The Economy Is Struggling, but Gun Sales Are Soaring

OAKMONT, Pennsylvania — Long before you find yourself standing in front of the Smoke N’ Guns shop, the delicate aroma of coffee beans and hand-rolled cigars beckons your senses as you walk along Allegheny River Boulevard.

Outside the shop, four black leather chairs spread a respectable 6 feet apart are waiting for either the overflow of customers or locals such as Marcello Frollo to hold court. He enjoys a rolled cigar along with his double espresso as he listens to the cars rumble along the brick-lined street.

Inside, the store is a visual delight, with a coffee bar and a handful of tables and chairs at the entrance. Boxes filled with the best cigars money can buy are stacked high, and an impressive walk-in humidor is designed to keep them preserved at the perfect temperature.

In the back, a balcony overlooks the rest of the store and spans its entire width. A glass display case with an array of long guns hangs along the wall. In the center, begging to be held, is a Tommy gun. Gregory “Gooch” Ionadi, the owner, waits to help you find the gun you need or want to protect yourself.

That is, if there are any left to buy.

“Prior to the COVID outbreak, President Obama was the best gun salesman we ever had,” says Ionadi. “Anytime he was going to ban this, ban that, there was a rush on gun sales. When President Trump was elected, the fear of a gun ban subsided, and sales were so flat that several gun manufacturers went out of business.”

Things changed dramatically in gun shops across the country in February, when the first concentrated COVID-19 cases in one town were reported out of New Rochelle, New York. “We made more here in … March and April than we did in the last three years,” he says. “It was crazy.” Continue reading “”

Gun sales are rising in Michigan. The buyers might surprise you

Rick Ector was teaching an eight-hour concealed pistol license course in early July, and his cellphone wouldn’t stop vibrating.

Ector had just resumed teaching in-person lessons the month before. He hadn’t advertised. But people were calling to ask about enrolling in future courses, he said.

“It’s an explosion of interest from people who want to learn about guns,” said Ector, who has worked as a firearms instructor in Detroit for 13 years. “The interest in personal protection is on a level none of us (firearm instructors) has ever seen.” Continue reading “”

Gun sales continue to surge across the Seattle-area

Background checks gun sales firearm western Washington

After an initial spike in March, western Washington firearm sales remained far higher than usual over the first half of 2020.

Some point to the pandemic, others point to protests over racial injustice as prompting waves of sales. In the end, it has local officials noticing that a lot more guns have arrived in their communities.

When a customer purchases a firearm in Washington state, they must wait 10 business days before receiving the gun. During that time, the seller submits the customer’s information to their local police department for a background check.

In the first seven months of 2020, Seattle processed 9,426 background checks for gun sales. That is already a 55% increase over the city’s average for an entire year.

Seattle is not alone. Comparing background checks, June 2020 to June 2019:

  • Kirkland saw a 145% increase.
  • Kent saw a 119% increase.
  • Redmond, a 268% increase. The last seven Junes have averaged 68 background checks. This June saw 318 background checks.

caption: The number of background checks that Western Washington police departments performed for gun sales in June 2020 and June 2019.

AUGUST IS NATIONAL SHOOTING SPORTS MONTH

While many of us practice our Second Amendment right through regular shooting, hunting, reloading and other gun-related fun each month, the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) established August as National Shooting Sports Month in 2016.

Originally created as a promotion for retailers and ranges to attract new customers during the traditional summer slump, it’s become a celebration among gun owners with an emphasis on introducing new shooters to the industry, teaching firearms safety and sharing a collective love of shooting sports. Continue reading “”

July Breaks Gun Sales Record: Gun company’s earnings triple, CEO says sales ‘like nothing we’ve seen before.’

One of the country’s leading gun makers saw earnings triple as gun sales once again shattered previous records for the month of July.

July 2020 saw an estimated 1,795,602 gun sales—a new record and an increase of 133 percent over July 2019, according to a Washington Free Beacon analysis of FBI data. July is the fifth consecutive month to set a gun-sales record. Chris Killoy, chief executive officer of Sturm, Ruger & Company, said the current spike in sales is unlike anything he has ever seen. The buying spree shows no signs of slowing down and heavy demand will “sustain itself” into the fall, Killoy predicted.

“Having been in this industry for 30 years, I saw the surge in 1994 before the assault weapons ban took place,” Killoy told investors on Thursday. “This is probably the strongest level of demand that I’ve seen. One of the most significant differences is how it has impacted all levels of the channel and the impact on inventory at all levels.” 

The spike in FBI background checks and coinciding earnings at the gun-industry giant indicate an explosion of new gun ownership as Americans deal with the coronavirus outbreak and national unrest. FBI background checks indicate 2020 has now seen at least 10 million guns sold—many to first-time buyers and minorities

Continue reading “”

This is real a question? Of course they are.


The Concealed-Carry Revolver: Is It Still Relevant?

Examples of small-frame revolvers

 

For no really good reason, there seems to be an attitude among prospective handgun buyers that holds the revolver in low esteem. In a majority of jurisdictions, Americans are legally permitted to carry firearms for personal defense and have long gravitated to the small, light, short-barreled revolver to play this role.

But times have changed and continue to change as I hunt and peck my way through this story. Shooters look into hideout guns of a different sort, largely because we now have hideout guns of a different sort. The short, light, flat, powerful and reliable defensive semi-automatic pistol is now a practical reality. They’re selling a lot of them, and they are crowding out the wheelguns. Continue reading “”

Henry Issues Safety Warning and Recall Notice of Henry Single Shot Rifles and Shotguns

Henry H015

Henry announced that it is voluntarily recalling all H015-series Single Shot Rifles and Single Shot Shotguns manufactured prior to July 1, 2020.  Henry has recently discovered a potential safety issue wherein, under certain conditions, it is possible that some of these models may discharge without the trigger being pulled if the hammer is partially cocked and released. To prevent the possibility of death or serious personal injury, you should immediately stop using all H015-series Single Shot Rifles and Single Shot Shotguns and not load or fire them until they have been upgraded.

The safety issue leading to this voluntary recall was discovered internally while testing the existing fire control system for a trigger pull upgrade.  This is the first product safety recall in the company’s nearly 25-year history.  Although not every Henry H015-series firearm may be affected, Henry Repeating Arms is requesting that all Single Shot Rifles and Single Shot Shotguns be returned to be upgraded free of charge pursuant to this recall to prevent the possibility of the firearm discharging without the trigger being pulled.  All H015 owners should visit the Henry H015 Recall website at HenryUSA.com/recall, email recall@henryusa.com, or call 1-866-200-2354 (M-F, 9AM ET-5PM ET) to obtain additional information and begin the upgrade process.

Henry Repeating Arms will upgrade all returned Single Shot Rifles and Single Shot Shotguns in the order in which they are received.  Henry Repeating Arms is ready to begin performing the upgrade as the firearms are received.  Information on the current turnaround time for firearms returned to be upgraded will be provided at HenryUSA.com/recall.  Henry Repeating Arms will make every effort to minimize the amount of time required to upgrade and return your firearm.  As a sign of appreciation to its customers, Henry Repeating Arms will also perform an unrelated performance upgrade to improve the trigger pull on all firearms returned pursuant to this recall free of charge.

And now something of interest for our friends south of the border


Sao Paulo Police Select the Steyr AUG SMG in .40 Caliber

Brazil’s Military Police of São Paulo State (PMESP) have selected the Steyr AUG in its submachine gun configuration to fulfil an order for 1,000 submachine guns. The Steyr AUG A3 in submachine gun configuration, feeding from a .40 caliber extended Glock magazines was the winning bidder for the contract. The Steyr beat out competition from B&T and Shield Arms. In the negotiation phase, Steyr offered the lowest final bid, $2,580 per weapon.

Estimated Firearms Sales In July 2020 Increased Year-Over-Year By 134.6%

Small Arms Analytics & Forecasting’s Chief Economist Jurgen Brauer:
“The firearms market continues at its far accelerated pace. Our estimates suggest that the market for the first seven months of 2020 now has nearly matched that of the entire year of 2019.”

Approximate United States Firearms Sales (January 2000 to July 2020).

Notes: Apart from obvious seasonality effects during the year, three massive demand spikes occurred in December 2013, December 2016, and as from March 2020 during the covid-19 crisis. Likely handgun unit sales overtook likely long-gun unit sales as from the year 2014.

 

 

Presidential Message on National Shooting Sports Month 2020

During National Shooting Sports Month, we commemorate our Constitutional right to bear arms by celebrating America’s cherished past time of recreational and competitive shooting sports.

Our great Nation has a rich history of fostering responsible gun ownership.  In the early days of our Republic, turkey shoots encouraged community engagement and brought families closer together.  As our country grew, these local events developed into large regional and national events and competitions that drew thousands of spectators.  By the late 19th century, sharpshooters such as Pawnee Bill and Annie Oakley established popular shows with Wild West and other themes, touring the country with acts featuring their talent with firearms.  These pioneering American folk heroes demonstrated the courage, skill, and persistence necessary to excel in shooting sports and that reflect our founding values.  Today, we continue to promote interest in such social pastimes that celebrate our rich and unique history of shooting sports.

As we encourage our fellow Americans to take part in learning more about firearms this month, including safety and proper instruction, we also pledge to continue doing our part to ensure that our rights are never infringed upon.  Enshrined in the Bill of Rights, our Second Amendment protects the individual liberties of Americans to keep and bear arms.  Since my first day in office, I have made clear that my Administration will always protect and defend the Second Amendment.  We will continue to oppose those individuals and policies that attempt to tread on this essential and cherished liberty.

This National Shooting Sports Month, I ask those Americans who currently participate in shooting sports to share this cherished tradition with others.  Together, we can proudly ensure that the next generation knows how to safely and responsibly enjoy their Second Amendment freedoms.

“Jim Rasenberger’s biography of Samuel Colt, ‘Revolver,’ has lots of interesting details about the colorful inventor of the six-shooter but unfairly faults Colt for sins against present-day leftist orthodoxy.  But Rasenberger’s greatest weakness is to downplay the great consequence of Colt’s invention. It made men equal. Rasenberger becomes authorially apoplectic at times that revolvers were used against American Indians and Mexicans, for example—as if only Americans of European descent ever pulled a trigger.–Tony Daniel


Revolver : Sam Colt and the Six-Shooter That Changed America

Revolver|Jim Rasenberger

A sweeping, definitive biography of Samuel Colt–the inventor of the legendary Colt revolver–which changed the US forever, triggering the industrial revolution and the settlement of the American West.
Patented in 1836, the Colt pistol with its revolving cylinder was the first practical firearm that could shoot more than one bullet without reloading. For many reasons, Colt’s gun had a profound effect on American history. Its most immediate impact was on the expansionism of the American west, where white emigrants and US soldiers came to depend on it, and where Native Americans came to dread it. The six-shooter became the iconic weapon of gun-slingers, outlaws, and cowboys–some willing to pay $500 out west for a gun that sold for $25 back east.

In making the revolver, Colt also changed American manufacturing–his factory revolutionized industry in the United States. Ultimately, Colt and his gun-making brought together the two most significant forces of change before the Civil War–the industrial revolution in the east, Manifest Destiny in the west.

 

Steven Fjestad passed away last year, so this is the first edition not published by him since 1981.


Forty-First Edition Blue Book Of Gun Values 

With nearly 2 million copies in circulation worldwide, the Blue Book of Gun Values one of the most relied-upon resources in the firearms industry;has announced the release of its 41st Edition, dedicated in memoriam to the late publisher Steven Peter “S.P.” Fjestad. Spanning over 2,500 pages, the 41st Edition contains upwards of 1,700 trademarks with brief histories, approximately 23,000 descriptions of firearm models from across the globe including the new makes and models for 2020 and 500,000-plus up-to-date values for modern firearms and major trademark antiques. Additionally, the latest edition’s expanded serialization charts allow more years of manufacture to be determined on individual firearm makes and models. A feature of the book that collectors in particular will find helpful is its 80-page Photo Percentage Grading System (PPGS) to assist in determining the condition of a firearm, with guidelines available for pistols, revolvers, rifles and shotguns.

From the last time AK and I visited there, I figured they had run out of room at the facilities north of Ozark a long time ago.


Ammunition maker investing $15M, adding 57 jobs at Little Rock facility

An Italian ammunition manufacturer will invest $15 million and add 57 jobs at its Little Rock facility, Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced Wednesday.

The U.S. subsidiary of Fiocchi Group previously produced ammunition parts at the facility on 145th Street in Little Rock. With the investment and additional employees, the facility will produce the finished ammunition, mainly centerfire products, the Fioccchi of America president, Anthony Acitelli, said.

Are ammo shortages the ‘new normal’ for the rest of 2020?
Well, I do know that most of the distributors I do business with are out of just about every caliber right now. With all the people buying guns for the first time, it’s to be expected that they’d lay in a supply of ammo too.


Gun stores seeing an ammo shortage they say could last into 2021

JACKSONVILLE, Fla — Gun stores across the First Coast and the country are experiencing an ammunition shortage right now as many people try to stock up during these uncertain times.

“The gun store was totally sold out, and they told me they’ve been sold out for some time and they don’t know when they’re getting ammunition in,” gun owner Craig Riley said.

Demand for guns and ammo has never been higher according to Firearms Sales Manager Z. Farhat at Green Acres Sporting Goods. Business, he said, is up by about 300%.

“We’re selling at an all-time pace. We have never been this busy, and I think the gun business has never been this busy,” Farhat said.

He said it’s simply a matter of supply and demand. Continue reading “”

Magpul Wyoming Governor’s Match slated in Cody this weekend

The fourth annual Magpul Wyoming Governor’s Match will return to Cody on Friday. Presented by Vortex Optics, the match continues through Sunday at the Cody Shooting Complex. 

“Here in Wyoming, we cherish our right to own firearms and deeply respect what this means,” Gov. Mark Gordon said in a news release last week. “Our Second Amendment, responsible and safe firearm ownership, and a true love of the outdoors all combine at events such as this and provide an excellent showcase for the rest of the world.”

This 12-stage multi-gun match will feature highly skilled participants from around the country. “Three Gun” competitions like the governor’s match require shooters to hit a series of targets at varying ranges with three different weapons as quickly as possible. They are scored based on time and accuracy. Continue reading “”

SIG SAUER Will Sell P320 Custom Works Fire Control Units and Roll Out the ‘P320 Collective’

As SIG SAUER’s Chief Marketing Officer, Tom Taylor, told a room full of gun writers, accessory makers and even a few competitors last week, the New Hampshire gun maker wants their modular P320 to be thought of in the same way as the 1911 and the AR-15. They want it to be a “universal” platform around which revolves scores of parts, accessories and add-ons made by custom shops and parts makers all around the country.

That’s why SIG has decided to sell P320 Custom Works fire control units as a stand-alone item beginning the first of October. Continue reading “”

The New Crossbreed Chest Rig

Crossbreed Chest Rig

The new Crossbreed Chest Rig will be a great way to carry a handgun during hunting season or off-season scouting jaunts. Pre-orders for the new chest holster are being taken now. Orders will ship about six weeks from the date you place the order. That means you can have it in time for this fall’s hunting season.

The Chest Rig will be available for a wide range of handgun models. The pre-order price is $129.95 with a black cowhide backer and $139.95 with brown leather Founder’s backer.

If your handgun isn’t listed, you can custom order a holster or have the company let you know when there’s a fit for your particular model. Crossbreed Holsters come with a lifetime warranty and a Try It Free, Two Week Guarantee. For more information on the Crossbreed Chest Rig, go to www.CrossbreedHolsters.com. Continue reading “”

The Back-Up Gun: 3 Reasons To Carry One

While perusing various online sources of gun-related news and information, I’ve noticed an old term cropping up that I haven’t seen in a long time: The New York Reload.

This term was brought into circulation by Massad Ayoob many years ago after learning that officers of the NYPD Stakeout Unit of the time, who were armed primarily with double-action revolvers, often moved to a second (or third) wheelgun when the ammunition was exhausted in their primary firearm.

Here are just a few of the arguments in favor of back-up guns for home defense and concealed carry:

1. The first gun goes click instead of bang.
Despite our best efforts to purchase firearms from reputable manufacturers, load them with quality ammunition, and keep them in proper working order, firearms can still fail to operate properly at the most inconvenient times.

2. A primary defensive gun is not accessible.
This is especially true in concealed-carry situations. By the time a defensive situation calls for a handgun to be drawn, the dominant shooting hand might be injured or occupied holding an attacker at bay. It’s also possible for a primary gun to be dropped, knocked away, or you may be in a wrestling match with an assailant to maintain control of your gun.

3. Additional guns can be used to arm other responsible adults.
I can’t help but roll my eyes when watching some silly movie in which a man pulls out a handgun as he goes to investigate a noise in the night leaving his poor, helpless wife all alone with nothing but a good set of vocal chords to defend herself. Those Hollywood writers obviously haven’t met the women I know.