The Great Gun Shortage of 2021
Supply chain disruptions due to the pandemic have affected manufacturing world-wide. Automobile manufacturers have had to delay or shelve 2021 models altogether, opting for 2022 or 2023 model year releases. The firearms industry, a very small industry compared to automotive, home-building, and other sectors, is even more prone to delays. Stellantis N.V., now the parent company of Fiat / Chrysler / Peugeot, has about 400,000 employees in 30 countries. They aren't the largest, for Volkswagen Group had 656,000 employees as of 2018.
Let's say you've been waiting for a new Ford Bronco, to cite just one example. Ford has announced that customers will not begin to receive the 2021 Bronco two- and four-door SUV until summer 2021 because of corona virus-related supplier issues. Volkswagen, Ford, Fiat Chrysler, Toyota and Nissan all say they have been hit by the shortage and been forced to delay production of some models in order to keep other factories running. There are ATF delays in import permits, the vaccine and PPE have stressed conventional shipping methods, supplies of cardboard, and lead times for steel.
In 2021, you may not be able to find the gun you're looking for. In a typical year, new products are announced at the end of the year to January. An announcement hardly means actual production much less availability. In a more normal year, new models appear in May / June, with a target of July for availability on hunting guns. All of that is currently in doubt. The have been over 2,500,000 covid cases in Turkey and over 2,600,000 covid cases in Italy.
If you are looking for the new gun of your dreams in 2021, you'd better start planning now. Production and shipping costs are on the rise, and although it was a buyers market in the Trump years, that is no longer the case. The current war on fossil fuels drives up costs across the spectrum for everyone. Your local gun dealer likely isn't going to get the inventory he wants this year, so they will have to make do with less transactions on the more desirable models. That means prices are going up, as the only way to value inventory is replacement cost. When you cannot replace your inventory, the inventory that you do have is far more valuable. Out of stock is not at all discontinued, it is just temporarily out of stock.
Planning ahead and back-ordering what you want now may well be counter to the American immediate gratification way of life, but I'm reminded that my parents, grandparents, and great grandparents often had to do a lot more than just plan: they had to do without, for close to fifteen years. If you plan your shooting and hunting for 2021, then work your plan, you are going to be a lot happier this year.
Copyright 2021 by Randy Wakeman. All Rights Reserved.