It’s different this time?

iflyskyhigh

New member
Joined
Mar 8, 2018
Messages
26
Reaction score
14
Points
3
Lots of discussion and questions about “is it a good time to get into reloading”, and “when’s the ammo coming back”?

I've been formulating a theory about this. Not entirely my own. Made up of my own thoughts combined with the insight of others.

Goes like this.

Things are going to be different this time. We will never again see prices as low as on firearms, ammunition, and accessories (including reloading equipment and supplies) as they were from 2016 to the beginning of 2020. The four years of Trump were the culmination of a perfect storm.

During the Obama administration the firearms industry and everything surrounding it absolutely exploded. Every tom dick and harry got into the business, and everyone who was already in business was ever increasing their production to try and just keep up with the demand. They added capacity and grew their business at break neck speed. Adding men, equipment, raw materials...buying bigger and bigger facilities. Never once slowing down. This continued for pretty much the entire 8 years of the Obama administration.

Then 2016 happened. Everyone (including the firearms industry) thought Hillary was going to win so they kept the production machine in over drive. At this point they had produced more product then they could possibly hope to sell during normal times. And then it happened. Trump won and the floor pretty much dropped out of the entire industry. The general public just stopped buying. Diehards, enthusiasts, tactical Timmy's, and competitors kept going, but the public at large just quite buying firearms and accessories. I don't mean to imply the firearms industry wasn't doing great, maybe even growing, but not at the pace of production. I personally think firearms and accessories have been steadily increasing in popularity for the past 20+ years. Again, just not at the pace that the manufactures were producing product for this given time period.

2016-late 2019. Inventory started piling up. Sh-t was on sale. Everyday. Everywhere. Dirt cheap. Brownells was offering 10% off the entire order pretty much day...with free shipping. Most other large retailers followed suit. It got to the point where I was saving 0.0 dollars reloading 9MM and 223. In fact when you figured in my labor it was probably cheaper to buy it. The sales and low prices for sure moved product, but the inventory was still massive. ALMOST nothing was out of stock. Ever. Almost.

This continued for the entire four years of Trump. But then something started to change in late 2019-early 2020, even before the plan-demic. The sales started to be not as great. No more 10% off. No more free shipping. Black Friday and Christmas sales were disappointing in 2019. My guess is they finally started to get through the backlog they'd been sitting on for the past couple of years. The manufactures were obviously still producing and firearms were arguably still as popular as they had ever been, but something was for sure changing.

I think most people in the gun community (manufactures included) thought Trump was going to win again, so it was just status quo as 2020 started. But then the plan-demic hit and it all came to an end. Almost overnight.

There were two distinct cycles in 2020 where things spiked. They spiked in March when people were scared as hell and had no idea what was going to happen. Shelves were bare. But that passed. I distinctly remember the shelves being empty in early 2020, but then they started to get restocked and everything (in the gun business at least) stabilized. THEN the riots started and things spiked again. But this time they never stopped. It's been pretty much OOS on everything firearms and firearms related since late last summer. And it seems as though it's just getting worse. At a fevered pace. Millions and millions of new gun owners. Everyone buying everything in sight. Guns store shelves empty. People waiting in lines out the door waiting their turn to try and buy something. Anything.

The firearms industry had been lulled to sleep with four years of trump and the prospect of another four years of trump. No one was, or could have possibly been prepared for what happened. Even before the plan-demic prices were naturally starting rise, but instead of being absorbed as old product was purchased and replaced with the new more expensive product, everything went of stock literarily overnight. And it was replaced, all at once, with the new more expensive product. Same product, but everything was just now more expensive. This created the appearance of prices being jacked up. Which they probably were to some extent. But some of that was due to inventory turn over at such a rapid pace. Economics is like gravity. You can cheat it for short periods of time, but gravity always wins...as does economics. Supply and demand is about the only part of our economy that is actually "free market".

Prices were going to go up regardless of the plan-demic. Everything is becoming exponentially more expensive. Labor is more expensive, raw materials are more expensive. Real estate is more expensive. Shipping costs have gone through the roof. Prices were going to go up.

Lots of small business have been and will be forced out of business by the draconian measures of their states tyrants, decreasing supply. The big business are running at reduced capacity in order to comply with the their tyrants mandates, decreasing supply. But probably one of the biggest hinderances, especially to ammo and reloading supplies is the influx of millions and millions of new customers. Combine that with the afore mentioned enthusiasts, who never left, buying everything in sight. It has just utterly and completely overwhelmed the system.

It's going to be a long, long, long....long time before things return to any state of "normal". The state is becoming more tyrannical ever day, no matter who’s in charge. And this just fuels the impulse buying and shortages. And it may even in fact actually start legislatively start impacting supply at some point.

That being said...things will most likely stabilize as they always do. Prices will come down and so on. But I don't think we will ever see prices and availability like we did from 2016 to 2020. Like I said. It was the perfect storm.

 

Broz

LRO Owner~Editor~Long Range Hunting Specilist
Joined
Apr 17, 2013
Messages
11,048
Reaction score
3,561
Points
113
Location
Foot of the Big Belt Mountains near Townsend MT.
Well I can not agree with all of that, but there is some merit to some of it. We saw it differently. We struggled to get components and rifles as MFG's were back logged all through the Trump 4 yrs. This was true with 90%+ of the industry people who advertise here on LRO too.
 

Livetohunt

Active member
Joined
Jan 27, 2018
Messages
119
Reaction score
163
Points
43
I’m having issues with material suppliers being backed up. What was normally an order Monday have material same week is now a “well were booked out until mid next week in our saw department, but we couldn’t saw it anyways as we don’t have it on hand” my last aluminum order took 3 weeks. It’s normally 4 days, and that was prior to any storm issues.

if it’s like this with titanium and aluminum it’s like that with all materials.
 

Ladd

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 17, 2019
Messages
3,295
Reaction score
2,947
Points
113
Location
St. George UT
I agree with both Jeff and Ken. It’s been like this. Supplies, shipping costs, oil prices, the stock market tanking takes a toll. Hopefully gone are the days I pay $5/gal for diesel like I used to in 2008-2009. It will go up but please not that high.

I remember scoring RL 26 a few years ago while waiting for a flight in Maryland. It was in stock after not seeing it for a while. I couldn’t believe my luck.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
Last edited:

Spreedizzle

Active member
Joined
May 5, 2019
Messages
242
Reaction score
201
Points
43
Location
Cleveland Ohio
I can certainly agree to a lot of what has already been said. But for me it comes down to “nothing attracts a crowd like a crowd” mentality. People weren’t impulse buying until they saw others with shopping carts full of TP, and the infantile mentality of “what do they know that I don’t” causes this panic and impulse purchasing on so many things in our lives. Unfortunately, firearms and their components were no different. That being said, everything in life is cyclical, and this too shall pass and the pendulum will swing in the opposite direction. I just know that many of us are hoping for sooner rather than later.......
 

iflyskyhigh

New member
Joined
Mar 8, 2018
Messages
26
Reaction score
14
Points
3
Well I can not agree with all of that, but there is some merit to some of it. We saw it differently. We struggled to get components and rifles as MFG's were back logged all through the Trump 4 yrs. This was true with 90%+ of the industry people who advertise here on LRO too.

Interesting.

Do you think it might have been different for smaller boutique type manufacturers such as yourself vs mass produced items?

I have this impression that people who manufacture high end custom items such as yourself always have a backlog no matter the environment. Is there truth to that?

Thanks for the input.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

iflyskyhigh

New member
Joined
Mar 8, 2018
Messages
26
Reaction score
14
Points
3
I agree with both Jeff and Ken. It’s been like this. Supplies, shipping costs, oil prices, the stock market tanking it takes a toll. Hopefully gone are the days i pay $5/gal for diesel like I used to in 2008-2009, i hope. It will go up but please not that high.

I remember scoring RL 26 a few years ago while waiting for a flight in Maryland. It was in stock after not seeing it for a while. I couldn’t believe my luck.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

I didn’t even address inflation but that’s fine sure part of the equation.

Everything is going to be more expensive going forward regardless of availability.

With the amount of money the fed has printed over the past decade, especially the last year, inflation is inevitable.

The cost of raw materials, shipping, labor, and real estate have all drastically increased in addition to the inflationary effect of too much money chasing to little goods, no?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Broz

LRO Owner~Editor~Long Range Hunting Specilist
Joined
Apr 17, 2013
Messages
11,048
Reaction score
3,561
Points
113
Location
Foot of the Big Belt Mountains near Townsend MT.
Interesting.

Do you think it might have been different for smaller boutique type manufacturers such as yourself vs mass produced items?

I have this impression that people who manufacture high end custom items such as yourself always have a backlog no matter the environment. Is there truth to that?

Thanks for the input.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

I do not manufacturer anything. I manage a ranch and own this site. But I meet, discuss marketing, deal with a lot of industry people who advertise here. So, for many reasons I constantly order from them. For reviews, testing, personal use etc. Plus I talk to them often about the current status of supply and demand. That is where I drew my opinions of what has been available and what has been back logged over the last 4 years.

 

Forum Sponsors

Top