By Frank Brownell
Des Moines, Iowa – -(Ammoland.com)- What an amazing year 2011 has been!
Since this is our final WebBench for the year, we wanted to take a little time to review just how the year has gone… and what we expect to see happen in the upcoming year, 2012.
Well, we would have to say 2011 was the year for home defense and personal protection firearms with their related accessories and equipment.
With the of expansion of concealed carry through all the states – except for Illinois, which we understand is working on the issue [and New Jersey which will have to be sued into submission] – this interest in self-protection has fueled much of the firearms sales, training, and accessorizing. When you layer over that the really tough economic times that have been thrust upon us, you get a tsunami of new and re-engaged firearm owners in America.
Falling Crime Rates
The amazing impact of all of this is that crime has fallen nationally for the 5th straight year in a row. So, the realization that more and more people are ready to protect themselves – and are equipped and properly trained to do so – has had an amazing effect on those heretofore inclined to crime. Their targets of opportunity are narrowing considerably, as people become more and more intent on not being a victim. Of course, there are no numbers supporting how many potential crimes have been stopped or prevented by trained and armed citizens exercising their right of personal protection and taking control of potentially dangerous situations – and there never will be. Nor does there need to be. All we have to do is watch those crime statistics continue to fall, even in these times of cutbacks in police budgets, and we know that those of us who take personal protection seriously and get ourselves trained properly are part of the cause of these decreasing crime rates.
Of course, we must also realize this was also the year for having fun out at the range – with tactical rifles taking the lead, and all the building/rebuilding, accessorizing and tinkering you can do with these great guns and calibers.
There seems to be no end to what you can do if you’ve a mind to do it with these guns, and we’ve seen some mighty innovative things come out of this particular venue.
Another continuing trend is the amazing increase in the number of women taking part in the shooting sports. The gals are discovering that not only is it a lot of fun to go out to the range and shoot, but they are competing in more and more events. And they’re getting their friends, kids and partners involved if it wasn’t their guy who got them there in the first place. I love it, and I’m happy to see the woman in my life getting into shooting. It’s one of the things a couple can do together for fun, or even serious competition if they’ve a mind to do so.
Another huge growth factor this year is the increase in the various types of competitions and the huge growth in attendance we’ve seen at some of them. Coming to mind first, of course, is the proliferation of 3-gun matches. Lots of places, some wonderfully creative stages, and more and more of these matches being held. They are lots of fun, and the necessity of becoming proficient with 3 different firearms not only makes them more challenging – but also easier to screw up. This type of competition has practical applications for self protection…the different scenarios of the stages and the stress of competition really start to build a person’s skills. We believe the growth of shooting at the range has actually surpassed the growth of golf. Think I saw these numbers somewhere, but of course in putting this WebBench together I can’t find a source now.
Well, we can do the old political thing about “if you say it loud enough and long enough, everybody’s gonna believe it“, and just make it so!
SO FOR 1212, what do we see coming down the pike? Hate to be stuck in a rut here, but we all agree that it basically is going to be a repeat of 2011 for tactical rifles, the AR’s and clones and calibers. And more people shooting for the sheer pleasure of shooting and tinkering and fiddling with their guns. But, most importantly of all, 2012 is definitely going to be another year for personal protection, self-defense firearms and the training and accessories that make this all work… and, of course, ammunition!
Let’s look at it – we know 2012 will be heavily influenced by the major election coming in November. We know the gun issue may not get top billing because of the huge potential to do damage to one of the major parties. But, it definitely will be a sub-plot that plays out in the polls due to the enormous impact of voters watching out for their firearms ownership, personal protection and Second Amendment rights. We know that tensions in the Middle East are not going to go away – not in our lifetimes anyway. And the potential threat of terrorists’ activities on our shores further fuels serious thinking about the need for personal protection. We know the economy, the massive debt and housing crisis, and unemployment cannot be cured by election time – or for that matter even for some time after.
All of these issues put stress on our cities and citizens and everyone concerned with their own personal safety and their access to ammunition – the one expendable part of the personal protection equation. Ammo’s one thing we all run out of, given enough time, so it will be a big selling item in ’12, and we truly expect for the foreseeable future. The issues hanging over 2012 are not curable in just one year – not a one of them – so our projection goes well through 2012 and likely further.
It will most assuredly be another year for the growth of ammunition sales. An astronomical year of ammunition sales. You want it, and we’ve got it. How could it be any better?
From all of us here at Brownells, our very best wishes to you personally for a most Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah and Happy New Year.
This has been an amazing year of joys and growth and family and good times – may 2012 be an even better one for all of you. Be sure to include your family and friends in your prayers and most especially include our Law Enforcement and Military members and their families – these are the professionals who are truly keeping our homeland safe for the rest of us.
At Brownells, Everything is Guaranteed period! Forever, 100%, with no restocking fees. Brownells is the world’s largest supplier of firearm parts, gunsmithing tools, ammunition, reloading equipment and accessories. Stocking more than 50,000 items, the company supplies armorers, gunsmiths, and shooters worldwide. All of their products are backed by a 100% satisfaction, unconditional, lifetime guarantee. For more information, or to place an order, call 800-741-0015 or visit Brownells.com