Volume 23, Number 5 August/September 2015

Archive for the ‘What’s Selling Where’ category

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.


Bull City Gun Shop, Alton

Located on Highway 24 in north-central Kansas, this large independent keeps more than 3,500 firearms in stock. Handguns still rule the winter, with SIG 1911s, Smith 686s in .357, and numerous Smiths and Rugers in .44 Mag. doing well.

Sporting clays shotguns are also warming up the counter, with Browning Citoris and its trap guns selling better than last year.

“As a retailer, we try not to be hyper-responsive to the market and its trends,” says manager Kelly O’Connor. “Often we can’t respond quickly enough, and when do, the event is over. That’s why we stick to a product that we know and that will be in demand for a long time.”

Ammo stocks are trickling in at this retailer, and are expected to improve throughout the spring.

Lock-N-Load, New Haven

Operating two locations, this shop keeps a wide variety of hunting supplies that includes firearms, archery, and outerwear. Handguns are commanding major action this winter. High-traffic items include SIG P220s, 938s, and 238s. Ruger LC9s are also selling well.

MSR sales have slowed to one turn a month. “We have a large number of MSRs on the rack, but there doesn’t seem to be any local demand,” says owner David Kassebaum. “I’m sure we’ll turn them over during the year, but we’ll be much more cautious during the next MSR boom.”

Sporting shotguns are picking up, with a few turns on Franchi over/unders. Meanwhile, ammo is still in short supply, with .22 and .243 calibers still very difficult to inventory.

Western Trail Sports, Scottsbluff

With more than 1,000 firearms in stock, this large western Nebraska independent also stocks fishing and camping gear.

MSR sales have slowed to two a week, with most sales posting with Windham and Rock River. Handgun sales are still high, even compared to last year, with significant numbers of Ruger LCPs, Smith Shields, and Walther .22s all selling well.

Ammo stocks are on a slight upswing, but could still be better. “We haven’t seen more than an occasional case of .22 ammo for 14 months,” says owner Bruce Rollins. “Having hunting calibers like .243, .22-250, and .270 in short supply is hurting our rifle sales.”

Winchester Model 70s and Weatherby Vanguards are still selling for varmint season.


Googes’, Hazlehurst

Located in southeast Georgia, this rural general sporting-goods store (and gas station and butcher shop) stocks 250 used and new guns. Winter is all handguns for this retailer, with turns dedicated to Glock 17s, Ruger LCPs, and Taurus 686 revolvers. “Winter is a strange time for us. It’s the only time of the year when we won’t sell a shotgun or rifle, just pistols and revolvers,” says partner Ray Googe. With .22 ammo hard to keep in the store, this retailer reports ammo stocks are barely adequate.

Final Flight Outfitters, Union City

Resting on the eastern edge of the Mississippi flyway, this western Tennessee shop displays more than 3,000 firearms. Although waterfowl season is winding down, shotguns are still garnering plenty of attention. Benelli Super Black Eagle IIs and Beretta Extremes are still turning daily.

Handguns continue to move, with SIG P20s and P22s in the high spot. Kimber 1911s are also especially hot. Ammo remains frustrating, however. “We have 20 tractor-trailers worth of ammo on backorder.
It’s just been plain pitiful,” says
gun department manager Billy Hazelwood, adding that despite the shortage, he has experienced exceptional service direct from Hornady.

MSRs are turning at about two a day, with SIG 516s and Smith & Wesson M&P VATCs holding the top slots. Sales of varmint bolt-action rifles are steady as well.  Savage package guns and Remington 700s in .243 continue to be in high demand at the store.

Nagel’s Gun Shop, San Antonio

From its humble beginnings in Robert Nagel’s garage in 1942, this shop has grown into one of the larger independent gun shops in the state of Texas. Handguns are especially hot this winter, with steady turns on Glock 19s, Smith M&Ps in .40 and Smith Shields.

The .22 ammo shortages are starting to hurt. “It’s keeping young shooters away from the sport,” says counter salesman Gilbert Trevino. “For years, ammo has been a big part of our winter business. Clearly not this year.”

While the lack of ammo is frustrating, MSR sales are still brisk, with up to three a day crossing the counter, mostly SIGs and POF P415s. Other quick movers include home-defense pump shotguns from Mossberg and Remington.


Autrey’s Armory, Fayetteville

This tactical home-defense retailer hosts 12 indoor rifle and pistol shooting lanes. Although overall sales for the last quarter were down, the handgun counter has been busy throughout the holidays. Top sellers included Glock, M&Ps in 9mm and .40, and nearly any kind of J-Frame Smith.

MSRs turn more than six per week, notably down from this time last year. “The MSR trend has really slowed. It’s almost as if everyone binged on them, and now they have an MSR hangover,” says manager Mark Poole. Customers are even trading them in for handguns.

Ammo stocks have slightly improved, but .22 ammo is still in poor shape and hurting sales of .22 handguns. Youth sales for Henry Rifles, a staple for the holidays, were severely off this season.

McClelland Gun Shop, Dallas

Family-owned since 1972, this 8,000-square-foot retailer averages 1,000 guns in inventory and employs five gunsmiths. Handguns are the fast movers for January, with the highest numbers being posted from Springfield 1911s and Glocks. “We would love to see some Smith Shields and few others concealed-carry guns that are back-ordered. That said, deliveries are far better than they were just a year ago,” says countersalesman Chris Felts.

Ammo inventory is improving at the upper price points, but .22 is still difficult to get. MSRs are moving at a rate of two to three a week, predominately Bushmaster and Colt. Custom-shop MSRs continue to see high demand.

Mitchell’s Country Store, Jackson

Located in the western third of the state, this classic rural general store sells groceries, hardware, and sporting goods, and has an average of 100 guns in stock at any one time. Handgun sales remain consistent, with Glock 19s holding the high ground. This shop also turned several 1911s from Rock Island Armory. “I’ve been waiting for some guns from Ruger and J-Frame Smiths for months,” says owner Roy Mitchell. He’s frustrated by the lack of .22 ammo, and notes that it has negatively impacted Christmas gift sales, particularly .22 long guns for younger shooters.

Sporting long gun sales had the slowest season in the store’s history. To date, Rock Rivers are still turning one every other week.


L&H Woods and Water, Wall

This small-town south New Jersey fishing, hunting, and clothing dealer stocks more than 400 guns in 500 square feet. Handgun sales are steady: SIG is in the lead, with P222s, P226s, and 1911s all getting high turns. “Selling in New Jersey requires planning on our part. Customers have to apply for a permit, and then after waiting months, must make that purchase within weeks or the permit expires. It’s critical that we work with companies that produce inventory—and SIG ships,” says general manager Tim Carey.

Benelli Super Black Eagles and Browning A5s are still crossing the counter. MSRs have slowed to two a week, with Smith M&Ps in the top spot. Rimfire ammo stocks are good at last, but stocks of 9mm, .40, and .30/30 are in poor shape.

Enck’s Gun Barn, Newmanstown

Located in the heart of Pennsylvania Dutch Country, just 24 miles from Cabela’s, the store keeps a carefully chosen inventory that its competitors do not. Handgun sales are good to excellent, with Rugers turning within a few days. Cowboy Action has exploded here, and Ruger Vaqueros top the list.

Ammo continues to aggravate, with shortages through deer season. “It killed me to have only marginal stocks of the most basic calibers, like .270, .30/30, and even .308. My customers were not happy,” says owner Bob Enck.

MSR sales have slowed, turning one a week. Here, DPMS and Smith M&Ps see the most attention. Although MSRs are down, there’ve been a few recent orders for high-end Lancer Rifles.

Interlaken Guns & Ammo, Interlaken

This retailer has an active home-defense and hunting firearms business. Handgun sales are steady, with 9mm and .40 Glocks on top. Smith J-Frames and Kahr CM9s are also turning good numbers. In ammo, the shop is struggling to stock .22 and .30/30.

MSRs are doing well, and local corrections and police officers have been buying Colts. “It’s really been a struggle trying to figure out what is legal and what’s not,” says owner Bill McGuire on the state’s new compliance law.

Bolt-action rifles have surged, with the .243-caliber Savage Axis getting notable sales for varmint season. Gift certificate redemptions have created a run on accessories, with belts and holsters seeing the highest turns of the season.


Cabin Fever Sporting Goods, Victoria

This 6,000-square-foot storefront stocks bait, tackle, and more than 600 firearms. “We’ve really seen a decline in .22 rifle and pistol sales. Customers say, ‘Why should we purchase a gun if we can’t get ammo?’” says owner Jeff Byrne.

Sales of Tikkas are spilling over into varmint season. Small numbers of long-barreled MSRs are attracting more attention, from Stag and Bushmaster. New slug shotguns from Savage continue to move after the holidays.

Handguns are picking up from an already strong holiday season, with concealed-carry topping the list. Smith Shields and Springfield XDs are doing exceptionally well, and Glock is seeing an increase over last year.

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 moving quickly; used handguns are selling even better than they were last year.

Traditional hunting rifles are still keeping the register warm. But with deer season over, customers have migrated to Remington 700 Varmint Specials and a few .243 BDLs. “Ammo stocks are frustrating us, and the lack of .22 really hurt our holiday sales,” says manager Sean Boyd.

Osage County Guns, Belle

Located in mid-Missouri, 60 miles north of Fort Leonard Wood, this retailer keeps more than 4,000 guns in inventory and reports more than a 50 percent increase in total sales from this time last year. Pistols hold the high ground, with all things 1911 pulling in the most profit and turns. High-end pistols from Ed Brown and Nighthawk Custom deliver the highest profits, but Kimbers, SIGs, and Springfield 1911s pull the best numbers.

“Our 1911 sales are through the roof. Since we have one of the best inventories in the country, we can get what customers are looking for,” says VP John Dawson.

Rifle sales are even with last year. However, SIG 516 MSRs have sold well, followed by a few ArmaLites. Custom uppers and lowers is a category that continues to grow. Ammo stocks are less than ideal; poor inventories of .22 ammo are causing rimfire rifles and pistol sales to stall.


Barnwood Arms, Ripon

Resting between Stockton and Modesto in central Northern California, this home-defense and hunting store just opened seven shooting lanes. Demand for the Smith & Wesson Shield is exceptional, and deliveries are just starting to arrive. Glocks have experienced a resurgence and are selling better than they were earlier in the year, mostly in .40.

“Our range continues to be an important part of our sales. It’s simple. We properly fit a new shooter, take them on the range, and we close the sale,” says range manager Selise Perez. Other brisk sellers include good traffic on MSRs, which average four per week. SIG M400s hold the clear lead. Bolt-action sales include Remington Varmint grade 700s, mostly in .223 and .22-250.

SM Gun Shop, Eugene
Just a block from the Willamette River, this tightly packed store averages 500 firearms in stock most of the year. Overall, sales finished down from 2012, with a significant reduction in handgun sales. “Our numbers are off, and we attribute it to a difficult year getting product in the door,” says owner Marvin Loy. Currently, the top sellers are Glocks and Smith M&Ps, mostly in 9mm and .40.

MSRs are slowly picking up, turning about one a week, mostly models from DPMS. Home-defense shotguns are at the highest numbers in months. Remington 870s lead the pack, followed by a few Winchester 1300 Defenders. Ammo inventories are low; the store is completely out of .22s.

Welcher’s Gun Shop, Tacoma

Family-owned since 1958, this shop stocks more than 500 firearms, selling a mix of home defense and hunting supplies. Tikka T3s are still selling, along with a few Browning X-Bolts and Weatherby Vanguard Series IIs, mostly in .270 and .308. MSRs have picked up, moving about three to four units a week, with a mix of Rock Rivers and SIG 516s.

Handgun sales are brisk, with Glocks gaining steam due to improved availability. “In 2014, we believe handgun deliveries will improve, and we hope that ammo will smooth out,” says owner Bryan Welcher. Ammo stocks are generally low, but improving slightly— except for .22. Shotguns are tapering off, though this store reported good sales for Benelli Super Black Eagles and M2s in December.



Biff’s Gun World, Louisville

With 2,000 guns in stock and an offsite range, this independent, featured on the CMT reality show Guntucky, has six full-time employees.

Sales of MSRs are down, with most going to Windham Weaponry. “Our MSR sales are not what they were last year, but they are still notable. We see a big future in alternative calibers and custom builds,” says owner W.L. Sumner.

Handgun sales are strong, with plenty of pre-Christmas cash being spent on Ruger SR9s and Pink Lady .38 Specials from Charter Arms.

Home-defense shotguns are hold-ing steady, with most turns going to Remington 870s and Mossberg 500s. Sumner says ammo stocks are not ideal, and it’s crazy that .22 ammo is still in such short supply.


Chandler’s Gun Shop, Valley Mills

This small, rural gun shop rests northwest of Waco. It keeps 100 guns in stock and is building a new facility that will house a larger retail space and a gun range.

Because of the move, the store is only selling MSRs and long guns per order. However, handgun inventory is better than it was earlier in the year. Springfield XDs and XDMs in 9mm and Glock Model 22s top the list, with Ruger LCPs and LCRs moving quickly. Other notable handgun sales include .22 pistols. “We’ve seen customers who want a .22 that closely matches their favorite concealed-carry handgun for convenience and cheap shooting,” says manager Sonny Yarbrough.

Although ammo stocks are less than ideal, particularly in .22, most other ammo is on the shelf.


David’s Gun Room, Norcross

This suburban Atlanta store keeps about 400 guns on the floor in 2,000 square feet of retail space. Pre-Christmas handguns are hot, with demand for Smith 638s. Smith Airweights in .38, Ruger LCRs, and Smith Shields are also hot.

“Demand for Smith 638s is so high a used one will not sit for more than one day,” says counter sales-man John Sinson. Kimbers are also selling well, but are on back order.
Getting enough ammo remains tricky. Hunting long-gun calibers are in such short supply, they are only being sold with a new rifle.

MSRs are turning slowly—most sales are going to price-point Smith M&P Sporters. But bolt-actions have been hotter than last year, with Ruger Americans and Tikkas in .30/06 closing the season strong.


Curt’s Gun Shop, Mifflinville

This north-central Pennsylvania shop keeps 200 guns in stock. Price-point firearms are the largest sellers. Hi-Point handguns in 9mm and .38 take first place, with Taurus TCP .380s a strong second. Smith BodyGuards and Shields are also getting attention. “Local employment is improving, but used and price-point guns are still our strongest sellers,” says owner Curtis Moorhead.

Hunting rifles are moving, with Savage Axis in .243 pulling the best numbers. Other hot guns include new and used Marlin 336s.

Hunting ammo has been hard to come by, with staples like .30/30 in short supply. Moorhead says his ammo stocks are adequate overall, but only because he spends hours every day sourcing inventory.

Springhill Rod & Gun, Charleston

Stocking an average of 400 guns, this general sporting goods retailer has seven employees. MSR sales have slowed but higher- grade Smith M&Ps are still turning up to five a week. Bolt-actions sales are steady. Remington SPS 700s, Browning X-Bolts, and Ruger 77s (all in .30/06) are the most popular.

Youth rifles are hot, with Ruger Compacts and Savage Axis Compacts mostly in .243. “We see this market increasing in coming years,” says counterman Tom Kessler.

Shotguns sales have been steady. Remingtons 870s are doing particularly well. A few H&H .410s have moved as well.

Handguns are hot, with Glocks and Springfield XDMs in the lead. SIG .22 Mosquitoes are also posting strong numbers. Ammo stocks are slightly better, with customers limit- ed to one brick of .22 ammo a week.

The Owl’s Nest, Phillipsburg

This small dealer keeps 200 firearms in inventory, specializing in shooting- sports products. With deer season winding down, rifles continue to move, with Savage 220s and H&R Heavy Barrels in 20-gauge. Muzzleloaders are still turning, with .50-caliber T/C Triumphs and CVA Accuras. MSR sales are steady, but down from last year. Windham and DPMS in .23 get the most attention. Ammo stocks are frustratingly low. “By now I had expected ammo to be reasonably easy to get. It’s disappointing to customers at Christmas to limit .22 ammo,” says owner Jim Heebner.

Smith M&Ps in .40 and 9mm and Ruger LCRs are the hot handguns.