My favorite part of the gun show today

Wasn’t the $75 Glock 19 magazines.

It wasn’t the $2300 DoubleStar AR

It wasn’t the $2800 DPMS Sportical 223

It wasn’t the $750 SKS

It certainly wasn’t the $3300 M&P15

Nope. My favorite part of the gun show today was the $800 Nagant, next to the $600 10/22.

32 comments to My favorite part of the gun show today

  • Could be worse.

    Could have been an $800 Mosin…

  • OccupiedNashville

    Please tell me that it was at least a sniper replica. I didn’t make it to the show but there’s a dealer who is usually in the back corner who has a bunch of clean Mosins. Last month he was asking 150.00. I wonder what they were this month?

    • I don’t think it was a sniper replica. I don’t know my Mosins (clearly!) but I’ve been told that since it didn’t have a scope or scope mount, it likely wasn’t.

      • Um, okay. When you said $800 Nagant I thought you meant the Nagant Pistol, because only Leon Nagant designed it. Most folks call the Mosin-Nagant just a Mosin, because Sergei Mosin didn’t design anything else.

        So when you said $800 Nagant, did you mean rifle or did you mean pistol? Because while I can kinda-sorta maybe see $800 for a silenceable revolver if I squint my eyes, $800 for a bolt-action rifle from the 19th century is just insane.

  • Blake

    In that case, I will give someone a great deal on a Finnish Nagant.

  • Bob Barker

    The local shop has 3 sniper Mosins for $1200 (each). What makes it worse is that’s about all they have left in stock. I was there two weeks ago and the back room had a stack of WASRs, maybe 6 AKs that were more presentable and at least 50 ARs. Now all they have out of all that is a single AK.

  • […] People must be hearing all this talk about weapons of war and military weapons not belonging in the …. I would have said this is paranoid, but anything is possible now. Who knows? Now the 10/22 I can understand, because if some of these proposals play out, the 10/22 is doomed. Does anyone even make a 7 round magazine for it? […]

  • McThag

    If it’s a Finnish Kiv/27 or Kiv/28 then $800 is not out of the ball park for a nice one. They were going for $600-900 before the recent freak out.

    Unmodified M-1891’s have gone for a lot more than the bog-standard 91/30 as well; especially those captured by the Finns from the Soviets.

    Always ask when you find an unusually tagged milsurp!

    • Tam

      Unmodified M-1891′s have gone for a lot more than the bog-standard 91/30 as well; especially those captured by the Finns from the Soviets.

      Really?

      I don’t keep my finger on the pulse of Mosin pricing the way I do the S&W market, but I knew that my un-cut Finnish-capture Remington ’91 was worth [insert hand-waving where numbers should be] more than your plain-Jayne 91/30.

      What kind of premium are we talking, here? (It’s import-marked, more’s the pity, if that’s a factor…)

      • McThag

        Where a Izhevsk 91/30 was bringing about $130 a Soviet 91 was getting just above $200.

        Add a Finn “SA” mark and you add $75.

        Tula gets about a 15% boost.

        Remington and Westinghouse guns get $100-500 more depending on how mix-master they got and how well they’ve weathered.

        Import marks don’t seem to matter since nearly all of them have them. So few lack them that I’ve not seen enough for sale to gauge the value.

        At least this is how the bidding seems to run on Gunbroker, ignoring guns that don’t get any bids.

  • We all like to fuss about CTD, Dicks, and other turncoats but the price gouging by supposedly friendly gun show dealers (mostly small LGSs, accessory guys, and pawn shop/FFLs) puts them all to shame.

    Any dealer with the ‘nads to ask these prices should be hounded out of the community. The sleazeball whining while selling $1.25/rnd plinker 5.56 will never, ever get a dime from me no matter what deals he has 6 months from now when demand collapses due to stockpiling.

    And $600 for a 10/22 that the guy has probably had in stock for months?

    Just because they can doesn’t mean I won’t remember they did.

    • Felix

      So-called price gouging has real and vital functions.

      1. It sends a signal to suppliers that there is money to be made bringing in extra supplies, even if this involves extra expenses, such as overtime, buying additional tools, hiring extra staff.

      2. It deters hoarders from buying more than they need, ie, buying all the tp they can find when they only need a one or two week supply.

      3. It encourages hoarders to sell what they are hoarding.

      Anybody who thinks price gouging is evil doesn’t understand markets and may as well jump on “it’s not fair” bandwagon.

    • Sigivald

      Can he get more 10/22s, or is Ruger sold out/backordered?

      What Felix said. “Price gouging” is how demand signalling works.

      Instead of complaining and demanding effectively community-enforced price controls, why not sell your “extra” guns now and buy more at a profit when panic buying stops?

      Everyone wins!

    • HSR47

      “Any dealer with the ‘nads to ask these prices should be hounded out of the community.”

      Keep in mind that many firearms manufacturers use distributors, and that many of those distributors have raised prices due to demand.

      If your cost to restock goes up significantly, can you really be blamed for raising your prices so that you have the capital to restock your store?

      • Not a fan of that argument.

        Don’t get me wrong, I think that if they can get what they’re asking, more power to them, but the “I didn’t properly plan for product price increases” argument is kinda dumb.

        It suggests that when product prices go down that they’ll sell stock on hand for less, since it would cost less to restock. I don’t see that happen in any industry.

        Either that, or they’re being dishonest about the reason for the increase.

        Gas stations are like that. Oil price goes up (which takes weeks to filter down to the gas at the station) and gas prices jump immediately. Reason: “I have to be able to replace it at the higher price.”

        Oil price goes down, and gas prices stay where they are for weeks. Reason: “I paid a lot for the gas already in the storage tanks.”

        See? Both arguments make the retailer more money. You can’t have it both ways and not get called on it.

        • JustSomeGuy

          wizardpc:

          Saying the “I didn’t properly plan for product price increases” argument is kinda dumb misses the point that much of modern inventorying from raw materials to production to retailing is being run on a “just in time” model. Retailers and distributors are stocking supplies based on their expected sales patterns. They may stock based on a “high” average so that they have some additional product on hand, but very few will have stocked based on “unexpected crazy run on the market.” So unexpected sales runs will create some inventory contraction and will signal a higher demand with price adjustments.

          There is some lag time on both sides of the event: Initially, until the increased demand runs through the available supply shortages will not manifest and price signals will not increase. Afterwards, initial cost overruns do have to be recouped; items like rush shipping, increased production schedules, additional shipping platforms (trucks, drivers, etc.), raw material cost overruns, etc. Some of these are “hidden” costs not readily apparent to the consumer, but nevertheless essential costs to the business.

          That being said, is there some increased profit potential during expansion and contraction cycles? Absolutely. Do some business people capitalize on these opportunities more than others? Certainly. Does the market react to and adjust for those vendors that push the envelope to maximize their profit? Again, absolutely.

          Most business people are not evil, greedy thieves taking every opportunity to separate us from our cash, they’re just…business people.

          Thanks,
          JSG

        • Tam

          wizardpc,

          Gas stations are like that. Oil price goes up (which takes weeks to filter down to the gas at the station) and gas prices jump immediately. Reason: “I have to be able to replace it at the higher price.”

          Oil price goes down, and gas prices stay where they are for weeks. Reason: “I paid a lot for the gas already in the storage tanks.”

          Having worked in management for an outpost of the vast petroleum empire in a junior managerial capacity, it doesn’t necessarily work like that.

          It’s part of the reason that most gas stations have attached convenience stores these days; given cutthroat competition and tiny profit margins that can deflate even further should the guy across the street start a price war, they’re really happy if you come in and buy a soda and candy bar to make up for the ten cents they just lost selling you half a tank of regular…

  • JustSomeGuy

    Todd G

    While the wildly fluctuating prices are annoying (and frequently hilarious) I’m not fond of the “gouging” term, because this is a function of free-market economics. They’re not just prices, they’re price signals indicative of availability relative to demand. The current demand far outstrips the stock so the relative value in the moment rises to reflect this.

    We tend to see these prices and because our value for an item is set based more on the average, this is seen as outrageous, and gouging. But someone is paying these prices, market dynamics dictate this. So someone has placed a value on these objects that outstrips our own. Fair enough, let ‘em have at it. I’ll wait (relatively) secure in the belief that these prices signal a short term scarcity and not an absolute supply limit.

    Given the nature of these market forces and the corresponding pricing signals, do we really expect vendors to hold their prices to an artificial low? Do we want them to maintain a “normal” price, which will result in rapid depletion of their available stock, decreased capital to replace that stock (vs those who let the market dictate the price), lower profit margins in the face of potentially higher operating costs (gun show operating costs are not fixed, nor are wholesale supply costs) and zero marketability (We sell at “normal” prices! We don’t actually have any product, but if we did it’d be priced good!!) That’s not good business sense, and operating in this fashion that favored vendor will soon be a spectator and not a businessperson.

    The broader role of pricing is somewhat more obscure: Looking at ammunition, we know that manufacturers do not have large warehouses stocked with surplus ammunition waiting around to sell. They’re operating fairly close to daily production amount = daily retail amount. Not precisely, but fairly close. Given increased demand, they ought to produce more, yes? But producing more costs more, significantly more in the short term, and begins to produce shortages in the supply chain, because everybody is operating close to production = demand. As demand increases, and prices rise to signal this, the incentives to increase production grow, and the capital for that increase becomes increasingly available. Because of inherent production lag supply may not increase noticeably in this sales cycle, but the signals are still there, and the incentive to increase total annual production is there. This can be a net benefit to the industry, and consequently will drive down or hold down prices during the next buying frenzy.

    More directly, are the current prices for fully automatic firearms gouging?

    Wordy post, I apologize, but I think we falsely slander our vendors and damage our industry with this “gouging” meme.

    Thanks,
    JSG

  • McThag

    I once sold a 1976 Camaro, worth $500, for $3,000.

    Mom demanded I get the eyesore out from in front of the house so I put a for-sale sign on it; figuring nobody would ever give me my asking price for my beloved rust monster.

    It didn’t last a day.

    Never underestimate the market or the fool wishing to be separated from their money.

  • Todd G

    I understand and support the ability for sellers to ask whatever they can however there are quite a few dealers holding prices relatively stable. Yes, it can and often does result in backorders. Dealers like Brownells and Midway seem to have taken a good stand in these challenging times and they will get more of my business going forward. I’ve spent my last penny at CTD, Dicks, and the ‘never let a crisis go to waste’ tables at my local gun shows.

    • JustSomeGuy

      Todd G

      I’m with you regarding CTD and Dick’s, they’re responding to political pressures and not market pressures, and by doing so illuminating their contempt for an entire segment of customers. Let ‘em die on the vine.

      I suspect your ‘never let a crisis go to waste’ tables are those attempting to maximize profits during resource contraction. They’re pricing themselves outside of the market (well above). That being the case, your decision to spend your money elsewhere is itself an appropriate market pressure and I’m all for it. As I said in response to wizardpc above, the market responds to those trying to push the envelope during the cycle.

      My only quibble is with the term “price gouging,” because it’s so broad and generally demonizes businesses for playing in the free market. If instead we simply note that price points well above the current market average are prohibitive and we won’t do business with those vendors…

      I think it’s difficult ground to walk, because we can’t assess the hidden forces acting on a given vendor. Brownell’s and Midway have the advantages of size and purchasing power, as well as advance purchasing and delivery agreements, etc. Smaller vendors may be subject to additional costs in the short term and unable to match the large companies. I prefer to leave it to market decisions, buy when the price is right and decline when it is not, unless I can identify clearly egregious or malicious intent.

      Thanks,
      JSG

  • Will

    Todd,
    what makes you think that the retail customer is buying it to keep? If you are selling it too cheap (for the current market), a noticeable percentage of them will just turn around and resell it for the going rate. Why generate a middleman market?

    One of the clues is when a customer asks how many are in stock, and wants to buy multiples.

    I watched a friend do this back in the late 80’s. A discount store got in a shipment of HK91’s. They hadn’t sold any yet, just unpacked the shipment. He told them to grab a cart, he would take them all. And he did. Maybe twenty of them. He sat on them for a couple years, then sold most of them during the next big panic.

    And they got shipped clear across country, so there was no local benefit to that store, or other gun stores, from related sales of accessories or ammo.

  • staghounds

    “why not sell your “extra” guns now and buy more at a profit when panic buying stops?”

    Um, because that’s a felony unless I have an FFL?

    • Fortunately that’s not true everywhere. ATF will tag you for “engaging in the business” if you buy and sell frequently for the purposes of turning a profit, but cleaning out the safe is not a felony.

      • Tam

        wizardpc,

        Careful with that. There’s no hard-andfast legal definition of “engaging in the business” and ever field office has historically interpreted it differently. There was a hardass who ran the… St. Paul, I think… Field Division once upon a time that interpreted it as buying or selling more than four guns a year.

  • Will

    I should clarify. My friend didn’t buy them to resell, but to hoard. But, he bought that many because he figured there would not be any more available, and the price was cheap for that reason. He was right, that was the final shipment to the area, and no more were imported.
    (I still don’t understand why he later changed his mind and got rid of most of his HK guns. That shipment to the east coast dealer probably stocked a showroom with NIB 91, 93, 94, and 89’s. Wasn’t like he was broke. What he put on plastic for that batch of 91’s would have bought a new car, and he paid those off every month.)

    My point was that selling guns noticeably below market value may have hidden costs involved, or unintended consequences for the gun culture. In situations like today, you want as many new hands involved as possible, and making it easy for people to justify buying guns in bulk doesn’t help.

  • Antibubba

    But did it have the GENUINE Stripper clips?? Cuz if it did, it’s totally worth it.

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