AIMING FOR MORE RIFLE SALES
Next to shotguns, rifl es are a major product category for many
gun shops around the world. Gun Trade World looks at the current
rifl e market around the globe.
On the sporting front, rifl es are used to hunt
game in all forms and sizes, from rabbits,
deer and wild boars right up to big game in
Africa and further afi eld. Th e rimfi re market,
although notably smaller than the centrefi re
sector, is nonetheless still signifi cant and
should not be ignored. Many makers also
produce highly developed models for target
and practical disciplines. Reloading centrefi re
ammunition has always been popular and
interest in handloading has grown, especially
recently with demand so high in some
parts of the world and powder and bullet
manufacturers struggling to meet demand.
GAME NUMBERS ON THE UP
With deer and wild boar numbers increasing
in many regions, these game species are
moving into new territories. A number of
areas are experiencing an infl ux of these
species which calls for population control.
Th ese increasing game numbers open up a
whole new market for the gun trade since
many customers are fi rst-time rifl e buyers, as
a direct result.
During the last 12 months, some interesting
innovations have been released on the market.
Sauer’s Ergo Heat system for example is the
world’s fi rst pistol grip heating system for
hunting rifl es.
Operated by means of a remote control or the
Sauer application on your smartphone, the
Ergo Heat maintains up to 30°C diff erence
to the ambient temperature at the highest
heating level. Fighting the cold just got a lot
Mauser launched its entry-level M18 rifl e
earlier this year with an awesome social
media teaser-campaign. Blaser, meanwhile
,introduced the R8 Silence, featuring a
fully integrated sound suppressor. Another
innovation coming from Germany is the
Steel Action straight-pull rifl e, which is on
par with another straight-pull rifl e coming
from France, the Chapuis Rols. We’re also
seeing more and more modular chassis rifl e
systems popping up, not only with dedicated
tactical and precision brands but also major
players such as Ruger and Browning.
Aftermarket chassis systems such as those
from MDT have arrvie too, helping you turn
traditional bolt action rifl es into bettershooting,
better-looking and more precise
HEALTHY RIFLE SALES
Th is year’s survey of retailers around the
globe – which took in everyone from the
USA to Europe to New-Zealand and beyond
– seems to indicate that rifl e sales remain as
healthy as ever. Th e current sales levels seem
to remain on par with those of our last survey.
Th e number of gun shops selling more than
300 rifl es per annum even increased to 26
per cent, according to our respondents. Th e
retailers in our survey selling up to 50 rifl es
per annum remain the biggest part of the
market meanwhile, with 47 of respondents
indicating this best suits their profi le.
It is not exactly a surprise when our survey
shows that bolt actions remain the most
popular rifl e type, with semi-autos claiming
the second spot with lever action and pump
action fi nishing third and fourth. Th is shows
that although the market for AR-type rifl es
is booming, it still cannot compete with the
popularity of bolt action rifl es.
Price remains the most signifi cant selling
feature for a rifl e (53 per cent of respondents
claim this to be so). Accuracy remains in
third place (13 per cent) as brand/make (27
per cent) still holds second place.
As the right price and the right brand clearly
are of vital importance, knowing your brands
and your market will pay dividends.
Although handling qualities are only crucial
in seven per cent of sales, it still is an issue not
to be neglected.
CENTREFIRE STILL REIGNS SUPREME
Obviously rimfi re rifl es are not to be
neglected in a shops’ product lineup. Th eir
market remained largely stable with 53 per
cent of retailers claiming their rimfi re sales
stabilised compared to last years’ survey, while
27 per cent report their rimfi re sales have
climbed. Th e same goes for centrefi re rifl e
sales, where 60 per cent of respondents claim
centrefi re rifl e sales stagnated.
Th e latter rifl e type, however, still claims the
top spot in overall sales with the majority of
SURGE OF LADY SHOTS
Th e surge of ladies joining shooting
sports and hunting remains a fascinating
opportunity. Nearly half of retailers report
rifl e sales to markswomen were up in
their stores. Not content with just off ering
compact or youth models to the lady shots,
manufacturers such as Blaser and Merkel are
clearly taking notice of this phenomenon as
more and more are introducing rifl es that are
specifi cally designed for women.
BRIMMING WITH CONFIDENCE
Year after year the rifl e market provides us
with a vast array of business opportunities.
Whether for hunting or target shooting,
rifl es probably account for more signifi cant
spending in gun shops across the globe than
any other products. Adding to this, they also
open the door to a vast array of accessories,
cleaning kits, optics and ammunition, too,
which are all vital to the success of a shop and
bring plenty of repeat business and upgrades.
As long as the trade keeps up with the latest
trends and innovations, manufacturers,
distributors and retailers alike will go on
enjoying rich pickings.