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As TTAG reported previously, the firearms industry is enjoying something of a sales surge. When we asked our readers to account for February’s 13 percent rise (compared to February 2010), Obama-related paranoia was the number one reason mooted. Mind you, it was the only reason given. It seems that the video of the full-figured roller derby queens promoting a gun store short-circuited our Armed Intelligentsia’s analytical abilities. No matter. I’ve shot a less distracting video of Andre shooting the Colt 1911 “Bowling Pin” and devised a new theory: Born Again Shooters. Or, as scribe Chris Dumm calls them, Bang Bang Boomers . . .

The firearms industry is notoriously gun shy about providing demographic data about its customers. Something about privacy and tactical intel I suppose. Anyway, as I was attempting to avoid wayward muzzles at my extremely crowded local gun store the other day, I noticed that all of the shoppers were fellow OFWGs (Old Fat White Guys).

It occurred to me that I was minging with the same sort of mob you see at motorcycle shops. Guys who rode bikes in their financially-challenged youth, left them behind when they settled down, and then returned to the donor cycle world when the kids left the nest. Men of a certain age who did well for themselves, who have the time and money to re-ignite and re-indulge their love of bikes.

Substitute the word “guns”for “bikes” and there you have it: Born Again Shooters. This theory received extra credence at the¬†ophthalmologist’s¬†waiting room. I was listening to a couple of sixty-somethings bitch and moan about their various ailments, charting the final physical degradations in their journey from the forceps to the stone. Golf? Gone. So you guys shoot at all?

Rhode Island. What are the odds? And yet they were off, boasting about new rifles and handguns that they’d purchased in the last few years. Pricey pieces too: high end Remingtons, an H&K handgun, collector revolvers, etc. Could you guys afford this stuff back in the day? Hell no. Besides, one man said, it’s cheaper than golf club membership. And easier on my knees chimed in the other. How much did you pay for those knees anyway?

And there you have it: new old buyers buying new new guns. If I’m right, the firearms industry may want to start marketing to old fogies. Or maybe not. Just as in the fashion world, what’s new appeals to the old. In other words, us OFWGs like the weapons that you YVMEs (Young Virile Multi-Ethnics) covet. Guns as the fountain of youth. Works for me.



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  1. Please do not take my criticism personally.

    I think you hit the nail on the head with the demographic (OFWG), but to disregard most peoples answer (Obama) and write it off as a lack of analytical power is irresponsible. I’m willing to bet that you had some OFWG’s writing responses to your original question. These same OFWG’s are probably buying guns as well. They proably have some pretty good insight as to whats going on.

    Fear and uncertainty are some pretty powerful motivators. Economic crisis being held afloat by massive government inflation…. An ever encroaching government…. Wars…. Global unrest….. Choose your flavor. “Prepair for the worst and hope for the best,” right. Thats what I think most people are doing.

    I’m sure there are some “born again shooters” buying guns, but I don’t think you hit the mark. I wish it were a rebirth of guys getting back into shooting, but I don’t think this is the case. I bet that most of the guns being bought are not “range” style guns with bomar sights or over and under shotguns, but hi-cap “combat/black” guns of the pistol and rifle variety with fixed/iron sights. Probably a lot of deep concealment pistols as well. This is probably not something we could verify, but I think they type of guns being sold would also support my hypothesis.

    These OFWG’s have extra time, and money. As far as the buying nice guns comment. I think your right. That fits with the demographic. OFWG’s with fatter wallets and less expenses. While they are gearing up, they may as well do it in style.

    I may be way off base, but this what I see happening.

  2. Bang bang boomers, I love it.

    While I think that concern over what the Obama admin has in place for our gun rights has and always will (at least while he is still in office) fuel some of the surge in sales, its not the only reason. I think the older guys finally getting out there is right on. When I was a kid, my dad never really sought out buying anymore guns then we already had, which was only a shotgun and some .22’s. Now that it’s just my mom and him at home, he talks to me on a constant basis about wanting to get a .45ACP.

    • Let’s not leave out old fart white gals! Increasingly women are buying guns for recreation and self defense. I’m 61, sister-in-law 58, we both in the last couple of years got the gun range bug.

      We are members of a womens shooting league. Meet twice a month at an outdoor shooting range. Fire off 100 to 150 rounds each session. Multi-generational and multi-cultural membership.

      Most of us are in our “hip break” years. Can no longer run fast, not very strong, live alone now. Self defense in home and outdoors is a big issue with boomer gals.

      Both my sister-in-law and I are much better shots than our husbands for no other reason that we put 3600 rounds down range each year and husbands almost never practice. Push come to shove in event of need to protect life and limb, my sister in law is to say to my brother “out of the way, I’ve got this”

  3. I think a lot of people in this country are starting to get really pissed off at both the political elite who are running things and their standing army, law enforcement and government thugs with initials for names.

    All of these gun purchase may be an extension of the emotional response which regular guys and gals are having because they feel constantly threatened by these assclowns.

  4. I’m a MAWG (middle-age white guy [and reasonably fit]), and I started buying after a twenty year hiatus on account of the ’08 election. I shoot because it’s fun to make big boom, I can protect myself and my family with guns, and, because I spend loads of time locked up in my studio alone, there’s a social aspect to guns and shooting that I really enjoy. I shoot with dads my age who bring their sons along, older guys who are enjoying their retirement, and any gal I can talk into coming along.

    I am so grateful to our president for inspiring me to get back into shooting, I think I’ll write him a letter!

    Perhaps the OFWG phenomenon you’re experiencing could be explained by retirement? I’m always driving past gun shops, gripping the steering wheel tightly and repeating “I don’t have the time or the money”.

    BTW, I just bought my son and daughter a Crickett .22 rifle. Soon two new shooters will be born.

  5. As President Emeritus of the OFWG Club, let me say this about that: Pshaw! Yoots — I mean youths — buy a lot of guns. When I go the the range or the store, there they are with multiple firearms. Then they get married, have children, and the gun money goes to paying for diapers, cribs, strollers and minivans. Then the kids go from diapers to college and they take the gun money with them. Then the kids get married and the gun money goes to wedding planning, weddings and gifts. Then, when the kids are finally gone, the gun money gets spent on cataract operations and hip transplants. What they don’t tell you about the Golden Years is that you have to spend all your gold in your remaining years. And then you write a will leaving the guns you bought in your youth to the grandchildren. It’s the circle of life, people. The circle of life.

  6. ugh i really believe that the people that are buying guns like mad are the same idiots that use services like goldline or buy emergency seeds like those advertised on beck or savages shows. what gullible fools… do these guys know that the president is not some sort of king? that laws go thru congress and can be challenged in the judiciary ? im all for guns rights but what is happening here is just idiots being quickly separated from their money. of course rational normal people get to suffer with overinflated prices… maybe when the demand dies down there will be a excess supply and we will see huge price drops.

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