Hot Handguns

Market Sizzles! Pistols Drive Firearm Sales.

It’s not news to anyone in the industry that handguns, especially pistols, represent a sizzling-hot commodity today. Pistols are dominating new firearm offerings, and all handgun sales remain a sweet spot for firearm dealers.

“We had our best-ever year in 2011,” said Todd Vance, president of Vance Outdoors in Columbus, Ohio. “We’ve started off this year great, and expect to be up.”

Many consumers who purchased handguns recently plan to buy another pistol or revolver within the next year, according to a new report from NSSF. The report, “Handguns: 2011 Consumer Study on Ownership and Usage,” is loaded with good news for firearm dealers. Of those surveyed, 66 percent said they are likely to buy an additional handgun within the next 12 months.

Yes, the handgun market is hot.

Handguns Drive Entire Firearm Market

“The market is incredibly strong right now, particularly for the high end of the market, the premium-quality guns. Semiautomatics, concealed carry and personal defense — those elements of the market are extraordinarily hot,” said Dwight Van Brunt, Kimber vice president of trade relations.

What makes sales of handguns, especially pistols, even bigger news is the impact they have on other firearms.
“The stronger the pistol market is, the stronger the rifle market is, and the stronger the rifle market, the stronger it makes the shotgun market,” Van Brunt said. “Shooters are active — they’re going into stores, they’re talking about shooting, they’re talking about it with their friends, they’re bringing new people into the sport — and that translates into sales for everything.”

Van Brunt says there is a variety of opinions among firearm dealers as to why the handgun market, and the market overall, is in an upsurge.

“There’s the election, the Second Amendment issues everyone is talking about, along with the tremendous increase in concealed-carry opportunities, legislatively, across the country. There is tremendous growth in the number of women shooting. There’s been a resurgence of people entering the shooting sports because it’s fun,” he said.
By Greg Staunton

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May 2012

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