‘U.S. Firearms Industry Today’ Report Tops July Shooting Industry

“Uncertainty” has been a defining characteristic of the firearms industry in recent history. A different kind of uncertainty permeates the marketplace in 2024, as SI Editor Jade Moldae explores in the annual “U.S. Firearms Industry Today” report. The report also offers a look back at 2022 U.S. firearms production — which resulted in a shakeup of the two largest U.S. firearms manufacturers.

“What will challenge 9mm’s impressive dominance, especially in the pistol market?” asks Moldae in his Industry Link column. The past 10 years of ATF’s AFMER data (2013–2022) reveals 9mm makes up more than half of all pistols produced in the U.S. — with competition only increasing among manufacturers and other platforms.

Retail expert Hank Yacek begins a frank two-part discussion on fixing the firearms industry. In “Are We In A De-Evolution?” he points to the role manufacturers play in negatively impacting the revenue health of the industry, pushing it closer to the brink of non-viability. “To think 70% of the cash that changes hands in our industry is done at little to no net profitability should be repulsive to anyone reading this. A large part of this situation is squarely the fault of an exploitative manufacturer ecosystem,” he says.

Other July features include “Bowhunting & Beyond,” in which FMG Digital Content Editor Ashley McGee illustrates how the archery industry is experiencing a significant transformation — fueled by technological advancements and changing consumer preferences. Gun cleaning products are a necessary evil: They’re not high-volume sellers, but when customers need them, they appreciate a retailer who has them. Bryan Hendricks showcases must-have supplies for gun care and cleaning in “Polish & Protect.”

Generative AI has many uses, including a business planning tool. In Best Practices, B.A. Stear looks at SparkRockets, which uses AI to evaluate the viability of business ideas. Nancy Keaton introduces Doe Camp Nation in the Arms & The Woman column, where outdoor skills are taught to attendees wanting to learn more about everything from firearms and foraging to log rolling and dog sledding. And best sellers can be even better sellers: Massad Ayoob lists ways to sway customers to the benefits of owning a micro-compact handgun in Personal Defense Market.

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