Firearms sales drop nearly 20 percent

.22 ammunition sales outpacing production

In the company’s latest financial statement to investors, Remington Outdoor Company disclosed declining sales of firearms and ammunition in the last quarter, with many consumers purchasing less expensive guns and ammunition rather than “premium” products.

In the third quarter ending Sept. 27, sales of Remington Outdoor Company firearms declined 19.8 percent over the previous year, with ammunition sales dropping 21.2 percent. Overall net sales for the company dropped 23.5 percent to $59.7 million.

Remington said in its financial statement that the demand for firearms has declined, including AR-style rifles and 1911 pistols, and that sales are trending toward lower cost options. Over the last year, several companies — including Ruger, Armalite and LWRC — have released or announced “budget” ARs for introductory buyers. Remington announced several budget AR-style rifles this year as well.

“Within the Modern Sporting Rifle market, sales are trending to opening price point products. The mid-price point MSR market is soft,” Remington said. “1911 pistol sales continue to decline and trend to the value price products. As a result of these trends, we have experienced declines in our market share in certain of these categories.”

The company also said its ammunition sales declined due to softer demand for “premium centerfire and shotshell products,” but that sales of rimfire ammunition continue to outstrip production capacity.

“As we enter the hunting season, we see channel inventory growth in certain areas along with consumer demand continuing to trend toward lower price point products,” Remington said.

The company added that it has seen continued double-digit growth in sales with polymer handguns, particularly with subcompact “micro” pistols. The sales seem to track with national trends toward increased concealed carry permit applications and a focus on self-defense firearms purchases.

In part as a response to the demand for self-defense pistols, Remington officially released its RM380 subcompact handgun this month.

While Remington’s firearms sales declined this quarter, sales increased 8.4 percent in the second quarter ending June 28. Overall the company’s net sales continue a year-long decline, with first quarter overall sales slumping 21.1 percent, and second quarter sales dropping 5.9 percent.

Remington Outdoor Company includes several big name firearms brands, including DPMS, Bushmaster and Marlin.