Joining the Throng

On Saturday, after leaving work, I met Scott and another co-worker at Surplus Arms & Ammo in Tacoma. We arrived about 15 minutes before they opened their doors and there was a ling about 15 people long as we parked. In the following 15 minutes another 20 people showed up, wrapping the line around the building.

At the opening of the front doors, an employee stepped out and began an announcement that yes, they had just received about 40 stripped AR lowers. They had two complete rifles and no uppers or completed lowers. They had PMags and they were $29 and $33 for no-window/windows models respectively. They also had about 10K rounds of 5.56 (but I forget the price).

They also made mention that it would be a waste of time for individuals to even enter the store without a valid ID, listed the acceptable forms of ID, and told folks to check their ID.

They questioned you at the door before letting you in, asking what you wanted. If you wanted ammo, you were directed to it and the non-firearms purchase sales register. If you wanted an AR or AR lower, you had to wait for an open counter person to fill out your bill of sale. After you completed your bill of sale, you were put in a line to electronically fill out your 4473. After that, you waited for them to complete the “stupid phone call”, after which they called you up to the firearms purchase sales register.

It was a mad house in there, it being a rather small space. There were easily 45 people in their at the peak. I do not know what their prices were on PMags before this last week, but the price for an AR lower had risen 20%.

Even though I have all the AR’s I need, I bought one lower as sort of a “price of admission” to the show. I didn’t take any pictures of the throng because I’m sure someone would have been upset with me for doing so. So this is all anecdotal.

The truly sad part of this story is that I had been forming up a group of 4-6 co-workers and I was going to bring my AR building tools and we were going to build lowers on some random weekend morning in the future. That was six weeks ago. No I have almost a dozen people wanting to do so, including a husband/wife team, but the lowers and parts kits are scarce. I’m directing them to Surplus Arms & Ammo next week to begin their journey and we’ll all hope for the best.

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5 Responses to Joining the Throng

  1. Mollbot says:

    Hey Phil, I sent you an email last week, did you get it?

  2. Phil says:

    Yes, I did. I’m trying to get you access. I’ll respond when that gets done.

  3. Heartless Libertarian says:

    Phil-Merry Christmas from Texas! (Next year from Virginia. Gotta love the Army)

    I dropped by one of the local gunstores last week (the one that sells more ARs and such – the other does more hunting rifles and shotguns).

    Not a single AR, M1A, FAL, etc. Pistols thinned out quite a bit. You could tell my how they had them spread out in the cases.

    One AK, asking almost $1800 – labeled “custom built, billet receiver. Who knows.

  4. Rolf says:

    Yup. I hit Wades in Bellevue a few days ago. The place was packed, ammo stacks much lower than normal, wall of death not empty but considerably more sparse that normal, cabinets had guns well spaced, a number of empty slots in the silencer display, prices up, and a full staff of busy folks on hand. Not a total madhouse, but very busy for a weekday afternoon.

    Yesterday I hit Big 5; only semi-autos in stock were a couple of cheap .22 LRs and an M1 Carbine. Again, LOTS of holes in their display racks. Ammo stocks somewhat depleted.

  5. Mollbot says:

    I’m kicking myself for not buying an AR five years ago. Sigh.

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