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Discussion Starter #1
I keep reading topics in the forums about "shortages". And people that argue for and against the theory. But it still isn't quite clear to me.

1) Why are people paying so much for kits if there isn't a shortage? And why do so few retailers have kits (and rifles) in stock if there isn't a shortage? Manufactured inflation by the wholesalers/retailers?

2) The price that people are paying for kits, with the additional price of parts you need to finish one, are just about the same as the price of a "new" rifle. So why not just buy a "new" one? Stupidity?

3) Why are people able to sell rifles for the same price used on the forums, as they are being offered "new" by online retailers? (And I don't mean all the list prices that once you call they are "back ordered". I mean places that list the price on their site and on their auctions on gunbroker - ready to go out the door.)

Are people just to lazy to find all the retailers online or sift through the few AK's for sale on gunbroker?

4) Why aren't retailers holding out for "the shortage" to drive the price of their "few remaining" AK's through the roof and sell then? (Because maybe their real "few remaining" are being held back for that day? I honestly don't know.)

5) Lastly, what is the deal with VEPR's and Saiga's? The retailers are stating price increases for the "next batch of Saiga's". And Rob Arms site has changed to the point that it doesn't look like they are importing VEPR's anymore at all. Did the ability to import a Russian gun change?

I don't feel strongly one way or the other on these theories. They just confuse me. And don't seem to quite make sense. The arguments one way or the other don't seem to be completely convincing.
 

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It's a conspiracy, man!!!!!

But seriously, I think it's purely from the govt putting more rules and regulations on the importation of stuff combined with global inflation in gerneral. Bottom line, people are becoming more paranoid by the day, thus they do stupid things without thinking them through. Add to this the fact that this is a primary election year and you've got quite a situation.

You can do one of two things; sit tight and hope things even out in the future, or you can go about your business and bite the bullet at the checkout line. I prefer the second choice as the seas look quite rough in the near future.
 

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There isnt as many availible at any one time right now. Lots of new people interested in the AK the past couple years.

One reason to get a kit built, is you know what is in it. There is some control over the parts pocured for assembly. It is also satisfying to source the different parts and peices.

You also have some control over who builds it, and what finish is applied.

Why arent retailers "holding out"? Well, they have bills to meet monthly also. There may be some of that, but its not common.
 

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Most of the common (cheap) kits are no longer available from vendors, even though there is a steady supply from individuals. To some, this puts fear that ' the end is near,' so they are willing to pay a bit more for a run-of-the-mill Romy kit. Unless more kits become available from vendors, I dont think this trend is going to reverse itself.

If a kit built rifle cost the same, or slightly more than a premade, I would still build my own. Not just for the reasons listed above, but primarily because I enjoy building.
 

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moab said:
3) Why are people able to sell rifles for the same price used on the forums, as they are being offered "new" by online retailers? (And I don't mean all the list prices that once you call they are "back ordered". I mean places that list the price on their site and on their auctions on gunbroker - ready to go out the door.)

Are people just to lazy to find all the retailers online or sift through the few AK's for sale on gunbroker?

Assuming a comparable price for both, I'd consider a private sale over a vendor order in some cases because a private seller is more likely to spell out the specifics of the kit he's selling, i.e. a certain part with a mistmatch number or a specific year of manufacture. With vendors its likely you will still get a good kit, but it's still "a box of chocolates" as to what exactly you will get.

5) Lastly, what is the deal with VEPR's and Saiga's? The retailers are stating price increases for the "next batch of Saiga's". And Rob Arms site has changed to the point that it doesn't look like they are importing VEPR's anymore at all. Did the ability to import a Russian gun change?

I suspect a prime factor is the falling percieved value of the US Dollar vs the Euro. European rifles now "cost" more, so there is less profit margin for an importer and they pass the "savings" on to us. They may not think its worth their time to bother.
 

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Like many election years, speculation is driving up the price of guns all around. Fear of another, harsher gun ban is driving people to buy now, since we've all seen it happen before. The barrel importation ban has made barreled kits more valuable, and since no more barreled kits are comming in, the price should continue to creep upward. A weak dollar and obscene gas prices are driving the price of just about everything up. China is gobbling up metals like copper and lead, driving the price of ammo up. AK building is peaking in popularity, and people are building AK's to have the experience of building them, not just to have an AK rifle.
 

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jk-47 said:
Like many election years, speculation is driving up the price of guns all around. Fear of another, harsher gun ban is driving people to buy now, since we've all seen it happen before. The barrel importation ban has made barreled kits more valuable, and since no more barreled kits are comming in, the price should continue to creep upward. A weak dollar and obscene gas prices are driving the price of just about everything up. China is gobbling up metals like copper and lead, driving the price of ammo up. AK building is peaking in popularity, and people are building AK's to have the experience of building them, not just to have an AK rifle.

This is correct...I find myself pulled in and paying higher prices for ammo and gun items like the fuel. do I not play into this and sit back or buy while you can still get the items?? :roll:
 

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rtg said:
This is correct...I find myself pulled in and paying higher prices for ammo and gun items like the fuel. do I not play into this and sit back or buy while you can still get the items?? :roll:
I live in a state that still has a form of the old AWB. You can still get guns with underfolders, flashiders and bayonets... they are "Preban", & considered legal because they were in existance before the ban.... But you pay a premium for them. It will likely be the same if another set of laws is passed, you will pay more for these things.
 

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jk-47 said:
rtg said:
This is correct...I find myself pulled in and paying higher prices for ammo and gun items like the fuel. do I not play into this and sit back or buy while you can still get the items?? :roll:
I live in a state that still has a form of the old AWB. You can still get guns with underfolders, flashiders and bayonets... they are "Preban", & considered legal because they were in existance before the ban.... But you pay a premium for them. It will likely be the same if another set of laws is passed, you will pay more for these things.
So if you buy a kit that was a rifle built that has the date of manufacture on the trunion lets say. Before the ban or a pre ban rifle you can build your own recever and own the gun as a Pre Ban in your state?
 

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This is sort of wandering off the point... anyway to awnser your question, No. We can have, for example an chinese underfolder rifle if it was imported before the ban. You cannot build any new rifles with those banned features, regardless of the kit's origin.
 

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nope

the dollar is falling, people who saved away like say 10 grand in savings actually have 8k of the money they had even 5 years ago. everything went up in price, and the kits actually are worth quite a bit and there was just a surplus of kits, especially romy kits. do now they're coming to what they would normally sell for had there been less of them........ i don't like it, but hey, what'ya gonna do.
 

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hey_hi_its_me_vlad said:
nope

the dollar is falling, people who saved away like say 10 grand in savings actually have 8k of the money they had even 5 years ago. everything went up in price, and the kits actually are worth quite a bit and there was just a surplus of kits, especially romy kits. do now they're coming to what they would normally sell for had there been less of them........ i don't like it, but hey, what'ya gonna do.
Sounds like buy all you can... build what you want... and keep your mouth shut..,. :dance:
 

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Send me your address and I will send you a freshly made custom fit TINFOIL HAT ! :roflmao:
 

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:lol: but seriously exactly what I've been doing for the last year. keep your head down and grind away, 'cause it aint goin to last long.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I have read some about these issues. But you'll have to forgive my feable mind if I misquote something here. I'm recovering from back surgery. (They issued me the tinfoil hat on discharge from the hospital BTW. So I'm AOK!) :)

It was my understanding that the bans around 2005(?) stopped the flow of kits with receivers and barrels. And that whatever "full" kits were left in the US - after the ban - were it. There would be no more. (Unless of course the law changed.) But then I read someone saying that the big importers like Century put new barrels on anyway at the docks. Barrels from Green Mountain(?). So if that were the case nothing really would be changing at all. As there are plenty of AK's overseas to cut up for kits. To add barrels and receivers to here.

This may be a dumb question but I assume there is also a ban on new or used barrels being imported by themselves - not as part of a kit?

It just seems like if the situation were that dire ("all the AK's for import are almost gone forever!") many of these AK retailers would be going out of business. There just seems to be something artificial about it.

I clearly see the obvious decline in our economy. And everything getting more expensive. But I'm still not convinced that the import of AK's is over forever, "and everything is drying up:, and "you better buy now before it's to late", and "sell your mothers china quick! all the ak's are gone!" etc. etc. etc. It's so much advertising speak that I think has caused at least a portion of the hysteria.

Either way I am on the side of those that commented about wanting kits simply for the enjoyment of building. I understand that. And have set some kits aside. I guess I'm at the same cross roads as everyone else - trying to decide "how many" parts to set aside. Or what guns to snap up that may not be around in another 6 months to a year. Or simply how much can I afford to set aside before the price gets out of my range.

Or...is all of this just an expensive transition between full kits as we know it and complete sets of kit gun "parts" put together in a new more creative way to get around the ban - some time in the future? I find myself believing this idea more and more.

If I owned Century (or one of the big importers - I don't even know if there are other big importers) I would hold back a certain amount of my stock after the 2005 ban and try to create a situation as early as possible where the market (us) feels like this is the last chance to ever get an AK. Sales would climb rapidly as would prices (like right now). Then even if I had a plan to still be able to offer complete rifles and/or kits after the post ban ones ran out - I wouldn't share that info until the "hysteria" ran out.

Then when that "new way" of importing them started I'd do everything I could to make it seem like this was a "limited" or "one time opportunity". :) So that everyone would, again, run "hysterically" to their retailer. In order to continue their hobby this "one last time".

If the importers and manufacturers didn't take advantage of this situation they would be terrible business men - unfortunately. At least in the traditional sense of what a good American businessman has aways been known. :) I'm one too BTW. Though not in the firearms business.

But I guess either scenario has the price climbing so we are back where we started. How soon before I won't be able to afford this? And how much can I afford to buy before that time comes?
 

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moab said:
1) Why are people paying so much for kits if there isn't a shortage? And why do so few retailers have kits (and rifles) in stock if there isn't a shortage? Manufactured inflation by the wholesalers/retailers?

There is a shortage of kits with barrels. You cannot import them anymore.

2) The price that people are paying for kits, with the additional price of parts you need to finish one, are just about the same as the price of a "new" rifle. So why not just buy a "new" one? Stupidity?

Many times private builders build better and more correct guns that the mass produced Century ones.

3) Why are people able to sell rifles for the same price used on the forums, as they are being offered "new" by online retailers? (And I don't mean all the list prices that once you call they are "back ordered". I mean places that list the price on their site and on their auctions on gunbroker - ready to go out the door.)

Are people just to lazy to find all the retailers online or sift through the few AK's for sale on gunbroker?

See answer to #2

4) Why aren't retailers holding out for "the shortage" to drive the price of their "few remaining" AK's through the roof and sell then? (Because maybe their real "few remaining" are being held back for that day? I honestly don't know.)

They are

5) Lastly, what is the deal with VEPR's and Saiga's? The retailers are stating price increases for the "next batch of Saiga's". And Rob Arms site has changed to the point that it doesn't look like they are importing VEPR's anymore at all. Did the ability to import a Russian gun change?

No, the cost of steel has gone through the roof, the dollar is falling, and Saiga's are always in short supply given what is being imported. I bought a S12 when they first came out for like $229. They're like $600 now (new).
 

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Discussion Starter #19
dyi said:
moab said:
1) Why are people paying so much for kits if there isn't a shortage? And why do so few retailers have kits (and rifles) in stock if there isn't a shortage? Manufactured inflation by the wholesalers/retailers?

There is a shortage of kits with barrels. You cannot import them anymore.

2) The price that people are paying for kits, with the additional price of parts you need to finish one, are just about the same as the price of a "new" rifle. So why not just buy a "new" one? Stupidity?

Many times private builders build better and more correct guns that the mass produced Century ones.

3) Why are people able to sell rifles for the same price used on the forums, as they are being offered "new" by online retailers? (And I don't mean all the list prices that once you call they are "back ordered". I mean places that list the price on their site and on their auctions on gunbroker - ready to go out the door.)

Are people just to lazy to find all the retailers online or sift through the few AK's for sale on gunbroker?

See answer to #2

4) Why aren't retailers holding out for "the shortage" to drive the price of their "few remaining" AK's through the roof and sell then? (Because maybe their real "few remaining" are being held back for that day? I honestly don't know.)

They are

5) Lastly, what is the deal with VEPR's and Saiga's? The retailers are stating price increases for the "next batch of Saiga's". And Rob Arms site has changed to the point that it doesn't look like they are importing VEPR's anymore at all. Did the ability to import a Russian gun change?

No, the cost of steel has gone through the roof, the dollar is falling, and Saiga's are always in short supply given what is being imported. I bought a S12 when they first came out for like $229. They're like $600 now (new).

#3 I was referring to used pre-manufactured rifles like the Century's. That's why it doesn't make sense to me. I could understand it if it was a better assembled rifle by a private gunsmith like you mention in #2. That makes sense. But the Century's seem to be sold used at the same price as you can get them new. Specifically ones like the Yugo M70 AB2(?). I don't think I've seen a new one being sold used for less than $550-$600. You can get news one for that easy. I think there are just alot of guys that jump onto the forums and don't take the time to see what is really being offered new online. They just sort of naively assume "this is the place to buy" I guess.

But I get your points, DYI, they make complete sense.
 

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moab said:
It was my understanding that the bans around 2005(?) stopped the flow of kits with receivers and barrels. And that whatever "full" kits were left in the US - after the ban - were it. There would be no more. (Unless of course the law changed.) But then I read someone saying that the big importers like Century put new barrels on anyway at the docks. Barrels from Green Mountain(?). So if that were the case nothing really would be changing at all. As there are plenty of AK's overseas to cut up for kits. To add barrels and receivers to here.

Yes but it costs more for the exporter to cut the barrel up, then add the price of a US barrel. Even then, the barrel is NOT chromed lined. Not a killer but still not as good as the original. Then there is talk of issues like the US 5.45 barrels really had a bore size more like a 5.56 and Tantal's keyholing right out of the box


This may be a dumb question but I assume there is also a ban on new or used barrels being imported by themselves - not as part of a kit?

Not sure

It just seems like if the situation were that dire ("all the AK's for import are almost gone forever!") many of these AK retailers would be going out of business. There just seems to be something artificial about it.

Not to large retailers like Century, but hobbyist aren't going to see as much variety due to the costs associated with the barrel issue

I clearly see the obvious decline in our economy. And everything getting more expensive. But I'm still not convinced that the import of AK's is over forever, "and everything is drying up:, and "you better buy now before it's to late", and "sell your mothers china quick! all the ak's are gone!" etc. etc. etc. It's so much advertising speak that I think has caused at least a portion of the hysteria.

I haven't seen anyone claiming that. But stuff costs more every day, and if anything AMMO is the issue now. Global war demand and steel through the roof

Either way I am on the side of those that commented about wanting kits simply for the enjoyment of building. I understand that. And have set some kits aside. I guess I'm at the same cross roads as everyone else - trying to decide "how many" parts to set aside. Or what guns to snap up that may not be around in another 6 months to a year. Or simply how much can I afford to set aside before the price gets out of my range.

Are you a collector or a shooter? If you are a collector buy more parts. If you are a shooter, just buy Century guns. I would expect their costs to jump soon enough due to fuel and steel costs.

Or...is all of this just an expensive transition between full kits as we know it and complete sets of kit gun "parts" put together in a new more creative way to get around the ban - some time in the future? I find myself believing this idea more and more.

If I owned Century (or one of the big importers - I don't even know if there are other big importers) I would hold back a certain amount of my stock after the 2005 ban and try to create a situation as early as possible where the market (us) feels like this is the last chance to ever get an AK. Sales would climb rapidly as would prices (like right now). Then even if I had a plan to still be able to offer complete rifles and/or kits after the post ban ones ran out - I wouldn't share that info until the "hysteria" ran out.

Their time is now. Most people are getting out of building for anything other than collections and if they wait to long, there will be no real demand for this niche

Then when that "new way" of importing them started I'd do everything I could to make it seem like this was a "limited" or "one time opportunity". :) So that everyone would, again, run "hysterically" to their retailer. In order to continue their hobby this "one last time".

If the importers and manufacturers didn't take advantage of this situation they would be terrible business men - unfortunately. At least in the traditional sense of what a good American businessman has aways been known. :) I'm one too BTW. Though not in the firearms business.

Century has plenty of 5.45 but the price still goes up. That's the "replacement" cost to buy more

But I guess either scenario has the price climbing so we are back where we started. How soon before I won't be able to afford this? And how much can I afford to buy before that time comes?


Its always going to be cheaper today than tomorrow
 
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