Firearms Accessories That Practically Sell Themselves

Retailers Ride Waves To Steady Sales

John Brown (left) matches a dot sight and handgun for a customer at Bullseye
Guns & Ammo. According to Brown, red dots are “all the rage” these days.

Some firearms accessories are so popular they move without promotion or marketing, but customer preferences vary by state and region.

Politics Impact Sales Trends 

In Oregon, for example, voters passed Ballot Measure 114 by a narrow margin in 2022. It bans the sale of magazines capable of holding more than 10 cartridges.

An Oregon judge issued a preliminary injunction halting the law’s implementation until a higher court rules on compliance with the Oregon constitution.

As a result, outlets like Coat of Arms Custom Firearms in Keizer, Ore., are selling more-than-10 capacity magazines as fast as they can get them.

Adam Johnson, owner of Coat of Arms, said individual customers are buying magazines by the hundred. Magpul’s PMAG is the most popular flavor, Johnson said. If you have them, you’ll sell them — and if you have them, word gets around fast.

“The PMAG is the most common defensive magazine on the market,” he confirmed. “PMAGs are so affordable and so reliable. People are buying AR mags in any flavor, GLOCK mags, Smith & Wesson M&P mags. They’re buying them as fast as we can get them, and I expect it will continue until the ballot initiative gets sorted out.”

Red Dots Rule

Red dot sights are hot sellers around the country. The Trijicon RMR and the Holosun 507C are the most popular in the category, Johnson noted, adding their stellar reputations eliminate the need for external promotion.

“Our shop is really selective about what we carry,” he said. “A lot of brands we don’t even offer. Everybody on our staff is a certified armorer and instructor. We pay attention to trends, and we keep track of what is durable and what is not. People can see firsthand they (Holosun and Trijicon) are virtually indestructible. They’re products that sell themselves.”

Johnson noticed the demand for red dots started increasing noticeably about five years ago, and it increased dramatically over the past 18 months. He said the demand coincides with an increased awareness among shooters a red dot is easier to use. It provides quicker and surer target acquisition in high-stress environments than static iron sights.

Demand continues to accelerate, Johnson contends, as instructors offer classes to educate shooters in the proper use of red dots. Consumers also notice law enforcement agencies are evolving to red dots for their firearms, and consumers often follow professional trends. Law enforcement and military trends greatly influence the consumer market.

“As more and more people learn about the science behind red dots and the enhanced experience of using them, the product sells itself,” Johnson explained.

Additionally, he believes the demand for body armor and night vision optics is increasing.

“People are preparing themselves — for lack of a better term — for a worst-case scenario,” Johnson proposed. “We’re seeing an uptick in demand for plate carriers, and sales have really ramped up with night vision.”

“A lot of brands we don’t even offer. Everybody on our staff is a certified armorer and instructor. We pay attention to trends, and we keep track of what is durable and what is not.”

Adam Johnson, Owner
Coat of Arms • Keizer, Ore.

More Of The Same

In central Arkansas, which includes Little Rock, red dots are the rage, according to John Brown, an employee at Bullseye Guns & Ammo. The store has a strong niche in the defensive handgun market and has a strong presence in the “tactical-lite” segment. Brown said buyers are eager to upgrade their sights, and the Holosun 407C and 507C are far and away the most popular choices.

“We can’t keep them in stock,” Brown stated. “They walk out the door faster than anything.”

Affordability is the key to Holosun’s popularity. Its quality is comparable to the Trijicon RMR for half the price, and Brown reports even advanced shooters will never notice a difference. More to the point, Holosun is attractive to buyers who don’t feel the need to spend as much on an optic as they spent for the platform.

“They’re pretty cut and dried,” he reasoned. “You turn it on and have a dot. You turn it off and you don’t have a dot. The difference is Trijicon has a military contract, and Holosun does not. People in our area are looking for affordability over a name.”

Brown has noticed there is no distinction between user groups; advanced shooters like Holosun as much as entry-level users.

“We have everyone from first-time users to lifelong users put them on their guns,” he shared. “A lot of people want light to illuminate their space when it comes to bumps in the night. It’s the same with red dots. Everyone from beginning shooters to seasoned veterans ask for them.”

Lights & More

To light up the night, Bullseye’s clientele loves to attach tactical lights to their firearms, Brown said. In fact, lights and red dots are often companion purchases.

“We sell a lot of Streamlight   TLR-1 or TLR-7,” Brown confirmed. “We sell a lot of 7s because they can go on the small micro-guns. The TLR-1 goes on everything. A lot of people buy a Holosun and throw a TLR-7 on it, and they never come back dissatisfied.”

Modern sporting rifle accessories continue to be hot, with Magpul furniture being the most popular self-selling items in the inventory, Brown affirmed. Customers love Magpul’s vertical foregrips, and all of Magpul’s replacement stocks are hot sellers.

“They’re better than the mil-spec stocks you get on factory guns, and we sell a lot of the flip-up iron sights for rifles,” he said. “Anything ‘Magpul’ is a hot seller when comes to rifles.”

Many shooters replace their factory triggers, but Brown suggests aftermarket triggers are a losing proposition for small, independently owned outlets like Bullseye Guns & Ammo.

“Most people who buy triggers buy them online,” he said. “A lot of parts in general are cheaper online than we can get them. We can’t compete with online retailers for the aftermarket GLOCK barrel industry because we have to make money, too.”

“A lot of people want light to illuminate their space when it comes to bumps in the night. It’s the same with red dots. Everyone from beginning shooters to seasoned veterans ask for them.”

John Brown
Bullseye Guns & Ammo • Little Rock, Ark.

Speed Rings The Register

Gage Jordan, owner of G3 Firearms in Turner, Maine, said his hottest-selling items are binary triggers for AR-15-style platforms. Modern sporting rifles are very popular in Maine, Jordan informed, and his customers want their guns to shoot faster.

“The most popular items we sell are Echo triggers,” he said. “Any binary triggers, really. It’s not full-auto, but it makes an AR into full-auto style. You pull the trigger once and it fires. Release it and it fires again. It’s been around for probably 10 years. At the end of the day, it kind of gives you a full-auto feeling without having pay the full-auto price.”

A fully automatic rifle can cost tens of thousands of dollars. A binary trigger dramatically increases your rate of fire for less than $500, and Jordan believes enough of his customers make the investment to keep product flowing.

He shared, “People who have semi-autos want to move to the next step, and they ask, ‘What’s the next step I can have fun with and get a new interest in?’ People in Maine are real big into ‘what’s next?’”

As with the rest of the country, Holosun red dots are wildly popular with G3 Firearms’s customers. 

“I think what makes them so popular is their solar recharging capability,” Jordan proposed. “The 507C and 507K have solar power recharge, and their price point is pretty good. Trijicon makes excellent stuff, but you have to pay double or even triple for the same kind of sight. Holosun is just as good, if not better. A lot of people up here don’t mind spending $600 or $700 on a GLOCK, but they don’t want to spend as much or more on the sight.”

Magpul furniture accessories are also very popular among G3 Firearms customers. They like them because they offer affordable high quality.

“My customers love Magpul vertical foregrips and Magpul folding sights,” Jordan said. “Magpul has really made a name for itself. A lot of companies experimented with polymer, but Magpul really went into it and came out with all kinds of plastic. Metal vertical foregrips and sights are good, but they’re expensive. Magpul is just as good. They’ll take just as much of a beating, but they’ll only cost you 30 or 40 bucks.”

Suppressors are an emerging hot market in Maine, Jordan noted. Like everywhere else, Maine is getting more densely populated, and people are adapting to the reality they can’t shoot in the backyard anymore without disturbing or even provoking a neighbor. Suppressing a firearm allows them to enjoy shooting while reducing the possibility of conflict.

“If someone has a neighbor who doesn’t like shooting and they want to shoot quietly, subsonic ammo doesn’t fix the problem,” Jordan remarked. “A silencer, even if you have to wait eight months to a year to get one, has become pretty popular. If you want to pop off a few rounds in your backyard, you can do it.”

Finger On The Pulse

From coast to coast and points in between, Holosun red dots for handguns and Magpul accessories for long guns are the items that most consistently sell themselves. However, state and local politics and random regional preferences drive secondary markets. 

Savvy retailers keep their fingers on their community’s pulse and stock trending items shooters desire. This keeps them coming for other items, which translates into repeat business and long-term customer loyalty — a win-win every time. 

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