Sportsmen Prefer Products Made in U.S.A., But There’s a Catch

FERNANDINA BEACH, Fla. — When asked how important it is for American sportsmen to buy products made in the United States, surveyed hunters and shooters overwhelmingly support the idea of “buying American.” In fact, according to a recent and poll, 95 percent of those surveyed indicated it was somewhat important (41 percent) or very important (54 percent) for sportsmen to buy products made in this country.
When asked about the perceived quality of American products versus foreign-made firearms and associated gear, 65 percent of the same surveyed group believes products made in the United States are generally better than foreign-made ones and 34 percent believe they are generally about the same level of quality. Only two percent felt American products were generally inferior to foreign-made goods.
With more than 90 percent of those surveyed citing the importance of buying American and feeling the products made here are just as good or better, it would seem firearms and hunting items made in other countries would have difficulty getting a foothold among U.S. buyers. But not so fast! Price, it appears, plays as much a role if not a bigger one in making purchase decisions than where an item is made.
Asked if two competing products had the same quality and functional benefits, but one was Made in the U.S.A. and the other was not, how much more would the Made in U.S.A. product have to cost before the person purchased the other product? The results were telling:

  • Up to five percent more expensive, more than 12 percent of respondents admitted they would buy the other product.
  • At five to 10 percent more, that number jumped another 16 percent.
  • 10 to 20 percent more, the number of sportsmen opting to buy the non-U.S. product skyrockets to over 23 percent.

By the time a United States product is 20 percent more than one made overseas, 51 percent of those surveyed said they would buy the overseas product. As soon as it hits 20 to 30 percent more, that number jumps another 18 percent.
“Like most consumers, sportsmen certainly consider the price and value of a product before spending their hard-earned dollars,” says Rob Southwick, president of Southwick Associates, which designs and conducts the surveys at, and “The survey results merely underscore the importance of American companies to be able to compete on an equal footing with foreign competitors when it comes to pricing. When all things are equal at the cash register, most sportsmen will opt for the American-made product.”
To help continually improve, protect and advance hunting, shooting and other outdoor recreation, all sportsmen and sportswomen are encouraged to participate in the surveys at, and/or Each month, participants who complete the survey are entered into a drawing for one of five $100 gift certificates to the sporting goods retailer of their choice.
About, and Launched in 2006,, and help the outdoor equipment industry, government fisheries and wildlife officials and conservation organizations track consumer activities and expenditure trends. Survey results are scientifically analyzed to reflect the attitudes and habits of anglers and hunters across the United States. Follow them on Facebook at and or on Twitter at!/AnglerSurvey and!/HunterSurvey.

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