From time to time, the NSSF releases reports about various aspects of the gun industry. These surveys give us an interesting glimpse into what’s driving the firearms industry, and what kinds of guns people are purchasing. Not only is it nifty information to have, it gives people like us (who review guns) an idea about what types of heaters to focus our efforts on. And this year, home defense handguns are all the rage . . .
You’ll notice from the chart data that the combined categories for handguns make up well over 50% of the purchases of new gun owners. Semi-auto guns are the most popular, followed, naturally enough, by revolvers. It follows what we’ve been seeing in the industry, that companies are focusing their efforts on churning out handguns instead of producing the next great rifle.
What’s really interesting is that the “modern sporting rifle” isn’t particularly popular among new gun owners. While there was a massive buying spree after the gun control push started in Washington, new shooters weren’t at the tip of that spear. The charge seems to have been led by existing gun owners buying up the available stock. This could be a “chicken and egg” situation though, as demand may have been high among new shooters for the Evil Black Rifle (TM) but handguns were the only thing readily available, so they bought those instead.
The reason over 50% of new shooters listed for wanting a new boomstick was some form of self defense, whether in the home or for concealed carry. Again, that’s in line with the industry’s concealed carry/self defense marketing kick they’ve been on for the last couple years. And that also puts guns like the M&P Shield and the Beretta Pico in the perfect position to grab a healthy slice of those sales.
So, that’s cool. Self defense guns are in vogue, and new shooters prefer handguns. There’s a ton of other great information in this report (well, great if you own a gun shop and need to do some marketing), but Bill over at the NSSF would tan my hide if I gave away all the secrets from something they’d like you to pay money to read. One last nugget of info, though:
The majority of new shooters — well over 50%, in fact — shoot regularly on privately owned land such as a family ranch. Under Chuck Schumer’s “universal background check” proposal, these brand new shooters would unknowingly be committing a felony if they handed their new gun to a friend to try out while at one of their range days on the ranch. “Approved” and chartered shooting ranges aren’t the only place people shoot, but gun control advocates can’t seem to grasp that concept. Or maybe they do.