Watch UFC Welterweight champion Matt Hughes flinch.


Why do we care to watch this guy flinch? Browning is sponsoring this UFC competitor instead of a MARKSMANSHIP competitor. You know, a person with developed rifle shooting skills. This is nothing new. Remington has been sponsoring NASCAR drivers since 1996, most recently Kasey Kahne.

Now, Hughes and Kahne are excellent competitors in their respective disciplines. If you want to learn about mixed martial arts or racing, check them out! But neither Browning nor Remington sells things for these events, yet they choose non-shooters for advertising instead of actual marksmen. Why?

The marketing departments of these manufacturers may be ignorant of marksmanship events, but they are not stupid. They realize that organized shooting is not drawing in the rank-and-file gun owner. Most gun owners or potential new buyers are completely unaware of shooting events, but have probably heard of the Ultimate Fighting Championships and NASCAR.

To marketing droids at these firearms companies, the demographics line up. Considering how small the gun industry is this is cost effective. However, there are a couple of hideous points to be taken from this.

  1. Where is the follow up? The back end marketing? So some guy watches a race or a fight, sees a logo, and buys a rifle. Wonderful. Then what? Does he know how to use it? Neither Browning nor Remington have any recommendations on training or shooting events to better learn and enjoy that rifle. Maybe if we’re all lucky he’ll just watch more UFC or NASCAR and leave the new acquisition to gather dust before someone gets hurt or another traffic sign gets shot.
  2. As someone who participates in marksmanship events I can’t help but feel slighted but I also have to accept responsibility as well. Shooting events are so foreign to gun owners and gun companies that marketing looks to unrelated sports for hired talking heads. Want to sell more rifles? Well, there’s no point in messing with an actual rifle shooting champion because nobody has heard of him. Thanks NRA!

Is the state of the gun industry really this bad? Uh, don’t answer that…