Volume 25, Number 5 August/September 2017

Archive for the ‘What’s Selling Where’ category

By Peter B. Mathiesen

ooge’s, Hazlehurst
Located in southeast Georgia, this rural general sporting goods, gas station, and meat supply store stocks 250 used and new guns. Winter is all handguns for this retailer, with turns dedicated to Glock 43s, Ruger LCPs, and Taurus 686 revolvers. “Winter is handgun time until March, when we’ll start to sell a few turkey guns,” said partner Ray Googe.

With .22 ammo stocks in better shape than they’ve been for the last two years, Ruger 10/22s and Browning Mark II pistols are turning at a higher pace than usual.

Final Flight Outfitters, Union City
Resting on the eastern edge of the Mississippi flyway, this western Tennessee retail store has more than 25,000 square feet of retail floor space and averages sales of more than 1 million pounds of steel shotgun shells annually.

Waterfowl season is winding down, but shotguns are still attracting plenty of attention. Beretta 400 Extremes and Browning A5s are still turning daily. “Our shotgun sales are year-round,” said gun department manager Billy Hazelwood.

Handguns continue to move steadily, with SIG 938s and Smith Shields in the top spots.

When asked about ammo stocks, Hazelwood said, “The guys at Vista Outdoor have really stepped up to the plate and filled our needs.”

Sales of MSRs are turning at about four a day. SIG 516s and M&P Sports hold the top spots. Sales of varmint bolt-action guns are steady as well.

Nagel’s Gun Shop, San Antonio
This shop had its beginnings in Robert Nagel’s garage back in the 1940s. It has since grown to one of the larger independent gun shops in the state of Texas.

Handguns are especially hot this winter, with steady turns of Glock Gen 4s, Smith Shields, and Springfield XD Mod 2s.

“Handgun sales may be the best we have seen for this time of the year. Texas recently enacted an open carry law. That, combined with the current political climate, has kept our counter hot,” said counter salesman Gilbert Trevino.

MSR sales are still brisk, with up to four a day crossing the counter. Smith Sport IIs lead the pack. Other quick movers include home-defense pumps shotguns from Mossberg and Remington.


By Peter B. Mathiesen

&K Gun Sales, Corfu
Using the old town post office, this 2,400-square-foot storefront keeps an average of 700 guns in stock. This retailer services all of the firearms it sells.

Sales of MSRs are inching up slowly as manufacturers adapt to new, complex state laws regarding this platform.

Pistol sales are steady, and though inventories of Glock 43s are challenging, owner Ken Wahl reports that most other models have been easily available. Anything 1911 continues to stay in demand, but at the same time consumer interest in LCRs and LCPs is falling.

Bolt-action varmint guns are slowly crossing the counter. Here, Weatherby Vanguards and Savage package XP Trophies mostly in .223 are selling quite well, according to Wahl.

Bob’s Unpainted Furniture and Gun Exchange, Darien
In business for more than 50 years, the retailer specializes in handguns, reloading supplies, and unfinished Amish furniture. It has 500 firearms in stock. Concealed-carry handguns have been hot lately; Smith Shields and Glock 43s are all seeing fast turns. Demand for high-grade 1911s has never been better.

Ammo stocks are not ideal, but improving. “We can get most of what we need, but not what we want,” said counter salesman Hunter Tassitano.

Long rifles are starting to move, with a few Remington 700s and Savage BMags in .17 HMR.

Griffin & Howe, Bernardsville
Keeping 900 firearms on display in its New Jersey store, this retailer specializes in high-end shotguns and rifles. Its custom facility produces Griffin & Howe–branded rifles and shotguns.

Skeet and clay guns are hot right now, with B. Rizzinis and Blaser F3s making daily turns. Other notable sellers include Beretta Silver Pigeon 686s and Perazzis.

“While shotgunning plays a strong role in our retail mix, long-range rifle shooting is our primary growth at the retail level. We opened a 1,200-yard shooting range just one hour from Manhattan,” said president Guy Bignell. Hunting rifles are starting to move, and the store is seeing turns of Dakota Arms, Ruger Precisions, and Blasers.


By Peter B. Mathiesen

ull City Guns, Alton
Located on Highway 24 in northcentral Kansas, this large independent keeps more than 3,500 firearms in stock with floor space of nearly 10,000 square feet. Handgun sales still rule at this retailer, which has moved high numbers of Kimber 1911s, Smith 686s, Ruger LC9s, and several FNS-9 compacts.

A few sporting clay guns are also selling, and waterfowl guns-—Benelli Super Black Eagle II and Beretta 400 Extremes—are moving, too. “Winter used to be all handguns. However, a late goose season has helped move shotguns now,” said owner Brice Ballard.

MSR sales remain brisk, and some recent weekends have seen 10 rifles a day go out the door. Top sellers remain Smith Sport 15s and DPMS Oracles.

Top Gun Shooting Sports, Arnold
Located in South St. Louis County, this store keeps more than 700 guns in inventory while operating a National Shooting Sports Foundation–certified five-star range. Handguns are moving exceptionally well at this location, with an even mix of Glock 43s, Ruger LC9s, and Smith Shields all turning numbers daily. “We have made a serious investment in our state-of-the-art range. That combined with having 120 handguns on hand to try at the range closes several sales every day,” said guns manager Rowdy Enderle.

MSRs are in high demand, turning an average of four to six per day, which presents the challenge of keeping enough in inventory. DPMS Oracles and Smith Sports are pulling the best numbers.

Western Trail Sports, Scottsbluff
With more than 1,000 firearms in stock, this large western Nebraska independent also inventories a full line of general sporting goods for both fishing and camping. MSRs are turning about three per week. Most sales are CMMG and Rock River.

Handgun sales are strong; H&K VP9s and Smith Shields and M&Ps are all selling well. “We’ve seen a real surge with senior citizens looking to conceal carry. They seem to already own a handgun but find them too large,” said owner Bruce Rollins.

In shotguns, the store is moving a few Stoeger M3500s and Condors. Some bolt-actions are still selling, mostly Model 70s and Vanguards.


By Peter B. Mathiesen

Good Guy’s Guns, Medford
Sitting just across the California border, this 2,000-square-foot store specializes in home defense while keeping an average of 400 firearms in stock. Handgun sales are steady, with Smith Shields, Ruger LC9s, and Taurus PT111s getting equal attention at the counter. “Our sales to women have steadily increased, and there is no doubt that having a female salesperson will make a difference,” said counter salesperson Laura Gillian.

Sales of modern sporting rifles have been very brisk. Smith Sports and Ruger 15s have sold the best.

Oly’s Gun Shop, Mount Vernon
This small family-run shop keeps more than 100 used firearms in stock. Incoming new guns are mainly custom orders for its customers. Handguns continue to be the lion’s share of this dealer’s turns. SIG P238s and Ruger LC9s and LCRs are seeing the most action.

Although uppers and lowers from Rock River dominate this retailer’s MSR inventory,  DPMS and Ruger 556s are the most active sellers for complete gun assemblies.

“MSRs continue to grow with our mostly hunting clientele. Almost every one of my customers is building an MSR,” said owner Brian Olson.

Bolt-action rifle orders are up, too. Weatherby Vanguards and Remington 700 varmint grades in .243 and .223 (along with a few .30/06s) are popular choices. Ammunition inventories are generally good, except for .22 Mag., which continues to be in short supply.

Sprague’s Sports, Yuma
Specializing in law-enforcement and military sales, this large southern Arizona independent has seen its MSR sales rise sharply in the last 60 days. The store is selling five per day, mostly models from Daniel Defense, Ruger, and FN. “The traffic in MSRs is strong, and we don’t see demand falling until the end of the election,” said manager Chad Converse.

Handgun sales have been heavily slanted toward Glock, mainly 43s and 42s. Even 19s have been difficult to keep in stock. On the ammo side, .22 Mag. ammo has been hard to find and is preventing the sales of guns in that caliber. “Customers get really uncomfortable when we tell them there is no way to predict when we’ll have a steady supply,” said Converse.


By Peter B. Mathiesen

McClelland Guns, Dallas
Family owned since 1972, this 8,000-square-foot retailer averages 1,000 guns in inventory and employs five gunsmiths. Handguns are selling well; hot sellers include Springfield 1911s, Para Pro Customs in .45, and Ruger LCR .38s. Smith & Wesson 642s also are moving well.

Shotguns are winding down, with a few Beretta A300s and 400s crossing the counter.

MSRs are selling daily, mostly DPMS Bull 20s and Bushmaster XM-15s. There are also a large number of custom-shop hog guns on order. “Our custom rifles sales continue to increase in scale. We see it as a great way to interact with our customers, creating a strong bond. You build them a gun they love, and they come back,” said owner Ron Rutledge.

Pawn Gallery, Clarksville
This small, independent pawnshop is located 40 miles east of Fort Smith off of Interstate 40. It stocks an average of 250 firearms and has two employees.

The Glock 43 and the Sig 220 are the two strongest sellers at the store. Springfield XDMs in 9mm are in the third spot.

Demand for MSRs is steady, but didn’t increase during 2015. “We really haven’t seen an uptick in rifle sales and it surprises us. That said, we are expecting demand to rise in the next 60 days,” said counter salesperson Kelly Elam.

Savage Model 10 Predators and Remington 700 varmints are doing well as cold temperatures settle in. Ammo stocks are good; however, specialty .22 Mag is still hard to keep on the shelf.

River City Firearms, Louisville
This dealer stocks an average of 300 handguns and keeps up to three employees busy. Handgun sales are at record highs. “We have seen steady increases in demand for MSRs and handguns since the Paris terrorist event,” said owner Derrick Myers.

Although S&W Bodyguards and Shields have sold well, the December price drop on Ruger LCPs sent turns through the roof. Other brisk sellers include M&P models and Taurus PT22s.

MSR demand is up nearly 200 percent from late November, with multiple turns daily. Top brands include M&P Sports and Ruger 556s. There is also high traffic on ATI mil-specs from Davidson’s.

Ammo stocks are better than they’ve been across the board.


By Peter B. Mathiesen

Island Firearms, Pittsburgh
With only 800 square feet of floor space, this retailer also uses the ceiling to display more than 500 firearms in the store. At the handgun counter, activity is notably higher than at this time last year. Glock 9mm and .40s hold the high ground; Sig .357s and S&W 686s are right behind.

Ammo stocks just may be the best in two years. “We finally have .22 Magnum ammo in volume, and overall .22 rifle sales were great during Christmas,” said owner Wayne Lyken.

MSRs are turning at a rate of about one a week, mostly Smith Sports. Shotguns are turning consistently, with tactical Mossberg 500s, Remington 870s, and a few Savage youth models crossing the counter.

L&H Woods and Water, Wall
This small-town dealer is south of Asbury Park and stocks more than 400 guns in 5,000 square feet.

Waterfowl guns are still moving, including Benelli Super Black Eagles and a few Browning A5s. Sales of MSRs have increased to four a week. Smith M&Ps are the top sellers, but Adams Arms and Rebel Arms are right behind. “We are starting to see demand increase for MSRs, and hopefully with distributor inventories in good shape this election time, we will have some pricing stability,” said general manager Tim Carey.

Handguns sales are steadily inching up. The Sig 220 10mm gets the most attention. Other high-demand handguns include nearly every Smith & Wesson revolver in stock.

Enck’s Gun Barn, Newmanstown
This store averages 400 firearms in stock. Handgun sales are strong, with high inventories of product. Ruger LC9s and Glock 43s and 26s pulled excellent numbers before and after the holidays. Cowboy Action revolvers are in good inventory, with Ruger Vaqueros topping the list.

Ruger 10/22s had one of the strongest holiday seasons on record. “It’s nice to see demand climbing, and for the first time in years, I have almost no shortages,” said owner Bob Enck. “Right now I can get just about anything my customers are looking for.”

Sales of MSRs are up, turning about three a week. DPMS and Smith M&P Sports see the most attention. High-end Lancer Rifles also are selling.


By Peter B. Mathiesen

Cabin Fever Sporting Goods, Victoria
Located in western suburban Minneapolis, this 6,000-square-foot storefront stocks bait, tackle, and more than 600 firearms. It stays open seven days a week, from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Sales of Glock 43s and 42s have increased to the point where they have overtaken last year’s highest sellers, the Springfield XD and XDM. “Our handgun sales inched up this fall earlier than usual, and with some local crime issues our handgun numbers are strong,” said owner Jeff Byrne.

December saw high traffic on .22s, with 10/22s and target pistols leading the way.  Savage Mark IIs in both .22 and .17HMR are in demand.

Sporting rifles are slowing; however, varmint versions of the Tikka T3 and the Savage Model 10 are still crossing the counter. Sales of MSRs are steady.

Little Joe’s Pawn & Gun West, Kansas City
Keeping about 200 guns in stock, this family–run pawn and gun shop has two locations and specializes in used rifles and handguns. Glock Model 43s and 19s are holding the top spot for both new and used guns. Smith Bodyguards are also moving quickly.

Traditional hunting rifles keep the register warm. Top movers here are Remington 700 Varmint specials and a few .270s BDLs.

In the MSR category, M&P Sports are increasing. “MSRs are not a primary focus for our store, but they are picking up,” said manager Sean Boyd.

Osage County Guns, Belle
Located in mid-Missouri, about 60 miles north of Fort Leonard Wood, this retailer keeps more than 3,000 guns on the floor. It has seven employees who oversee 5,000 square feet of retail space.

Sig Sauer holds a commanding lead, and the new Legion line, especially Models 516 and 916, all posted strong turns. “Our overall business has leveled out since Memorial Day,” owner Edward Pepper said. “But we don’t count on the spikes. Instead we deliver great service that we can make a profit on.”

Sales of sporting rifle were off during the fall, though a few Kimbers and higher-grade Remington 700s saw turns. Sales of MSRs are steady, but not increasing.


By Peter B. Mathiesen

Al’s Sporting Goods, Logan
Keeping an average of 900 firearms inventoried in 1,900 square feet, this retailer uses every inch of display space.

Sales of handguns are up by nearly 15 percent compared to 2014 sales, and this retailer forecasts a good 2016. “The election should keep our sales of pistols and MSRs rising,” said manager Val Spileitt.

Glocks lead the sales charts, primarily with the newer model 43s and the long-established 19s. Smith & Wesson K-frame revolvers also are on the rise, and Springfield XDMs continue to move every few days.

Sales of modern sporting rifles have consistently inched up since November. Colts, Daniel Defense, and Mossbergs are all selling well.

Boise Gun Company, Boise
In business for more than 16 years, this store has two locations that specialize in hunting and home defense firearms. It keeps as many as 4,000 guns in inventory.

The fall hunting season helped move Kimbers in .308 and .270 and Ruger All-Americans in .30/06. For winter, varmint calibers are beginning to move.

Sales of MSRs are beginning to climb, owner Gary Hopper said. “We see a definite trend with MSRs on a steady path to higher prices and greater demand in the coming year,” said Hopper. Top sellers include the entire line of S&W M&P rifles. LWRC and Daniel Defense are also attracting attention. Handgun sales are climbing, especially SIG 938s and Smith Bodyguards.

Jerry’s Outdoor Sports, Grand Junction
This mountain retailer uses 11,000 square feet to stock more than 1,200 firearms. It also has large inventories of safes, holsters, and reloading equipment.

Handgun sales are very strong. Smith M&P Shields are in the top spot; SIG 938s and 238s are just behind.

MSRs are turning multiple units daily. Smith M&P Sports have posted the highest numbers, but ArmaLite is also getting attention. “MSR sales are certainly getting less price-sensitive, and we are keeping up with demand,” said owner Jerry Stehman.

Savage Axis bolts in .22/250 are gaining steam among winter varmint hunters. Ammo stocks are good, with the exception of .22 Mag rimfire.


By Peter B. Mathiesen

Sidney’s Guns, Augusta
This uniform and soft-goods company started to handle firearms in the 1960s. Today, it keeps more than 1,000 guns in stock. Overall, it carries more than 10 million SKUs.

December is the biggest firearms sales month for Sidney’s. “Our store has fostered a gift-giving environment with many of our clothing contractors and other businesses in town,” said owner Steven Fishman.

Handguns are the hottest they’ve been all year; traditional wheel guns, such as Smith 642s, hold the highest spots, but Glock 19s and 43s and Ruger LCRs are selling well.

Benelli Novas and Franchi Affinitys are posting good numbers, Stoeger pellet guns are in high demand. Other quick turns are coming from Remington 700s and Sako in .270 and .308.

Classic Arms, Cordova
Located in suburban Memphis, this store stocks a wide variety of classic hunting and home-defense firearms, carrying an inventory of nearly 1,000 guns. Waterfowl season is in full swing, with large numbers of Stoeger M3500s and Benelli Super Black Eagles IIs moving. “I don’t know if it’s Duck Dynasty, but we have a lot of new waterfowlers coming into the sport,” said counter salesman Keith Smith.

MSRs are selling at about two a week, mostly in M&P Sports and Ruger 556s. Sales of bolt-action guns have been slow, with a few Sakos in .270 crossing the counter.

Ultimate Outdoors, Searcy
This rural, northcentral Arkansas retailer specializes in hunting firearms, home defense, and archery. They keep more than 300 new firearms in stock.

Sales of MSRs are improving at three a week, but only on low-price product. Smith Sports and Rugers are responsible for the majority of turns. In bolt-action guns, the Savage Axis and Tikka T3 in .270 garner most of the turns.

“Our .22 ammo stock is improving, but the prices have really jumped. It seems the shortage has trained consumers to pay a higher price,” said manager Rusty Fischer.

Handguns are moving well—mostly Glock 19s, 23s, and 42s, but Ruger LCRs and Kimber 1911s also are selling. Shotgun sales are brisk, with Benelli Novas and Stoeger M3500s on top. The Remington 870 Express has had a few turns of late. Youth 870s are expected to move well for the holidays.


By Peter B. Mathiesen

Howells Guns, Gray
This 27,000-square-foot store sells a mix of archery, soft goods, and firearms, keeping an average of 2,000 guns in stock.

Browning X-Bolts and Ruger Americans in .30/06 and .308 sold well during the regular deer firearms season. For blackpowder season, CVA Wolfs and Acuras led the sales list. Sales of MSRs have slowed. “Though steady, MSR sales have been lackluster,” said owner Adam Copp. M&P Sports, Ruger 556s, and Windham Weaponry in .308 are moving, though at a snail’s pace.

Handgun sales are on the rise, with Smith Shields and Glock 19s holding the high slots. Blaser over/under shotguns are making strong turns. The retailer reports adequate inventories of .22 rimfire.

Dunkelberger’s, Brodheadsville
With two locations and a total of 35,000 square feet of display space, this retailer services a wide area from Scranton to Allentown. Deer season is finishing up with heavy traffic on Savage Axis package guns and higher than expected numbers of Ruger Americans. The most popular calibers have been .30/06 and .270. M&P Sports and Ruger 556s led MSR sales, with four to five units crossing the counters.

Handgun sales have been strong and should continue to increase until Christmas. “Many of our customers give themselves a gift of a handgun,” said counter salesman Michael Frits. Ruger SR9s have been particularly strong. Smith M&P Shields are also fast movers.

Rimfire ammo stocks are good, and sales of Mossberg 500s and Remington 870s have been holding steady. Stoeger M3500s have been especially strong sellers lately.

The Outpost Guns & Ammo, Uncasville
This small three-employee shop specializes in home defense and training. Handgun sales are strong; high posters are from Glock 43s, Smith Shields, and Bodyguards. “Our handgun business is a staple for our shop. Training new shooters and supplemental training for existing shooters are our priorities. This one-two combination keeps our business growing,” said counter salesman Ernie King.

Other quick sellers include the Mossberg 500 and the Remington 870 Express. Henry lever actions in .22 are in demand, as are Ruger Americans in 308.