The AR-15 Market is DEAD!

The AR-15 Market is DEAD!

Welcome back to the 32nd installment of my blog, in which I don’t claim to be an expert, in fact the opposite. I’m a new user to the AR platform and want to share my findings and experiences as I go through and build rifles as well as being the Operations Manager at Tyrant Designs.

 

The AR market is not dead...but it’s changed. Working for a firearms accessories manufacturer leaves me privy to all sorts of firearm industry news and special inside information. I have close relationships with dealers and other manufacturers and I’ve come to make some general observations on the current state of the AR Market. Here are a few of them.

 

1. Since President Trump has taken office there has been an overwhelmingly relaxed disposition for many gun owners. What do I mean by this? Fear buying AR-15’s seems to have dropped significantly. The days of buying 10 AR lower receivers and $500 rifles seems to have vanished because people aren’t buying like that anymore.

 

2. Most manufacturers didn’t hedge their bets. The high volume manufacturing continued despite some serious warning signs. Manufactures and dealers alike spent money on more and more inventory in the anticipation that there would be at least 4 more years of fear buying. This would be based on the fact we wouldn’t know what the future held for the protection of our AR-15 ownership rights and the market would respond by the buying and hoarding of AR rifles and accessories.

 

3. Because of #2 this led the market to have a giant increase in supply of AR-15 rifles and accessories but a decrease in demand for them because nobody is afraid of legislation. Hence why the prices for cheap AR-15s and accessories are so low right now.

 

4. I get that there will still be people buying some of these cheaper rifles and accessories but what I have personally witnessed, is the consumer demand shifting to higher end rifles and accessories. Instead of buying multiple factory ready $500 rifles, people are now piecing rifles together from manufactures who have reputations for making high quality parts.

 

5. Those that don’t adapt will be forgotten. I talk to dealers all the time and guess what? The ones that can see the change in the market are changing the products they keep, like the higher end quality products. These are the AR products that are actually selling now and in the foreseeable future. 

 

 

Anyway, thats my somewhat educated opinion. In other news we have quite a few innovative and bad ass products still to be launched this year. I hope you guys are as excited as us.

 

Leave a comment on which firearm components or parts you would like to see Tyrant Designs produce in the future. Should we do custom engraving? How much would you be willing to pay for it? For $20 I'll tattoo your initials on my lower back.

ONE LAST THING! Because I'm your boy, I got you a discount code this week. Use FREESHIP at checkout. Save ya $8. BOOM, you're welcome. 


6 Responses

Mike Villers
Mike Villers

October 01, 2017

QUOTE: DENNIS NYBO
September 29, 2017
I would to see you offer a billet butt stock that would match up with your pistol and fore grips.

I WHOLEHEARTEDLY “2ND” THE ABOVE QUOTED ENTRY. I did quite a bit of searching for any type of aluminum buttstocks and fell way short, not coming up with anything matching the likes of the finer thought put into things like the pistol grips of the same material or fore end grips (attached to the bottom of the fore end perpendicular in direction). Would be so nice to COMPLETE your sort of “artistic” and individualism type “trifecta” (if you will) by having an alu fore end grip, the same type pistol grip like you make now, and then an aluminum colored or anodized (instead of a cerakote look as to keep the aluminum obvious) buttstock, maybe even just the shell, leaving the tube from your plastic stock on therea and just installed the outside framework.

PS: I finally found a private party that worked at a machine shop that was making them. They were all silver/original aluminum colored (for now) and had 3 or 4 styles (mostly the carbine shaped type) and gave you the opt to have it skeletonized (as the tinsel strength was high) or have a customer designed/submitted pattern of holes to be cut out of the center mass of it for a nominal price. Bought one and LOVE IT! BTW, the weight is about the same or even less than a full polymer buttstock (less the "minimalist model style) and the strength is there as it is attached to my UTAS XTR-12 (AR-10 Style) SA 12 Gauge.
So the gun is so much more complete looking in the eyes of the fashion police, having the fore grip (I have a Med-Evil multi directional fore end stock) in aluminum, then your full aluminum colored Tyrant Designs grip, and now the full aluminum colored and really cool shaped minimalistic sized aluminum buttstock. The look is so much more uniform and (loss of words here) COOOOOL looking than having this dark colored polymer buttstock making the AR just not so “flowing looking”. If this sounds stupid (all the emphasis of “LOOOOKS”) please know that my P’s and Q’s are completely covered as all my AR’s are high end parts custom units ergo LR’s of Daniel Defense, and the amazing LAYKE TACTICAL (I now LOVE these AR’s made completely in the U.S. (Layke Tactical LLC is in Phoenix, AZ.)

Because I wrote a friggin book, let me paraphrase the actual point since it got buried. PPPLLLLEASE consider making some aluminum buttstocks. Even in original aluminum color is fine, but anodizing is really cool as it DOES keep the ALL aluminum parts apparent compared to if you Cerakoted it as then it would be anyone’s guess what it was made of.
Thanks for reading
Mike

Broc
Broc

September 30, 2017

I’ve really enjoyed these blog posts. I’m curious if we’ll see more mergers like Zev and Mega.

As a consumer I think the market pressure is great. We’ll see more innovative and higher quality products. Which I for one don’t mind paying a premium for. Looking forward to seeing what you guys come up with in the future.

Mike J.
Mike J.

September 29, 2017

Not surprised at all at the current trend in AR purchasing. I’d love to see you all add additional colors to your lineup. Gloss Gold, Green, and Purple to start. Other Items: PMag Baseplate, Scope Ring, Mini Red dot Cage, Take down Pins, Charging Handles, and Handguards, and Custom hand guards like Unique AR except super slim. I would pay for custom engraving. I am currently building a series of Uber Custom blinged out AR’s for the fun of it and would do some custom engraving if it were available. $30 for a mag well logo, up to $150 on top of the purchase price for a custom hand guard to be milled.

James Rea
James Rea

September 29, 2017

I have been in the AR market pretty heavily since 2004. I have seen several highs and lows depending on the political climate at the time. I have seen the impulse buying during the Obama era and the last being the threat of Hillary getting elected. Also, every time the talk of an “assault weapon” ban came up, guys were buying a lot of ARs. Many of these guys were looking to flip them and make a lot of money off of a bunch of unsuspecting and uneducated people. Ammo has fluxuated quite a bit over the years as well causing dry spells when certain types of ammo were hard to find. Now that President Trump is in office, the fear of another ban of any sort is unlikely and the fear factor is not there. Yes, there still are guys buying inexpensive (less than $500) ARs. These are mostly newcomers to the world of the Black Rifle. I see a lot of guys on some FB groups and several gun forums discussing their new AR like the DPMS Oracle, the Bushmaster QRC, S&W MP-15 Sport and Sport II, and the Del-Ton Sport Lite. There are some that will invest a little more and buy ARs in the $700-$1000 range. Then, there are guys like me who want to build ARs with good quality components and will pay a premium price to get that quality. Spending $2K-$3K is about average. The AR market is far from dead, but it has changed. There is still a place for the less expensive ARs and for those that are priced considerably higher. Sales volumes will remain low for quite some time, but some manufacturers and vendors are taking a new approach. They are discounting prices of ARs and accessories to keep the fires lit. They are finding a way to keep a customer base coming back. Will AR sales ever increase like they had during the Obama era? Most likely, but it will be due to another liberal in office who wants to threaten the 2nd Amendment and our right to keep and bear Arms.

Dennis Nybo
Dennis Nybo

September 29, 2017

I would to see you offer a billet butt stock that would match up with your pistol and fore grips.

Justin Whan
Justin Whan

September 29, 2017

I am doing my first AR build. I would like to see you make a 15 inch fore grip with a laser cut scorpion on each side. I would also like to see more products in burnt bronze cerakote.

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