The threat of an assault weapon ban by the Obama Administration has led to what appears to be almost a complete sellout of high-capacity magazines for the popular AR-15 rifle.
Online retailers such as Cabela’s, Gander Mountain, MidwayUSA, and NationalGunSupply may show the 20 or 30 round magazines on their site, but you see the dreaded words “OUT OF STOCK” when you drill into the product and attempt to add it to your cart. In a few cases I was able to find 5 or 10 round magazines available, but even those seem to be in short supply. Even retailers in my local area such as Fleet Farm and Dunham’s Sports are sold-out, and you get a little chuckle out of the salesmen if you ask about having any in stock.
A popular choice is the PMAG. If rifles aren’t your thing and you don’t know what a PMAG is, it is a polymer magazine for the AR15/M4/M16 platform weapons made by Magpul. Below is a picture of a 30 round Magpul PMAG, along with a little refresher on the 2nd Amendment
The product page on Magpul’s website states that they will be shipping to dealers and distributors in January. That pretty much confirms that there is a shortage since Magpul is letting their customers know when to expect them. That seems to match with what I am hearing at a few retailers I checked with, which is they expect a shipment by mid-to-late January.
I can’t say that this is a total sellout because I was able to find them at the popular online auction site ebay. However, with the auctions not yet finished, some 20 round PMAGs were bit up to $66 or higher. When a product that normally sells for $15-20 suddenly jumps to over $65, you know that the lack of supply has driven up the price significantly, over 400% in this case.
My advice to you is to not overreact to the situation. Guns are flying off the shelf in record numbers as well, but in my opinion, any ban that comes along will probably take several months to develop. All of the manufacturers have time to ramp up production and should eventually meet the demand. I could certainly be wrong, and a ban could hit in the next few days if the President finds a way around existing laws with an executive order, but unless you have a lot of extra money to burn, I wouldn’t give in to the price gouging that is going on right now. Watch your local retailers around the middle or end of January, and maybe you’ll get lucky and find something on the shelves. Given that there are very few available right now and demand is going to build for the next month, anything released in January is probably going to sellout within in a few days time, if not sooner. I still wouldn’t panic at that point. Continue to be patient and eventually you’ll find what you are looking for at a reasonable price.
You can also look for online retailers that take backorder sales such as MidwayUSA.com. They may overextend themselves and take more backorders than what they will receive in January, but at least you’ll be in the queue and hopefully get what you want at what most would consider the typical price, that is until a few days ago when demand skyrocketed.