Monday, February 16, 2015

Ammunition Scare? The low-information shooter, letting someone else do the work.

So the ATF is considering an amendment and/or reinterpretation of the 1968 GCA to cover SS109 and M855 as an "armor piercing" round and of course once this news made its way around the internet, Cheaper Than Dirt wasted no time in pricing gouging the ever loving hell out of panic buyers.  Currently on Cheaper than dirt, a 900 round can of 62 Grain green tip is a "bargain" at $840.00, or it would be if it was not already sold out.  Anyone willing to pay that price, well, good for them.  Me, im not willing to give Cheaper Than Dirt any money, especially after their price gouging during the 2013/14 panic buying following Sandy Hook where a USGI mag could be had for the low price of $99.  A quick look at Ammo Seek shows that there are a few people price gouging, but none to the full douchebag level of CTD.

CTD is making a killing off the ammo scare market, supply and demand writ large.  If CTD was a person, he would look like this:

But can we blame them?  Every educated shooter knows that there are many shooters that are of the low-information crowd and are susceptible to easy panic over any little thing.  If the ATF went after the Magpul BAD lever, there would be a run on them (and CTD would sell you one for $200).  If the ATF suddenly decided the sling on a rifle was something that needed to be banned, a CTD sale would run you $400 and grandmothers nationwide would not be able to knit for a lack of yarn (we would also see the birth of a "MOLON LABE" sling market).

The sad truth as it is apparent to me is that the panic buy will always be a thing for the same reason that UTG and Sightmark are in business making cheap accessories that some are willing to put their life behind.  There is a distinct difference between cheap and inexpensive and this difference is lost on the low information crowd.  If the SS109 and M855 is indeed going to be banned from citizen purchase, what does spending $840.00 for 900 rounds of it really do for you?  Sure, it provides you with a much higher resale option down the road, much like "high cap" magazine prices during the AWB but then SS109 and M855 becomes a non-renewable commodity with an ever-increasing price as supply is reduced or removed from the market by ammunition hoarders.  Do you need to sit on a few thousand rounds of ammo?  Absolutely; but why didn't you have it already?  If the SS109 or M855 was the best damn round to have for use on two-legged predators (it isn't), shouldn't you have already built an ammunition throne in front of your DTOM flag?

The low-information shooter would be better served taking an interest in helping to prevent the ban instead of helping the owners of CTD build mattresses out of money to watch Breaking Bad on.  The ATF is still taking comments on the proposed change, its as easy as writing a quick email but I honestly have to wonder how many of those panic buying up the SS109 and M855 are also taking the time to drop a well though out email to the ATF to oppose their latest attempt at a Clinton Era flashback?

If we only depend on organizations like the NRA, GOA or USCCA (among others) to speak for us, we run the risk of getting some of, or none of what we want.  Is it any different than giving a dollar a day to a non-profit promising you letter and pictures from a child in Africa you sponsor? Sure, it will make you feel better the next time you see a commercial with the saddest kid they could find in the village but the amount of direct involvement you have is akin to yelling at the chick in the horror movie to not go upstairs; yell all you want, she wont hear you.  Theres action, and the appearance of action and for some they are one in the same.

Buying up all the green tip you can find may give you an economic edge if such a ban does occur, though what are you actually doing to try and prevent it?  I know, "The ATF wont listen to me."  Perhaps you are right, but the "theres nothing I can do" attitude is not how we are supposed to do shit here in America.  If you are not fired up over the increasingly usurpatious actions of our current administration (and those already passed), then you really aren't on board as a responsible gun owner.  We are not built from men who took the easy road, nor men who huddled in angst under the hopes that someone else would fight their fight for them.  Hope is not an actionable plan, its the same as wishing to win the lottery without so much as buying a ticket.

Did you know:  Abraham Lincoln was an accomplished amateur
rapper who used to dominate Open Pulpit Night at Gadsby's Tavern? 
So send an email; take the time to write out a well composed argument to the ATFs latest bullshit and hit send.  If all we do is share memes and macros with quotes from our forefathers, presidents and Ted Nugent in response to the governments encroachment on our rights, we are yelling our complaints into a well that always says back what we want to hear.

ATF will carefully consider all comments, as appropriate, received on or before March 16, 2015, and will give comments received after that date the same consideration if it is practical to do so, but assurance of consideration cannot be given except as to comments received on or before March 16, 2015. ATF will not acknowledge receipt of comments. Submit comments in any of three ways (but do not submit the same comments multiple times or by more than one method):

ATF email:

UPDATE:  PER Cheaper Than Dirt, the Ammunition pricing on 900 rounds of 62 Grain Green Tip previously linked in this blog has been removed and according to CTD was a pricing error, not an attempt to price gouge the shooting public.


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