Volume 22, Number 6 October/November 2014

Archive for the ‘What’s Selling Where’ category

Gainesville Target Range, Gainesville

This outdoor gun range handles more than 80 shooters, and sent five employees (three buyers, two researchers) to the SHOT Show. Orders for 1911s were given to Les Baer and Nighthawk Custom. Hefty handgun orders were placed at Glock, Smith, and SIG. “It was my first SHOT Show, and people tell me I’ll always remember it,” said sales manager Brian Spiess.

With ammo availability tightening, the store committed to a large order at Camdex Automatic Ammunition Systems to sell ammo that will be assembled on the premises.

Pawn Gallery, Clarksville

This small, independent pawn shop is located 40 miles east of Fort Smith off Interstate 40. It stocks an average of 250 firearms, and, for the first time, sent two employees to the SHOT Show. Locking up stocking programs with Ruger, Glock, and SIG was this store’s priority. Another objective was to meet with new distributors and to put a face to all the phone calls. “It’s really about fostering personal relationships. I just had no idea about the true scope of the show. I’ll be more organized next year,” said owner Rick Elam.

With handguns in good order, this store owner looked for small, specialty MSR manufacturers to help ease inventory demand. He ordered from MGI, including the Marck Modular 15 in 5.56mm. Another vendor that received attention was the Deep Conceal Holster company; its concealed holster shirts merited an order.

River City Firearms, Louisville

This metro Louisville dealer stocks an average of 250 handguns. Owner Derrick Myers attended his first SHOT Show with his wife, spending most of his time researching and looking at new product. “I’m just amazed. It’s hard to conceive just how many vendors are there to talk to. Although I didn’t buy much, my time was well spent, especially talking to my new distributors,” he said.

Springfield’s new XD9s and Walther PPX9s caught his eye. Myers said that although it was an overwhelming experience, he would definitely return next year. This first-year retailer also reported his inventories have improved since early in the first quarter.


Gun Toter’s Supply, Eynon

Just north of Scranton, this retailer has fewer than 200 guns in stock, down from 500 (primarily hand-guns). This was the staff’s seventh SHOT Show, and they used the time to buy. Les Baer Customs received an order for more than 40 custom 1911s; orders were also placed at SIG, Glock, and Kimber.

Reloading gear was also a priority, with a large order placed at Redding Reloading. “One of my frustrations with some vendors was the attitude of ‘Place your order, pay for it now, and we’ll deliver it in a year and a half.’ I’m just not going to let a manufacturer hold $50,000 for 20 months,” said owner Mike Frezzolini.

This dealer got a commitment from SIG for a large order of M400 rifles. He also added Vortex Optics to the store’s lineup.

Fernwood Firearms, Hankins

Specializing in MSRs and handguns, this 1,500-square-foot shop is less than two years old. The owner was on the floor of the show when New York enacted legislation that bans MSRs. “Most manufacturers won’t sell to me in New York State. This is putting my store in a very difficult position. There is little inventory I can get, and most distributors that I deal with are in a ‘wait and see’ mode. I want to remind the industry what this law is designed to do—put me out of business,” said owner John Kielbasa.

Kielbasa said that his inventory is starving. He is only able to restock with surplus accessories and a few new guns from High Standard, along with Ruger Mini 14s and 30s.

He also mentioned that many of the companies and distributors that won’t ship to him have taken large deposits from his store, which they have been extremely slow to refund.

Firearms Support and Storage, Whippany

With more than 3,000 square feet of vault space, this retailer stated it was the first state-and federal-approved public gun storage facility in the country. This retailer sent five employees to SHOT for firearms, range equipment, and gun storage systems. The staff met with new and existing distributors to iron out inventory challenges in the coming season. They added new accounts with Beretta, Action Targets, SIG, and Windham Weaponry. “In the tri-state area, we see gun storage as a highly marketable service, and predict that our growth at this retail location will be substantial,” said owner Ross Osias.


Bob’s Gun & Tackle, Hastings

With an average inventory of 2,000 firearms, 35 employees, and more than 15,000 square feet of space, this large independent depends on the SHOT Show to find out what’s new. “We still do our large-scale buying at distributor shows, but we wouldn’t miss SHOT. It’s our only time to get the big picture of what’s new in firearms and gear. We actually bought more than usual in Vegas this year,” said buyer Steve Hayes.

Bob’s spent time in the Ruger booth committing to LCR .22 Mag., LC .38s, and several MSRs. Orders were also written at SIG and Glock, and for Kimber Solos.

Savage .17 Super Mags attracted attention, as did the new Redfield tactical scope’s accessible entry-level price point. Bob’s always sends at least two buyers to the show, and relationships built there go a long way when inventories are tight.

Midwest Gun Exchange, Mishawaka

With 8,500 square feet of display space and more than 8,000 guns in inventory, this Great Lakes area retailer usually sends five staff members to SHOT. “Normally, we go looking for deals and new product. This year, we went to foster orders with our most important vendors. We renewed commitments and demonstrated that our orders were realistic and not inflated. We believe it will make a big difference in our deliveries throughout the year,” said general manager Brad Rupert.

Although this year’s trip was more meet and greet, some large orders were inked at SIG and LWRC.

R.H. Kay Firearms, St. Paul

This retailer sent one employee to the SHOT Show to stock this tightly inventoried 500-square-foot store. The over-arching goal for this show was to order MSRs. “We really hunted for new suppliers, and were happy to find MGI. They committed to first-quarter delivery times,” said owner Rick Kay. Other large orders were placed at Windham Weaponry and Olympic Arms.

On the new-product front, the store placed a significant order with UTAS for the new 15-round-capacity pump shotguns. Although this retailer purchases mostly Taurus handguns through a local distributor in Minnesota, additional orders were placed at SIG and Glock.


Straightline Tactical, Anaheim

With barely 40 firearms in inventory (down from nearly 500), this store is having a difficult time getting restocked. Given sky-rocketing national demand for MSRs, handguns, and ammo, Straightline is at a disadvantage because it can only stock California-compliant firearms. There’s little to choose from. “We went to SHOT this year, ready to buy more than usual [compared to distributor shows], and we had a difficult time,” said owner Don Zappone.
Orders were placed with Glock, Ruger, and SIG. However, due to limited runs of state-legal firearms, this retailer is now in the slowest sales period of its history, despite the boom. Straightline has been buying ammunition at regional gun shows to resell in the store.

Second Amendment Sports, Tucson

The store will be opening a new location in Palm Desert, California, this summer, and sent four employees to the SHOT Show with instructions to buy for a 6,000-square-foot store with the capacity for 1,300 firearms. “We went to Vegas to find new rifle vendors. Show specials and communicating with manufacturers and distributors are the other reasons we were willing to send a large staff,” said general manager Josh Beck.

Glock and Springfield hold the top slots, with Ruger right behind. Beck foresees high demand in 2013 for Ruger LC380s and SR45s. The question is, Can he get them? In addition to checking on existing orders with the store’s top MSR sellers, new orders were given to Sun Devil Manufacturing and Black Rain Ordnance. Ammo seems particularly scarce, with this retailer continuing to feed the pipeline with orders out as far as 12 months.

Oak Grove Guns, Eugene

This gun store typically stocks 275 guns, yet current inventory is down to 100. The staff attended SHOT to buy, but had trouble spending their budget. “We actually were turned away by several MSR companies that couldn’t commit to delivery within the year. That drove us to look for new vendors,” said owner Dave Miller. “A few other rifle companies were more accommodating.”

The store opened a new account with SIG Sauer, and had a large portion of its order delivered by the time Miller got home from the show. Other new vendors include Benelli and Nanuk waterproof cases.



Chuck’s Firearms, Atlanta

Located in the heart of metro Atlanta, this retailer features collectibles, vintage military weapons, and higher-grade shotguns and rifles. Although this dealer does not carry MSRs, bolt-action rifles are unseasonably active, with Cooper Firearms of Montana and Remington CDLs attracting the most interest, mostly in .308. Sales of vintage military rifles are also up significantly from last year.

Handgun activity is at close to a record high, with Smith 642s, Ed Brown 1911s, and SIG 226 Navys receiving the most turns. Although handgun ammo stocks are falling, they are still available. “We spend more and more time doing largescale appraisals and collection sales, and they continue to grow,” says owner Jack Lesher.


Kirkpatrick Guns and Ammo, Laredo

With up to 500 guns in stock, this west Texas store specializes in a mix of both defense and hunting guns. Although MSRs are out of stock, this retailer expects roughly four units a week to trickle in during the next two to three weeks. “It’s certainly not ideal, nor will it meet demand, but we are getting some MSRs in,” says counter person Maria Gonzales. “But what’s coming will hardly fill our long customer waiting list.”

Ammo in .223 arrives at about 5,000 rounds a week and leaves within two days. Bolt-action rifles are still receiving attention, especially Savage Model 110s in .270.

Handgun sales are particularly intense, with 9mm Glocks and Berettas seeing the most turns due to availability. Ruger LCRs and LCPs are exceptionally hot, but are difficult to get.


Gun City, Barling

Keeping close to 1,000 guns in stock, this retailer maintains a brisk business by utilizing a wide variety of home defense and hunting inventory. An inventory of MSRs is fully back- ordered and sold the day they arrive. Other stocking challenges include .223 and .22 ammunition.

Sales are active across all departments. “We have a strong relationship with our distributors, yet even that only goes so far,” says owner Jerry Barling.

Handgun demand is exceptional across the board. Glocks, compact SIGs, and Rugers are in high demand. New Colt 1911s have seen an even higher level of activity than they garnered before Christmas.



Island Firearms, Pittsburgh

Located on an island in the Ohio River basin with only 800 square feet, this retailer also uses the ceiling to display more than 500 firearms. MSRs are still in inventory but are moving quickly. “We’d planned for a heavy order near the election, and it landed two to three months late,” says owner Wayne Lyken. “That’s why I have relatively good inventory, but it’s moving very quickly.”

Remington 750 autoloaders have completely sold out, and 700 BDLs and SPSs are seeing unusually high turns. Ammo is gaining momentum, with .223 stock falling fast.
Handgun activity is at an all-time high, with Glocks, M&Ps, and a few Ruger LC9s still in inventory. The store is expecting fairly good deliveries from distributors through the next three weeks.


Ken’s Shooting Supply, Attica

Stocking 150 long guns and handguns, this retailer also sells reloading supplies. With MSRs sold out, Browning BARs and Remington 750 autoloaders in .308 and .30/06 are commanding attention. “I can’t get a delivery date on any MSRs, and .223 ammo is just not available,” says owner Ken Fridmann. Other rifles are turning, including Remington 700 bolt guns, often in .308.

Handgun sales are soaring: Glocks in .40 and 9mm, and some Ruger LCPs and SR40s, are still available. “Glock is taking good care of us. We can get a few Springfields, but everything else is coming in almost one at a time,” says Fridmann.


SL Guns, Mason

With 1,200 guns in inventory and falling fast, this 2,000-square-foot store dedicates a third of its space to three gunsmiths. All MSRs are sold out, with heavy back orders and just a dribble coming in the door. What’s surprised this retailer has been the demand for hunting rifles.

“I’m not sure if it’s because a customer comes in the door ready to buy an MSR and can’t, and then just opts for a bolt-action, but we’ve been selling unusually high numbers of hunting guns,” says owner Paul Gauffin. A number of Thompson Center .22s, Winchesters, and Browning X-Bolts—and even a few Thompson Encore muzzleloaders— are heading out the door.

Handgun sales are off the hook, maybe the highest in the store’s history. SIGs and Smith M&Ps pull record numbers, while Glock is trailing just a few units behind. “It’s nearly a run on the store,” says Gauffin.



Kirkwood Outfitters, Kirkwood

This small independent keeps 350 firearms in stock, with two employees selling a mix of hunting and home defense. If it’s an MSR, it’s already been sold. “I’m not sure when any MSRs will come into the store,” says owner Dave Hart. “I simply can’t find any inventory—and that includes lowers, uppers, barrels, and large-capacity magazines.”

At the handgun counter, it’s not what this retailer can sell; it’s what it can get. Springfield XDMs, primarily in .40-caliber, are in limited inventory, as are Hi-Point .380s and a small number of Glocks. Rugers are completely unavailable.

Hart reported that much of his extensive .223 ammo inventory was gone in the first week of January, when it went for an average of $525 per 1,000 rounds.


Mike’s Guns, Iowa Falls

Stocking about 300 new and used guns, this two-man shop reports that its 2012 sales were the best in its history. Concealed-carry handguns are particularly hot, and the inventory of Rugers—SR9s, LC9s, and LCPs—is just about gone. A few S&W AirLites and Glocks are still available.

MSRs are out of stock, but a few should arrive soon. Custom MSR build-outs have ground to a halt while Mike’s looks for available parts.

Savage Axis rifles in .243 are growing in popularity, and getting more attention because of the lack of availability of .223 MSRs. “These Savages have really taken off this year. Coyote hunting has become ‘the new deer’ in this part of Iowa,” says owner Mike Beaupain. Ammo stocks are low, with little commitment from distributors for restocking in .223 and .22.


Bull City Guns, Alton

Packing 1,700 guns into 2,000 square feet, this family-owned store exclusively brokers hunting and shooting supplies. Handgun sales are excellent, possibly the best in the store’s history. Kimber 1911s are in inventory, as are SIG 1911s, Glocks, and M&Ps in .45 ACP and 9mm. There are also some Springfield XDMs available.

MSRs are completely out of inventory. A trickle of back orders from months ago is showing up two or three units at a time; they’re sold the same day they’re received. “Even our dealer-direct manufacturers are of little help, and they won’t give us an ETA on any orders,” says owner Brice Ballard. Ammo in .223 is limited to two boxes per customer.



Blue Goose Sport Shop, St. Maries

This panhandle gun-and-tackle store recently changed ownership. It markets general hunting and fishing gear and keeps an average of 300 firearms in stock.

MSRs are sold out. The store has a waiting list, but no deliver date from its distributors. “As long as we are talking legislation, we’ll have this kind of customer traffic,” says co- owner Craig Wicks.

The handgun counter is the busiest in the store’s history; anything that can utilize high-capacity magazines is in top demand. Used Glocks are receiving close to SRP pricing; new inventory is turning at record numbers. Kel-Tec PF9s are especially hot and available.

Ammo in .223 is limited to 200 per customer, although Blue Goose has not raised pricing.


High Desert Storm Sporting Arms, Palmdale

This working-class high-desert store is in a growth mode. It stocks around 200 tactical and hunting firearms.

Although MSRs are out of stock, owner Eric Monjack expects nearly a dozen from Windham Arms and Smith & Wesson in the next three weeks. “We’re a new store, and this is a difficult time to develop relationships with distributors,” he says. “However, we’ve made some headway and our inventory is in better shape than at many small shops.”

Handgun sales are going strong; Glock 9mms and SIG 9s are in the top slots, while Ruger SR9s and LCRs show robust turns as well.


The Fort, Big Timber

Employing 15 people and stocking more than 1,000 guns, this busy independent inventories a long list of shooting accessories, fishing tackle, and some groceries. A few MSRs are in stock, but new guns are backordered with a three-month waiting list. Stocks of .223 ammo are below average but selling for the same price as two months ago. “Don’t misunderstand me, we are busy and sales are exceptional. But in rural Montana, our customers are pretty prepared and not so jumpy,” says counter salesman Matt Nichols.

For varmint season, Savage Axis rifles in .223 are the hottest bolt- actions. Winchester Model 70s in .204 and .308 are also selling well.

Handguns are approaching an all- time high, with concealed-carry pulling the top numbers. SIG 238s and Smith 638s hold the highest spots, but large numbers of Ruger LCRs and LCPs are moving as well.



Silver Dollar Pawn & Jewelry, Alexandria Opened in 1985 and
located in the heart of Alexandria, this family-run pawn, gun, and collectibles store stocks an average of 1,500 firearms and is home to the History Channel’s Cajun Pawn Stars.

The election has boosted ammo and MSR sales, says Jimmie “Big Daddy” DeRamus. Hands down, Bushmaster holds the top spot for rifles. Handguns continue to inch up; the big movers are Glocks and Smith M&Ps in 9mm; .40. SIG 238s are also seeing good turns.

When asked about collectibles, Big Daddy says the market is evolving quickly. “We’re seeing many new vintage Colts and Smiths enter the market. M1 Garands are also available. When we find one in excellent condition, it’s sold often with a single phone call.”


Dury’s Guns, San Antonio With more than 2,000 guns in inventory and up to 40 employees, this San Antonio retailer has been open for business since 1959. This shop offers a lifetime guarantee with all firearm sales, new or used.

After a four-day surge in MSR sales right after the election, sales are back to a normal high. “We specialize in higher-end MSRs. We certainly stock price-point rifles, but MSRs that sell for more than $1,000 have just been more profitable,” says CEO Gerald Rutkowski. Lewis Machine and Tool and Colt MSRs hold the high spots.

Handgun sales have been brisk, with a mix of SIG 238s and Ruger LCRs and LCPs. Several Smith 642 hammerless revolvers are also attracting post-holiday attention.

Deer season is still in force for this store, which keeps Remington 700s in 7mm crossing the rifle counter. Ammo stocks are good.


Stone Arms, Mobile In business for just two years, this lower Alabama store looks for creative ways upsell its customers. “Our riflescope combos are way up. We have a local company that will finance the purchase for a year. Guys are buying $1,500-plus packages, where otherwise they might have spent just $500,” says owner Jeff Stone. SIG 516s and M400s take the top slots at the rifle counter; Mohawk Armory was recently added to the line.

All things Ruger continue to sell. LCRs and LCPs hold the top spots, but SIG P38s are also in demand. Ammo stocks are good here, with .223 rounds the most popular.



G&S Firearms, Wayne Located in Central Jersey off I-80, this small
independent specializing in home defense is seeing an increasing number of women shooters. Glocks are the mainstay at this handgun counter, with the majority selling in .40 and 9mm. “We sell more Glocks than any other gun. Our local clientele just loves them,” says owner Gordon Levine. Other regular movers include Ruger LC9s and Smith Bodyguards.

MSR sales have returned to pre-election rates, with ArmaLites and Stags turning the best numbers. Mossberg 500 defense packages are on the move as well. When asked how Hurricane Sandy affected his business, Levine said that once the power returned, he cleared his inventory of shotguns in just a few days.


North Shore Firearms, Middleton Opened in 2007 just outside of metro Boston, this shop bills itself as the largest gun and accessories dealer in the state. “Post-election started out a little slow, but in a week ammo started to move. It’s been an even mix of post-election nerves along with an increase of preppers,” says manager Mike Polite.
MSRs are hot, and M&P Sporters and Stag Arms are sitting in the number one and two positions. Handgun sales are just as strong, and may be nearing an all-time high for this shop. Here, Smith Bodyguards and Ruger LCRs and SRCs are the top three.

There’s still action on post-holiday shotgun sales. Browning Citoris and 725 Hunters (all in 12-gauge) are in demand, as are Caesar Guerinis.


Parro’s Gun Shop, Waterbury Keeping nearly $3 million in inventory, this New England shop is one of Vermont’s largest, splitting sales between brick-and-mortar walk-ins and Internet customers. Ammo is in high demand since the election, and .223 and 9mm sell by the case.
MSRs are getting plenty of action as well. “We have seen impressive demand for MSRs, and have carefully planned our buying to meet it,” says owner Henry Parro.
Windham Arms and Ruger SR556s are the front-runners, along with M&P15-22s. Ruger American bolt-actions are still selling to the after-the-holiday crowd in .243. Handguns are just as busy, with Ruger SR9s and Glocks in 9mm grabbing the lion’s share of attention.