We don’t sell guns or ammunition, but I’m here to tell you to buy guns and ammo now, because you may never see prices this low again. Stock up while you still can, on pistols and shotguns, but especially those black rifles gun control proponents like to call “assault weapons.”
Two years ago, the school shooting in Sandy Hook lead to new anti-gun laws in several states, including New York, Connecticut, and Colorado. Threats of legislation at the federal level sent the cost of guns and ammo spiraling upwards to more than two times their normal price. Even though this was the worst time to buy, people did because they were worried that they might never be able to do so again.
Let’s look at a case of 1,000 rounds of your basic 5.56 55 grain ammo from a supplier like Federal. Before Sandy Hook, a case could be found for about $300. Once talk of gun control starter, everyone bought up available supplies. There were shortages and prices soared in excess of $600 per case, or 60 cents per round. I’ve even seen it going for $899, or three times the price.
I walked through big box sporting goods stores at the height of the drought, and there were and astounding number of empty shelves that used to hold ammo. It was depressing.
The same thing happened with AR15s. People bought up every available gun, driving prices up well above $1500 in some cases. The standard 30-round magazines saw similar shortages and prices shot upwards. Same for AK-47s and other military style rifles and accessories. Gun stores sold out and had waiting lists.
Earlier this year, prices began to drop back down. Magazines were once again plentiful, rifles became cheaper and in the past two months, ammo prices are dropping back to their “normal” price range. In most parts of the country, you can go to Walmart and buy ammo without restrictions. About the only thing still in short supply is rimfire rounds such as 22LR.
This surge in demand, followed by a shortage that contributes to rising prices is nothing new. We saw shortages when Obama was elected in 2008. We saw it back in the 1990s when Clinton passed the assault weapons ban. And we’ve seen it just recently for Kalashnikov weapons that have been banned from import due to sanctions on Russian companies. I don’t personally remember, but I dare say there were similar runs on weapons and ammo back when they passed the Gun Control Act of 1968.
Right now, we are benefitting from a period in which the shortage in AR15s has turned into a surplus. Every company that ramped up production and ordered more parts to meet the rising demand is now facing the opposite situation: Weapons are plentiful and prices are falling.
Last month, I saw stripped lower receivers being sold for $39.95. Add a $389.95 parts kit from SARCO, Inc., and you could build your own AR15 for $430. Don’t want to do the work yourself? Just a couple weeks ago, a local gun store was selling Bushmaster AR15s for $550 and buyers could get a $50 rebate from Bushmaster via mail, which nets out at $500 for a brand name weapon.
So what are you waiting for? If you considered owning a modern sporting rifle, I doubt you will ever see a better price than $500.
Ammunition prices are also dropping. By shopping around, I found Federal XM193 on stripper clips for 31 cents per round once shipping was included. Now that was the best price I saw, but $340 for a case of 1,000 rounds of Federal or PMC was not uncommon. Steel-cased .223 from Wolf could be had for $250 per case. These prices represent a return to pre-Sandy Hook pricing.
How long will this window of good pricing last? No one knows. If we go back to war in the Middle East, we could see ammo shortages again. If President Obama tries to do something to restrict our rights with an executive order, we could see another spike in demand. Even if nothing happens, this temporary glut in the market will be absorbed and a good brand-name AR15 will return to the $700 to $800 range.
If you are a prepper and don’t know what to get your spouse for Christmas, I recommend you buy an AR15, 1,000 rounds of ammo and 12 magazines. You can do so for about $1,000. If you already own enough weapons, then buy a couple thousand rounds of ammo for your primary battle rifle. When you put them in your stash, take out the oldest bullets and go get some trigger time. Build some skills, or take a friend shooting.
Act now, and you won’t have to hear us say “Told you so” in a couple years.