Friday the 13th was supposed to be the day of Jihad. Hamas leaders called for a day of reckoning for the whole world as retaliation for the expected Israeli ground attack on the Gaza Strip. Thank all the stars that nothing here in the U.S. really materialized. Even so, more and more news sources are citing intelligence reports that incidents are imminent.
Not a Black Friday, but a lead-grey one.
What did happen on Friday the 13th? I work for a gun store, and I noticed inventory for ammo had been dropping by the day earlier in the week, and by Friday the sales hit such a pace that almost any “budget” 5.56 and .223 was listed as limited quantities. That means that when a dealer adds a product into their cart (say, a couple pallets of .223 Rem.), the quantity is only held for 20 minutes while they finish the check out process. If they’re too slow, others can grab it. Dealers were buying so quickly the website could not keep up.
So you may ask, what’s the big deal and how is this going to affect me? Well, before Friday the budget 5.56 and .223 was around $6-8per 20 rounds (dealer price) depending on brand and distributor. By Friday afternoon, all of that was sold out and the cheapest 5.56 and .223 available is now in the $19 price range. Here’s the catch: If your local dealer did not jump in on the buying frenzy, when they make their next order, they’ll be paying three times the normal cost of the ammo! That price will be reflected the next time you buy.
What started this panic?
Friday morning, there was an explosion at Hornady’s chemical compounding building in Alda, Nebraska. Tragically, one woman was killed and two men were injured. When an incident like this occurs, the whole plant will be shut down for a while to try to figure out how and why the incident happened.
Lake City Ammunition has canceled all of its commercial sales for the unforeseen future. Lake City is a government-owned ammo manufacturer that Winchester ammo operates. LC runs on government orders, but when the plant can produce excess ammo instead of cutting workers, the excess ammo can be sold commercially. With the new added instability in the Middle East combined with the continued Ukraine war, all production is for Government orders.
Yeah, sorry. Also the pandemic.
I hate to say it but some prices never got back down to where they were before the pandemic. Combined with a couple years of inflation for all raw materials and transportation costs, some things never recovered—it is still difficult to find .410 ammo, for instance.
Consumers gone wild!
The election season is upon us. It happens every four years, and you can almost set your watch to it. Right at a year until the next Presidential election day, there is a run on everything in the firearms industry. It is the natural cycle of panic buying as the Democratic candidates one-up each other in an anti-gun frenzy. Of course, the only thing this does is remind people that they can lose their Second Amendment rights, and people panic buy.
Panic buying cycles hurt in the long run. Sure during the panic, prices are inflated and stuff flies off the shelf. The problem is that as soon as a panic starts, things sell out, and manufacturing takes time to catch up on the surge. Small mom and pop gun stores cannot compete against the larger mega stores, because distributors will always take care of their biggest customers first with the ammo that’s available. The smaller stores get leftovers.
There’s also the fact that most households can’t afford more than a few a panic guns and/or cases of ammo. Panic buying is unsustainable, and a crash always follows.
Buy low, sell high
Take the old stock market advice: buy low, sell high. Now is the time to buy, and I am not talking panic buying. The prices on ammo and firearms are as low as they will be for at least the next year. The closer we get to the Presidential election, the higher prices will climb. As Israel rightly defends itself, they will take up more and more resources. The continued war in Ukraine continues to use resources. Start looking for your ammo NOW and pick up enough to get you through dove or deer season. You may have to settle for what’s in stock.
The panic cycle buying run has started and if you don’t believe it, you have your head in the sand. The reason could be as simple as one of the things I explained or a combination of all of them. Right now we are at the start of the cycle and the longer you wait to buy your essentials, the more you will pay for them.
James the “XDMAN” Nicholas Mr.UnPewFessional Himself!
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