This months Gun Notes is pretty negative, which I hate but I just donít feel
right telling you about all the great new guns coming for fall hunting, when
they may not be available at all. I apologize for the negative tone of this Gun
Notes but some things need explaining and hopefully this Gun Notes will clear up
why ammo and guns are not readily available. Last month I went deep into what
may happen the day after the election. This month I will try to explain why the
guns and ammo are not as available as normal. If you already know the reasons
why this is happening, go to the fridge and get yourself a beer and come back
when I am finished here.
With 2 months before our presidential election, things are beginning to come to a head. People are still buying all the ammo they can find and buying guns at about the same pace. Unfortunately the guns nor the ammo are in supplies enough to keep folks happy. The gun situation is stranger than I have ever seen it. For all practical purposes, gun shops canít order anything. The gun manufacturers are putting out a very small amount of guns daily. I have heard they are putting out about 15% of the guns they normally put out. Most of this I am hearing is due to the gun and ammo manufacturers up in the North East being shut down due to the Corona Virus. I am also hearing that the gun and ammo makers donít want to be caught with a huge supply of guns and ammo if the election goes peaceful and the demand for guns and ammo falls off drastically.
Gun shops have to buy thru distributors and the distributors get a small amount of guns and ammo in daily. They call us every morning to tell us what guns they got in and in most cases they tell us we can have 1 or 2 of them. Almost everything is allocated, usually one of 2 items per gun shop. So instead of having 40 guns on our showcase we have 7 or 8. And they usually sell quicker than we can get more in. AR-15s are like gold. The last 3 or 4 we have had in were bought by ladies. The AR is a perfect home defense weapon. No recoil, easy to handle with the collapsible stock and one switch to operate the gun, the safety to fire or safe plus a 30 round magazine. It just makes sense. Many are buying small short soft gun cases to keep the AR in in their cars or trucks.
Ammo is about the same. Buying bulk ammo is pretty much out of the question. There is some on the internet but most of that is steel cased ammo which I really hate. I have seen too much damage done to guns due to the steel case ammo. Plus scalpers are everywhere on the internet, charging 2 or 3 times what the ammo should be selling for. Admittedly the price of ammo has gone up, but very few gun shops are jacking the prices up themselves. It is simply costing at least 20% to 25% more than it normally does to the gun shops. So our price has to go up a small amount, usually around $1 a box of ammo.
This past Saturday we had 3 car loads of folks waiting at the shop when I got there to open up. Two were from Phoenix except one carload from Apache Junction. They drove 3 hours up here to buy one box of ammo per person, mostly 380 or 9mm. And they were happy to get it. They said all the gun shops in Phoenix were out of ammo and most guns. About once a week we get a case of ammo, usually 9mm. That is 20 boxes of ammo, at 50 rounds per box. In most cases, even only allowing one box per person, the ammo is gone in a day. Which means telling a lot of folks for the next several days that sorry, we are all out. And this isnít just the small shops like ours. The big box stores are also running low or completely out of ammo and guns. Rifle hunting ammo is still in good shape but 223/5.56, 9mm, 45 ACP, and 40 caliber are for all practical purposes dried up.
The election has folks scared. They are not buying ammo to stock up or hoard. They are buying guns and ammo because they are afraid of what may happen after the election. They are afraid that if Trump wins, all hell will break loose with Antifa type groups doing the same thing they have done in Portland and Seattle. And if he loses they will do the same thing as that will give them an excuse to loot and burn. So folks are buying with protecting their families in mind.
To get to a bit less negative topic, our next HHC (Handgun Hunterís Challenge) is a month away. This year it is Sept 30 thru Oct 4th. Already about 20 people have signed up and we have room for 50 people. If you have wanted to make one of our hunts, by all means call Sandy at the lodge and sign up. Her number is 931-979-4050. There are 4 lodges so there is plenty of room. There are 3 main lodges with room for 20 hunters in each one and a small section in one of the lodges for married couples. So there is plenty of room. Kase and I will be driving in as usual and hopefully getting there early on Sept 30th. We will hunt all day the 30th, all day the 1st of October, all day the second of October and the 3rd of October and leave out for home on Sunday morning Oct 4th. Alan, the owner of the lodge is working hard to get us plenty of critters and a lot of new species, some that I have never seen before, like the European Bison. This monster looks like something out of a horror movie. But he will also have a good herd of Elk, both cows and bulls, red Stags, plus all the various exotic deer and sheep. Plus hundreds of hogs. It is a great hunt and a chance to spend a few days with old friends and making some new friends. As usual I will have a lot of give aways for one of the nights there and there will be a lot of guns on display for you to look at, handle and shoot if you like. All in all it will give us a chance to get away for a couple of days and relax and do some hunting. And a chance for us to bring home a freezer full of meat. If you can make it, call Sandy and sign up and join us. Bring a wife or girlfriend or a youngster also. What a great time for a youngster to spend hunting with his Dad.
Also even though it is listed as a handgun hunt, you can hunt with whatever you like, handgun, rifle, archery, black powder, whatever you enjoy hunting with. Join us for a good time.
In the meantime, if you plan to hunt this fall, take a wife or youngster with you. They are our future.