JWR’s Firearms Market Trend Predictions for 2020 to 2025

JWR’s Firearms Market Trend Predictions for 2020 to 2025 by James Wesley Rawles for Survival Blog

GNN Note – If you’re not familiar with JWR (James Wesley Rawles) not only does he publish the grandfather of the prepper community website Survival Blog, he is a retirement Special Ops Army Officer and has been the premiere voice of the prepping community for more than 20 years. He doesn’t write as much as he used to, so, when he speaks the prepping community tends to listen and listen intently. He is a practicing Christian and has been as long as I have known him – more than ten years. He is not afraid to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with anyone at any time.


I was recently asked by a consulting client about my predictions for the U.S. retail gun market for the remainder of 2020 and next few years. In this article I’ll summarize my responses:

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  • Panic buying will continue through August, or possibly longer. News of a large scale “camping” exodus from big cities, home invasions, campsite robberies, garden thievery, livestock rustling, and roadblock confrontations will raise gun buying to a fever pitch, even in small towns.
  • Once the urban gun shops have sold out, then buyers will travel further out into the suburbs and even small towns, and wipe out those inventories. Low gas prices will facilitate this.
  • We will continue to see severe shortages of most modern military caliber ammunition–most notably 9mm and 5.56mm.
  • The strong demand and higher prices for centerfire ammo will spill over to rimfire ammo buying–as people will want to shift to inexpensive training ammo. So we may experience another multi-year .22 rimfire ammo drought.
  • Prices will be strong across the board until at least August. For now, it will be a lucrative Seller’s Market–especially for private party guns.
  • First-time gun buyers will be so desperate that they will be buying even commemorative Winchester lever actions for use as practical self-defense guns. Some people will also buy bird-hunting shotguns and do Bubba hacksaw or tubing cutter jobs to turn them into combat shotguns. (Desperate times call for desperate measures.)
  • To get around state restrictions, there will be renewed interest in pre-1899 cartridge guns — but not in muzzleloaders. Many of those buying replica cap & ball revolvers will be doing so with the intention of doing cartridge cylinder conversions.
  • After the COVID crisis dies down — probably in October or November of 2020, a lot of “first-timers” will have buyer’s remorse, and sell guns back to gun shops. They will of course take big losses. Since many of these folks know little about either legalities or market fundamentals, they will assume that they can only  sell guns to FFL holders–even in states where private party sales are perfectly legal. If you live in one of those free states, then it will be a good time to post “want to buy” classified ads.
  • The glut of returned guns–many of which will be “like new in box” (LNIB) and perhaps even unfired and “new in box” (NIB) — will drive down prices. This will profoundly be a Buyer’s Market.
  • Adding to this oversupply, the heirs of elderly people who succumbed to the COVID-19 virus will begin to flood the market with a lot of nice old classic guns. Have plenty of cash on hand to buy these “Grandpa’s old guns.”  You might end up buying a few $300 M1 Carbines, M1 Garands, or pre-’64  Winchester Model 70s.
  • The Buyer’s Market will persist through 2021, UNLESS a Democrat wins the presidency. A dem in the White House hcould flip things back to a Seller’s Market, much like we saw when President BHO was elected.
  • The nascent recession may turn into a depression. As the crime rate rises, a lot of people will be looking to trade high grade sporting guns (such as a over & under shotguns) for practical and tactical guns. If, at that point, you are sitting on a pile of M4geries and full-capacity 9mm pistols, then you will be able to trade very advantageously.

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