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Shooting Industry July Digital Edition - Page 30

U.S. T By Russ Thurman Firearms Industry Today Firearms Manufacturing and Export Report — the latest data available from the agency — U.S. manufacturers produced 5,417,003 firearms, a 29.10-percent increase over 2008. This was the first time the industry produced more than 5-million firearms since 1994, and it was the largest number manufactured since 1980, when 5,645,131 guns were made. Ruger was the number one U.S. firearms manufacturer in 2009 (page 32), outdistancing all other U.S. firearm manufacturers by a significant margin. This was the second year in a row that Ruger achieved the top ranking. In 2009, Ruger manufactured 933,559 firearms, an impressive 55.8-percent increase over 2008. Ruger ranked number one in handgun and rifle production in 2009. “Ruger has a popular brand, strong balance sheet, hardworking, dedicated employees, and an experienced and engaged board of directors. We have a simple but effective strategy: To use new product introductions to spur demand, and to adopt lean methodologies throughout the business to enable us to more efficiently fulfill that demand,” said Mike Fifer, Ruger CEO. Defying Economic Trends, Firearm Sales Remain Robust he firearms industry is enjoying brisk-to-robust firearm sales during a time when much of the U.S. economy continues to suffer. In April, dealers reported firearms sales that matched and even exceeded those of the six months following the 2008 national elections. In May, the number of NSSFadjusted NICS background checks reflects an 11.4-percent increase over May 2010. The positive May report is in stark contrast to news of the nation’s economy, which hit another slowdown during the month. NSSF reports that its adjusted NICS data shows increases for 2011, compared to 2010, of January: 9.7 percent; February: 13.6 percent; March: 15 percent; and April: 15.2 percent. NSSF also indicates that for 12 straight months, beginning in May 2010, there have been increases in the number of background checks. The NICS data, even when adjusted by NSSF to eliminate certain purpose codes (see below), does not reflect actual firearm sales, yet it is the best indicator of monthly consumer activity. Major firearm manufacturers also are reporting substantial sales — a welcome, if not surprising, boost in business. In late 2010, many manufacturers were approaching 2011 with a “cautiously optimistic” posture, with some predicting that the new year would present “major challenges.” For the first quarter of 2011, Ruger reports a 10.5-percent increase in sales, compared to the same quarter of 2010. Smith & Wesson reports a 6-percent increase in firearm sales for its third quarter, which ended on Jan. 31. The company posted a 47.9-percent growth in pistol sales, according to officials. According to data from Southwick Associates (see below), Ruger was the topselling handgun brand for 2010, and is competing with Smith & Wesson for the top spot in 2011. For 2010, Remington was the top-selling rifle brand, and is dominating sales for 2011. In shotguns, Remington and Mossberg tied for the best-selling brand in 2010. For 2011, the two companies, and Winchester, jockey for the top-selling position. Top-Selling Brands ATF’s Annual Data According to the ATF’s 2009 Annual NICS Background Checks — January 2009 — May 2011 NSSF Adjusted — NICS Background Checks NSSFResearchDepartmentremovesNICSpurposecodepermitchecksusedbyseveralstatesforCCWpermitapplicationchecksand Southwick — Top-Selling Firearms 2010 and 2011 Category Handguns Rifles Shotguns Total2010 Brand Ruger Remington Remington Mossberg MS* 1 6.7% 1 7.5% 21.5% 21.5% Jan.201 1 Brand S&W Remington Remington MS* 21% 1 8% 27% Feb.201 1 Brand Ruger Remington Mossberg MS* 22% 1 3% 33% March201 1 Brand S&W Remington Mossberg MS* 21% 1 6% 26% April201 1 Brand S&W Remington Winchester MS* 29% 1 3% 29% *Marketshare:Percentageofallretailsalesattributabletothebrand. 30 JULY 2011 Read SI DIGITAL

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