3 Hot Takes From
2022 NASGW Expo


Last week, scores of manufacturers and the industry’s leading wholesale distributors convened in Kansas City for the 2022 NASGW Expo & Annual Meeting. Thanks to its timing in the calendar, the NASGW Expo often sets the tone for the year ahead — as well as serving as a rallying cry for the industry.

Here are three “hot takes” from this year’s event.

1. Signs Of Stability, But Challenges Remain

The industry has weathered a litany of storms over the past two years, but we’re not “out of the woods” yet. Widespread supply chain challenges have been well documented — exacerbated by the unprecedented, unrelenting demand surge of 2020 and 2021. This resulted in years of backlog for manufacturers and lack of inventory on the shelves. At the Expo, some manufacturers reported a backlog of a year or more in some SKUs. But, in a positive, the backlog is not as pervasive across all product lines like it was a year ago.

Demand has fallen from the peaks of the past two years, which will help getting inventory back on shelves. However, of concern to just about everyone, rising logistics and raw materials costs (combined with inflation) are going to wreak havoc on pricing in 2023.

With less money to spend, consumers are already showing signs of buying on price. It’s looking likely there will be increased sales in budget-friendly categories moving forward.

2. New Products Still Key To Growth

Without question: Exciting new products bring customers in the door. At the 2022 NASGW Expo, some manufacturers publicized late 2022/early 2023 product launches for the first time. Here are some that caught our attention.

Anderson Manufacturing announced its first handgun, the Kiger-9c. The compact, 15+1 semi-auto joins the polymer, striker-fired pistol market. It’s compatible with most GLOCK 19 Gen3 aftermarket components — giving users a lot of customization opportunities.

Following the Kiger-9c release, DeSantis Gunhide announced several holster fits in its Speed Scabbard, Mini Scabbard, Inside Heat and Sof-Tuk lines.

Hornady unveiled a new caliber at the Expo, the 7mm PRC (Precision Rifle Cartridge). This cartridge brings heavy, low-drag bullets with an appropriately designed cartridge and chamber. The result is increased accuracy and substantial recoil reduction compared to other 7mm cartridges. It’s available in the Outfitter, Match and Precision Hunter lines.

Several firearms manufacturers immediately announced products in this chambering, including Mossberg (Patriot Predator), Savage Arms (110 Ultralite, 110 Ultralite HD, Impulse Big Game, Impulse Mountain Hunter, 110 Apex Hunter XP and more) and Christensen Arms (all Mesa FFT, Ridgeline FFT, Traverse, ELR, Summit and MPR models).

There are more new products coming down the pipeline in 2023 that aren’t ready to be announced — yet — but stay tuned, as some of them will appear in SI’s exclusive 2023 New Product Showcase coming in the December 2022, January 2023 and February 2023 issues.

Noted AR and AR lower manufacturer Anderson Manufacturing announced its
entry into the compact polymer pistol market with the launch of the Kiger-9c.

3. Data Reigns

Using data to drive decision making is crucial for any business — but especially so in the cyclical firearms industry. To answer the call, NASGW launched its SCOPE data initiative several years ago. Each year SCOPE has grown in its capability and — pardon the pun — scope each year.

In 2021, through the help of 18 individual wholesalers, SCOPE DLX (Distributor Link Exchange) tracked $5.2 billion in sales. Last month, SCOPE CLX (Customer Link Exchange) officially launched, and it’s taking data collection a step further by tracking sales at the retail level from 500+ participating FFL dealers. Point-of-sale providers such as Celerant, Coreware, Orchid and AIM were instrumental in the development of this new resource for the industry.

NASGW held its annual SCOPE update at the Expo Thursday, Oct. 27, where attendees were able to learn more about the platform and hear an update from NASGW Senior Data Analyst Tom Hopper.

As the industry enters the next post-pandemic cycle and battles rising costs, on-the-ground data is going to help guide buying, selling and product development decisions.

For more info: nasgwscope.org.

Save The Date

The 2023 NASGW Expo & Annual Meeting will return to Columbus, Ohio, Oct. 25–27. For more info, visit nasgwexpo.org.

Editor’s Note: In a follow-up article, we’ll include reactions from attendees and NASGW President Kenyon Gleason on what the industry can expect from NASGW moving into 2023 and beyond.