Originally Posted by Yankee Traveler
before I bought mine I visited and called a number of gun shops in a 50+ mile radius for almost 6 months before I put in an order at Buds. The answer was always the same, we will get some soon, when the distributor gets them. I finally called Colt and they told which distribotors were shipped which models recently and gave me some contacts. I called a few of the distributors who all said tell them which gun shop and they would deliver one when they got one.
Unfortunately, distributors play games.
A few years ago, a friend of mine was looking for a particular model of Colt 1911. My friend always buys through a small but well-established gun shop, who has accounts with all the major, national distributors. The FFL kept calling, and the distributors kept telling him they didn't have that model and couldn't predict when they'd get it.
However, my friend has a friend (actually, several friends) who work at Colt. He called one of his friends. His friend asked which distributor the FFL preferred to use. When my friend told him, he looked up that distributor and reported that they currently had five of that very model. So the friend at Colt told my friend to have his FFL call the distributor and inform them that [___] at Colt said they knew there distributor had five of the model they claimed not to have, and if they didn't ship one to my friend's FFL chop-chop, they weren't getting any more Colts for a very long time.
My friend got his pistol.
What happens is that a distributor will get in 'X' number of guns in a specific model. The distributor has maybe six regional reps, so each rep gets 1/6 of the new shipment assigned to him. For some models, that might be ONE pistol per rep, and that's all they're going to see for perhaps three or six months. So they don't just sell it -- that would be unthinkable. No, they hoard it until one of their favored, high-volume FFLs comes begging, and they sell it to him. This makes one FFL look like a hero, while making all the rep's other customers look like jerks.
It stinks, but it happens.
So, if you deal with a small, home-town FFL and he tells you he can't get Colts ... it may be true. The other factor is that Colt produces in batches, and they ship in batches. So they might ship a run of Defenders, then they change over to making Gold Cups for awhile. So if a distributor sells all his Defenders, he won't get more until Colt turns the machinery back to making Defenders. So that part affects all FFLs and all distributors. Sometimes that's the story. Other times, though, the distributor may be playing games with an FFL who isn't a major customer.