….1.) The local police chief’s and PD didn’t have “control over the 2nd amendment..” 2.) Had its current AG. Removed from office…3.) Didn’t have the current RINO governor [Baker the Barker.] 4.) Didn’t have as many Militant Liberal Progressive Socialists in the state house…5.) Had more pro2@ representatives…Then maybe, things would take off…I’m sure there are a lot of MA residents who are interested in NOT having to ask for government permission to exercise their civil rights…..

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