Challenge: Capitalize On Momentum, While Navigating Speed Bumps


Image: jozefmicic / Adobe Stock

Momentum is a funny thing. It can develop over time into something nearly indomitable, but one event can inhibit or change its trajectory completely. 

There’s no question: the firearms industry has been generating a lot of momentum over the past three-plus years — welcoming millions of (often diverse) first-time gun owners and producing more firearms than ever before (as revealed in ATF’s 2021 Annual Firearms Manufacturing Report, which will be dissected in the July issue). The past few years have been an unprecedented period for all of us.

That said, it’s not all roses. Dealers are still having challenges getting their desired levels of inventory — we still hear, in some cases, orders from early 2020 have yet to be fulfilled — and margins haven’t climbed in the same way prices have. Infighting certainly hasn’t helped, whether it’s the storefront vs. home-based model debate or disagreements on how product is allocated. 

In the political arena, it’s been a mixed bag: Over the past year, important legislative victories have been achieved in both the Supreme Court and lower federal courts. Today, more than half of U.S. states allow constitutional carry. But as this issue was being published, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee signed HB 1240, which outlaws the sale, transfer and import of at least 60 named firearms in Washington, including the “AK-47 in all forms” and “AR-15, M16 or M4 in all forms.” (It has since been challenged.)

There are speed bumps hampering progress, but it’s clear: the firearms industry continues to grow in its size and scope. Here are two news items, out of dozens of potential stories, we wanted to share with you.

A Burgeoning Industry

Speaking of momentum, the U.S. firearms industry has been on an upward trajectory for years — as revealed in NSSF’s 2023 Firearm and Ammunition Economic Impact Report.

From 2008 to 2022, the firearm industry’s economic impact has ballooned 322% — rising from $19.1 billion to $80.73 billion. The total number of full-time equivalent jobs has likewise jumped, rising from 136% in the same span (from 166,000 to 393,696).

On a year-over-year basis, the industry’s economic impact rose to $80.73 billion in 2022, up 14.5% from 2021 ($70.52 billion). While there have been major fluctuations in demand over the years, the firearms industry’s economic impact has grown every year since 2008, according to NSSF.

“Our industry’s economic input is undeniably contributing to every state and every community. This milestone achievement of over $80 billion in economic impact proves the American firearm and ammunition industry is strong,” said Joe Bartozzi, NSSF president and CEO. “Ours is an industry that is consistently growing and innovating to meet the American demand for the highest quality firearms and ammunition for lawful firearm ownership.”

95% Retention Rate? Bravo!

Shooting Industry has regularly highlighted the growth of the shooting sports at the high school and university level. The USA Clay Target League (USACTL) announced a record-breaking 34,629 student athletes were participating in its spring season. These athletes are competing on 1,625 high school, college and homeschool teams nationwide, supported by over 9,600 coaches, team staff and other volunteers.

According to USACTL President John Nelson, this league offers something every parent and athlete would want in a sport: opportunity for all participants.

“Parents want safe, school-based, non-traditional outdoor activities for their students. They want their youth to have the sense of belonging and camaraderie that team activities provide without the high costs and limited playing opportunities of traditional high school sports,” Nelson said.

If record-breaking attendance isn’t indicative of its strength, USACTL boasts enviable retention. 

“Every year, 95% of non-graduating students return to participate in the League’s programs,” Nelson said. “Nearly 9,800 new athletes joined the League this spring through their school’s teams. In the League there are no benchwarmers — everyone participates thanks to the efforts of the shooting ranges, coaches and parents that make teams flourish.”

For high school athletes, their nine-week spring season is already underway, and will conclude May 20. The season is followed by state tournaments in June, leading up to the High School National Championship in July. College athletes compete in a shorter season in the spring, and then return to compete in the fall leading up to the USA College Clay Target League (USACCTL) National Championship in late October.

Keep it up, USACTL staff, coaches and athletes!

Trijicon Kicks Off 2023 Roadshow

Trijicon Inc. has announced the start of its second full year of its highly popular, The Science of Brilliant Roadshow. Once again, Trijicon is embarking on a mission to visit prominent dealers across the U.S. and provide consumers hands-on experience with Trijicon’s full line of Brilliant Aiming Solutions.

“Our grassroots approach to the roadshow has been received very well by both consumers and our dealers,” said John Trull, Trijicon VP, sales and marketing. “The spring edition of the 2023 roadshow will focus primarily on the western half of the U.S. as we strive to support our valued dealers and customers all across the country.” 

Attendees can see over 100 Trijicon products including riflescopes, reflex sights, night sights and thermal night vision optics. Trijicon’s legendary durability and The Science of Brilliant testing protocol are on full display through interactive product testing including heat, drop and immersion testing, along with other product demonstrations. 

The spring 2023 edition of The Science of Brilliant Roadshow runs through June 17.



SIG SAUER Expands SIG Professional Program

SIG SAUER has expanded the SIG Professional Program (SPP) — offering discounted pricing on select SIG SAUER firearms to those who protect and serve their communities — to commercial Master and Elite dealers.

“Until now the SIG Professional Program has been limited to specific dealers, now with the expansion of availability in the commercial market at SIG Master and Elite dealers, more law enforcement, military, first responders and security personnel will have the opportunity to take advantage of this generous program and the benefits it offers,” said Tom Taylor, chief marketing officer and executive vice president, commercial sales.

With proof of proper credentials, any qualifying military, law enforcement or security professional can receive discounting on select popular SIG SAUER firearms. The program can be accessed through commercial Master and Elite Dealers in addition to the current law enforcement dealers.

The SIG Professionals Program is open to: active-duty military, corrections officers, sworn L.E. officers, retired military and L.E. officers, court officers, EMTs, firefighters and several other categories of first responders. 


Pictured (from left): Karter Keefer (Silencer Central), Tom Glines (NWTF) and
Brandon Maddox (Silencer Central).

Silencer Central Tops $1 Million In Donations

Silencer Central announced a milestone of $1.3 million in support of a wide range of organizations and programs dedicated to hunter and gun rights advocacy, education and conservation.

“This is a remarkable milestone for Silencer Central and a testament to the amazing partners that play a vital role in conservation efforts in our industry,” said Brandon Maddox, CEO of Silencer Central. “We’re blown away by the impact we’ve seen, and it doesn’t stop here. We’re a company passionate about this mission and continue to work to reinforce hunting, firearm and conservation efforts through new and old partnerships.”

Silencer Central donates suppressors to conservation organizations to utilize at fundraising events. The suppressors serve as auction, raffle or door prize items. 100% of funds generated go directly to the organizations, with event hosts helping educate their members about the benefits of suppressors.  


Click To Read More Shooting Industry May 2023 Issue Now!