(GunReports.com) — For the past five years, the National Shooting Sports Foundation has surveyed federally licensed firearms retailers across the country to find out what products are the biggest sellers and who is buying. NSSF has just issued the latest version of that report from an online survey conducted last month. The data shows which types of firearms and ammunition were most popular in 2012, and at the same time allows retailers to compare their businesses to that of other gun stores across the country.
“What retailers tell us in this survey helps our entire industry assess the current state of the shooting sports market,” said NSSF Managing Director of Business Development Randy Clark.
A total of 752 firearms retail businesses located in all 50 states provided responses to the survey. The businesses ranged in size from single proprietors to large outdoor specialty retailers.
One of the most important benefits of the report is that it identifies retailing trends by comparing results from past years’ surveys. “These surveys have given NSSF and industry a valuable benchmark to identify trends during what has been an extraordinary sustained dynamic market for firearms, ammunition and accessories,” said Jim Curcuruto, NSSF’s director of industry research and analysis.
Categories in the report include products sold, sales trends, markets and customers, advertising and online marketing, and shooting ranges and buying groups, among others.
A sample of finding in the new report include . . .
84 percent of retailers surveyed reported that overall sales in 2012 exceeded sales from the previous year.
76.9 percent of retailers surveyed said sales of AR-style modern sporting rifles in 2012 exceeded sales from the previous year (60.1 percent), the largest increase in the firearms category.
Retailers surveyed said that 25.8 percent of their customers were first-time firearm buyers in 2012 compared to 25 percent in 2011 and 20.8 percent in 2010.
For the third year in a row, the number of female customers increased. For the year 2012, 78.6 of retailers surveyed said more women came to their stores, compared to 72.8 in in 2011 and 61.1 in 2010.
Firearms most often purchased by women were a semiautomatic handgun followed by revolvers, modern sporting rifles, shotguns, traditional rifles and muzzleloaders.