Southwick Associates completed more than 11,000 shooter and hunter surveys last year through its online ShooterSurvey and HunterSurvey consumer panels. The results identify the top brands purchased by respondents during the 12-month period.
The study was conducted as the industry was beginning to emerge from a period of chronic shortages that began with a record-setting gun sales pace in 2020. Volume for 2021, second highest since the NICS system began, further strained supply lines. The back-to-back years—along with millions of first-time gun owners—drove an ammunition shortage only now showing signs of improvement.
More than 75 percent of those participating in the survey indicated they would have purchased more cartridges in 2021 if ammo was readily available. Roughly 80 percent said when they did find a supply, it wasn’t their preferred brand or load.
Ammunition wasn’t the only thing in short supply, though. Here's a look at the top brands enthusiasts did find and buy last year, according to the report.
Air rifles/Air guns—SIG Sauer & Crosman
Red-Dot Sights—SIG Sauer
Benches and Rests—Caldwell
Blazer, which is a CCI line, claimed top honors in ammunition, displacing the Federal brand that was there in 2020. It’s important to note, however, both are Vista Outdoor labels. Savage held its enviable position in the traditional-rifle category, SIG Sauer remained atop in red-dot sights and Magpul continued its reign in magazines.
Results of the Southwick Associates consumer-tracking study are tailored for planning and marketing use by industry professionals and are available in the Hunting & Shooting Participation and Equipment Purchases Report. The resource can be purchased from the company, and tracks shooting and hunting participation and equipment purchases for approximately 100 products and includes the percentage of sales across different types of stores, brand purchased, price paid and demographics.