Gun sales at Smith & Wesson have hit an all-time high during a year marked by some of the most horrific acts of gun violence in US history.

The arms manufacturer reported this week that sales for the year ending 30 April had hit a record $588m, a 43% year-on-year rise.

Smith & Wesson said fourth-quarter sales were up 38% year-on-year to $179m. It told investors it expects its first-quarter financial results to top market expectations and is planning to buy back $100m of its shares.