Report: Hunting, shooting gear tops golf in sales


NEWTOWN, Conn.  Fore! Sportsmen and women are playing through.

Hunting- and shooting-related equipment has out-driven golf in sales, according to data released by the National Sporting Goods Association.

New statistics show that hunting gear and firearm sales topped $3.7 billion in 2006, up 4.1 percent from the previous year. Only exercise equipment performed better, with sales of $5.22 billion, according to NSGA's most recent "Sporting Goods Market" report. Golf equipment, which claimed the No. 2 spot the previous year, fell into the third spot with $3.66 billion in sales.

"These statistics not only further demonstrate the willingness of America's 40 million hunters and shooters to spend big bucks to enjoy their lifestyles, but also show our industry's success in continuing to develop new products to meet their needs," said Doug Painter, president of the firearm industry's trade association, the National Shooting Sports Foundation.

"The increase in projected sales reported by NSGA corresponds to other increases we saw between 2005 and 2006 in production, excise taxes on firearms and ammunition, background checks related to the purchase of firearms and in hunting license sales," said Painter.

NSGA's sales projection for 2007 shows golf equipment and hunting and shooting equipment running neck-and-neck to claim the No. 2 spot, with exercise equipment remaining at No. 1.

Included in the hunting- and shooting-related equipment category are firearms ($2.18 billion in 2006 sales), airguns ($224.1 million), ammunition ($977.1 million), knives ($51.8 million), paintball guns/packages ($220.9 million) and reloading equipment ($52.0 million).

Below is a listing of the top 10 categories.

2006 Sales: Athletic and Sports Equipment

  1. Exercise - $5.22 billion

  2. Hunting and firearms - $3.71 billion

  3. Golf - $3.66 billion

  4. Athletic goods team sales - $2.62 billion

  5. Fishing tackle - $2.22 billion

  6. Camping - $1.53 billion

  7. Optics - $1.01 billion

  8. Snow skiing - $615.0 million

  9. Billiards / indoor games - $570.9 million

  10. Tennis - $419.8 million

The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), formed in 1961, is the non-profit trade association for the shooting, hunting and firearms industry. NSSF directs a variety of outreach programs to promote greater participation and a better understanding of hunting and the shooting sports, emphasizing safe and responsible ownership of firearms. For more information, visit www.nssf.org.