August 2019

A Good Time to Buy

It seems gun companies are suffering from a lack of “fear-based buying” because consumers aren’t worried about stricter gun control while Donald Trump is in office. Also, ammo sales have been hit by consumers buying fewer bullets because they stockpiled during past scares, according to Markets Insider, a stock-tracking firm (

“Given the minimal risk of Democrats passing tighter gun laws while Republicans control the Senate and the White House, people haven’t been panic-purchasing firearms out of paranoia they’ll lose access to them,” according to a recent Markets Insider article.

Evidence: “American Outdoor Brands, which owns Smith & Wesson, shipped around 820,000 fewer handguns and long guns in the year to April 2018. The company’s handgun revenues plunged by more than $230 million or 41% in the year to April 2018…,” Markets Insider reported. Net sales slumped 13% at Sturm, Ruger & Co. in the first quarter of 2019. Olin’s Winchester ammo business also suffered a 4% drop in sales last year and an 8% drop in the first quarter of this year.

Todd Woodard

Todd Woodard

Result: For Gun Tests readers, this is a good time to buy. I’m very pleased when I see prices on firearms going down — more test guns, less money. Maybe now is the time to have some fun, while we still can.

I’d like to welcome Joe Woolley to the masthead as a new contributing editor. He is the principal and primary instructor at Firearms Operations and Responsibility Training of Texas (F.O.R.T. Texas, He has worked with several thousand students over the last ten years as a full-time instructor at American Shooting Centers and other locations in west Houston. Joe teaches a variety of classes about civilian usage of handguns and rifles for personal, competition, and defensive use. He began shooting action pistol sports in 1984. In 2016, he retired from USPSA after 32 years as a 3 Division Master Class Shooter. He has been competing in Precision Rifle matches since 2016 and is currently ranked in local expert class. He is an active Texas DPS certified License To Carry Instructor. He is an eight-discipline NRA Instructor, NRA Training Counselor, and an NRA Refuse to be a Victim Regional Counselor.

Joe has also worked for the magazine behind the scenes for years as an FFL, legally and perfectly transferring firearms we order from across the country to writers and photographers locally. He has also conducted testing for some of our Houston staff and has some product comparisons in the works beyond his article in this issue, “Shooting a Pistol Is Simple…” on page 27.


Comments (4)

I have been a Gun Test subscriber since the first 1-2 copies and find it to be very informative and accurate in most of the results. Keep up the good work.

Posted by: john laird | August 1, 2019 1:02 PM    Report this comment

The data for Smith and Wesson is listed in this article as from April 2018. Isn't that pretty "old" information, for an Aug 2019 article? Was that a typo, and you meant April 2019, perhaps?

Re stockpiling -- ammo in particular was tremendously stockpiled in California in the last year, leading up to July 1, 2019. After that date, all ammo must be purchased in person, in a CA store, with a background check (and associated fees), and *every single cartridge purchased* is registered in a CA state DOJ database and associated with the purchaser's personal information. That is, the state will have a record of every single cartridge that is (legally) purchased. So many firearm owners stocked up and hope to not buy another cartridge for a very long time.

Posted by: largt | August 1, 2019 12:02 PM    Report this comment

I have been a customer of yours for a while now, and look forward to receiving my next issue. However, I never see anything about rifles that are for left handed shooters. I admit that majority of shooters are right ha need, however, there are enough left handed shooters, to make having an article for them worth while .

Posted by: All Game Hunter 690 | August 1, 2019 10:47 AM    Report this comment

I have been a loyal and very satisfied customer since the very early 1990's. I am curious why you have never included the FN-FNS in your reviews.

Posted by: Donald zimmerman | July 20, 2019 1:37 PM    Report this comment

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