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The Most Popular Guns of 2023

Purchases of firearms and shooting equipment in 2023 remained below pandemic levels but were above those prior to the outbreak. With February’s sales displaying symptoms common of a pre-Presidential election swing in demand—and resultant strain in inventories—results of a recently released Southwick Associates survey reflect the brands that may be in short supply by November.

Southwick Associates identified top brands purchased in the market, based on more than 8,500 completed surveys conducted throughout 2023. The responses were fielded quarterly through the Southwick Associates online HunterSurvey and ShooterSurvey consumer panels and the general public to reach casual participants.

The findings indicate some of the most frequently purchased brands last year include:

  • Traditional Rifles – Ruger
  • Shotguns – Beretta
  • Rifle Ammunition – Federal
  • Reloading Powder – Hodgdon
  • Reloading Components – Hornady & CCI
  • Binoculars – Bushnell
  • Reflex/Red-Dot Sights – SIG Sauer
  • Scope/Accessory Mounts – Leupold
  • Holsters/Ammo Belts – Blackhawk
  • Gun Cleaning – Hoppes
  • Magazines – Magpul

February was the 55th month in a row in which more than 1-million-gun sales resulted in the FBI processing a purchaser’s name through its National Instant Criminal Background Check (NICS) system. The total for the month came in at 1,343,478, a small .01 decrease when compared to the same month last year. January’s NICS-reflected sales, on the other hand, were down much more at 5.8 percent when compared to January of 2023.

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