September 13th, 2018

Target Shooting Adds $16.9 Billion Annually to U.S. Economy

NSSF Target shooting statistics tax revenues economic impact gun sales

Did you know that target shooting (pistol, rifle, shotgun) represents a $16.9 Billion per year industry in America? Or that 20 million Americans enjoy target shooting regularly? In fact, target shooting-related spending contributes more than $46 million per day to the U.S. economy. Plus an estimated 329,000 American jobs are supported by target shooting in the USA. These and other remarkable facts were revealed in a new NSSF report from Southwick Associates.

NSSF Target shooting statistics tax revenues economic impact gun sales


CLICK HERE for Full Target Shooting Report PDF »

Not surprisingly, pistol shooting is the most popular form of target shooting, with 13.8 million handgun shooters. The number of rifle target shooters is about 12% less — 12.2 million enthusiasts. Just over 10 million people take part in shotgun sports, and 3.3 million shoot muzzleloading firearms.

NSSF Target shooting statistics tax revenues economic impact gun sales

Firearms Excise Taxes Support Conservation
Target shooting activities not only support local and national business, but the transactions generate vital revenues for federal, state, and local governments. In fact, target shooting generates, on average, over $14 million dollars per day in total tax revenues (i.e. federal, state, and local). Excise taxes on gun and ammo sales are also key to conservation. 2016, the total excise taxes returned to state wildlife agencies through fireams and ammunition sales totaled over $780 million.

NSSF Target shooting statistics tax revenues economic impact gun sales

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July 29th, 2017

NSSF Names August as National Shooting Sports Month

August 2017 National Shooting Shoot sports month celebration

The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) has declared August to be National Shooting Sports Month, a time to celebrate one of America’s great pastimes — target shooting — and to encourage newcomers and experienced shooters to head to the range.

An estimated 50 million Americans participate in target shooting sports, and millions more have expressed interest in learning about rifle, shotgun, and handgun shooting, according to NSSF research.

With a theme of (hashtag) #LetsGoShooting, this coast-to-coast celebration spotlights the fun and enjoyment of target shooting. Newcomers can take their first shots, and experienced shooters can invite someone new to the range or help an erstwhile shooter rediscover the fun of target shooting.

August 2017 National Shooting Shoot sports month celebration

What Shooters Can Do to Promote National Shooting Sports Month:
The NSSF says: “As shooters, you serve a critical role in the continued growth of gun ownership and shooting sports participation. We urge you to join us this August for National Shooting Sports Month.” There are a variety of ways you can help this August:

— Introduce a family member, friend, or group of friends to the shooting sports by taking them to a local range that’s hosting an event.

— Spread the word to family/friends and encourage them to get out to the range in August.

— Encourage the ranges and retailers near you to host an event this August and add them to the official events calendar at www.ShootingSportsMonth.org.

August 2017 National Shooting Shoot sports month celebration

“With so much going on in people’s lives today, the shooting sports offer an opportunity to tune out distractions, learn a new skill, socialize and share their experiences,” said NSSF President and CEO Steve Sanetti. “It’s important to remember to pass on our traditions and to reflect on our unique freedoms that make participating in them possible.”

Find Shooting Sports Events Near You
The NSSF’s ShootingSportsMonth.org website offers a comprehensive, searchable database. This lets you search by state, to find ranges, events, and sales promotions near you. Search for activities, and learn more at www.ShootingSportsMonth.org.

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May 31st, 2017

Women and Firearms — Growing Numbers of Female Shooters

Women NRA Gun Firearms statistics infographic 2016

Did you know that American women are the fastest-growing segment of gun owners? Whether it’s for self-protection, hunting, or target shooting, women are showing more interest than ever in owning firearms. Moreover, women are taking steps to train and educate themselves, and to get involved in hunting, recreational shooting, and firearms competition. This is now a significant trend — women are becoming an important and vital part of the shooting community. Nearly one-quarter (23%) of American women now own at least one firearm.

The numbers of women participating in the shooting sports has grown dramatically in recent years. in fact, in the decade from 2001 to 2010, the number of female target shooters has risen 43.5%:

Women NRA Gun Firearms statistics infographic 2016

Women and Firearms Infographic (CLICK HERE):

Women NRA Gun Firearms statistics infographic 2016

Story and images courtesy NRABlog.com.

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September 15th, 2016

Shooting Science: Monitoring Brain Waves and Muscle Activity

“[Elite] shooters have this specific thing that happens in their brain when they are shooting well. Maybe you’d call it a ‘quiet time’. One interpretation is that it is a lack of self-instruction or analysis. Once you are an expert you really shouldn’t be [thinking] ‘don’t do this, don’t do that’.”

In this video from USA Shooting, a scientist uses brain wave (EEG) and muscle activity monitors to study the biomechanics and cognitive functions involved in competitive shooting. The study explores how elite shooters control their muscles and mind before executing a perfect shot.

In the video, USOC Sports Psychologist Lindsay Thornton works with pistol shooter Teresa Chambers to evaluate (and optimize) Teresa muscle and brain wave activity during shooting. One purpose of the study is to see how a shooter’s muscles function before, during and after a firing sequence. The goal is to use the muscles in the most efficient manner. This reduces fatigue and improves shot-to-shot consistency. Thorton says: “We are trying to define [muscle activity] efficiency with numbers so we can replicate that.”

Thorton is also exploring how a top shooter’s brain functions when he or she is “dialed in” and shooting most accurately. Thornton explains: “We are looking at EEG activity, which is brain wave activity. Research studies show that shooters have this specific thing that happens in their brain when they are shooting well. Maybe you’d call it a ‘quiet time’. One interpretation is that it is a lack of self-instruction or analysis. Once you are an expert you really shouldn’t be [thinking] ‘don’t do this, don’t do that’ — everything should be pretty automatic.” Interestingly, the test showed a specific pattern of Alpha band brain waves right before a trained shooter breaks the shot.

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February 28th, 2015

Brian “Gunny” Zins Explains Bullseye Pistol Fundamentals

Brian Gunny ZinsBrian “Gunny” Zins, 12-Time NRA National Pistol Champion, has authored an excellent guide to bullseye pistol shooting. Brian’s Clinic on the Fundamentals recently appeared in The Official Journal of the New York State Rifle & Pistol Association. The CMP scanned the story so you can read it online. CLICK HERE to read full article.

Top Tips from Brian Zins:

Trigger Movement: If trigger control is ever interrupted in slow fire the shot needs to be abored and the shot started over.

Relationship between Sight Alignment and Trigger Control: Often when the fundamentals are explained these two are explained as two different acts. Well, truth be told it’s really kind of hard to accomplish one without the other. They have a symbiotic relationship. In order to truly settle the movement in the dot or sights you need a smooth, steady trigger squeeze.

Trigger Finger Placement: Where should the trigger make contact on the finger? The trigger should be centered in the first crease of the trigger finger. Remember this is an article on Bullseye shooting. If this were an article on free pistol or air pistol it would be different.

Proper Grip: A proper grip is a grip that will NATURALLY align the gun’s sights to the eye of the shooter without having to tilt your head or move your or move your wrists around to do that. Also a proper grip, and most importantly, is a grip that allows the gun to return to the same position [with sights aligned] after each and every shot. The best and easiest way to get the proper grip, at least a good starting postion… is with a holster. Put your 1911 in a holster on the side of your body[.] Allow your shooting hand to come down naturally to the gun.

In recent years, Brian “Gunny” Zins has been shooting 1911s crafted by Cabot Guns.

Brian “Gunny” Zins currently holds 25 National Records.

Brian “Gunny” Zins

NRA Nat’l Pistol Champion: 1996, 1998, 2001, 2000, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2013

NRA .22 LR Nat’l Champion: 2003, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010

NRA Centerfire Nat’l Champion: 1992, 1996, 1998, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2006

NRA .45 Nat’l Champion: 1996, 2001, 2005, 2007, 2009

NRA Regular Service Nat’l Champion: 1996, 1998, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008

NRA Civilian Nat’l Champion: 2008, 2009, 2010

NRA Nat’l Trophy Individual: 1998, 2003

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February 8th, 2015

Move Over Guys, the Ladies Are Coming…

NSSF Girl Power infographic

The number of women target shooters, hunters, and gun owners has increased dramatically since the start of the new millennium. Consider this, women now comprise 19% of hunters. That’s an 85% increase since 2001. Women are also more important as a purchasing segment of the the shooting market. Women gun owners spend nearly $1300.00 per year on guns and shooting accessories, $870 of that on firearm purchases. That number has gun-makers paying attention — even if some of you guys spend more than that each year just on powder!

Jessie Duff, sponsored by Taurus and Weatherby
Jessie Duff NRA

Women are definitely becoming a more important segment of the hunting/shooting world. This is a good thing. The larger the “fan base” for the shooting sports, the less political pressure there will be to close ranges and restrict the activities of target shooters and hunters.

Click either image to see a full-size “Girl Power” Infographic.

NSSF Girl Power Female shooters hunters statistics infographic NSSF Girl Power Female shooters hunters statistics infographic
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September 24th, 2014

Target Shooting Participation Rises 19% in Recent Years

The shooting sports are thriving in the USA. Target shooting participation levels have increased 19% over a recent 4-year period, from 34.4 million shooters in 2009 to 40.8 million in 2012. That means 6.4 million more Americans are shooting. By contrast, golf and some other hobby activities have seen their participant base decline by millions. Despite pressures to close shooting ranges and the high cost of ammunition and reloading components, more people than ever before are enjoying target shooting. The increase in target shooting has been driven by an influx of new shooters.

Demographic Changes in Ranks of Target Shooters
Compared to those who took up shooting 20 or 30 years ago, these new shooters represent a generational change. Newcomers — defined as those who have taken up target shooting in the last five years — are trending younger and female. Also, more new shooters are city and suburban dwellers (compared to older shooters who typically live in rural areas). In these ways, the demographic profile of new shooters is different than that of established participants.

nssf profile target shooting

Although they may be different in age, gender, and geo-location, newcomers share one important thing with established participants — their passion for firearms ownership and the shooting sports. The traditional pastimes of handgun, rifle and shotgun target shooting continue to have a broad appeal to new generations of Americans.

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May 9th, 2014

Amazing, High-Tech Shooting Facility in Germany

Müller Schiess Zentrum Ulm

Ulm Germany Shooting RangeAt most American shooting facilities, you’re lucky to have running water and an electrical hook-up. Those Germans, with their penchant for advanced engineering, have created an amazingly high-tech (and even luxurious) indoor shooting facility that is truly state-of-the art. The NRA is proud of its modern indoor range in Fairfax, Virginia, but the NRA range can’t hold a candle to the advanced Müller Schiess Zentrum Ulm (MSZU) facility in Ulm, Germany. This vast complex features an indoor benchrest range with video monitors, a full-sized trap/skeet hall, pistol ranges, and a “running game” hunting simulator that actually displays (in 3D view) the placement of your bullet strike in the moving animal prey. On top of this, the MSZU has a cafe, a restaurant, and a large shopping/retail facility.

Ulm Germany Shooting Range

We still prefer shooting outdoors, but for a country like Germany, where long, cold winters limit the opportunities for outdoor shooting, a deluxe indoor facility like this makes sense. German reader JPeelen adds: “The problem in Germany is not [just] the weather but density of population. Noise problems led to the closure of many outdoor ranges. Ulm is unique because it offers a 300 meter indoor range, not just 100 meters[.]” Overall, you have to hand it to the Germans for “raising the bar” to a whole new level. View the Müller Schiess Zentrum’s amazing facilities in the video below. The editor of The Firearm Blog wrote: “I have seen the future… and it is in Germany. If you don’t do anything else today, just make sure you watch this video.”

YouTube Preview Image

Müller Schiess Zentrum Ulm

Müller Schiess Zentrum Ulm

Müller Schiess Zentrum Ulm

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January 16th, 2014

20 Million Americans Are Involved in Target Shooting

target shooting infographic NSSF

Nearly all the folks who frequent this website are target shooters. Count yourself among millions — at least according to a study recently released by the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) at SHOT Show 2014. The study states that 20 million Americans enjoy target shooting — with pistols, rifles, and/or shotguns. Our nation’s twenty million target shooters spend an estimated $10 billion dollars a year on target shooting — if you count gun and ammo costs, accessories, transportation, lodging, and range fees. As you might expect, the guns themselves constitute the single biggest expense category — 39% of the ten billion-dollar total. Another 17% of the total is spent on accessories, optic, hand-loading equipment, and reloading supplies. (If we were to poll AccurateShooter.com members, we bet the share of money spent on reloading tools and components would be even higher).

The demographics of target shooting may surprise you. 70% of target shooters are male, while 30% are female, and that distaff segment is growing. By the numbers, target shooting is more popular than many well-known outdoor pastimes, including soccer (14 million players) and skiing (8 million participants).

Does the government benefit from target shooting? Yes indeed. The NSSF estimates that target shooting generates roughly $3,500,000 in local, state, and federal tax revenues each year. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. The total impact of target shooting on the American economy is $23 Billion per year according to the NSSF. That works out to $73 for every many woman and child in the USA.

targetinfogr01

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September 8th, 2013

NSSF Study Profiles Next Generation of Target Shooters

NSSF Target Shooting Report urban female junior shootersAre target shooters a dying breed? Apparently not according to a new NSSF study. Remarkably, 20% of all target shooters began participating in the past five years. That’s great news. The next generation of target shooters is more diverse and more urban than ever before — and there are more females getting involved in target shooting — a lot more. 37% of new target shooters are female, a big number compared to older generations. The NSSF’s newly-commissioned study shows that, in years ahead, our shooting ranges will see more lady shooters and more participants who come from urban/suburban areas (as opposed to rural communities).

The NSSF report shows that one-fifth of target shooters in America first started participating in the shooting sports between 2008 and 2012. That means 20 percent of all target shooters began participating in the past five years. That’s promising news.

Here Are Some Key Findings:

  • Younger: 66 percent of new shooters fall into the 18-to-34-year-old category compared to 31 percent in the same age category for established shooters.
  • Female: 37 percent of new target shooters are female compared to 22 percent of established target shooters.
  • Urban: 47 percent of new target shooters live in urban/suburban settings versus 34 percent of established target shooters.

NSSF Target Shooting Report urban female junior shooters


Introducing New Shooters to the Sport — Tips from a Champion
In this video, Champion pistol shooter Doug Koenig offers advice on how to introduce newcomers to the shooting sports. With new shooters, Doug says you need to keep the experience safe and fun. Start with low-recoil firearms and use reactive targets to increase the “fun factor”.

Koenig’s Tips for Successful Range Sessions with New Shooters
1. Start off a new shooter with an airgun or a .22 LR. “You don’t want to start them out with the biggest, loudest firearm you have in your collection.”

2. Make sure the shooting is fun. “Use [reactive] targets — steel targets, knock-down targets, clay pigeons sitting on the bank — anything reactive, something they can see happen.” You want to keep people interested, keep them excited.

3. Remember the reason we go to the range — to have a good time. Don’t overload newcomers with stress. “Keep it fun, keep it safe, and keep everything in perspective.” Remember that [newcomers] “are the future of the shooting sports for all of us.”

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March 10th, 2011

NSSF Offers $500,000 In Grants to Shooting Ranges

NSSF Range Grant ProgramDo you want to boost membership at your local shooting range? Then check this out. To help public and private shooting facilities jump-start their recruitment and retention efforts, the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) will award up to $500,000 in grants this year to ranges around the country. This is the fourth year that the NSSF has distributed funding to qualifying ranges through its Range Partnership Grant Program.

“Having purchased firearms in record amounts in the last few years, people are excited about target shooting,” said Chris Dolnack, NSSF senior VP. “We want ranges to tap into that enthusiasm and these grants will help shooting range managers test new strategies to attract customers.” Private shooting ranges must have a public-participation option to qualify. “The best way to increase participation is to enhance and promote shooting opportunities at the local level,” said Melissa Schilling, NSSF recruitment and retention manager. “We’re looking for unique proposals that motivate people of all ages to enjoy target shooting.”

CLICK HERE to learn more about NSSF’s Range Partnership Grant Program.

Deadline: Applications must be received by NSSF no later than 5:00 pm (EST) on April 19, 2011.

Who May Apply? Only project proposals submitted by and in the name of public shooting facilities, private facilities that offer the public shooting opportunities, or educational institutions with either public shooting facilities of their own or hunting and shooting sports curricula shall be eligible for funding under the Grant Program. Separate proposals must be submitted for each project to be funded. A group of ranges may band together and submit one proposal. IMPORTANT — This grant program is NOT intended for land purchases, for building or improving structures (such as club-houses), or for acquisition of range equipment and supplies.

How to Apply: Download the Grant Application Form (PDF) and submit according to guidelines.

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July 20th, 2010

Hunting and Target Shooting Grow in Popularity Among Women

women hunting huntressLast year saw a significant 5.4% increase in the number of female hunters in the United States — that means 163,000 new ladies hunting with firearms and/or bows. In fact, in 2009 the rate of increase in hunting participation is higher for women than for men, according to new figures from the National Sporting Goods Association (NSGA).

Data also show that women outpaced men among newcomers to target shooting. Female participation in rifle target shooting grew by 4.1%. That’s a big change in a single year. The number of women involved in Muzzle-loading activites showed a remarkable 134.6% annual increase.

The growth in new participation among women, perhaps counter-intuitive to traditionalists, is no surprise to Steve Sanetti, president of the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF). Steve explained, “Over the past several years [we have] encouraged existing hunters and shooters to introduce their spouses, daughters and other newcomers to shooting sports and outdoor lifestyles. I believe these efforts are paying off.”
Photo courtesy Próis hunting clothing for women.

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April 2nd, 2009

Superb New UK Target Shooting WebZine Launches

Lead by top UK shooter Vince Bottomley, a team of UK gun experts has launched Target Shooter, a new online “e-zine” dedicated to precision shooting. This is a great new offering — you should log on to TargetShooter.co.uk right now to check it out. Vince explains: “Our online magazine will cover target shooting in all its forms, including rimfire and centerfire benchrest, F-Class, classic military rifle, and tactical. We’ll deliver feature articles plus match reports and gear reviews.”

Target Shooter employs a publishing format called “Scribd” that delivers a print-magazine style format over the web. This is actually kind of cool, as you can zoom pages smaller and larger and download the entire “magazine” for off-line reading. A new edition of Target Shooter will be released every month.

Target Shooter Offers Great Content
The debut April 2009 edition, 109 pages long, is truly impressive. It contains many interesting articles including a 2009 IWA (Euro Shotshow) report from Vince Bottomley, a comparison test of budget scopes by Carl Boswell, a detailed F-TR Tubegun review by Laurie Holland and Vince B., and a fascinating discussion of Field-Target shooting by Tim Finley (covering all positions). And that’s not all — the magazine offers a two-month event calendar, plus match reports (check out Gwyn Roberts’ Gallery Shooting Tri-Nations tournament report).

Target Shooter also features many gear reviews and product evaluations. In the April edition, Carl Boswell provides a comprehensive review of the BullzeyePro optical boosters. If you are considering purchasing this product you should definitely read this review — it even includes through-the-lens photos, so you can see the magnification boost with your own eyes.

Overall, the new Target Shooter online magazine is a mighty impressive accomplishment. It is rich with content, the photography is excellent, and the level of technical expertise is high. We were very impressed by the diversity of disciplines covered — this magazine covers much more than conventional benchrest. Any gun enthusiast interested in precision shooting should log on to TargetShooter.co.uk. Not only is it one of the best sources of shooting information available, but it is currently 100% free. You can’t beat that.

field target shooting

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