Thursday, June 18, 2009

Supply and Demand

I read this post on the Down Range blog by Chris Hodgdon of Hodgdon Powder Company. As most people who's tinfoil hats aren't on too tight, the reason for the shortage is simply high demand. Some folks seem to think it's unusual that powder would be in short supply, but all I can do when I hear that is to throw down my best Spock Eye Brow Move. Why wouldn't gun powder be unavailable when primers, brass and bullets are in the same category? Reloading equipment is hard to find too, for exactly the same reason. There's simply more demand than we've seen in...well...ever. The amount of buying going on is unprecedented, even in comparison to the Clinton years of the original AWB.

Back before the current ownership of my employer took over, Lightfighter Tactical had to deal with these issues. Basically, at the height of the gear buying frenzy in the early years of the GWOT, nylon stuff was in the same boat that ammo and components are now. I can't count the number of times somebody with no background at all in economics suggested that "well, just order some extras" to solve the availability problem. Here's the thing: if one is backordered, what good does it do to order two or three? They're all back ordered; they're not gonna get here till they get here. Same thing with ammo. It just isn't on the shelf to be ordered.

What we're going to see, though, is a slow down in purchasing, which has already started. There's also going to be a swelling of stuff on the secondary market as those that got in on the Hysterical Gun Buying Frenzy of 2008/2009 find that they can't cover the AmEx bill as it comes due. Guns and ammo will be there, and I'm sure accessories from the high end to the low end will be trickling into that market as well.

I think we're going to see an increase in the number of consumers in the primary market, though. Perhaps a better way to put it would be to say that not all the members of that market will leave it as they realize that the predictions of doom and gloom aren't coming true...until after the mid term elections. A lot of people that didn't intend to become shooters, who just wanted a gun for the home, or just because they feared that the government was going to stomp their rights and tell them they couldn't have something (have no illusions; that's where this administration is moving towards) are going to become avid shooters. They're going to find out what we know: shooting is fun, and training to become as proficient as you can is necessary.

That doesn't mean that the ammo shortage makes any of that easier, but Mr. Hodgdon is right: the supply will eventually meet demand. Markets work, as long as they don't get meddled with. It sucks now, but ammo will be available sooner or later. I'd prefer sooner, as I shoot just about every weekend.

I think we're going to find some friends where we didn't necessarily have them before. The unprecedented spending and hardcore liberalism of the current administration are forcing people to be concerned. While they don't shoot or want to own a gun, they realize that we stand together to protect ALL our rights, or we will hang separately.

2 comments:

Fire said...

It amazes me that many people have no clue how the market works. Whether their tinfoil hats are too tight or not, they really need a lesson in economics.

DirtCrashr said...

I just wish I could get some more CCI BR4 small rifle primers, but I understand that the Market is something vastly complicated that primitive tinfoil buyers might not be able to distinguish from Magick.