Gun care products don't go through fads and fashion trends the same way firearms do. However, changes in technology and the firearms customers purchase influence the sales of gun care products.
Ben Johnson, product development manager at Birchwood Casey, said strong sales of today's modern sporting rifle have influenced the gun care market.
"We get a lot of requests for products specific to modern sporting rifles," he said. "One thing we've seen an increase in is greases. For example, our RIG grease is an established product with a 50-year history, and it has been revitalized recently."
Tom Buck, president of Clenzoil Worldwide, asserted new shooters and experienced shooters want different types of products. New shooters tend to desire products with multiple uses.
"This is also true if you go to the grocery store and get something to clean your kitchen," he said. "The days when you bought different things to clean your sink, counters, cabinets and refrigerator are gone. Now people want to buy one product to do all those things. The new convert to firearms ownership takes the same expectation to gun cleaning. They want one product to do it all, just like they've been accustomed to with household products."
Experienced gun owners have completely different expectations.
"The experienced gun owner has become more specialized in what he or she likes to do," Buck said. "The shooter who still likes to participate in silhouette shooting, hunt, shoot sporting clays and other kinds of shooting is something of a relic. Shooters who own multiple firearms and have decades of experience seem to focus on very specific sports and activities. With that come more specialized needs in terms of gun care products."
For example, the shooter who gravitates toward long-range silhouette shooting tends to look at products that remove copper fouling and keep the bore very clean.
"These shooters do very detailed, intensive cleaning because that's what it takes to maintain consistent accuracy," he said. "Sometimes they create their own concoctions out of several products."
Shotgun shooters tend to like easy-to-use products.
"They seem to shoot more frequently than other shooters, and they seem to shoot more rounds than other shooters," Buck said. "They look for something that lets them clean their guns quickly and easily."
In general, handgun shooters aren't as detailed as many other shooters about cleaning their guns.
"These shooters look for products that retain the...