On July 13th I decided to hit a local gun show that’s held several times during the summer months. I’ve avoided gun shows for the last couple of years mostly because few deals are to be found, you’ll typically find over priced goods and junk peddlers selling things like costume jewelry or beef jerky. But I’ve had an interest as of late in attending the occasional show to get a sense of how the market is recovering from the latest run on guns & ammo.
Three months ago you couldn’t find an AR15 or AK for less than $2k, assuming you could find one at all. Ammo wasn’t just scarce, it was completely absent from the tables at the gun shows. If you were lucky enough to find a case of ammo, you could expect to pay upwards of $1 a round for things like 9mm or .223.
This weekend I was pleasantly surprised to see that not only were guns everywhere, including AR’s and AK’s, but their prices were starting to return to normal. Over the course of the last several weeks I’ve noticed the shelves filling up at my local gun stores as well, both with firearms and with ammo.
While the prices on firearms have started to normalize, ammo continues to command premium prices. The larger chain stores like Wal-Mart, Gander Mountain, Bass Pro, etc. are starting to see their wholesale prices drop and many of these stores are passing that reduced cost along to the consumer — in many cases, but not all.
Today, July 14th, I visited my local Gander Mountain in Merrillville Indiana and was surprised to see the shelves stocked with both guns and ammo. Not only that, the prices of ammo were starting to come down. They even had a completely stocked shelf full of .22LR ammo. Throughout hte latest ammo crunch the little .22’s have been the most elusive to locate. I was able to pick up several boxes for $2.49 each and even got a box of 350 rounds for $19. That’s pre-craziness prices! Woo-Whoo!
The .45 ACP was a bit high at $.64 a round. .40 S&W was $.48 a round and 9mm was around $.40 a round. Not great prices, but it was available and in ample supply. I was even able to run down 5.7×28 FNH ammo for $29 per 50 rounds. That’s about $8 more than it was 8 months ago, but it’s at least available and coming down in price.
Hopefully this trend will continue and by fall we’ll see things back to normal. I know one thing for sure, I will be stocking up like crazy once the prices on ammo normalize. You would think I would have learned my lesson in 2008 after Obama was elected and the first panic set in. That crunch lasted for the better part of a year. You couldn’t find a box of primers for reloading much less common handgun and rifle calibers.
I need to put away at least a years supply of practice ammo and never touch it… but I just can’t seem to resist the urge to shoot it when I have it.
How are things in your neck of the woods? Are you seeing guns and ammo appearing on the shelves? If so, how are the prices?