National Firearm Survey 2015: Are you a “Hardcore Super Owner”?

    There’s a new word out there.  I’m sure T-shirts, stickers and morale patches are being produced as you read this.

    The word is Hardcore Super Owner and apparently we – I am one(!) – are on the rise.

    To join the club, you have to own 17 or more guns.


    The B&T shop in Thun, Switzerland is a Gold Mine for Super Hardcore Owners.


    The survey results from the study made by public health researchers at the Harvard and Northeastern universities are still unpublished, but through the Guardian we get a preview into some of the results.

    I’m far from being an expert in statistics, but I’ll begin with saying that I don’t think a survey done on less than 4 000 people (Americans) conducted online by a market research company can tell the truth.

    There is also a national panel being paid (or “compensated”) represented in the statistics. There might be “indications” in the survey, but we’ll never get the truth.

    The market research company that conducted the tests was: GfK


    B&T APCs in a whole range of calibers (9 mm and .45 APC) and version.


    According to the numbers in the Guardian, the estimation is that America’s gun stock has increased by 70 million guns since 1994, to a total of around 265 million guns.

    Surprisingly – if we trust the figures – the amount of owners has decreased from 25% to 22%.

    More guns in fewer hands, according to the study. I have a feeling that gun ownership is on the rise, not decline, and spreading to more individuals.




    According to the estimates, 133 million of the 265 million guns (about 50%) are owned by only 3% of the Americans.

    So if you own 17 or more guns, you are classified as a Hardcore Super Owner!

    I think the survey may have missed something and that is gun collectors. There must be plenty of collectors out there who own a lot more than 17 guns, pushing the figures up?

    Collectors and competitive shooters, in need of several setups, are mentioned, but not sure how those figures are computed and analyzed? I’m also not sure how gun dealers, shooting galleries, museums etc. are calculated.

    Also I haven’t double checked the percentages, not sure how they ended up with the figure of the 17 guns?

    Some more “facts” from the study:

    The average American gun owner owns 3 guns.

    Almost 8 million Americans own between 8 and 140 guns.


    This concentration is not unique however, it is common for about 20% of the consumers to account for 80% or a product’s sale. Just think of Apple products as another example of this, how many do you own?




    Female gun ownership is also on the rise. I’m not sure if that is a good or bad thing, as the reason for the rise is said to be that women buy guns (and mostly they only buy one) is because they are afraid and feel they need to protect themselves.



    Handguns, handguns, handguns. Most gun-owning women own only one.


    I would prefer that people (not only women) bought guns not because they’re afraid, but because they want to practice target shooting or other shooting sports and feel the joy associated.

    I would rather have gun ownership related to happiness than fear, but I guess it is all related to the society we live in.

    Also, women are more likely to own one handgun only and no long guns at all, which is an indication – to me at least – that they have bought the gun for protection and self-defense.


    Nine AR-15 in a row. STAG Arms to JP Enterprises.


    If you read the article in The Guardian in its whole, there’s a lot of demographics involved.

    Everything from age, sex, race, community, education, annual income to whether you’ve done military service or not is hacked into graphs to analyze who owns a gun and how many.

    The survey also states that about 400 000 guns are stolen each year.

    If so “few” owners have firearms, how come there’s an estimated 400 000 guns being stolen each year? That’s almost a thousand guns being stolen each day. The USA is a large country, but not sure I can get those figures working in my head, or if there are other reasons?


    B&T APC 9 from Switzerland.


    The Trace has also run an article (with a pretty cool animation from Michael Murpy’s work) about the National Firearm Survery 2015. The pitch is a bit different than The Guardian’s and I don’t think you’re going to like it.

    We will have to wait for almost a year (autumn 2017) until the final results from the Harvard & Northeastern gun ownership study are released.

    I’m surprised that it takes almost two years for a study made in 2015 to be released, as the results would feel old already.

    My favorite quote from The Guardian article is this:

    “Interviews with Americans who own at least 17 firearms revealed a wide range of reasons for accumulating so many guns.

    Some super-owners are dedicated collectors with special rooms to display their assortment of historic firearms. Others are firearms instructors, gunsmiths, or competitive shooters, who need a variety of firearms in the course of work or competition. Some gun owners have a survivalist streak, and believe in storing up weapons, as well as food and water, in case of a disaster scenario. Others simply picked up a handgun here, a shotgun or hunting rifle there, and somehow ended up with dozens.”

    Now do we have any readers recognizing that last sentence? Hands up?

    I feel compelled to ask, hand on the heart, how many Hardcore Super Owners do we have on here at TFB?

    I need that morale patch now.

    Eric B

    Ex-Arctic Ranger. Competitive practical shooter and hunter with a European focus. Always ready to increase my collection of modern semi-automatics, optics and sound suppressors. TCCC Certified medic.