No, there is no gun shortage, however on March 21st Ruger announced they had over 1 million orders in the first quarter of 2012 so they have suspended distributor orders until at least May.
Sturm, Ruger & Company, Inc. Chief Executive Officer Michael O. Fifer made the following comments:
- The Company’s Retailer Programs that were offered from January 1, 2012 through February 29, 2012 were very successful and generated significant orders from retailers to independent wholesale distributors for Ruger firearms.
- Year-to-date, the independent wholesale distributors placed orders with the Company for more than one million Ruger firearms.
- Despite the Company’s continuing successful efforts to increase production rates, the incoming order rate exceeds our capacity to rapidly fulfill these orders. Consequently, the Company has temporarily suspended the acceptance of new orders.
- The Company expects to resume the normal acceptance of orders by the end of May 2012.
Smith & Wesson has also received more orders this year than last and the backlog is double that of the previous year and they are struggling to keep orders filled. So while there is no shortage of guns, just like there is no shortage of ammo, the manufacturers are having a difficult time keeping up with demand. Ruger introduced the American Rifle earlier this year as well as the SR22 and have had difficulty keeping up with orders. The SR1911 was released in April 2011 and Ruger has never been able to keep up with orders and retooled to take production from 300 per week to 600 per week. I know I have been on a waiting list for that gun for almost two months and suspect it will be several more before I finally get the call to come pickup the pistol.
While this is bad news for someone like me anxiously awaiting that new firearm or someone who has placed an order for one of the new or current models, this is great news for the firearm industry. I’m no economist, but when demand is higher than supply that is an excellent place to be for manufacturing. All I hope is no one decides to raise prices and in this case I do not think that will happen.
So if you want that new Ruger product, keep your shirt on and be prepared to wait. Keep in mind the old saying, “Good things come to he who waits!”