First off, did you all see this? It's an infographic put together by Ammo.net showing gun and ammo sales statistics. I can put a small version here, but it will be hard to read. Go to that link to see it full sized.
record gun sales on "Black Friday", breaking a single day, all time sales record. And we talk about the record Christmas surge in sales. There's only a couple of publicly traded companies in the industry, and both Ruger (up 510% since Obama took office) and S&W are reporting very nice growth. And for some time now, there have been many reports that women shooters are increasing in numbers at a faster rate than men. I don't want to speak for everyone, but I see all of this as fantastic news.
The other side of that is the word out of Shot was that manufacturers of both guns and ammo are running at capacity and can't keep up. In the Brownells newsletter, they reported:
Quantities of .223 and 5.56 that seemed to manufacturers at the SHOT Show like they should be plenty for the year are depleted already. Another great friend of ours had an entire warehouse of 5.56 go out in ONE purchase order!An email from Buds Gunshop said they have broken their single day sales records three times in February. That was last week, so three times in three weeks?
Now consider that a few weeks ago, Keads ran a review of a Dry Fire Tools, including a Laserlyte trainer. I think I caught it on a link a few days later, and by the time I decided to shop for one, every place I tried was out of them. I did an "email me when they get in" option, and it all arrived yesterday, but is the traffic from our group of gun bloggers big enough to clean stock out of all the dealers? What does that say about how deep inventories are?
Shades of the '08/'09 shortage? I was one of the '09 newbies so I'm hardly one to talk, but it's widely said that the increase in sales really picked up in the summer of '08, once folks saw the turd running against "the chosen one" and saw the handwriting on the wall. Don't know about you, but I'll be keeping an eye on gun sales as we go through the campaigns.
Now, I'll be the first to admit that all of the folks who sent me these emails are businesses and they stand to benefit if we all say, "gee, I'd better stock up before it gets really hard to find again". On the other hand, as far as I can see, their prices are not being jacked up - in fact, a lot of it is "on sale" - and the fact that prices aren't what they were six years ago can be adequately explained by the devaluation of the dollar/inflation thanks to our glorious Fed.gov.
I think a reasonable approach is that if there's something you've had your eye on, you ought to seriously consider grabbing it while it's available. I'm not saying to make up a list of every gun you might ever want, not that there's anything wrong with that, just any particular gun you might have been watching the prices on. Any holes in the ammo supply are worth a look, too. Finally, I really see no way we don't keep seeing serious inflation, same as now (11%) or worse, going forward, so nothing is going to be getting much cheaper for a while.