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.
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.
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.