Ammo For Sale

« « Beer Blogging | Home | Speaking of gun sales » »

gun industry speculation

Michael Bane thinks that the money in the gun industry that has shifted from the hunting side to the black rifle & handgun side isn’t going to come back even after this buying frenzy. Shooters are likely here to stay. Guns continue to increase in popularity after a few decades of decrease. But hunting does continue to decline. He notes that the industry should be pushing the competition/shooter angle but is addicted to hunter recruitment. Some of us have been saying that for a while.

Bane also notes that S&W’s recent financials are consistent with that trend.

Jim Shepherd notes that the industry is hanging on to a single category:

For the past few weeks, it may be that we’ve given a false impression as to how well the firearms industry is really doing. The net of all the numbers is that if you’re a company with a strong line of high-capacity pistols and AR-style rifles, you’re doing land office business. If you’re heavily dependent on hunting, you are hurting.

Some companies, unfortunately, are seeing those languishing hunting sales carve -deeply- into their bottom lines. Take, for instance, Smith & Wesson (NASDAQ:SWHC). The company’s Military & Police (M&P) line of AR-style rifles and polymer pistols are facing significant back orders due to the incessant consumer demand for high-capacity pistols and military-style rifles that will likely face a resurrected “Assault Weapons Ban” in 2009.

Despite that solid performance, however, Smith simply couldn’t overcome the impact that hunting-centric subsidiary Thompson/Center Arms has had on the overall corporate balance sheet. When Smith & Wesson purchased Thompson/Center Arms in 2007, it looked like a solid acquisition. As a category-leader in hunting that also had a barrel-making facility, it seemed a great fit into the S&W portfolio

Now, I’m all for hunting and harbor no ill-will toward the sport. But I think the industry is starting to get that the shooters and self-defense folks are going to start carrying the weight. Some gun companies figured that out a bit back and started doing both.

4 Responses to “gun industry speculation”

  1. Tomcatshanger Says:

    I don’t really see Remington doing both. Their R-15 and R-25 rifles are definitely aimed toward hunting and not self defense. No flash hiders, funky camo, no iron sights; no easy way to even mount a front sight on their AR15’s, extremely low capacity magazines; 10 round DPMS .308 magazines that are blocked to only 4 rounds.

    Have they started selling their factory folding stock to private citizens yet?

  2. Steve Says:

    Remington is the hunting arm of Cerberus. DPMS and Bushmaster are the tactical arm.

  3. Harold Says:

    Tomcatshanger: I and many others disagree about Remington, e.g. see the review of the R-25 in the previous issue of Rifle magazine.

    It’s clear the R-15 and R-25 are primarily hunting rifles (and the AR-10/15 design is ideal for that), but remove the supplied 5 round magazine and put in normal sized ones and they will serve quite well for self-defense.

    A rifle that will do well for both is a good bargain, and they also have the advantage of being familiar to anyone who’s used the design in law enforcement or the military.

    Me, I buy rifles and shotguns for self-defense and shooting first but I also make sure they’ll do well for hunting.

  4. Wolfwood Says:

    The beauty of the Remington R-15 and R-25 is that they help clarify the overall issue: other than the paint scheme and minor cosmetics, the Remington “hunting” gun and the DPMS and Bushmaster “evil black rifle” are apparently the same weapons. If you ban the EBR, everyone just goes out and buys the Remington. If you ban both, you’ve fired a shot across the bow of hunters, most of whom will see that certainly their semi-automatic rifles and probably their bolt- and lever-action rifles aren’t immune from restriction.