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 (Markets@BusinessInsider.com).
“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.
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, FORTTexas.us). 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.