This is a Great Time to Buy a Gun

An AR15 carbine. Photo by STNGR Industries on Unsplash.
Many Americans are armed with AR15s like this carbine. Photo by STNGR Industries on Unsplash.

When it comes to buying guns and ammo, there are good times and bad times. This is a great time to buy both.

The most immediate reason it’s a good time to buy a gun right now is that many gun dealers have sales and multiple gun manufacturers have rebates. I’ve gotten emails for Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales that include single action 22LR revolvers for $79 after rebate, Taurus 9mm compact semi autos for $199, and Glock-knockoffs for around $300. Those are not just low prices but very low, especially given how inflation has kicked up the price of everything else.

Then there are rifles and uppers. I’ve even seen stripped lower receivers for $49. That’s pretty darn close to the $39 mark, which is the lowest I’ve seen in the past twenty years.

The second reason it’s a good time to buy a gun is because it spits in the eye of every gun grabber, every ATF agent, and every socialist or liberal who thinks the average citizen shouldn’t own guns. Right now, there are more than 400 million guns in the United States, and another 20 million or so are sold every year. Each gun placed into the hands of a patriotic American makes it more difficult to implement gun bans and confiscation.

Third, after a couple years of scarcity and high prices, there are plenty of guns and ammo available and ammo prices are lower than they have been for a couple of years. If you bought a pistol at the height of the pandemic-inspired gun sales boom and they would sell you only one box of 9mm, this is your change to stock up. You can find 9mm at less than 20 cents a round, so buy 500 or 1,000 rounds and use some of it for practice.

Can’t Afford a Gun? Buy Ammo

If you’ve ever played a drinking game where you had to drink every time someone said a phrase or word, let me introduce you to a game for those of you who left their frat days behind them: Every time Joe Biden says he wants to ban semi-autos, go out and buy a semi-automatic handgun. Every time he says he wants to ban assault rifles, go out and buy one.

If you can’t afford that–and let’s face it, you’d build a good-sized armory pretty quick–then buy a box of ammo instead. If he says “semi-auto”, buy some 9mm ammo. When Biden says “ban assault weapon,” buy some of your favorite caliber.

The State if the AR Art

I own an AR-15 built and sold in the 1990s during the Clinton assault weapons ban. It’s an A2 style with a carry handle and fixed stock. When the ban expired in 2004, it opened the door for innovation. This was driven in part by the first major combat use of the M4, which saw duty as we fought in Iraq and Afghanistan. Many of the accessories for and improvements to this weapons platform made their way out of the Sandbox and onto civilian-owned weapons. Optics like the ACOG and Eotech made their bones in these conflicts and lead the way for today’s holographic sights and red dots.

If you compare ARs sold 20 years ago with those on the market today, you will see enormous improvements in rail design, charging handles, triggers, stocks, and even bolt carrier groups. I’d wager today’s $600 barebones AR is better than a $1,000 gun sold 20 years ago. The average gun owner is also far more likely to own a black sporting rifle today than he or she was 20 years ago. Magazines are also far more plentiful.

I own a 1-8X scope that cost less than $400, something unheard of 20 years ago. There are far more optics and mounting options today than there used to be. Contrast mounting a scope on top of the A2’s carry handle versus a flat top rifle with a modern cantilevered mount for that 1-8X or a bare bones red dot mount that allows co-witnessing your dot with your back-up iron sights. A big improvement.

Caliber Choices

I went to an urban carbine class in the late 1990s and the only guns present were AR-15s and Mini 14s. Most of the former were Colt or Bushmaster. All of them were in 5.56 except for one poor fellow whose Colt was in 7.62×39. He had three magazines and only one worked reliably. Jump forward 15 years and a class I attended had a wide variety of ARs, a husband and wife shooting Tavors, a couple of AK-47s, and one person using an M1A SOCOM model. There were no Mini 14s. Today, I expect there would be an even greater variety of guns and ammo, although 5.56 would probably remain dominant.

AR pistols have also become popular in the past decade, thanks in part to pistol arm braces. Twenty years ago, the concept of an AR-15 was on almost nobody’s radar.

There’s no doubt about it. This is an excellent time to buy an AR-15. It’s also a good time to buy an AR pistol. Doing so may get more difficult and require a $200 tax stamp in early 2022. Beat the rush!

Remember The First Rule

It’s been said the first rule of a gun fight is, “bring a gun.” Under the prepper mantra that “one is none and two is one,” you could argue that it is better to carry two guns. I do so about 80 percent of the time.

It’s been traditional to think of your second gun as a backup. For example, if you are carrying a 9mm on your right side and a 5-shot .38 revolver or a .25 or .32 semi-auto in your left pocket, you might consider the pocket gun your backup. I recommend you change your thinking to consider this a second gun instead.

The word “backup” implies that you would use it only if you ran into a problem with your primary weapon. Calling it a second gun changes that thinking. There may be a situation where it is easier, faster, or more appropriate to draw your pocket gun and use it first. You want your mind to consider it an alternative primary gun, not a backup.

Whatever you call it, don’t forget to practice with it.