Gun Sales Surge To Record High In 2013; Expect Ammo To Spike In 2014

Tyler Durden's picture

A record 21 million applications were run through the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) last year - an 8% increase over 2012 and, as The Washington Times reports, the 11th straight year that the number has risen. Background checks serve as a proxy for the number of gun sales, which soared in the months immediately after Sandy Hook (but notably fell in the last 2 months of 2013 as the Newtown and 'fear of Obama' effect wore off). "2013 was the best year for firearm sales (commercial, domestic) in history — period!" notes the president of the independent firearm owners association, adding that "Ammunition will still be very strong in 2014 as it hasn’t caught up nationally with the demand." This could become a problem since, in what many believe was an attempt to 'crowd out' private buyers, the Homeland Security Department bought 1.6 billion rounds alone.





Via The Washington Times,

Gun records checks, fueled by a post-Newtown boom of gun sales, hit a new high in 2013, and industry analysts expect ammunition to be the big seller this year as consumers catch up to all of those firearms purchases.


More than 21 million applications were run through the National Instant Criminal Background Check System last year, marking nearly an 8 percent increase and the 11th straight year that the number has risen.




2013 was the best year for firearm sales (commercial, domestic) in history — period! That’s true for NH to Hawaii,” said Richard Feldman, president of the Independent Firearm Owners Association in Rindge, N.H. “Ruger alone sold well over one million guns this year.”


Mr. Feldman said to expect the next surge to be in bullets.


Ammunition will still be very strong in 2014 as it hasn’t caught up nationally with the demand,” he said.




“I think there are a few downward pressures acting on the NICS checks,” he said. “Not just the Newtown effect wearing off, but the ‘fear of Obama’ effect wearing off.”


If ammunition does become the focus for gun owners, that could become another hot-button topic.


Last year, the Homeland Security Department had to explain to Congress its contracts to buy up to 1.6 billion rounds of ammunition.


Some gun owners believed the department was trying to crowd out private consumers in the ammunition market, but federal officials said their purchases amounted to a tiny fraction of the ammunition produced every year.



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hedgeless_horseman's picture



I know hellish scenarios like Syria and the Draft Riots of New York City are unlikely to happen, again, in America.  However, I would rather have and not need, then need and not have.

Boris Alatovkrap's picture

Boris is prefer AK-47. Best quality lower receiver is manufacture in Bulgaria, but simple metal bending and drill press can build.

hedgeless_horseman's picture



For defense of The Motherland, faithful comrade h_h prefers bomb-proof, magazine-fed, gas piston, Made in America, .308 battle rifle with effective range up to and beyond 800 meters.

Hadji will drop his tink-tink AK for a boom-boom FAL, especially with an optic, every time.

The difference between guns and women is that guns don't mind it if you get another one.

RockyRacoon's picture

Top ten I stole from some unsuspecting hinky website:

#10. You can trade an old 44 for a new 22.

#9. You can keep one gun at home and have another for when you're on the road.

#8. If you admire a friend's gun and tell him so, he will probably let you try it out a few times.

#7. Your primary gun doesn't mind if you keep another gun for a backup.

#6. Your gun will stay with you even if you run out of ammo.

#5. A gun doesn't take up a lot of closet space.

#4. Guns function normally every day of the month.

#3. A gun doesn't ask , "Do these new grips make me look fat?"

#2. A gun doesn't mind if you go to sleep after you use it.

And the number one reason a gun is favored over a woman....



Crawdaddy's picture

All true! Guns also never say you use too much of the closet for gun storage.

Rick Blaine's picture

The "gun scare" of 2013 made the one back in '08/'09 look like a joke.

I would be very, very surprised if the number of NICS checks in 2014 is higher than 2013...unless of course there is another "scare" of some sort.  I just think "most" of the people who were going to buy have already done so...

Re assault rifles and parts - now is a very good time to buy IMHO.  A lot of dealers/distributors are hurting for sales...and there are a bunch of good quality spare parts floating around now...but there is also a TON of crap - be careful and stick to quality manufacturers.

If you pick and choose properly, you can put together a quality AR for like $600 right now (if you can build it yourself or know someone who can).

Re ammo - it's pretty amazing.

Yeah, some stuff has come down in price and is readily available (like 7.62x39)...but decent brass-cased .223/5.56 and 9 mm, for example, are still pretty pricey...

...and .22LR is still through the roof and hard to get.  I'm still seeing 500 round boxes of it (basic plinking stuff) going for over 10 cents per round.  Before this last scare, I was buying Blazer .22LR (which is pretty darn good for bulk stuff) for under 3 cents per round.

I know I went nuts a few years ago, but I still say my guns/ammo are the only things I own that I know will always be worth something - you just gotta try NOT to buy at the absolute worst time.

GetZeeGold's picture



I was going to buy healthcare.....but then I got a flyer from Cabelas in the mail.

Headbanger's picture

Don't if this has been said here before....

Hillary and all the other anti gun politicos have shot themselves in the foot [pun intended and if only it were true!]  by trying to ban and confiscate firearms and thus greatly increasing the number of gun owners in this country


I seriously doubt it!   There's probably more than half the households in this country that own firearms now because of these libtards trying to ban guns. So it looks like Hitlery dorsn't have a chance.

BTW,  That's a H&K 93 .556 in the top photo.  It has the "roller delayed bow back" breach so there's no gas tube just like the H&K MP-5   They get really filthy cause the chambers are fluted to allow more gas against the breach but they're super easy to take down (one pin) and clean.  They're heavier than an AR and I'd say the above rifle with the scope is well over nine pounds.  No.. make that more like over 10 pounds with that stupid big scope!

Then again that could be a H&K 91 in 7.62x51 so it's even heavier!

TrumpXVI's picture

I wouldn't count on that line of logic, HB.

The problem with gun sales is that too many of them are to gun owners instead of non-gun owners.  Most of those gun sales over the past year were to panicked gun owners, not newbees.  I forget what the stats are (they're not very accurate anyway), but the average gun owner owns more guns than just one.  The average is, IIRC, somewhere around four with many gun owners owning many more than that.  Gun owners are the most insecure, easily panicked people on Earth when it comes to their 2nd A rights.

Uncle Sugar's picture

I feel like you just described me personally.

Citxmech's picture

I know at least one neighbor who stepped-up last year.  This year he's getting #2 and a CCW.  

whirling tword freedom's picture

I'm very particular with powders I used for loading long range and, the two I use for my big boomers still can't be found anywhere.

chubbar's picture


In about 60 days, Daemon Defense, LLC will be in production for .22 cal suppressors. Followed quite rapidly with .223 and .308 suppressors. These are going to be relatively low priced because they are not going to be designed for 20K rounds but for 5K rounds. You'll still need the NFA 3 tax stamp though. These will have all the functionality of the 1K priced suppressors but will sell for about $300ish.

We also make specialty rifles as indicated on the website. If you are in the Chatham, NH area you can also attend a tactical weapons training class or two in order to brush up on your shooting skills (run by spec ops guys)! We are a "freedom friendly" facility with multiple types of automatic weapons to fire as well as handgun sales and accessories. Mention you are a ZH'er when you come!

End of Public service and self service message!

Son of Loki's picture

.308 is nice imo compared to the .223. Most Vietnam Vets I know cursed the .223 as being too light in the jungle...bullets easily deflected by twigs. The  only drawback to the 308s is the ammo is much heavier if you need to carry alot of it for some reason.

I'd be interested to hear other opinions.


Greenskeeper_Carl's picture

Depends on what you are using it for, as you listed the ups and downs of both. The 308 will punch through barriers and retain its energy a lot further and better than a 5.56. However, the guns, especially an FAL are a lot for expensive, plus you are going to pay a good bit more to the ammo, mags, etc. it comes down to budget and what you are going to use it for. You can pick up a decent, but bare bones AR for 700 or so. Spend another 300, and you can have half a dozen good mags and 500 rounds of ammo for around 1k.

Rick Blaine's picture


...but I still say if someone wants to pick up a rifle just to have/just in case/for SHTF/etc., etc., the best place to start is with something that shoots 7.62x39 - e.g., a "quality" (i.e., a real) AKM/AK-47 or a SKS.

You can pick up one of those Yugo O-PAPs that CAI imports right now for like $500 bucks...and they are legit Yugo AKs (in fact, I may grab one or two in the near future)...and you can probably find a lightly used SKS for like $300-$350.

Don't get me wrong, I've got my share of .223/5.56 ARs...

Re .308 - I still don't think there is a good, reasonably lightweight semi-auto out there...UNLESS you want to pony up for a SCAR 17 (with a dealer price of $2500)...

...and even then, you still have the problem with the price of the ammo...and any spare parts (IF you can find them).

Yeah, there are other quality semi-auto .308s out there (e.g., some "AR-type," FALs, PTR-91s, FN ARs, etc.), but damn - they are all beefy as hell.

...and the .308 AR-type rifle thing is still a big cluster&@(& with respect to parts interchangeability.

RafterManFMJ's picture

There's always 6.8 SPC...although ammo remains expensive.

Citxmech's picture

I'm seriously thinking about a 5.45 upper for my AR (a "real" round for close to the current price of .22LR and no conversion/crap in the receiver issues) and a .300 Blackout upper for a new "pistol" build.  (WA CCWs only apply to pistols - I thinking I'd keep an AR "pistol" w/standard long buffer tube in the car/truck).

g speed's picture

unless your in a suppressing fire type situation you don't need an sar-- IMHO find a good to fair Rem 700 long action at the gun show and put a glass stock and a barrel from a gun catalog on it chambered for 30-06 --get a good variable 9 power scope--and a match trigger.  spend the rest of your Christmas money on a "O" press and some redding dies, some cartrige prep supplies, 500 cases and 3000 168gr serria match bullets, a couple of pounds of H 1000 and 3000 large rifle primers. and learn the rifle, the ammo and how it shoots under differing conditions-- just saying.       

hedgeless_horseman's picture



Just don't try to clear any buildings with the bolt action.


Versus the FAL:


TrumpXVI's picture

The .308 retains more energy, no doubt, but that doesn't always translate into superior penetration ability.  The 5.56mm M855 with the steel penetrator core actually penetrated the standard military helmet (Warsaw Pact, sheet steel) better at 500 yards than the .308 ball (lead core) in NATO tests.  That's why NATO developed it, to defeat the standard Warsaw Pact infantry body armour.

Ditto for the 7.62x39 as used in the AK.  The standard ball round for the AK47 is of very poor construction and has been demostrated on many occasions to disintigrate completely upon impact with almost any barrier, including window glass!

The important thing is to make sure you have plenty of M855 for your AR, or the ability to handload it yourself.


Citxmech's picture

If you can make a head-shot at 500 yards - you can surely make a center-of-mass shot.  At 500+ yards - you're going to have more wind drift with the lighter bullet too (making hits harder unless you've got a spotter).  Regardless of steel helmet penitration - the .308 carries much more energy at longer ranges.  That's why Army and Marine snipers all carry .308s or larger.

gwar5's picture

A .308 often turns cover into mere concealment for the bad guy.  


Chuck Walla's picture

You ain't in the jungle here, boy! And you ain't on offense with your squad. Don't sweat light calibers.


Borrow Owl's picture

"You'll still need the NFA 3 tax stamp though."

Fuck the NFA.

The phrase '..shall not be infringed.' says all that needs to be said.


Overfed's picture

Build what you want, don't show it around (hard part), don't take it to a public range, and don't store it in your home with your other guns.

Rentier's picture

oil filters work nice too. :)

El Diablo Rojo's picture

How does one who lives in an unfriendly gun state like California go about getting a .223 colt barrel threaded to match said suppressor, hypothetically speaking of course?

Offthebeach's picture

Slide good strong flat screwdriver into slots of flash suppressor. Unscrew. Notice threads on barrel.

Bring supressor to good car parts place and buy matching tap and die. Also get there good drill bits for that size tap. Watch YouTubes of how to tap threads.

Anyways, if its really quiet, even a subsonic with a fresh suppressor sounds like the end of the world, and travels quite a distance. Common backround noise like a radio, jet, generator, heavy traffic is nice

Overfed's picture

FALs are good rifles, but for the cost of a decent one with ammo, a guy could outfit an entire platoon with AKs or a squad with ARs.

Citxmech's picture

Learn to build yourself.  Texas Brigade lists M21/M25 clones for $3500.00.  I've got maybe $1500.00 into mine w/all USGI parts.

yrbmegr's picture

You never answered my question.

CitizenPete's picture

Yes my goto gun is a SGL-21 with 75 rnd drums and is named Boris. My Saiga 12 is named Natasha with 20 rnd drum. Strange I never named any other guns I own except Boris and Natasha.

Night time defense carbine is Sig 556R with Trijicon ACOG 13a and night vision with infrared laser. Must add suppressor.

DanDaley's picture

Distance is great (.308), but the vast majority of engagements take place well within 100 yards (60, really), and an AK will hit whatever you need hit at those distances all day long.


As an aside, a close friend of mine took 2 AK rounds to the gut in Vietnam and would not be without an AK. 

Clueless Economist's picture

Hope to see you all at GIGANTIC Harrisburg PA show  February 1-9 2014!!

Croesus's picture

@ Clueless Economist: 

I'm about 30 minutes west of "Linda Thompson's Socialist Paradise", now known as "Papenfuse's Playhouse". I'll probably make it up to the show, and I'm usually at the MAAC gun shows at the Farm show complex; Are you on PAFOA at all?  

Freddie's picture

LOL!  I would love to see the real Paul Krugman there.  I would probably beat his ass and test out one of the knives at the show.  Send him back to Princeton in a bag.


Harbanger's picture

It's too late to disarm US citizens.  When TSHTF, criminals will quickly learn to get in line for fear the cops won't save them. God bless America and long live the Republic.

john39's picture

I'm not so certain that they actually want us disarmed...  look at Syria, Iraq and similar countries.  The idea is to create chaos...  pit one group against another...  destroy countries through civil war  (ie, urban black vs. rural white).   the sociopaths in control lack numbers.  the rule through cunning and evil.

Crawdaddy's picture

They have been working that angle for a long time. Black vs white, men vs women, old vs young and lately straight vs gay. They rule not simply through being cunning and evil but only (ONLY) becuase they control the money. If we can put a stop to their control of money we can beat them.

Harbanger's picture

You're right. Just replace "they" with "progressives" and you'll be spot on.

Crawdaddy's picture

Actually I would replace "they" not with Progressives but with the Jesuits and their associated groups of influence of Freemasons and Knights of Columbus, B'nai B'rith, Shriners, etc. The progressives (and their ideological counterparts in the Repub party) are wings of the same bird. And they are just clerks sent to collect a grocery bill.

Bonus cut - Aaron Russo. Jesuits not implicated but they are the assholes behind the trouble.

Harbanger's picture

I like Karen Hughes, but progressivism is a socialist ideology of slow growing statism that was decided upon 100+ years ago during the progressive era.  It's outcome is here now, whether you admit it or not.  I already know that there is no difference between the modern Repub and Democrat establishment parties.  But don't get stuck on group labels, the new Pope for example leans towards being a social justice/liberation theology progressive.  That's why the left suddenly loves him(for now anyway), even though he's "opposed" to abortion and gay marriage.