As far as we know, Charles Dickens never aspired to be a gun writer, although his famous kick-off to A Tale of Two Cities—“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…”—certainly seems an apt description of the state of the firearms industry these days.
The bad news is all around us—we’re coming off a deep, protracted recession that has left our economy in tatters, and despite some flashes of good news, consumer confidence remains fickle and rises and falls at the merest provocation. The prospect of a dreaded “double dip” recession seems all too real. Manufacturers, themselves uncertain about what the future holds, have mostly taken a cautious approach to their businesses and have been unwilling to ramp up production for a consumer demand that might exist one day yet blow away like a seaside fog the next.
In the midst of this, however, the gun industry has thrived. Record sales—spurred on by the election of President Obama and the demand for arms and ammunition driven by our conflicts overseas—had assembly lines running nearly nonstop for the better part of the last two years. Shortages of certain types of guns and ammo seemed to fuel even greater demand and led to all kinds of parlor chatter in which conspiracy theories were aired about the difficulty of procuring .223 Rem. ammo, primers for reloading and other scarce items.
Shown Left: The Legacy 28 semi-auto shotgun from Benelli and Nosler’s TGR rifle were two of the new entries tested during Outdoor Life’s annual review of sporting guns.
Rifle and Shotgun Tests for 2009 >>