Tue07292014

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Shop carefully and support local businesses when possible

On a recent trip to Fredericksburg, I learned something of value that I felt would be worth passing on to readers. Simply put: It pays to shop.
 I was shopping around for a handgun and decided to stop at a local, independently owned shop near town. I found something I was possibly interested in but was not quite sure I wanted to spend that much money quite yet.
 So, I took a drive to think about it. While driving and running other errands I passed a mass merchant that carries firearms in town and decided to stop in and see what they had. While their selection was quite a bit larger, their service was lousy and believe it or not the same exact handgun I thought about getting was over $250 more!
One would think that a larger retailer that has a chain of stores could purchase firearms cheaper than the independent dealer. Whatever the case, the little guy was far cheaper.
I decided that while I was in the “big” store I would take a look around and price ammunition. The ammunition that was available was double the price of what it was a few months ago. A box of 30-06 ammo for hunting was $40 for 20 rounds.
 I was stunned because in December I went to an independent dealer north of us on my way to bag a deer in the mountains and bit the bullet so to speak and forked over $21 for a box of rounds. I thought that was expensive. A call back to them for this article shows that at least one dealer in our area is trying to make some money on the scarcity of ammunition at our expense.
I also called a mass retailer south of us and found that their prices although higher than some were well below what I found locally.
The bottom line is that you need to call around for availability and price. Don’t get ripped off with inflated prices! It is too bad we don’t have a small independent gun dealer or outdoor shop nearby. With the economy like it is I doubt anyone would want to venture out and do that right now. If we had one though, I bet they would do some business!
Side Note:
I am not sure how many of you are aware but ammunition of practically all types are scarce and look to remain scarce for the foreseeable future. When I say scarce I mean that most handgun ammunition cannot be reliably found anywhere locally or nationally.
Many rifle calibers are also scarce. I even went to the websites of well-known ammunition suppliers and one had a note on their site stating that it could be four to six MONTHS before ammo was available! It seems that either some folks are very concerned about the future or they are not so sure the current administration will leave firearms and ammunition alone.
Supplies for making ammunition don’t appear to be much of a problem.  Whatever the reason you might want to take stock of what you own now and what you might need in the near future.

Mark Fike

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