PMR-30 is so Last Year: What’s hot and What’s not in the Firearms Industry

If you have always believed that the gun industry doesn’t follow trends, you would certainly be mistaken. Of course, there are tried and true classics that will forever be popular such the AK-47, Mossberg 500, and Remington 700. Just like the fashion industry and pop culture, the gun industry sees trends come and go. A few years ago Kel-Tec’s PMR-30 was all the rage, not because it was the greatest gun ever made, but because it was a novelty. The last few months the latest trend has shifted to getting your hands on the smallest pocket 9. With SHOT Show 2013 just around the corner, I’m sure we will soon be hearing rumors about what will be the next biggest have-to-have in the firearms world. Until then, here is my list of what’s in and what’s out in the firearms industry.

What’s Hot


I’ve read that there are about three million preppers in the United States. However, I suspect that number to be much higher due to the secretiveness that preppers tend to favor. Prepping has gone mainstream. Instead of crazy, people see prepping as practical — especially after Hurricane Sandy.

National Geographic Channel and Kelton Research reports from a survey of 1,000 people,  today more people believe that the U.S. will experience devastating earthquakes, hurricanes, terrorism and financial collapse in the next 25 years—than do not. If the TV show Doomsday Preppers mirrors reality, National Geographic channel is on to something. The season two premiere of the show was the channel’s highest-rated season opener and highest-rated Tuesday night broadcast.

AR-15 Lower Receivers

The lower receiver is the firearm part of an AR-15. It holds the magazine catch, bolt catch, pivot pin, fire control group, triggerguard, selector, grips, pins, and buffer tube. It is the only part on the rifle that must have serial number and be registered with the ATF.

Unless you already owned one, the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban (AWB) made AR-15 lower receivers illegal. If you didn’t already own one, you wouldn’t have been able to build your own AR-15. Sales of lower receivers during the time skyrocketed. Being expensive in the first place, the price of this rifle part became outrageous. Today, however, lower receivers are as cheap as $40 for polymer and less than $100 for aluminum. As some fear a new AWB, buying a few lower receivers has become popular. Anticipating being able to sell it for a pretty penny people are stocking up on lower receivers. Even if a new AWB never materializes, you will have an extremely affordable building block to make your own AR-15.


Made by Russian company, Izhmash the AK-12 is basically a modern-day AK-47 with features added that not only the Russian military requested, but civilians alike expect on a good rifle. Izhmash has added Picatinny rails, an adjustable stock, a rear sight and ambidextrous controls to this fifith generation AK-47. Gas-operated, the AK-12 may look like an AK-47, but Izhmash actually completely redesigned the old favorite. The military model will be available in 7.62x39mm, 5.45x39mm, and 5.56x45mm. All AK-47 magazines will work in the AK-12 and a quad-stack 60 rounder is in the works. What’s better is that The Firearms Blog reports a semi-automatic civilian version of the AK-12, chambered in either .223 Remington or 12 gauge, will be ready in 2013.

What’s Not

Kahr CM9

The Shield’s unavailability could be the reason it is so desirable. We want what we can’t have and since the Kahr is widely available, I guess it has lost its appeal.

The Wounded Warrior Project

The media fall-out from the Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) refusing to appear on a radio show has had the firearms industry tied up in knots. WWP public relations director of WWP, Leslie Coleman, stated that the charity has stopped collaborating with any gun or knife companies. She wrote in a message to the radio show’s camp that “WWP does not co-brand, create cause marketing campaigns or receive a percentage or a portion of proceeds from companies in which the product or message is sexual, political or religious in nature, or from alcohol or firearms companies.”

I wonder what happened to the proceeds from the sale of the Henry Goldenboy Military Service Tribute edition rifle or Kahr Arms $50,000 donation to the charity.

Steven Nardizzi, the CEO of the Wounded Warrior Project did end up on the talk show after the scandal broke to “clarify” the organization’s position. He did say that the WWP believes in the Second Amendment, but that they still will not allow their logo on any firearm or the use of it at any fundraising event where there will be firearms and shooting.

Many other organizations support our veterans and the shooting sports. Read Dave Dolbee’s article about WWP and where better to send your support.

Maverick 88 Pump Action Shotgun

The Maverick 88 pump-action shotgun used to be one of our biggest sellers. Basically, a

Mossberg 500, people had been jumping all over this lower-priced, down-to-the-basics shotgun. It is compatible with most Mossberg 500 accessories and does not have many noticeable differences except for its crossbolt safety and not being drilled and tapped. The Maverick 88 makes a good substitute to the bigger named 500. With the Maverick 88, you are still getting the same reliability as you the 500 and it serves equally well as a home defense gun as it does a bird gun.

If you aren’t picky about brand names or necessarily concerned with where your gun is made, there are more affordable shotguns out there than the Maverick 88. With everybody’s budget being tight—and all the new gun owners out there—its no wonder people are choosing cheaper models.

Pretty soon, all of this will be old news. We’ll move on from the Wounded Warrior Project controversy as soon as someone else acts up and I’m sure another new gun will catch our eyes. Webster’s defines trend as “a current style or preference” and we all know current styles and preferences change. I wonder what the next big thing will be? What do you think? Did I get it right? Tell me in the comments section.

The Mission of Cheaper Than Dirt!'s blog, The Shooter's Log, is to provide information—not opinions—to our customers and the shooting community. We want you, our readers, to be able to make informed decisions. The information provided here does not represent the views of Cheaper Than Dirt!

Comments (9)

  1. Agreed on the Glocks Mitch. Also, I wouldn’t be so sure about the PMR-30. Just try to find one, or a Sub-2000 or a KSG. Impossible and they fly off the shelves when they are available. I know of many gun stores who have waiting lists. Hopefully, the new year will see Kel-Tec ramp up production, and get guns to us! Don’t forget women in shooting–they are the fastest growing demographic. I’d say that is pretty hot 😉

  2. What’s hot? Gen 3 Glocks. Gen 4 production has really ramped up, and Gen 4 models have tended to stabilize, but perceived and real problems plagued the popularity of the Gen 4 guns. Gen 3 Glocks always sell. Always.

  3. Trends: military hiring heaper warriors from other nations and using true warrior cult members to train and lead them and for domestic wanna be’s the new psychotropic frugs will lower the suicide rates and make for more effecient killing machines.
    Weapons market for black guns is way over inventoried as it is and outside imports of junk is about dried up be less firms for civilian small buisness.
    Savage Remington pointing way as they produce weapons of quality at ever loeer prices.
    Hunter numbers way down nationally and game farming grows out pacing reguler hunters economy.
    More small bore target and largest market growth right now is air rifles.
    More indoor lead free. And more organized shooting clubs.
    Next doen economy will see mass sell off of black guns.
    USED ollectibles dried up or exhorbitant priced.

    More preppie items of real use medical food etc and having real cash or trade goods on hand.
    Less gun show tables already begun as old age go or and are outpriced.
    Less preppies as bug out bags begin to be covered with dust and sag along with owners muscles.

  4. Wounded93, you have completely missed the point. The real issue here is that the WWP used the clout and reputation of wounded veterans and their families to boost their own name to allow them to vocally take a political stance. Even further, they reduced the percentage of dollar to the veteran and increased it into their own pockets. THIS is insulting and repugnant. Guns don’t kill people, people kill people. If you knew ANYTHING about suicide (I was a teen suicide counselor before joining the Navy), you would know that the availability of a deadly weapon neither increases nor decreases the actual chance a person will attempt suicide. Only intervention and counseling will significantly decrease the probability of a suicide attempt. The fact that less money is now going to this end at WWP shows their lack of respect for veterans and their downright criminal misrepresentation of the very spirit of the “wounded warrior”. Take a political stance if you want to, that’s what every veteran fights to preserve, your right to express an opinion, but to use a veteran’s “charity” as your soapbox is disgusting. Especially if the ones you claim to represent probably don’t agree with your stance. Do your homework, research WWP and come back with a constructive, EDUCATED criticism.

  5. No 93, the idea that legit gun ownership fuels suicides is insulting and repugnant.

    The idea that Wounded Warrior would disallow groups of folks who want to help is also ugly, but not as ugly as how much money they bring in as opposed to how much actually makes it to the folks that need the help.

  6. I don’t now why Wounded Soldiers position on guns would surprise anyone. When the number of soldiers who have died as a result of suicide has surpassed the number of soldiers killed in action, the idea that they should support gun manufacturing is insulting and repugnant.

    This is what has your panties all up in a wad? Seriously? You guys need to get out more often.

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