Down Range: April 2011


A recent survey by the marketing firm Southwick Associates has announced the brands hunters and shooters purchased most frequently in 2010. This list has been compiled from the 41,923 internet-based surveys completed by hunters and target shooters

Todd Woodard


who volunteered to participate last year. According to the survey, the top brands in 2010 were as follows:

– Top rifle brand: Remington (17.5% of all purchases)

– Top shotgun brand: Remington & Mossberg (virtual tie with 21.5% of all purchases)

– Top handgun brand: Sturm Ruger (16.7% of all purchases)

– Top rifle ammunition brand: Remington (25.3% of all purchases)

– Top shotgun ammunition brand: Winchester (31.9% of all purchases)

– Top handgun ammunition brand: Winchester (22.0% of all purchases)

– Top reloading bullet brand: Hornady (31.7% of all purchases)

– Top reloading powder brand: Hodgdon (37.8% of all purchases)

– Top holster brand: Uncle Mikes (19.0% of all purchases)

This is interesting to me because getting the mix of stories right in Gun Tests is important. We very much want to test the guns you want to learn more about, and that’s why I rely so heavily on the writing staff to cover their passions, and for the readership to send in article matchups they’re interested in. But even with all those inputs—readers, writers, and my own instincts—I do trust the market. When I see that nearly 1 in 5 of all rifles and shotguns are sold by Big Green, it makes me ask why. Consumers committing their dollars is the vote, not just a poll. Certainly, quality has something to do about that, but there’s also distribution, pricing, and a host of other factors. The same goes for Ruger selling 1 in 6 of all handguns (having both revolvers and pistols makes a difference). Oddly, we don’t get a lot of reader story requests that include mainline Remington, Mossberg, and Ruger products.

Elsewhere in this issue, you’ll notice that we’ve begun including pricing from the Auction Arms website, Our style over the decades has been to include the MSRP of guns, mainly because getting accurate national market pricing can be difficult. Retail pricing can be all over the map, and I’ve wanted a number that reflected an accurate national price, which means the product had to be available to a national market. We’ll still list MSRP, but as our interaction with’s research matures, we’ll also be able to list what we believe is a fair counter price for a given gun, because we’ll know what several of them actually sold for.


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