The Great Magazine Drought of 2013!


Midnight Oil
January 23, 2013, 12:47 AM
Although there may not be a solid answer, I had quick question for the community.
We seem to be suffering from a severe magazine drought (among other things...), especially when talking about AKs/ARs. I was wondering, are the manufacturers just not committing to making massive quantities due to the possible magazine capacity restrictions? Or is the demand so high, even though they are mass producing new magazines, all of the products are going towards filling back orders? :confused:

Apologies if this has already been covered, but my search didn't turn up anything...

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January 23, 2013, 12:48 AM
There is a magazine drought?

January 23, 2013, 12:56 AM
From the manufacturers perspective this is simply a capacity issue. They only have enough manufacturing capacity to produce "X" number of product per month.

If demand for the product hits a higher pace than they can produce then there will be delays. It's that simple.

There is always the possibility of adding more production capacity but those aren't cheap needs to be certain that any demand you are gearing up to satisfy will be long term...and not a short term "panic".

If I was a manufacturer of magazines there is no way I'd commit to building a multi-million dollar plant to build more mags because the way I see it...this is a short lived panic and by the time I get the new plant built the panic demand will be over.

That would leave me with huge debt and idle capacity...a great recipe for going bankrupt.

I guess the short story is don't blame the manufacturer...blame your fellow gun owners and politicians...they are the ones causing the panic that has reduced the availability of your magazines.

Midnight Oil
January 23, 2013, 01:16 AM
im not expecting them to be building a new plant. just wondering if it's something more than just not being able to keep up with the sudden influx in demand.

January 23, 2013, 01:21 AM
Did you see the thread where it was mentioned that a *single* manufacturer of Pmags sold a million units in one day in December? When someone finally collates all the sales figures for hicap mags for December, I think we will all be floored by the stats. Basically, everything made last year is long gone.

Just guessing.

January 23, 2013, 01:23 AM
As has been mentioned on here before. The manufacturers have man variables that have to be considered to increase production. (availability of materials, adding new shifts, ect)

I havent heard or seen anything about increasing production. My guess is that most are keeping production at pre-panic rates and are waiting to see what, if any,gun control passes that will affect them. There is no use ramping up production if you cant sell the product.

January 23, 2013, 01:58 AM
This might not be a temporary drought. This might be that "climate change" they have been warning us about.

Midnight Oil
January 23, 2013, 02:24 AM
global :cuss: warning... we should have listened. :p

i have a feeling that they're keeping with the pre-panic production as well. although i don't see the value in the wait-and-see method IMHO. even if they were to pass legislation for a mag capacity limit, it would take time for those measures to kick in, meanwhile, people would be buying up every mag they can before they are officially banned and off the market. and if the mag cap limit didn't pass, there seems to be high enough demand that they wouldn't really have too much trouble selling the extra mags that were created.

January 23, 2013, 02:26 AM
Manufacturers may not want to be caught with more than they can sell if nothing comes of the proposed ban.

January 23, 2013, 02:28 AM
I suppose that folks can only have their workforces do double shifts for so long. I know that I probably had enough magazines before the rush, but I must admit that I too purchased a few extra in case of a ban.

January 23, 2013, 02:39 AM
I was looking for some Hi Power mags last night and happened to notice that midway extended their "expected date" on backordered mags (PMAG) to the end of March from the 1st week of February.

January 23, 2013, 03:32 AM
There are still plenty of magazines available if you want to pay for them. There's only a "shortage" of inexpensive magazines. There were a bunch at the gun show this weekend. My LGS has a half-dozen used GI mags on the consignment shelf right now.

Myself? I simply don't want to pay the kind of prices they're asking. So I just ordered a few from an on line vendor knowing it will be a while before I get them, but they were fairly cheap.

evan price
January 23, 2013, 04:28 AM
Brownell's said they sold, in two weeks, enough magazines that would have filled their orders for 3.5 years normally.

Figure pretty much all of the retailers did the same.
That's why there are not many for sale at stores anymore.

It takes time to make more, get them shipped, and get the orders filled. All the backorders that we can't see make it that much longer before they show in stock at the retail level again.

ATK (Federal, Speer, CCI, Blazer) said they are running 3 shifts 24-7 on the ammo lines and they have orders committing them until 2015.

Think that ammo is going to fill up in the pipeline any sooner?

January 23, 2013, 05:35 AM
Being a skilled fabricator I just designed and stamped my own, latest project is to copy the Surefire 100 round mag.

All I have to do is to stamp "Made in Alaska" on them and keep them in state and its all legal.

January 23, 2013, 01:35 PM
Does making mags for sale require any kind of FFL or similar (outside the pure in state exceptions)? I would assume making for personal use falls under the same exception as machining your own reciever.

I fully support states passing the various gun freedom acts, but until a court ruling comes along, it is a safe assumption that federal laws will take precedence. Of course, I have no issue with nonviolent civil disobedience of said laws (and jury nullification of same), but I think it is best to be fully aware of potential consequences and make an informed decision.

January 23, 2013, 01:59 PM
Brownells reported back in December that they sold 3 years worth of normal magazine sales in a matter of days.

Its not that the companies aren't doing their best to make these things - its just that they're being bought faster than they can make them.

Also know that in terms of online sales, anywhere that does backorders is booked up. They almost never show up in stock because as soon as a new shipment arrives they all get applied to existing backorders.

I personally had a backorder ship from DSG Arms on Monday, and a coworker of mine who had ordered at almost the same time as me didn't have his order ship. We checked the two order times and his order was placed a little more than 30 minutes after mine. Apparently they ran out between filling my order and getting to his.

January 23, 2013, 02:16 PM
Manufacturers may not want to be caught with more than they can sell if nothing comes of the proposed ban.

I'm going out on a limb here to say something obvious... and its mostly about pmags but probably applicable to other manufacturers in their own way...

THEY ARE PLASTIC, with a few metal pieces. I suspect that PMAG makes these things for a buck or two... at most. They are not going to be out huge $$$ if a ban comes down compared to the amount they will be up IF they can get any substantial product out the door BEFORE any kind of ban happens. And if a ban does not happen, they have a bumper crop type of year. Most people will start canceling orders of high priced magazines if a ban no longer appears likely, but most (like me) will take shipment of the 10 or so mags I have on backorder at normal prices because I need them for my new rifle (bought in November before the panic, but didn't buy but three magazines at that time!). And if a ban does not happen... they can have a sale.

In short, I honestly don't think manufacturers are worried about too much stock. This is a several-times in a lifetime opportunity. I'd say "once in a lifetime", but this has already happened several times in my lifetime! They can make a tidy profit right now EVEN IF they get stuck with a huge volume of magazines. I suspect that they simply don't have the capacity, and they are not about to create more capacity at this time (except through actions like around-the-clock production) due to risk of a ban.

January 23, 2013, 02:56 PM
One other important thing to remember: even after such a ban might take place, those bans never apply to military and/or law enforcement. With both making heavy use of AR15's, M4's, and M16's, regardless of what bans go through for civilians, they'll still be able to sell them to those agencies.

January 23, 2013, 04:20 PM
A lot of manufacturers are paying workers overtime and hiring temps to produce at maximum capacity of existing facilities. This makes sense, because temps go back to the employment agency when they're no longer needed, and regular employees just go back to normal hours.

It does not make sense to invest big money to increase the facilities for a short term increase in product demand.

January 23, 2013, 05:06 PM
Until a few weeks ago there was no "drought." What you are seeing now is the result of millions of panic purchases, and the manufacturers simply haven't had enough time to catch up.

Midnight Oil
January 23, 2013, 05:31 PM
it'd be interesting to see the manufacturing process of one of these mags from raw material to store shelves.

Also, don't misunderstand my post. It's not a complaint or whining post (mr. rogers)... it's merely one of curiosity.

January 23, 2013, 06:08 PM
I have 50 AR mags I'll start selling when they hit $100 a pop! :D

January 23, 2013, 06:19 PM
Ran across a listing yesterday for a single PMAG painted in digital camo, with an asking price of $100 firm. I really hope someone doesn't drop that kind of cash on a single magazine, but if they do, more power to them.

January 23, 2013, 07:47 PM
The material will be cheap but the developement and the mold and injection molding equipment is not.

Doesn't change my reasoning at all. It still means that magazines can be produced for very little money, and that if manufacturers can get out a decent number of orders then they will not be hurting financially even if they get stuck with a sizeable number of magazines that they can no longer ship. I'm hoping that they get to ship ALL of their production and that they have a great year.

January 24, 2013, 03:01 PM
I have a backorder for a 10 pack of Pmags from Brownells. Normal price. I've had it since late December.

I wonder how long it will take.

January 24, 2013, 03:07 PM
I placed a 10 pack order for PMAGS in late Dec as well... Brownells shipped mine yesterday. I would say you are getting close.

January 24, 2013, 03:18 PM
Yesterday I called Brownells about the 10 pack order I placed in mid December,She said they just started filling orders placed between the 14th through 31st. She said no worries, they will be shipped.

January 24, 2013, 03:23 PM
That's good news.

I don't even own an AR yet, but at least I can get the mags. I'm a late bloomer. My two closest gun stores can't even order mid-to-high end AR15's right now. Manufacturers are apparently so backlogged, they aren't taking new orders. :(

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