Firearms Manufacturers

Industry Profile Report

Dive Deep into the industry with a 25+ page industry report (pdf format) including the following chapters

Industry Overview Current Conditions, Industry Structure, How Firms Operate, Industry Trends, Credit Underwriting & Risks, and Industry Forecast.

Call Preparation Call Prep Questions, Industry Terms, and Weblinks.

Financial Insights Working Capital, Capital Financing, Business Valuation, and Financial Benchmarks.

Industry Profile Excerpts

Industry Overview

The 420 firearms manufacturers in the US sell handguns, rifles, and shotguns to distributors, retailers, government agencies, and private individuals. Firms may also manufacture other shooting, hunting, and outdoor products and accessories such as knives and cutting tools, sighting lasers, shooting supplies, and survival gear.

Changes in Federal and State Regulation

Federal and state legislatures frequently consider legislation that may alter the regulation of firearms.

Competition from Used Firearms Sales

Used firearms can often be bought at a savings of 30% or more compared to their new equivalents.

Industry size & Structure

The average firearms manufacturer employs about 45 workers and generates about $15-16 million annually.

    • The firearms manufacturing industry consists of about 420 firms that employ 19,000 workers and generate about $6.6 billion annually.
    • The industry is concentrated; the top 50 companies account for 89% of industry revenue.
    • Large firms include Smith and Wesson; Sturm, Ruger & Company; Remington; Sig Sauer; and O.F. Mossberg.
                                  Industry Forecast
                                  Firearms Manufacturers Industry Growth
                                  Source: Vertical IQ and Inforum

                                  Recent Developments

                                  Nov 3, 2022 - New Merchant Code for Firearms
                                  • The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) in September created a new merchant code for gun retailers amid pressure from activists who say the code will help track suspicious weapons purchases, Reuters reported. Previously, gun store sales had been classified as “general merchandise.” The new code clears the way for banks that process gun retailers' payments to decide whether to assign the new code to merchants. The code would help monitors to track where an individual spends money, but would not show what specific items were purchased. The Amalgamated Bank of New York requested the ISO create the code to give financial institutions a new tool to detect and report suspicious activity associated with gun trafficking and mass shootings. Critics argue that tracking gun retailers' sales will unfairly target legal gun purchases.
                                  • Payment processor Visa said it plans to start separately categorizing sales at gun shops after an international standards body’s creation in September 2022 of a new merchant code for gun retailers, US News reported. “Following ISO’s decision to establish a new merchant category code, Visa will proceed with next steps, while ensuring we protect all legal commerce on the Visa network in accordance with our long-standing rules,” the payment processor said in a statement. Visa -- the largest payment network -- joined Mastercard and American Express, which also have said they plan to move forward with categorizing gun shop sales. The move by the three payment processors will likely put pressure on banks that issue cards to adopt the standard as well, according to US News.
                                  • Liberals, females, and minorities are among the growing number of new gun owners, CNN reported in September 2022. While white men continue to have the highest rates of gun ownership in the United States, a survey cited by CNN shows that in the first half of 2021 roughly 90% of retailers saw a surge in gun sales to African Americans. The same survey found that about 80% of retailers reported an increase in firearm purchases by Hispanic and Asian Americans. “There is a huge uptick in female owners,” a firearms instructor and dealer said about his rapidly changing clientele. “Women are getting trained; women are carrying… liberal and conservative.” Women cited a growing need for self protection. Data from Harvard found that more than half of new gun owners are likely to be women, according to CNN.
                                  • More firearms manufacturers are offering optics-ready handguns as gun owners warm to the idea of putting an optic on a gun for home defense or carry, according to a recent report in Shooting Industry. Once considered a novelty or primarily for competition, optics-ready guns are gaining in popularity. “Now it seems like just about every manufacturer has gone to an optics-ready gun,” observed Florida gun store owner Mike Sfakianos, noting customers are growing increasingly interested in carrying subcompacts (the SIG P365 and GLOCK 43X MOS, for example) with red dot optics. Another gun store owner observed that customers usually spend the extra money when offered a choice between an optics-ready gun or its standard counterpart. Even if they don’t walk out the door with an optic “it gives them that option later on down the road,” the owner noted.
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