Thursday, May 08, 2008

Sticker Shocks

Yosemite Sam and I were in New Hampshire last weekend. We go up there periodically to check on our place there and renew old acquaintances. We had several sticker shocks. First, I had to get gas in Connecticut. I know they have high gas taxes, but when you’re running on fumes, you gotta do what you gotta do.

We paid $3.91 per gallon. It made Maryland’s price of about $3.70 look cheap. It seems like just yesterday I was dismayed when gas hit $3.45 per gallon. Now I long for that price. We may have to cut down on the number of local and interstate trips we make.

We also went to our still favorite gun store, State Line Gun Shop in Mason, New Hampshire. We talked to the owner and poked around for a bit.

State Line has a Reising sub-machine gun for sale. Reisings are World War II era guns used mainly by Marines in the Pacific Theater. They are surprisingly cheap, at least for full-auto guns. State Line is selling their gun for $4,500.00. I was tempted, the gun’s still for sale. I don’t have that much money sitting around (not to mention the difficulty of filing government paperwork when you live in two places), That was actually a good sticker shock—a weapon with history, in good condition, for under $4,500.00.

We had another sticker shock and this one was not good. We bought some ammo. We haven’t been shooting much here in Maryland and most of that was with .22 pistols. Even before moving here, we were using our ammo stockpile, but that’s getting thin in certain calibers particularly because I haven’t moved my reloading equipment down here.

To make a long story short, we picked up enough ammo to use in an afternoon’s shooting session and paid $104.00. The most expensive ammo was for my .45 Colt revolvers and carbine. The only .45 Colt in stock was Hornaday’s Cowboy Action load. The box cost $18.95. That doesn’t sound too mad, until I mention that there are only 20 rounds in the box. I don’t know whether to shoot it or lock it up as an investment in precious metals.

The store’s owner also mentioned that lead shot for reloading has gone up so high that he no longer stocks it. You can’t even save money “rolling your own” anymore.

These prices could hurt gun rights. If someone who’s thinking about buying a gun realizes that prices are fifty cents to a dollar a round they might think again. It could really hurt sports that require a lot of ammo for practice (any action shooting, bowling pins, etc.).

Just like gas, I don’t have an answer, but I can cry about the problem. Too bad, I don’t have a magic wand.

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