Ruger up $40 million in third quarter

Sturm, Ruger & Company, Inc. showed an increase of more than $40 million in third quarter earnings, according to financial disclosures filed Wednesday.

The $161.4 million in quarterly net sales has put Ruger ahead by more than $100 million for the year so far, the filings show. Nine months into 2016, the gun maker has earned $502.5 million in sales, up from $398.7 last year.

As for profits, the Connecticut company saw a 66 percent increase for the quarter, raking in $19.85 million between August and October, and $66.6 million nine months into the fiscal year.

New products — like the Ruger Precision Rifle, certain ARs and LC9 pistols — accounted for 36 percent, or $58 million, of firearm sales. Moving forward, however, the company says new product sales are expected to decrease as the term carries a two-year shelf life.

Comparatively, the National Instant Criminal Background Check used to process checks before a gun store transfers a firearm showed a 16 percent increase in activity, the company says. Although checks do not translate into one-to-one transactions, the industry uses NICS checks as a barometer for overall sales.

Ruger’s chief executive officer, Mike Fifer, credits the election season for a strong demand. “If you look back at what happened eight years ago, there was, in my opinion, a surprising number of people who are actually surprised by the outcome at the last minute and then scrambled through November to try to get any product,” he said during a conference call with investors.

Article updated on Nov. 3, 2016, at 12:53 p.m. EST