GARY'S GUN NOTES
It almost seems futile to tell you about all the new guns that probably won’t be available this year, But let’s give it a try.
First off the SHOT Show was cancelled, for obvious reasons, so there were no guns on display in Las Vegas or elsewhere for the gun writers to play with and order one for an article. So any praise you may hear in the coming months for many of the new guns is a sort of half way “I think it looks good” kind of praise.
First off, some explanations of where we are in the gun business. Many gun shops are really hurting. We cannot order anything. Some manufacturers are open and running but most at 25% capacity. Ruger has their Arizona plant, S&W has a plant in South Carolina, Glock has their Georgia plant and so on. In most cases manufacturers that have plants in the south are up and running but again at about 25% capacity. So some guns are coming out. Gun shops have to buy from distributors so the guns are shipped to our distributors. Every morning our distributors call us and say something like…”we got in 10 guns overnight and we can let you have 1, maybe 2. We got a case of 9mm in and we can let you have 4, maybe 5 boxes”. That is how it is. The distributors are supposed to spread the guns and ammo around equally to their gun shop clients. Unfortunately that doesn’t always happen. I have heard of at least 3 or 4 salespeople at the distributors that have given all their product to one gun shop. So in most cases if your local gun shop has cases and cases of ammo or a showcase bulging full of guns, his salesperson is one of the shysters and is probably one that was fired. Maybe and maybe not. It seems the big shops with lots of $$ are getting all the product. I don’t know the situation, but it is situations like that that will cause many gun shops to fold due to not getting any new product to sell. And these days we will take whatever we can get. As a for instance, normally we don’t carry the Hi Point guns. I would rather have a sister in a whore house than own a Hi Point. But our distributor called a day or 2 ago and had 4 allocated to him and said we could have 2. Colleen jumped on it. Anything to put guns in the showcases. Yeah, I know, we are hypocrites.
Anyway that is the situation as it sits today. Will it get better? I doubt it, at least not anytime soon. At last word, the ammo manufacturers were a bit over 1 BILLION rounds back ordered. And all the ammo they put out is sold within minutes of the gun shops getting it, so they are making no headway. One of our distributors told me that the ammo manufacturers had pulled all the primers off the market to use in their ammo. If that is true then the shortage of primers will get considerably worse, to the point where crooks on gunbroker will make even more of a killing selling primers. One person on gunbroker had a brick of primers at $1000 per prick. That is $1 per primer. And I have talked to folks that ordered primers off the internet for $300 to $500 a brick. In times like this scammers and shysters that prey on those that are without need to be taken on a long walk off a short pier.
The “experts” in the firearms industry say these shortages will last at least thru the year, maybe easing up by the first of next year. If this is true a large percentage of gun shops will go under due to not having any product to sell.
Quite often in the past we have relied upon estates sales to boost our sales. These days estate sales are few and far between. We picked up a large one in the last week in Tucson and have two truckloads of gear to go thru. Unfortunately much of it is partial boxes of ammo and bullets and partial cans of powder. But we are pricing them at low prices and these days many are just happy to get even partial boxes of ammo, bullets and powder.
I know all this sounds like gloom and doom, but it could be worse. I could be talking about the political situation. I don’t allow that on my forum and won’t do it here, so you will have to settle with gloom and doom.
There are some unusual shortages these days. Shotgun shells. Non-existent. For some reason we have quite a few folks in every day asking for 410 gauge shotshells, and they are as rare as an honest man or woman in congress. Buckshot, very high demand but rare. Plus all other shotshells. One of our distributors said they had no shotgun shells…”but wait a minute, we do have a case or two of 16 gauge shotshells”. Colleen took them. There are still a lot of 16 gauge shotguns out there. 28 gauge too. We try to keep both in stock. We are doing our best to keep home defense shotguns in stock. Companies like EAA and several others make some fine self defense shotguns at very reasonable prices around $300 and as I type this I think we have 5 of them on the rack.
30-06 and 30-30. Who would have thunk there would ever be a shortage of those 2 calibers but they were some of the very first calibers to sell out. We have folks calling from Phoenix and over in Utah and California asking if we have those 2 calibers in stock. And speaking of folks from out of state, not only do we have people from Utah and California but also people from Phoenix driving up 3 hours to buy 2 boxes of ammo. They all say that they couldn’t find any shops in Phoenix or any of the outlying towns that have any handguns or ammo.
I read where the “experts” say between 7 and 8 million new gun buyers have joined the ranks over the past 2 months. With every gun we sell the new folks I give them a quick lesson on what to do and not do with their guns and also give them a card from one of the men giving firearm lessons in the area.
Many folks that can’t find ammo are deciding to get into reloading,. Which poses another shortage problem. Finding reloading gear like presses, dies and all the other accessories to start reloading is almost impossible. Two of the main companies that manufacture presses and dies are saying 6 to 8 months for a press and maybe longer on the dies and such.
Some of the gun manufacturers are really trying to help folks out. One is Taurus. They are giving 2 and 3 magazines with their semi autos and still keeping the prices about where they were a year ago. S&W has one of their pistols that comes with a “bug out” bag and a total of 5 magazines. Most others are still coming with at least 2 magazines. One would think with the shortages most gun companies would be keeping their magazines at a minimum, but thankfully most are helping the situation with multiple mags.
One of the “experts” are telling anyone that will listen that “as soon as the Covid vaccine is available people will have a lot of extra spendable cash in their pockets and the economy will get back to healthy levels”. I wonder what this guy is smoking.
As far as new things on the market, I am pleased to say our new 3rd edition of our reloading manuals of all the GNR calibers is now out. It is a much larger manual, almost twice the old manual and has the loading data of all 64 of our own cartridges in there. They cost me an arm and leg over what the 2nd edition did but we needed to have them so it was time to bite the bullet (I wonder where that phrase came from?) We kept the new manual to within a couple of bucks of where the 2nd one was. It is $25 plus a couple bucks for shipping. We left out a couple of new calibers of cartridges we were developing for the AR-15 and AR-10. They are our Firecat series. Hopefully we will have the time, brass and bullets in the near future to continue the testing of those 2 calibers.
As far as some new items on the market, the new Kel Tec P50 is a neat one. It is a semi auto pistol that holds 50 rounds of 5.7X28 ammo (if you could get the ammo). A very well made pistol as all the Kel Tecs are and has several nice features. Their new P17 is doing very well also (when we can get one).It is a 17 round 22 LR pistol. It has all the features folks look for these days and is priced right too.
The company SCCY pronounced SKY, has some neat little pistols out in 9mm. These are small enough to put in the palm of your hand and are reliable too. They run around $300 for the base model and less than $400 for the model with the Crimson Trace red dot feature.
Rock Island Armory, the company that has come out with some of the finest 1911s on the market and at very good prices are also helping out folks that are looking for home defense shotguns. They come with a lot of special features and all are priced right.
There is a lot of demand for the new Ruger PC Charger in 9mm. They would sell like the proverbial hotcakes, if we could get them. If Ruger ever decides to put one out in 45 it should do very well, if we could get them.
For those that like bullpup type shotguns, check out the one by G-Force. A very well made shotgun and holds a 5 round mag with an extra 5 round mag in the box. It also comes with choke tubes should you decide to hunt with it. We have had a couple of them in the last week or two and they sell immediately. A very well made shotgun and being in a bullpup design it is super short and manageable. And priced right too.
If you have mega bucks to spend Nighthawk has recently picked up the European brand of Korth revolvers. Very well made revolvers and priced very high also.
If you are looking for an unusual cowboy gun, check out the guns from Heritage Arms. They now have their new Barkeep revolver out. It is pure cowboy with it’s 2” barrel and color cased frame it sure looks the part. Chambered in 22 LR/22 mag it should do very well for them.
One product that we sell a lot of, that I really hate to sell, is pepper spray. The pepper spray that is available over the counter isn’t the strength of the police pepper spray. Plus if you accidently spray it in the house ( this happens a lot as folks try to familiarize themselves with the features) you might as well plan on spending a few days in a motel. Also if a bad guy attacks you and he is doped up or drunk the pepper spray doesn’t immediately effect them, giving them time to beat hell out of you or worse. Plus if you are outside and the wind is blowing you might just spray yourself. I guess there are real good reasons to sell or buy pepper spray, especially for folks that can’t afford a gun, but a lot of caution needs to go along with the buying of it.
There are a lot more items to tell you about that we can’t get right now but I will hold off until next month as maybe, possibly, some of them will show up at our shop and I will actually get a chance to try one out.
If you get a chance to go shooting (limit yourself to a small amount of ammo as you might not be able to replace it) but if you do, take a lady or youngster with you. With today’s political climate, they are our future.