Sturm, Ruger & Company and Smith & Wesson Holding Corporation Continue to Prosper in Thriving Firearms Industry

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire -03/26/12)- The firearms industry has continued to thrive despite the current economic downturn. At its annual trade show earlier this year the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) said, "Many indicators, including a record-setting 2011, show the firearms industry continues to thrive in a down economy and that the potential exists for another strong sales year in 2012." The Paragon Report examines the outlook for companies in the Firearms industry and provides equity research on Sturm, Ruger & Company (NYSE: RGR - News) and Smith & Wesson Holding Corporation (NASDAQ: SWHC - News). Access to the full company reports can be found at:

The NSSF said that 920,840 instant criminal background checks were made in January alone, a gain of 17.3% over the same month in 2011. This now makes it the 20th consecutive month of increases. While using the number of background checks is a good measurement of sales, it doesn't paint the whole picture as some checks are used for the purchases of multiple firearms. Also, some private transfers and sales from gun shows are exempt, making the actual number of guns sold higher.

Also fuelling the fire is the recent improvement in the U.S. economy. Recent figures from the Labor Department showed unemployment claims have lowered by 5,000 to 348,000 for the week ending March 17, the fewest since February 2008.

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Sturm, Ruger & Company (NYSE: RGR - News) reported Wednesday that for the first quarter 2012, the Company has received orders for more than one million units. Chief Executive Officer Michael O. Fifer stated, "Despite the Company's continuing successful efforts to increase production rates, the incoming rate exceed our capacity to rapidly fulfill these orders." As a result they have temporarily suspended the acceptance of new orders.

Smith & Wesson Holding Corporation (NASDAQ: SWHC - News) reported earlier this month net sales from continuing operations for the third quarter of $98.1 million were up 23.8% from the third quarter last year. The increase was driven by strong sales of M&P™ handguns, M&P™ sporting rifles, and all Smith & Wesson personal protection and concealed carry pistols.

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