The Airgun 100 – March

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TOP OF THIS MONTH’S AIRGUN CHARTS

1. Weihrauch HW100
2. Air Arms S510
3. Daystate Wolverine
4. Stoeger X20
5. Weihrauch HW95

MARKET REPORT

The rain may be washing away our hopes of a calm end to the winter, but the good news for retailers is that footfall is up – it’s customers who are flooding through the doors!

Last month’s survey reported that gun shops were displaying cautious optimism after a better-than-expected festive period, and it seems confidence may finally be returning to the high street.

One shop owner in west Wales even went as far as to say: “I’m a bit taken aback by how busy we’ve been in the last few weeks – I’ve never had to place so many orders this early in the year.”

It’s not just retailers who will be pleased with this month’s survey as Weihrauch’s dominance at the summit of the Airgun 100 charts continues.

The HW100 PCP model continues to be a chart-topper and one retailer in Buckinghamshire told us that it reflected “a growing trend towards PCPs compared to this time last year.”

Air Arms have also had a good month, with the S510 making it into the top two, buoyed by sales of the new Ultimate Sporter that’s starting to roll out. Actually, several of Air Arms’ models vied for the top five, with the Pro-Sport, TX200 and S410 all only just missing out.

Having just taken the wraps off their new sub-12ft/lb B-Type Wolverine, it appears the buddy-bottle rifle has stolen the march on Daystate’s all-conquering Huntsman Regal.

The Wolverine comes in at three this month, which bodes rather well for the new C-Type ‘cylinder’ version of theirs which we’ve unveiled in this month’s Airgun Scene. “Daystates have been a little quite recently,” said a Yorkshire retailer, “but the Wolverine has stood out from the crowd.”

Stoeger’s fantastic value X20 package is selling strongly, and certainly featured heavily in the shops we surveyed this month – and springer representation continued with another Weihrauch, the lightweight but powerful HW95.

“In the past, customers have tended to go for the HW99S when they see the prices,” said one sales manager in Hampshire. “But lately we’ve sold far more of the HW95 model which, I hope, means people have finally got a bit more money in their pockets!”

UNDER THE MICRO-SCOPE

We’ve been asking retailers about scopes this month – specifically which spec their customers tend to go for.

Where it goes as part of a rifle/scope combo package, customers aren’t really fussed – a free scope’s a free scope! But beyond that, it’s clear that Hawke and Nikko Stirling are dominant in the optics world.

“The Sport HDs and IRs go quite well,” said a few dealers – and our survey data shows that the stalwart 3-9x is still highly popular, although more often than not that zoom range is now paired with a 50mm objective, rather than the old 40mm favourite.

However, the 4-12x zoom range is also proving very tempting for airgunners, especially now there are so many models with multi-aimpoint crosshairs in that versatile spec.

One store manager in Milton Keynes judged the Hawke Panorama ‘wide-angle’ models to be their best-seller, with 3-12x, 4-16x, 3-9×40 and 3-9×50 the most popular specs as far as his airgun shooting clientele is concerned.

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