Smith & Wesson Brands (SWBI 0.30%) reported sales doubled during its fiscal third quarter, the third consecutive month where sales were up by more than 100%.

It's an unprecedented market for the industry, and background checks by the FBI on potential gun buyers are running well ahead of the torrid pace set last year, which was the all-time record for such checks.

There doesn't seem to be any let up in demand for firearms as concern for greater gun control legislation drives sales skyward.

Woman receiving instruction on using firearm

Image source: Getty Images.

A record-setting pace

Smith & Wesson reported net sales of $257.6 million, a 102% increase over $127.4 million it notched a year ago. That's actually an easing of the growth rate it posted in each quarter of fiscal 2021, as first-quarter sales jumped 125% and second-quarter sales were 119% higher.

President and CEO Mark Smith said "for the third time in a row, [employees] delivered a record-breaking quarter" for the firearms manufacturer, an achievement accomplished during an ongoing global pandemic.

The string of record results also enabled the gunmaker to generate $49 million in net income, up from $343,000 last year; provide $25 million in seed money to American Outdoor Brands when it spun off the outdoor gear and accessories business; repay the final $25 million on its revolving loan; and left it with zero debt and $55 million in cash.

Smith & Wesson also began paying a dividend of $0.05 per share this fiscal year, which currently yields a modest 1.3% annually.

Smith also noted National Shooting Sports Foundation data indicates some 8.4 million Americans purchased their first firearm last year, with women and minorities making up more than 40% of overall purchases, which bodes well for the industry moving forward.