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Outdoor Industry Brand Preference Survey Revealed

Outdoor Industry Brand Preference Survey Revealed

Southwick Associates, a market research company specializing in the outdoor industry, has announced the brands hunters and shooters purchased most frequently in 2011. This list has been compiled from the 41,923 internet-based surveys completed by hunters and target shooters who volunteered to participate last year in and polls.

Rather than simply list the categories, I wouldn’t be the Insider if I didn’t comment on each to offer some (hopefully) interesting insights.

In 2011, top brands included:

§ Top rifle brand: Remington (16 percentof all purchases)

This shows the strength of Big Green’s brand because, truthfully, Savage is the best value for a bolt-action rifle. Ruger is selling a heck of a lot of M77s too.

§ Top shotgun brand: Remington (no figure provided)

Once again Big Green is cruising on its brand because Mossberg not only sells more smoothbores, but offers a much more compelling selection of models.

§ Top muzzleloader brand: CVA (37.2 percentof all purchases)

Good job to take nearly 40 percentmarket share. I would’ve thought T/C and the various in-line “modern” muzzleloaders would do better.

§ Top handgun brand: Ruger (17.1 percentof all purchases)

The world loves a great .22, which is the only reason Ruger could’ve beat top-sellers Glock and XD.

§ Top scope for firearms: Bushnell (16.7 percentof all purchases)

Show me the money… or rather, don’t. Bushnell is by far the leading value-priced optical brand and it shows.

§ Top rifle ammunition brand: Remington (25.5 percentof all purchases)

Wait a second, did this survey take place in Remington Country? Hornady is rocking right now and Winchester is usually a perennial best-seller.

§ Top shotgun ammunition brand: Winchester (32.1 percentof all purchases)

Okay, that’s more like it.

§ Top handgun ammunition brand: Winchester (20.7 percentof all purchases)

And again.

§ Top blackpowder brand: Pyrodex (47.9 percentof all purchases)

The black powder substitute owned and marketed by Hodgdon Powder Co. is “the” propellant for smokepoles.

§ Top balls, bullets, or shot brand: Hornady (31 percentof all purchases)

See? The “red” ammunition and component manufacturer is gobbling up market share like there’s no tomorrow.

§ Top reloading bullet brand: Hornady (33 percentof all purchases)

This seems redundant, but it certainly supports my point.

§ Top reloading powder brand: Hodgdon (36.7 percentof all purchases)

And that figure of nearly 40 percentis nothing compared to Hodgdon’s real cut of the propellant pie. I won’t divulge too much here, but suffice it to say that no matter what it says on the can, it’s Hodgdon product inside.

§ Top binocular brand: Bushnell (31.3 percnetof all purchases)

Back to my point on scopes: it’s not the money, it’s the money. And it doesn’t take much to step up to a Bushnell product.

§ Top holster brand:Blackhawk (15.1 percentof all purchases)

Ever since the midnight raid when Blackhawk hired away the best engineers from Uncle Mike’s, the tactical nylon conglomerate has produced some exceptional holsters. No surprise here.

§ Top knife brand: Buck (19.1 percentof all purchases)

In every other survey I’ve seen, Benchmade rules. It could be that Buck is making a come-back for they surely were the dominant brand for many, many years.

§ Top cover scent brand:Wildlife Research Center (25.7 percentof all purchases)

Whatever. Don’t now and never will douse myself in deer pee.

§ Top shooting target brand: Shoot-N-C (29.5 percentof all purchases)

Way easier to see than plain paper. I always carry some in my rifle case on travelling hunts to sight-in when I get to camp.

§ Top clay brand: White Flyer (42.4 percentof all purchases)

That’s it? Only 42 percent market share? I didn’t know there was any other maker of clay targets. Then again, I’m only a casual sporting clays shooter.

The marketing data presented here is a summary of a 239-page report that details consumer behavior including what products and brands are purchased, where they are bought, how much customers spend, and demographics of hunters and shooters broken out by each product category. Current information about what gear and brands hunters and shooters prefer, how many days they spend afield and what type of hunting and shooting they enjoy most is vital to businesses trying to build their customer base. To purchase a report or subscription, contact John DePalma at

blogs Southwick Associates

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