Volume 23, Number 6 October/November 2015

Archive for the ‘What’s Selling Where’ category

Blue Goose Sport Shop, St. Maries

Despite the lagging local logging industry, this panhandle gun-andtackle store has experienced a slightly improved year by focusing on price-point firearms. Sales of bolt-action long guns are ramping up for elk season, and Savage Model 110s packaged with Nikon scopes are in the clear lead. “It surprises me how many customers walk in and ask for a bolt gun in June. But it makes sense because they can shoot it all summer to make sure they’re ready for the season,” said owner Bryan Miller.

Handgun sales have remained consistent. High demand for Ruger LCRs, LCPs, and Kel-Tec PF9s help all three turn well. Ammo stocks are less than ideal. Miller has chosen to set aside boxes of hard-toget calibers for new gun sales.

Anacortes Gun Shop, Anacortes

This Washington firearms store specializes in police contract, military-personnel supply, and home defense. The shop also keeps an active web presence, listing more than 12,000 firearms. Holding the top spots at the handgun counter are Ed Brown and Kimber 1911s. Additional top sellers include FNX 45 Tacticals and any kind of J-Frame Smith.

Although sales of MSRs are slightly off (compared to 2013), FN PS90s, Rock River LAR-8s (in .308), and Smith M&P 15s are still pulling good numbers. “Our ammo inventory is holding with demand—with the exception of rimfire. But when it comes to 9mm, .380, or .308, we have what our customers are looking for,” said counter salesman Kjel Funston.

Shedhorn Sports, Ennis

Located just 70 miles outside the entrance to Yellowstone Park, this independent retailer keeps 12 employees busy stocking more than 400 guns. Handguns rule summer season sales. Large numbers of Ruger LCRs, LCPs, and Smith J-Frame revolvers are keeping the register hot. Kimber 1911s are also in high demand. In anticipation of elk and deer season, customers have been preordering Winchester Model 70s in
.30/06 and .308. MSR sales have slowed, but varmint hunters help spur action. Here, Rock Rivers and Cooper Firearms are in demand.

“Our custom-order MSR business continues to grow ,” said buyer/manager Colton Fosdick. Unfortunately, ammo inventories are below average, particularly in rimfire.


Gary’s Guns, Muskegon

This 1,500-square-foot gun shop keeps 500 firearms in stock. It continues to report improved sales figures despite local high unemployment.
Although handgun sales are slightly down, anything new or price-point driven is moving. SIG 1911s are remarkably active, and Smith SD9VEs and Glock 42s are exiting the store almost as soon as they arrive.

“We hold hard-to-get ammo for anyone with a new gun purchase, and our 9mm stocks are improving ,” said owner Gary Foster. MSRs are still selling at a rate of three a week; however, inventory is stacked deep with high-end guns.

New sales are primarily turning at under $650. Price-point guns are on the move, and Smith Sporters and DPMS Sporticals lead the way. In May, several Remington 870 Expresses crossed the counter; these are now being replaced by 870 Tacticals.

H&H Guns, Warrenton

Stocking more than 500 guns , this eastern Missouri storefront has realized growth, even in 2014. Handguns still rule; small concealed-carry models are holding the top positions. Ruger LC9s, LCPs, and Smith Bodyguards without the factory lasers are selling best. The new Glock 42s are also attracting plenty of attention. Larger-caliber MSRs, including DPMS .308s and Bushmaster .450s, are doing well. “Large Model
10-style MSRs have been hot in my store for some time now. When a customer comes in looking for something new, it’s the alternate
MSR,” said owner Mark Hale. He also notes that SIG SB15 stabilizing braces are in high demand.
Daryl’s Gun Shop, State Center

Keeping about 300 new and used guns in stock, this small two-man shop reports that 2014 sales are close to the numbers generated in 2013. Handguns are the priority this summer. Ruger SR40s, LCRs, and LC9s are all doing well.

Other fast movers include Glock 42s and Springfield XDSs.

“Anything small, compact, and new is selling fast,” said co-owner and gunsmith Marilynn Schoppe. Bolt-action rifles are doing well, with Savage 17s in demand. In MSRs, 9mm and .45 Just Right Carbines hold the top spots. Ammo stocks are not ideal, but the store has been able
to get what it needs to keep handguns and .22 sales consistent.


M&M Sports Den, Jamestown

This hunting and fishing store keeps 400 guns in stock, with just two full-time employees. Handguns are steady, and Glock 42s are in high demand. And Springfield XDMs and XDSs have become especially hot in .45 and .40 calibers. Even with ammo difficult to secure, 9mms are still crossing the counter.

Given the roiled currents created by New York’s SAFE Act, this retailer is extremely cautious regarding MSR inventory. “We’re going to hold
off on stocking the new ‘compliant’ MSRs. It’s still too tricky to navigate this terrain,” said owner Bruce Piatz. During the month-long turkey
season, several Remington 1187 Super Mags were sold. Within the last week, demand has shot up for Remington 870 Tacticals and Mossberg Cruisers. Critically, no .22 ammo has been shipped to the store in the last six months.

Van Raymond Outfitters, Brewer

This 4,500-square-foot store keeps its inventory of 600 firearms on the second floor. Although handgun sales are slowing, Smith Shields, Kimber and Ruger 1911s, and Glock 42s are moving. Browning Buck Marks and Ruger SR22s are in demand. “It is so frustrating that we can’t get any volume of .22 ammo. It’s really a summer gun, and we would sell twice the numbers if there was any ammo around,” said manager Rick Lozier.

As for MSRs, this retailer hasn’t turned one in six weeks. A few Benelli SuperNovas are moving, and the store holds higher expectations for late August sales.

Vermont Field Sports, Middlebury

This general hunting and fishing shop keeps four fulltime and three part-time employees busy while inventorying over 900 firearms. Taurus Judges are still a hot commodity, as are Smith M&P 40s. Browning Buck Marks are in third place. “ The lack of ammo has really started to affect sales of 9mms and .22s. It seems like the only shooters that have ammo have a lifetime supply. That’s leaving our new shooters out in the cold,” said owner Richard Phillips.

MSR sales are down to a trickle, with fewer than six Bushmasters and DPMSs in inventory. Phillips projected it will be a year before he
orders new MSRs. Coming off turkey season, Mossberg 500s, 835s, and 935s have been sold, along with several Remington 870 Expresses.


Cypress Armory, Cypress

With 1,200 square feet of floor space, this home-defense specialty shop (which has a Class III license) is located in the northwest suburbs of Houston. In addition to firearms, the retailer also carries tactical clothing. MSRs have cooled, yet they are still moving at two to three a week. Adams Mid Tactical and Ambush A11s are holding the top two sales slots. “Although sales are still good, we continue to adjust our MSR marketing strategy to reflect competitive pricing with high-end rifles,” said buyer Scott Douglas.

Demand for handguns has remained high. Springfield XDMs in .45 ACP hold the number-one slot. Other strong sellers include FNX 45 Tacticals and FNX USG 45s. Ammo stocks for .22, 9mm, and .380 are poor.

Heber Springs Gun & Pawn, Heber Springs

Located in north-central Arkansas, this threeemployee store keeps more than 300 guns on hand. Handguns are heating up, with Rugers selling almost as fast as they come in . “Our demand for pocket concealed-carry continues to grow. It seems like all of our customers eventually buy at least two. They keep moving to a lighter gun over time,” said owner Ben Harper. Additional strong sellers include Smith Bodyguards, Kel-Tec P-3ATs in .380, and Springfield XD-Ss in 9mm.

May was a record year for turkey shotgun sales. Harper says a lot of Remington 870 Expresses and Mossberg 500s headed out to the field. He noted this was the first year the shop sold strong numbers of 20-gauges for turkey season.

Norman’s Gun Exchange, Effingham

Located 10 miles south of I-95 , this family-run shop inventories an average of 2,000 firearms. The long winter delivered one of the best years in bolt-action sales. Strong unit numbers were posted as late as May for .22-250 and .223 in Remington 700 Varmint grades and Savage Model 12 VTs.

Benelli Super Black Eagles have also seen one of the best spring sales turns in years, and this retailer expects these above-average numbers to continue into the fall. Handgun sales are vibrant; Glock 42s and Smith 638s are best sellers. Ruger LCRs are also in demand. “Our handgun sales continue to move well . It would be nice to have some .22 ammo, though,” said owner Jamie Norman. Colt MSRs are selling at a rate of about two a week.


Shoot Straight, Apopka

With eight retail and range locations throughout Florida, this company sends seven employees to SHOT. “We go with a comprehensive plan and pre-book almost all our key meetings,” said Scott Patrick, law-enforcement manager. Going from meeting to meeting takes a considerable amount of time, so the store uses two employees to pick up catalogs and hunt for new products. Although dealer-direct buys were the norm for suppliers such as Smith and SIG, distributors were also seen. New lines from ATN Night Vision were added, as well as accessory products like FrogLube. “Our time at the show is hectic, however it’s a critical part of how we stock new product,” said Patrick. “It’s also the time when we can connect with and resolve any issues with our manufacturers. It’s a very important four days.”

Jackson Armory, Dallas

Packing 1,800 firearms into 1,100 square feet, this shop turns a mix of historic collectible guns in addition to MSRs and other modern handguns. “We work dealer-direct with several manufacturers. These meetings can make our year, and we would never consider missing them,” said Kevin Topham, tactical sales manager. The Vegas Antique Arms show also serves as a draw, so the company combines both shows for greater efficiency. Orders were placed at SIG for the SB15 Arm Brace as well as the Desert Tactical 556. Other deals were inked at Les Baer and HK.

TP Outdoors, Monroe

With two locations, this hardware/sporting goods retailer splits its inventory roughly 50-50, turning nearly 5,000 firearms a year. The big gun booths were all visited, and the emphasis was on dealer-direct factories. “Our goal is to find what’s new and press the flesh,” said owner Bill Petrus. “Our buying group is really where the sales happen. That said, SHOT is where we make all the decisions.” Some of the new product that attracted the attention of this store were the Browning Citori Crossover target over/unders and the UTAS stacked shotgun. One of the tricks this buyer will use is following the crowds. “We look for big groups of retailers,” said Petrus. “And when we find them, there’s almost always a great new item.”



Atlantic Tactical, New Cumberland

Shopping for five locations situated from Boston to New York City, this retailer specializing in law enforcement took eight employees to the SHOT Show. And yet, said owner Sean Conville, “we can never get it all done. We choose our meetings carefully and find there’s always more stops to make than we have time for.” Conville finds the show irreplaceable. “Our time is split between new-product research and strengthening relationships. No distributor show can replicate what SHOT accomplishes for us.” SIG impressed this retailer with new products such as the P320. Glock also received orders for the new Model 42, and Safariland received plenty of attention for the new GLS Series holster. Meanwhile, staff members spent lots of time hunting for more accessible .22 rimfire ammo. Conville’s retail chain looks to store managers and specialty employees to help find and select new product. Then a procurement specialist actually makes the buy after the show.

Target Sports, Glenville

Buying for 3,200 square feet of new retail space, this Albany-area storeowner finds that SHOT is the only place that he can cut deals with new factories. “We are a newer store, so we need new buying programs,” said owner Steve Borst. “I look for factories that are eager for new dealers, and have product that’s New York State compliant. SIG was particularly interesting, and we look forward to seriously expanding our inventory with them.” Searching for ammo took up plenty of floor time. However, it was a big year for this dealer to expand its medium and high-end shotgun inventories with direct accounts from Beretta and Fabarms. The new lines were added after they were unable to ink a deal as a Full Line Browning Dealer. Another challenge for Borst was getting distributors to ship units that the shop then modifies to make them New York compliant. “Many distributors will not ship us product, but in the case of Sports South, they have gone way beyond just servicing our account,” said Borst. “Clearly, they see the importance of a healthy retail business in New York State while we fight this difficult battle.”



3 Rivers Precision, Mascoutah

Located a few miles east of St. Louis, this store specializes in contract lawenforcement supplies. It markets nearly 80 percent of sales through a direct internet store. The show was attended by two staff members. Putting a face on manufacturers and looking for new product are the goals in Las Vegas. “We’re a new kind of retailer, and many of our distributors and factories are just getting used to our kind of selling. It’s so important for us to shake a hand and have a quick meeting,” said owner Brian Luncinski. This retailer split its time between handgun suppliers and optics. Optics is a business that is really growing , said Luncinski. While at SHOT, 3 Rivers added new products such as Vortex’s StrikeFire II and its new Red Dot line. Handgun manufacturers also received large orders, especially SIG, Glock, and Smith. One of the most exciting products found at the show was the Hornady new-technology RAPiD safe. “We sell a ton of safety products online, and we predict this unit will be a big mover for us in 2014,” Luncinski said.

Acme Sports, Seymour

Residing just south of Indianapolis, this shop keeps 700 guns in stock. It sells a mix of Class III, hunting, and lawenforcement inventory. This year, one person attended the show. “For our company, SHOT is actually a buying show . Our purchasing has slowly become more dealerdirect,” said owner Joe Hardesty. LWRC was the big stop this year, with commitments made for new short-barrel SKUs. Other stops included Browning, Kimber, and SIG. The latter was given a large order for the new MPXs and 320s. Now that Indiana has relaxed suppressor ownership, “we are selling plenty of suppressors to people who are concerned about their long-term hearing,” Hardesty said.

Defensor Tactical, Valley Park

Located in eastern Missouri, this retailer mixes sales between tactical retail and a custom manufacturing shop. The retailer also has four shooting lanes. “Because we are builders and retailers, the SHOT Show is a can’tmiss event. We are looking for parts, finished goods, and even range supplies,” said owner Joel Fields. This year’s SHOT Show strategy was a mix of hunting new optics and parts for this builder-store. Mag Tactical uppers and lowers received orders, as did Sightmark digital night-vision scopes. Fields spent a lot of time at SIG and ordered MPXs and P80s. Additional buys went to Saiga for 20- and 30-round shotgun drums.



Hell’s Canyon Firearms, Lewiston

This small mountainstate retailer goes to SHOT Show to cement relationships, look for new product, and find niche items that could be hot for internet sales. “I visit all the typical handgun and MSR booths, but it’s the meetings with my assigned distributor reps that can really make my year. This season, I was able to secure multiple SKUs that would have been impossible to obtain unless I was at SHOT in person,” said owner Brian Goodman.

Kel-Tec received heavy attention for the new KSG shotgun and KMR- 30 pistol. Orders were also given to Glock for the new Model 42s. As for long guns, Seekins Precision and Saiga shotguns were added to the inventory.

Havasu Guns, Lake Havasu

Resting near the California state line, and only a two-hour drive to SHOT, this general gun and archery shop keeps 200 firearms in stock. “It’s easy for our staff to go to the show, and we were able to get so much done,” said manager Leo Hunter. Hunter said he spent a lot of time in the Kel-Tec, Ruger, and Glock booths. Rock River and HK also were on his list. Finding ammo on the show floor was also a priority. “One of the reasons we do a better job than other local retailers when it comes ammo is because we use the show to maintain our relationships while staying on the cutting edge of what’s available,” said Hunter.

Maccabe Arms LTD, Reno

Specializing in tactical and lawenforcement retail, this store keeps more than 600 firearms in stock. They offer extensive law-enforcement training and sent two employees to SHOT this year. “We use SHOT as a buying show,” said owner Sharon Oren. “The information gained in meetings with suppliers can be critical to what we’ll stock, and the event keeps us on top of industry trends.” Significant orders were placed with SIG Sauer for the 320 Series and MPXs. Other buys included Tac-Con Triggers, Bullet Safe Armour, and safes from GunVault.



Uncle Oly’s Gun Shop, Mount Vernon

This small, family-run store keeps more than 100 used firearms in stock. Much of its new inventory is custom ordered.

Handguns continue to hold the lion’s share of this dealer’s turns during February, and SIG P238s and Ruger SP101s are seeing the most action. Ammo stocks are better than average. “For a small shop, we do well getting ammo through a local distributor, but we are still short for rounds like .22-250, .243 and .22,” said owner Brian Oly.

Bolt-action rifle orders are up. Weatherby Vanguards and Remington 700 Varmint models in .243 and .223, along with a few .30/06s, are receiving attention. Modern sporting rifle sales are steady, with DPMS and Bushmaster turning the best numbers.

Sprague’s Sports, Yuma

Specializing in LE and military sales, this large Arizona independent rests just 15 minutes from the Mexican border. Although the end of quail season is in sight, a few sales are still trickling in for Browning Citori over/unders in 20 and 28 gauges.

MSR sales continue to turn at the rate of about one a day at this store; Smith M&Ps, Rock Rivers, and Colts are all posting strong numbers. “We’ve seen a large shift in MSR sales to hard-nosed varmint hunters. It’s not that we don’t sell bolt guns to these guys, but it’s just not very often,” said manager Chad Converse.

Handgun sales are brisk, with Smith Shields, Glock 19s, and Ruger LCPs all hovering near the top of the chart. A few CZs and Savage bolt-actions are selling in .243.

Rocky Mountain Shooter’s Supply, Fort Collins

Keeping more than 50 safes and 600 firearms in stock, this retailer has seven indoor shooting lanes, as well as an off-site 1,000-yard outdoor range 30 miles away. A full-time gunsmith is on staff.

Handguns are always hot here, and lately Ruger LCRs and Sig P20s are moving very well. Rifle sales also are climbing. “That 1,000-yard range has really made a difference in our customers wanting to shoot distance. It makes them either want a new gun, or modify an existing one, especially with high-grade optics,” said counter salesman Jim Smith.

Bolt-action rifle are trending up, and Smith says strong sellers here are Tikkas, Remington 700s, and Browning X-Bolts, many in .308 and .243. Ammo stocks are improving.


A&K Gun Sales, Corfu

Inhabiting the old town post office, this storefront uses 2,400 square feet and keeps an average of 700 guns in stock. The store services all the firearms it sells.

Shotgun sales have been slow since the fall. “With the high cost of lead and shot shells, our shotgun leagues are falling apart. The ripple effect has forced a genuine slowdown for any type of trap or skeet gun,” says owner Ken Wahl.

Pistol sales across the board are solid, and inventories for Ruger handguns have improved, pushing LCs and LC9s to the top of the sales chart. Demand for anything 1911 has stayed high, while Glock 19 and 21 inventories continue to improve.

Bolt-action varmint guns are especially in demand. Weatherby Vanguards and Savage XP Trophy packages, principally in .223, are selling well. Ammo stocks are still inconsistent, though there are some improvements in the pistol calibers.

Bob’s Gun Exchange, Darien

With 500 firearms in stock, this retailer is just 15 miles from the New York state line, and specializes in handguns and reloading supplies.

Handguns have been hot; Glock 19s, Smith Shields, and Smith 686s have all made fast turns since the holiday season. Ammo stocks are not ideal, but are improving. “We can get most of what we need, but still only in limited amounts. We actually have .22 ammo in stock, but it would be nice to see more,” said counter salesman Hunter Tassitano.

Rifles are starting to move, with a few Remington 700s and Savage BMags in .17 HMR leading the way.

Griffin & Howe, Bernardsville

Keeping 900 firearms on display in their New Jersey store, this retailer specializes in shotguns and rifles. The small, custom facility produces Griffin & Howe Brand rifles, side-by-sides, and over/unders.

Trap, skeet, and sporting clay guns are hot here, with B. Rizzini and Blaser F3s making daily turns. Other notable sellers include Beretta Silver Pigeon 686s and some Perazzis.

Used guns are also strong. “While shotgunning plays a strong role in our retail mix, long-range rifle shooting is where we see great potential,” says president and CEO Guy Bignell. “To that end, we’ve hired a Navy Seal rifle trainer and opened a 500-yard range at our shooting facility.”

Hunting rifles are just starting to move; Dakota Arms and Blasers are selling to clients traveling to Africa.