Tying directly into the piece below this, Smith & Wesson has released their 1st quarter revenues, which are definitely good news for the arms company.
Net product sales for the three months ended July 31, 2008 were $78.0 million, a $3.6 million, or 4.9%, increase over net product sales for the three months ended July 31, 2007. Firearms sales totaled $73.1 million, an increase of $3 million, or 4.2%, over the first quarter of last year.
Pistol sales grew 18.4%, driven by continued consumer market and law enforcement adoption of the M&P polymer pistol line. Sales of M&P pistols grew 27% in the first quarter. Walther products grew at a 19.9% rate based largely on the performance of the PPS sub-compact handgun, which was launched in mid-fiscal 2008. M&P tactical rifle sales grew by 11.0% in the first quarter as demand for this product remained strong in both the consumer and law enforcement channels. Revolver sales grew by 3.4% over the comparable quarter last year. Sales of non-firearms accessories, including handcuffs, totaled $4.9 million, a 15.1% increase over non-firearms accessories sales of $4.3 million in the first quarter last year.
What’s interesting if you read the entire article is that their hunting lines are suffering, but their self-defense lines are doing big business. Hunting rifles and shotguns have not been selling nearly as well as defensive pistols and carbines lately, which is a telling statistic for two reasons. First off, it shows that the firearms market is continuing to shift away from the traditional staples of bolt rifles and shotguns towards a more “defensive” oriented market, with things like M&P pistols dominating the sales for Smith & Wesson.
Obviously, I’m not saying we should abandon the hunting markets or anything, but it very interesting to me to see how different the firearms industry is from when I started shooting a few years ago.