Volume 24, Number 3 April/May 2016

Archive for the ‘What’s Selling Where’ category

Gun Doctor, Monk Corner
Keeping 250-plus hunting guns and handguns in stock, this retailer maintains high traffic by retaining a full-time gunsmith. With one month left in deer season and dog hunting still popular in this area, semi-auto shotguns and buckshot loads are selling. Browning A5s in 12 gauge and Remington 1187s top the list. “You can’t swing a cat without running into a turkey shoot or a deer drive. Our shotgun sales are brisk,” said owner James Elan.

With rimfire ammo scarce, this shop limits sales to one box per customer. However, Elan sets aside five boxes per gun sale, so .22 rifles and handguns have remained hot-ticket items for December.

Ruger LCRs, Kel-Tec 380s, and Springfield XDSs dominate the handgun counter.

Bayou Bend Gun Shop, Cleveland
An hour north of Houston, this small, working-class, rural shop stocks an active inventory of up to 400 firearms in roughly 1,200 square feet. “Ammo has improved, but .22 rimfire is as scarce as hen’s teeth. If we had it in stock, our .22 rifle sales would be a lot higher this holiday season,” said counter salesman Jonathon Riley.

Ruger is ringing the register with plenty of traffic on LCRs and Blackhawks in .357. Glock is a solid second, with 17s and 19s stacking up under Christmas trees.

Deer centerfire rifle sales are steady, and Remington SPSs in .243 are attracting the most attention. Muzzleloaders continue to gain momentum; in that category, CVA Optimas and Traditions garner the majority of sales.

Mitchell’s Country Store, Jackson
Located in the western third of the state, this small general store sells burgers, hardware, and sporting goods. It stocks an average of 100 guns. Handguns rule the counter, and Springfield XDSs and Glock 42s command the top spots. However, there’s a lot more to selling a gun at this store.

“We’re just an old-time retailer that will sell you a handgun, a Moon Pie, or a cheeseburger. All that, plus better-than-average ammo stocks, makes December a busy month. I want my customers to love to drop by,” said owner Roy Mitchell.

Sporting gun sales are slow; only a few Marlin lever-actions have crossed the counter. But Mossberg 500 home defense and Bantam models are selling well, and a Rock River MSR turns every two weeks.


Hendershot’s Sporting Goods, Hagerstown
With more than 700 rifles and shotguns on hand, this hunting store specializes in high-end rifles and travel. It will expand to 5,000 square feet in 2015, adding a pistol range.

“Travel is a big part of our business, and it helps us develop first-time international hunters into steady store customers for years to come. High-end rifles also deliver more consistent year-round sales,” said marketing director Mike Faith.

Two of this store’s top sellers this fall include the Dakota 76 in .300 Win. Mag. and the HS Precision SPL in 7mm. Waterfowling guns are still moving. Benelli Super Black Eagles and Vincis lead the way, followed by 12-gauge Caesar Guerini over/unders.

Handguns sales are steady. Glock 17s and 19s lead the pack, followed by Smith M&Ps in .45. Ed Brown models are also being eyed for Christmas. With the exception of rimfire, ammo inventories are good.

Interlaken Guns, Interlaken
The shop has an active business in home defense and hunting firearms. In handguns, Glock holds the high ground in 9mm and .40. Ruger LCPs are also turning significant numbers. “Our handgun and MSR inventory has stabilized with a larger number of distributors selling New York State–compliant SKUs,” said owner Bill McGuire.

Bolt-action sales have cooled after hunting season, but a few Mossberg ATRs are crossing the counter. MSRs are doing a little better, with Stag topping the chart.

Ammo inventories are good, but some less-popular calibers are a challenge, including 8mm and .35 Rem. Rimfire continues to be scarce.

The Owl’s Nest, Phillipsburg
This small retailer specializes exclusively in shooting-sports products. With deer season winding down, slug guns are moving briskly, especially Savage 220s and H&R Heavy Barrels in 20 gauge. Muzzleloaders are still turning with Thompson/Center Triumphs. MSR sales are slowing; Windham is taking the majority of sales.

Rimfire ammo stocks are frustratingly low. “It’s getting tougher and tougher to sell any kind of .22, and I expect that it will have a significant negative effect on holiday sales. This is the second year of horrible rimfire ammo delivery. It is becoming an issue for a lot of shooters,” said owner Jim Heebner.


J&S Custom Guns, Lakeview
At just over 1,000 square feet, this retailer uses custom gunsmithing to maintain its sales volume in the home-defense category. Handguns are holding steady, with Glock 23s and 19s solidly in the top slots. H&K P30s in 9mm and .40 are also seeing strong demand.

MSR sales for the fall were flat—the store sold three per month­—but they’ve started to improve. “We do a lot of custom build-outs and complete accessorized packages. Our fall has been slower, but the holidays are picking up with more custom MSR sales,” said manager Craig Elliott. Rock Rivers and JPs are the store’s best sellers for Christmas.

Shotgun sales are also climbing from a slower fall, with Benelli Super Black Eagle IIs and Remington 870 Expresses leading in scatterguns.

Keith’s Outdoors, Fort Dodge
This store stocks fishing, hunting, and soft goods, and has more than 200 guns in inventory. The Christmas rush is on here, with a run on accessories like Allen and Plano gun cases. “December is our biggest accessory season. I often run out of things like bore snakes and other cleaning gear,” said owner Keith Ekstrom.

Smith Shields are selling well, as are Model 642s and Springfield XDSs in .40. Sporting shotguns are still moving, as are good numbers of Remington 870 Expresses and youth models.

At the rifle rack, MSRs are trickling across the counter, with most sales coming from DPMS. Remington 700 SPs in .243 are in high demand also, despite ammunition being difficult to lay hands on.

The Trading Post, El Dorado
This former pawn-and-gun shop now exclusively sells firearms, with emphasis on handguns. The chill of winter is improving sales, with Ruger LC9s and 38s topping the chart. Glock 23s and Springfield XDMs in .40 are also strong performers.

“Handgun purchases were really down this summer compared to last year, but niche gun sales are still good. I stay far away from the SKUs that the nearby Cabela’s carries,” said owner Mike Schwemmer.

Demand is surging for AK-style MSRs. This retailer holds strong inventory of Serbian Zastava PAPs from Century Arms. It is also seeing good turns on Diamondback MSRs.

Bolt-action hunting gun sales were slower in November than expected, but some Savage Model 10s in .308 sold during deer season.


Boise Gun Company, Boise
Specializing in hunting and home-defense firearms, this store manages an inventory of 6,000 guns between two locations.

Sales of bolt-action hunting rifles were slower than average this season. Top sellers were Kimbers in .308 and .270, Ruger Hawkeyes in .30/06, and Remington 700 CDLs in .270. MSR sales have remained steady; Rock Rivers and Smith M&P MOEs garner attention. Handgun sales are rising, with HK VP9s, Kimber 1911s, Springfield XDSs, and Smith Bodyguards in demand.

“We are always planning ahead for ammo inventories, and rimfire aside, it’s been improving. Sourcing ammo is nearly a full-time job, to give our customers a strong selection. Good ammo stocks keeps traffic high,” said owner Gary Hopper.

Northwest Sporting Goods, Willits
This small-town general sporting goods store sells a wide range of soft goods, team sports, fishing and hunting supplies, and even hot tubs. Holiday sales for this retailer usually focus on .22s, but not this year. “We’ve had to stop carrying them. They used to be the foundation of our Christmas sales, but this season we’ll move just a few youth items, and that’s not a good thing for our industry,” said manager Jason Lamprich.

Fall sales were slow, with a few Marlin 336c lever-action rifles and Savage Model 10s turning. As for handguns, Glock 19s and Smith M&Ps in 9mm crossed the counter. Lamprich also expressed concern as to when California goes all-copper. “If they can’t make .22s, how will they handle copper?” he said.

Silver State Arms, Reno
This family-run store services home defense, reloaders, and hunters in a snug 1,500 square feet. Sales are flat except for handguns, and they’re only marginally better. “I really believe that the last panic buy has just filled the safes of my customers. This may have been the slowest summer and fall the shop has seen,” said partner Joe Compilli.

Rifles have gotten price-sensitive; the best turns come from Howas in .243 and .308. MSRs move at about one every two weeks. Sales have been driven by competitive pricing on Smith M&P Sporters.

In handguns, M&Ps in 9mm and .40 hold the top slot. SIG 938s and Ruger LCRs are also getting attention. Compilli added that he has to keep buying smart; the easy money of the last four years has vanished.


Gainesville Target Range, Gainesville
This retail store, which has an outdoor gun range that can handle more than 80 shooters, caters to home-defense and tactical clientele. Handgun sales are possibly hotter than last year’s, with Smith M&P Shields, Glock 17s, and Springfield XDSs all turning well. The store’s most popular caliber remains 9mm.

Home-defense shotguns are moving well. Remington 870 and Mossberg 500 Tacticals have been locked in a dead-even heat for the last two months. The store continues to offer a popular “build your own MSR” promotion. “No matter what customers buy, they’ll come in for more accessories when they build it themselves,” said counter salesman Bob Kelly.

Daniel Defense’s Model V7 tops the list for MSRs. LWRC is in second place. Ammo stocks are improving, but .22 is still coming up short.

Hyatt Coin & Gun, Charlotte
With more than 12,000 square feet of retail space, this store turns an average of 15,000 firearms annually.

“Ammo stocks are actually good. We have everything we need, except we’re a little light on .22. Overall, the trend is a vast improvement from even six months ago,” said manager-buyer Derek Jarstfer.

Sales of MSRs are steady. Rock River Arms and the Triton Billet Line of Head Down Firearms are the two top sellers. Springfield handguns—particularly the XDS and XDM—are leading this year’s pistol sales across the board. Glock 19s and SIG P229s are also selling briskly. Bolt-action rifle sales are increasing daily. Tikkas are in demand, though the Savage Model 11 is also doing well.

Pawn Gallery, Clarksville
This independent pawnshop stocks an average of 250 firearms and is located off Interstate 40, 40 miles east of Fort Smith. “We’re a small shop. Unless we can find volume .22 ammo, we have decided that it’s just not worth competing with other larger stores in our area,” said owner Rick Elam.

MSR sales are slowing this fall, and Elam said he has only a few Bushmasters in stock. Lever-action long guns are picking up speed, though. Winchester and Marlin .30/30s are seeing the highest demand. Handgun inventories are the best they’ve been all year, with Springfield XDSs and Ruger LC9s garnering the most attention.


Firearms Support & Storage, Whippany
Just 30 minutes from New York City, this retailer keeps an additional 3,000 square feet of vault space, and is the first federally and state-approved public gun storage facility in the country.

“Deer season is moving more inventory than last year, and we have the gear in stock, including ammo,” said owner Barry Osias. Slug guns are hot. Here, Remington 1100s and Express slug guns see the highest turns. Mossberg 500 Slugsters are also crossing the counter well.

MSR sales are improving, with a higher than usual demand for .308 Rock Rivers in addition to DPMS in .223. Handgun sales are consistently high, with all things Smith at the top of the list, including Shields and Bodyguards.

Sportsman’s Gun Shop, New Holland
In business since 1954, this general hunting and fishing retailer inventories more than 1,000 new and used firearms.

“Deer season is shaping up to be the best we’ve seen in some time,” said owner Joe Keffer. “Stronger hunter numbers and an improving deer herd are making bolt-action rifles really move off the rack.” T/C Ventures and Ruger Americans top the list. MSRs are still trending at about three a week, with M&Ps and LWRCs in the high slots.

Handgun sales are excellent. Smith M&Ps are doing very well, and the classic J-frames in .38 are seeing heavy traffic. Sales of Glocks have increased, and Ruger LC9s have maintained a steady demand.

Ammo stocks are improving, and most calibers other than .22 are in stock. Sales of Ruger 10/22s and Ruger Americans are growing, in the hope that .22 ammo will improve.

Mill Creek Rod & Gun, Orrington
This small retailer keeps an average of 50 guns in stock along with general outdoor gear. Maine-produced Smith 22A and Model 41 pistols are popular here. With several price points, SCCY 9mms are also doing well.

“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. Savage Model 99s in .300 Savage and Winchester 94s in .30/30 continue to dominate for pre-deer and moose season. At the used shotgun counter, Winchester Model 12s and Ithaca Model 37s always make for a fast sale.


Midwest Gun Exchange, Mishawaka
“Ammo is finally back, and we see it steadily improving, even on .22s,” said Brad Rupert, general manager of this Great Lakes–area retailer. “Our inventory is the best it has been in several years.”

Waterfowl season is heating up, and the shotgun counter is getting heavy traffic on Benelli Super Black Eagles as well as the Remington Versa Max and 870 Express. Handgun sales are as good as they’ve been all year, with Smith M&Ps and Bodyguards posting high numbers. SIG 238s and 938s are also attracting plenty of attention.

MSRs are making nearly the same number of turns as they did last year, with local Indiana gunmaker BCI Defense holding the high ground. Colt is sitting comfortably in the second slot. Remington 700s lead the bolt-action category, followed by Tikkas and Savages, usually in .270 and .243.

R.H. Kay Firearms, St. Paul
This retailer stocks his tightly inventoried 500-square-foot store to meet the needs of an extensive home-defense clientele. “My clients are acutely aware of current events, and spend hours readying their families for the possibility of a disaster. Overall, sales are very good,” said owner Rick Kay. He said Windham Weaponry and Olympic Arms hold the top spots in MSRs.

Other high-demand items include UTAS 15-round-capacity pump shotguns. Ammo stocks are improving, but Kay still sees the .22 shortage as a serious problem. Handgun sales are strong. Glocks and CZ 1911s pull the best numbers.

Target Masters, Columbia
This well-established shop has a 25-yard 10-lane range. Although handgun sales are good, a drop in discretionary income has resulted in a tougher sales environment. “Our traffic is fine, but the store is experiencing a trend in that our customers are moving toward more price-point guns,” said counter salesman Jim Hill. “Business may not be what it was two years ago, but it’s still very good.”

Glock 42s and Springfield XDSs are tied for the top two spots at the handgun counter, followed closely by SIG 238s. Kimbers and Desert Eagle 1911s are also moving well. MSRs have slowed to just one every two weeks. The largest turns are going to Smith M&P Sporters. Sales of bolt-actions have dwindled, mainly because of big-box pricing. Ammo inventories are better than they were this time last year. However, .22 is still in short supply.


Bear Arms, Scottsdale
Keeping more than 1,000 guns in stock in 2,400 square feet, this small metro Phoenix retailer strategically manages every inch of space with seven employees. Glock 42s and 17s lead the handgun pack for this home-defense retailer. M&P Shields are just behind.

“Our inventory of ammo is the best it has been in two years,” said Kurt Stancl, director of operations “However, many customers are surprised that the cost hasn’t returned to pre-election pricing.”

MSRs are turning daily, with strong numbers for Smith Sporters and Colts. Premium-priced MSR sales are flat.

Stancl expressed concern that many online retailers are charging low prices for premium firearms, hiding high handling fees on the back end. His sales staff is educating buyers that those fees make Bear Arms’ pricing closer than it might seem. To compete, Bear backs up each sale with personal service.

Jerry’s Outdoor Sports, Grand Junction
This mountain retailer fills 11,000 square feet with a firearms selection of 1,200 guns, along with a large inventory of safes, holsters, and reloading gear. Handgun sales are strong, especially Springfield XDSs and XDMs. Smith M&P Shields are also robust.

MSRs still turn at least one unit a day, often a Smith M&P Sporter or a Bushmaster. “MSR sales aren’t what they were, and customers are more price-sensitive. However, they are still moving,” said counter salesman Charles Vavak.

With the exception of all things rimfire, ammo stocks are the best they have been in two years.

Lolo Sporting Goods, Lewiston
Located in downtown “Old Lewiston,” Lolo has three full-time salespeople who overlook a large inventory of reloading supplies, handguns, long guns, and MSRs. Ruger tops the list here with LC9s and LCPs, followed by Springfield XDS and XDMs and Kimbers.

“Overall, ammo stocks are good, but not being able to get rimfire ammo has plummeted our .22 and .17 HMR sales to an all-time low,” said buyer Mike Thomas.

Long-gun sales are at the fall peak, led by Ruger Americans in .243 and Winchester Model 70 Featherweights in .308 and .30/06. MSRs are moving fast; Rock Rivers and Windhams in .223 top the list.


Dury’s Gun Shop, San Antonio
A family-run gun shop since 1959, this full-line retailer has capitalized on supplying concealed-carry guns and accessories to casually dressed customers, making handgun sales as hot as the weather. “Slim 9mms are our hot sellers, driven by patrons that wear shorts,” said sales manager Louis Acosta. In addition to Sticky concealed-carry holsters, August is seeing big numbers for SIG 238s and Glock 42s.

MSRs now turn three or four a day, compared to 15 at the peak of last year. Dove season is driving strong numbers for the new Beretta A300s and A400s, as well as the Benelli Ethos and Remington 870 Express.

Ammo stocks are better than at this time last year, but obtaining .22, .22 Mag., and some handgun calibers is still a frustrating experience.

Paducah Shooters Supply, Paducah
This western Kentucky shop has indoor bow and outdoor rifle and pistol ranges. August is dove and teal time here, goosing sales of Benelli Super Black Eagles IIs, Browning A5s, and Winchester Super X3s.

“I can’t explain it but we’ve sold more deer rifles this summer than we did in the last five. It’s a great bolt-action year,” said manager Chance Callahan. Savage model 10s and 11s hold the high ground in the traditional rifle slot, mostly in .270.

MSRs continue to move at one a day, with an even mix of DPMSs, Smith M&Ps, and Bushmasters. The summer has also seen several orders for Daniel Defense.

Glocks in .40 caliber and Ruger LCPs and LCRs are strong sellers. Kimber 1911s are also doing well. Ammo availability has improved for .308, 9mm, and .45…but not .22.

Woods and Waters, Tuscaloosa
This independent mixes its storefront sales with a growing web business. It inventories more than 3,000 products online and more than 150 guns on the floor.

In handguns, sales of Glock 19s are close to an all-time-high. Kimber 1911s are also turning quickly, as are SIG P226s. “Our ammo stock is pretty good, though .22 is still spotty,” said counterman Dillon Welch.

SIGs and price-point Bushmasters pull the best numbers among the MSRs. Turns of the Remington SPS in .308 are starting to heat up. Shotguns are improving, mainly with the Remington 870 Express. In semi-autos, Benelli M2s and Super Black Eagles are selling to wingshooters.


Vermont Field Sports, Middlebury
This small-town general hunting and fishing shop keeps five full-timers and three part-timers busy, stocking nearly 1,000 guns. “The ammo situation is worse this summer than last,” said owner Richard Phillips. “It’s irritatingly difficult to get .22 ammo. We have had to ration it for more than a year.”

Handgun sales are excellent, with Rugers flying out the door (LC9s are especially in demand). Smith M&Ps also post strong numbers, split between 9m and .40 SW. Glocks and SIGs are tied for third place.

This summer’s top bolt-action has been the Browning X-Bolt in .300 Win. Mag. The Winchester Model 70 in .30/06 is seeing strong turns for customers heading West. Colt MSRs are in good inventory, and are turning an average of one a week. With upland bird season close, Browning Citoris are turning in 12 and 20 gauge.

Kane’s Gun Shop, North Kingstown
This retailer brokers antique firearms while stocking new and used rifles, shotguns, and handguns. “Ammo inventories are better than they were last year, but .22 is coming in by the trickle. Despite the poor shipments, we have opted not to ration,” said vice president Sandy Kane.

MSR sales are down to two a month—usually Bushmaster or Stag Arms in .223—and shoppers have become price-sensitive.

Rifle sales are picking up, along with limited muzzleloader sales. In sporting shotguns, Beretta over/unders and Browning Citoris in 20 and 28 gauge are moving. Hunting semi-autos like Remington 1187s and 1100 Sporting Clays also sell.

Handguns are top dog, led by SIG 226s and K-Frame Smiths in .357.

Springhill Rod & Gun, Charleston
This sporting goods retailer has seven employees and stocks 800 guns. It carries archery gear as well as guns for hunting and home defense, and has an on-site taxidermist.

“MSR inventory is good, yet buyers are getting more price-sensitive,” said owner Dan Kessel. Smith M&Ps and DPMSs lead the MSR sales. “Ammo demands a lot of time on the phone to keep inventory.”

Bolt-actions are moving, mostly with Ruger 77s and some Remington 700s in .270. Handguns sales are brisk. Smith M&P compacts, Glocks, and Springfield XDs and XDMs (all in 9mm) are the top sellers, but Kimber 1911s are also doing well.