GARY'S GUN NOTES
We are a month closer to our favorite hunting seasons and the outlook is still bleak to say the least. We have been in business for 40 years and deal with the 4 top distributors in the country and still can’t get a decent supply of hunting rifles and shotguns for this fall’s hunting. All gun shops have to buy thru distributors and if their shelves are bare, then so are ours.
We have over 250 rifles and shotguns on back order but no idea when or if they will be in for this year’s hunting seasons. Add to that the ammo shortage and the outlook is definitely bleak. I talked to one distributor that normally is in the know about guns and ammo. When I asked him what happened to the simple stuff like 30-30 and 30-06, he said those decisions on how much to make are made a couple of years in advance. He said, for instance, let’s say the decision maker decided to make 10,000 rounds of 30-30 and 30-06 (these are just numbers. The actual amount would be much more than this) each year for the next 5 years. When January 2021 came they released the 10,000 rounds of 30-30 and 30-06 and by Feb.1st they were gone. And no more would be available until the next go round. Also he said, going back and entering another mega thousands of rounds of 30-30 and 30-06 would be impossible due to being locked in 24/7 trying to keep up with the demand for 9mm, 45, and so on. Thus the old saying, “damned if we do and damned if we don’t”.
I still have folks every day asking me where is all the ammo. Some are spouting total BS that the government is stashing it away from us so they can take over the country. Guess what Dumbo, they already have taken over the country.
But that is not where the ammo is going. Think about this. We have about 10 million new shooters, first time gun owners. Their friends are telling them they need to have 1000 rounds of ammo in stock with that new gun. So they come to the gun shop every day and if we have it in stock, they buy a box of 50 rounds. So at the end of the week they have snatched up 250 rounds of ammo. Now figure there are 10 million of these new gun owners and they buy 250 rounds a week. That adds up to 2.5 billion rounds of ammo soaked up by the new gun owners. Now I am glad that so many new gun owners are out there. That just makes us stronger as an organization. But maybe if they would just buy 50 rounds a week that would help.
I have been asked what the Feds are going to do with all the new laws they are trying to get the ATF to change. The arm brace on pistol length AR-15s for instance. There are something like 20 million of them out there and the ATF would be cutting their own throats if they go back on their earlier decision to make them perfectly legal. But if the new ATF director gets in office then all things are off the table. He is extremely anti gun and wants to ban all semi autos, period. Hopefully saner minds will prevail and he won’t be the new head of the ATF but I guess we shall see.
In some other news, some real new, some so so. As most folks know Ruger bought Marlin a while back and they are promising new Marlin model 336, 1894 and 1895 by the first of the year. With all the shortages of materials and man power it wouldn’t surprise me if they run a bit late on this. But with Ruger owning Marlin we can expect some extremely well made guns to show up.
During the same auction of Remington guns, ammo, buildings, parts, land etc, Vista bought Remington ammo and have been rolling some out recently, mostly rimfire and 9mm but we can expect other ammo to hit the shelves soon, hopefully by hunting season.
Smith & Wesson bought Thompson Arms a few years back and things have been on and off at TC since then. Now S&W says they are putting TC up for sale. I can only hope for the best in this situation. I would hate to see a 50 plus year old business go down the tube due to mismanagement.
A few years back Leupold bought Redfield and put out some really nice scopes and binocs. Now Leupold has sold Redfield to a company called Academy Sports. I am not familiar with Academy Sports so any comments I said would be totally guesswork. Like TC above, I would hate to see Redfield go under for whatever reason.
I thought it humorous recently when Federal announced a new 22 LR ammo. They mentioned that it had a flat nose for better killing power. Gee, a flat nose on a 22 LR….seems like I heard of that before. Oh well, nothing is new these days.
I have been boring folks to tears on my forum recently talking about our new lion hunt. So one more time and then I will shut up. South Africa has had an extreme shortage of hunters for the last 2 years due to the Covid mess so many animals are over populated and causing problems. One of those is the African lion. The government decided to do something about it and lowered the price of an African lion hunt from around $80,000 to $12,000, everything included except the airfare. My good friend for 30 years and head honcho of Madubula Safaris managed to get 6 of those permits and boy did we take advantage of them. In 3 days I managed to book 5 hunters plus myself for that lion hunt. I know folks hear “it’s the hunt of a lifetime” quite a bit and usually to try to talk the wife into the idea of the man of the house going on a hunt in Africa. Well, this time it is really “the hunt of a lifetime” and 5 friends thought so too. So the 6 of us, including Erik and Nick Stenberg, Michael Mendes, Dave Truethardt, Blake Naugle and I are now doing the mounds of paperwork, notarizing some of it, getting our passports updated, registering our guns in the U.S. Customs offices and in general getting our gear ready for that “once in a life time hunt”. We have a years worth of work to do in a bit over 2 months. None of us have hunted the King of the jungle so this will be a new experience for all of us. We leave September 22 and arrive back Oct 3rd. It just doesn’t get much better than hunting with a group of friends in the wilds of Africa for something that will gladly eat us. And doing so with single shot handguns.
That’s about it for this month. Hopefully I will have some better news for you next month (but don’t bet on it as this mess is going to take some time to get back to normal). If you decide to get out and shoot a few rounds, take a lady or youngster with you. These days especially, they are our future.