Gun, Ammo And Magazine Sales Soar, Prices Skyrocket, Stock Levels Low

The Obama administration announcement that they are supporting a new Assault Weapon Ban, and a ban on high capacity magazines, has sent shockwaves through the industry. All day consumers have been buying guns, ammunition and magazines.

Brownells is fast running out of stock of 5.56mm NATO and magazines. They still have 20 and 30 round aluminum magazines in stock but they are have run out of 30 round Magpul magazines and 5.56mm ammunition. They still have some premium .223 Remington ammunition in stock, but it won’t last long.

Ammunition retailer is out of stock of both .223 Remington and 5.56mm NATO.

To deal with the buying frenzy gun retailer Cheaper Than Dirt has bumped up magazine prices. They doubled the price of a Magpul PMAG from $30 to $60. This did not stop people buying them. The Magpul magazine went out of stock a couple of hours ago. The laws of supply and demand dictate that prices will increase. I suspect many online retailers would have liked to bump up prices but were swamped with orders before they were able to react to the situation.

Ruger (RGR) and Smith & Wesson’s (SWHC) share price has continued to take a hit. According to the WSJ, investors are worried that legislation will harm sales.

TFB does not cover the politics, only what is happening in the industry itself. If you wish to follow the evolving political situation, I recommend reading the PA Gun Blog and Say Uncle.

Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


  • Kyle

    This happens every time there’s an event like what occurred. The hype is drummed up and the online stores make boatloads of money.

  • Spencer

    I kind of figured this would happen. I had been eyeing a sweet deal on pmags at DSG Arms (10pack windowed for $135 shipped) for a while so I jumped on it after the news of the shooting hit. I was planning to take advantage after the holidays, but this way I didn’t get price gouged.

    • Sian

      I’m just going to wait till next summer when the supply is back up and Feinstein’s bill is still dying in committee.. because I’m not sure what will happen in 14.

      • Avery

        It’ll be forgotten by the 2014 midterm elections.

      • Lance

        I agree the House may I think will Block it its scary time and paranoia is BIG now.

  • Spencer

    From Magpul’s FB page…

    We’ve received a lot of comments about some retailers charging extremely high prices for our products. We strongly discourage pricing strategies like this with our direct customers, as we just don’t feel right about it. Those retailers who are buying through distribution, and not direct, may be worried about supply and reacting to the market with this pricing increase. We are firm believers in free capitalism, and as long as no one is damaging market value through their pricing strategy, we will allow the market to correct this situation, as it appears it already is. We intend to continue to produce and sell our products to support the MSRPs we have set. Magazines will continue to flow to those retailers, distributors, and OEM customers with whom we have direct relationships.

  • Samopal

    I’m always the first person to call out paranoid nutjobs on their “a ban is coming!” BS, but this looks like it.

    One-sided gun control “discussions” are in the news 24/7, the White House officially backed a new AWB and ammo/gun show regulations, several big-box stores have suspended firearms sales or stopped altogether, Cerberus is dumping the Freedom Group and all its companies along with it, stock is plummeting, etc. All in the course of a couple days. As they say, “shit just got real”.

    • Nick Mew

      I have to say but this is the first time I have become a little paranoid over all of this, but then again I am just 16 years old. Or too young as they say.

      • Nick Mew

        Not to mention that this is coming from a Liberal.

  • Rapp

    Its amazing how we let the media control our actions. I’m just hoping this doesn’t interfere too much with the US Tavors hitting market.

    • Samopal

      I was thinking about that a little while ago. It seems pretty risky to set up an operation manufacturing “assault rifles” and “assault pistols” in a country that’s in an uproar and seriously considering a new AWB.

    • W

      its really quite sad how gullible the american people are. not to get political, but this same shit reminds me of the dark hours before the patriot act was signed; a classic example of exchanging rights for perceived security increases.

      • Nadnerbus

        I was thinking the exact thing. Was watching that Morgan guy on CNN the other night before I turned him off in disgust, and the same analogy popped into my head. In the emotional rush to “do something,” which coincidentally is what they wanted to do all along, they are going to do their best to pass some terrible legislation that will do nothing but harm decent citizens. And its like an emotional freight train, its almost impossible to stop once it picks up speed.

    • Nick Mew

      I miss Walter Cronkite.

  • Masood

    Cheaper Than Dirt just committed suicide. Not sure who they thought their target market was, but I’m pretty sure it’s the very people who believe most strongly in the 2nd Amendment. I will never purchase from them again.

    • W

      i never bought product from them (always going local), but i know a couple of people that did and quickly changed their minds. i dont know the circumstances but im going to speculate that they thought nobody would notice and they would just buy the magazines in a frenzy.

  • TangledThorns

    The media is playing a big part on hyping this and using the same tactics after the Dunblane, Scotland massacre in 1995 where they convinced the entire UK to ban guns.

  • Patrick

    Here reason why this happening.

    Feinstein to Introduce Updated Assault Weapons Bill in New Congress

    Stops sale of more than 100 assault weapons; protects gun owners by exempting more than 900 specific hunting and sporting weapons

    Washington—Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), author of the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban that expired in 2004, announced on Sunday that she will introduce updated legislation early next year.

    “On the first day of the new Congress, I intend to introduce a bill stopping the sale, transfer, importation and manufacturing of assault weapons as well as large ammunition magazines, strips and drums that hold more than 10 rounds,” Feinstein said. “I am in the process of gathering support for the bill in the Senate and House.”

    “I have been working with my staff for over a year on this legislation,” Feinstein added. “It will be carefully focused on the most dangerous guns that have killed so many people over the years while protecting the rights of gun owners by exempting hundreds of weapons that fall outside the bill’s scope. We must take these dangerous weapons of war off our streets.”

    A Justice Department study found the Assault Weapons Ban was responsible for a 6.7 percent decline in total gun murders. However, since the 2004 expiration of the bill, assault weapons have been used in at least 459 incidents, resulting in 385 deaths and 455 injuries.

    A summary of key provisions in the updated bill:
    Stops the sale, transfer, importation and manufacturing of more than 100 specifically-named firearms as well as certain semiautomatic rifles, handguns and shotguns that can accept a detachable magazine and semiautomatic rifles and handguns with a fixed magazine that can accept more than 10 rounds.
    Stops the sale, transfer, importation and manufacturing of large-capacity ammunition feeding devices (magazines, strips and drums) capable of accepting more than 10 rounds.
    Protects legitimate hunters and the rights of existing gun owners by: grandfathering weapons legally possessed on the date of enactment;
    exempting more than 900 specifically-named weapons used for hunting and sporting purposes; and
    exempting antique, manually-operated, and permanently disabled weapons.

    • Samopal

      “A Justice Department study found the Assault Weapons Ban was responsible for a 6.7 percent decline in total gun murders.”

      I’d like to see a citation for that. From what I remember, “assault weapons” were used in a small percentage (like 5% or less) of gun crimes, and that dropped something to something like 1.65% with the AWB. Of course the Brady Campaign advertised this simply as “a 66% decrease in assault weapon crime” without letting people know they were only talking about a handful of incidents in the first place.

    • Spade

      “Stops the sale, transfer, importation and manufacturing….semiautomatic rifles and handguns with a fixed magazine that can accept more than 10 rounds.”

      So if you have a Beretta 92 or Browning HiPower, well, hope you don’t want to leave it to your kids.

      Also, they make 10+ 1911 magazines.

      • Spade

        Oops, didn’t see the “fixed” part. Oh well, still sucks.

    • Gumby

      Funny how whinestien owned a CCW herself.

  • Sian

    So the answer is a ban on firearms that ONLY caused 385 deaths since 2004?

    more people have been killed by lightning since 2004.

    If Feinstein cared more about saving lives than her own POLITICAL agenda she’d focus her efforts anywhere but her stupid pet assault ban.

    • Samopal

      You know full-well that the politicians pushing for a new AWB know that. It’s a personal issue for many of them, not one of public safety. Hell, Connecticut has an assault-weapons ban and the AR used was a ban-compliant model, meaning it lacks the features required to be an assault weapon and wouldn’t be effected by an AWB anyway (unless they drastically changed the definition).

    • Nick Mew

      And we know that lightning never strikes twice. (that was a joke).

    • W

      which is a misleading statistic since 1/6th of 1% of all crimes are committed with “assault weapons” (not even ARs necessarily; any weapon with a magazine above 10 rounds).

      we have nothing to worry about when it comes to semi-automatics. we should be more concerned with medical malpractice.

      • fbgarabf

        Duh, it has nothing to do with danger, that’s all a lie. The government just wants to be the only one with the big guns so they can step in one day and declare marshal law and no one can do anything because they are the only ones legally allowed to have the big guns.

  • 511

    People this is a serious situation Feinstein’s new AWB is broad reaching and will ensnare a lot of semi-automatic rifles and shotguns that most of us in the U.S. gun community would not consider “Assault rifles”, if she and the liberal Democrats succeed.

    All the posters who where demonized for warning of this precisely happening where right, ITS HERE.

    Call your representatives in congress and do it on daily bases and warn them that anti 2nd Amendment votes will be destructive to their re-election prospects. Donate to the NRA and NRA-ILA, even if you hate them with a passion.

    Even if Feinstein’s AWB overreach fails, Obama can and will restrict magazine capacity or order the ATF to redefine sporting firearms thru executive order.

    My local gun stores are literately selling out of all guns, semi-autos, bolt-actions, pump, revolvers, pistols, single shot shotguns are even gone and the frenzy has just begun.

  • gunslinger

    waiting for this to cool.

    don’t think an AWB will get through. Between the minor majority in the senate (fillibusters) and the right controlled house, an AWB will be a bit harder to push through.

  • H Rap Brown

    What is an ammo “strip?” Is she talking about paper caps for cap guns? Stripper clips? Links? You will continue to be able to sell the links if you promise not to link more than 10 together? What the hell is this idiot talking about??!!

    • RocketScientist

      You know, those shoulder things that go up.

  • RocketScientist

    I too am reservedly optimistic as to the prospects of any major gun control legislation getting passed. Any bill would have to get through a GOP-controlled house, which I don’t see happening. Even the senate isn’t a sure bet, as the majority there is not huge, and there are quite a few dems who are progun, or at least recognize that a lot of their constituents are. Many politicos have blamed the original AWB in ’94 on the resurgence of the right/GOP in the late 90’s and I doubt many dems would want to see a repeat of that. The rates of gun ownership and support for free access to arms has gone up dramatically in the last decade; more and more “regular folks” have a gun or 2, or even CCWs, it’s not just “gun people”. By the time congress is back in session, this terrible terrible tragedy will have faded from the average American’s very short attention span, and they and the media will be on to the next big story. The NRA will drag out the ‘big guns’ (pun intended) in campaigning against it, and there will be a groundswell of popular sentiment against any new legislation. Then again, maybe I’m just being too optimistic. Plus there’s always ‘executive orders’ and ‘BATFE policy changes’ that can be done unilaterally and f**k us over. Who knows.

  • DW

    When a man drives his car with a long gun in the trunk, you know he is not afraid of anything.
    When a man drives his car with a trunk full of guns and ammo, you know he is afraid of Obama.

  • Schizuki

    Why would Ruger’s stock go down? The Mini-14 would stand to gain from the AR’s banning.

    • Brandon

      According to the leaked list (if you believe it’s authenticity, I’m on the fence) Mini 14 is on the ban list

      Feinstien said they have exceptions to protect “over 900 guns” from the ban but I can’t find supposed list anywhere. Maybe Mini would get a reprieve for not looking scary, but the fact that it accommodates a 20 round magazine and has aftermarket stock support makes me think otherwise

      • Samopal

        Looks like the same BS list that’s been floating around for years.

  • Mark

    Even Fox News is talking up gun control as being inevitable.

    This time is different. This is the anti-gun crowd’s best chance in a generation.

    I just renewed my NRA membership and made an additional contribution as well. If there was ever a time to step up, this is it.

  • Lance

    No im not in doom and gloom a GOP house can block this easily. I got to hand it to Obama he the biggest gun seller of all time.

  • Lance

    I think if people wan to buy fine but face it its NOT 1994 all over again different. The Original AWB passed the House by 1 vote in 94. Now the House is in GOP hands. Gun banner saw no repercussions in 94 for banning ARs they know different now. Don’t forget the NRA doesn’t speak till Friday, I doubt they back his BIG ban on guns.

    I dont think its all over yet.

    • Brandon

      ” Gun banner saw no repercussions in 94″

      Actually, Clinton has said that he thinks signing the AWB cost Gore the 2000 election. He’s probably right

  • Icchan

    One thing to remember about the price increases is that so many of those pricing things are run by automated “bots” that go around and watch for demand, hits, and other sellers. When there is a rush or a sudden drop in supply because of demand, the bots react accordingly and automatically bump prices up; this happens on occasion to idiotic levels. You can see some of them hitting the humor pages here at respectable sites like Amazon:

    Someone set up pricing algorithms, ostensibly to raise prices when supply got low to limit sales (this way they don’t run out of stock, since the demand will drop) until they can get proper supplies back in. They probably watch each other’s pages, monitoring different prices, and once things went out of stock at one site the snowball effect started. Considering how common it is for automated bots, webcrawlers, spiders, and other such things to constantly be hounding each others’ sites and watching pricing…

    I could be wrong, it could be simple gouging, but I strongly subscribe to a paraphrase of Hanlon’s Razor. Never attribute to wicked greed what can be aptly explained by simple stupidity.

  • Brandon

    I think this will all blow over eventually. I know things look bad, but public opinion doesn’t matter: votes do. And a ban cannot get the votes required.

    Legalizing medical marijuana (or decriminalizing it altogether), reforming social security and actually prosecuting bankers for breaking the law are all popular measures at the moment. Does anything actually happen? No.

    Did the Tea Party get real spending cuts? Was Occupy Wall street able to get finance reform? It doesn’t matter how much you monopolize TV news or even if you take to the streets. Like everyone else, Congress follows the money (lobbyists in this case) and the NRA is doing well in that department.

    Sorry if this is too political, but that’s the nature of this issue. The first sentence of this blog post is political in nature.

    • Nadnerbus

      I tend to agree with you on national/Federal terms, but out here in California land they are using this to push another round of godawful legislation. Yee and DeLeon have announced bills to ban bullet button guns and to require a yearly registration and back ground check to buy ammo respectively. And in this state where Dems have a veto proof majority, anything is possible. I worry.

  • Mike Knox

    If you’d listen and observe the news right now they’re just hounding on political terms and talking ponts, not looking into immediate and tangible solutions to events like these.

    In my opinion, a better solution would be solid and present security, not inked words on paper. If you’d ask me, armed security in schools, churches, libraries, social areas, and other labelled “gun-free zones” are a better solution than a ban on firearms particulars..

  • West

    Is there any event or circumstance you can imagine that would make you in favor of a total ban on AR/AK style weapons?

    • RocketScientist

      If aliens/God/Flying Spaghetti Monster cause us to experience an epiphany in which we learn to transcend matter and the physical universe, and we all live as pure thought and energy in complete harmony with the multiverse, and firearms are as obsolete and inconsequential as physical reality in general….. ok even THEN i wouldn;t support a ban of any of these weapons. There is no such thing as “a little liberty”. I won’t sell mine voluntarily.

      • West

        So you believe that these incidents are a tolerable by-product of a free society?

      • W

        LOL thats the best answer ive seen yet in response to a question like that!

        in those circumstances, ill melt my guns into industrial art.

      • Brandon

        There’s nothing tolerable about it, and no one has claimed so.

        No more tolerable than the deaths caused by cars like Vipers who were built for the track but driven on the road (if no one ‘needs’ an AR15 no one needs a 600hp V10 either) or the deaths cause by hard liquor (no one needs vodka, you can get buzzed on beer more safely).

        Now we may regulate those things (as we should better regulate guns in my opinion) but we take the preferences of the people who use them into consideration, even at the expense of lives.

        How about the media reporting on these tragedies? Days and days of coverage. Does that not encourage copycats?
        Psychology tells us these madmen have grandiose egos and inflated self worth and the rampage is a suicidal ‘going out in style’ to get the recognition they think they deserve. If that’s the case, isn’t releasing the name of the shooter giving them what they want? Could we discourage these shootings by forcing a media blackout on their identities?
        That’s right, we have a 1st amendment so we can’t.
        Does that mean these incidents are a tolerable by-product of a free society?

        Not trying to be facetious, just a different perspective on things

    • Schizuki

      Yes. I would favor an AR ban on people who already have one, so I could finally buy one.

    • Brandon

      You hit the nail on the head when you referred to ‘AR/AK style weapons’
      That’s all it is: style. Functionally they’re not not dissimilar to other semiautomatic rifles. They are popular because of historical significance, availability of parts and ammunition, simple and reliable gas systems and accuracy/ergonomics(in the case of AR, tho many would argue AK is ‘good enough’)
      It’s arbitrary to ban them because they’re really no more dangerous than any other semiauto rifle, aside from being more comfortable to hold perhaps. And I do not support a ban on semiauto rifles (unless Flying Spaghetti Monster tells me otherwise).

      • West

        Well, they have a higher mag capacity in most cases.

      • Brandon

        The magazine size is not inherent to the design of the gun. Take any firearm with a detachable magazine and you can build whatever size magazine you want.
        The Mini 14 was originally marketed as a ‘ranch rifle’ (standard wood stock you’d see on a hunting rifle, no pistol grip) and shipped with 5 round magazines, but 20 and 30 rounders were made available and the aftermarket has produced 100 round drums for it.

      • Nanban Jim

        So it’s magazine capacity? Because I could belt-feed a Ruger 10/22 and I’m not even a hobby machinist.

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  • vivien

    I grew up around guns all my life and always felt safe when out hunting with friends and family until I joined the military. Now I am petrified of people walking around with something that can kill as easily as a firearm and learned there is a small percentage of people that are looking for an excuses to use one on somebody, and even a larger percentage of people that have no clue what safety means or muzzle awareness. Keep your guns at home locket up until you are on your own time. Why do people need to bring guns to work, or any other place outside of a shooting range or hunting trip?

    • Samopal

      Because nothing bad ever happens at work, right?

    • Hey Einstein-I’m a Law Enforcement Officer-That may be why I might need a gun. To protect you from people who don’t care that burglary/assault/ and murder are illegal.

  • RobertB

    I purchased a Colt A4 Carbine LE6920 for $1,145 on 12.17.12 2 days later, Gunbroker was selling the same gun for $1,499. Today (12.24.12) they are ranging from $2,500-$2,999. By God i’m tempted to sell, but there is no telling if and when these guns will be available again.

  • Kissy Darling

  • A free man

    Banning high capacity mags only means that the assholes who shoot schools and malls up will kill fewer people not stop them from doing it. Politicians are one sided individuals who seek power over us. They have no interest in our safety. They can have my guns when they pry them from my cold dead hands!!!