I don’t intend to start a political debate. My purpose is to offer some advice. November is coming, and while you’re probably thinking of Boone and Crockett bucks, campfires, and cold beers, you might ought to be shopping. Because if Clinton wins in November, you’re going to see a rush on firearms and ammunition like never before.
In a matter of just days, you’ll have better luck finding someone who is still a Johnny Manziel fan than you will finding a box of .223 Remington ammo. Gun owners and those thinking about becoming gun owners will panic. If Clinton wins, don’t be standing in front of a gun store gawking on 9 November – you might get trampled.
So what kinds of things should you buy now? Guns and ammo for sure, but let’s get more specific. In any politically driven hysteria, AR-15s and similar semiautomatic firearms go quickly. Just the same, ammunition common for these rifles will sell like donuts at a chief of police convention. If you have a .223 Remington, a 6.8 SPC, .300 Blackout, or .308 Winchester, buy a case or two of ammo, and pick up some high-capacity magazines while you’re at it.
Concealed carry handguns will also be in high demand. Handgun counters might not empty as fast as the AR rifle racks, but you can expect your options to be limited in a hurry. Been thinking about that new .380 Glock 42, or maybe Remington’s reintroduced R51? If you wait until mid November, a hundred dollar Hi-Point might be your only option.
Defensive handgun ammo will almost evaporate from availability overnight. Ammunition for the .380 ACP, 9mm Luger, .38 Special, .40 S&W and .45 AUTO will go first. I’m not suggesting you stock up to defend yourself from an apocalyptic disaster, just that you buy some handgun ammo now, so that you will have it around when you decide to go shoot, later.
As you might imagine, rimfire ammunition will become as scarce as unicorns and leprechauns, too. It’s affordable, easy to store, and consumed at a higher rate than any other ammo. If you think folks won’t stockpile rimfire ammo, consider that during the last crunch, a man at the NRA Annual Meetings told me he had 800,000 rounds put away and was having trouble finding more.
The Unusual Suspects
But here’s the shortage you’re not expecting: This is all going to occur toward the end of hunting season, and ammunition manufacturers load up for hunting season during spring and summer. That’s when they manufacturer hunting-specific cartridges such as the .250 Savage, .32-20 Winchester, .444 Marlin, and .35 Remington. They know this ammo is typically purchased only in preparation for hunting season.
This ammo is produced on order, and by November it’s almost all gone. This is because dealers only order based on sales from previous years. In the spring of 2017, when it’s time to load these cartridges again, they’ll get pushed to the back because manufactures will be trying meet the demand of the more popular cartridges.
November 9 is the day. It might even happen sooner if a Clinton victory seems guaranteed. Have your guns and ammo shopping done before then. You’ll avoid the panic and can begin focusing on the next retail nightmare that will be only a few days off: Black Friday. I’ve got some advice for that, too: Stay home and shop on the Internet while wearing your pajamas and drinking gin and tonic.
Images by Richard Mann