Sunday, January 20, 2013

Retail RECON

While a good portion of the rifle display is vacant, while half the handgun case is empty and the ammo aisles are barren we still see a lot of customer traffic. A lot. One veteran employee coworker told me earlier in the season that after Christmas the store would be empty and part-timer hours would be cut. Some may be laid off. Didn't happen. After five years of working there, Ed is surprised.

Ed claims four years ago, after his first election and due to his past history Obummer frightened the masses enough they began stocking up, causing a mad rush for ammo but not so much for firearms. After the ammo was gone (most popular was handgun ammo at the time I recall as a customer) the crowds subsided after a few weeks. Not this time. Customers flock in during certain hours interrupted by more moderate, what we now call rest periods. The worst times are early mornings, after 5pm and on weekends all day long. We are at the point where customers are buying anything in stock and will make compromises. Definitely a seller's market.

They come in and comment on the barren shelves. Without a prompt they comment on politics and politicians. Military veterans and law enforcement officers seem to be the most vocal in opposition to potential new laws and bans. Do not believe the liberal media propaganda machine.

Some customers will stand and stare, some just gape, slack-jawed at what little ammo selection is left, as if miraculously more will appear or the price will suddenly drop. If you are reading this and like to shoot and/or hunt you had better buy any ammo available. Prices have already gone up and will not, in my opinion, be going down again anytime soon.

Last Friday an older retired gent pushing a cart wearing a hearing aid needed assistance. He and his wife were standing in front of a free-standing display that holds buckshot and slugs. Because of his hearing loss the wife acted as translator and at times repeated what I said very loudly. He explained that his WInchester pump shotgun was nearly fifty years old and he has had it in a closet, unused for the past twenty. His question was, is it safe for him to use 00Buck in such an old weapon? My response at first was to ask what was the fixed barrel choke (knowing that an older shotgun such as his was without changeable screw-in choke tubes) set at? He claimed that it was a full choke since he used it for goose hunting. We never recommend anything regarding firearms unless the customer is very specific in a request or I can visually inspect the firearm for which they want to buy ammo, scope mounts, scope rings, etc..

Here is where you may have a few problems sir. First you should have your shotgun inspected by a professional gunsmith. Second, a constricted full choke creates a potentially dangerous situation when firing 00Buck no matter how new a shotgun may be. when firing, the muzzle may splinter or the barrel may bulge by being over pressured. At that point his wife jumped in and loudly said, "That would be ironic, here we're trying to protect ourselves and we could end up being the ones getting hurt." In this situation something I often do is suggest they get a second opinion. There are two others who work in my area with much greater knowledge in firearms than I so I will call for one on the 2-way when the need arises. Roger came over and confirmed my advice. We then set the gent and his wife up with a box of #4 lead shot. It's not 00Buck but #4 should get the job done. Larger lead shot for wing shooting such as #4 is always hard to find but we had a few boxes.

This couple is no different than many of the customers who have come in lately. They are either first time buyers or aged owners who put away their firearms long ago for whatever reason and now want to have them back in good working condition. These folks are taking what they believe could be their final chance to possess personal firearm protection legally.

Another residual effect of the threat by a rogue government to eventually ban or limit firearms for law-abiding citizens is reloading. Reloading is now so hot it's off the charts. The supply and selection of hardware, dies, parts, powder, bullets, brass and primers are as thin as the factory ammo shelves. In the past reloaders were for the most part enthusiasts who liked to shoot a lot and wanted to avoid the high cost of factory ammo. The others who chose to reload were hobbyists who appreciate precision shooting and marksmanship. They meticulously match grain weight of bullets to varying powder amounts in order to achieve a desired effect. We are now seeing a lot of first-time reloaders and the majority want to lower the price of their shooting. They are easy to spot because either their cart contains a new Lee, RCBS or Hornady L-N-L all-in-one kit or they inquire about how to get started. Not having been a reloader in the past I have spent a lot of time lately watching how-to videos. I believe nothing beats hands-on training. This weekend the store was hosting an NRA sanctioned all-day reloading class that cost about $150. During this class everyone gets a hands-on experience to load their own. Since I have dabbled in making my own sausage, bread, beer and fishing lures (among other interests), soon I will be cranking out my own ammo here at the country bunker. As soon as the components begin flowing again.

In a past report I encouraged everyone who values their Second Amendment right to join the NRA. A fair amount of gun owners out here have problems with them, some claiming they are more about the manufacturers than the individual's Constitutional right. Others complain about the residual junk mail they collect by joining. One complaint that stands out to me is that by being on the NRA membership list alone you are providing a useful tool to a tyrannical government. Fanatics? Conspiracy nuts?

I know of no hunters, shooters or enthusiasts who are in favor of any more government restrictions. Don't believe the liberal media propaganda machine and their skewed polls.

Look, the NRA is all we have. If every one of the Bill Of Rights had as dedicated an advocate as the NRA then politicians would not be wiping their a•ses with our Constitution.


Anonymous said...

Nice Carl. No true hunter needs a semi-automatic to hunt. Don't like the results of the skewed liberal polls? Just go ahead and deny it. Time to count Romney yard signs again...livin' in the bubble.

Carl from Chicago said...

Um... this is Gerry, not Carl.

I don't think anyone says you need a semi-automatic to hunt.

It is true that by threatening to take away guns and put on restrictions it is spurring an immense amount of gun buying, of all sorts.

Seems to be exactly the opposite of what the Dems want to see happen.