September 2014 – The New Normal

At long last, North American Arms is preparing to address the market of the “new normal”, although I don’t entirely understand exactly what that means. In most circles, it’s a codeword that suggests that the industry-wide frenzy which virtually everyone in this business has enjoyed for the past several years is in our rearview mirror and that demand in general is “off” – considerably. Where/when this declining demand will stabilize is anyone’s guess, but the general sense is that the overall market of shooters has grown significantly during the past several years. I’m hopeful that we will enjoy this expansion for some time to come. While NAA is rarely someone’s first choice for a firearm, our appeal becomes greater as someone grows weary of lugging a 1911 or even Glock 17 as his/her new carry piece.

If you’re in the AR market, it means that demand has fallen to the water level of Lake Mead (almost empty). For example, Smith and Wesson reported that 90% of the decline in their recent business was attributed to the falloff in demand for MSRs (modern sporting rifles) . There are few other public sources of info like that available, but all the anecdotal evidence I’ve heard is consistent with that. If you’re in the market for an AR, there should be plenty o’ bargains to be had.

Good news, too, for those bemoaning the dearth of rimfire ammunition. Evidence suggests that it, too, is beginning to appear on dealers’ shelves.

Handguns are not so bad, and the personal protection slice of that market continues to show signs of “legs”, still with a softening of demand. For the first time in “a while”, our three week trailing average of incoming orders has fallen below our production level, which means that we have been eating into our backlog. At the factory I’ve seen hints of some new variations on familiar themes, including LR-frame versions of models like the Pug, Wasp, Earl, etc. Why? Some might ask: because we can and we’ve noted the interest.

Furthermore, it might be wrong for me to hint that we’re hard at work on something substantially more “important” than mere LR variants (no, it’s not a .32ACP mini – sorry uncle-lee), but that would be rude – so I won’t.

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