Sunday, December 21, 2008

I guess that depends on which retailers you ask...

So, the talking heads on the TeeWee are almost decorating their cookies in glee at the Doom'n'Gloom economic news. "Retail sales down thirty percent over this time last year! Over to you, Mary."
"Thanks! Wow, with the worst retail season in thirty-five years facing them, stores are fighting to see who'll stay open through next year..."

They must have been at different stores than those at which I've been shopping this weekend, because the gun stores have been standing room only, baby. Parking at Bradis Guns was like the hard levels of Tetris, and when you went in, they were stacked three deep at the counters. By the time you got through the crush and signalled a counter jockey, you were psychologically prepped for the bad news:

"Got any lower receiver parts kits in?"

"Nope."

"Marlin Papoose mags?"

"Nope."

"CZ-75 mags? GSG-5 mags?"

"Nope. Nope."

They had six or seven people behind the counter, two of them manning the registers, and it just never even slowed down the whole time I was in there. God help me, I do miss that so.

I also stopped by Beech Grove Firearms and picked up a K-31 transfer, part of a trade deal I'd done. Did you know I've never owned a K-31? It'll look cool next to my Gew. 96/11.

Incidentally, you have to wonder about the retail news... Does that include mail order and online sales? I mean, every single bit of Christmas shopping I did this year was at a store whose address ended in ".com" and not "Blvd."

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

But even the .com gun stores are pretty tapped out. The only saving grace here is that with the computer I can shop many stores quickly instead of one or two slowly.

AndyJ said...

You should have been at the Evansville gun show Saturday. You couldn't make it down the aisles even if you greased yourself down. I don't think that it was just my imagination, but it seemed like there were 3-4 times as many people there than before the word OBAMA was ever heard. AR's were about $300-$400 dollars higher, and I saw Lake City .223 at $600/1000. 60 cents a round for .223, what the hell!!!!! Gun shows are not much fun now as before "The One".

mopar said...

My K31 is a joy to shoot. I guess I'm going to have to start reloading for that as well, since it looks like the supply of semicheap/very accurate swiss ammo is drying up.

theirritablearchitect said...

The K31 is the perfect analog to the same country's watchmaking past, I think. Built more solidly than one would think of such a piece too.

I've also noticed the same thing with the retail market. Bricks and mortar stores don't seem to be doing too poorly, in my estimation.

Firehand said...

K31's a nice rifle, I really like mine. I also get good accuracy using the same 150-gr gas-check cast bullet I use for .30-30, with a charge of 2400; raising the rear sight to about 500 puts it dead-on at 100 yards(yeah, light load).

Finally had a chance to shoot a G96/11 a while back, excellent piece. Even if it is a damn long thing.

Joseph said...

I got myself a K31 earlier this year. Stock is in good shape; supposedly, these are match grade rifles. I think the supply on these will dry up abruptly, as only about 538,000 were made. Some of those will stay in Switzerland. Mainly I got it because I suspect it is the only straight-pull rifle I will be able to afford. Kinda unique. I have never even seen a Ross or Lee rifle at a show.

Tam said...

Steyr-Mannlicher M.95 carbines are very affordable straight-pull rifles, too. You should get you one.

I managed to snag a Ross, but that was just luck.

A Lee? Someday, someday...

Joseph said...

Went to the San Antonio gunshow a couple of weeks ago...everything was selling. Bought another mag for my S&W 9mm, and a Springfield Armory XD .45 Tactical. Traded off a Bersa .380 I didn't really care for. Walmart doesn't seem to by any less busy, either. At Walmart, food prices seem to have increased almost across the board, hard goods not so much.
But hey, the Lightworker is gonna take care of all my problems, yes??

The Raving Prophet said...

The K31 is an outstanding rifle, but you're about two years too late to the Swiss rifle party. When I got mine about thirty months ago, I was able to also pick up a 480 round case of GP11 for less than the rifle itself cost. Now, that case of ammo costs more then the K31 itself, even with the rise in rifle prices (since supplies of both have dried up).

Tam said...

Oh, I've got plenty of GP11, as well as Norma and FNM 7.5x55, thanks to my 96/11.

midnight rider said...

Gun shows ain't hurting either. Judging from Valley Forge this week and Harrisburg last week. At Valley Forge the crowd was crushing and dealers couldn't keep up.

Anonymous said...

Pasadena TX Saturday had customers parking on the grass...lot was full...

midnight rider said...

Yep, 4 hours after the show opened they just kept coming, line was a block or so long, out he doors into the parking lot. No parking left at a convention center parking lot.

Ed Foster said...

Watch the Steyr straight pulls if you reload though. The Hungarian 8x56's are rebored Austrians, and they go about .3265-.328 in the grooves. They shoot good with factory, but you need a cast bullet to reload.
Firehand, for your 7.5mm Swiss, use the Lyman 178 gr. Loverin bullet over 25 grs. of 4895, set the sight for 200 meters, and you'll never need another cast bullet. Cast it hard. I usually use linotype.

kishnevi said...

Tam, I work in retail. What you are hearing on the news is pretty accurate; and gun dealers and online vendors will need to make some pretty startling sales gains to make up for what people are not spending in brick and mortar land.
Just to illustrate--when I left my job this afternoon, there were parking spaces available in the mall lot--which, in normal years, just doesn't happen the weekend before Christmas. In normal years, people drive around for half an hour or more and end up parking illegally out of sheer frustration.
And, since we are in Florida, the weather can't be blamed for it. The cold front you've been experiencing this week is arriving tonight, and the temps are expected to plunge all the way into the upper fifties, so I may need to put the blanket on the bed tonight.
[evil grin]

Firehand said...

Ed, I'll check it out. Though it'll be while before can pick up another mold. I originally got the 150gr. gc mold for .30-30, then decided to see what else I could use that bullet in. So far, .308, .30-06, 7.5 Swiss and, in some rifles, 7.62x54r. Very handy, it is. As in 2" or a little better at 100 yards out of a 1903A3.