Every year, we ask you, the Armed Intelligentsia, to take a little survey that gives us a better idea of how we’re doing as well as what really interests you. It lets us know if we need to make changes to the site and gives us some direction as to where to focus our content. And, yes, it gives us something to show off to advertisers to squeeze a little more dinero out of them for their spots on the site. But these results were so interesting (at least to this stats nerd) that I wanted to publish them and share them with y’all as well . . .

First things first: we had 1,778 responses. I wanted to shut it off at 1,776, but I was too late. In order to get a representative sample of our readership, we needed at least 600 responses. The first year we did a survey, getting a couple hundred responses was like pulling teeth. The second year, we had them after one or two quick reminders. This year, we had a representative sample before the next story was posted on the site. In short, thanks.

As to how we’re doing, that was the most important metric for me. And it blew my socks off.

NPS

NPS, or the “Net Promoter Score,” is something that we use at my day job to figure out how happy a customer is with the job we’re doing. The idea is that you’re only really doing a good job if your customers would recommend you to their friends and coworkers, spreading the word about your service.

A “world class” service has an NPS of 50. Last year, we scored 60. This year, we scored 72. In short, we’re doing something right.

But enough about us. What about you?

FrequencyVisit

I’ve classified our readers into two groups: searchers and addicts. Searchers only read TTAG when something pops up in their Google results and sends them to our site. Addicts are just that — people who come back to TTAG again and again. And naturally, those are the people who saw the post about the survey and took it. So these results will mostly represent the opinions and the demographics of the addicts. Which would be you, if you’re reading this.

sex

Of those 1,776 readers, the vast and overwhelming majority were men. The female readers (about 2%) cited the sexism that seems to be pervasive in certain members of the editorial staff’s posts as a reason why more women wouldn’t read the blog. Which explains the conspicuous lack of supermodel references recently.

age

As I expected, the biggest chunk of our readers are in the 18 to 30 year old range. It makes sense because this is the age of most internet users and video game players, who represent an increasing proportion of gun owners. But while the kids are an important chunk of our readership, the majority are above the age of 30.

education

The most surprising thing we found – or not, if your read the comments regularly – was that our readers are exceedingly well educated. Most of our readers have a college education of some sort, with an interestingly large proportion having had graduate level education as well.

employment

employmentType

As I had thought, the majority of our readers are desk jockeys — full-time employees with a desk job. My analysis has always been that most of our readers are people who are bored at work and want some entertainment, and that was pretty much on the mark.

OpenCarry

You all don’t open carry. Well, the majority of you don’t. But it does seem like just about everyone carries a gun, albeit underneath some clothing for most.

ConcealedCarry

OftenCarry

Kudos to the brave souls that answered f**k the police to these questions, carrying where they don’t have a license. But the majority of TTAG readers have a concealed handgun license and put it to use on a near-daily basis. Based on this, I’m trying to steer us to have more concealed carry-based “Question of the Day” posts and reviews of applicable handguns. Stay tuned.

Hunting

The other thing that will drive our content is the fact that most of you seem to be interested in hunting. Just about 2/3rds of you have either hunted or intend to hunt in the future, and that’s a category we don’t cover often enough. So I’ll be jabbing Tyler to crank out some more just as soon as he has some free time.

That about wraps things up. I’ve tried to contact the winner of the free book, but if they don’t respond in another 24 hours I’ll have to draw another name.

61 Responses to TTAG 2013 Reader Survey Results

  1. “Which explains the conspicuous lack of supermodel references recently.”

    I haven’t noticed any lack of supermodel references, just the lack of links to them – baby-steps, I guess.

  2. The “real job” comment makes me smirk. Not only do I work in an office I’m in management. I certainly don’t take offense to it.

    The education stat actually surprises me not at all. Despite the common depiction of gun owners as a bunch of toothless backwoods redneck high school dropouts most of the active shooters I know are educated with decent jobs.

        • For a shooter, over the life of the gun you are almost certain to spend more on the ammo than you did on the firearm itself.

          Don’t save money by buying a cheaper gun. Save money by buying cheaper ammo (or reloading).

        • Way worse.

          If an AR-15 is $800 and .223 Remington is 30 cents per round, the ammo exceeds the cost of the rifle after only 2,667 rounds.

          It’s like my wife (Type-I diabetic) and her glucose meter. They practically give the meters away – but the recurring expense (test strips) is a [relative] fortune.

    • Guns are, in fact, not cheap, especially the tactical stuff TTAG features. If you did the same kind of poll with American Rifleman or a hunting magazine, you’d probably get a different result.

      • Hunting is hardly a cheap hobby as well. My brother-in-law who is practically the stereotypical redneck (except he has all his teeth and doesn’t do meth) has some very high dollar guns despite a modest job and high school education.

        Likewise, I know quite a few FUDDs who will happily spend as much on a hunting rifle or more as an AR-15 and the optics they select are often just as expensive.

        About the only area hunting appears to be “cheaper” is the cost of ammo. Round for round it is more expensive but these guys have maybe a few hundred versus the thousands of .223 that everyone who owns a MSR seems to think you need. Even then, that cost is offset by licenses, processing costs, “trophy” fees (which baffle me), and other various costs they accrue to hunt.

        In short, there is nothing about shooting that is cheap for any niche unless you are a die-hard .22 long rifleman.

        • I’ll vouch for this. Ammo for my .375 runs about 3 bucks a pop. I’ll shoot 40-50 rounds once a month.
          Glass on my boomer wasn’t cheap due to what I wanted. The gun itself was about the same as an AR.
          Toss in the 11% federal tax on hunting licenses, tags, the fishing license to go with it, the gas/air fare, lodging, guide fees…
          Yup, hunting can be a bit expensive. I figure Elk meat runs about 50 bucks a pound.

  3. 18-30 yo. Once again, so much for that lie about gun owners being just a few ofwg’s waiting to die and end private gun ownership in America. People of the Gun need to work harder at bringing in women. Women vote and we need the votes. We need everybody, white, black , male, female, legal immigrants and whatever that guy is 3 doors down from me that only comes out when the moon is bright.

    • Not so true. My old man is in his early 50s and is not tech savvy at all. And I know most are in a similar situation. Fudds by stereotype are probably not very good with computers or just not wanting anything to do with them. But I like what you’re saying.

  4. “we had 1,778 responses. I wanted to shut it off at 1,776”

    I would’ve let it go to 1,789. Maybe 1,791.

  5. You’d have had at least one more ’10’ on the ‘Would recommend’ question if it wasn’t for the sexism you mentioned in the male/female split. That always gave me reservations when recommending the site to certain people I know. Eliminating that problem eliminates the reservations.

    That 13% who “only carry when I feel I need to” is a pretty healthy chunk, and I kinda worry about those people. I’d bet that most people who end up in DGU situations, if asked, would say that they didn’t expect to be in that position beforehand.

    • RF’s sexism is a scratch on the paint in comparison to what gun writers used to be, and what gun clubs are. Jeff Cooper anyone? I don’t hear RF complaining about policewomen.

      Maybe TTAG should get a woman as a contributor, that way she can put up pictures of good looking men shooting guns.

      • That is also my friendly suggestion to the TTAG staff. I believe it would behoove you to get a couple women who can write articles — even if they are simply “guest writers”.

        • How about the women who wrote the article that won her the FN? Excellent follow-up article, as well. I have never seen two articles receive such praise from the commentators. Hire her. Now.

    • The probability of being involved in a DGU, is already low. Properly assessing whether you feel you need to carry, based on your personal experiences and environment, your chances of being caught without it are even lower.

    • True enough on the 13% “I carry when I need to” stat. On the other hand some people don’t have the option to carry all the time. It’s understandably a bit uncomfortable when sitting, and personally, working for a defense contractor (albeit in a boring analyst role) I can’t even bring my phone into most of the places I have to go for work, so I can understand their position. No one can anticipate when/if they will need their firearm, but hey, at least they carry sometimes…better than nothin right? IIRC, I answered I carry whenever possible, I try to at least have somewhat quick access to a gun if it is an option. Different strokes…

      As to women being offended by hyperlinks to Israeli Supermodels, I would be reluctant to imply any correlation there in regards to female readership. My layman’s opinion would be that women gun owners do not feel quite strongly enough (obsessive?) about guns to visit a site like this daily. I know plenty of women who spend all day on Facebook, and there are plenty more obscene things circulating on there than Bar Refaeli in a bikini….

      • Well, the difference between you (carry whenever I can) and the “carry when I think I need to” crowd is the default position. It sounds to me like your default position is “carry” but that is occasionally precluded by life. The other crowd’s default position is “don’t carry,” and I think that’s an attitude problem.

        With regard to the Israeli model links, I’ll just say: “It was not about the Israeli model links.” I answered it more fully over on the forums, which you can see here if you choose.

        • Indeed, I see what you’re saying. I prefer to carry when it is an option, I think I may have been viewing the question from the wrong viewpoint. To carry when one thinks it is necessary is more or less pointless. How does that person determine when it is “necessary?” Maybe if they work a delivery rout in the hood? Maybe they are telepathic or whatever and can sense that they will be confronted by a gang of hoodlums? Nonsense to be sure. I think you are correct IMO. It is an attitude issue. A gun at home, or otherwise inaccessible when one needs it is a paperweight at best.

          I think I need to go on the forums, I set up a login a while ago and promptly forgot about it…there is so much content on this side to read and comment on…I’m afraid I’d spend too much time there too!

        • Just looked at the forum. I never noticed the implied chauvinism on RF’s part, but I can be pretty dense. Soooo, we’re still cool with Israeli supermodels? I prefer American, Czech, Russian and German but YMMV 😀

        • As far as spending too much time there… I read everything here (or try to), but I’m very selective there. Sometimes people go on big, impassioned rants about things I just don’t care about. It’s not that they’re not valid subjects for conversation, just not things I care about, and I have more than enough useless (to me) information coming at me already.

          I prefer Czech, maybe Ukranian.

      • That seems to be the nature of forums, too much info and people pontificating on bullsh*t. Like drinking from a firehose. Czech and Ukrainian is just fine with me, heh.

      • On the 13% of “carry when I think I need to”,
        Personally, if I thought I would get in a fight where I needed a gun, I would not go. Kind of like the tall tale of the cop who goes to the police officers benifit ball, and has his pistol. Asked why he was carrying, and if he thought he’d get into a gunfight he responds, “No Ma’am, if I thought I’d get into a gun fight I would have a rifle and not be in the open…”

        I, personally carry everywhere it is legal for me to do so, because you never need a gun until you need it badly.

      • That’s just it… if you “stay out of stupid places” and base your “need to carry” on that, you’ll never carry.

        Reality, though, suggests that a non-zero percentage of DGUs [should] occur in non-stupid places… like your own home, elementary schools, churches, movie theaters, etc.

    • If you avoid stupid places and stupid people doing stupid things you’re amazingly safe in America. However, and this is the big one, random violence is just that, random. Ask the Petit family.

      As I have seen Murphy at work more than once I would carry 24/7 if I could.

    • Hahahahahaha
      Trying to figure out how to post a picture. Left monitor on TTAG, right monitor on split screen mode. E-mail/sales orders/rolling trucks.
      Bullet collection on the shelf, feet propped up on the desk. No shoes.
      Yup. Semi-bored. 🙂

  6. As promising as this poll is about our education level, this is not a random sample and is skewed toward the type of people that like the subject matter of the laws, ethics, and issues of guns. And people that read and use computers.

    I don’t mean this as a negative; it is what it is.

    I believe the only way to gain more female participation is to find women who can write articles about concealed carry for women.

  7. Another interesting metric would be where in the world readers come from and what kind of laws they are affected by when it comes to gun ownership.

    I’m an avid reader from Sweden eagerly awaiting the police permit department to finish their handling of my first rifle licenses. Things are very different here. You get a license per gun, 5 year license for handguns, lifetime for rifles, never allowed to use a gun in self-defense, silencer license application fee is $30, SBR’s are just another rifle, guns have to be kept in a safe, etc.

    Big fan of the site!

    • Johannes, what kind of handguns are you allowed to have on your license? Storing your guns in a safe is a good idea. I question the need of making it mandatory tho.

      • The law requires that you prove a need for any firearm, that you can only get a license if you’re suitable and that it has to be stored safely, that’s it. Then we have the incompetent bunch of idiots called RPS (Rikspolisstyrelsen, the national police board) who in their divinity have decided on guidelines and regulations.

        The approved needs are hunting, sporting, collecting and nostalgia. I’ll explain below how the licensing work.

        For hunting you need to take a hunting exam which consist of a theoretical test on wild life preservation, identifying animals, etc; and a practical test where you need to both test markmanship and estimating range. This is the easiest way to get permits, but you can only get rifles meant for hunting. No handguns, no military style rifles, etc. Licenses are for life and you are allowed 4 different hunting rifles without question and up to a total of 6 if you can verify the need via membership in hunting teams for that specific kind of hunting. Bolt action rifles, shotguns, Ruger 10/22’s and until Breivik Mini 14’s. Basicly anything with a wooden stock that doesn’t look “evil”.

        For sporting you need to be a member of a sports shooting club that is active with the kind of firearm you apply for. You need to be active in the club and the club writes a letter of recommendation to prove that. The guidelines demand at least 6 months of activity before you can get a license of your own but some clubs won’t recommend you until you do at least a year. The hard part is finding a decent club that does fun shooting, not only .22LR on olympic paper. I’m lucky to be in a club doing field shooting. You can get any rifle as long as it’s meant to be shot two-handed and is semi-auto. If it’s esoteric they might give you some trouble, but then you just need to show them the gun and explain it’s not full auto. In our club we have AKM’s, AR-15’s in 10.5″ to 20″, Vz858, FAL’s, etc. As with hunting guns, you are allowed up to 6 sporting rifles.

        For pistols it’s the same, but you first need to get a license for a .22LR pistol, then 6 months to a year after that you can apply for a full caliber pistol. Again, you can get anything. No mag restrictions, no nothing. The only kink is that for handguns your license expires every five years and you need to renew it. So handguns are almost not worth it anymore. You can get up to 10 pistols if memory serves, but you’re going to need to motivate anything over 4 with a big need due to lot’s of competing or similar.

        For collecting you need to show that you’re doing relevant collecting already and that you’re part of historical societies and such. It’s REALLY hard to get a collectors license unless you already have one these days. The good part is that you can get anything, I know peeps with safes full of WW2 full autos, the bad is that you need a permit for every time you want to shoot the gun. Usually you get one per year without hassle to test function, but beyond that you need to show a need for it. A TV production, re-enactment, etc.

        Nostalgia licenses are for keeping family heirlooms. If your granddaddy dies and you want to keep is shotgun you can without it affecting your rifle allowance as long as you don’t use it. Safe is still needed of course.

        Besides the need, you need a safe adhering to the SS3492 safety standard that weighs at least 150Kg or is bolted to the floor and wall of your home. If it’s locked by key you are obliged to always have the key under your control.

        You need to have a clean criminal record. If you’re convicted of a non-violent crime you can get a license five years after finished sentence if you the police think you’re safe to own a gun. If you commit any violent crime your weapons are confiscated and your licenses revoked. Even funnier, if the police would ever want to bring you in and you’re a gun owner, they’ll ram your door down, throw in flashbangs and send in a SSAT team with MP5’s. To be on the safe side.

        • Johannes>Thanks for taking the time to reply… even though I’m a US citizen, it’s still interesting to hear how firearms laws work in other countries.

          The TTAG staff should approach you about writing an article of your experiences once your paperwork comes through and you have full possession of your first rifle license!

        • Many thanks for educating us about your firearms laws. We don’t get enough information from other countries, and every bit of first-hand information helps.

      • Sorry for the wall of text. Also, I forgot one thing.

        You can get a full auto submachine gun. But, only one model, the old Swedish K, Carl Gustaf M/45. Your club needs to do SMG shooting and the gun is legally owned by the club but you are allowed to store it. These licenses are EXTREMELY rare nowadays sadly. We’re hoping to get a couple for our club, but they’re quite hard to find now.

        I’ve applied for an AKM and a 14.5″ AR-15. If I get a yes, I’m hoping to get a FN SCAR 17S and a Tigr after that. 🙂

        • Thank you Johannes, that was interesting. It’s possible, a bit difficult but not impossible, for you to get weapons such as the Carl Gustave smg that I can not get legally here in California. Along with silencers and sbr’s. Good to hear your take on things.

        • Very cool to hear about Sweden’s laws. Another question: I’ve heard that silencers/suppressor are much easier to get in Scandinavia than here. I’ve also heard they’re pretty much encouraged. Is that true in your experience?

    • I really don’t understand the mentality of many countries in not allowing their citizens to use their weapons in self defense. I guess if you or a family member is about to die, you could make that decision and deal with the consequences. It boggles my mind because military and police are given weapons for self defense. Maybe someday, more gun owners like you can turn the tide and regain your natural right to self defense.

      A guest article on the process to own a gun in your country or even your gun culture would be very interesting.

      • The conversation tree is a little awkward here, but this is in reply to all of the above.

        I’ll gladly write a piece about my process when it’s all done or anything else about gun culture here. I’m also quite geeky when it comes to Russian military, federal forces and guns. 😉

        When it comes to suppressors it’s kind of a mixed bag, I need to explain weapon classes first, all weapons are classed according to caliber. The classes determine what kind of game you are allowed to hunt and with which sort of ammunition.

        Class 1 is with a bullet weight of 9g (that’s gram, not grains) and a retained energy of 2700J at 100m or bullet weight of at least 10g and retained energy of 2000J at 100m. .30-06, .308, 6.5x55mm, .300 WinMag, etc.

        Class 2 is with a bullet weight of at least 3.2g and energy of 800J at 100m. .223, 7.62x39mm, .243, etc.

        Class 3 is with a bullet weight of 2.5g and 200J energy at 100m. .22 Hornet, .22 WinMag, etc.

        Class 4 is anything less with a muzzle energy of at least 150J. In practical terms it’s pretty much .22LR.

        Suppressors are licensed individually but can be used on any rifle you own, more on that below. For hunting rifles you get a suppressor for a class 1 with no questions asked. For class 2 you need to say you’re scared of impairing your hearing. For class 3 and up it’s a lot harder, but not impossible. There are a few suppressed .22LR rifles in our club.

        For sporting licensed rifles it’s impossible to get a suppressor license, but as I mentioned above, any suppressor you own can be used on any rifle. My friend has a really nice suppressor for his Ruger Mini-14 on hunting license which he also uses for his AR-15 which is on a sporting license.

        As far as I know it’s impossible to get a suppressor license for a handgun.

        This is in Sweden of course, it’s different in other countries. I do believe it’s easier in both Norway and Finland.

  8. @ the sexism bit. I wish instead of people requesting that supermodel post stop or at minimum complaining about them, they’d instead advocate something they’d like to see. Maybe a few Fabio covers. Perhaps a diet coke break with an AR 15 on table?

    The supermodels posted weren’t usually my taste, as I like thicker women, but to each their own. But then again, this is the internets. It’s not like we can’t find pictures of damn near whatever we want within 30 seconds (unless on satellite/dialup).

  9. Why doesn’t TTAG try to find a woman writer who would link to Ryan Gossling photos or make referance to the Royal wedding/baby or incorporated anything that had to do with Bravo tv shows.

    If TTAG had that my wife would read more than just the stuff I fwd her.

  10. Two things – 1) I’ve yet to see a “sexist” article published. The women complaining about “sexism” really mean “they find women attractive” and don’t like seeing men interested in women more attractive than them. 2) I’m disappointed that you’re going to be pushing hunting stuff – it seems like nearly every other gun publication is all about the hillbillys hunting, I really liked that TTAG usually stayed away from that stuff.

  11. the results were very interesting to read. i was going to take the survey but stopped when it asked me the how many/ what kind of guns do you own question. none after my last visit to the CO river.

  12. I’ve been waiting for the next housekeeping post to make a suggestion. How about an Archives section on the site. As a relatively new visitor, I’m sure there are years of untapped material in the basement, but it’s tougher to access with each new post.

  13. I am only one of the thirty women who regularly frequent this blog, but the “sexism” doesn’t bother me at all. Women are far more degrading to each other than men could ever be. While I may not click the supermodel links, I will chuckle at the references.
    I am a newbie to the world of firearms and greatly enjoy the info and how it’s delivered. The great writing, range of topics, and the overall tone of the site have had me smack dab in the F5 category since I stumbled on the site when doing some google research on a firearms industry job I was applying for. (Got it – best job EVER!) Keep up the good work!

  14. Re: 2% and sexism and all that… It’s an undeniable fact of human nature that women are not going to be as interested in guns as men are, just as men are not going to be as interested in cooking or fashion as women are. These differences stem not from “sexism” but from basic biology. Men, by instinct, hormones, and physical construction, tend to the hunting and protecting, women toward the domestic and society pursuits, which more closely pertain to the raising of children. A gun is a useful tool for hunting and fighting, and therefore female gun owners will always be a minority, and female gun enthusiasts and habitual readers of gun blogs even moreso, just as men will always be minority viewers of QVC, Food Network, or BabyCenter forums. I think it would be a shame for this truth of biology to be ignored, in favor of political correctness.

    In short, it seems weak and PC, not to mention unwise, to deliberately neuter the site by toning down things that appeal to 98% of the readership in order to increase the 2% by a few points.

  15. The soft porn that Robert used to push on his site was not nearly pervasive or offensive enough to be responsible for the lack of female readers. The fact that the blog is about guns is.

    The attempts on the part of gun-rights fanatics to claim women are making up a more and more significant part of their world are superficially and obviously false. Here’s the proof from the number one most successful and most read gun blog out there.

  16. I’m an f5ing female reader, not one of the 30 since my computer died and needed replaced, so I missed the poll. Supermodel links and such may cause me to roll eyes, but they don’t keep me off the site. And actually, if you really want to address sexism, I find some of the comments that lambast idiot grabbers of my gender on the basis of their looks to be more offensive than the occasional male oriented eye candy. You don’t ever mention the appearance of the male antis, but I have read plenty of comments insulting DiFi and the stupid female Colorado legislators that attack them based on their looks. The stupid is ample basis for taking these people apart, and I wish that everyone would stick to that.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *