Implications of Panic Buying


XD Fan
December 29, 2012, 10:22 PM
I wonder who is buying all these ARs. I am sure a significant portion of these purchases are a bunch of us (gun enthusiasts) buying in case of a ban, but I am hoping that no small portion of the recent spate of purchases are accounted for by people new to the AR world, or even better, new to gun ownership.

If a lot of this purchasing consists of newbs, we are strengthening ourselves for the coming fight. If it is just us buying more guns (an urge I certainly share), I am afraid it just reinforces the negative image neutrals and antis might have.

Anyone seen any reliable statistics about how many of these purchases are first time buyers?

Thoughts about whether this panic buying helps us or hurts us? Is is it just neutral?

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December 29, 2012, 10:47 PM
IMO it's a lot of first-timers who don't know any better.

I've actually got customers bringing in AR's and AK's to consign because they figure having half a dozen in the safe is enough, and the one in the back collecting dust can be let go if some fool will pay $1000 or more for it.

chris in va
December 29, 2012, 10:51 PM
I saw an elderly gentleman plunk down $1100 for a plain Jane A1 AR a few days ago. When asked if he wanted a flat top, he refused and insisted on a fixed carry handle.

I think many people are buying these to sell later at a premium.

December 29, 2012, 10:52 PM
My dad got his first AR for Xmas. It was a purchase he put off because he has other hobbies that he gets more enjoyment out of for his money. Actually, he doesn't even view firearms as a hobby like I do, more of a necessity, and a common trait in our family is thick skulls: tell us we can't do something then by god we're gonna do it. The thought of the possibility of not being able to get one made him go follow thru.

December 29, 2012, 10:56 PM
My observations indicate a lot of first time buyers.

First time gun buyers acquiring all kinds of guns, and gun owners buying their first AR type rifle.

My dad is one of them, although I managed to get him in before the panic. He got his first semi auto rifle, an AR, in June, and then added a Colt AR after the election, but before CT. I hear a lot of similar stories, esp the past couple of weeks

December 29, 2012, 11:01 PM
My half-dozen coworkers were all first-time buyers.

Three asked for advice (My advice was... buy what you like, but FAST).

Three told me what they bought after the fact. ("I think it was a Wyndham? Windham? Not sure, it was the last one left...").

So I think there are quite a few new buyers.

December 29, 2012, 11:01 PM
And this, Ladies and Gentlemen, is why I still believe that, more likely than not, there will NOT be a new ban.

Possible...but I think probably not.

XD Fan
December 29, 2012, 11:11 PM
Warp, that is my thinking too. Not that we can relax and to fight with everything we've got. I sense that more and more people were leaning our way. I hope the new interest reflect greater strength in our numbers.

December 29, 2012, 11:39 PM
My impression is that there are a large number of folks that are buying purely *because* this is the thing that they *think* they won't be able to buy next year. There is nothing like forbidden fruit to make something really really appealing.

I know two fence sitters on ARs that essentially rushed out and bought the first thing they encountered. These are two fence sitters that were probably best advised to stay on the fence. As in, I don't think they have money for it, and I think they've got more immediate concerns. Frankly, both of their wives are likely to be doing some serious kicking right now because of these purchases.

My predication is that at least these two ARs will be the objects of serious buyers remorse and will be on the second hand market in a few months.

Market panics draw in a good number of low information buyers that basically jump in because everyone else is. I lived in the Bay Area during the dot com years, and this stuff is small potatoes, but the same psychology is at work.

On the bright side, I'm looking at armslist for my area and this recent panic seems to be shaking loose some interesting safe queens that I really do hope get sold and end up back on the market in a few months. I'm not buying at $4k but some of these at $2k? Yes sir.

December 29, 2012, 11:45 PM
I'm a little embarrassed to say I bought one for the first time right after the shooting. I got in before they were all flying off the shelves and the price shot up, but only by mere days. It was hardly my first gun purchase but was my first AR. Never really wanted one before, just seemed like the right time just in case. I am starting to like it, but I can't find any .223 to shoot with it.

December 30, 2012, 12:08 AM
I have allready seen a few where they bought just to scalp them this weekend at a gun show. One still had the $799 sticker, he was asking $2k. One guy had AR mags at a table for $75. Told him I didnt want any but asked what he paid. He wasn't shy about paying $15 last weekend and cleaning the store out then rented the table just to profit. No better than ticket scalpers who buy huge lots and sell out an event just to drive prices up for thier pockets.

December 30, 2012, 12:20 AM
I purchased an upper only days before the shooting with the intention of customizing my own lower and furniture for it. Lowers are still available here and there on the internet but my local shop is heavily gouging (for lack of a better term... I'm a die-hard capitalist). My concern if I purchase a lower is being able to stock up on affordable mags and ammo. There is simply no way I can afford or justify over $50 for pmags and the ammo as everyone is aware is scarce and expensive. I still have a bunch of leftover 7.62x39 from when I owned an AK. I'm close to just selling the upper (likely at a profit given current prices) and picking up an SKS. That way at least I'll have something that shoots and have ammo for and won't be stuck with half a rifle with no ammo if something does happen.

Ignition Override
December 30, 2012, 12:22 AM
A lot of those guys will be forced by their wives and credit card debts (plus Obamacare's hidden, growing costs) to sell in the next few months. Those of you who are on good terms should be the first on their 'WTS' list. If they sell much later, they risk losing a chunk of money.

They will feel like they are in a typically awkward episode of "Everybody Loves Raymond", and a cold week.
My "gun guru" told me that over a year ago, his friend in Texas was forced to sell an AR-10 when his wife discovered the secret.

December 30, 2012, 12:35 AM
Good to be single!

December 30, 2012, 01:01 AM
My "gun guru" told me that over a year ago, his friend in Texas was forced to sell an AR-10 when his wife discovered the secret.

I'm thinking I'd have gotten rid of the wife, myself. Legally, not literally.

December 30, 2012, 01:21 AM
Most of the panic buyers at the LGS were first time, at least to the AR world, buyers. They would walk up and say what ar 15s do you have and they were all right in front of them. A few guys were "investing" in more but those were far fewer then the newbies. Sold 5 guns in 30 mins all consigned and all 40% higher than the week before. Last time I visited they had 2 baseline used AR's for 2k. They will sell but not flying off the shelf.

December 30, 2012, 03:00 AM
Lots and lots of first timers from what I've seen. Many of them know little of the AR now, even less before the MSM limelight 2 weeks ago. As was said above, forbidden fruit.

December 30, 2012, 03:07 AM
Good to be single!
Good to be old. I fear for my young grandchildren.

December 30, 2012, 08:02 AM
Of the ones I know of:

I already had an AR15 and bought a large frame .308. I had wanted one anyways and my wife urged me to move the purchase up by 2 months.

Two others were firearms owners, but no black rifles.

12 were new gun owners or never bought a gun but rather had some from family pass down.

December 30, 2012, 08:36 AM
i have wanted an AR-10 type rifle for several years. and not even so much for the "tacticool" image or way of thinking. i shoot a lot. and from everything i have read, most of the semi auto hunting rifles will not hold up for thousands and thousands of rounds. as far as who is buying all of these right now, i can not say for sure. but i think a year after we get another pro gun president, there will be a lot of barely used rifles on the market, for a very good price. that is of course, as long as the anti-gun crazies do not get their way and get them banned. or if we do not have to start civil war 2 in order to take our country back from the criminals who play like they are running our country right now.

December 30, 2012, 08:48 AM
I will admit I had a finished lower that I'd put off buying an upper for....until lately.

December 30, 2012, 09:51 AM
Either first time buyers, people who was on the fence for one reason or another and folks who grab them up to try to make a buck after they buy it.

December 30, 2012, 10:04 AM
I've noticed alot of 1st time buyers around here.

December 30, 2012, 10:08 AM
I don't see a down side to all this gun buying. There has really been a increased movement of guns for the last 4+ yrs and BHO can take responsibility for much of it.
I doubt there will be a wholesale sell off in a couple months either, what ever happens in DC the fact remains that America at its heart loves freedom and few things say that more than our unique 2A.
A lot of smug folks out there looking down their noses at some of the late commers but to me the ones that need to be called out are those who said this admin and the elected leftists had no desires to make war on our freedoms. Fact is as the Mayor of the murder capital of the US ounce said "never let a crisis go to waste" and they haven't.

Silent Bob
December 30, 2012, 10:08 AM
I was at a pawn/gun shop the other day and a customer was there trying to get top-dollar for his post-ban (from the first AWB) Bushmaster AR.

December 30, 2012, 10:28 AM
Helps the gun sellers, thats for sure.

I dunno, to me, it helped solidify a point I was making to my coworkers when the buying frenzy started. It's too late to do anything about keeping guns out of peoples hands.
Those who want them, already got them, and those who dont, are now trampling over each other to get one.
And now, with gun and ammo sales through the roof, can you imagine how much money would be lost if gun and ammo manufacturers would be restricted on sales especially since they were already enjoying steady sales before this craziness started?

I think if anything, it shows that a gun ban is really pointless unless you take EVERYBODY's guns away. And no government or politician wants to be part of that.

December 30, 2012, 10:59 AM
I disagree with the predictions of buyers remorse and used AR's flocking for sale in a few months.

Gun sales are a measure of citizens trust in government and confidence in the economy. If the Republicans cave in on taxes a depression in the next two years is all but unavoidable. Tangable items such as guns will be necessary in the resulting social upheaval.

December 30, 2012, 11:05 AM
Another observation last night. Was at a local pawn shop, browsing the gun cases and in walk some dude with a Yugo SKS. He told the pawn dude he wanted $600 for it and went on to say they were selling for $800 on Gun Broker.

He did not get the his 6 bills and walked out. But really, $600 for a Yugo SKS?

we are not amused
December 30, 2012, 12:32 PM
I think a lot of them are first time buyers.

I know I would be, but for the prices and lack of hardware.

Back in Oct., I decided I needed to get an AR-15 type rifle, (actually I was looking more for an AR-10). I dilly dallied around, Obama got re-elected and prices went up for a while, and put off the buy, I then had some unexpected expenses and decided that between Christmas and New Years I would buy and Ar-10 and maybe even splurge and get an AR-15 to go with my Ruger mini-14 after all.
I suppose my timing could have been worse, but it is hard to see how.

I still intend to get both guns, but will wait a while to see if the frenzy dies down first.

I was at the gun show in Wichita yesterday, hardly a scrap of .223/5.56 ammo to be found, and then only a a high premium. A couple of dealers had AR-15's for sale, but only at a very high premium. High enough that while people were looking, they weren't buying, still that was early, maybe by the end of the day.... I left after about 3 hours although I did see a gun I want. A Norwegian Krag-Jorgensen labeled as a Danish gun.

Highland Ranger
December 30, 2012, 04:58 PM
Lot of stories of people with shiny new FID cards here in NJ. These scares probably sell more guns than anything else.

I have a lot of folks asking me to take them shooting for the first time.

(Let's hope its just a scare.)

December 30, 2012, 07:27 PM
I know of four people at my work who bought an AR immediately after Conn. All four were of the traditional 'hunters', who suddenly saw the need to 'buy while we can'.

December 30, 2012, 08:06 PM
I think the panic eventually begins to subside. I'm sure manufacturers will ramp up production, and Obama has already stretched his timeline from immediately to "some time in 2013." The longer this plays out the less chance there is of anything passing. Not that we should get complacent, by any means.

December 30, 2012, 08:46 PM
If you look on the crazy prices paid on gunbroker,alot of the high bidders are new people who just registered with the site. It does bring alot more people who dont know what they are doing.i saw a couple at the range with an ar15, shooting it with no iron sights,nothing,just a total flat top.:rolleyes:Another guy next to me was suckered into a remington 1187 with a scope,he paid about 900 for it. they mounted this crappy scope & the crosshairs were off center, like an x.I had to tell him he should point the gun downrange when loading it, not laying the gun down on the table pointed sideways at me.:cuss: A range officer came in & told hom the same.These are the kind of brain surgeons that are buying up the guns.:barf:.....

December 30, 2012, 10:30 PM
I picked up a few more ARs just so grandkids can get one if they do ban. If they can strike while the emotions are still high we will lose what few dems that were progun and probably lose a few reps as well. At the very least I believe we will lose hi cap mags. A lot of progun politicians of course move with the tide. I hope I am wrong.

December 30, 2012, 10:40 PM
my wife gave me the go ahead to make a few purchases. i bought an AR about a year ago and enjoy shooting it every couple of months, but nothing too crazy. i did just pick up a Springfield XDm 5.25 in 9mm at a very reasonable price and just got a Remington 1187 camo'd out with the thumbhole grip for a reasonable price as well.

so far as i can see, ARs, AKs, and anything that is routinely in a movie is twice its usual price. other than that, I see a lot more handguns selling with 'high capacity' mags in response to the proposed ban. the thumbhole stock reference got me thinking too, but i don't think there's too much panic buying outside of the usual suspects.

just take a look at a store's inventory and if you've followed them closely, i'm willing to bet their entire inventory is getting smaller, but only the AK/AR stuff is priced in response to the panic.

interesting stuff.

December 30, 2012, 10:55 PM
Yeah, I think things are a bit crazy. I'm watching armslist local listings and if folks are getting what they are asking for, as they say around here, well, god bless 'em.

There is a very clear market psychology at work right now. People see crazy prices and they think - "If it is crazy now, then it will be insane tomorrow!". This is so ingrained in how people think that it is really hard to resist. The result is that people here, as in the stock market, do the opposite of what they should, they buy HIGH and sell LOW.

There is always uncertainty, but you can look at the landscape and at least make some, what I think, are reasonable guesses about the future. Full disclosure, I'm a lifelong staunch Democrat, but if it is well nigh impossible to get the GOP in the House to agree to raising taxes on income over $250k, then I don't see a huge opening for a grand 'assault weapons ban' that is being talked about.* I think there might be some folks that have thought about this, decided differently, and have still decided to rush out and stuff as much money in the pockets of sellers that they can. I for one, am just going to bide my time, ride things out.

*Sorry I don't mean to derail the discussion but I mean solely that both the tax issue and a ban on 'assault weapons' poll with quite high approval, although only the former really has a good amount of consistent support, the latter appears weaker in terms of support once you look at the crosstabs in the polls.

December 31, 2012, 03:13 AM
Don't really like the ar platform and don't shoot them very often or at all, prefer .22s and shotguns. That being said, from the last ammo shortage, I saw the writing on the wall and bought a few black rifles to hold. I'm not in front of the curve very often, but I was this time. Never thought I'd see panic buying like this. I don't expect a AWB, but just the talk of one will keep the market price high.

December 31, 2012, 07:40 AM
The December NICS numbers should be out in a couple of days. I would guess the December total will be 2 or 3 times larger than the previous record month.

Politicians have a lot of respect for the NRA's 4 million members. And I think politicians would realize the implication of several million voters dropping +/-$1,000 each on guns in a single month.

December 31, 2012, 07:47 AM
My liberal yet anti- gun control wife asked me "Did you panic buy anything?"

I told her "I got one stripped lower."

Her response: "Cool."

Did I mention she LOVES my 16" HBAR A1?

Double Naught Spy
December 31, 2012, 08:00 AM
IMO it's a lot of first-timers who don't know any better.

Based on what I am reading on gun forums, this isn't the case. Yes, there are first-timers, but there are also a lot of old timers who are wanting to get one more. The difference is that a lot of them were purchased because Obama got re-elected, first, the CT happened and the second and larger panic started.

I disagree with the predictions of buyers remorse and used AR's flocking for sale in a few months.

There was a good bit of buyer's remorse after Obama was first elected. I don't see where paying 20-100% over msrp will not cause remorse when the prices go back down.

Gun sales are a measure of citizens trust in government and confidence in the economy. If the Republicans cave in on taxes a depression in the next two years is all but unavoidable. Tangable items such as guns will be necessary in the resulting social upheaval.

Except for when they are reflective of panic buying because of a fear they will be banned. This panic isn't about the fiscal cliff.

And I think politicians would realize the implication of several million voters dropping +/-$1,000 each on guns in a single month.

What is the implication? What was it back in 1994 and 2008/9?

December 31, 2012, 08:10 AM
I've seen mostly new buyers. I have several Ar's but jumped on a decent AK. It was probably $100 more than 2 weeks ago, but I consider it insurance. After all this administration jammed through the biggest bungling health care bill, why should I not think they can jam an awb through again?

How I wish I would have been able to buy a full auto M16 years ago before the ban.

December 31, 2012, 08:22 AM
I don't own a AR and most likely never will. I see too many people trying to get them to run right. I'll just stick with the AK's since they are fool proof.

December 31, 2012, 08:37 AM
FWIW, I went to the D.C. gun show in Chantilly. Was there on the first day an hour before opening. The line of TICKET holders waiting for the doors to open not only wrapped around the building, but then did the Disney zig zag back and forth 3 times.

I think a new record for attendance was set. While in line, I chatted with the folks around me and found that quite a few were first time buyers, wanting to get something before the Jack booted Feinstien police make their rounds to confiscate weapons.


December 31, 2012, 08:57 AM
Double Naught,

Given the lack of understanding of many posters of how laws are enacted and the limits on the real power of the President you can certainly make a strong case. But I don’t how you can ignore the worst recession since the 1930’s, the hugh job losses, lack of good paying full time jobs, a massive new Federal health care program and the lack of support of Conservative principles by the Republican party as major reasons also. Maybe this is just a time bomb waiting on a spark?

December 31, 2012, 04:09 PM
What is the implication? What was it back in 1994 and 2008/9?

Calls, letters and emails to members of Congress reflect voter opinions. Organizations like the NRA -and their membership size- reflect voter opinions. And voters opinions are particularly powerful when they speak with their wallets, as the December NICS numbers will probably show a record number of gun sales. Talk may be cheap, but ARs are not and any smart politician will recognize the difference that people buying guns now have strong feelings about the issue of gun control.

NICS did not exist in 1994 and there were no other sources of immediately available hard data to reflect the reaction of gun owners ... until voters went to the polls.

There was no immediate threat of legislation in 2008/9. Nevertheless, a 30% increase in NICS checks in the month of the 2008 election may have sent a message; Obama certainly avoided gun control during his first term.

December 31, 2012, 04:21 PM
I don't own a AR and most likely never will. I see too many people trying to get them to run right. I'll just stick with the AK's since they are fool proof.

Your loss.

December 31, 2012, 04:48 PM
I'd been saving up for a SCAR 17 for a bit....but with the tragic events that have transpired over the past few months, the prices jumped to over $4000 and mags going for upward of $150 a piece. It's hard to justify spending that much for a single 16" rifle.

I ended up going with a Noveske 300blk upper + Noveske genII lower + vltor emod + geissele sd3g. I was fortunate enough to get most of the parts from Midway for standard retail prices. (I assumed that the most expensive retail parts would be the last parts to sell out) The lower I bought on gunbroker, and definitely overpaid by a couple hundred dollars; but, I figured that it would be offset my the money I save building the AR myself.

I don't blame any newbies for panicking.....IMHO, the more 'pro small-government' people that are armed the better.

December 31, 2012, 05:00 PM
I'd like to see stats on new buyers v. accumulators. New buyers are good for us, and the country. I'd read that many of the NICS statistics didn't new buyers as much as people that are stockpiling guns. IMHO, the more new buyers, especially paying $1,000+ for their guns, the less likely they are to tolerate a new ban, or a prohibition on selling your own guns.

I'm hoping we get tons of new owners, then tons of bargain guns on the market next year.

December 31, 2012, 05:04 PM
I wonder if after the ban is voted on (and assuming it fails) if the current ramped-up production models will oversaturate the market and prices will drop until the supply is used up?

Jon Coppenbarger
December 31, 2012, 05:58 PM
Here is what I am seeing locally in colorado. The normal priced ar's started to disapear in the first two days then most everything doubled in price. At the show this weekend the decent priced ones where sold and at the end of the show there were alot of ar's left on the tables. saw alot of them walking around and most of them still had them when they left.
Hi cap mags like pmags went very fast the week before and were the ones everyone wanted. I was able to buy window ones for $25 by the end of the show.

The problem I see about now is you will really see the drop off in handguns being on the market as dealers stocks are being depleated with no way to get more. The only high caps I can really find from the big makers are a few high cap glocks and they are getting harder to find.

December 31, 2012, 10:40 PM
agreed. XDs are starting to climb in price and are fewer and farther between. i think semi-auto pistols are next on the chopping block for price hikes. if this AWB hype continues, the panic is going to spread beyond AR/AK styled firearms.

January 10, 2013, 07:21 PM
The people are speaking and voting with their dollars

January 10, 2013, 10:34 PM
But really, $600 for a Yugo SKS?

Went in the LGS the other day and there was a Norinco SKS on the wall with a $950 consignment tag on it. No, that wasn't a typo. She said a customer brought 3 in and this was the last one left. Wish I had bought a few cases of them back when they were $79......

January 10, 2013, 11:26 PM
I to am not an AR fan or an AK fan for that matter. I do own one of each but never shoot them. I have been lurking in the gun shops hoping to find some good deals on traded in revolvers and lever action rifles. So far no luck. The girl at the gun shop told me today that they are actually receiving far fewer trade in s than they usually see. It is a combination of first time gun buyers with nothing to trade in buying up the AR's and those that do wont trade anything in. This is a big shop. One that probably sold 200-300 guns a week in the DFW area. Today they had one used Taurus Milliniam in an otherwise empty used pistol case. Its rather disappointing. I was hoping to score.

January 11, 2013, 12:46 AM
saw kt today the gun shop was packed! you had to wait in line.
When I asked for some .38 Specials he had just ONE box left! $30 for a box of PMC's...
Panic buying is scarey!

January 11, 2013, 12:56 AM
Implications of Not Panic Buying

No "Assault" Rifle or Hi Cap Mags after the executive order.

January 11, 2013, 01:17 AM
Its not gouging for all people I have one source for BX25s at my cost 60 bucks. Sounds crazy but I sell them for 75 and have sold several and traded one for three new Pmags. My source does not advertise they even sell mags and most people think is just an optics site. I am not gouging anyone, if I can't make 15 bucks for all my time scowering the net to find a few mags then people who want them can start looking. I get people hitting my adds up with offers of 30 bucks. My feeling is you can wait and if nothing comes of this then fine in nine months you can buy a mag. But if it does it may be many years if ever you find a mag again. I said the same thing before the 94 gun mag ban. And bought one ruger 10/22 hi cap mag at Wal mart before the ban thinking they will not pass a ban. My 12 dollar mag went up to 100 if you could find them and never went down for 10 years. I had just sold off my 100 round drum for the AK about a year ago. LOL you can't win them all.

Ignition Override
January 11, 2013, 01:28 AM

As for the SKS, the Gunbroker selection has doubled from Four to Eight pages in the last few days.
Other than the profit motive, which is not likely to be much with so many choices, some of those guys must want some ready cash for when
the AR/Vz-58 price bubble deflates or pops.

It is a Selling mania, at least at GB...not a buying mania. Many of the list/bid prices are only $50-75 more than they were in March 2008, during my detailed search.

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