This afternoon I went to the 3 day gun show (Friday 3-8 and all day Sat, Sun) which began on Friday at 3PM. Being retired it was easy for me to go but clearly a very large number of people left work early to get ahead of the Saturday morning crowds.
So we all got the Friday afternoon crowd instead!
Parking in a disabled slot, a gentleman in security noted that I was a 100 percent disabled Veteran and allowed me to walk straight in rather than wait in either of the two lines which went at least 500 meters in either direction. The line was far bigger than I've ever seen. It was astonishing!
Once in the door the line went straight to the back where the ammo dealers were. The dealers were advising people to not even shop for themselves but to simply line up for the cash register and tell their staff what ammo they wanted and it would be handed to them as they waited for their turn to pay. No mention of brands, just calibers and quantities.
It reminded e of the old Soviet Union and people lining up to buy shoes. "I'll take a case of .223, five boxes of .45 ACP and three boxes of 9mm and a box of .38 Special if you have it. They would move along the line and await their ration and turn to pay.
Everyone bitched about the prices and the profiteering but few left the line. They just adjusted what they were willing to buy or what they were willing to spend to match the new reality.
Shooter grade ammo in .223 and.308 was a buck a round! AK ammo was only slightly less. And that was the price by the case! A 1,000 round case was $1,000. No negotiation. No discount.
I bought two ammo cans of Lake City GI issue M2 ball .30-06 in en bloc clips to feed my M1 Garand rifles for a comparative bargain price as most people were in a feeding frenzy for the modern stuff. Luckily I had stocked up before the election so I just shook my head and figured I'd wait for the furor to die down in a year or so.
Magpul PMAGs were averaging $50 to $60 each. As low as $45 if you bought in quantity or were a regular customer of the dealer. [JWR Adds: These magazines were selling for as little as $11 wholesale and $16 retail, just before the frenzy.]
Genuine AK mags were $60 bucks each. Perhaps somebody had them at a better price but I never saw them except for the cheap plastic junk.
Cruddy old metric FN FAL mags that had sold for $4 each were $20 each.
I brought along a marginal quality Vulcan flat top AR and it was quickly snatched up for $1,600 within minutes of my walking in the door. Most people were asking $2,000 for ARs but mine was an off-brand and a plain Jane version which I didn't really like. Besides, I have a half dozen better ones at home so I was happy to unload it for a hefty profit.
Oh, just so you understand, people were BUYING. Why?
Because they knew that on Saturday most dealers would be sold out and there would be nothing at any price. It reminded me of the panic before a blizzard hits when people strip the stores.
Most buyers said they believed there would be a ban and or confiscation. Some said they were expecting an economic and society collapse. A few said they believed we were about to have all of the above and it would cause a civil war between the Constitutionalists and the Federalists.
Best Regards, - Gunwriter
JWR Replies: Reader K.A.F. recently sent me the link to article that dovetails with comments, nicely: SITREP.