Volume 24, Number 5 Aug/Sept 2016

Archive for the ‘What’s Selling Where’ category

Final Flight Outfitters, Union

This shop specializes in waterfowl and home-defense products, and stocks close to 1,000 guns.

Ammo supplies here are stretched to the limit. “Although we limit .22 ammo sales, we see change coming. The most significant improvement is coming from Federal. They’re committing to ship us the largest order we’ve received in a couple of years,” said gun manager Billy Hazelwood.

MSRs are still moving briskly at five to six a week; Colt and SIG get the majority of turns. Bolt-action rifles are slowing down with the end of deer season, though some Savage Axis .270s are still moving.

Semi-auto shotguns are slowing, but the store had one of its best seasons on record, moving high numbers of Beretta A400s and Browning A-5s. Handgun sales are impressive. Ruger LC9s and Smith Shields and Bodyguards attract the most attention. Glocks also sell well.

Paducah Shooters Supply, Paducah

This 11,000-square-foot facility includes an indoor archery range and outdoor rifle and pistol ranges. The past two months have seen banner sales of semi-auto shotguns. Benelli Super Black Eagles IIs and Browning A5s turned in especially high numbers. MSRs continue to move in consistent numbers, with an even mix of Smith M&Ps and models from Daniel Defense.

“It’s a pleasure for me to say that we actually have enough rimfire ammo for the first time in two years,” said gun manager Chance Callahan. At the handgun counter, Smith Bodyguards continue to lead revolver sales. Glock 42s and Ruger LC9s are selling well.

Sharp Shooters, Lubbock

Stocking more than 3,000 firearms, this West Texas shop specializes in hunting rifles, handguns, and home-defense products. It is one of the largest independents in the state.

Deer season closed with strong turns on Savage Model 10s and Tikka T3s, primarily in .308 and .270. Sales of MSRs have slowed to one a week, with Daniel Defense delivering the most consistent numbers.

Ammo has improved substantially for this store in the last month. “We recently received several large shipments of .22 ammo,” said counterman Chris Bennett. Handguns are hot, and SIG 238s and Glock 19s hold the top spots. Smith Shields are also selling in big numbers.


Blue Trail Range Gun Store, Wallingford

This store has range events for the entire family; there’s even a picnic area. Winter seasonal shooting has small-bore accessories flying off the shelf, including gloves and shooting mats for young shooters. “Our Youth Position Shooting Programs drive traffic through the winter. Whether it’s a starter gun or case, this is an active time of year,” said manager Mark Sloan.

Air rifles are always in demand this time of year, with several Anschutz models crossing the counter. Handguns are doing just fine. Top sellers include Glock 42s and 17s. Ruger LCRs are also posting strong numbers. A few shotguns are also turning, mostly Mossberg 500s and a few CZ over/unders. Ammo stocks are better than they’ve been, and rimfire is improving.

Juniata Trading Post, Everett

This full-line sporting goods store stocks fishing tackle, clothing, and accessories in addition to 500 firearms and reloading supplies. Pistol demand is steady, with strong first-of-the-year turns. “Handguns, day in and day out, have proven to be the income generator for winter sales,” said manager Lin Karns.

Handgun demand is high and steady: Ruger LCRs and LCPs pull impressive numbers, and there’s heavy traffic in Smith M&Ps and Glock 42s. Kimber 1911s continue to post strong numbers as well.

Sales of MSRs are down to one a week: Top sellers include DPMS and Stag. Ammo inventories are slightly better than average, and rimfire is arriving nearly every week. Most winter reloading gear is in stock for the first time in two seasons.

Renaissance Firearms, Rochester

This 500-square-foot storefront is packed with more than 500 guns. Sporting shotguns are starting to slow, with a couple of Caesar Guerinis and a few Stoeger semi-autos seeing turns. Tactical shotguns from SIG and Benelli are selling better than expected.

MSR sales are good, and this store still sees an average of two to three crossing the counter each week, led by Colt and SIG. With the exception of rimfire, ammo availability is good.

Pistols outpace everything else: Special orders for Beretta models 85 and 84 are topping the chart. Kimber Solos are hot, as are Ruger LC9s. “We love to have Special Handgun Months, when we can get a special model for a good price. It can really draw a lot of traffic,” said sales associate Bruce Henderson.


Boone’s Fine Guns, Isle

This northern Minnesota store has an indoor range and keeps more than 2,500 guns in stock. It also sells fishing tackle and soft goods.

The handgun inventory has steadily improved over the past three months. Sales have improved as well. Glock 42s, Ruger SR9s, and Smith M&Ps all pull strong numbers.

Varmint and plinking season is in full swing. As a result, .204 Ruger 77s and CZ bolt-actions are moving well. “Our MSR sales have slowed to two a month. We have monitored this trend, and our customers have become much more price-point-driven. That said, we still sell a custom gun every five weeks or so that will get close to the $2,000 mark,” said manager Daniel Boland. At this shop, top MSR sellers include Colt and DPMS.

Superior Shooters Supply, Superior

This long-standing Duluth-area shop specializes in firearms, safes, reloading supplies, and soft goods. Rimfire ammo is still in short supply at this store, and it’s forcing rationing. “We really try to sell .22 ammo to families that have purchased a .22 during the Christmas season. Though the situation is better than it was, it still has a long way to go,” said counter salesman Tim Hammerson.

MSRs are turning at about one per week. DPMS owns the top spot. Though Hammerson says he sees no increase in handgun sales, he also notes that sales have been steady. Ruger LC9, Smith Bodyguards, and Smith Shields all sell very well. Weatherby SA08 shotguns have been one of the year’s best performers.

Outdoorsman Inc., Fargo

This store keeps an average of three employees busy selling a variety of general home-defense products, rifles, and handguns. Demand for MSRs remains exceptionally high for this retailer. “We’re selling one a day, and that’s been steady for a long time,” said counter salesman Tony Bourn. Sales are just about equally split between Colt, APF Armory, FN, and Rock River.

Sales of handguns are brisk. Springfield XDSs and 1911s from Colt and SIG hold the high slots. Glock 42s are also doing well.

Ammo stock remains good and improving deliveries of .22 are coming close to meeting demand. Shotguns are still moving. Here, the store is seeing turns of Remington 870 Expresses and a few Benelli Super Black Eagles.


The Fort, Big Timber

This busy independent inventories a long list of shooting accessories. It also sells fishing tackle, beer, and gas. Modern sporting rifles are turning at about one a day. DPMS, SIG, and Ruger are the high-traffic brands.

“Although our stock of .22 ammo is still challenging, it has improved enough that Smith MSR .22s and Ruger 10/22s are starting to move in the numbers we saw a few years ago,” said salesman Matt Nichols.

For varmint season, Savage Axis rifles in .223 are the hottest bolt-actions. Winchester Model 70s in .243 and .308 are also experiencing quick turns. Concealed-carry handguns are selling well too. SIG 238s and Smith 638s sell the best, but a large number of Ruger LCRs and LC9s are crossing the counter, as are Springfield XDSs.

Mountain View Sporting, Anchorage

This gun counter inside a general-use sporting goods store stocks 200 guns and keeps four employees busy in firearms alone. Even though all big-game seasons have wrapped up, bolt-action rifle sales continue to escalate. “Big-game bolt-actions sell year-round, and this winter is no exception,” said manager Dan Jordan. Ruger Americans top the list, followed by Remington 700s. The top caliber is easily .300 Win.

MSR sales are steady. Top models here are the Ruger 556 and Smith M&Ps. Striker-fired Ruger LC9s, Ruger LCRs, Smith Bodyguards, and SIG 328s dominate the action at the handgun counter. While the Lower 48 is seeing an improvement in .22 ammo, this store’s rimfire supply is at an historic low.

Lolo Sporting Goods, Lewiston

This small storefront employs three full-timers while carrying a large inventory of reloading supplies, handguns, long guns, and MSRs. Ruger is tops at this store—especially LC9s and LCRs. Right behind are Springfield XDs and XDMs.

“We ordered carefully last year to improve our ammo inventory, and it has started to pay off with happy plinking winter customers and improved sales on .22 rifles,” said salesman Michael Reisenauer. Long gun sales have been brisk. Ruger Americans in .22 and Ruger 10-22s are doing well. The store is also selling plenty of Henry lever-actions. A few late-season Winchester Model 70 Featherweights in .243 are also crossing the counter. MSR sales have slowed, but Windhams turn at around one every three weeks.


Fort Chaffee Outfitters, Fort Smith

Keeping close to 400 guns in stock, this retailer maintains a brisk business by utilizing a wide variety of home-defense and hunting inventory to serve its clientele. MSRs are turning at less than one a week, predominantly DPMSs. Home-protection pump shotguns are selling well and are expected to continue to move through the winter. Remington 870 Expresses and a few of the Versamax have sold prior to turkey season.

Handguns are holding steady. Smith Bodyguards and Ruger LC9s are selling the best. In this shop, 1911s are in high demand, and Kimbers and Nighthawks are attracting the most attention.

“Our 1911 business grows a little bigger every few months. Almost all of our customers desire a custom-made pistol and are willing to wait for it,” said salesman Bob Goad.  Although ammo stocks are improving, the .22 inventory is inconsistent.

Chuck’s Firearms, Atlanta

Located in the heart of metro Atlanta, this retailer features collectibles, vintage military weapons, and higher-grade long guns.

Shotguns are what’s selling here. Beretta 687s, along with 28- and 20-gauge Caesar Guerini over/unders for quail, have moved well. In addition, a few Merkel side-by-sides have been sold. “Quail season is still a huge mover of fine guns for us,” said owner Jack Lesher.

Sales of rifles have been slow. MSRs—Colt and SIG—are going out the door at an average of two per month. Handguns move consistently, notably Ed Brown 1911s and SIG MK 25s. Handgun ammo stocks are good, though .22 is in short supply.

Kirkpatrick’s Guns and Ammo, Laredo

With up to 500 guns in stock, this store offers a mix of personal-defense and hunting guns. MSRs are moving at one a week, with Colts and Smith M&Ps seeing the most turns. Sales of .22-caliber MSRs are flat, and didn’t sell even during the holiday season.

“December and January used to be our sales peak for .22 rifles, but since our rimfire ammo stocks are so low, demand has dried up,” said counterperson Maria Gonzales.

Bolt-action rifles are still receiving attention, generally with Savage Model 110s in .270. Handgun sales remain steady. Glocks and Berettas, mostly in 9mm, as well as Kimber 1911s, are receiving the most turns.


Renaissance Firearms, Gonic

Just 15 miles from the coast, this New Hampshire merchant packs 500 firearms into fewer than 1,000 square feet. As hunting season ends, winter is one of the best times for handguns. “This is when we can sell an extra SKU to a regular customer-—usually a new Glock G41 or a used concealed-carry,” said salesman Stewart Rainey.

In addition to plenty of Glocks, several Springfield XDXs are crossing the counter. The most popular calibers are 9mm and .45.

Mossberg 500s and Stoeger pumps are the primary shotguns moving, along with a few from UTAS. Benelli Vincis are also selling.

Rock River Arms and Bushmaster lead the MSR lists, selling an average of four per month. Tikka bolt-actions in .243 are moving well for varmint season. Ammo stocks are generally good; however, .22 is still in short supply.

Gray’s Gun Shop, Lisbon

This shop’s specialties include handguns and used hunting rifles. Handgun sales are stronger than ever: Glock G41s top the chart, followed by Ruger LC9s.

“Our used rack is showing greater profit,” said owner Scott Gray. “When we can turn a Marlin .30/30 or an Ithaca Model 37 at a good price, a customer just can’t say no.”

Sales of hunting rifles are cooling. Savage Model 111s in .270 and .30/06 have pulled ahead. MSRs are slowing down to about one per month, with most of the inventory leaning toward Bushmasters. With the exception of .22 and .22 Mag., ammo stocks are above average.

Island Firearms, Pittsburgh

Located on an island in the Ohio River basin with only 800 square feet, this retailer uses the ceiling to display and hang more than 500 firearms. At the handgun counter, activity is high, and Glock 9mms and .40s hold the high ground, with SIG .357s in third. Owner Wayne Lyken reported that distributors have caught up with almost all handgun backorders.

Ammo stock is finally building up. “I can’t order .22 ammo, but with a case here and there, we have a strong inventory of .22 Long and .22 Mag. for the first time in two years,” said Lyken.

MSRs are moving at a rate of about one a week. Shotguns are strong, with tactical Mossberg 500s and Savage youth models performing the best.


Kirkwood Outfitters, Kirkwood

Located in west St. Louis County, this small independent keeps an average of 350 firearms in stock. Two employees sell a mix of hunting and home defense.

With the unrest in nearby Ferguson, along with protesters demonstrating a few miles to the west of this store, November and December saw record turns of firearms. Handguns sales have been a mix of Ruger LCPs and LC9 striker-fires along with heavy numbers of High Point 642s. Glocks are in high demand.

The store couldn’t keep shotguns in stock. After turning all the Mossberg 500s it could get, Hawk brand shotguns from China were brought in to meet peak demand.

Ammo shipments are improving but have not kept up with sales. This retailer has started to receive tin .22 ammo. “I was told it’s being made for the California stores. Right now, it’s some of the only .22 ammo I can get,” said owner Dave Hart.

Midwest Gun Exchange, Mishawaka

Nestled 10 miles from the Michigan state line, this northern Indiana retailer pulls customers from three nearby states. The 8,000-square-foot facility keeps an average of 5,000 guns.

Handgun sales are vigorous—everything from larger guns to small concealed-carry guns like Ruger LC9s and Smith M&P Shields. But demand is emerging for mid-size concealed carry. “That’s really started to gain steam and is capturing a larger part of our sales,” said salesperson Andy Fry.

Ammo stocks have improved, though shipments of .22 and .22 Mag. are inconsistent. MSRs are moving at a moderate pace; Smith M&Ps pull the best numbers.

Superior Shooter’s Supply, Superior

Located a block from Lake Superior and a skip across the state line, this long-standing Duluth-area shop specializes in firearms, safes, reloading supplies, and soft goods. At the end of fall, this retailer maintained strong .22 rifle traffic because it held ammo to sell or give with each .22 gun sale.

Smith Shields hold the top spot, with Ruger LC9s in a strong second. Other fast movers included J-Frame Smiths. MSRs have picked up slightly, and DPMS has become the go-to brand. Owner Pat Kukull also mentioned that gun safe sales have remained consistently high.


Carson Armory, Mound House

Located northeast of Carson City, this medium-size shop of 5,000 square feet keeps nearly 200 guns in stock. Sales of modern sporting rifles continue to decline. Smith & Wesson M&P 15s and Diamond­backs are taking the lion’s share of turns. “Our .22 MSR sales have fallen to the lowest numbers we’ve seen—all because of ammo availability,” said owner Eileen Ferguson.

Handgun sales are brisk, however, and have stayed consistent throughout the last 10 months. Ruger LCRs, Smith M&P Shields, and Glock 42s all sit at the top of the chart.

Tactical shotguns, like the Remington 870 Express and the Moss­berg 500, are selling better than they have in months. Ammo inventories are better than average, yet .22 is still in short supply.

The Fort, Big Timber

Employing 15 people and stocking more than 1,000 guns, this busy independent inventories shooting accessories, fishing tackle, gas, hot pizza, and some groceries. MSRs turn at two per week, with Rock River and DPMS in the lead.

Although stocks of .22 ammo are below average, salesperson Colt Scheffert said it’s not a big problem. “I wouldn’t say we have piles of .22 ammo, but we have a good supply. Customers in rural Montana just don’t overreact they way they do in big cities.”

Savage Axis rifles in .223 are the hottest bolt-actions for varmint season. Ruger Americans in .243 are also doing well.

Handguns are holding steady, with concealed-carry models pulling top numbers. M&P Shields are moving quickly, and SIG P320s and Rock Island 1911 Tactical FS II 10mms are also selling daily.

Storm’s Sports Arms, Palmdale

Located between Bakersfield and Los Angeles, this high-desert store is in its third year. Supplying both the tactical and hunting markets, it stocks an average of 300 firearms.

MSRs are holding steady. Daniel Defense and Bravo Company rifles are the top sellers, but Windhams and Colts are garnering the most mid-priced MSR turns. “We are at a complex time, and on the verge of several laws and court cases capable of changing our market quickly,” said owner Eric Monjack.

Handgun sales are strong. Glock 9mms and M&P Shields hold the top two spots. SIG is in third, but sales are based on availability.


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.