Dry Wells

And we all thought Obama was the world’s best gun salesman.  We didn’t know about the Chinkvirus:

There have now been an estimated 8.3 million firearms sold in the United States since March—a record-setting pace likely to make 2020 the greatest year for gun sales in American history if the trend continues.
Gun and ammunition retailers are having trouble keeping up with the demand as Americans flood stores.

And a quote from an FFL:

“Pretty much everything is out of stock. We have been doing it since the late ’70s and have never seen literally no supply available. As of last week, at all major distributors you could not get any guns. Everything was literally sold out. Can’t even get hearing protection.”

At my local gun pusher FFL, I’m told there’s at least a two-month wait for a whole bunch of guns — and an indefinite wait for AR-15s.  I often use Bud’s Gun Shop as a dipstick into the state of the firearms business (also to get an idea of prices), and here’s what a cursory look showed me.  If I applied only two search filters (semi-auto  and 5.56mm NATO ), here’s what came up as being in stock (out of 560 items listed):

…in other words, a “California compliant” monstrosity that nobody wants, and an overpriced POS from Colt.  Everything else — Palmetto, IWI, S&W, Ruger, SIG, Daniel Defense, DPMS, Diamondback, you name it — was out of stock.  Even the Ruger Ranch Rifle was MIA.

One of my contacts at a major distributor confirmed that Bud’s and my local guy are the norm, not the exception.

So I went to Option B:  semi-auto rifles in 9mm Parabellum, once again at Bud’s, who typically advertises / carries about a hundred and thirty different models.  Here’s what they had:

All the rest were MIA.  And note that in the above, I said “had”.  When I went back a few hours later to check, even the Beretta Storm was OOS.

And if people are buying everything in sight in 5.56mm and 9mm, that leads to… yup, ammo scarcity.

Windham Taylor, the outreach manager for Ammo.com, one of the largest ammunition dealers in America, said the company experienced the same strains as the gun dealers. Demand for popular self-defense rounds such as 9mm and 223 has kept the store scrambling to find stock to keep their customers supplied.

Now for my Loyal Readers, none of this is either surprising or alarming.  We have (don’t we? ) an adequate sufficiency of both guns and ammo to tide us over — hell, ammo-wise, in some calibers I’m still living with stuff I purchased during the Dubya Administration — which should keep us going through this rough patch.

And speaking of the Dubya Administration, I remember posting back then:  “These are the Good Times for us gunnies;  this is the time to buy guns and ammo, when restrictions are few, supplies are plentiful and prices are sane.”  I recall that many of us heeded that — at least, according to Reader feedback — and I know that I took my own advice, bigly.

The economic lesson is timeless:  don’t buy during times of scarcity;  buy in times of plenty.

If you do have an itch to buy a gun (and don’t we all, all the time?), this might be a good time to look at bolt-action rifles, lever-action cowboy guns and some revolvers. We all know that in a pinch, a lever-action rifle can do sterling duty as a replacement self-defense gun — yeah, it doesn’t have a 200-round magazine — and I for one would not feel undergunned by any means, if that were all I had.

Back to Bud’s, where if we look at just .45 Colt (because neither the guns or ammo are scarce at the moment), we find that there are over 90 options available, e.g.:

…and for a “companion piece” for the above, there are over 150 options in .45 Colt:

Ooooh that’s better.  In fact, you have to get to Page 3 before the guns start running out of stock.  (Gotta say, Kimmy likes the look of this one, oh yes he does):

…but let’s not get sidetracked here.

One more time:  I accept no responsibility for bank accounts emptied, kids’ college funds raided nor relationships wrecked as a result of the above temptations proving too difficult to avoid.

An aside:  I checked on my stocks of AK-47 feed (7.62x39mm) the other day, and discovered that I had only a single can (~600 rounds) left.  EVERYBODY PANIC! until I discovered a couple of cases lying forgotten in some remote part of the garage — and then, by some cosmic coincidence I’m not even going to try to explain, I got a call from the Son&Heir, who wanted to know why he had five cases of 7.62x39mm in his garage when he doesn’t own an AK.  Guess I lost track of them in the move from the old house.  Panic over.

Not Gonna Happen

Here’s a hopeful thought:

The record-breaking gun sales during the coronavirus pandemic could bolster candidates that support the Second Amendment in 2020 and alter the course of American gun politics for the foreseeable future.

You mean guys like these?

Nope.  They’re Democrats, support BLM (by their own admission) and if you think that they and all the other liberals buying guns are going to become Trump voters in November, you’re delusional. The only reason they’re waving their guns around like idiots is because the Great Unwashed happened to come close to their precious house.

Even worse is this:

Amy Hunter, a spokeswoman for the National Rifle Association, said that the group’s success could change the political landscape at the local, state, and national level.
“The NRA believes voters who recently purchased guns for self-defense will join other Second Amendment voters and be an even more formidable voting bloc,” Hunter told the Washington Free Beacon. “They’re educated, passionate, and they know anti-gun politicians are the biggest threat to their fundamental right to self-defense.”

Well, if the NRA thinks this is the case, that’s even more cause for gloom and skepticism.

Sure, I have no doubt that many first-time gun buyers, especially those in the poxy socialist enclaves like Los Angeles, Chicago and New York, had their noses rubbed into the consequences of their home cities’ gun control laws (which they probably all supported before the Chinkvirus thing happened);  but a) they’re probably not going to vote for Trump or even a Republican mayor or city council, and b) even if they did, their numbers will be too small to make much of a difference to the outcome in said cities.

And now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to the range.

Asking The Important Questions

Key takeaway from the test:

  • The AK is the most reliable but after seeing how many have broken over the last two and half years on the range, it’s not the indestructible weapon everybody talks about (and I always thought it was).
  • This may sound crazy but it’s fair to say that they finally suffer a catastrophic failure (cracked trunion) at 80,000-100,000 rounds.

Oh.  Positively glass-like fragility, then.

Well, that means that on my current AK (obtained almost NIB), I have about 79,000 more rounds to go.  (I hardly ever shoot much through mine because a) I know how it works and can shoot it just fine,  and b) I prefer shooting my other guns.  I shoot it fairly often, but only a mag or so’s worth at a time — more a “hi there, how’re ya doin?”  kinda thing.)

I know how to fix the thing if it ever breaks — I just don’t care to.  If I were ever in a (SHTF) situation where my AK breaks, I’m sure there’d be a couple of other options lying around.


Outstanding Comparison

I just watched Paul Harrell’s video comparison of the .357 Mag cartridge vs. the .44 Mag, and it’s the best yet.  Basically, he compares identical bullet weight and barrel length (to make it “fair”) in an empirical study, then compares “common” gun choices and bullet weights for a realistic evaluation.

But what impressed me was that he doesn’t bother with any of that ballistic gelatin nonsense.  Nope;  he builds a realistic effectiveness measurement target using pork ribs, pork chops, oranges (to simulate vitals tissue) and back ribs.  This is what I’d do if I wanted to get into what he does, on a full-time basis.

Watch the video for the full flavor.  It’s long — as they all are — because he’s serious about the topic.

As for his bona fides, he lists them all at the beginning of this video, and let’s just say that his skills, knowledge and expertise are more than adequate for the task.

He’s done many more such shows, so wave good-bye to your weekend if you dive into the Harrell Matrix.  That’s where I’ll be, if anyone asks.


Reader & Friend JohnC sent me this pic of a Smith Model 629, which had all sorts of electronic drool stains on it:

I have to say, the artwork is well done, and extremely tasteful.

And yet, I have a love/hate relationship with engraving.  On the one hand, I regard the gun as a tool, and adding embellishment like the above often seems to me to be like engraving patterns onto a screwdriver or a chainsaw.

On  the other hand, I will never love any garage tool as much or in the same way as I love my 1911 — or pretty much any of my guns, really.  Guns may be tools, in other words, but not quite so much.

My problem with adding engraving onto a gun is that it makes it pretty, and that means you start treating it differently, either in its actual handling or else in frequency of use.  Turning a range gun into a safe queen… well, I think you all know where I stand on that issue.

Over at the Daily Timewaster, C.W. often has pics of fancy guns, like these two:

…and once again, I’m somewhat conflicted.  While nobody can complain about the craftsmanship in either case, I just can’t get excited about it other than that:  appreciation of the artistry.

Even with fine shotguns, I’m of a more conservative bent.  Here are two examples, from Steve Barnett’s House Of Horrors, of otherwise identical Venere-model shotguns from Abbiatico & Salvinelli:

I love the first, but kinda “meh” about the second.  And of course it’s not just the Italians.  Here are three from J. Purdey, the ultimate stiff-upper-lip Brit company:

Love the first, “meh” about the second, and the last is revolting.

And all that said, I think completely untouched shotguns look like shop tools.  Here are a pair of Winchester Model 21s:

The first is foul, the second is sensational:  understated elegance, defined.

What say you, O My Readers?

Gratuitous Gun Pic: Henry Long Ranger (.308 Win)

A little while ago we were talking here about deep-woods lever rifles, and somebody expressed a wish for a lever rifle that could be loaded with a pointed boolet (i.e. magazine-fed as opposed to the traditional tube).

How about Henry’s Long Ranger in .308 Win?

For me, this one ticks all the boxes except that it doesn’t appear to be drilled and tapped for scope mounts — not that this is a deal-breaker in a setting which seldom requires a shot further than 200 yards (and usualy, much less).

Also, it looks weird without the tube under the barrel, but that’s just a cosmetic and personal thing — if you’ve got a magazine, no tube necessary, of course.

Collectors has one on sale for just under a grand, so if you’re interested… go there and look at the other pics.  And don’t come crying to me if in your perusal, you get sidetracked into the Collectors Matrix.

I have to tell you all:  that is a sweet little rifle.  I’ve had good experience with Henry rifles in the past;  their quality is excellent (hence the premium price), their triggers require no gunsmithing, and their lever actions are a lot smoother than new WinMar rifles.