Industry Research

The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) has been supplying the firearms and ammunition industry with a variety of research reports and data on industry indicators for nearly 10 years. Each year, NSSF builds upon past research and fulfills member requests for information on new segments.

Glaring gaps in participation of hunting and target shooting among minority groups prompted NSSF to perform a targeted study and release Understanding Diversity in Hunting and Shooting Sports. The findings of this report also assisted in developing a new strategic goal of NSSF for 2015–2020: Retain, Expand, and Diversify Participation in Hunting and the Shooting Sports.

Economic data was widely requested and NSSF responded with the release of Hunting in America—An Economic Force for Conservation. Built using data from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s National Survey, this report provides state-specific economic contributions from all hunting activities and contains hard figures useful to state agencies and the industry alike.

Since 2009, NSSF has been administering an annual survey to firearms retailers realeased as the Firearms Retailer Survey Report. With 752 firearms retailers participating, this report provides trend data on product lines, sales, and financials, as well as consumer trend data such as female customer tracking. One interesting ongoing trend identified by this report was the increase in the percentage of customers who are first-time gun buyers. A study was commissioned and administered last year to determine the primary purchase drivers of first-time gun buyers and to understand their pre- and post-purchase behaviors. Utilizing a research technique known as Maximum Difference Scaling, the First-Time Gun Buyers Report was released. Adding to this is the study, An Analysis of Sport Shooting Participation Trends 2008–2012, which provides key demographic data for new gun owners and differences between them and established gun owners. Knowing that state department of fish and game agencies also rely on NSSF for research, the report Hunter Education Graduates’ Proclivity to Purchase a License was released.

A more circulated study, the Modern Sporting Rifle Comprehensive Consumer Report, focused on popular self-loading rifles and their consumer sales, ownership, and usage data. This is not only useful to retailers and gunsmiths, but also for fighting anti-gun legislation that intends to ban such firearms.

As in past years, NSSF continued to provide membership with timely updates on leading industry indicators such as NSSF-adjusted NICS, firearm-production figures, firearm import and export data, hunting-license sales, and excise-tax obligations. Additionally, NSSF produced more than 150 Customized Market Reports for people looking to open a firearm retail establishment or shooting range.

To access these reports and view new NSSF industry research, visit While some NSSF research is available to nonmembers, all research can be obtained by members either for free or at a deep discount.

Read more in our October 2014 issue. Back issues are available.

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