Americans Bought More Guns in October Than Ever Before…Again…Still

FBI october 2020 nics background checks

Courtesy FBI

The FBI reporting record background check numbers in 2020 hardly counts as news any more. Ever since the start of the pandemic — and accelerating following the death of George Floyd — Americans have been buying every gun and round of ammunition their bank account or credit limit will allow. Assuming they could find anything to buy. Images of violent protests and burning cities tend to get people’s attention.

Americans have seen police departments defunded and ordered not to do anything about rioting and looting. And nearly three quarters of those surveyed say they expect more of the same after tomorrow’s election.

Even without a pandemic and the nightly televised strife, gun sales would have been up this year. They always trend upward in an election year and when one of the presidential candidates is running on the most anti-gun rights platform in American political history, there’s no shortage of reasons for those who value their right to keep and bear arms to be concerned. And acquisitive.

The FBI’s October background check total was just over 3.3 million. That’s only the fourth highest total this year, no doubt held down by the ability of gun makers to meet the unprecedented demand. It’s also a 38% jump from last October.

The NSSF will be out with their adjusted totals for last month soon, which will be a better measure of actual gun sales. In the mean time, many of our readers will be cleaning their guns, loading magazines and experiencing some extremely unfortunate boating accidents.



  1. avatar Larry says:

    What’s those little boxes on the shelves behind him ?

    1. avatar Grumpy F'er says:

      I called Cabela’s last Friday before I headed for town. The nice woman on the phone said, “We have NO ammunition.”


  2. avatar N1GHT says:

    I hope they understand whats at stake

  3. avatar GunnyGene says:

    I disagree about the boating accidents. If it’s time to sink ’em or bury ’em, it’s time to retrieve ’em.

    1. avatar DJ says:

      I don’t own a boat.

      Never had a boating accident.

      I’m not running, I’m not hiding.

      Cleaning weapons and loading magazines.

      Molon labe

      1. avatar I Haz A Question says:

        I’ve never owned a boat, but I did suffer a boating accident. Or was it a canoe? No…it was definitely a rowboat. Rented? Somewhere on that big lake, but I am so traumatized that I don’t quite remember the name of it. Or the date it happened. It was a while ago, of that I’m sure. At least, I think I am.

        Now I’m confused. I wonder if I can just use the excuse “I don’t recall.” It sure worked like magic for Hillary….

        1. avatar Ing says:

          Heck, if you were one of the Bidens, “I don’t recall'” wouldn’t even be necessary. Nobody’d be allowed to ask you, and Twitter would suspend journalists just for looking at you sideways.

      2. avatar BLAMMO!! says:

        Nothing wrong with lying about them.

  4. avatar Debbie W. says:

    We purchased 2 Sar9s in Oct. because they are the best bang for the buck. Once properly tweaked the Sar9 is an excellent shooting firearm. For a better trigger simply replace the striker spring with a Glock spring. To whom it may concern…Please do not use your made in China device to bash the origin of the Sar9.

    1. avatar Yuck! says:

      Ooooooo, a Sar!!! In what other ways do you let the world know you’re both cheap AND treacherous?

      1. avatar James Campbell says:

        “….In what other ways do you let the world know you’re both cheap AND treacherous”

        Debbie W is ACTUALLY Chelsea Handler!?!?!?….or Hillary Clintoon!?!?!?…….or SanFranGranNan N Pullloosey!?!?!?
        I had NO idea!
        Don’t leave us hanging, which one IS it?
        Trump/Pence 2020

        1. avatar Ol'Sarge says:

          J.C. – I’ve coined her “Piglosi” for a decades. She’s always rooted up whats worse for America to benefit her political power. Reminds me of an old Sow we had on the farm as a kid.

      2. avatar Debbie W. says:

        It’s obvious little man yuck is the forum’s resident mealy mouth gutless pervert.

        1. avatar James Campbell says:

          Oh the TDS is gonna be SWEET!
          I’m tied off with a vein raised…… just WAITING FOR IT!
          TRUMP/PENCE 2020

      3. avatar De Facto says:

        I believe Debbie’s comment did a good job of fielding your criticism. You are now, as you type, using products manufactured by quasi-slave labor in China, which is every bit as hostile and expansionist as Turkey. So in what other ways would you like to tell the world that you are cheap AND treacherous? Don’t tell me you use Android or Apple, both of which are extremely hostile to guns and the Second Amendment?

        The SAR-9 is a decent firearm. At this point any gun > no gun. I also have a fondness as an individual for collecting guns that were made by regimes hostile to the individual right to bear arms. It amuses me to know that the instruments of tyrants are being used as instruments of liberty.

        1. avatar James Campbell says:

          Yes, thanks to the dimokkkrats, everything is made in Cheena. With a crackhead and his dad (slojoe) making 10s of millions.
          Trump/Pence 2020………..because the bidens belong in PRISION!

      4. avatar TechGuy says:

        Hey! I have a SAR9PC. I sold the 5″ SAR because I like the PC better. It’s accurate, reliable, eats everything I feed it …I wish my dog was as well behaved. I treasure my 1911’s, S&W’s, Rugers but, I like the SAR and …don’t much care if I beat it up. Used the SAR to qualify for my CCL. It put a bunch of holes in the middle of the target. It lives in an “under-desk” holster in my office. I shoot it at the range along with my carry guns.

  5. avatar TheUnspoken says:

    I have been looking around at various online companies to see how it is going, and semi-auto rifles especially the Tactical variety are in short supply. Pretty much the only things you can find are either really high end and high priced models or some more no name guns. Other guns appear and quickly disappear. AR parts especially good barrels and uppers are pretty much sold out.

    Depending on how Tuesday turns out, if there is a changing of presidents I expect everything to be gone in the months leading up to inauguration. Should Trump win I guess it will eventually get more toward normal, depending on covid and riots.

    1. avatar TechGuy says:

      Sorry, TheUnspoken, It’s not going to get “normal” for a loooonnngg time! If Biden wins, it’ll never get “normal”. If Trump wins, there will be riots, looting, murders and “peaceful demonstrations” as long as the “left wing” rules (democrats). Just welcome the 5 or 6 million new gun owners. We’re all in the same boat.
      It will take years for the ammo industry to catch up. They’re not going to invest in a bunch of capital equipment for a short term crisis.
      I have thousands of primers, buckets of brass, many pounds of powder, bullets. I’ll be at the range. BTW, opened the primer cabinet and panicked when I discovered I was down to 3K small pistol primers. They’re “unobtainium”! Cost me $175 for 1000 on GunBroker… they’re usually about 30 bucks. I was happy to get them… “Normal” is a thing of the past!

      1. avatar TechGuy says:

        Sorry, also check out PSA. They have basic AR’s that work well IN STOCK for about $550. I have 3 in my collection… my “junk” AR (PSA+many spare parts), my 300BLK (I didn’t cheap it out on this one) and a really nice MagPul, EPT trigger, basic AR I built for my daughter. Don’t bother building one. With $29 lowers at $70+ bucks, it’s actually cheaper to buy a complete lower + complete upper or, complete gun for less than you can build the same thing…. right now. They also have good prices on handguns when they can get them.

      2. avatar Ol'Sarge says:

        Some companies are investing & expanding. They realize there are now Many more mouths (chambers to feed). If it wasn’t TTAG, it was another gun web site last month posted about a AMMO company investing $1.2 M to add a production plant in Az. They were $80M in backlog orders before they could cut the switch.
        In August, a LGS manager let me listen to phone calls to distributors. Went right to voice mail – “Please leave a message” -> that went right to “This customers mailbox is full”. 2 different distributors.
        He did finally find one that answered and could send him powder – No primers. Got a chuckle when he asked about 9mm or 223. The supplier said maybe next year, we no longer take pre-orders for anything. So glad I overstocked on reloading supplies when the “glut was here. But if this last a year or more – my practice time will drop to 1 or 2x a month.

  6. avatar Bigus Dickus says:

    Surprisingly it’s easier to get arounds for my milsurps than it is for my modern 9mm’s, 380’s and shotguns.

    1. avatar The Crimson Pirate says:

      7.62×25 and 9×18 for the win 😉

      I even saw some 7.62×39 at a local sporting goods store Friday.

      1. avatar Southern Cross says:

        My shooting club asked if I knew what these funny looking cartridges they found at the back of the ammunition storage. It was 7.62x54r, which I could use in my Mosins. I put in an offer and for a bit more also scored some odd-lots of .308 as well.

    2. avatar James Campbell says:

      I grabbed 4k rounds of 7.65 Para (Prvi Partisan 30 Luger) from SG Ammo in the last 60 days. I have several firearms that take the stuff. 1300 fps, Zeroed @ 25yds, 1.2″ drop @ 50yds.
      Great prices, on the doorstep in UNDER 48 hrs.
      I’ve always told friends and family to own a minimum of one firearm in an odd caliber.
      Trump/Pence 2020

      1. avatar Debbie W. says:

        If you have something that shoots 7.62 x54R it’s available in cans. And it’s steel core that can go clean through 5 yucks at once. The pervert got the treacherous part right.

        1. avatar Yuck! says:

          Make whatever false accusations you wish. No skin off my back. Still doesn’t change the fact you buy guns made in a country that wishes for the destruction of America. That makes you a traitor. It also makes the poor geezer what lays down with you the unluckiest guy in the world!!!

        2. avatar Geoff "I'm getting too old for this shit" PR says:

          “It also makes the poor geezer what lays down with you the unluckiest guy in the world!!!”

          There ya go, ‘Projecting’ again…

          *snicker* 😉

        3. avatar James Campbell says:

          “……poor geezer what lays down with…..”

          I guess you just let everyone know now, DW is ACTUALLY Chelsea Handler……..

          Damn, Handler looks like she’s spent the last decade kept caged in Somalia. Being dragged out each night to “pull a train” on whichever Civil War fighters feel like banging her.
          Her political views are among the FEW things in this world that are ACTUALLY uglier then her!
          Trump/Pence 2020

        4. avatar James Campbell says:

          Another “darling of the left” who’s dumb as dog sh!t. But she’ll tell you how to vote, slojoe\skankhoe. Pathetic!
          Trump/Pence 2020

      2. avatar I Haz A Question says:

        Since you mentioned it, what do you consider an “odd caliber”? Anything not NATO, or not in the “perfect seven” (.22LR, 12-ga, 9mm, .45ACP, .223/5.56, .308 Win, .30-06)?

        Cue the caliber mudslinging. 🙂

        1. avatar Geoff "I'm getting too old for this shit" PR says:

          I consider the odd calibers to be the ones with the least demand, meaning ammo availability tends to remain constant, while the common calibers are the first to disappear when panics hit…

        2. avatar James Campbell says:

          Basically, anything chambered in a caliber that has been READILY available off the shelf and/or online, in the past 60 day at reasonable prices, would qualify as an “odd” caliber.
          My 50AE DEagle is well supplied too, saw plenty of $30 a box Hornady 300gr XTP here in Texas all year. Not many people own a 50AE, so supplies remained steady and relatively affordable (vs pre-lockdown $s).
          50AE out of a 6″ DEagle with a Romeo4S is headshot accurate out to beyond 100yds. HickOK45 shoots the 50AE DEagle out to 230 yds, hitting a 10″ gong.👍
          TRUMP/PENCE 2020

        3. avatar Vic Nighthorse says:

          My two ARs are in .338 Specter and .243WSSM. I consider those oddball and not terribly pragmatic cartridges. There is only one or two sources for factory Specter and those have been available. I load all my own rifle and pistol though so I haven’t really felt the ammo scarcity. I must admit that I never really thought I’d ever have to use any of my firearms for anything but practice and BBQs so I didn’t take it as seriously as I should have – thus the mostly oddball chamberings I have for most of my firearms. The primer shortage caught me flat footed. I have <=1k of each size now.

        4. avatar I Haz A Question says:

          .338 Specter

          Oddly enough, I’ve never even heard of that one. Oddball indeed. I’ll have to look it up and edumakate myself.

  7. avatar Jimmy Beam says:

    I’ll be cleaning my firearms as I watch the Trump 2020 landslide unfold. The polls are wrong, very wrong, just as they were in the 2019 UK election, which was a Conservative blowout.

    1. avatar timothy says:

      I hope you’re right about the polls being that far off. I am not entirely convinced though that pollsters are willing to intentionally put themselves out of work by being that far off two elections in a row.

      1. avatar JP Ruiz says:

        The polls (All of them) are using 2008 Presidential Election Models. That Election saw Obama get almost 18% of GOP Voters’ votes.

        2020 Polls somehow show Trump with 87% to 93% GOP Voter and GOP Leaning Independents Voter Approval Rating, but only getting 71% to 76% of their actual Votes……….

        They have Biden getting an average of 22% of those votes…….IT’S WHORESHIT.

        1. avatar The Huscarl says:

          Don’t forget that Trump has eaten up a significant portion of the Democrat’s minority votes. He’ll be setting records with black and hispanic votes. That will have a MASSIVE impact.

      2. avatar burley says:

        Have you watched the weather yet? How many times to we need to see the weatherman, clad in expensive expedition gear, faking having to stand against high winds or sit in a canoe to get down the street and have a couple of locals walk nonchalantly by wearing shorts and flip-flops to know that “the news” is no longer reporting what’s actually happening?!

  8. avatar Green Mtn. Boy says:

    With the DemoCommies supporting mobs ransacking, burning neighborhoods, that is a incentive to arm up America !

    Is November 4 th. the start of the hot war,,Mrxist’s versus Americans,time will tell,Arm up and carry on.

  9. avatar JP Ruiz says:

    Bought a 1939 made, Colt Police Positive in .32 S&W Long a few days ago for $410. Fantastic Shape. Ammo still available in bulk on LuckyGunner.

    1. avatar Green Mtn. Boy says:

      Nice find.

      1. avatar onestab says:

        I agree.

  10. avatar GS650G says:

    If Donny wins we might see normal in 6 months after he squashes the protests.
    If Joe, we are fucked. They will use the celebration riots as a pretense to gun bans.

    1. avatar burley says:

      If Joe wins, balkanization will occur within the year and combat will continue for several more, unless of course Jesus comes back, then it will get REALLY bad for a couple years…

  11. avatar American Patriot says:

    The left if loading up for the revolution when TRUMP wins.
    They will riot, loot & the next 4 yrs will be like you’ve never seen…..Just watch there will be a new war.

  12. avatar Vic Nighthorse says:

    What makes me wonder is how well picked over hard armor has been for over six months now. I have been trying to complete a second set and and am still one plate and a carrier short. Admittedly I am being a little picky but still it is quite clear that someone(s) buying up armor like crazy.

    1. avatar The Huscarl says:

      Armor has been out of stock since George Floyd happened with at least a 3 month wait on the delivery for new orders. I ordered a helmet in June and it still hasn’t shown up yet.

      1. avatar NJ Mandalorian says:

        Stainless steel, copper-jacketed lead, silver, and kevlar w/plates.
        Acquired years ago.

        This is the way.

  13. avatar Leigh says:

    Wait and see…if Biden gets in there will be a HUGE run on whatever is left…there will be tons of orders put in…magazines and other accessories will be much harder to find, too…like bayonets…flash hiders…muzzle brakes…adjustable stocks…etc etc etc…all the things they banned LAST time…to little or no effect on “gun violence”
    but hey…it made people FEEL safer…right?

  14. avatar U have seen nothing if Biden Wins i mean Harris... says:

    U have seen nothing if Biden Wins….

    gun owner or not get out & vote Freedom not for a tyrant…..that means Trump unless u want to be locked in ur home in a plastic POTUS Harris Approved bubble & out of a job for the next 4-8 yrs..

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