State of the Industry – Clay’s Take on the Gun Community Today

We are seeing some serious innovation in the firearms market, which is a nice change. The emerging trends I see are as follows:

Year of the PRS

There is a whole gaggle of precision rifles in the PRS (Precision Rifle Series) world that are hitting the market, which for once are mostly affordable. We are also seeing them in the new calibers. This year will be a big showdown between 6.5 Creedmoor, .260 Remington, 6mm Creedmoor, and the old standby .308 Win. Look for some analysis as we sort out the relative strengths of these newer calibers.


The pistol game is changing for the first time in many years. Manufacturers know they will now have to compete for your dollar, fear current buying trends won’t keep them alive alone. As this takes hold, all of us as consumers win. I am particularly looking forward to the Hudson H9, the SIG P320X, and the SIG 210.

Tactical goes the way of the Zombie

Finally, we can stop competing about who has the better looking multi-cam thong, or the most exposed Velcro. With a President in office we aren’t scared is actively trying to destroy the nation (or maybe know isn’t actively trying), the industry is free to focus on innovation. Some AR manufacturers are going to feel the pain on this one, but hopefully it will drive some innovation. I see the market as much more CCW-, precision rifle-, and fun-focused for the next four to eight years. And it is long overdue.

About the author: Clay Martin is a former Marine and Green Beret, retiring out of 3rd Special Forces Group. He is a multi-decade and -service sniper, as well as 3-Gun competitor and Master ranked shooter in USPSA Production. In addition to writing about guns, he is the author of “Last Son of The War God,” a novel about shooting people that deserve it. You can also follow him on twitter, @offthe_res or his website,

{ 11 comments… add one }
  • Pete Migale April 10, 2017, 12:12 pm

    Darn cute baby, when she starts dating many years from now, take the lad aside and show him one of your favorite rifle rounds you like to shoot, then tell him if you treat my baby girl wrongly or hurt her in anyway, he wont see the next round coming!

    • Scotty April 10, 2017, 12:41 pm

      That’s good! I toss the date a large rifle round., when he catches it, I let em know if my daughter does not get back on time and is not happy the next round will be coming a whole lot faster! It works never had a problem, she married a Marine…

  • Doc Loch April 10, 2017, 11:56 am

    The best thing to keep people excited about shooting would be a decrease in ammo costs.

    • Andrew N April 10, 2017, 1:53 pm

      Ammo is a fine example of “What goes up must come down” being an erroneous statement. The ammo manufacturers say it’s the retailers, the retailers say its the manufacturers. All I know is I saw a 500 round brick of .22 LR Thunderbolt for $29.99 and almost crapped myself. I got some of the same manufacture / quantity the Xmas before last for $19.99, and thought that was ridiculous. What happened to the $5-$7 we used to pay not very long ago? I fear we will never see cheaper ammo. I now pay more for reloading components than I used to pay for loaded ammo.

      • LJ April 10, 2017, 7:01 pm

        Want to see prices come down? Quit hording the damn stuff!

  • bob April 10, 2017, 10:33 am

    Is that pack tactical,and what caliber is the baby using?

  • John R April 10, 2017, 8:57 am

    Since I see you are not adverse to dropping names for firearms company’s I would like to ask you or others what your/their opinions are about SWAT companies AR-15’s. My local gunsmith swears by them and I’m particularly interested in their Tastanium Devil build. Will it do anything my Colt, Sig, or Bushmaster can’t? No, probably not I just love AR’s. Thanks!

    • clay martin April 10, 2017, 2:06 pm

      never heard of them, so no idea on that one. But an AR isn’t exactly rocket science to make, there are a lot of good options out there.

  • Kygunner April 10, 2017, 3:56 am

    Clay, I appreciate your service and enjoy your articles and school of thought as it parallels mine, since I am a few years older. However I have a beef with you. My 9 year old nephew wants his t-shirt back, now.

    • Mike April 10, 2017, 7:35 am

      You beat me to it, although I was going to say ” my wife’s shirt…”

  • Will Drider April 5, 2017, 9:54 pm

    Noticed your Sidekick, you should have gave a intro. Gun People are Real People and Families are a big part of our lives.
    Your on target regarding the smaller general purpose AR manufactures longevity, tough road ahead when the big name brands are doing deep discounts.

    The .308s will not be displaced due to its overall popularity, general utility, ammo considerations, and special applications for those that wish to fine tune and maximize potential.

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