Ammunition Demand Will Not Subside Soon

Market conditions that drove 2020’s record sales still exist

Ammunition consumers indicate that demand will remain strong well into 2021. According to Southwick Associate’s ongoing shooting sports consumer market research, multiple reasons are driving the continued unparalleled demand.

In April 2021, Southwick Associates surveyed more than 1,800 ammunition consumers as part of its quarterly HunterSurvey/ShooterSurvey tracking study. In 2020, four out of five consumers encountered out of stock issues while trying to purchase ammunition, while three-quarters encountered out of stock situations so far in 2021. Of these respondents,  79% reported either fully or partially reducing their target shooting and hunting outings as a result of depleted ammunition shelves.

Going forward, ammunition demand is expected to remain high. Nearly two-thirds of ammunition consumers report their current ammunition inventory was lower than they would prefer. When asked how much more ammunition they would like to have on hand, 43% reported “much more” while 38% reported “a little more.” Only 17% were satisfied with the amounts they currently had on hand.

When asked why they desire more ammunition, key reasons included:

  • Uncertainty about future ammunition supplies (72%). This is especially true among consumers 45+ years of age.
  • Uncertainty about future restrictions on ammunition purchases (70%).
  • Uncertainty about future economic conditions (54%).
  • Increased shooting and hunting activity (26%).  This was more common among the 25-34 year old consumers.

“At some point, demand will certainly soften,” reports Rob Southwick, President of Southwick Associates. “However, frenzied purchasing and empty shelves often fuels further increases in demand. We do not see demand softening in the near future.”

Southwick Associates will release additional top-level insights regarding market and consumer trends in the hunting, recreational shooting and home/away defense markets as they become available.

Southwick Associates is a market research and economics firm, specializing in the hunting, recreational shooting, sportfishing, and outdoor recreation markets.  For more than 30 years, Southwick Associates has established a proven record for delivering comprehensive insights and statistics assisting business and strategic decisions across the entire outdoor industry; from government agencies, industry associations and non-profit organizations, to affiliated businesses and manufacturers.  Aside from custom market research, Southwick Associates also provides syndicated participation, media consumption and equipment purchase tracking studies utilizing their proprietary sportsmen panels.

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