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... and came back alive! Oh, big whoop. Everybody else that went also came back alive plus or minus a few heart attacks. For those of you who are sick of reading gun rants and posts, kindly push the back button on your browser. I'm not exactly a gun freak myself - I never saw a gun until I was 18... but it's worthwhile writing about the reality in Michigan which may be true everywhere else.

Gun shows now are PACKED. It's a sausage fest of people trying to buy AR-15 parts, the real deal, brass cartridges, .223/556 ammo and 20+ capacity magazines. There are some details about this frenzy that may make you happy... or unhappy if you actually want one of these things.

Mr. Gazer grew up with guns and was taught to be responsible for them. He has always wanted to buy a .308 AR-15 (and you can tell how badly I want to smack him upside the head). They've been around for some time and they were always on backorder. One place (deliberately not naming specifics) had 24 week standard wait time. Other places had longer waits. THIS caliber of gun always had up to a year wait time if you wanted it new, shiny and awesome. Yeah, it was like this even before the Aurora shooting.

.223's have been around some time so you can find used ones at gun shows. They are normally around 500-1.5k depending on how tricked out it is and how reputable the gunsmith is. At the gun show, a Michigan-based gunsmith was selling about 6 AR-15's. On his website, he'd normally sell an AR-15 he builds for about 1k and it includes accessories like a bag, extra magazine and whatever else. At the gun show, he was selling them for 2.1k a piece. Man is he making some fat cash. There was also some interesting things he said.

1. The parts for the guns he was selling at the gun show were backordered from APRIL of this year. The next time he's getting parts is February, which was backordered from October.
2. It's worse for 308's.
3. Most places are out of stock on 223 ammunition until February or later.
4. People were calling him from out of state like Utah and Oklahoma.
5. He builds guns for his son who does competition shooting.
6. Hopefully the fiscal cliff thing will keep attention away from additional gun legislation.

So in general at the gun show and when Mr. Gazer went to typical hunting stores...

Other vendors had 30 round 223 magazines for minimum $45. They are normally $20.
The 20 round magazine for 308 was $70+.
Most places were sold out of brass since (supposedly) the DoD isn't selling excess brass casings to civilians anymore.
223 ammo is sold out in typical hunting stores like Gander Mtn. 308's were cleared out as well.
Typical box of ammo is about $10 ($20 ish for 308). People that were selling ammo had $15-$25 on 223's. I didn't see any 308 ammo.
Many people would just settle for AR-15 lowers because that's the part you have to get registered -any other parts (uppers, rails, scope, trigger, etc) you can swap out at a gunsmith.
Individual people were selling (w/ the aid of an FFL dealer if they didn't have an FFL) their AR-15's both 308 and 223.

tldr version: Good luck getting anything high-cap capable AR-15 related right now. Anything available is fat dough.



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Comment Preferences

  •  do they have drones yet? (6+ / 0-)

    i used to joke about that...

    now i just don't know

    thanks very informative post

  •  ...or unhappy if you don't want to see... (9+ / 0-)

    ...possession of these particular kind of firearms more widespread.

    Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

    by Meteor Blades on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 01:54:04 PM PST

    •  Here's the thing. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      AR-15 anything is in short supply. Really, really short supply.

      You know what that means, right?

      Why hello there reality, how are you doing?

      by Future Gazer on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 03:14:53 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yeah. More AKs and SKSs being sold? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        KVoimakas, Robobagpiper

        Also, every AR-15 that could possibly have been manufactured to date is already out there in the field.

        I'd kind of like to have a .308 also, but flinch at the cost of 7.62x39 already, lol.

        Moderation in most things.

        by billmosby on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 03:31:50 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  As long as the representatives don't lose sight (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          a2nite, billmosby

          of reasonable gun legislation.... ie don't just suddenly tell everyone to turn in their AR-15, AK-47, M1 grand, etc etc.

          we may be able to move towards a society with less guns.

          The gun people are hoping fiscal cliff and other things put gun legislation on the backburner or away in a cabinet... until the next Newton massacre.

          Most gun control to date is more or less appeasement to folks not really smart about guns AND to people who love their guns to death.

          Now, what would you shoot that .308 at?

          Why hello there reality, how are you doing?

          by Future Gazer on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 04:01:55 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I'd shoot it at a target. (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            PavePusher, KVoimakas, Robobagpiper

            The last time I was at a range, the guy next to me had a Saiga in .308, I think it was. That's what the company that builds AKs is called now. You can also get one in 12 Ga. The .308 is an aftermarket conversion, don't know about th 12 Ga.

            So really I probably won't get one, too expensive for a hobby. I don't even shoot the AK or SKS all that much as it is.

            Moderation in most things.

            by billmosby on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 05:23:13 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Never heard an M1 Garand called an assault (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            PavePusher, KVoimakas

            weapon. And by extension, the SKS probably isn't one either.

            Failing that, maybe they'll let me keep my 1884 Springfield Trapdoor. It was state of the art prior to 1890. Single shot, .45-70.

            Moderation in most things.

            by billmosby on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 05:24:44 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Bu-bu-bu-but.... That is a Weapon of War(tm).... (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              billmosby, KVoimakas, Robobagpiper

              and must be turned in.

              Obviously a weapon of mass distraction....

              •  The bullet's so big and slow (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                PavePusher, KVoimakas

                you could probably jump out of the way if it didn't scare you to death first...

                .45-70 muzzle velocity is about 1400 fps (using a load appropriate for the original rifles and 405 grain bullet). When I fired the thing a few times (back when I was 12, I bought it at a garage sale for $15; my dad got some ammo for it, we only put 20 rds through it ever), if the sun was at your back you could actually see that flat, shiny copper bullet base reflecting the sun back at you if you looked at the right place.

                Moderation in most things.

                by billmosby on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 09:54:08 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

      •  Yes. It means there are too many... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        ...AR-15 platforms in private hands.

        Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

        by Meteor Blades on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 03:55:26 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Okay so. (0+ / 0-)

          How do you deal with that?

          Why hello there reality, how are you doing?

          by Future Gazer on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 04:07:36 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  We have a choice: (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            WakeUpNeo, cany

            • We can leave things as they are.

            • We can ban new sales of what amounts to civilian semi-automatic versions of military selective-fire rifles and transfers of weapons from their current owners to new owners (along with the same for high-capacity magazines for such weapons).

            • We can ban possession of such weapons and magazines for them and institute a buyback program with a deadline. This would be very expensive and very controversial, to say the least.

            Nothing but the last approach (or something like it) will be effective because of the number of such weapons in circulation.

            This isn't all I think should be done with new gun laws, but it would deal with the AK-15 and similar platforms without touching long guns that have traditionally been used for hunting as well as self-defense.

            Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

            by Meteor Blades on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 04:21:29 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Since dealers don't have anything (0+ / 0-)

              now would be a pretty good time to do #2.

              #3 would make me confront the gun nuts and I would not live beyond my 24th birthday.

              1. Civs don't need those kinds of guns. Halt sale/transfer of them.
              2. For the gun owners out there, advocate gun safety and good gun ownership practices.
              3. Collect banned guns when the owners are dead.
              4. Focus on mental health issues and keeping mentally unstable away from all ranged weapons.
              5. Rec shooters will have to find a new hobby or have some kind of very controlled access to those guns (full autos still exist but 99.99% of civs don't own any of them).

              Some people are just not right in the head and no amount of chemicals or therapy are gonna fix them.

              Why hello there reality, how are you doing?

              by Future Gazer on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 06:38:21 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  Inventory reduction (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Meteor Blades

              Sidestepping the arguments about the merits of taking guns out of circulation, it's important to be realistic that it's a multi-decade or multi-generation project.

        •  You mean the class of weapon that makes (0+ / 0-)

          up about 1.5% of all guns, but only 0.2% of homicides?

          Oh, real threat that.

          Non enim propter gloriam, diuicias aut honores pugnamus set propter libertatem solummodo quam Nemo bonus nisi simul cum vita amittit. -Declaration of Arbroath

          by Robobagpiper on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 10:53:16 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  I was kind of hankering for a wooden stocked AK (10+ / 0-)

    just for sentimental reasons. But I guess I'll just forget about it. No way am I going to pay a thousand dollars for a three hundred dollar gun. I mean they just aren't that good and I really don't need one.

    Like last time I'll wait until the frenzy is over and buy some power and bullets.

    How big is your personal carbon footprint?

    by ban nock on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 02:01:51 PM PST

  •  You gun nuts and your fetish objects. (5+ / 0-)

    "Everything I do is blown out of proportion. It really hurts my feelings." - Paris Hilton

    by kestrel9000 on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 02:14:37 PM PST

  •  Just kinda makes you want to move to a country (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    with a lower gun ownership and lower homicide rate doesn't it....  (and I'm a Michigan resident and know which gun show you're talking about - been there a couple of times and met  many people with attitudes that don't conform with mine)

    Gravitation cannot be held responsible for people falling in love. - Einstein

    by moose67 on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 03:06:49 PM PST

    •  My hope is that (0+ / 0-)

      legislation allows the government to repossess those things after their owners are dead. Such guns also become marked as nontransferable property.  

      I also really think we should do a better job at managing mental illness and giving people other avenues who become mentally unstable.  

      It's a bit impractical to just tell everyone "you're suddenly a criminal for possessing an AR-15/military style assault rifle." Didn't do much good when it came to alcohol.

      Mr. Gazer did buy an AR-15. It's just sitting in the gun cabinet right now, unloaded, bolt locked back and safe stuff like that. When he dies, I will just give it to the police station. I'm sure they can figure out what to do with it. He sure wasted his money and he might get to shoot it at the range or at a friend who owns lots of land.

      Defend against wild animals? Maybe - I do know people who had a bear charge them after they took a (food) deer down. Defend against humans and Obama's tyranny? Seriously doubt it.

      Why hello there reality, how are you doing?

      by Future Gazer on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 03:51:58 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  It's highly regional. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    KVoimakas, Robobagpiper

    I checked out a gun show one week after newtown, and it wasn't any more populated than any other one I've attended.

    There were plenty of ARs on tables, with only a couple hundred dollars markup. There was a lonely beta c drum, one of those hundred round units, just sitting on the table being ignored by everyone. And it was only $250, about normal price for a gun show.

    The hot commodities was the .223 / 5.56 ammo and components. But beyond that, it was pretty sedate.

    It's safe to trust a sane person with the keys to nuclear weapons, but it's not safe to trust an insane person with the stuff in the kitchen.

    by JayFromPA on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 03:13:53 PM PST

  •  Why can't (0+ / 0-)

    the semi-automatic devotees switch to paintball guns?
    Tremendous fun so I'm told - great exercise in tournaments
    extremely cool get to actually shoot people (but it really hurts apparently) - some can shoot up to  25 rounds per I'm told..which is faster than an AR15(??)

    not good enough?

    Frodo: What are we holding onto, Sam? Sam: That there's some good in this world, Mr. Frodo... and it's worth fighting for.

    by Starbrite on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 04:05:11 PM PST

    •  I will try to play devil's advocate here (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Starbrite, a2nite

      1. That imaginary monster.
      2. Revolution was not possible without private folks owning their own weapons which they used against wild animals. (I have huge rebuttal for this)
      3. The crazy MF with the gun about to shoot me.
      4. OBAMA TYRANNY omfg.

      Why hello there reality, how are you doing?

      by Future Gazer on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 04:13:00 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Oh yeah ...that (0+ / 0-)

        But when they do lose access to the super fun high capacity models..I do hope the 'hobbyist-gun-lover-non-paranoid' types will consider switching to paintball..  :)

        Frodo: What are we holding onto, Sam? Sam: That there's some good in this world, Mr. Frodo... and it's worth fighting for.

        by Starbrite on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 04:30:40 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Is it true (0+ / 0-)

    that anyone can walk in to these gun shows and get any type of weapon - even ex felons or those with Restraining Orders or Domestic Violence convictions?

    Frodo: What are we holding onto, Sam? Sam: That there's some good in this world, Mr. Frodo... and it's worth fighting for.

    by Starbrite on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 05:55:24 PM PST

    •  Hand guns and assault rifles (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Starbrite, Dogs are fuzzy


      In Michigan, you need to go to the police station, tell them what gun you want to buy and I think they do a background check there before giving you the permit to buy that model you want to buy. Afterwards you need to register it with the police station.

      Assault rifles if you don't have a concealed carry permit they will do a background check which they make a phone call to make sure you're clean. When you buy the assault rifle, you fill out this form and it asks questions like mental stability, restraining orders, etc... obviously if you say yes to any of that the FFL dealer has to put their foot down and say no, we can't sell this to you.

      I think for the .22 peashooter rifles you don't need anything. Mr. Gazer got one from his dad and it's not registered or anything.

      With respect to felons, my mother in law's husband has a fun story to tell. This was when he was getting his concealed carry permit (makes it easier to buy assault rifles and hand guns). You take a class. Anyone can take it, even felons. When he went to go to see the board they found out there were two felons in his class. Actually one of them had a warrant for him.

      Why hello there reality, how are you doing?

      by Future Gazer on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 06:16:58 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  It depends on the state. CA has more strict regs, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      for instance, than most and require ALL weapons to be background checked whether sold privately or through a dealer with a FFL license. There are other states with similar laws, but few.

      202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them. "We're not perfect, but they're nuts."--Barney Frank 01/02/2012

      by cany on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 08:54:13 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  What if I want a nuclear weapon ... because (0+ / 0-)

    my neighbor just bought one off the internet? I heard they are available in Pakistan, North Korea or Russia ... ok, just kidding ... but
    Think about it ... We need arms to protect ourselves against the tyranny of the Federal Government, which has plenty of Nuclear Arms ...

  •  I'm trading off my AR15 for two firearms that, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    if I traded it before the craze, I'd only get one.

    My WWII American firearms collection is almost complete! Garand, M1 Carbine, 1911, Tommy gun...and I don't think I'll get a BAR anytime soon.

    Republicans cause more damage than guns ever will. Share Our Wealth

    by KVoimakas on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 06:28:52 AM PST

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