Couple of YIKES points after the past couple of days comments...
1) RE: AMMUNITION...first, you guys drastically overestimate my influence. I can't cause or stop any sales event, especially the tsunami that's coming. I am, however, in a pretty unique position...I have sent a month traveling to gun companies, walking the production floors, talking to both executives and manufacturing managers, looking at orders, backlogs, production planning, etc. Because I am a very lucky person, I have been talking to quite literally the smartest people in the industry
I am in the position I'm in because for my entire career I have been an expert at analyzing trends. I was trained early on by masters in the field...my last years in college, when I was thoroughly sick of physics and math as a major, I was assigned a "professor/advisor" with dual PhDs in statistical analysis and mass communications...he was happy to have a student who didn't get queasy looking at equations and I was fascinated by the concepts of predictive analysis. Trends are what they are...they don't care about me at all.
Secondly, consider my mindset, which is laid out on a regular basis for everyone to see (and debate). I created and produced THE BEST DEFENSE /SURVIVAL, I served as an expert for the landmark History Channel special AFTER ARMAGEDDON, I live up in the mountains in the Rocky Mountain West and am working on plans for a new, completely off-grid Secret Hidden Bunker, and I am writing a book titled The New Survival Guns...what might my mindset be on "stocking up?" Again, feel free to disagree. If you don't want to stock up on ammo and components, by all means, don't. Keep in mind that there are 2 competitive shooters here at the Secret Hidden Bunker...we routinely maintain a stockpile of components.
I was staggered by the current flood of gun orders (and the resulting backlog, of which about 70% will "disappear"). Yes, it is the leading edge of the coming bubble, but it also represents a flood of new people coming into our culture (and keep in mind that I and Paul Erhardt predicted this flood, Gun Culture Ver. 2.0 years back by, duh, analyzing trends). Even a straight-line extrapolation says:
more guns in the market = more ammo sales
This isn't going to change until we return of a peacetime economy and the big ammo manufacturers divert a larger portion of their manufacturing resources to the civilian market.
necessarily the primary driver.
As I have said over and over, based on my own crash study of manufacturing while working with the manufacturing consultancy R. D. Garwood, Inc. for a decade, appropriate technology need not be the bleeding edge of technology. CNC machines are indeed magic, but you do not need that kind of horsepower to manufacture a widget. Now, you might need that horsepower to produce a lot of widgets, especially if there is significant variations between different types of widgets.
Let's look at EDM machining...because in electrical discharge machining, the cut is by spark — the wire doesn't every touch the metal being cut — it can do very clean, very precise cut on complex angles. Ruger uses EDM to cut the 1911 breech face on the slide. That cut then requires virtually no additional "prepping" before use...fewer hands touch the gun, the cost to produce the piece is reduced. Quality is also increased. Does that mean that the first 1911s to roll off Colt's assembly line on January 1912 had inferior breech faces because EDM had yet to be invented? I have examined first day, first hour 1912 production 1911s, and I have spent hours with master gunsmith Bill Laughridge going over the specs for those first 500 guns...they were and are masterpieces.
I have also handled a 1911 built quite literally with raw steel and a flat file by some unknown Pakistani gunsmith...I would't want to shoot it myself, but it would go bang. Look at S&W revolvers front the early part of the 20th Century...no CNC...just plain old boring metal lathes, drill presses and milling machines, handled by some of the greatest gunsmiths ever...tell me that a pristine Triple-Lock isn't a breathtaking example of the gunmaker's art!
I don't know everything...hell, the older I get, the less I realize I know...I knew a lot more when I was hanging out at CBGBs in NYC in my 20s! LOL! But I am a student of the way widgets, especially guns get made, and I'm not afraid to ask the stupid questions. I am also very lucky in having a strangely checkered career. I have been in most of the major, and many of the minor, gun manufacturing facilities in America and some around the world, but before I was in those factories I got a crash course in manufacturing working with Garwood.
I am the co-author of the standard text on structuring bills of material and a text on creating new products for a world-class manufacturing environment. I am also very proud of a book Garwood and I wrote, Shifting Paradigms — Reshaping the Future of Industry. In the glory days of personal computers, I was a technology correspondent for the Chicago Tribune News Syndicate, and I got to spend time with the legends of the industry before They ascended onto Mt. Olympus...in fact, it was Michael Dell, who created Dell Computers, who patiently explained to me how factories would evolve beyond building one specific product to general places that built "stuff"— what we see now in China. I got to hang out at the MIT Media Lab (I've never felt so dumb in my life, but they were patient with me...mostly), where the future gets invented, and some of the big think tanks.
Because of what I do, I get to spend a lot of time with people who design, make and market firearms, and because I spent so many decades as a journalist, I tend to obsessively ask questions. What ends up presented here and in my other media outlets is pretty much my opinions...I'm wrong a lot, but I'm occasionally right.
As always, your mileage might vary...