Volume 25, Number 3 April/May 2017

Archive for the ‘What’s Selling Where’ category

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.


By Peter B. Mathiesen

Joe Bob Outfitters, Hays
Located in western Kansas, this retailer specializes in home defense and MSRs. In addition to its brick-and-mortar business, the store has a large online presence.

Handgun sales have been very strong. The three top sellers have been Glock 43s, Smith Shields, and Ruger LCRs.

Sales of MSRs are also strong, but the real sellers have been custom-­part orders for lowers from Anderson and Spikes Tactical. “Even with slower sales for assembled MSRs, our lowers and barrels continue to grow,” said counter salesman Rolf Bertz.

Other strong sellers include the Stoeger M3500 and Savage Axis in .308 and .243. Rimfire .22 longs are in stock, but .22 shorts and .17 HMR are still in short supply.

Gat’s Guns, Dundee
This suburban Chicago retailer uses 25,000 square feet to display 7,500 firearms. MSR sales are steady, with a mix of turns at the low and high ends of the pricing spectrum. “If an MSR is priced below $699, it will sell. If it’s priced above $1,300, it will sell. However, if it’s in between, it just sits. I don’t understand it, but we have adapted our inventory to meet those two price points,” said general manager Randy Potter. Daniel Defense V11 Pros are experiencing the highest turns.

Handgun sales are strong. Glock 43s, Smith Shields, and Glock 19s are attracting the lion’s share of attention. Kimber CDP IIs are also making turns. Benelli 828 over/unders are on back order, and Remington 870 Deer Slayers have sold particularly well this season.

Davenport Guns, Davenport
This 3,500-square-foot retail space (which has 12 indoor shooting lanes) stands just yards from the banks of the Mississippi River. Keeping about 600 firearms in stock, this shop will celebrate its first year anniversary next month.

“Sales continue to grow. We’re the only indoor shooting range in Davenport. It’s been very rewarding to see the response from our community,” said manager Erik Mattly.

Handguns are hot, with Glock 43s and Springfield XDSs pulling the best numbers. At one a week, sales of MSRs are consistent. The top seller is ArmaLite.

Bolt-actions are turning well, including the Savage Axis, Remington 700 Varmint, and Cooper Firearms Classic. Caliber sales spread from .223 to .308.


By Peter B. Mathiesen

Doug’s Shoot ’n Sports, Taylorsville
This all-firearms dealer built the first retailer shooting range in the state. The store keeps a wide inventory of home-defense and traditional hunting guns.

Following big fall sales for bolt-actions, a mix of Remington 700s and Ruger Americans are selling; .30/06 is the most popular caliber. And MSRs are in demand. “We’re seeing MSR sales starting to pick up,” said counter salesman P.J.

Handgun sales are brisk, with the high spot split between Smith Shields and Bodyguards. XDs and Glock 43s are hot sellers as well.

Winter waterfowl season is underway, so the store is seeing Benelli Super Black Eagle IIs and Stoeger M3500s pulling strong numbers. Home-defense customers are turning to Kel-Tec’s KSG.

Silver State Arms, Reno
With more than 500 guns in stock and three employees, this retailer has been at the same location in metro Reno for almost 40 years. Handgun sales are strong, and Smith Shields and Glock 19s are posting excellent numbers. But the store has experienced a decline in certain handgun calibers. “We almost can’t sell a new .40 handgun. I’m not sure if it’s the improved performance of the 9mm or just the high prices on .40 ammo,” said manager Ken Walls.

While sales of shotguns and bolt-action rifles are the slowest this store has seen in several years, MSRs sales—about four per week—are picking up the slack. M&P Sports and DPMS Oracles hold the top spots. Used guns continue to be a mainstay, with high demand for any classic lever action.

Red’s Trading Post, Twin Falls
Founded in 1936, Red’s is considered to be the oldest standing gun store in Idaho. The store keeps nearly 1,000 firearms in stock. It also carries a large line of reloading gear.

Handgun sales are hot, with heavy numbers of Glock 43s and 19s crossing the counter. The Wilson Combat 1911 is also a fast mover.

But the retailer is readying for reloading season. “Reloading creates a strong cash flow through much of the winter,” said buyer Larry Barksdale. Varmint guns are moving. Savage Varmints and Browning X-Bolts in .243 and .22/250 are the most requested calibers. Sales of MSRs are flat—an average of one a week, mostly in M&P Sports. Over/under shotguns are moving. Browning 725s and the Beretta 686 and 692 are selling well.


By Peter B. Mathiesen

Mitchell’s Country Store, Fort Smith
This small, rural general store sells groceries and sporting goods, and keeps an average of 60 guns in stock. Handgun sales remain consistent. Although Glock 19s and Smith Bodyguards post the best numbers, Ruger LC9s are close behind.

Sporting long-gun sales are starting out slow this season, said owner Roy Mitchell. A few Henry .22s and Remington 700 BDLs in .270 have crossed the counter.

Final Fight Outfitters, Union
Located just 20 miles from Reelfoot Lake, this shop, which specializes in waterfowl gear and home defense products, keeps close to 1,000 guns in stock. Ammo supplies at this store are the best they have been in two or three years. “Although it takes a little planning to keep .22 ammunition on the floor, our customers can actually shoot their .22s,” said manager Jason Smith.

MSRs are turning at two a day. Guns over the $1,000 price point from Sig and Colt are seeing the most frequent turns. Ruger Americans in .243 are the most in-demand bolt-action rifles for pre-deer season.

Shotgun sales are brisk, and the store is posting strong numbers of Benelli Super Black Eagle II Classics and Extremes. Other fast movers include Winchester SXP pumps.

TP Outdoors, Monroe
With two locations, this hardware/sporting goods retailer splits its inventory roughly 50-50 while still turning nearly 5,000 firearms a year. Coming off the biggest sale of the year, this retailer is set for serious winter volume. “In Louisiana, we open September with a tax-free weekend sale that allows us to move the highest number of handguns during the year,” said owner Bill Petrus.

Handgun leaders include the Glock 43, the Smith Model 642, and Ruger LC9s and LCRs. MSRs are price-sensitive. Despite the long waiting period, silencers from Silencerco are gaining popularity with hunters.

Sales of bolt-action rifles are picking up. Howa and Savage combo guns in .270 and 7mm-08 are doing the best. Shotguns are also faring well. Beretta A400s, Benelli Super Black Eagles IIs, and Stoeger 3500s lead the pack.


By Peter B. Mathiesen

Blue Trail Range Gun Store, Wallingford
Founded in 1945, this family gun shop and range keeps 800 guns in stock. Preseason deer hunters are driving sales of lever actions from Marlin in .30/30 and .35 Remington. Remington 700s and 742s are also moving. However, owner Dave Lyman says he continues to struggle with ammo stocks, though he has seen some improvement with .22.

The compact handguns category is the clear winner at the handgun counter. Top sellers include Smith J-Frames and Ruger LCRs. A few shotguns are also turning, primarily Mossberg 500s along with a few CZ over/unders. Gamo air rifles are seeing increased demand, and several new models from Anschutz have crossed the counter as well.

Curt’s Gun Shop, Mifflinville
Keeping 250 guns in stock in a new and used mix, this north-central Pennsylvania store makes sure its customers are greeted by two black Labs. Taurus 738s and 11B2s are selling the best, but Smith Bodyguards and Shields also get serious attention.

“Shotgun sales have gotten really tricky in the last few years. I barely make ten dollars a gun,” said owner Curtis Moorhead.

Hunting rifles are moving, with Savage Axis in .243 pulling the best numbers. Other hot guns include used Marlin 336s in .30/30. Sales of MSRs remain flat, with one every two weeks. DPMS does best. As for ammo, Moorhead said, “Overall, stocks are adequate, but only because I spend almost every day sourcing inventory.”

Springhill Rod & Gun, Charleston
Stocking an average of 400 guns, this general sporting goods retailer has seven employees. Coming off of heavy promotional summer sales from Springfield Armory, handguns continue to move briskly. For October, Smith has moved to the lead; Shields and J-Frame revolvers are turning fast.

Deer season is ramping up demand at this store, though owner Dan Kessel notes he is selling an unusual combination of rifles. “With the coal industry in a terrible state, low-price-point and very-high-price-point rifles are attracting all the attention. Savage Axis and Mossberg Patriots are about dead-even at the low end, while Browning X-Bolts have staked the higher end, mostly in .243 and .308.”


By Peter B. Mathiesen

Little Joe’s Pawn & Gun East, Kansas City
Keeping about 200 guns in stock, this family-­run pawn and gun shop specializes in used rifles and handguns. Glocks and Smith Shields are on top of the new gun list, while used Smith K- and J-Frame revolvers have seen very high demand. “I have no idea where this used gun run has come from, but we can’t keep a used Smith in stock. They have produced a huge profit margin this year,” said manager Sean Boyd.

Traditional hunting rifles are keeping the register warm as well. With deer season ahead, customers have migrated to Remington 700 BDLs in .270 and Mossberg Patriots in .308. Shotgun sales are holding steady. The Mossberg 500 and Remington 870 Express top the leader board.

Midwest Gun Exchange, Mishawaka
With 8,500 square feet of display space and more than 8,000 guns in inventory, this Great Lake’s shop maintains home defense and hunting inventories. SCCY Industries’ CPX-1 and CPX-2 models came on strong during the summer. At the same time, Glock 43s also sold well.

“Personal carry is still in the lead when it comes to handguns. We feel demand for light and high-capacity handguns will continue to strengthen through 2016,” said general manager Brad Rupert.

Demand also is on the rise for Remington’s 870 Deer Express and Mossberg 500s. The store expects to move a good number of Benelli Vincis during waterfowl season.

Sales of MSRs are still strong, averaging around one per day. Curiously, low- and high-end price points are getting the most traffic; sales of mid-range MSRs are flat.

R H Kay Firearms, St. Paul
With a primary focus on home defense, this metro St. Paul retailer stocks an average of 300 firearms into a tightly inventoried 500-square-foot store. Glock 19s and Taurus Model 709s top the high-demand list at the handgun counter, along with several Sig P98s. “This year we found that handling transfers can really be worth our while. We often get a new customer and always send them home with an armload of accessories,” said owner Rick Kay.

Remington 870 Express and Mossberg 500 Tactical shotguns have made strong turns, and the store sells one MSR per week.


By Peter B. Mathiesen

Barnwood Arms, Ripon
Sitting between Stockton and Modesto in central Northern California, this home defense and hunting store has seven indoor shooting lanes.

Glock Model 43s are experiencing high demand; other fast movers include Sig 238s and Smith K-Frame revolvers. “We expect a good number of hunting guns to turn in the next 60 days. However, it’s really the consistent handgun sales that have kept the register warm these past few months,” said owner Paul Mangelos.

Sales of modern sporting rifles average two per week, with a mix of Smith M&P Sports and DPMS Oracles. Deer rifles are starting to move—Tikka T3s, Kimber Montanas, and Ruger Americans are doing well.

Jerry’s Outdoor Sports, Grand Junction
With 11,000 square feet of retail space, this store’s firearm selection consists of 1,200 guns, with more to come. MSRs are still turning at four a week. Smith M&P Sports and the locally made Viking Armament lead the pack. “These Viking Armament rifles are made here in Grand Junction, and even in this thousand-dollar-plus price point, we can’t keep them in stock,” said owner Jerry Stehman.

Handgun sales are strong. Customers seem most interested in Kimber and Sig 1911s as well as Shields and Sig 238s and 938s.

Sprague’s Sports, Yuma
Founded in 1966, this large Arizona independent is situated just 15 minutes from the Mexican border. It specializes in law enforcement, military, and hunting gear. With dove season just starting to slow, all eyes at this store are on who will win the “Big Breast Dove Contest.”

“We’ve held this contest for 27 years with a new promotional T-shirt every season. More than $2,000 in prizes are given away. Typically, the first and second place winners are often separated by a single gram,” said manager Chad Converse. The promotion continues to drive heavy sales of Benelli Montefeltro and Cordoba shotguns.

Bolt-action rifle sales are good, especially Tikka T3s and Browning X-Bolts in .300 WSM and .270. Other strong sellers include Summit Carbon rifles from Christensen Arms with prices that approach $3,000. Handgun sales remain brisk; Glock 43s and Ruger LC9s post the best numbers.


By Peter B. Mathiesen

Gainesville Target Range, Gainesville
This outdoor range can handle more than 80 shooters on three ranges and stocks more than 100 firearms. Glock holds the sales high ground, with good turns for Models 43, 42, and 34. Traffic has also increased on custom 1911s and Springfield XDMs.

With plenty of shooters actively using its ranges, this retailer committed to entering the ammo business. “In 2013, we started making our own ammo for our clients. It started out as more of a service for 9mm and .45 shooters. Of late, we keep expanding the ammo room, and the product is now a significant part of our retail business. But, we still can’t get .22 ammo. It’s just not practical to add it to our manufacturing,” said buyer Charlie Thomas.

Brisk-selling MSRs include the M&P Sport, Daniel Defense, and LWRC. Although shotgun sales have been slow, Mossberg 500 tacticals are picking up the pace.

Pawn Gallery, Clarksville
This small pawnshop is located off Interstate 40. Stocking an average of 250 firearms, there are at least two employees in the store at any given time. Locking up stocking programs with Ruger LC9s, Glock 43s, and Sig P228s has resulted in hot summer sellers. “Our ammo stocks are better. We have several bricks of .22 in stock,” said counter salesperson Kelly Allem.

Due to increased ammo inventory, Ruger 10/22s have been steady sales climbers. With fall coming, Remington 700 Varmint Grades are seeing turns. Other climbing SKUs include the Remington 870 Express and Savage Axis rifles in .270.

River City Firearms, Louisville
This dealer stocks an average of 400 handguns and rifles. Although sales of MSRs have slowed to four units per week, this retailer expects a winter surge. “We expect big traffic numbers. I’m buying heavy and getting great prices for this platform. I think we’ll turn an easy four to five units a day by December,” said owner Derrick Myers. Top MSR brands include Mossberg and M&P Sports.

Handguns sales have been strong, with Glock 43s in the top slot. The Taurus PT111 is another fast mover. At one point, the store turned nearly 100 units in one week. Ruger LCPs have also been ringing the register. With the exception of .22, ammo stocks are good.


By Peter B. Mathiesen

Fernwood Firearms, Hankins
Specializing in MSRs, handguns, and Army surplus, this 1,500-square-foot shop is next to the Pennsylvania state line. With current New York State firearm laws still wrapped up in the courts, this retailer canvasses other markets to keep sales healthy. “We do a big business selling to law enforcement. Pennsylvania residents can purchase non–New York State compliant handguns, but our in-state handguns are slower than last year,” said owner John Kielbasa. In general sales, Glock 43s and Walther CCPs in 9mm are the top sellers.

Ruger 10/22s and Henry lever-actions are turning, albeit slower than they did last year due to low .22 ammo inventories.

As for surplus, Fernwood has a 2004 all-wheel-drive 5-ton M935 military truck with only 900 miles. “Customers love these big trucks. When they come in to look at it, they often buy a gun,” he said.

Jackman Hardware, Jackman
Stocking 190 used and new firearms, this store, located just 3 miles from the Canada border, specializes in hunting firearms and hardware.

Handgun sales are consistent, with a few Taurus Judges crossing the counter. Ruger LC9s, Smith K-Frames in .357, and Ruger Alaskans in .454 Casull are in demand. Rimfire .22 handguns have been a mainstay, but problems obtaining .22 ammo hurts sales. “It’s driving me nuts that I can’t get .22 ammo after nearly three years. In fact, it’s worse now than it was last year,” said owner Mark Giroux.

Rabbit guns are always hot, with a mix of H&R 20- and 12-gauge single-actions, Savage Model 10s in .223, and Ruger 10/22s. The Savage Axis in .308, and Remington 700 BDLs in .270 and .30/06 are turning. MSR sales are slow, with Ruger and Bush-master turning about two a month.

Gun Toter’s Supply, Archibald
Just north of Scranton, this retailer has more than 500 guns in stock and is expanding custom-order firearms. Les Baer 1911s are hot, followed by Beretta 92FSs and Glock 43s. “We continue to stock popular firearms, but we’re moving to premium and custom firearms,” said owner Mike Frezzolini.

In addition to stocking large inventories of Tikka rifles and sporting Beretta shotguns, used handguns and rifles are a growing profit center.