Holiday Firearm Sales Highlight Popularity Of Shotguns, Compact Pistols

posted on January 7, 2024
Shotgun Trend
Image courtesy of Keltec.

It was the 52nd month in a row that more than 1 million firearms were sold in the United States. November 2023 is now the third highest in gun purchase volume for that month, as calculated by NICS raw figures. Diving into results provided by two of the industry’s biggest outlets indicate buyers are showing a decided preference for one shotgun design.

The volume of National Instant Criminal Background System Checks (NICS) conducted by the FBI for the purchase of a firearm in November was 5 percent greater than the same period a year ago, according to a National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) estimate. Total for the month came in at roughly 1,595,476. reported its top-selling shotgun last month was the pump-action, .410-bore Keltec KSG410. The little brother to the company’s famed the 12-ga. Keltec KSG was introduced only this year and is growing in popularity. Its elder sibling took second-place honors on the webstore.

Over at Gunbroker, the KSG claimed third place among slide-action shotguns, behind the legendary Mossberg Model 590 and Remington Model 870, respectively. In August, the innovative KSG design climbed to fifth place among pump actions on the website, a slot it held onto in both September and October.

Preference among other methods of operation and even chamberings varied widely between the websites, though. The SIG Sauer P365 is tops among semi-auto pistols on Gunbroker, but at, it’s the Keltec P17. The former is available in 9 mm Luger and .380 ACP, while the latter is chambered for .22 LR. The diversity also showed in semi-auto rifles, where it was either the legendary Ruger 10/22 or FN FN-15 SRP G2 that reigned supreme.

The outlets attract different clienteles, partially explaining the difference in purchasing preference. The popularity of KSGs in both cases, however, shows a growing enthusiasm for the increased capacity of several tube magazines on a shotgun—regardless of bore size. Full November reports from and are available online.

Odds are good more than a few KSGs were included in the heavy volume of NICS checks conducted by the FBI facility in Clarksburg, W.Va., on Black Friday. The 24-hour period set a record for the number of names processed through the system. Total volume was 214,913. Bear in mind that figure also includes applications and renewals for carry permits, as well as other administrative use of the system. Thanksgiving week came in at 680,671.

“The background checks reported by the FBI are in keeping with the trends NSSF has seen throughout the year. Firearm sales remain consistently strong, with over a million per month for more than four years running,” said Joe Bartozzi, NSSF president and CEO. “These figures tell us that there is a continued strong appetite for lawful firearm ownership by law-abiding Americans and that firearm manufacturers across the country continue to deliver the quality firearms our customers have come to expect.”


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