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April 08, 2012

Gunmakers For Obama!

... is a slogan you're not likely to see anytime soon.

But if there's one part of the Obamaconomy that's booming right now, no pun intended, it's gun sales.

Plants here and overseas are working full out. It is a question of capacity. Domestic companies are adding shifts, cross training workers, reorganizing how the machines in a plant are organized (the last four gun plants I have been on the floor of were in the process of trying to increase efficiency by moving tooling around) and, in some cases, buying new machines. Firms are reluctant to add employees with changes in health care looming as they do not know what the costs will be, and they would rather not hire people only to lay them off six months from now if conditions change.

One thing I'd be interested in knowing is the breakdown of this sales increase between first-time buyers and repeat buyers. I have a safe full of the things and every time I go to a gun shop thinking about picking up another one, I usually leave with a bunch more ammunition instead.

That stuff's gotten expensive. The chart at the link was kind of dated, so I looked up a couple of current prices on the items they listed:

* American Eagle 9mm FMJ: $14.69/bx in November 2008, now $14.12.

* Wolf .223 FMJ: $7.97/bx in November 2008, now $5.79.

* Remington UMC .40 S&W: $19.89/bx in November 2008, now $19.90.

Other than the .223, it looks like prices are basically about the same as they were 3 years ago. Anecdotally, that feels about right since I remember the big sticker shock back then and not so much of an increase since.

On the gun sales themselves, though, that DC piece also mentions:

Throw in increased popular culture television exposure of firearms and shooting, including everything from “Gold Rush” to “Top Shot” to “Sons of Guns” to “Doomsday Preppers,” and you can see that the trend will continue for some time to come.

That may have something to do with it, but there's a chicken and egg thing here as far as new buyers go. I love Top Shot and Sons of Guns because I'm a gunowner. Do these shows really appeal to the non-gun owning public enough to turn someone into a first time gun buyer? I hope so.

Put us some f'n knowledge in the comments, gun-owning morons and moronettes. What are you seeing locally on availability and pricing of guns and ammo? Are you a recent first-time gun buyer or do you know one?

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posted by Andy at 10:58 AM

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