Gunmakers’ big bet on women pays off

Guns Gunsandwomenhave long been a man’s world. But as growth in the firearm industry slows down, gunmakers are increasingly focusing on women to boost sales—and that bet is starting to pay off.

The number of women in the U.S. who practiced target shooting at gun ranges jumped 60 percent, to 5.4 million, between 2001 and 2013, according to the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), an industry trade group.

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Hot firearms from the 2015 SHOT Show

If SHOTShowGunsyou’re an ardent supporter of the Second Amendment, Las Vegas is the place to be this week. The annual Shooting, Hunting, Outdoor Trade Show—better known as the SHOT Show—is the launching pad for a plethora of new firearms and firearm accessories.

And after a few years where innovation in the industry was de-emphasized to focus on meeting backorders on existing models, firearm manufacturers are now ready to stretch a few creative muscles. Here’s what turned our heads—and what we heard other showgoers buzzing about.

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Russia’s Kalashnikov now Made in the USA

Kalashnikov cnbcAK-47s are legendary in the gun world, but as of last July 16, imports of the weapon were banned—part of the economic sanctions put into place against Russia after its suspected role in the downing of a Malaysian passenger jetliner over Ukraine.

The U.S. distributor of the weapons may have found a loophole, though—by making the guns here.

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Porn’s great rotation: Goodbye tech, hello 2nd Amendment

Porn, Pornandgunsit would seem, has traded in one set of bedfellows for another.

For 12 years, the Adult Entertainment Expo (AEE) and CES went hand in hand. Starting in 2012, however, many attendees of the annual electronics trade show were surprised to find the Sands Convention Center—the former home of the event—bereft of cleavage and porn videos.

Instead, the show had been moved back a week, and had begun running at the same time as the SHOT Show—the annual convention for the firearms, ammunition, hunting and shooting accessories industries. They’ve run concurrently ever since.

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Gun accessory maker: ‘Lazy’ retail holds us back

Crimson CrimsonTraceTrace is a leader in the laser sight space for handguns, and the company has been enjoying rapid growth for the majority of the past six years. But CEO Lane Tobiassen faces an interesting dilemma: The company’s biggest obstacle is its own customer.

In order to keep up its growth, Crimson Trace needs to persuade retail partners to upsell its product when an end customer purchases a handgun—except retail partners may not think the customer actually needs it.

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