Don’t Panic! (But Stay Vigilant and Plan Ahead)

It’s hard to believe that it’s been just shy of 10 years since the sunset of the “Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994” and we are in the Golden Age of the shooting sports. Nevermind that the onerous 10 year ban on arbitrarily specified rifles and magazines did nothing to make Americans more safe, we still find ourselves in a public relations war with those who would reinstate a similar law. Just last year, the industry was scrambling to meet demand as customers were paying $5000 for a Colt 6920 or $1800 for a case of .223 Remingtom ammunition, under fear of looming, sweeping bans on rifles and handguns.

It is now a year later, and it seems that we have mostly recovered from that mess. Rifles are available as is most ammunition, and life is good, or at least it is getting there. We still have more viable choices for good AR/M4 magazines than ever, including the venerable GI magazine, MagPul PMAG, TangoDown ARC, and others. The latest in my pile is the new HK polymer magazine for the MR556/HK416. It seems to work but long term testing will have to bear that one out.

The point of all this is twofold. Now that gun control appears to be a politically unpopular topic (for the time being), and prices and availability of guns, ammunition and accessories are reasonable, please plan ahead. The industry operates at probably 90% of its capacity at any given moment and can’t meet surges in demand. Buy what you need and for consumables like magazines and ammunition, stock up responsibly. That way you will be prepared for the next scare. Secondly, join the NRA if you haven’t already. While I don’t always agree with their political strategies, they are and have been the most effective single organization to protect the rights of Americans. If you’re already a member, donate. If you spent $100 on ammunition, donate five or ten dollars. It won’t kill you, and is an investment in the future. Politicians and rich folk (like Mr. Bloomberg) have deep pockets and free publicity by mainstream media, so the NRA needs all the help we can give them.

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About Tim Lau

Tim Lau has over a decade of experience as an end user, armorer and instructor. He has worked for several well known firearms training organizations, and holds multiple firearms instructor certifications. He owns and operates 10-8 Consulting, LLC, which provides industry consulting services as well as marksmanship and specialized firearms training to qualified civilian, law enforcement and military personnel.

9 thoughts on “Don’t Panic! (But Stay Vigilant and Plan Ahead)

  1. Thanks a lot Tim. Go ahead and let the secret out. I learned after the very first ban in California how to not be on the panic side of these things. “Investing” in modern firearms is no different than investing in anything else. Stocks, precious metals, modern semi-automatic firearms and their magazines, or real estate…..all the same. All will have highs and lows depending on the market, current legislation and trends. Like all of the above… low, sell high. I actually did very well in the last panic. If somebody wants to be trading me a Beretta 92 for an old C mag, who am I to complain. I dumped a lot of old magazines and a couple of guns. Things are pretty much back to normal. I just bought 12 magazines for one of my carry pistols for the same cost that I sold 3 for during the panic. So the lesson from Tim and others here at MSW, be a smart investor in your gear and equipment. During fat times, stock up so that you can do well in the lean times.

  2. I don’t think he was talking about selling your stuff for double or triple what you bought it for. Your part of the problem Darryl

    • Why would I be part of the problem. Because I don’t wait till I can’t get something to stock up, especially on critical things like magazines? Because I use the times of panic to sell off old stuff to provide the funds to build up my supplies during times off abundance? People wonder how I have so much stuff on a street cop salary….it’s by using my passion for firearms and training to fuel itself. I am not a “fair” person who thinks that people’s lack of preparation for lean times is my problem. I shot up a lot of my stockpiled ammo in the last year because I couldn’t find anyone to sell me AE147 9mm for the same case price I was buying it at two years ago (which isn’t “fair”, but it’s what happens). I have just started to replace the surplus. Again, this is about priorities and to not take it for granted that everything you will ever need is available.

  3. Don’t forget stripped lowers too. They can always be built later. Even if you never can afford or want to build them you can sell them during panics for other more pressing needs. Worst case if you have to turn them in you are not out a lot of coin. Of course whether you want to turn them in is an decision each person needs to make on their own. I’ll never tell anyone to commit a crime.

  4. I always buy excess mags for AR’s and Glocks and do well during scared times of potential legislation but I make sure I have plenty for myself. I usually have several magazines on hand before I actually buy that new gun as not to be cut short if a run is made due to legislation and I am where I cant order or buy in store front. Great article!

  5. Don’t be a gouger. I keep a list of every company that gouged and took advantage of us shooters last time and I will never buy from them again.

  6. As Tim stated, “most” ammunitions are around for mostly reasonable prices. Still few bucks more then Pre 12/2012 panic price.
    I still can’t find .22LR anywhere tho…

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