Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Another Year-In-Review List

I said earlier that I wasn't going to post Year-in-Review lists, but given all the Sturm und Drang building over the impending obama war on guns, I thought y'all might find this one interesting.

The 5 Best-Selling Guns of 2015

First, a few general comments. This is not about the 'best' guns (however you define that). It is about the most popular ones, as defined by sales reported by GunBroker.com. The list is also driven by a hot trend in 2015 firearm sales - the growing popularity of semi-autos designed for concealed carry. In response to that trend, the person who compiled the list limited it to the five best-selling new, semi-automatic pistols. (Hey, I'm to lazy to do all that work. I'm just happy to piggy-back off someone else's efforts).

Speaking of which, the methodology behind the list is simple. The author took GunBroker's monthly lists of gun sales, arbitrarily assigned points values for each place on the list (5 points for first, four for second, etc.), and then tallied up the results. Not the most sophisticated methodology, but again, I'm too lazy to do it myself. So take this list for what it's worth: an interesting, but not necessarily comprehensive, perspective on 2015's best-selling new semi-autos. Enjoy, and discuss freely among yourselves.

Fourth Place (tie): Smith & Wesson M&P9 and Sig Sauer P938. Neither gun landed in the top spot over the course of the year, but the models were gun buyers' second and third choices most often. The M&P9 is Smith & Wesson's direct challenge to Glock in the low-cost polymer frame segment and its lightweight design has helped the gunmaker enjoy tremendous growth as handgun sales have taken off.

In contrast, Sig Sauer's P938 is a hammer-fired, single-action semi-auto, with aluminum alloy frame and steel slide. It's super-lightweight and designed for concealed carry.

Third Place: Smith & Wesson M&P9 Shield. This is S&W's answer to the concealed-carry gun niche that is exploding. So popular are its Shield models that during the second quarter the gunmaker produced its one millionth model, which it says makes it "the best-selling personal protection and self-defense pistol" on the market.

Second Place: Taurus PT-111 Millenium G2. Yet another gun designed for the concealed carry market, the Taurus PT-111 is available in 9mm and built on a lightweight polymer platform in a subcompact form factor. Its appearance on the list would surprise many gun enthusiasts, but the fact it was the favorite gun four months in a row probably raised even more eyebrows, though it also attested to the gun's meeting a specific need in the market.

First Place: Kel Tec PMR-30. This might not have been the gun many would have expected to top the list, but the Kel Tec PMR-30 dominated sales at GunBroker.com this year, coming in first place more times than any other model (five), and regularly being a gun buyer's second or third choice. The Kel Tec was also on the top-five list more often than any other model (eight), and unlike Smith & Wesson, Ruger, or Sig Sauer, which each had three different models appear at any time over the course of the year, it was only the Kel Tec PMR-30 that gun buyers wanted.
FWIW, I own one gun on this list: a Taurus PT-111 Millenium. I bought it back in 2009, in response to another predicted obama gun grab. I also bought it after shooting one a friend owned. Hers fit my hand nicely, shot well, had a nice, crisp trigger break with very little take-up, and was reasonably accurate. Fun to shoot and it put holes where I aimed - what else could you ask for?

Unfortunately, the one I bought turned out to be a bit of a disappointment, mainly due to its long trigger take-up and mushy break. No complaints regarding accuracy or reliability. I've been meaning to take it to a gunsmith for a trigger job, but retirement has kept me so busy (*cough, cough*) I just haven't gotten around to it yet.

I'm also putting off the  gunsmith visit pending resolution of the Taurus recall settlement. Depending on the details, I may end up paying to fix it myself rather than depend on the tender mercies of Taurus customer service, which even in the best of times has a spotty reputation. In the meantime, I carry one of several .38 revolvers, depending on where I'm going, what I'm wearing and other assorted circumstances. When I travel I usually take along my personal favorite: a Springfield XD in .45ACP. Stopping power plus high capacity magazines - what's not to like? An added bonus is the sticker on the side of the case it came in: "Not legal in California." Gives me a tingle down my leg every time I see it.

Speaking of obama's war on guns, here's an illustration of the 'logic' running through barry's mind as he schemes to undermine the Second Amendment.


Randy said...

I have that same PT 111. i have issues with the accuracy. I can't get a consistent grouping at any distance. even extremely short. I know I'm not a marksman by any means, but nothing else I shoot is that bad. Leave me scratching my head. I was hoping they would just take it back and i could use the money on something else. The recall won't work that way it appears.

Anonymous said...

I own a 9 mm Taurus 709 "slim" and like CTT I'm not happy with the trigger action. I prefer my Ruger 5 round .357 "wheel gun" for Conceal carry even though reloading even with a speed-loader is not as rapid as dropping an empty magazine and slamming a full one home. I like the "punch" of a .357 magnum Hornady hollow-point.

My favorite semi-auto is my Springfield Armory XD40, but it's kinda bulky for Conceal Carry.

CenTexTim said...

Randy - I should have defined what I mean by accuracy. With my PT 111 I can generally put three shots in a 3" or less group, at 7 yards, standing and shooting without support. That's not exactly sharpshooter accuracy, but it's good enough for me.

As for issues with the PT 111's accuracy, FWIW it's my impression, based on articles and posts in the firearms industry press, along with reviews and discussions with other Taurus owners, that Taurus quality control is somewhat inconsistent. Some folks seem to get tackdrivers, while others get scatterguns. OTOH, Taurus products are relatively affordable when compared to Glocks, Berettas, etc.

Toejam - Good choices. I also found my Springfield to be on the bulky side for concealed carry. I generally use it as a house gun, or a truck/travel gun (think center console, or motel room). It helps me sleep better when I'm on the road.

Randy said...

affordability was the reason I bought it. not knowing anything, it was my first handgun purchase. I wasn't that accurate from the 3 yard mark, at any time. i would have been happy with what you shot. It shoots consistently low. At 3 yards it was about 6 inches low. yeah, i know.

Old NFO said...

That really surprises me about the Kel Tec...

CenTexTim said...

Randy - practice, practice, practice...

NFO - Yeah, that surprised me too. There's some good reasons here.