August 26th, 2011

Shooters Buy Less Imported Ammo, But More Imported Guns

The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) reports that the USD value of U.S. quarterly imports of all sporting arms and ammunition declined 19% in the second quarter compared to the same period in 2010. From April to June, imports were $273 million, down from $337.1 million as reported in the same quarter last year. However, the decline was mostly due to a huge 42% drop in ammo imports. Imported long-gun sales (in USD value) have actually risen substantially. Sales of imported rifles rose 26.3%, from $27.1 million to $34.2 million.The shotgun category increased 23.4%, from $38.3 million to $47.2 million. The muzzleloader category posted a 7% increase, from $6 million to $6.5 million. Bucking the trend, handgun imports declined 13.1%, from $109.5 million to $95.1 million.

Imported Ammunition Sales Decline Dramatically
Over the past year, ammunition imports declined a whopping 42.2%, from $151.2 million (in Q2, 2010) to $87.4 million (in Q2, 2011). Moreover, the sales of imported shotgun shells fell 48.7%, from $5 million to $2.5 million. Apparently, now that there is a good supply of domestically-produced ammo, shooters are buying American again. Why has this occured? Currency fluctuations may be one reason. The declining value of the U.S. dollar, combined with rising shipping costs, have caused the price of imported ammo (and reloading components) to increase substantially in the past year. That has made domestic ammo more competitive price-wise. That is good news for U.S. ammo-makers. For additional research information and historical import data, visit

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