Southwick Associates, a Fernandina Beach, Fla.–based market research and economics firm specializing in the hunting, shooting, sportfishing, and outdoor-recreation markets, released what it says are the top brands for many hunting- and shooting-product categories in 2015. This list was compiled from internet-based surveys completed in 2015 HunterSurvey.com and ShooterSurvey.com panels.
Midsouth Shooters Supply looked over Southwick’s product-category winners and assembled the 10-most-popular category winners for 2015:
In a previous survey of people who said they reloaded, 88 percent cited “saving money” as the key reason. The survey, conducted in September 2015, said that “improving accuracy” was the second largest interest of handloaders at 70 percent. “Obtaining rounds difficult to find in stores” came in third with 40 percent, and “reducing waste” was cited as a reason by only 30 percent. Survey participants could choose more than one reason.
Of the types of ammunition reloaded, 76 percent reload rifle ammo, 64 percent reload for their handguns, and 30 percent reload shells for their shotguns.
“Over time, ammunition can be the most expensive aspect of recreational shooting, so it makes sense that avid shooters see reloading as a way to cut costs without cutting time at the range,” said Rob Southwick, president of Southwick Associates. “Of course, a key byproduct of saving money through reloading is a person also becomes more knowledgeable about their firearm’s performance and can even potentially achieve better performance by fine-tuning a specific load to their firearm.”
You can participate in the surveys at HunterSurvey.com and ShooterSurvey.com.
How do these survey results stack up, in your opinion?
Guest post by Peter B. Mathiesen, courtesy of SHOT Daily.
The 2016 SHOT Show offers an overflowing array of tempting goodies, so much so that consumers may feel overwhelmed at the task of figuring out what to buy in the coming year. To help out, we’re offering a sampler of some of the more interesting products from a vast and diverse assortment.
Advanced Technologies, Inc.
Given the phenomenal growth of the AR-15 pistol market, aftermarket supplier ATI sees an opportunity to help users of the popular Ruger Charger get more enjoyment out of its use. The AR-22 Pistol Stock System features a polymer receiver chassis and a T2 pistol grip as well as a six-sided aluminum free-floating forend that sports an FS8 nose cone. The T2-style pistol grip lowers a shooter’s hand to align the finger with the trigger, and the sure-grip texture helps reduce recoil. In addition, the stock also features a 16-inch aluminum Picatinny rail that runs the length of the receiver and forend for trouble-free optic and accessory mounting. SRP: $119.99. (atigunstocks.com)
American Furniture Classics
Feel safe and secure at home or in your truck with the Field Armory security cabinet. This stainless-steel cabinet is constructed of 2mm aluminum diamond plate and has secure storage for five long guns. The guns are secured during transport by hook-and-loop straps. Dual gas shocks provide stability when the lid is open, and the metal drawers feature rubber seals and ball-bearing glides to help make opening and closing easier. Sturdy stainless-steel side handles complete the package. The unit will fit under most tonneau covers. SRP: $999. (americanfurniture classics.com)
Cleanup at the range is always a chore, but a clever device known as the Compact Ammo-Up makes it a bit easier and faster. With it, a shooter can collect spent brass and shotshells without bending over. The device will pick up a wide variety of casings, including .380, 9mm, 10mm, .40, .45 Auto, .38 Special, .308/7.62, and .223/5.56. A shotgun version picks up both shotgun shells and wads. SRP: $59.99. (ammoupusa.com)
Bear Metal Clean
Employing green chemistry, odor-free G-Tip gun cleaning swabs offer an environmentally friendly alternative to petroleum-based oils and solvents. The pointed tips easily work into tight areas inside receiver and trigger assemblies. The natural ingredients lubricate, clean, condition, and protect metal surfaces. The product uses American-made, biodegradable, bio-renewable, and bio-sustainable ingredients. The swab kits come in three sizes—small, medium, and large. SRP: starts at $27. Booth #N501. (bearmetalclean.com)
Breakthrough Clean Technologies
Battle Born High-Purity Oil is a blend of synthetic oils that includes extreme pressure additives, corrosion inhibitors, and anti-oxidant, anti-foam, and anti-wear additives. Its unique combination provides effective firearm lubrication and protection in extreme environmental conditions for extended service under high and low temperature conditions (from -90°F to 417°F). It’s safe to use on all metal, plastic, and polymer parts, and is water- and steam-resistant. It reduces friction and wear, and is non-flammable, non-toxic, odorless, non-staining, and fully synthetic. SRP: $8.95. (breakthroughclean.com)
CrossBreed Carry Holsters
The late Mark Craighead was an avid shooter, reloader, and concealed-carry permit holder who was introduced to firearms at a young age. That ultimately led to a fascination with holsters.
After collecting his proverbial “box of holsters,” Craighead decided to create a design of his own, incorporating the best features of other holsters and discarding the non-functional elements. In doing so, he managed to handcraft a new breed of holsters, which were marketed by the company he founded—CrossBreed Holsters. Within a couple of years, his hybrid holster design had achieved such popularity that the company gained national recognition as a leading manufacturer of some of the best and most functional concealment holsters available on the market. Each holster is handmade by craftsmen who were personally trained by Craighead, and these craftsmen continue to pass on the skills, traditions, and attention to detail to a new generation of craftsmen who have joined the company.
For 2016, CrossBreed Holsters is introducing the latest in its line of handcrafted holsters, the Freedom Carry. The line was created in response to consumer demand for more versatile carrying tools. What sets this new holster apart from its predecessors is that it can be worn in several positions without sacrificing comfort. The holster also allows the user to carry larger firearms in the appendix position. The Freedom Carry is available for more than 300 different firearms, including those with lights, lasers, and micro red-dot sights (depending on model). CrossBreed Holsters offers a two-week, try-it-free guarantee as well as a lifetime warranty on selected items. (crossbreedholsters.com)
Previously available only for semi-auto pistols, the WalkAbout holster, part of Galco’s Carry Lite line, is now available for revolvers. The holster’s open top allows a fast draw while the reinforced mouth allows a smooth and easy return to the holster. A sturdy injection-molded nylon clip secures the holster on the belt. The holster carries the handgun in a vertical orientation, with no cant or angle, making it suitable for both traditional strong-side carry and the increasingly popular appendix position. Constructed of comfortable premium Center Cut Steerhide, the WalkAbout fits belts up to 1 ¾ inches wide. SRP: $39.95. (galco gunleather.com)
Sitting between the IMR 4451 and IMR 7977 on the burn-rate chart, IMR 4955 is an ideal choice for many popular calibers such as the .270 Winchester, the .25/06 Remington, and the .300 Winchester Magnum. Enduron Technology maintains accuracy over longer shooting sessions, thanks to a special additive that helps remove copper fouling as the rifle is fired. In addition, the powder’s small grain size helps it flow easily through a powder measure. SRP: $207.99 (per 8-pound keg). (imrpowder.com)
Knight & Hale
To diversify the sounds a box call can produce, Knight & Hale has integrated a patented simple-to-use quick-release system into the new Switchblade box call. Featuring three different paddles made from three distinct types of wood, the call replicates the calls of three different hens. The box itself is a custom, one-piece design capable of producing loud tones that carry even on windy days, yet also can provide soft, ultra-realistic sounds to pull a wary tom in those final few yards. The lids can be removed without noisy Velcro or snaps for silent travel. SRP: $34.95. (knightand hale.com)
The 100E portable clay target machine has a capacity of 135 targets and a throwing distance of 85 yards. Available in various models to match the desired discipline, including Skeet, ATA, and Sporting Clay, the 100E is ideal for recreational backyard shooting or for a small club. SRP: $995. (mecshootingsports.com)
The handmade leather LTD/SN22D1 cobra-style sling is constructed of a vegetable-tanned leather top and soft suede backing. Decorative pattern stitching runs the length of the sling. It is adjustable from 28 to 36 inches and fits 1-inch swivels. SRP: $67.70. (levysleathers.com)
Unlike a conventional, rectangular CNC-shaped box call, the Billy Yargus Easy Touch Box is formed and glued with curved sideboards that are stretched around a canoe-shaped frame. The curved walls create greater surface area contact with the lid, which yields a fuller, richer sound. The curved sidewalls are solid on one side and grooved on the other, giving callers two different tone options to attract fickle gobblers. Made from glued mahogany with jatoba (Brazilian cherry). SRP: $49.99. (flambeauoutdoors.com)
Designed to traverse tough terrain with ease, the Pelican 80QT Elite Wheeled Cooler has heavy-duty 8-inch wheels with an extended pull handle. Additional adventure-friendly features include a built-in bottle opener, a lid-integrated fish scale, and raised anti-skid feet. Certified bear-resistant by the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee, it’s perfect for any hunter camping in the wilderness. All Pelican Elite Coolers are built to exacting military standards and are engineered with rugged polymer exterior walls that feature an industry-leading 2-inch polyurethane foam core, which ensures extreme ice retention. Additional advanced features include secure press and pull latches, a freezer-grade O-ring seal, and dual molded-in handles for easy transport and tie-off. SRP: $549.95. (pelicanprogear.com)
The new Table Hooker is an elegant way to display a wide variety of small- to medium-sized game skulls on office desks or shelves. Appropriate species, to name a few, include cougar, bear, pronghorn, impala, and deer. SRP: $59.95. (skullhooker.com)
Both the Pro and the Sport harnesses feature high-performance tethers, quick-release buckles, padded shoulder straps, and include a lineman’s climbing belt. In addition, each line features a Women’s Pro and Women’s Sport version to meet the needs and fit of female hunters. All harnesses have a maximum weight rating of 300 pounds, and the Pro Harness line includes a bungee tether line and a military-inspired attachment system for complete accessory customization. Both harnesses meet industry standards recognized by Treestand Manufacturers Association. SRP: $99.99. (summitstands.com)
The Swagger bipod provides shooting agility with quick maneuvering in any terrain or situation. Swagger’s patented and adjustable Crazy Legs are flexible, which allows you to easily move forward or back, up or down, left or right as the shot dictates. With Swagger, you can shoot prone, sitting, or standing. Swagger also retracts into the chassis for easy, quiet transport. SRP: $219.99. (swaggerbipods.com)
Unlike disposable air-activated handwarmer packets, which offer only one heat level and must be thrown away after each use, Thermacell’s pair of rechargeable heat packs provides users with three different temperature settings. Available in two different sizes, the warmers run up to six hours per charge (when set on low). The warmers have an easy push-button control to turn the unit on and off and to set the desired heat level. Recharge time is approximately four hours. SRP: $79.99, pocket warmer; $69.99, handwarmer. (thermacell.com)
Wiley X has a long tradition of providing absolute premium protection, and the new WX Rogue is no exception. Offered in two- or three-lens interchangeable kits, the WX Rogue has an understated matte black frame with strategically designed lenses that provides a clean line of sight for maximum peripheral vision and protection.
The adjustable wire core rubberized nose bridge ensures comfort at all sight levels. Wiley X’s T-Shell scratch-resistant and Foil anti-fog-coated Selenite polycarbonate lenses deliver confidence of protection that meets ANSI Z87.1-2010 High Velocity, High Mass Impact Safety & Optical standards, as well as the military’s MIL-PRF-32432(GL) ballistic standards. Case, strap and cleaning cloth included. (Optional RX insert available.)SRP: starts at $95.99. (wileyx.com)
The Hopper 40 was designed to carry big food-and-beverage cargo with ease. It has a carrying capacity of up to 36 cans plus ice, but is still portable. The heavy-duty construction and HydroLok leakproof zipper make it anything but soft. Take it to the bonfire, on your next hunting trip, or use it any time you need to carry a large load. SRP: $399.99. (yeti coolers.com)
Reporting by SHOT Business Daily, reprinted with permission. SHOT Daily, produced by The Bonnier Corporation and the National Shooting Sports Foundation, covers all facets of the yearly firearms-industry show. Click here to see full issues. Product pricing and availability are at of time of publication and subject to change without notice.