A couple of these were Dick's Sporting Goods and Cheaper Than Dirt. Now, Dick's pulled a bonehead by pulling all semi-auto sporting rifles from their stock and submarining their relationship with Troy Industries in the process. However, Dick's isn't specifically targeted toward the shooting community. They just like our money a lot, but their real bread-and-butter is sporting goods in general. I'm not saying that gives them a pass, it just makes them hypocritical. They have other interests as well, but that call will keep me from getting ammo from them in the future.
However, Cheaper Than Dirt? What purpose would be served to suspend sales of ARs to your customers? If it was a matter of being overwhelmed, then let's just say so. I know that Brownell's did exactly that. They were honest and stuck with their customer base. No price-gouging, just a serious attempt to meet the expectations of their customers. I have no clue what prompted Cheaper Than Dirt to post a comment something to the effect that they were 'suspending sales' while they re-evaluated their process for selling firearms, but that's squirrelly at best. Meanwhile, I see Brownell's saying they are doing their best to provide their products and they were just overwhelmed. They even continued to take back-orders at their normal prices for quite a period of time. Honesty, plain and simple. In full disclosure, I cannot remember having ordered any products from Brownell's in the past. I may have, but they weren't the first place I looked. I know I have ordered from Cheaper Than Dirt. I can say that may be a thing of the past. I was on their email distribution list and received an email saying "Magazines, back in stock!" I didn't have time to look at it on my phone, but quickly forwarded it to a group of friends, one of which had mentioned they were wanting a couple of AK mags. The responses back were quick and filled with colorful language. I won't use it here, but the discussion was all around the high price of the magazines. $80. for a blue steel AK mag and $130 for a metal Colt AR mag? Well, I guess that shows me why they're in stock.
So, I thought I would send a note to Brownell's and tell them I appreciated:
My friends and I are pretty passionate about firearms and the outdoors. We love to collect, shoot and enjoy the firearms that we are lucky enough to have. Recently, we have been watching some of the companies that I thought would be our allies in the current battle for our rights. We have been sorely disappointed. Yes, these companies are usually competitors, but lately there is plenty of business to go around We watched as Cheaper Than Dirt initially suspended sales and now have turned around and begun some serious price gouging on magazines. $130. for a used Colt AR mag is a bit insane. We have also watched other companies and how they have handled themselves during this time. Brownell's, for some reason, was never my first stop when looking for accessories and I don't know why, really. The first thing to get my attention was the post on AR15.com by Mr. Brownell which I stumbled upon through other gun blogs. His up front and honest description of what was going on was refreshing. In general, people are not stupid and an honest explanation was all it took. From there, I went to Brownell's and went ahead and back-ordered some Pmags. It was obvious that Brownell's had more business than it could deal with and could charge whatever you wanted, but you did not. These short-term money making decisions may work right now, but customers do not forget this in the long run. Because of the way Brownell's has handled themselves during this time of high stress, it will be my first stop for accessories from now on.
Thank you for standing by the community.
Though I'm sure he has been insanely busy, Mr Weeks responded in short order:
Thanks for noticing! We've hired temp help, been working overtime and generally trying to dig out this hole. Our crew had two meetings with magpul at SHOT show. They are trying to bring more machines online to increase their production. It all may take a while but we will all get caught up. In the meantime, please call your senators and congressman. Thanks for your faith.
It is times like now when those that will stand up are recognized. I know we can't be doing any infighting at this point, but actions will be remembered. I know that Cabela's has also shown some real spine lately. I will have to save my pennies and travel a little further up the road to support them next time.