Mother Hubbard Syndrome

Had occasion to go over to my local Merchant O’ Death yesterday, just to browse a little and to tickle my fancy by looking at a couple of guns I’ve been eyeing out lately.  Well…

The handgun counter is usually crammed with guns — well over a hundred, as I recall — and the few guns you see under the glass are either the very expensive (Nighthawk, etc.) or else .22 pistols and single-action revolvers.

Ditto the rifle racks:  the nearly-empty one on the left is usually packed with AR-15s and AKs… not anymore.  The rack on the right has sporting shotguns, mostly, and even those have been moving out — bought by people who, when they find all their first- and second choices out of stock, are buying double-barreled shotguns just to have something on hand.

The guys tell me that they have over six hundred guns on order, but the distributors are looking after the bigger dealers first, so little establishments like this one are in a desert.  Even then:  “Have you been to Cabela’s or Bass Pro recently?  They’re almost as bad as we are.”

When I think of all the work I’ve done over the years to try and make America a Nation of Riflemen again… and all it took was a few riots in Minneapolis and Seattle to do just that.


  1. The store I go to in Florida has about five times as many display cases (which are usually packed full), and while they have more stock, they could probably just about fill the displays you see above. This is a good-sized chain, with nine stores across Florida.

    …and everything is selling at full MSRP, when they usually had significant discounts.

    1. I prefer small gun stores over the large ones because generally speaking, you can build a relationship with the staff. That’s as important to me as the guns they carry.

  2. My elderly & just barely ambulatory dad will sometimes holster his bedside gun, but not often. He needs one to keep at the desk where he spends a great deal of his time in front of the computer. I’m rolling the dice and getting him a Rock Island Armory 38 Special, 4″ barrel. Not the prettiest of wheelguns, but according to everything I’ve been able to glean, it’s a solid piece of machinery. $200 (!) seems a decent bang for the buck.

  3. I got two “back in stock” emails from Hinterland yesterday on guns I flagged on their site. They are a Houston-based mail order dealer.
    In both cases, by the time I could click through to give them my money, the guns were out of stock again.
    I also spent some disappointing time on GunBroker last night. There’s a couple of things to be had, but the standard stuff is very short. And by standard stuff I really mean 2nd and 3rd copies of things I already have … as parts guns, wife guns, etc.

  4. It’s better up here in Soviet Canuckistan, still seems to be decent stock in the gun shops.

    I have some spare cash so I’m off to buy one of these:
    Does anyone around here have any recommendation on any of them? The gun shop guy says he quite likes the P10. I know Kim likes the cz75. Another gun shop I also checked with hates the P10. Does the CZ quality carry over into a polymer striker fired gun?

    So many choices, so little money, even if the prices quoted are in $CAD at a 30 or 35% discount to the $USD.

    I’m also looking for a night-table with a built in hand gun safe with a combination or fingerprint lock. Anyone ever seen such a thing?

    1. I bought a P10C a year ago, not my first CZ, but it is my first plastic one, plus first striker fired gun. The gun has a terrible trigger slap–not the trigger guard issue, but a genuine trigger slap so painful I can’t run a box of ammo at a time through the gun. I returned it to CZ under warranty, they replaced the plastic trigger dingus with a metal one, but it still stings the crap outta my finger. I’m a longtime CZ fanboi, disappointment hardly describes how I feel.

      As for the shelves being picked bare, I’ve thought about putting a few range toys on consignment, a Daniel Defense M4V7 and Arsenal SLR 106 FR among them. I don’t need the money, but hey.

  5. Maybe this is a regional thing? In my CO city, guns still seem to be plentiful, although ammo supply is tight. But there is one mom and pop shop that has a fair stock of .223/5.56, 9mm, .38 Spl., .357 Mag., and .22LR, with prices that match their scarcity, and the shop’s only allowing one box of ammo per customer per day.

  6. It gives me a warm feeling to think that just about every gun sold to a first-time buyer comes with an “Oh, this is bullshit!” epiphany when they find out what those “commonsense” gun law actually say.

    1. Yeah, but not here in Cuidad Tejas. First-time buyer + FBI check + 4473 paperwork = approx. 30 minutes, and out they walk with their brand-new gun.

      Unfortunately, the gun might not be loaded as there’s almost no ammo in stock… I counted 5 boxes of .45ACP, none of 9mm Para, no .380 ACP, 2 boxes of .38, no .357 Mag. All ammo, regardless of caliber, is limited to one box per customer.

      If, however, you were buying something in 6.5mm Creed, you’d at least have a box to take out with you. (But the gun choices in 6.5 Creed are few, and only bolties.)

      If some of you out there are smiling smugly… well, so am I.

      1. Smiling smugly? Yup, that’s me. I took the day off work yesterday, and among other things, went to my local sporting club for some outdoor recoil therapy. After getting home, I decided to take inventory of my various ammo stocks & stores. Turns out I’ve actually got MORE than I thought I had (insert Happy Dance here).

        Lord G-d forbid that Gropey Joe and Kamala “curry red-dot” Harris get elected, I fully expect the current ammo shortage to persist for a LONG time. Reduced lead imports from China, and the current iteration of Remington’s bankruptcy certainly don’t help matters.

        Kim – at the range yesterday, I shot a buddy’s new CZ 527 MTR. MTR? Modern Target Rifle. Look it up. He wanted a .223-chambered rifle that was also “acceptable” to Highland Park / Michael Bloomberg minions. This CZ variant is in .223 and sports a 26″ heavy barrel, and some variety of a Vortex scope. We shot it at 100 yards … and I gotta tell ya … 100 yards is an insult to that rifle. Friend / compadre wants to travel out west, and use the platform for a Great Prairie Dog Eradication Adventure. With 45 or 50 grain varmint ammo, I’m certain it is well suited to the task.

      2. I love that shop. I was about to waddle up there and check out the ammo supply and look at a pistole for the wife. Saved me a trip.

        She was saying she needed a gun for herself.

        I told her the time for that was 6-7 months ago when I was stocking up as she badgered me about spending.

  7. Kim, I ordered a CZ 75B (largely based on your recommendation) back in mid-March. Still waiting.

  8. I’m looking forward to when the riots end, as they always do. A lot of Biden voters who bought guns are going to look at themselves and realize that they’re not “gun people” and the used gun inventory will explode. Meanwhile, I’ll make do with what I have. Or, rather, what I had, before the tragic boating accident.

    1. DavidD,
      Coog plan. I hope the used market comes back but I’m mostly interested in older S&W handguns.


  9. During the COVID19 nonsense the local Cabelas had no pistol ammunition except something like 25acp and either 41 mag or 44 special. During the riots, at least one Walmart pulled all their ammunition from the shelves and claimed it was a decision made by a regional manager or higher. It was BS. They still have some longarm ammunition.

    Lately, no one has 9mm or 5.56. several other rifle calibers, 6.5 creedmore, 308, 30-06, 7.62×51 etc can be found.

    This is behind the Blue Curtain.

    I think Kipling said something about you can’t have too many books, red wine or ammo. I agree except you can have too much of each when you move


  10. I know this shop. Been there recently and looked a bit better than that. 556 was one box a week per customer. Glad I stocked up previously.

  11. Kim — My shop is a Stihl dealer. We cannot restock saws fast enough; our regional rep is having the same problem. We do a very good business selling to and servicing landscapers, cities/counties around here and such, and the odd homeowner but I’ve sold more commercial grade saws and equipment to ‘civilians’ in the last three months than I have in the last 5 years. A correlation between ammo and other gear one would need to be self-sufficient? Who could have guessed?

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