Media reports lately suggest gunmakers can expect good business in 2014, but not as good as last year.
The FBI released data for January gun background checks recently; it was about a third lower than the same month a year earlier. One gun industry analyst wrote that the negative monthly sales comparisons he's seen recently is a trend he expects to last through May or June.
A statement from Cabela’s chief executive Thomas Milner would seem to mirror that sentiment. “The surge in firearms and ammunition is clearly winding down,” he told the Wall Street Journal. 2013 fourth-quarter sales at Cabela’s were down 10 percent.
On the other hand, Smith & Wesson has increased its sales estimates for 2014. Said Smith & Wesson CEO James Debney to Bloomberg Business Week: “We continue to believe that our industry is in the midst of an underlying long-term growth trend and our objective is to grow faster than the market.”
Either way one looks at it raises a question: Does this mean the dearth of guns and ammo we’ve all noticed across the country is coming to a close? Could be. Reports suggest some parts of the country are still experiencing ammo shortages. That might continue until ammo manufacturers are able to turn their attention from high-demand lines (.223 Rem., .308 Win., .45 ACP, 9mm) that have dominated the market and focus on other lines, like .45-70 and .30-30, for instance.
What do you think? Have you seen an uptick in inventory in your neck of the woods? Let us know below.