It’s a cycle we’ve seen unfold time and time again. An election, a new piece of legislation or an unfortunate event that the anti-gun crowd will use to push for more gun control.
These are all external factors that can influence the gun and ammunition market. We saw it 2008, 2012, and 2013 to varying degrees. Of course, 2013, especially quarters 1 and 2, was the worst gun/ammo shortage we’ve probably ever seen.
However, the demand that was created in 2013 was quickly met by an expanding gun industry. In fact, it seems that the industry expanded so quickly that most dealers and manufacturers have a surplus of inventory right now. This, combined with a lower demand than last year has created one of the best buyer’s markets we’ve seen in quite a while.
As someone who follows the gun market very closely, I can tell you right now is probably the absolute best time to purchase guns and, to a lesser degree ammo, in the last 6-8 years.
Right now, semi-auto rifles are especially affordable. Quality makers of AR-15 style rifles such as Bravo Company and Colt are regularly offering great prices on quality rifles and components (note I’m just using those two as examples, there are lots of companies making high quality, affordable rifles right now). It’s entirely possible to build your own quality rifle right now for under $700, including shipping and transfer fees, if you shop around. While Russian AK variant rifles are a no-go right now, we are seeing good, affordable examples coming out of Serbia and even being produced here in the US.
One piece of advice if you do decide to buy right now – stick to known brands of known quantities. The gun market boom of 2014 saw a lot of new companies enter the fray, and not all of them are of the same quality.
If you’ve ever thought of getting into the NFA game, now is definitely the time. If you have a trust or corporation you can currently e-file Form 1′s with the ATF and the reported turn around time is around 30-40 days. Likewise, even paper Form 4′s for silencers (suppressors) and other transfers are reportedly running 3-5 months. There is also talk about the ATF changing the way trusts apply for NFA stamps, so now might be the time to get that ball rolling if it’s something you’re interested in.
Ammo (with the exception of .22LR) is just about back to pre-2012 availability and pricing (current prices are a tad higher, but inflation and materials costs account for that). If you walk into your local sporting goods or department store you’ll likely see a stocked ammo case. While .22LR does remain elusive, I have managed to track down 2x 100 round boxes in the last 2 months at Wal Mart, so even the rimfire market is improving.
With pricing and availability being what it is today, I would encourage you to stock up now on any guns/ammo you think you might need/want for the future. The prices on these items certainly won’t be going much (if any) lower than they are now and you can make sure you and your family can continue to enjoy shooting despite future market conditions.
If you’re good to go on your gun collection go ahead and stock up on standard capacity magazines and ammo.
There is no reason to put yourself in a position to complain about pricing/availability in the future when external factors drive the market up again when you can so easily stock up now.
Note: The above advice is assuming you are in a financially stable situation and can afford to make these purchases. I certainly don’t advise you to go into debt or risk your family’s financial stability to buy some 5.56 and magazines.