economics Prepping

About Ammo Prices

There are many who claim that Cheaper Than Dirt, along with other retailers of ammo, are price gouging. I disagree. This is simple supply and demand at work. There is even an old joke about it:

A woman pulls into a gas station and tells the clerk “I can’t believe that you are selling gas for $4 a gallon! That’s price gouging! Why, the station down the street is selling gas for only $2 a gallon!”
The clerk replies, “So why don’t you go get your gas there?”
The woman says, “They are out of gas.”
The clerk then replies, “Ha! When I am out of gas, I sell it for $1 a gallon!”

Let’s say that you are a dealer who normally buys ammo at $4 a box and sells for $8. The massive demand hits, and all 1,000 boxes of your ammo quickly sells out. You have 700 customers demanding more.

You call suppliers, and they have a limited supply. He tells you that he has 500 boxes, but they tell you that they will only sell you 50. If there was a rule about only selling for $8 a box, the story would end here with 650 of your customers having to look elsewhere for ammo.

Or you can offer your supplier $8 a box for all 500 of the boxes he has in his inventory. So you make the offer and put the 500 boxes up for sale at $12 a box. Those 500 sell out at that price, and now because of the shortage, you have 500 more customers in a panic who are willing to pay more, but you don’t have any more.

So you get creative and begin calling around, offering distributors $10 a box for any ammo they have. There isn’t any. The suppliers begin calling the factory, offering double the normal wholesale price for any ammo they can get. The factory begins paying their workers overtime, because the added price means that they can now afford the increased cost of production.

Now the wholesalers have gotten more ammo, but the wholesale price is now $12 a box. You pay it, and put it up for sale to your customers at $16 a box.

Sooner or later, one of two things will happen:
The high prices will cause more manufacturers to enter the game, which will increase supply, or demand will decrease. Once the supply/demand curve is reduced, the prices will decrease.

This isn’t gouging, this is how free markets work. If you don’t have enough guns or ammo right now, that is entirely YOUR fault. It isn’t as though the repeated gun and ammo shortages of the past weren’t a warning. If you failed to heed that warning and are left unprepared because you spent your money on other things, that is on you.

I saw a guy in my LGS wearing a USMC ballcap. He told me he was buying his first AR because, “I don’t know how much longer they will be legal.” So he waited until AFTER the inauguration of a gun hating Democrat to buy his first AR? I would argue that he DESERVED to pay $2K for one as a fine for being stupid.

RKguns has no lowers.

Every PSA lower is either out of stock, or more than $100. At one point last year, they were selling for less than half that.

Brownells has ONE lower in stock for less than $150. (at $136, it’s no bargain.) The rest are out of stock, or are more expensive.


Code cards

As a follow up to my communication frequencies post, a continuation of my communication series:

The conspirators who were responsible for the Fusion GPS dossier and wiretapping of the NYC election headquarters of Trump’s campaign were using HAM radios to communicate and coordinate this effort, in violation of Federal law. No one at the FCC cared.

Then word came down that people involved in the January 6 Capitol incursion were using HAM radios, so the FCC decided to begin looking out for that. Because of this, any communications that we are conducting need to be encoded in such a way as to not appear to be a code.

The answer to that is in cryptonyms. Setting up a cryptonym system is easy. All it takes is to setup a set of codewords that can be used in a sentence.

People pick up pseudonyms that don’t sound like pseudonyms. Generating them is as easy as using a random name generator. Locations can also be generated. You can give a place a random person’s name. Actions can receive a random verb.

When you transmit, you can still use your callsign:

This is WX4 NNE. John Davidson, are you there? (John Davidson doesn’t exist. That name is a code word for an asset you want to send a message to)

Another station answers:

This is KK2 WXA. John is helping Karen Bartow this weekend with her tennis game. He said he would see you on Monday at the gym.

Now the asset “John Davidson” just told you that he met the asset “Karen Bartow” this weekend at the Walmart on 23rd street (code named tennis court) and would update you by Monday by leaving the information at the dead drop (code named “the gym”).

You get the point. Use your imagination.


Common Radio Freqs

In the event of a complete loss of communication, here are the channels that I will monitor/use. There is little to be lost by putting these out here, because a quick frequency scan by anyone who wants to listen will find them as soon as you transmit, anyway.

Citizen’s Band
Channel 9 | CB9 | 27.065 | AM | Channel 9
Channel 19 | CB19 | 27.1850 | AM | Channel 19
Channel 22 | CB22 | 27.2250 | AM | Channel 22

FRS Channels
UHF |FRS 1 ===| 462.5625 | FM | FOX 1
UHF |FRS 2 ===| 462.5875 | FM | FOX 2
UHF |FRS 3 ===| 462.6125 | FM | FOX 3
UHF |GMRS 15==| 462.5500 | FM | GANG 1
UHF |GMRS 16==| 462.5750 | FM | GANG 2
UHF |GMRS 17==| 462.6000 | FM | GANG 3
VHF |MARINE 3 | 156.1500 | FM | BASIC 3
VHF |MARINE 72| 156.6250 | FM | BASIC 7

MURS Channels
VHF |MURS 3 ==| 151.9400 | FM | MUSIC 3
VHF |MURS 4 ==| 154.5700 | FM | MUSIC 4
VHF |MURS 5 ==| 154.6000 | FM | MUSIC 5

2 METER |”652” | 146.520 | FM SIMPLEX | SIX FIVE TWO*
2 METER |RED | 147.250 | FM SIMPLEX | RED
70 cm |GREEN | 424.250 | FM SIMPLEX | GREEN
70 cm | BLUE | 432.350 | FM SIMPLEX | BLUE
70 cm | 600 | 446.000 | FM SIMPLEX | SIX HUNDRED*

*Channels “600” at 446.000mHz and “652” at 146.5200 mHz are both channels commonly monitored by amateur radio operators.