Friday, May 31, 2019

Hunting and Shooting Sports Market Actually Grew in 2018

FERNANDINA BEACH, FL. —Spending in the overall hunting and shooting sports market grew 11% in 2018, according to a new market size report now available from Southwick Associates. Despite well-publicized decreases in the firearm and ammunition categories, 2018 sales for accessories and support equipment grew, driving the overall market to a total of $21.3 billion in retail sales.

“Much of the sales increases can be attributed to consumers high-grading their purchases versus actual unit increases,” reports Nancy Bacon, Vice President at Southwick Associates. “For the categories tracked, the average sale increased 20% in 2018 versus the previous year. Total units were down seven percent, driven primarily by decreases in the ammunition, blackpowder and reloading categories.”

Despite softness in the overall firearms categories led by declines in modern sporting rifles, total dollar sales of traditional rifles and shotguns each increased despite slight drops in total units sold. The largest growth rates were seen in the firearm parts, optics, shooting accessories and hunting equipment categories, each with double-digit increases as measured in retail dollars. Other categories tracked include ammunition, apparel, reloading, blackpowder, storage and more, with details for over 100 specific subcategories.

According to Rob Southwick, President of Southwick Associates, “The data show what we’ve been suspecting – the hunting and shooting markets are performing better than recent media coverage indicates. Consumers are not as concerned about firearm restrictions and have shifted towards accessorizing previous years’ purchases and catching up on delayed equipment purchases. The overall market is still strong.” Additional insights regarding market trends and consumer interests will be released by Southwick Associates in upcoming months as new data services become operational.

The new “2018 Retail Market Size Report – Hunting and Shooting Equipment”, with 20-plus pages of detail, is available from Southwick Associates for $3,500. The report only covers sales of equipment directly associated with hunting and recreational shooting. Other items such as travel-related spending, real estate and indirect equipment such as coolers and vehicles are not included. For more information on Southwick’s market size reports and to view a sample report, click here. To purchase a report or to discuss confidential custom research opportunities, contact Nancy Bacon at

Southwick Associates is a market research and economics firm, specializing in the hunting, shooting, sportfishing, and outdoor recreation markets. For more than 25 years, Southwick Associates has established a proven reputation for delivering comprehensive insights and statistics assisting business and strategic decisions across the entire outdoor industry; from government agencies, industry associations and non-profit organizations, to affiliated businesses and manufacturers. Aside from custom market research, Southwick Associates also provides syndicated participation, media consumption and equipment purchase tracking studies utilizing their proprietary sportsmen panels. Visit for more information.