Volume 26, Number 2 February/March 2018

Archive for the ‘What’s Selling Where’ category

By Peter B. Mathiesen

Final Fight Outfitters, Union
This 25,000-square-foot shop keeps close to 1,000 guns in stock. Summer handgun sales were high. “Between the election and our handgun training class, pistol and revolver sales may be the highest in our history,” said Billy Hazelwood, gun manager and gunsmith.

Factory pricing on models like Ruger LCPs moved more than 25 units a week last month. Smith Shields and LC9s also posted strong numbers. At three to four a week, MSR sales are slow, with Colt and SIG in front. “We’re ready if the demand spikes in the weeks before the election,” said Hazelwood.

Bolt-action rifles are picking up for deer season. Tikka T3s and Brown-ing X-Bolts are doing well. Semi-auto shotguns are selling well, with high turns of Beretta A350 Xtremas, Super Black Eagles IIs, and Stoeger 3500s. The Browning Maxus is also moving quickly.

Philadelphia Gun & Pawn, Philadelphia
This shop keeps more than 300 firearms in stock. Glock 43s hold the top position, followed closely by Ruger LCPs and Smith Shields. This month has also seen an increase in .22 Ruger Blackhawks.

Bolt-action hunting rifles are active. Marlin XL7s, Browning X-Bolts, and Tikka T3s are seeing daily turns. The most popular caliber for 2016 is easily the .308. Sales of MSRs are down from the early summer, to three a week. Smith M&Ps and DPMS Oracles hold the leading positions. “Our MSR sales are just not has high as we expected,” said countersalesman Andrew Floyd.

Woods and Waters, Tuscaloosa
This large independent store mixes storefront sales with a strong web business. Handgun inventories are flush, and the store is seeing sales of Smith Shields, Glock 43s, and SIG P238s. Kimbers are also attracting more attention than usual.

“We can’t complain, with overall sales consistently strong. But the big race to buy before the election hasn’t really happened yet,” said counter salesman Greg Lee.

Sales of MSRs have averaged two to three per week, with Smith M&Ps and a few higher-end Patriots pulling the best numbers. Tikka T3s in .308 are heating up. A healthy number of Browning X-Bolts, also in .308, are moving. Semi-auto shotguns are improving. The Stoeger M3500 and Benelli Super Black Eagle II Anniver-sa-ry are selling better than expected.


By Peter B. Mathiesen

Coliseum Gun Traders, Uniondale
This dealer packs more than 4,000 firearms into just 2,400 square feet, including a gunsmith shop. The classic Ruger Mini-14 has been flying off the shelf, but sales of higher-end bolt-action guns have stagnated—only low-price-point rifles are getting any attention.

“I see the bolt market as a race to the bottom. Manufacturers continue to take the lead from Savage,” said owner-buyer Andrew Chernoff. Among rifles moving: Thompson/Center Compass and the Ruger American in .204, .270, and .308.

The few shotgun turns include Beretta Silver Pigeons and Browning Citoris. High numbers of home defense 20-gauges are moving; Mossberg 500s and Remington 870 platforms command the high slots. Handguns, though, are smoking hot. Chernoff says $650 is the magic price point. Sales leaders include HK VP9s, Glock G17s, Gen 4s, and SIG Legions. Another new trend is a high demand for 1911s in 9mm.

G&S Firearms, Wayne
This small independent specializes in home defense and law enforcement contracts. Glocks, especially Model 43s, are the mainstay in handguns. “Transfer orders are now a large part of our business. Transfers drive accessory sales, which are more profitable,” said owner Gordon Levine. Other regular movers include Ruger LCRs and Smith Shields. Some of the specialty high-demand items include vintage Luger collectibles.

MSR sales are brisk, mostly Smith M&Ps and a few ArmaLites. Mossberg 500 Defense packages are on the move. And ammo stocks are the best they have been in years.

Juniata Trading Post, Everett
This full-line sporting goods store carries an average of 500 firearms and reloading supplies.

Counter salesman Chris Cogan said, “Sales are strong but not off the charts. With our reloading, ammo, and gun inventory in great shape, there’s not much hysteria buying.”

Handgun demand is steady. Ruger LCRs and LCPs are pulling impressive numbers, with Smith Shields just behind. Kimber Micros and 1911s are also doing well. MSR sales are consistent, roughly four per week. Top sellers include Smith Sports and Ruger 556s. Deer guns are moving, with Ruger Americans on top. Tikkas and Savage Model 11s are starting to turn at year-high numbers in .308 and .223.


By Peter B. Mathiesen

Kirkwood Outfitters, Kirkwood
This small independent keeps an average of 350 firearms in stock and two employees behind the counter. Handgun sales have been a mix of Ruger LCPs and LC9 strikers, along with heavy numbers of Shields. Glock 43s are also in high demand.

Mossberg 500 Defense shotguns are in particularly strong demand. Used or new short-barreled shotguns have been turning all year.

MSRs are selling daily, and special-order guns, like those from HK, top the list. Other fast movers include Smith Sports and models from Patriot Arms. “My customers worry deeply about the possible outcome of this election really changing our industry, and it is certainly driving sales,” said owner Dave Hart.

Mike’s Guns, Iowa Falls
Keeping about 300 new and used guns in stock, this mom-and pop-store is reporting a steady uptick in fall sales. However, sales of deer-season shotguns are very slow. “The lowest in years,” said owner Mike Beaupain.

Sales of classic upland shotguns also are flat. And yet, some bolt-action rifles guns are selling, mostly Mossberg Patriots and Remington 700s in .240 Weatherby and .270.

MSRs sales are at one per day, primarily Ruger 556s and DPMS Oracles. “But just give it a few more weeks. Every price-point gun I sell will be worth double if Hillary wins,” said Beaupain.

Smith Shields and Ruger LCRs are the best movers this fall, and there is also high demand for Kimber Micros. Ammo stocks are good, and the recent arrival of a few cases of .22 Mags was a welcome sight.

R. H. Kay Firearms, St. Paul
This retailer stocks his tightly inventoried 500-square-foot store in metro St. Paul with an eye toward an extensive home-defense clientele.

MSR inventories are flush, and sales remain steady. Windhams and ATIs are the top sellers. “My clients all bought MSRs in the last election. This time around, they’ve upgraded to a higher-end rifle with accessories,” said owner Rick Kay. Handgun sales are very strong. Glock 17s are very popular, but the store is also moving some Glock 43s. Other fast sellers include M&P Shields. Kay said ammo stocks are good in general, but he would love to have more .22 Mags in house.


By Peter B. Mathiesen

Lolo Sporting Goods, Lewiston
This small storefront employs three full-time sales people who handle a large inventory of reloading supplies, handguns, long guns, and modern sporting rifles. Springfield tops the brand list with a mix of XDMs and XDSs. But S&W Shields and Ruger LC9s also sell well, as do Kimber 1911s.

“Bolt-action rifle sales are good this year, not even close to the slow numbers for MSRs. Even with the election, we are only selling two to three MSRs a month,” said buyer Mike Thomas.

Long-gun sales are at the fall peak. Ruger Americans in .243 and Winchester Model 70 Feather-weights in .308 and .30/06 are the best sellers. In the MSR arena, Rock Rivers and Windhams in .223 are at the top of the list.

Mountain View Sports, Anchorage
This sporting goods store stocks 200 guns and has three employees at the firearms counter. With big-game seasons over, bolt-action rifle sales continue to turn, especially Kimber Montanas and Montana Rifle Company models in .30/06 and .300 Win. Mag. MSRs are turning at three a week, with a mix of Smith Sports and POFs.

“We downsized to a smaller space, and it made us super selective about our inventory. Bottom line is our department is more profitable,” said gun manager Dan Jordan.

The handgun counter has the heaviest traffic in Ruger LC9 strikers, LCRs, Smith Bodyguards, and SIG 328s. Large-bore bear guns will continue to sell until the holidays. Here, Ruger Super Redhawks in .44 Mag. get the most attention.

The Fort, Big Timber
Employing 15 people and stocking more than 1,000 guns, this independent also inventories a long list of shooting accessories and fishing tackle. MSR numbers are down, but the store moves an average of two to three LMTs and Smith Sports per week. Deer and elk guns are seasonally peaking, and plenty of Ruger Americans, Browning X-Bolts, and Bergara rifles in a mix of .270, .308, and .30/06 are moving. “Our MSR sales are slower than we expected. The demand is split between the higher end and bottom price points, with rarely a sale in between,” said countersalesman Matt Nickels.

Upland shotgun sales are up, with 28-gauge Beretta Silver Pigeons moving well. Handguns are selling well, especially SIG 938s, Springfield XDSs, and Ruger LCRs and LC9s.


By Peter B. Mathiesen

ainesville Target Range, Gainesville
This retail store caters to home defense and competition/tactical clientele, and its outdoor gun range can handle more than 80 shooters.

Handgun sales have been excellent. Glock 43s and 19s top the list. Other fast movers include the Ruger 22/45 Lite and the STI 2011.

ArmaLite and SIG MCXs top the MSR list. By catering to a competitive shooter, this retailer has been able to focus on higher-price-point MSRs.

“Our range shooters are all about performance and measuring what they do with their rifles. For us, it just doesn’t pay to compete at the basement level of the MSR market,” said shop manager Charley Thomas. Thomas also mentioned that suppressor sales from SilencerCo have tripled in the past months.

Heber Springs Gun & Pawn, Heber Springs
Located in north-central Arkansas, just a mile from Greers Ferry Lake, this small, three-employee store keeps more than 350 guns on hand. This summer, handguns have been hot; anything concealable is leading the charge. ”Our demand for pocket concealed-carry just continues to increase,” said owner Ben Harper. Top sellers include Ruger LC9s, Glock 43s, and Shields. Dove season is pushing a few shotgun sales, notably Benelli Super Novas and Stoeger 3500s.

MSRs are clearly garnering more attention than they were two months ago. “We have gone from one turn a week to one a day. I expect that by September, it will be double that,” said Harper. Price-point rifles rule at this retailer, with turns coming from Smith Sport and American Tactical.

Norman’s Gun Exchange, Effingham
Located in the northeast end of the state, this family-run shop inventories an average of 2,000 firearms. Late summer is the start of bolt-action gun season for this retailer. Remington 700 BDL and ADL scope combos along with Savage Model 12 VTs in .223 are doing well.

Benelli Super Black Eagles are also moving. Handgun sales have remained vibrant. Glock 42s and Smith Shields and 638s are the best sellers, along with plenty of Ruger LCRs.

Ruger and Smith MSRs are making steady turns at about one a day.


By Peter B. Mathiesen

M&M Sports Den, Jamestown
In operation since 1957, this general hunting and fishing store is just across from the Pennsylvania border. It keeps 400 guns in stock, with just two full-time employees.

Handguns sales are steady, with Glock 42s in high demand. Meanwhile, Springfield XDMs and XDSs are especially hot in .45 and .40 calibers. Interest in revolvers, like the Taurus Ultralite, is steadily increasing.

“Most of our women and elderly customers don’t have the hand strength to operate a pistol slide, making the smaller revolvers popular at our shop,” said owner Bruce Piatz.

Bolt-action guns are picking up steam. Savage Axis and Remington 770s in .308 hold the lion’s share of preseason sales.

Van Raymond Outfitters, Brewer
Located across from the city of Bangor, this 4,500-square-foot store keeps its inventory of 600 firearms on the second floor. Handgun sales are steady. Best sellers include Shields, Kimber Micros, Ruger 1911s, and Glock 42s.

As for MSRs, this retailer is turning five to six a week. M&P Sport IIs are at the top of the list, followed closely by Ruger 556s and Windhams. In the bolt-action category, Browning X-Bolts and Ruger Americans, primarily in .270 and .308, are just starting to turn for fall hunting season.

With a few Benelli Super Novas on the move, this retailer holds higher expectations for October sales. “We tend to be a last-minute shotgun store,” said manager Rick Lozier.

Vermont Field Sports, Middlebury
South of Lake Champlain, this general hunting and fishing shop keeps four full- and three part-time employees busy while inventorying more than 900 firearms.  “Ruger wheel guns are just flying off the shelves in our store. These price-point guns are hot, but so are the big-bores,” said owner Richard Phillips.

Other hot handguns include Smith M&P 40s, Browning Buck Marks, and Springfield XDRs. MSR sales are on a steady uptick, and the store has strong inventories of DPMSs, Smith Sports, and Bushmasters. Ammo stocks are flush across the board, with the exception of .22 Mag.


By Peter B. Mathiesen

Gary’s Guns, Muskegon
This 1,500-square-foot gun shop keeps more than 500 firearms in stock and continues to report improved sales figures despite local fluctuations in unemployment. Handgun sales are brisk. Glock 19s, 42s, and 43s are all moving well. Smaller handguns such as Ruger LCRs and LCPs are also seeing good turns.

Large-caliber lever-action rifles are particularly hot this summer, with high turns from Rossi Model 92s in .44 Mag. MSRs are in a steady climb, turning better than 15 units a week. “We are keeping prices competitive to keep traffic moving. This year we’re seeing a large surge with the new 9mm carbines,” said owner Gary Foster.

Just Right Carbines, Rugers, and Berettas are the leading brands in the MSR category. Foster noted that carrying Lucid brand walnut stocks for MSRs has made a strong impact in accessory turns.

Daryl’s Gun Shop, State Center
Keeping about 300 new and used guns in stock, this small shop, 20 miles northeast of Des Moines, is located near the center of the state. Handguns are the priority this summer, with Ruger SR40s, LCRs, and LC9s all doing extremely well. Other fast movers include Glock 43s and 42s. Several Bersa Thunder .380s are also crossing the counter.

Sales of MSRs have recently picked up steam. “We see a growing demand that should go well leading into the election. And, if Clinton wins, it will grow even more,” said owner Dana Schoppe. The Hi-Point AR-1522 is attracting the most attention, and Ruger 556s and Bushmasters are also crossing the counter.

Target Masters, Columbia
In business for more than 21 years, this shop has a 25-yard 10-lane range. Handgun sales are strong, and demand for anything that fits in a pocket is high. Glock 43s and SIG 238s are moving briskly.

Sales of MSRs have improved, led by Smith Sports and Head Down Firearms.

Accessories are a big part of the profit mix. “We have a large selection of holsters and concealed–carry accessories. Because we carry something for everyone, the turns we pull from these lines are simply amazing,” said operations manager Barry MacKenzie.


By Peter B. Mathiesen

Blue Goose Sport Shop, St. Maries
Despite a sagging economy due to a lagging logging industry, this panhandle gun store has experienced an improved year by focusing on price-point firearms. Bolt-action rifles are ramping up with elk season approaching. Savage Model 111s are in the lead, followed by a few Tikka T3s. In the modern sporting rifle category, sales have been steady, with a mix of Smith Sports, Stag Arms, and CMMGs.

Another good seller has been Vortex scopes. “We have really moved a lot of the Vortex line, and the MAP pricing has helped us stay profitable,” said co-owner Craig Wicks.

Handguns are receiving plenty of attention. Demand for Ruger LCRs, LCPs, and Kel-Tec PF9s has been strong.

nacortes Gun Shop, Anacortes
Located 30 miles south of the Canadian border, this Washington firearms store specializes in police contract, military personnel supply, and home defense. In addition to a large showroom, this retailer has a large web presence, where it lists more than 12,000 firearms.

Holding the top spots at the handgun counter are SIG 226s and Smith Shields. This retailer reports strong sales of MSRs on a daily basis. Best sellers include Smith Sports and Ruger 556s, but SIG MCXs, LWRCs, and FNHs are also doing well.

Anacortes continues to expand its inventory of tactical optics. “We started as an online optic retailer. Without question, our strong partnerships with scope companies like Trijicon help to continue to expand our market share and increase firearm sales,” said owner Herb York.

Shedhorn Sports, Ennis
This retailer, located near the entrance to Yellowstone Park, has been in business for 32 years. It keeps a staff of 12 busy stocking more than 500 guns. Handguns continue to rule late-summer sales. Ruger LC9s and LCPs and Smith J Frame revolvers keep the register hot. Glock 43s are also in high demand. Sales of MSRs are trending up to one to two a day.

“We have seen a new trend with backcountry hunters who are trading in their heavy big-bore Smith 500s and 460s and going to Glock 10mms. We almost never sell a .44 Magnum,” said buyer/manager Colter Fosdick.


By Peter B. Mathiesen

Gainesville Target Range, Gainesville
This retail store, with an outdoor gun range that can handle more than 80 shooters, caters to home-defense and tactical clientele. Handguns are hotter than last year; Smith M&P Shields, Glock MOS 34s, and SIG Legions are all pulling good numbers. The 9mm is the most popular caliber.

The store continues to offer a “build your own MSR” program. “It’s been very popular,” said president Steve Bottcher. “We love to promote two-gun and three-gun competitions. It really drives a nice price point for our MSR inventory.” Top-selling MSR platforms include Daniel Defense, ArmaLite, and Colt.

Bottcher reports that ammo stocks have been good “in general,” but .22 is still coming up short.

Hyatt Coin & Gun, Charlotte
With more than 12,000 square feet of retail space and more than 20 employees, this store keeps an average of 7,000 firearms in inventory. “Handgun sales are steady and climbing weekly. We look for much higher traffic as the summer moves into the election season,” said counter salesman Mike Montella. Smith Shields have a lock on the top spot, but Glock 42s and 43s are a close second. SIG P229s are also pulling brisk numbers.

MSR sales are stable and increasing weekly. Rock Rivers and Smith Sports hold the top two spots. Ruger 516s are in third place. Bolt-action rifle sales are slow, but Montella is seeing demand for Tikkas and Savage Model 11s. Ruger 10/22s are turning high numbers.

awn Gallery, Clarksville
This small, independent pawnshop stocks an average of 250 firearms, along with the occasional crossbow. The store is located off Interstate 40 just a half hour east of Fort Smith. “I still can’t sell any .22 Mag. rifles because ammo is so difficult to get,” said owner Rick Elam.

MSR sales are slowly picking up, and the store has been able to move a few Rock Rivers and M&P Sports.

Elam says lever-action long guns always sell year-round at this store, and Winchester and Marlin .30/30s attract the most attention.

Handgun inventories are the best they’ve been all year. Springfield XDSs, Smith Shields, and Ruger LC9s are all selling well.


By Peter B. Mathiesen

Firearms Support and Storage, Whippany
Just 30 minutes from New York City, this 4,000-square-foot building is used as a store and office space. Keeping an additional 3,000 square feet of vault space, this retailer is the first federally- and state-approved public gun-storage facility in the country.

“Our summer traffic is historically the slowest time for our store. That said, we do expect to see an improvement as the election progresses,” said manager Ross Qsias. MSR sales are steady and slightly higher than last year’s. Smith M&P Sport IIs and Ruger 556s are posting the best numbers.

In the pistol category, XDs and Shields are doing well, and Beretta 92s have been fast movers.  Meanwhile, Smith 686s are topping the revolver sales chart.

Sportsman’s Gun Shop, East Earl
A general hunting and fishing retailer with 30 employees, the inventory here includes more than 2,000 new and used firearms.

June is the time for the store’s big sales event. “More than 17 manufacturer reps will set up hands-on consumer trials at our firing range,” says owner Joe Keffer. “We even get the local fire department to serve refreshments. The event has grown to several thousand attendees.”

Sales of Smith M&Ps have been very good lately, and the store is also seeing heavy traffic on classic J-Frames in .38. Ruger LC9s have maintained a steady demand all year, and the Kimber Micro 380s are in especially high demand.

Sales of MSRs have been steady at about two per day, dominated by M&P Sports and Daniel Defense. Sales of Ruger 10/22s and Savage .22 bolt-actions are brisk.

Mill Creek Rod & Gun, Orrington
This small, two-employee retailer keeps an average of 50 guns in stock as well as general outdoor gear. Smith 22A and Model 41 pistols are popular sellers, and a few Shields are also seeing orders. With several price points, SCCY 9mms are also doing well at this store.

Henry .22 Golden Boys and Savage 93R17s are selling well. “In summer, any-price-point new .22 or .17 HMR will move, but typically, used guns are our primary focus. We stock a dozen or so new guns, and concentrate on used shotguns and hunting rifles,” said owner Dave Barrett.