NYPD Approves Springfield Armory XD-S For Off-Duty Use

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By Jade Moldé

A special edition of Springfield Armory’s XD-S 9mm pistol has been approved by the New York City Police Department (NYPD) for carry by off-duty uniformed officers. The NYPD officers may also carry the XD-S 9mm “NYPD model” as a backup gun while on duty.

The NYPD Firearms and Tactics Unit worked in cooperation with the Springfield Armory engineering and design teams to develop a version of the XD-S pistol that conforms to the exact requirements of the NYPD. After passing the department’s rigorous testing procedures, the XD-S was approved for use with no performance modifications and only minor adjustments to meet NYPD policy guidelines.

“We’re pleased that we were able to work with the team in the Firearms Training Section to meet specific needs of the department,” said Dennis Reese, CEO of Springfield Armory. “Our engineering team developed a new disconnector and grip safety spring that adjusts the trigger pull weight of the XD-S to the specific policy requirements of the NYPD.”

The NYPD XD-S pistol includes many of the features that have made it popular in the commercial concealed-carry market. A mere 0.9 inches wide and weighing 23 ounces, the XD-S is easy to carry concealed.

The Springfield Armory law enforcement team completed the XD-S Armorer’s Training Program prior to the official launch of the program to all uniformed officers.

“The concealed-carry community has responded to the XD-S with overwhelming approval, so we’re pleased that law enforcement officers can use it, too,” Reese added.

Visit www.springfield-armory.com

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Nighthawk Custom Partners With Korth Arms

Nighthawk Custom, known for its high-end 1911s, has partnered with Korth Arms, the storied German firearms manufacturer, to bring Nighthawk-designed, Korth-built revolvers to the U.S. market.

Nighthawk Custom and Korth Arms have also entered into an exclusive distribution agreement for all Korth firearms being imported into the U.S. Certain models have been enhanced to meet U.S. gun buyer’s needs and desires, according to Nighthawk officials.

“This collaboration with such a renowned maker as Korth, who has the same attention to detail and unwavering commitment to quality that Nighthawk does, is a natural progression for both of our brands. We are proud to have our name on these Nighthawk-influenced Korth revolvers,” states Mark Stone, owner and CEO of Nighthawk Custom.

The initial offering of Nighthawk/Korth revolvers will begin with the Mongoose, an L-Framed .357, 4-inch revolver (the Mongoose is also available in 3-, 5.25- and 6-inch barrel lengths), the Super Sport, an L-Framed 6-inch target/hunting/competition pistol and the Sky Hawk, a concealable 9mm, 2-inch double action gun available in other barrel lengths (3 and 4 inches).

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Mongoose

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Sky Hawk

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Super Short

Brothers and owners of Korth Arms, Andreas Weber and Martin Rothmann, also expressed their excitement on this new partnership. “Uniting with Nighthawk Custom on this venture allows Korth to bring our unique and exclusive products to the U.S. market with a company that has the same quality standards, the same passion for their products and the same moral compass,” said Martin Rothmann, co-owner and chief developer.

Added Co-Owner Andreas Weber, “The pairing of the companies into the U.S. market complements both brands. Having our classic designs Americanized to the Nighthawk standard allows more shooters to enjoy and appreciate the level of functionality and beauty a revolver can achieve.”

Visit www.nighthawkcustom.com

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MarketPlace Insight Increases Century’s Profits

MarketPlace Insight (MPI), a leading source of data analytics and insights for the outdoor industry, is helping manufacturers turn data into a competitive asset. The company leverages data ranging from transactional data on GunBroker.com to data from email subscribers. In a recent press release, the company announced its efforts helped Century Arms grow new lines of business and increase profitability company-wide.

“The analytics from MPI have enabled us to create a new multi-million dollar line of business from scratch. It’s also enabled us to create huge growth and profits across the rest of the company, creating double-digit growth this year. We have a certain line of pistols that sold a few thousand units in 2014. This year, that number will increase by 500 percent,” said Jim Drager, COO of Century Arms.

Drager noted the data and analytics are a “huge part of that growth” and have “[unified the company’s] decision-making and actions.”

“We’re working very hard to bring together the most comprehensive data, spanning all manufacturers, models, and customer demographics, to provide unparalleled insight into outdoor enthusiasts,” said Ryan Nokes, director of MarketPlace Insight. “We see this as a win for everyone. Manufacturers and advertisers gain a better understanding of their customers — what content they consume, what they’re interested in, what media they watch, what they buy and why — and in turn, outdoorsmen and women get a more targeted, customized experience based on their needs and interests. Our data allows the industry to move from guesses and gut instinct to facts and data-driven intelligence.”

To learn more about how your business can improve decision-making with access to MPI data, contact Christen Everly at Media Lodge, christen@nullmedialodge.com, (952) 847-4437 or (612) 306-2274.

Visit www.marketplaceinsight.com

B2B New Partnerships

DISTRIBUTION
Tactical Gear Distributors (TGD) is now stocking a selection of FN America firearms and Böker knives. According to David Nau, president of TGD, “Tactical Gear Distributors is pleased to partner with FNH USA; this iconic company has a rich history of service with the American military. Nau also welcomed Böker, saying TGD is “confident military retailer and commercial retailer bases will do very well with the Böker product Iine.”

Zanders Sporting Goods has announced it is now stocking Colt’s new solid copper hollow point (SCHP) centerfire pistol ammunition. With on-target penetration and expansion, this all-copper ammo is ideal for concealed carry weapons. Zanders also announced it is expanding its inventory of archery supplies. “We’re excited to offer an ever-expanding line of archery products and accessories to our customers,” said Darell Seibold, archery buyer for Zanders. “Not only will we be expanding our already robust inventory, we‘ll be offering products from trusted brands such as Bear Archery, Carbon Express, and many more.”

Ruger’s ARX line of ammunition, manufactured by Polycase Ammunition, is now being distributed by MidwayUSA and Davidson’s Inc.

Crow Shooting Supply announced it has added two lines of firearms to its offerings: Mossberg and Thompson/Center firearms. Mossberg adds 360 new SKUs to Crow’s selection, while T/C adds 120.

SALES REPRESENTATION
Blackbird Products announced the appointment of OMG Associates LLC as its representative in the Southeastern United States (Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, W. Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi and Alabama). Mike Hannigan, president of Blackbird Products said, “We are very enthusiastic about further growth and are thrilled to have OMG Associates representing our fine products in the Southeastern territory.”

Breakthrough Clean Technologies has signed with Outdoor Outfitters Group to be their representative in the Midwest. Outdoor Outfitters will represent the Breakthrough Clean brand along with its line of cleaning products in 12 states in the heart of the U.S.

Baschieri & Pellagri has added four new representatives to sell the company’s products in the U.S. The Italy-based shotgun ammunition manufacturer chose GB Stumpp & Associates, Frontier Sales and Marketing, Ferguson-Keller Associates and Owen J. Brown Associates.

Kahr Firearms Group (KFG) has partnered with H&G Marketing to represent their products in the Southeastern U.S. The marketing group will represent Kahr as well as Magnum Research and Auto-Ordnance products. “With the growing demands we have been experiencing from strong sales to our consumers, dealers and distributors, we just felt we needed to expand our sales efforts quickly and effectively. H&G, with their impressive client list and proven sales efforts, convinced us that this would be a good fit,” said Frank Harris, VP of sales and marketing for the Kahr Firearms Group.

PR/MARKETING
Blue Heron Communications announces it has partnered with SIG SAUER Inc. to provide PR and marketing support to the New Hampshire-based company’s firearm, ammunition, silencer and airgun divisions. “A fixture in this industry for over 25 years, Blue Heron’s reputation for delivering proven communication methods across diverse product categories will greatly assist SIG SAUER as we continue to expand our new business units into broader markets,” said Tom Taylor, CMO and executive VP of commercial sales for SIG SAUER.

Creedmoor Sports Inc.has selected Source Outdoor Group (SOG) to promote its growing line of shooting gear and accessories, plus the company’s precision ammunition, Creedmoor Ammunition. “We’re going to greatly expand our reach with a lineup of new products and a number of innovative marketing and PR campaigns,” said Greg Kantorovich, owner of Creedmoor Sports. In addition, Diamondback Firearms has also selected SOG. “We looked at several marketing agencies in the industry, and it was clear to us that SOG was going to be the best fit for Diamondback,” said Bobby Fleckinger, owner of Diamondback Firearms.

H&N Sport announced Chevalier Advertising Marketing and Public Relations is its agency of record in the U.S. This new partnership will combine H&N Sport’s nearly 190 years of experience in precision projectile manufacturing with Chevalier’s 63-plus years of experience in brand development, public relations, advertising and marketing within the shooting and outdoors industry.

FOR MORE INFORMATION VISIT:

www.auto-ordnance.com
www.baschieri-pellagri.com
www.blackbirdproducts.com
www.blueheroncomm.com
www.boker.de/us
www.breakthroughclean.com
www.chevalier-adv.com
www.colt.com
www.creedmoorsports.com
www.crowshootingsupply.com
www.davidsonsinc.com
www.diamondbackfirearms.com
www.ferguson-keller.com
www.fnamerica.com
www.frontiersalesandmarketing.com
www.gbstumpp.com
www.gzanders.com
www.hgreps.com
www.hn-sport.de/en
www.kahr.com
www.magnumresearch.com
www.midwayusa.com
www.mossberg.com
www.omggetsresults.com
www.outdooroutfittersgroup.com
www.owenjbrown.com
www.polycaseammo.com
www.ruger.com
www.sigsauer.com
www.sourceoutdoorgroup.com
www.tacticalgeardistributors.com
www.tcarms.com

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Flourishing In The Face Of Growing Competition

By Massad Ayoob

In June 2001, firearms enthusiast Ernie Traugh (rhymes with “Draw!”) fulfilled a life-long dream and opened a gun shop in Marion, Iowa, a suburb of Cedar Rapids. The facility was all of 1,200 square feet, and he would soon have two full-time employees at Cedar Valley Outfitters. At the time, there were three other gun dealers in the area, one of them a behemoth Gander Mountain store — and this didn’t even count the “Monster Mart” firearms retailer, Wal-Mart, in Cedar Rapids.

Before long, there were five other gun shops in the area. One of them was a spare-no-expense modern facility of substantial size, complete with a state-of-the-art indoor range, a tremendous attraction in a region whose four-season climate makes outdoor recreational shooting less than pleasant for the customers. This competitive store had been built at an estimated cost of more than $3 million. How was a small businessman supposed to compete with that?

Ernie Traugh competed by expanding his sales space three times over, hiring three more employees, and racking up millions of dollars in sales. Here’s how he did it.

A Focus On Defense

In April 2013, Ernie moved Cedar Valley Outfitters into a 3,600-square-foot facility in the same strip mall, having outgrown the original workspace.
While Iowa is heartland hunting country (to that end, Cedar Vally Outfitters sells a full range of hunting rifles and shotguns), Traugh recognized early on personal defense was the core of the gun market in his particular region.

His strategy? “Truly, it came down to only selling guns I would trust my own life to,” he said. “We won’t sell certain brands that haven’t proven themselves in the field, or have shown themselves to be unreliable or problematic. It’s our rule. When new guns come out, we go out and shoot the heck out of them. If they work, then and only then will we sell them to our customers.”

His best-selling products are in line with what many have observed around the country. “The GLOCK 43, S&W SHIELD, and Ruger LC9s Pro are our best-selling guns; we sell all we can get,” he says. “In long guns, MSR platforms, and particularly those from Ruger and S&W, are dominating sales.”
Sales Tip: Don’t ignore police sales! Traugh is a part-time sworn police officer himself, and his appreciation for cops shows through, and earns the trust of his local market.

“Law enforcement is almost 20 percent of my business,” he noted. “We’re the Blue Label GLOCK dealer in the region, and one of only two in the state. We’re also the only Perfection dealer here in Iowa. A Perfection dealer for GLOCK has to buy guns in larger quantities, and carry the full line of GLOCK products. We sell several hundred GLOCKs per year.”

While the Blue Label program from GLOCK does not give a big margin per gun, it increases volume — while also increasing ancillary sales. The Blue Label program also encompasses civilians who shoot in the GLOCK Sport Shooting Foundation matches (GSSF), who burn up a lot of ammo and buy a lot of spare magazines, aftermarket sights, etc. GSSF shooters buy ammo by the case, not by the box, and tend to buy from dealers who support them and their chosen sport.

Editor’s Note: For more insights on the GLOCK Blue Label program and to see if it works for your store, see Mas’ column in the September 2015 issue. Visit www.shootingindustry.com/digital-version.

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Traugh tests new guns for reliability before he carries that
model in his shop. Here, he wrings out the new Honor Guard 9mm.

Create Your Advantage

Remember, trade-in guns are profit centers! “We sell a lot more ‘used guns’ than most of our competition,” Traugh noted. “The profit margins can be significantly more, too. A lot of our inventory comes in through police trades.”

Training provides another advantage for Traugh over his competition, which he started doing in 2008. He now personally teaches Combat Focus Shooting and several other I.C.E. courses under the umbrella of well-known training instructor Rob Pincus. Ernie does 45–60 classes a year himself, counting Iowa CCW courses, doing the live-fire work on rented outdoor ranges in hospitable weather. In winter, he offers indoor hand-to-hand, weapon retention, women’s self-defense, pepper spray and Kubotan (mini-baton) courses, bringing in outside subject matter experts to teach as necessary. He hosts 12–15 outside classes per year. Traugh comments, “Training is profitable. It constitutes less than 5 percent of my sales, but more than 20 percent of my profit.”

Another important point: stay on top of sales trends. I arrived at Ernie’s shop a week after Iowa passed a law approving silencers, and Ernie already had a SilencerCo rep in the shop giving his sales staff a tutorial on the product. “I think our sales patterns will change now that we have suppressors, and I expect to sell more bolt actions for people who want the most silent rifles for farm pest eradication. I have more people coming in to buy threaded-barrel rimfire rifles. We have tremendous backorders for suppressors already.”

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Traugh, second from left, helps a customer with a 4473 while the
rest of his staff deals with the other customers in his store.

Community Exchange Benefit

When “little guys” are up against “big guys,” strategic alliances make sense. Says Traugh, “We try to work with other small shops. At one other shop, the owner is an AK manufacturer, but not into training. I send people to his shop for custom AKs, and AK work, and he sends people to me for training.”

Ernie is active in the Iowa Firearms Coalition, as a member of their executive board. It’s his way of giving back to the shooting community. Altogether, the flourishing of Cedar Valley Outfitters in the face of increasing and massively better-funded competition is proof “ethical marketing” is not just a buzzword, but also a strategy that works for small businesses in the ferociously competitive field of retail firearms sales.

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Get Creative To Provide Personal Protection Tools For Women On The Go

By Lisa Parsons-Wraith

Airline travel presents a conundrum to personal defense-minded women. Weapons of any kind are forbidden in the cabin of an airplane, and regulations regarding checked baggage vary from airline carrier to carrier. Before women reach their destination, they’ll need to do some serious homework to make sure they’re in compliance with local laws. This can be especially challenging when international travel is involved. So, what’s the best personal-defense tool for the female traveler? Just like any personal-defense situation, the more tools a woman has in her toolbox, the better her odds of avoiding or surviving an attack while traveling.

Perhaps the most innocuous seeming (and versatile) defensive tool women can take with them anywhere is the tactical flashlight. Flashlights have many advantages and uses, the first of which is women can carry a flashlight anywhere without restriction. The first rule of personal safety is avoidance, and this is where the flashlight shines brightest. Tactical flashlights are designed to be blindingly bright — which is the purpose they’re best suited for — to blind an attacker, giving a woman time to get away. Most flashlights also come with a lower light setting, making them useful for everyday situations as well..

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Sabre RED’s Runner Personal Alarm will stand out to your active customers.
The alarm features a pull-ring, which will activate a 130-dB alarm that can
be heard up to 1,000 feet away.

In the worst-case scenario where a woman has to physically engage with an attacker, tactical flashlights can also be used as a bludgeoning weapon. Quality hard-anodized aluminum housing flashlights are strong enough to cause pain on impact and many tactical flashlight models come with bezel edges that can be used for defense. The bezel edges also make these flashlights ideal for emergency situations like breaking glass to escape a vehicle.

When assisting women in choosing a tactical flashlight for defense, an important consideration is size. Flashlights the size of a baton make great clubs, but odds are it would be under the seat of the car when a woman needs it because it’s too big and bulky to carry on a regular basis. Likewise, a tiny keychain model is too small to be effective. A high-lumen, palm-sized flashlight is the right tool for the job. Companies like SureFire, Fenix and Streamlight all carry a wide range of tactical flashlights that would work for personal defense. Stocking a variety of tactical lights, both in terms of price and features, will give women the options they need to buy the right tool for their needs.

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Crkt James Williams Tactical Pen

A “Layered Approach” To Defense

Kathleen James, VP of operations at the Arms Room in Dickinson, Texas, said women often come to her store looking for a means of personal defense while traveling. The Loaded Ladies of the Arms Room, the local women’s shooting group, recently held an event where they discussed non-lethal defensive options and how to use the things women typically carry in their purse to defend themselves. One of the outstanding options mentioned was a high-quality flashlight. James said her store carries a wide range of flashlights from companies including Streamlight and Browning, but her personal favorite is a SureFire flashlight.

“SureFire flashlights are really bright, they last a long time, come in different cases and just give you more options,” she observed. “The Browning flashlight with a striking tool is also a good choice.”

Columbia River Knife and Tool (CRKT) offers a flashlight and tactical pen designed by personal-defense expert James Williams. This combination of non-lethal tools can be carried just about anywhere, and provide a woman with a layered approach to personal protection. The flashlight is used to blind the attacker, and if this isn’t enough of a deterrent, the tactical pen can be used to disable him. Several other companies like SureFire, Smith & Wesson and Gerber Knives also offer tactical flashlight and pens that can be used as a potent, multi-layered non-lethal defense combo.

A word of caution for your customers traveling with defensive items, such as a small baton on an airplane: A friend of mine ran afoul of TSA when she took her keychain model Kubaton through a security checkpoint. She admitted the item was for personal defense and, as a black belt, she knew how to use it. TSA confiscated it and she spent some uncomfortable moments explaining herself when they declared it a lethal weapon and thus illegal to take on an airplane. Even non-lethal defensive tools need to be checked for air travel.

The Well Armed Woman founder, Carry Lightfoot, notes small flashlights, and other non-lethal items such as the Cat or Brutus keychain with point jabber ears, or the Monkey Fist — paracord rapped around a metal ball — are also good non-lethal defense options. “I see self-defense for women when traveling as a layered approach — situational awareness is key,” she stated. “When in unfamiliar areas all of our senses must be on high alert at all times and women must trust their gut, no matter what.”

Traveling with a gun or knife is Lightfoot’s first preference, but if local laws make traveling with those impossible, she said, the items mentioned above should always be near at hand. When it comes to securing a hotel room, Lightfoot suggested women should always use the extra door locks no matter what time of day. “There are door braces and small door alarms that can provide extra layers of security to your room,” she cautioned. “Don’t forget any adjoining rooms as well.”

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Cat Self-Defense Keychain

Final Thoughts

The Arms Room also carries small personal-defense items and James said small safes disguised as everyday objects are a good way to secure valuables. One of the more popular cache safes is disguised as hairspray or lotion, so it can be left out on a counter while hiding valuables in its false bottom.

“A good old whistle is also a good way to get attention because people aren’t used to hearing it,” she noted. Another option is a personal alarm, but some would argue the whistle is more effective as people have become accustomed to ignoring car alarms and will be less likely to investigate.
A valuable resource for anyone who travels is The Traveler’s Guide to the Firearm Laws of the 50 States by Attorney J. Scott Kappas. In addition to touching on the various state laws related to firearms, Kappas provides information on non-lethal weapons as well. It’s a great resource for helping women decide what type of personal protection they can use while traveling.

The bottom line: When it comes to women’s safety while traveling, dealers need to offer creative solutions to a very real problem. The first choice for most women would be a knife or firearm, but these choices can be impractical for reasons explained earlier. Consider the accessories you carry in your store and how they can be used as defensive tools. It would make a great ladies’ night topic and could add up to increased accessory sales for your store.

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Attracting Early Hunting Season Customers

Stock The Right Mix Of Products,
And Let Them Know You Have It

By Carolee Anita Boyles

The time leading up to hunting season can be a “Black Friday” of sorts for gun dealers. Hunters always want new stuff, and the last few weeks before the season starts can represent substantial income for prepared retailers.

Chuck Lock is vice president of Mack’s Prairie Wings in Stuttgart, Ark. One of the biggest changes he’s seen in early hunting season sales is hunters are upscaling the types of archery tackle they’re purchasing.

“The average ticket per bow sale is higher than what it’s been for the past several years,” he observed. “People don’t mind spending extra money to get the best. They’re buying Mathews and Obsession bows for deer hunting.”

Lock is also seeing increasing sales in crossbows. “It’s the same picture there,” he said. “The average ticket on a crossbow has gone up. The number one brand for us is TenPoint.”

On the other hand, according to Lock, muzzleloading is not as popular as it once was.

“At one time, black powder was a big deal for us,” he noted. “It’s really not anymore; that part of the business has gone pretty flat.”

When it comes to early waterfowl seasons, Lock has seen the quality of ammunition improve.

“Customers are purchasing higher- quality ammo,” he said. “Winchester Blind Side is a popular brand for us, as well as Hevi-Shot Hevi-Metal. Those are our top two sellers.”

Lock thinks hunters are spending more because they can — and because they value their recreational time.

“They don’t mind spending a little extra money when they know it will enhance their experience,” he said. “Nothing frustrates me more than to spend money and take time off to go somewhere, and then have a piece of equipment not work. My time is more valuable than that.” Customers are willing to spend more money to make sure they have equipment that works when they need it, he said.

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Thompson/Center Compass

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Skull Hooker Bone Bracket XXL

Strong Sellers

According to Lock, several product categories sell well at Mack’s Prairie Wings, including firearms.

“We sell a lot of Benelli, Beretta, Browning and Winchester,” he said. “Most of our firearms business is in shotgun sales. We also have a full-line gunsmith who makes custom rifles, which sell very well.”

The custom guns are sold as Spoon Custom Rifles, made by Matt Spoon. These are serious firearms, retailing for $2,400 and up.

“The caliber that’s really popular is 6.5 Creedmoor,” Lock observed. “In the custom round market here, it’s probably the number-one caliber. Most of the guns Matt builds shoot factory ammo very well.” Mack’s Prairie Wings carries 6.5 Creedmoor ammunition from Winchester and Hornady.

The accessories categories are big at Mack’s Prairie Wings, Lock said.

“The days of the $25 turkey decoy are over,” he said. “People don’t mind spending $80 to $100 on a good decoy because they want it to work. Sitka is a perfect example: People will spend the extra money because they know a piece of Sitka gear is going to protect them from the elements and enhance the experience they have on their hunt.”

Chest waders also are good sellers, Lock said. “And waterfowl decoys are a good category for us,” he said. “We sell as many $150 a dozen waterfowl decoys as we do $40 or $60 a dozen decoys because of the realism in the more expensive decoys. This is what people are after.”

Mack’s Prairie Wings sells a lot of GHG decoys, according to Lock. “We also sell a lot of Dakota decoys and a lot of Avian X decoys,” he added. “Those are our three top sellers.”

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Courtesy Of Howard Communications

A Different Story …

At Greenacres Sporting Goods in Jacksonville, Fla., the picture of early season hunting sales is quite different.

“The hunting industry has kind of taken a downturn for us,” said store manager Phillip Gazaleh. “This includes new rifle sales and the amount customers are willing to spend on a rifle. Our customers are going more toward package guns, which come with the scope and the gun together and are in the $400 to $500 range.”

In the past, Gazaleh said, customers were purchasing more expensive combinations, such as a Browning rifle with a Swarovski scope on it.
“Also, the biggest difference in our business over the past couple of years is more people are gearing toward guns such as the MSR platform and firearms like that,” he said. In other words, Gazaleh is seeing two separate trends: customers who purchase more conventional hunting rifles are going to less expensive rifle/optics combinations and other customers are tending to purchase MSRs.

Customers who are purchasing more traditional hunting rifles are buying Savage Axis and Ruger American rifles.

“The Remington 783 is another popular one,” Gazaleh noted. “The majority of customers are staying in this modest price range. A few customers do still come in and purchase rifles like the Browning X-Bolt.”

Greenacres Sporting Goods has a fairly good-sized archery department, and sales in the department generally are pretty good during the early part of hunting season according to Gazaleh.

“We get both hunters and 3D shooters, and we get some recurve shooters,” he said. “We actually stay pretty steady all year with our archery sales. People tend to come in every year or so and trade their bows in for the newest model.”

Archery sales tend to be technology driven, Gazaleh added. “It’s like computers,” he said. “Every year there’s something bigger and better.”
Gazaleh agreed with Lock: muzzleloader sales have dropped off.

“Muzzleloading is not as busy as it once was,” he said. “The season here in Florida is so short, so people don’t buy new guns every year. We see a little jump in sales every three or four years when people come in and buy new guns, but typically our muzzleloader customers just buy a little powder and some bullets, and that’s it.”

Waterfowl season makes little difference to sales at Greenacres, Gazaleh noted.

“We have a little spike in steel shot,” he said, “but we don’t do much in bird shooting.”

Hunting knives always are good sellers at Greenacres.

“Our customers particularly like Benchmade, Kershaw and Case,” Gazaleh said. “But the biggest sellers right now are snake boots. It’s always an early purchase before hunting season; we do a lot of snake proof and waterproof boots, we sell a lot of Lacrosse.”
Gazaleh has noticed the overall cost of hunting is impacting his business.

“The cost of hunting is going up,” he said. “There are fewer places to go, and the people who have places charge a lot. It’s hard to find a reasonable land to hunt.”

Communication With Customers

At Mack’s Prairie Wings, Lock communicates with customers about what he has in inventory in several ways.

“We do a mail-order catalog,” he said. “We also convey this message on our website and through social media.”

Gazaleh said traditional advertising works well for Greenacres.

“We use the newspaper, Facebook, our website, radio and TV,” he said. “What works best for us is actually the radio. Even the newspaper works well — not many people read the newspaper any more, but for some reason if we put an ad in the sports section we always do very well with it.”

Finding early hunting season customers isn’t difficult, however; it just takes having the right products in stock for your market and letting hunters know you have what they want.

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In-Demand Long Guns

New Products, Long-Range Shooting And
3-Gun Competition Boost Business

By Kevin Russelburg

America has a deep, rich history with long guns and that interest has continued (even increased) with the newest innovations hitting the market from today’s manufacturers. For your customers that are interested in training, they’ll hear instructors say the purpose of a handgun is to get to their rifle. And it’s obvious why rifles are preferred for hunting, sporting and defensive purposes. Those who learn and subscribe to this in practice will look to have long guns in their collections. So, these owners also tend to have dedicated purposes for each type of gun they own, which means an opportunity for additional sales for you.

As you know, there tends to be seasonality in firearm sales. The summer months are generally slower, and things pick up in the fall due to hunting season — resulting in purchases of bolt-action rifles and shotguns. Sales in modern sporting rifles (MSRs) and M4-type rifles are generally more consistent throughout the year, especially at today’s prices and availability.

Some market trends are clearly driven by the state and local laws. “Here in Illinois, rifle hunting is limited to coyote, so we don’t sell rifles for hunting,” said Pete Negro, managing partner of The Range At 355, a shooting range, training facility and retail store in Bolingbrook, Ill. “Most of our sales are for sporting rifles and we sell quite a few MSR-style rifles on a consistent basis. The ability to offer a wide selection of manufacturers and models is key.”

Often referred to as “tinker toys for adults” due to the amount of accessories and their relative ease of modifications, MSR-style rifles remain popular for many shooters. Attractive price points, a variety of customizable accessories and personal security concerns are some significant factors driving sales in MSRs at Range 355.

“The MSR platform is intriguing to many people due to its utility. A range of caliber options and seemingly endless options for accessories are two of the many attractive reasons why customers like them. With a quick change of a complete upper, a shooter can switch from 5.56mm to 300 AAC. The cost can be significantly less than the cost of a new rifle and offers a variety while at the range,” Negro said.

Because there are many different options available, providing a large selection to fit most customer tastes is important. “There are a number of caliber options available, so we try to stock a little bit of everything,” Negro added.

longgun2

Adept for pest or predator control, Navy Arms’ Winchester 1892
“Coyote Killer” is chambered in .44 Rem. Mag. to ensure there’s enough
stopping power to take down everything from coyotes to deer and hogs.

longgun1

“The Ruger Precision is a good product for shooters who want to make
long-range hits from a more modestly-priced platform. We carry a few
different models and calibers, but .308 is still the most popular,
and we sell out quickly when shipments come in.” — Pete Negro,
The Range At 355

longgun3

The Benelli ETHOS is now available in a 28-gauge configuration. While
developing this shotgun, Benelli worked with Fiocchi to produce the world’s
first 3-inch, 28-gauge load.

If One Is Good, Three Is Better

Increasing sales in long guns often means you should provide an array of upgrades available for purchase in addition to the rifle or shotgun itself. Traditional platforms, such as the Remington 700, have long been a favorite for hunters and competitive distance shooters. However, these two groups have very different needs. Hunters may need to purchase a scope, a sling, and possibly a cleaning kit.

Competition shooters — especially those in 3-Gun — are looking for sub-MOA performance, which requires the potential for quite a few modifications. Items such as bedded stocks or chassis options are more of a personal choice to the individual shooter, which provides an opportunity for dealers to deliver additional services to these customers. Although it’s not always possible to have an in-house gunsmith, working closely with one in your area can provide opportunities for everyone to increase sales and provide excellent customer service — a win-win.

3-Gun competitions are experiencing a growth in popularity in Negro’s area, which brings a unique opportunity to foster a relationship with these passionate customers. “The growing interest in 3-Gun competitions is a driving force in sales of MSRs and tactical shotguns in our area. Long-gun manufacturers have recognized the need for options, which allows for gun owners to customize their firearms to their liking. They’ve responded by getting creative and growing the market through innovative products.”

In shotguns, consumers generally fall in a couple main categories. There are those who are looking for a utility pump shotgun for hunting or defense, and the Remington 870 and Mossberg 500 are excellent products for this set of consumers. Beyond that, the next categories include bird hunters, or those involved in skeet, trap or sporting clays. These shooters tend to have a fairly good idea of what they’re looking for which could be a semi-auto or an over/under that fits their specific needs.

“In our store, most of our shotgun sales are of the tactical variety — with 3-Gun competition types selling the best. In fact, we’re going to start setting up competitions at the range. One of the things that sets us apart from other ranges in the area is if you can buy it here, you can shoot it here,” Negro added.

longgun5

Meopta’s MeoRed compact reflex sight is well suited for tactical use,
along with 3-Gun competitions, target shooting and hunting close-range
game, such as hogs. It’s made from aircraft-grade aluminum alloy and is
fully waterproof and shockproof.

The Long-Range Rush

Advances in optics technology, coupled with the economics of reduced costs, are allowing people to get into the long-range/sniper shooting market.

“We have a section of the store set up just for optics,” Negro noted. “There are so many considerations when buying a scope, so we help our customers. Eye relief is one of the most important for people to understand. Each person is unique, and just because a particular brand has an excellent product and reputation, it may not be the best choice for everyone. We feel strongly before a customer spends as much money, or even more, on a scope than they did on their rifle, they should be able try it out and make sure it fits.”

Long guns are growing in popularity, in part, due to manufacturers offering a variety of new, exciting designs and accessories at lower price points. “The Ruger Precision is a good product for shooters who want to make long-range hits from a more modestly-priced platform. We carry a few different models and calibers, but .308 is still the most popular, and we sell out quickly when shipments come in. We stock a variety of caliber options, which also drives sales,” Negro added.

At Range 355, Negro said education plays a key part in long-gun sales — especially for those interested in long-range shooting.

“We make every effort to ask the customer very specific questions in order to educate them and help them understand what may be the best option to fit their needs,” he said. “Calibers such as 6.5 Creedmoor, .243, and .338 Lapua are part of the reason for the increased popularity in bolt-action rifles and very desirable options for the long-distance crowd.”

longgun4

Capitalize on the continued popularity of the AK-47 platform by offering
magazines, cleaning kits and other accessories for your customers.

longgun6

BLACKHAWK! debuted a line of suppressors at this year’s NRA Annual Meeting,
with calibers ranging from .22 LR to .338 Lapua Magnum.

Look For More Opportunities

Providing additional services beyond the sale is an excellent way to increase sales revenues. “We have a reloading section set up in the store to introduce customers to the equipment and supplies needed,” Negro said. “We offer everything a shooter needs to get started and we keep the section stocked with supplies to make it as convenient as possible. As far as I know, there aren’t any other operations in our area offering this service. This especially appeals to the sporting shooters who use our range, but also precision shooters who are looking for quality supplies and convenience.”

Dealers, you can improve year-round long-gun sales by engaging with your customers regularly and making sure you have a good inventory of new and popular items. Readily available add-ons and other accessories such as optics, magazines and ammunition will appeal to your customers and keep them coming back.

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The Roar Of The Mighty .380

By Russ Thurman

U.S. firearm production has increased significantly in recent years. Yes, there have been ups and downs, but mostly there has been growth, much of it impressive.

What firearm caliber has seen the most growth? Within handguns, there is an unlikely champion: the .380 ACP. While other calibers, most notably the 9mm, have posted impressive numbers, none are as remarkable as this middle-of-the-pack cartridge.

Since 2007, there has been a 531 percent increase in handguns chambered in the .380. The dramatic growth started with the introduction of the Ruger LCP in 2008. Ruger didn’t develop the .380 cartridge, but it took the caliber to new heights and drove increased market value.

Introduced at the 2008 SHOT Show, the Ruger .380 Light Compact Pistol rose above the traditional show “buzz,” reaching roar status. Distributors, dealers and competitors rushed to the Ruger booth.

By the end of the second day of the show, rumors surged through the show that Ruger was backordered tens of thousands of LCPs. More dealers, distributors and competitors converged on the Ruger booth.

Beyond being a palm-sized pistol with the Ruger name on it, the LCP had real innovative features and, just as important, an MSRP of $330. This placed Ruger on solid footing in a segment of the market the company had ignored, and at a price-point that made the gun affordable.

According to the ATF’s 2008 Annual Firearms Manufacturing and Export Report, Ruger manufactured 83,161 firearms in the “TO .380” category. Since Ruger had not previously made a .380, these were LCPs.

In one swift move, Ruger bypassed all other U.S.

manufacturers in the .380 category. If Ruger had produced no other pistols in 2008, they still would have been ranked as the sixth-largest U.S. pistol manufacturer and the 15th U.S. firearms manufacturer in the nation.

Beyond Ruger, the LCP’s roar was heard throughout the industry. Not surprisingly, manufacturers like Smith & Wesson and SIG SAUER ramped up their .380 production. Other companies introduced models in the caliber. The result? There was a 101.4 percent increase in 2008 U.S. firearm production over 2007 in the “TO .380” category, the largest increase of any caliber in the industry for the year.

iw_1

The GLOCK 42, in .380 ACP, is the smallest GLOCK ever introduced.
In 2014, the company was the top maker of .380 pistols in the U.S.

Capturing The Moment

The growth of the .380 continues. From 2008 through 2014 (latest ATF data available), Ruger made 1,394,180 pistols in .380; these include the LCP and the LC380 introduced in 2013. Smith & Wesson has dramatically increased its .380 offerings with the Bodyguard line. Colt increased its production of .380s and there are numerous newcomers to the caliber, including Taurus and Kimber.

And GLOCK.

GLOCK didn’t jump on the .380 fast train, waiting until 2013 to introduce the G42. That year, at its U.S. facility in Georgia, GLOCK made 15,011 G42s, a modest number in the .380 category. However, in 2014, the company manufactured 227,090 G42s to become the top producer of .380 pistols in the U.S. for the year.

GLOCK wisely produced a .380 that is distinctly GLOCK, capturing sales of GLOCK devotees. The company also listened to consumers, noting the G42 was the result of “years of requests across all market groups for a super-concealable .380 GLOCK pistol.”

“This slim-line subcompact pistol is able to withstand the rigors of any situation. It’s safe, simple and fast. The G42 is a GLOCK in every sense,” said Josh Dorsey, GLOCK VP, in announcing the pistol.

So, what’s next for the .380 ACP? For a caliber that was, and sometimes still, maligned, there appears to be a lot of consumers willing to purchase a palm-size firearm chambered in .380. Success, however, lies in capturing the moment. That’s what Ruger did with the LCP. And now GLOCK with the G42.
When the ATF releases its data of firearms built in 2015, one of the first categories we’ll check is the mighty .380.

By The Numbers

For a look at the latest available production data, see “U.S. Firearms Industry Today” in the July issue. Online readers, visit www.shootingindustry.com/digital-version.

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3 45’s and a DoubleTap

Today’s desire: A non-1911 .45 ACP carry gun. Love 9’s. Love the 1911. Just looking for something a bit different.

Lots of guns fit my criteria. Three examples include this Springfield Armory XD-S (MSRP $549), this Kahr P45 (MSRP $829), and this Glock 30 Gen4 (MSRP $602.55). Three .45’s with the one mission but three very different ways of getting there.

Before I launch into this, which one would you pick? And why? Keep those thoughts in your head and read on…

In this introductory comparo, I’m going to try to provide you with some insight not easily found by merely reading each gun manufacturer’s website. I’m going to describe fit, finish, feel, and other subjective things. I’ll mention some of the objective data such as a capacity and weight, of course. And mostly in pictures, below. Ready?

springer2

Springfield’s XD-S 45 sports very square, aggressively textured stocks. As you can see, my pinky just barely catches on. But the short stock hides very easily. This is a tight, strong gun. Every part feels durable and sure.

 

kahr

Plenty to hold on to with the Kahr P45. Thin and comfortable, but more difficult to hide unless you cant the gun forward a bit in-holster. The operative words for the Kahr’s trigger are l-o-n-g and s-m-o-o-t-h.

glock

Glock’s 30 Gen4 sports a very thick stock but the mag offers a perfect pinky rest. Thick and chunky are the watchwords here. The 30 has always been known for its accuracy, too. If you know what a Glock feels like, then the 30 feels exactly the same. Just a bit thicker.

threemags

From left to right: Springfield’s 5-round magazine, Kahr’s 6-round magazine, and Glock’s 10-round magazine. Make your “pro” and “con” chart now…

springerstrength_edited-1

Love the Springfield’s red fiber optic front sight (very easy to see), tactile loaded chamber indicator, and grip safety… Longer barrel (4.0″) and shorter frame might be the ideal carry design…

kahrstrength

Love the Kahr’s thin-ness, light weight, and night sights… Most natural point-ability of the three…

glockstrength

Love the Glock’s textured stocks, larger magazine release, and higher capacity… No break-in required. It’ll fire. Every time.

threestack

Next stop: The range. Shooting DoubleTap Defense and Tactical loads. Carrying concealed. Soliciting opinions from opinionated buddies. And then reporting back to you…

What else do you want to know about these guns that you can’t find out on their respective websites?

— Mark Kakkuri

Remember: Text me a question or comment to let me know your thoughts or questions on this article. If, with your comments, you include just your first name and your city and state, I’ll likely use your comment/question in a later roundup article. And no, I won’t publish your phone number! Ready? You can text me right now at 248-328-2538.

U.S. Firearms Industry Today 2016

Industry Maintains Encouraging Growth During
Pivotal Election Year

By Jade Molde & Russ Thurman

Entering the second half of 2016, the U.S. firearms industry is well positioned to finish the year in a promising position. While not reaching the unprecedented heights of 2013, demand for firearms in the U.S. is strong — especially as consumers remain concerned about being responsible for their personal safety.

Sales are also being driven by the intensified anti-gun/anti-industry rhetoric from leftwing politicians, with November’s general election near. In an era when other segments of the U.S. economy have grown sluggish or are increasingly reliant on outsourcing labor and resources to places outside the United States, the U.S. firearms industry, even through cyclical ups and downs, has maintained enviable growth.

In April, NSSF released the findings from the 2016 “Firearms and Ammunition Industry Economic Impact Report,” which revealed the U.S. firearms industry’s total economic impact increased from $19.1 billion in 2008 to $49.3 billion in 2015 — an impressive 158 percent increase. In that same period, the industry also added around 120,000 full-time jobs (an increase of 73%) that pay an average annual wage of $50,180. Combining business and excise taxes, the U.S. firearms and ammunition industry generates more than $6.8 billion in taxes, a sizable footprint. In short: A healthy industry is an influential one.

Expansion To Gun-Friendly States

In a continued trend, several manufacturers have announced or opened relocated operations in gun-friendly states in 2016. In January, Remington Outdoor Co. and SIG SAUER announced they would expand manufacturing ammunition facilities in central Arkansas. These two expansions will add over 130 jobs to the region. New Hampshire-based SIG SAUER maintained Arkansas officials’ “aggressive” negotiations and financial incentives influenced their decision to open an ammunition manufacturing facility in the Natural State.

First announced in Jan. 2014, Beretta USA Corp. opened its new 156,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art manufacturing and engineering center in Gallatin, Tenn., in April. This facility will support all of the company’s U.S. manufacturing, creating over 200 jobs in North Central Tennessee. The company’s corporate offices and executive support functions will remain in its Accokeek, Md., facility.

Many have labeled the South the “New Gun Valley,” and these recent expansions have further substantiated this claim.

Financial Insights

In May, NICS conducted 928,532 (NSSF-adjusted) background checks, a 1.1 percent increase over May 2015. In an encouraging sign, 2016 year-to-date (Jan.–May) totals are higher compared to the corresponding dates in 2015, increasing from 5,427,494 to 6,206,763 — a 14.3 percent increase.

Ruger’s latest earnings report (Q1 2016) reveals the company posted $173.1 million in net sales, a 26.35 percent increase over the corresponding quarter in 2015. This substantial increase is attributed to several factors, including the rise in overall demand, new product introductions and Ruger’s increased production capability and availability of products in demand, according to the report. After a period of declining sales, Ruger experienced a welcome recovery in 2015 that has strengthened into 2016.

“In 2015, demand returned to more normal seasonality. But nonetheless, 2015 was a recovery year in the cycle until very late in the year when we observed a significant spike in demand. This spike in demand was strongly correlated to the tragic terrorist activities in Paris and San Bernardino. Demand for firearms for self-defense and concealed carry increased dramatically, and that demand continued through the first quarter of 2016,” said Mike Fifer, Ruger CEO, during Ruger’s annual shareholders meeting in May.

New products, including the Ruger American Pistol, Precision Rifle, AR-556 MSR and LC9s pistol, represented $50.3 million (29%) of firearm sales in the first quarter of 2016.

According to Fifer, Q1 2016 earnings delivered Ruger’s “second highest revenue we’ve ever enjoyed and the third highest earnings.”

In March, Smith & Wesson reported its 2016 third quarter sales, which ended Jan. 31, increased 61.5 percent over the same quarter in 2015. Net sales totaled $210.8 million; firearms division net sales were $194.7 million, a 56.4 percent increase. Accessories division sales were $16.1 million, compared to $6.1 million for the comparable quarter last year (a period in which S&W acquired Battenfeld Technologies, and therefore reported only six weeks of accessories division sales).

“The combined strength of our firearms and accessories businesses delivered an exceptional performance, driven by healthy consumer demand across our growing portfolio of firearm and outdoor lifestyle offerings. During the third quarter, the adjusted NICS data reported a significant increase in growth versus the prior year, especially in handguns. In addition, our product sell-through at distribution was much stronger than we had anticipated,” said James Debney, S&W Holding Corp. president and CEO.

S&W officials report the strong pull-through of the company’s products “exceeded expectations,” which resulted in less-than-planned Q4 internal inventories. To increase production rates in Q4, S&W plans to leverage its “flexible manufacturing model” and increase outsourcing efforts — which will help keep up with demand of products such as the M&P15 SPORT II and M&P SHIELD. The company estimates its fourth quarter of fiscal year 2016 revenue will be between $210 million and $215 million.

U.S. Firearm Production

In 2014, U.S. firearm production reflected the year’s significant drop in sales and the struggle within the industry to define the “new normal.” The number of firearms built in 2014 dropped to slightly below 2012 levels. This was in dramatic contrast to 2013, when, for the first time, U.S. manufacturers produced more than 10 million firearms in a single year (10,349,650).

According to the ATF’s “2014 Annual Firearms Manufacturing and Export Report” — the latest data available — U.S. manufacturers made 8,692,461 firearms in 2014, a drop of 16 percent from 2014.

During 2014, U.S. firearm production declined in all categories, except revolvers. Hardest hit was shotguns, which dropped 22 percent from 2013.
The 4,377,501 handguns built in 2014 was a drop of 15 percent from 2013 when production increased 24 percent. Pistols production in 2014 decreased 18 percent (4,441,726 to 3,633,454) from 2013. Revolver production in 2014 increased 3 percent (725,282 to 744,047) from 2013.

Rifle production in 2014 also decreased 15 percent (3,979,570 to 3,379,549), this after a 26 percent increase in 2013 and a 37 percent jump in 2012.
In shotguns, the 22 percent decline in 2014 production (1,203,072 to 935,411) was in dramatic contrast to a 27 percent increase in the category in 2013. The 2013 jump was the largest increase in shotgun production since 1994.

Despite the drop in overall U.S. firearm production, three U.S manufacturers each produced more than 1 million firearms for the third year in a row: Ruger, Remington and Smith & Wesson.

For the seventh year in a row, Ruger was the top U.S. firearms manufacturer. In 2014, the company made 1,714,097 firearms, a 21 percent decrease from the 2,180,780 firearms the company produced in 2013. Ruger’s handgun production dropped 28 percent, with a significant decrease in pistols (-35%).

Remington was the second largest firearms manufacturer in 2014, moving ahead of Smith & Wesson who dropped to third in overall production. During 2014, Remington was the top U.S. producer of rifles (929,823) and shotguns (457,359).

Smith & Wesson’s overall firearm production dropped 11 percent, but the company posted the highest number of handguns made in the U.S. S&W made 1,183,422 handguns in 2014, a 2 percent increase over its 2013 production.

2014 U.S. Production

The top U.S. firearms manufacturers in 2014 and their percentages of change from 2013 were:

• Ruger: 1,714,097 (-21%)
• Remington Arms: 1,409,129 (+0.55%)
• Smith & Wesson: 1,342,698 (-11%)

The top handgun manufacturers were:
• Smith & Wesson: 1,183,422 (+2%)
• Ruger: 1,003,459 (-28%)
• SIG SAUER: 433,905 (-21%)

The top pistol manufacturers were:
• Smith & Wesson: 914,700 (-2%)
• Ruger: 722,029 (-35%)
• SIG SAUER: 433,905 (-21%)

The top revolver manufacturers were:
• Ruger: 281,430 (-5%)
• Smith & Wesson: 268,722 (+19%)
• Heritage Mfg.: 85,464 (-5%)

The top rifle producers were:
• Remington Arms: 929,823 (+6%)
• Ruger: 706,192 (-8%)
• Savage Arms: 305,826 (-17%)

The top three shotgun companies were:
• Remington Arms: 413,535 (-10%)
• Mossberg/Maverick Arms: 371,367 (-29%)
• Savage Arms: 72,346 (-53%)

U.S. Exports, Imports

In foreign trade, U.S. exports increased 13 percent in 2014, this after a 36 percent jump in 2013 (370,373 to 420,148)

Ruger was the top U.S. firearms exporter in 2014, with a 29 percent increase over 2013, a year the company’s exports grew by 35 percent.
Savage Arms continued as the second largest U.S. exporter with a 4 percent increase from 2013. During 2013, Savage significantly increased its exports, with a jump of 662 percent over 2012.

• Ruger: 77,859 (+29%)
• Pistols: 10,937
• Revolvers: 8,028
• Rifles: 58,836
• Shotguns: 58
• Savage: 63,745 (+4%)
• Rifles: 59,663
• Shotguns: 4,082
• Maverick Arms: 63,520 (-39%)
• Rifles: 13,311
• Shotguns: 50,209

During 2015, U.S. imports reached 3,521,911 firearms, an 8 percent increase from 2014.

Austria was the top importer in 2015, with a 16 percent increase from the previous year. During 2015, Brazil, a perennial top importer, returned to the list of the three highest importers of firearms.

The top importers in 2015 and their percentages of change from 2014 were:

Austria: 925,573 (+17%)
• Handguns: 923,951
• Rifles: 906
• Shotguns: 716

Brazil: 596,100 (+8%)
• Handguns: 482,480
• Rifles: 78,58
• Shotguns: 35,035

Croatia: 338,535 (-23%)
• Handguns: 338,535

Jazz Jimenez, Shooting Industry’s associate editor, contributed significantly to the production of this report.

NSSF-ADJUSTED: NICS BACKGROUND CHECKS JAN. 2013 — MAY 2016
YEAR JAN. FEB MARCH APRIL MAY JUNE
2013 1,790,154 1,634,309 1,501,730 1,185,231 974,457 872,025
2014 970,510 1,264,010 1,224,705 988,726 877,655 805,571
2015 1,052,441 1,280,825 1,187,823 987,698 918,707 886,825
2016 1,362,847 1,487,871 1,297,275 1,130,238 928,532 N/A

YEAR JULY AUG. SEPT. OCT. NOV. DEC. TOTALS
2013 855,259 1,016,559 1,034,701 1,113,818 1,308,100 ­1,520,529 14,796,872
2014 816,588 989,337 1,024,272 1,174,797 1,329,688 1,624,524 13,090,383
2015 946,528 1,031,959 1,071,945 1,211,478 1,432,451 2,235,560 14,244,240
2016 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 6,206,763

NSSF removes NICS purpose codes used by several states for CCW application checks and other purposes. The removal of this data provides a more accurate report of background checks conducted for the purchase of firearms. Visit www.nssf.org/research.

firearms_2

Total U.S. Firearms Production By Type 1995-2014

Year Handguns Rifles Shotguns Total
1995 1,722,930 1,440,699 1,176,958 4,340,587
1996 1,484,477 1,424,319 926,732 3,835,528
1997 1,406,505 1,281,162 918,759 3,606,426
1998 1,284,755 1,345,899 1,036,520 3,667,174
1999 1,331,230 1,569,685 1,106,995 4,007,910
2000 1,281,861 1,583,042 898,442 3,763,345
2001 946,979 1,284,554 679,813 2,911,346
2002 1,088,584 1,515,286 741,325 3,345,195
2003 1,121,024 1,430,324 726,078 3,277,426
2004 1,022,610 1,325,138 731,769 3,079,517
2005 1,077,630 1,431,372 709,313 3,218,315
2006 1,403,329 1,496,505 714,618 3,614,452
2007 1,610,998 1,610,923 645,231 3,867,152
2008 1,819,024 1,746,139 630,710 4,195,873
2009 2,415,453 2,248,851 752,699 5,417,003
2010 2,817,377 1,830,556 743,378 5,391,311
2011 3,170,990 2,318,088 862,401 6,351,479
2012 4,155,240 3,168,206 946,010 8,872,456
2013 5,167,008 3,979,570 1,203,072 10,349,650
2014 4,377,501 3,379,549 935,411 8,692,461
Total 40,705,505 37,409,867 17,086,234 95,201,606

Top 25 U.S. Manufacturers 2014

MANUFACTURER PISTOLS REVOLVERS RIFLES SHOTGUNS TOTAL
Ruger 722,029 281,430 706,192 4,446 1,714,097
Remington Arms Co. 65,771 929,823 413,535 1,409,129
Smith & Wesson Corp. 914,700 268,722 159,087 189 1,342,698
SIG SAUER Inc. 433,905 43,141 477,046
O.F. Mossberg/Maverick Arms 72,952 371,367 444,319
Savage Arms Inc. 305,826 72,346 378,172
Henry RAC Holding Corp. 300,312 300,312
GLOCK Inc. 232,324 232,324
WM C Anderson Inc. 176,231 176,231
Colt’s Mfg. 91,595 2,217 59,603 153,415
Beemiller Inc. (Hi-Point) 90,100 51,300 141,400
Kel-Tec CNC Industries Inc. 78,741 18,925 39,225 136,891
Kimber Mfg. 124,298 5,591 129,889
Beretta USA Corp. 88,980 4,625 20,457 114,062
Springfield Inc. 64,189 48,514 112,703
Heritage Mfg. Inc. 85,464 85,464
Taurus International Mfg. 84,249 84,249
SCCY Industries 69,049 69,049
Saeilo Inc. 59,346 7,041 66,387
Arms Technology Inc. 64,131 1,697 65,828
North American Arms Inc. 625 57,514 58,139
PARA USA 57,539 57,539
Keystone Sporting Arms 781 56,387 57,168
FN America 44,147 12,248 56,395
Diamondback Firearms 42,901 9,892 52,793

Handgun Production By U.S. Manufacturers 2014

MANUFACTURER PISTOLS REVOLVERS TOTAL
Ruger 722,029 281,430 1,003,459
SIG SAUER Inc. 433,905 433,905
GLOCK Inc. 232,324 232,324
Kimber Mfg. 124,298 124,298
Colt’s Mfg. 91,595 2,217 93,812
Beemiller (Hi-Point) 88,890 88,890
Heritage Mfg. Inc. 85,464 85,464
Taurus International Mfg. 78,471 78,471
SCCY Industries 69,049 69,049
Beemiller (Hi-Point) 93,200 93,200
Remington Arms Co. 65,771 65,771
Springfield Inc. 64,189 64,189
Arms Technology Inc. 64,131 64,131
Saeilo Inc. 59,346 59,346
North American Arms 625 57,514 58,139
PARA USA 57,539 57,539
Cobra Ent. Of Utah 51,783 275 52,058
Jimenez Arms Inc. 46,651 46,651
Charco 2000 Inc. 46,146 46,146
FN Mfg. 44,147 44,147
Diamondback Firearms 42,901 42,901
Haskell Mfg. 23,600 23,600
Phoenix Arms 22,600 22,600
Bond Arms 20,036 20,036
Iberia Firearms 19,000 19,000
Hi Tech Plastics Inc. 12,500 12,500
CZ-USA 9,254 350 9,604
Heckler & Koch 8,501 8,501
Magnum Research 5,094 1,043 6,137
Azimuth Technology 6,114 6,114
FMK Firearms Inc. 5,646 5,646
Wilsons Gun Shop 4,734 4,734
VLH Inc. 4,048 4,048
STI International Inc. 3,728 3,728
Nighthawk Custom 3,519 3,519
Les Baer Custom Inc. 2,953 2,953
Ed Brown Products Inc. 2,949 2,949
Century Arms Inc. 2,643 2,643
Engineering & Cycle Co. 2,583 2,583
Caspian Arms Ltd. 2,185 2,185
Tanury Industries Inc. 2,081 2,081
Extar 1,910 1,910
Coonan Inc. 1,863 1,863
Leinad 1,772 1,772
Rock River Arms Inc. 1,119 1,119
Kriss USA Inc. 1,021 1,021
Tactical Solutions Inc. 949 949
Boberg Arms Corp. 919 919
Primary Weapons Systems 916 916
Keystone Sporting Arms 781 781
LWRC International 634 634
North American Arms Inc. 625 625
Velocity 559 559
Excel Industries Inc. 503 503
Foster Industries Inc. 502 502
Freedom Arms Inc. 23 446 469
Strayer Voigt Inc. 464 464
Axis Machine 402 402
V Custom Inc. 312 312
Black Rain Ordnance Inc. 304 304
Guncrafter Industries 294 294
TDJ Inc. 279 279
Penn United Technologies 182 182
Excel Mfg. Inc. 174 174
Turnbull Mfg. Co. 127 127
DJ Getz Firearms Co. 112 112
Precision Small Arms Inc. 75 75
Olympic Arms Inc. 54 54
Meggitt Training Systems 34 34
Ringe, Louis J. 23 23
Reeder, Gary Nelson 12 12
Advanced Armament Corp. 3 3
White, Melton Ray 1 1
Total 3,633,454 744,047 4,377,501

Pistol Production By U.S. Manufacturers 2014

MANUFACTURER TO .22 TO .25 TO .32 TO .380 TO 9MM TO .50 TOTAL
Smith & Wesson Corp. 31,160 177,262 409,932 296,346 914,700
Ruger 198,778 159,298 253,440 110,513 722,029
SIG SAUER 3,218 7,464 93,811 183,035 146,377 433,905
GLOCK Inc. 227,090 3,737 1,497 232,324
Kimber Mfg. 578 11,301 30,055 82,364 124,298
Colt’s Mfg. 17 70 1 21,429 6,378 63,700 91,595
Beemiller Inc. 22,700 67,400 90,100
Beretta USA Corp. 16,714 1,205 7,247 60,913 2,901 88,980
Taurus International Mfg. 21,897 1,479 60,873 84,249
Kel-Tec CNC Industries Inc. 32,333 4,810 10,175 31,153 78,471
SCCY Industries 69,049 69,049
Remington Arms Co. 9 65,762 65,771
Springfield Inc. 11,500 52,689 64,189
Arms Technology Inc. 63,977 154 64,131
Saeilo, Inc. 17,914 24,941 16,491 59,346
Para 2,450 55,089 57,539
Cobra Enterprises of Utah Inc. 6,184 149 2,189 27,879 14,833 549 51,783
Jimenez Arms Inc. 7,666 1,246 717 20,049 16,973 46,651
FN America 20,033 24,114 44,147
Diamondback Firearms 12,531 30,356 14 42,901
Haskell Mfg. Inc. 23,600 23,600
Phoenix Arms 18,676 3,924 22,600
Bond Arms Inc. 661 28 2,774 322 16,251 20,036
Iberia Firearms Inc. 19,000 19,000
EPP Team Inc. 14,387 14,387
Hi Tech Plastics Inc. 12,500 12,500
CZ-USA Inc. 1,914 7,340 9,254
Heckler & Koch Inc. 8,501 8,501
Azimuth Technology 1,713 4,401 6,114
FMK Firearms Inc. 5,646 5,646
Magnum Research Inc. 47 375 4,672 5,094
VLH Inc. 1,378 2,670 4,048
STI International Inc. 1,527 2,201 3,728
Nighthawk Custom 534 2,985 3,519
Les Baer Custom Inc. 169 2,784 2,953
Ed Brown Products Inc. 303 2,646 2,949
Century Arms Inc. 2,643 2,643
Engineering & Cycle Co. Inc. 542 1,450 591 2,583
Caspian Arms Ltd. 2,185 2,185
American Tactical Imports 2,160 2,160
Extar 1,910 1,910
Tanury Industries Inc. 1,528 81 285 1,894
Coonan Inc. 1,863 1,863
Radical Firearms LLC 1344 499 1,843
Leinad Inc. 1344 300 1,472 1,772
Rock River Arms Inc. 986 112 21 1,119
Kriss USA Inc. 339 682 1,021
Tactical Solutions Inc. 949 949
Boberg Arms Corp. 949 522 397 919
Primary Weapons Systems Inc. 784 132 919
Keystone Sporting Arms 781 781
LWRC International 604 30 634
North American Arms Inc. 21 294 310 625
Velocity 446 113 559
Total 424,822 19,097 10,494 873,168 1,270,419 1,035,454 3,633,454

Total includes all U.S. manufacturers.

Revolver Production By U.S. Manufacturers 2014

MANUFACTURER TO .22 TO .32 TO .38 TO .357 TO .44 TO .50 TOTAL
Ruger 50,704 4,233 106,896 71,638 23,863 24,096 281,430
Smith & Wesson Corp. 5,365 41 40,302 174,302 14,198 34,514 268,722
Heritage Mfg. Inc. 84,957 289 218 85,464
North American Arms 57,514 57,514
Charco 2000 2,090 836 3,038 37,162 3,020 46,146
Colt’s Mfg. Co. 63 2 690 206 86 1,170 2,217
Magnum Research Inc. 133 143 767 1,043
Freedom Arms Inc. 43 14 65 107 217 446
Axis Machine 402 402
CZ-USA Inc. 350 350
Cobra Enterprises of Utah 275 275
Reeder, Gary Nelson 3 9 12
Wild West Guns 5 5
Excell Enterprises Inc. 2 2 4
Farro’s Lead Farm 1 1 2
Nitor Corp. 2 2
Ballistic Arms LLC 2 2
Total 200,739 5,260 151,635 283,990 41,640 60,783 744,047

Total includes all U.S. manufacturers.

Long-Gun Production By U.S. Manufacturers 2014

MANUFACTURER RIFLES SHOTGUNS TOTAL
Remington 929,823 413,535 1,343,358
Ruger 706,192 4,446 710,638
O.F. Mossberg/Maverick Arms 72,952 371,367 444,319
Savage Arms Inc. 305,826 72,346 378,172
Henry RAC Holding Corp. 300,312 300,312
WM C Anderson Inc. 176,231 176,231
Smith & Wesson Corp. 159,087 189 159,276
Colt’s Mfg. 59,603 59,603
Kel-Tec CNC Industries Inc. 18,925 39,225 58,150
Keystone Sporting Arms 56,387 56,387
Beemiller Inc 51,300 51,300
Springfield Inc. 48,514 48,514
SIG SAUER Inc. 43,141 43,141
Century Arms Inc. 33,730 33,730
Windham Weaponry Inc. 27,188 27,188
Beretta USA Corp. 4,625 20,457 25,082
Coating Technology Inc. 18,489 1,827 20,316
Browning 18,489 1,825 20,314
Rock River Arms Inc. 18,569 18,569
Stag Arms 18,307 18,307
IWI US Inc. 17,771 17,771
Daniel Defense Inc. 15,682 15,682
John W Heaton Inc. 13,528 13,528
American Tactical Imports 13,155 2 13,157
FN America 12,248 12,248
Del-Ton Inc. 10,264 10,264
Diamondback Firearms 9,892 9,892
IO Inc. 9,404 9,404
Good Time Outdoors Inc. 7,975 7,975
LWRC International 7,261 7,261
Bravo Co. Mfg. Inc. 7,075 7,075
Saeilo Inc. 7,041 7,041
Adams Arms 6,761 6,761
Mega Arms 6,592 6,592
Kimber Mfg. Inc. 5,591 5,591
Magnum Research Inc. 5,284 5,284
Palmetto State Armory 5,059 5,059
Armalite Inc. 4,627 4,627
Chazkat 4,439 4,439
Olympic Arms Inc. 4,293 4,293
Investment Development 3,924 3,924
Weatherby Inc. 3,563 3,563
BCI Defense LLC 3,484 3,484
Barrett Firearms Mfg. Inc. 3,351 3,351
Just Right Carbines 3,347 3,347
Advanced Armament Corp. 3,231 3,231
Cooper Firearms Of Montana 3,092 3,092
FMK Firearms Inc. 2,729 2,729
CMMG Inc. 2,606 2,606
Patriot Ordnance Factory 2,509 2,509
Lewis Machine & Tool Co. 2,320 2,320
NRL & Associates Inc. 2,269 2,269
Wilsons Gun Shop Inc. 1,981 226 2,207
Heckler & Koch Inc. 2,082 2,082
AR1510 LLC 2,026 2,026
Troy Industries Inc. 1,997 1,997
Primary Weapons Systems 1,936 1,936
Knights Mfg. Co. 1,733 1,733
Tactical Solutions Inc. 1,724 1,724
Arms Technology Inc. 1,697 1,697
Ithaca Gun Co. 1,495 1,495
V Custom Inc. 1,471 1,471
Kriss USA Inc. 1,456 1,456
Steyr Arms Inc. 1,366 1,366
TDJ Inc. 1,344 1,344
TNW Firearms Inc. 1,161 1,161
Engineering & Cycle Co. Inc. 985 985
Quarter Circle 10 936 936
DS Arms Inc. 872 872
HS Precision Inc. 860 860
Les Baer Custom Inc. 831 831
Connecticut Shotgun Mfg. Co. 607 607
Destructive Devices Industries LLC 548 548
DoubleStar Corp. 382 382
LRB of Long Island Inc. 370 370
Adcor Industries Inc. 346 346
Total 3,379,549 935,411 4,314,960

Total includes all U.S. manufacturers.

Exports: Pistols 2014

MANUFACTURER EXPORTS
GLOCK Inc. 31,934
SIG SAUER Inc. 31,275
KRISS USA Inc. 22,301
Smith & Wesson Corp. 14,277
Ruger 10,937
Beretta USA Corp. 5,185
STI International 2,493
Kimber Mfg. Inc. 2,273
Taurus International 1,600
JD Machine Tech 711
Magnum Research Inc. 707
Kel-Tec CNC Industries Inc 431
Les Baer Custom Inc. 404
Strayer Voigt Inc. 272
Saeilo Inc. 186
Meggitt Training Systems Inc. 180
DS Arms Inc. 180
Head Down Products 171
Nighthawk Custom 162
JKB Daira Inc. 123
Ed Brown Products 99
Colt’s Mfg. Co. 97
FMK Firearms 91
Boberg Arms Corp. 36
Wilsons Gun Shop 32
ZDF Import/Export 32
TDJ Inc. 22
Amchar Wholesale Inc. 17
FN America 11
Primary Weapons Systems Inc. 11
Lippard, Karl 10
High Standard Firearms 9
M+M Inc. 9
Akai Custon Guns 8
North American Arms Inc. 5
Steam Machines 5
Linsey, Mi Yong & James 4
Republic Forge 4
The Armory LLC 2
Patriot Ordnance Factory 2
Rock River Arms 2
Tactiotcal Superiority Inc. 2
Good Time Outdoors Inc. 1
North American Training & Log. 1
Wilson, Cody 1
Total Exports 126,315

Exports: Revolvers 2014

MANUFACTURER EXPORTS
Smith & Wesson 16,966
Ruger 8,028
North American Arms 399
Magnum Research 93
Colt’s Mfg. 32
M+M Inc. 1
Ballistic Arms 4
Ohio Ordnance Works 1
Bixler, Christopher A 1
Total Exports 25,521

Exports Shotguns 2014

MANUFACTURER EXPORTS
Maverick Arms Inc. 50,209
Beretta USA Corp. 4,829
Savage Arms Inc. 4,082
Kel-Tec CNC Industries Inc. 816
Adaptive Tactical 251
Ruger 58
Ithaca Gun Co. 49
DS Arms Inc. 48
Wilsons Gun Shop Inc. 10
Nighthawk Custom 8
Meggitt Training Systems Inc. 8
aser International Inc. 3
Nemo Arms Inc. 2
Lippard, Karl 1
Browning 1
Vertu Corp. 1
Total Exports 60,377

Exports: Rifles 2014

MANUFACTURER EXPORTS
Savage Arms Inc. 59,663
Ruger 58,836
Henry RAC Holding Corp. 20,526
Maverick Arms Inc. 13,311
FN America 11,987
Creed Monarch Inc. 10,339
Colt’s Mfg. Co. 6,456
JD Machine Tech Inc. 6,009
SIG SAUER Inc. 4,625
Smith & Wesson Corp. 3,833
Kel-Tec CNC Industries Inc. 1,656
Daniel Defense Inc. 689
Just Right Carbines 1,079
Barrett Firearms Mfg. Inc. 949
Armalite Inc. 893
Weatherby Inc 734
ZDF Import/Export 670
Kimber Mfg. 557
Daniel Defense Inc. 450
Beretta USA Corp. 426
Stag Arms 422
Saeilo Inc. 358
TNW Firearms 331
Magnum Research Inc. 286
Windham Weaponry 260
Head Down Products 256
PNEU Dart Inc. 230
Montana Rifle Co. 202
Kriss USA Inc. 195
TDJ Inc. 193
Primary Weapons Systems Inc. 183
Lewis Machine & Tool Co. 178
Chazkat 175
Meggitt Training Systems Inc. 162
Kelbly’s Rifle Range Inc. 161
Nosler Inc. 150
Desert Tech 114
Knight, Charles Reed Jr. 99
McMillan Firearms Mfg. 81
HS Precicsion Inc. 71
STI International Inc. 71
Bordson, Martin J. 68
DS Arms Inc. 58
WM C Anderson Inc. 53
Gunwerks 52
Thureon Defense 41
High Standard Firearms 39
JPS Mfg. 39
Knights Manufacturing Co. 37
JKB Daira Inc. 27
Patriot Ordnance Factory Inc. 23
Kstarky Enterprises 22
Lindsey, Mi Yong & James 20
Child, Leland Verl 16
Surgeon Rifles 16
EDM Arms Inc. 15
AR1510 LLC 15
Remington Arms Co. 13
Graham, Jack Donaldson III 12
Rock River Arms Inc. 12
Appalachian Arms Inc. 10
Beech Armament 10
Glover, Daniel Carter 10
Tack Drivers 10
Tracking Point Inc. 10
Cheytac USA 9
Total Exports 207,934

Total includes all U.S. manufacturers.

FIREARM IMPORTS

IMPORTS — HANDGUNS BY COUNTRY 2014 & 2015

COUNTRY 2014 2015
Argentina 43,310 42,304
Australia 29
Austria 794,469 923,951
Belgium 18,371 18,662
Brazil 208,102 482,480
Bulgaria 333 6,230
Burma 19
Canada 132 15
Chile 4
Croatia 441,337 338,535
Czech Republic 47,482 71,691
France 163 350
Germany 291,925 236,512
Hungary 1,098 1,665
Israel 13,270 15,765
Italy 154,926 94,752
Norway 28
Pakistan 250 575
Philippines 71,021 79,457
Poland 11,322 9,188
Romania 5,800 9,460
Serbia 10,180 18,066
Slovakia 417 1,075
Slovenia 1,058
South Korea 62
Spain 10,385 177
Sweden 9
Switzerland 1,894 3,914
Turkey/td>

15,242 58,870
United Arab Emirates 47
U.K. 83 58
Total 2,141,630 2,414,890

Import data is provided by the Foreign Trade Division of the U.S. Census Bureau.

IMPORTS — RIFLES BY COUNTRY 2014 & 2015

COUNTRY SEMIAUTO SEMIAUTO BOLT BOLT NESOI* NESOI* RIMFIRE RIMFIRE TOTAL TOTAL
2014 2015 2014 2015 2014 2015 2014 2015 2014 2015
Austria 859 449 1,051 6 243 1 190 450 2,343 906
Belgium 24,432 26,133 9,371 28,356 263 1 1 7 34,067 54,497
Brazil 50 56,361 78,585 56,411 78,585
Bulgaria 12,900 5,100 12,900 5,100
Canada 187 581 83 258,610 276,038 258,797 276,702
China 3,897 152 4,049
Czech Rep. 7,783 9,141 22 138 17,599 18,832 25,404 28,111
Finland 40,153 50,459 9 2 40,162 50,461
France 38 446 11 34 49 480
Germany 8,652 1,736 4,033 1,189 1,253 598 23,574 12,228 37,512 15,751
Israel 6 1 2 27,764 4,300 27,771 4,302
Italy 916 9,966 3,709 975 8,554 12,147 12,170 2,022 25,349 25,110
Japan 60,205 57,459 14,951 15,527 14,501 14,026 89,657 87,012
Mexico 800 800
Norway 19 15 2 36
Philippines 7,435 5,603 7,435 5,603
Poland 1,454 527 1,454 527
Portugal 1,250 1,971 48 146 1,298 2,117
Romania 12,539 17,870 1,500 14,039 17,870
Russia 28,653 4,380 215 24 28,868 4,404
Serbia 11,920 15,250 200 2,170 12,120 17,357
South Africa 4 4
Spain 250 369 16 8,709 21,991 83 29 9,411 22,036
Sweden 52 758 61 758 113
Switzerland 107 2,647 16 262 2,647 385
Taiwan 1 27 1 27
Turkey 15 339 15 339
U.K. 886 1,489 3,829 2,257 300 681 5,015 4,427
Total 107,158 83,194 128,050 152,531 128,697 136,323 334,463 330,178 698,368 702,226

*NESOI: “Not Elsewhere Specified Or Included” — Foreign Trade Division, U.S. Bureau of Census

IMPORTS — SHOTGUNS & COMBINATION GUNS BY COUNTRY 2014 & 2015

COUNTRY SEMIAUTO OVER/UNDER NESOI* TOTAL COMBINATION
2014 2015 2014 2015 2014 2015 2014 2015 2014 2015
Austria 17 16 33 1 716
Belgium 1,176 403 5 303 194 7 1,375 713
Brazil 90 17,888 17,019 20,174 13,628 38,152 30,647 11,963 4,388
Canada 191 191 1
China 2,091 7,023 11,879 7,023 13,970
Czech Rep. 34 109 34 109 16
Denmark
Finland 22
France 5 5 3 17 8 22 1 1
Germany 1 676 613 475 219 1,151 833 32 703
Ireland
Italy 132,693 115,331 29,737 43,241 1,293 1,197 163,723 159,769 49 447
Japan 28 117 635 508 269 653 904
Netherlands 2 2
Pakistan 335 335
Philippines 6,496 6,400 6,496 6,400
Portugal 1,783 1,810 400 900 2,183 2,710
Russia 21,775 5,150 2 53 21,830 5,150
South Africa
Spain 1,421 538 49 17 302 135 1,772 690 7
Sweden 228 2 228 2
Switzerland 1 1
Turkey 106,449 83,989 50,571 71,604 18,382 19,900 175,402 175,493 14
U.K. 41 209 443 367 484 576 1 2
Total 265,415 209,313 99,508 134,546 55,625 54,657 420,548 398,516 12,085 12,085

*NESOI: “Not Elsewhere Specified Or Included” — Foreign Trade Division, U.S. Bureau of Census

Maximize Handgun Accessory Sales

Use Face Time With Customers To Create
Additional Opportunities

By Mark Kakkuri

Ask any gun store regulars what constitutes their every day carry (EDC). Or, ask them to do a “pocket dump.” You’ll quickly confirm what you probably suspect about those who carry a gun or shoot on a regular basis — namely, accessories abound.

EDC for many shooters includes a spare magazine or a reload of some kind, a tactical flashlight, and of course a folding knife. Maybe even a tactical pen. And this is in addition to a set of keys and a cellphone! As a dealer, the key idea is this: Gun sales, and especially for handguns in particular, bring a prime opportunity for sales of accessories.

Brian Tatti, a sales associate at Michigan Shooting Centers, Inc. in Lake Orion, Mich., adds cleaning kits and ammunition to the list of popular handgun accessories. “Ammo is huge — very popular with all the technology it has available today.” And if a customer is buying a gun for concealed carry, they’ll of course need ammo for practice and ammo for self-defense.

Besides ammunition and cleaning kits, probably the easiest accessory to sell with a handgun is a holster. In all likelihood, the customer purchasing the handgun intends to use it for self-defense — perhaps even for concealed carry. But even if the customer plans to just use the gun as a “house gun” or a “truck gun,” they’ll still need a holster. Always encourage the proper use of a holster in accordance with gun safety rules and explain how a holster benefits not just concealed carry on a person but also use inside a house or vehicle. Holster fits abound as do holster styles and materials. Most affix to a person’s belt — they’ll need a real gun belt, yes — in just a few seconds and provide a secure and stable platform.

Customers will often show up in gun stores looking for the latest and greatest offering from this or that manufacturer. In the past, holster manufacturers wouldn’t have advanced knowledge about a new gun and had to catch up with the gun manufacturers. And so customers often left a gun store with a gun but without a holster — because it didn’t yet exist. Nowadays, some gun manufacturers are coordinating the launch of a new gun with select holster manufacturers already in the know and ready to ship and sell holsters for the new gun.

Ruger’s recent launch of the Ruger American Pistol must have included a pre-coordinated effort for some holster manufacturers. DeSantis and Blade-Tech, for example, had holster models — the Speed Scabbard and Classic Eclipse, respectively — ready almost immediately. What better way to serve a customer buying Ruger’s new American than by pointing them to holsters available right now?

handguns5

Viridian V100 Long-Range LED Illuminator

handguns2

NAA 22 Grip Laser

Tactical Lights

Recently, I attended a Gunsite Academy class to learn how to shoot a carbine. The class included some instruction on how to transition to pistol and of course the two instructors wore their holstered pistols to each class. When you’re at a Gunsite class, you watch and listen and learn. All the students locked onto each instructor’s words and, during downtimes, asked a zillion questions. Someone asked an instructor what he carries every day. “Well,” he started, “I have my pistol, a spare magazine, a fixed-blade knife, a folding knife and a tactical light.” We students could have come up with this list ourselves but it just held more weight in that moment and really sank in. All of those items are good accessories to keep in mind as dealers but maybe most significant was the mention of the tactical light.

“And not just any light,” the instructor lectured us. “Buy the best one you can find. It might cost a bit more but remember, ‘You’ll buy cheap, twice.’ So spend the money and get a good one.”

As a dealer, your takeaway is to bring this important consideration to your customer when they’re buying a handgun. You can tell them a Gunsite Academy instructor always keeps a reliable, bright light on his person because, truly, he might need it. And so might your customer.

Beyond the instructor’s nuts and bolts reminder, make use of tactical light manufacturer marketing efforts to drive home the point about personal lights. Viridian, for example, has launched its “Never Go Naked” campaign to point out the clear link between needing to clearly see a target when using a gun. While the campaign aims to make sure rail-equipped rifles carry a light affixed to them, the point also applies to handguns. Have your customer consider gun safety rule No. 4: Knowing your target includes, of course, seeing your target. So if there’s a chance you can’t see your target, light it up first. The light may also serve as a deterrent!

Viridian’s V100 is one of several “long-range illuminators” offered by the company. These lights are made from high-grade aluminum, feature crenelated bezels, and cast brilliant white, red, or green lights (via CREE LEDs) from the press of a tail-mounted switch. While they can be mounted to a rifle, they can also be carried in a pocket and used independently or, of course, with a handgun in a low-light situation. The V100 is an “entry level” illuminator — smaller than the others and therefore perfect for on-person carry.

handguns1

Brian Tatti, Michigan Shooting Centers, Inc.

handguns3

In a modern trend among manufacturers, Ruger worked with holster
makers prior to the release of the Ruger American Pistol to give
customers options for carrying their new handgun.

Constant Listening

Tatti reiterated the key to increasing sales of handgun accessories is to listen to the customer. “I have tried a lot of the products out there so I have an understanding and can teach my customers about the products,” he said. “But I try to talk to my customers and not talk down to them.”

This kind of salesperson-customer interaction goes on all the time but reaches a key point during the point-of-sale. “Since we keep ammunition and cleaning supplies in stock, I can make an additional sale of those items during face-to-face interaction. But I also have a lot of phone conversations with my clients, and also a lot of emailing goes on,” he said. This constant conversation, constant listening, says Tatti, is key to the sales process. “If you listen to your clients, they’ll usually tell you what to stock,” he added.

Tatti also spends a lot of time online researching new and different products — on manufacturer websites but also different handgun forums. But he also spends time on the phone with different vendors and manufacturers and product reps. And of course he interacts with his colleagues at the Michigan Shooting Centers store. “It helps all the people I work with are really into guns; they are always telling me about different products they have found.”

Tatti notes profit margins on handgun accessories have shrunk over the years — “You’re lucky if you get 30 percent” — mostly due to customers buying from online sites. But the advantage for the clients of Michigan Shooting Centers (and other brick-and-mortar operations around the nation) is the personal attention they can receive from knowledgeable and kind sales staff. So, the key to successful sales in handgun accessories, according to Tatti? Customer service. “It’s everything,” he continues. “Our entire staff takes pride in our customer service.”

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