The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) has the inside line on gun biz stats. And if they don’t, they commission their crack researchers to, uh, research. This time out, the surveyors have unearthed the numbers for owners of assault rifles. Whoops! I mean, non-white modern home defense sporting rifles. Full stats after the jump. My summary: the average assault rifle owner owns three of ’em and spends thousands on ’em. They tell their wives they’re spending all that money on “home defense.” They don’t get to shoot the guns often enough because they’ve got “responsibilities” and “priorities.” Or so they’re told . . .

  • 60 percent of MSR owners that responded to the study own multiple MSRs, with the average owned being 2.6.
  • 30 percent of all MSR owners purchased their first rifle in 2009 or 2010.
  • 99 percent of all MSR owners owned some type of firearm prior to their first MSR purchase.
  • 9 out of 10 owned a handgun prior to acquiring their first MSR, and 34 percent of those under age 35 owned a paintball gun before owning their MSR.
  • Nearly half (44 percent) of MSR owners are current or former military or law enforcement members.
  • 51 percent of MSR owners have a shooting-range membership.
  • 8 out of every 10 MSR owners purchased their MSR new.
  • 39 percent of all MSR owners purchased their most recent MSR at an independent retail store, with the average purchase price being $1,083.
  • 3 out of every 4 MSRs most recently purchased were chambered in .223/5.56mm.
  • MSR owners consider accuracy and reliability to be the 2 most important things to consider when buying a MSR.
  • 84 percent of MSR owners have at least 1 accessory on their rifle, and they spend an average of $436 on after-market accessories and customization.
  • 71 percent of MSR owners use a scope or red-dot as their primary optic. Older owners prefer scopes; younger owners prefer red-dot optics.
  • One-third of MSR owners use a 30-plus round magazine most often in their MSR.
  • The 3 most-owned accessories were a rifle sling (81 percent), soft carrying case (70 percent) and mounted rifle scope (68 percent).
  • 25 percent of those who own 3 or more MSRs describe their MSRs as heavily accessorized (4-plus accessories).
  • Recreational target shooting (8.9 out of 10) was the No. 1-rated reason for owning a MSR in terms of importance. Home defense was next (7.7/10), followed by collecting (6.28/10) and varmint hunting (6.23/10).
  • 95 percent of owners said they have used their MSRs in the last 12 months, and 29 percent of owners shoot their MSRs more than once per month.
  • 25 percent of owners shot more than 1,000 rounds out of their MSR in the last 12 months.
  • 8 out of 10 owners feel they have not been able to shoot their MSR as much as they would like in the last 12 months.
  • Not having enough free time and the cost of ammo are the 2 main issues preventing MSR owners from shooting as much as they would like.
  • The typical MSR owner is 35-plus years old, married and has some college education.

10 Responses to Profile of an AR Owner

  1. “The typical MSR owner is 35-plus years old, married and has some college education.”

    Which sounds a lot like the demographic for “Gun Culture 2.0”. Maybe we ain’t just into concealed carry after all…

  2. I own four, two 5.56, one 7.62X51 and one S&W 15-.22. I shoot at least one of them on a bi-weekly basis.

  3. My favorite AR is my Colt SP1, I loved it the second I saw it and I will keep it forever. I also like my other AR’s, but none of even come close to this baby.

  4. Hey, I resemble that charictarization.

    Do you know where they got these numbers? Did they just follow me around without me knowing it? I need to big up my situational awareness.

  5. I’m just not interested in such rifles.

    I like bolt action rifles and semi-auto handguns.

    I would, however, make an exception for a M1 Garand.

    • I’m with you. Semi-automatics are a pain to maintain and they are costly to feed. I thought about an M1 but I would still prefer to own an ’03 Springfield.

  6. “…the average owned being 2.6”

    Honey! Look, this article says I should buy 1.6 more assault rifles!

  7. I’m only surprised with the average age of 35. ARs are truly the .30-.30 lever action of modern times. Modular, customizable to individual tastes, and extremely versatile. Probably the most common rifle out there these days.

    I can’t think of a system that offers more calibers and accessories offered. From plinking, to 3 gun, to hunting. There’s something available from computer commando to avid sportsmen alike.

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