Volume 22, Number 7 December 2014

Archive for the ‘What’s Selling Where’ category


Final Fight Outfitters, Union

Located just 20 miles from Reelfoot Lake, and specializing in waterfowl gear and home-defense products, this shop keeps close to 1,000 guns in stock. Ammo supplies at this store are stretched to the limit. “It wasn’t even this bad during the election. We have minimal stock across the board, and we have limit- ed our customers to one box per sale. We are literally out of powder,” said counterperson Derek Barner.

Though sales of MSRs have cooled, they remain in high demand, and the store turns one every other day. Inventories have improved, and now Windhams and High Standards are seeing the majority of turns. Handgun sales are impressive, with Glocks and Ruger LCPs and LCRs attracting the most attention. Glock inventories are improving weekly.


Mike’s Gun Shop, Pensacola

Keeping an average of 450 firearms in stock, this Panhandle store’s inventory is down by at least 200 guns. MSR sales are still just as hot as they were 60 days ago, with at least one crossing the counter each day. Top sellers include DPMS and M&P Sporters, all in .223.
Handguns continue to move brisk- ly, especially Smith Bodyguards and Ruger LCRs and LCPs. Inventory is tight for any ball ammo, and .22 is rationed at two boxes per customer.

“Demand for ammo has been off the charts,” said counter salesman Shane Young. “With the exception of rifle calibers like .270 and 7mm, it may be the worst we’ve seen.”

Benelli shotguns (M2s and Super Black Eagles) are unseasonably in demand this summer. Sales of sporting bolt-actions have remained high all spring. Kimber and high- grade Remington 700s, mostly in .270, are selling well.


Sharp Shooters, Lubbock

In business since 1992, and with more than 3,000 firearms in inventory, this West Texas shop specializes in hunt- ing rifles, handguns, and home- defense products. It is one of the largest independents in the state. Sales of MSRs are slowing down but still ring the register daily. Rock River and SIG maintain the best numbers.

Handgun sales continue at a near- record high. Here, SIG 238s and 938s hold the high ground, but Ruger LC9s are also pulling impres- sive numbers. Ammo has been a challenge, said counterman Patrick Middlebrook: “We have ammo, but we’re only letting customers buy it two boxes at a time.”



A&K Gun Sales, Corfu New York

State gun laws are holding this deal- er in a state of constant confusion, though he has found distributors and manufacturers considerate of his challenges. “It seems like we receive a different interpretation daily about what can be sold. Distributors are becoming more helpful in finding inventory that’s legal to stock, but it’s highly compli- cated,” said owner Ken Wahl.

Inventories are still a challenge, with high demand for all things 1911. As of summer, the most accessible 1911 has been the American Tactical. Ruger LCPs and LCRs are moving briskly, and Glock 19s and 21s are just now arriving. Hunting shotgun sales are the slowest they’ve been in years. Ammo inventories and local prices are less than ideal, with .22 bricks selling for as high as $80.


Juniata Trading Post, Everett

The big story at this small shop is the high demand for ammo and reloading supplies, coupled with a lack of inventory. “We get calls every hour for .22s,” said manager Lin Karns. “Last week, a dealer from Alabama was driving around picking up all the .22 ammo he could get his hands on. We can’t get .22, 9mm, .223, or .380.” Other difficult items include powders and primers. Karns said his powder inventory is off by 80 percent from last year’s.

Handgun demand is high and steady, with Ruger LCRs and LCPs pulling impressive numbers; Smith Bodyguards are just behind. Kimber 1911s are continuing to post strong numbers, as are Charter Arms .38 revolvers. MSR sales are down from several a day to four a week. Top sellers include DPMS and Stag.


LL Cote, Errol This northern New

England sporting goods store offers a massive 30,000 square feet of retail space. Inventories are replen- ishing; Glock 19s and Smith Bodyguards hold the top slots. Demand is strong for Ruger LCRs and Commander 1911s. Back orders are getting caught up and sales are returning to a “high normal,” accord- ing to manager/owner Shawn Cotes. “What I’d call ‘panic buying’ seems to have calmed. That said, our regu- lar spring business is still active.”

Sales of MSRs have slowed to a third of what they’d been in April, but Colt, Bushmaster, and Smith M&Ps still see nearly daily turns. In turkey guns, several Benelli camo Super Black Eagle IIs and Remington 870 pumps have been getting atten- tion. Ammo inventories are slowly improving.



Boone’s Fine Guns, Isle

This destination store has an indoor range and keeps more than 2,500 guns in stock. The handgun inventory is steadily improving and sales haven’t slowed. Glocks, Springfield XDSs, and Smith M&Ps are all pulling exceptional numbers; 9mm is the chosen caliber by a mile.

Varmint and plinking season is in full swing. Ruger 77s in .204 Ruger and CZ bolt-actions are moving better than they did last year. The hottest seller has been Ruger’s new Model 77 .17 Hornet. “The new .17 Hornet has really caught on here. In the Ruger platform, they’re sold as soon as they reach the shelf, and we don’t have to limit the ammo,” said gunsmith Lee Raverty.

MSR inventory has greatly improved, but sales have dropped within two months from five per day to just one per day. Top sellers include Colt and DPMS.


Superior Shooters Supply, Superior

Ammo and reloading supplies are in short supply at this Duluth-area store, forcing some rationing. “We try to sell .22 ammo to families getting ready for summer. Everyone is now limited to one box,” said owner Pat Kukull. Everything .22 is hot here, from the few Ruger 10/22s that arrive to the Savage Model 93 bolt-actions. MSR platforms and the new 1911 pistols also pull good numbers.

Handguns are steadily replacing falling MSR sales, and Ruger LCPs, Smith Bodyguards, and Springfield XDMs in .45 are all selling very well.

MSR sales have slowed from 10 per week to one or two per week. Inventory is improving quickly. Kukull also mentioned that gun safe sales were at an all-time high.


Midwest Gun Exchange, Mishawaka

Nestled just 10 miles from the Michigan state line, this northern Indiana retailer pulls customers from three nearby states. MSRs are still in high demand, and an improving inventory helps fuel multiple daily turns. Rimfire MSRs are particularly hot. Smith M&Ps are the fastest-selling guns; Ruger 10/22s head out the door on arrival. Top handguns include Ruger LCPs and Smith Bodyguards.

Ammo rationing has been in effect for several weeks. “We have established a limit of one box per customer, two if you purchase a new firearm,” said general manager Brad Rupert.



Jerry’s Outdoor Sports, Grand Junction

With new retail space that expanded the store to 11,000 square feet, this retailer’s firearms selection is at 1,200 guns and climbing, with large inventories of safes, holsters, and reloading sup- plies. Handgun sales are strong. Jerry’s customers are interested in the new FN line of pistols, including the X and S models in 9mm and .40. Kimber 1911s are hot, and Springfield XDs and XDMs are also in high demand.

Modern sporting rifles are still seeing turns of multiple units daily. Smith M&P Sporters and Bushmasters are in the top delivery spots. “Our MSR sales have really held their ground through the spring. Inventory is improving, and I don’t see it slowing down much,” said owner Jerry Stehman.

Ammo is still in high demand. To keep product on the shelves, Jerry’s is limiting ammunition sales to 100 or 200 rounds per customer, depending on the caliber.


Gannett Sports, Pinedale

With 1,000 square feet of retail space dedicated to hunting firearms and soft goods, Gannett Sports depends on campers and local outfitters for its summer business. Large-caliber handguns are in demand, especially Ruger Alaskans in .454 Casull and Blackhawks in .44 Mag. Several Judges have also moved this month. “Handgun sales for bears are a big part of our summer sales numbers,” said owner Pam Grove.

The store has moved a few bolt-action Browning X Bolts in .223. Several Browning X Bolt Medallions and Savage Mark 11 .22s have also been active for summer shooters. Ammo sales are limited to 100 rounds per person.


Rockwell Arms, Sandpoint

Although it operates a small brick-and-mortar shop in downtown Sandpoint, this retailer moves the vast majority of product—firearms, parts and accessories, gear, and ammo—through its website. Sales across the board are impressive, with handguns leading the pack. Glock 19 Gen4s and Kimber Solos top the list, but SIG 229s and 226s are only slightly behind.

With MSR sales holding steady, Knight’s Armament SR-15Es in .223 are in high demand, and Mossberg 175T .22s are flying out of the loading dock. Ammo stocks are down, but they are not being rationed.


Gainesville Target Range, Gainesville

This outdoor gun range handles more than 80 shooters, and sent five employees (three buyers, two researchers) to the SHOT Show. Orders for 1911s were given to Les Baer and Nighthawk Custom. Hefty handgun orders were placed at Glock, Smith, and SIG. “It was my first SHOT Show, and people tell me I’ll always remember it,” said sales manager Brian Spiess.

With ammo availability tightening, the store committed to a large order at Camdex Automatic Ammunition Systems to sell ammo that will be assembled on the premises.

Pawn Gallery, Clarksville

This small, independent pawn shop is located 40 miles east of Fort Smith off Interstate 40. It stocks an average of 250 firearms, and, for the first time, sent two employees to the SHOT Show. Locking up stocking programs with Ruger, Glock, and SIG was this store’s priority. Another objective was to meet with new distributors and to put a face to all the phone calls. “It’s really about fostering personal relationships. I just had no idea about the true scope of the show. I’ll be more organized next year,” said owner Rick Elam.

With handguns in good order, this store owner looked for small, specialty MSR manufacturers to help ease inventory demand. He ordered from MGI, including the Marck Modular 15 in 5.56mm. Another vendor that received attention was the Deep Conceal Holster company; its concealed holster shirts merited an order.

River City Firearms, Louisville

This metro Louisville dealer stocks an average of 250 handguns. Owner Derrick Myers attended his first SHOT Show with his wife, spending most of his time researching and looking at new product. “I’m just amazed. It’s hard to conceive just how many vendors are there to talk to. Although I didn’t buy much, my time was well spent, especially talking to my new distributors,” he said.

Springfield’s new XD9s and Walther PPX9s caught his eye. Myers said that although it was an overwhelming experience, he would definitely return next year. This first-year retailer also reported his inventories have improved since early in the first quarter.


Gun Toter’s Supply, Eynon

Just north of Scranton, this retailer has fewer than 200 guns in stock, down from 500 (primarily hand-guns). This was the staff’s seventh SHOT Show, and they used the time to buy. Les Baer Customs received an order for more than 40 custom 1911s; orders were also placed at SIG, Glock, and Kimber.

Reloading gear was also a priority, with a large order placed at Redding Reloading. “One of my frustrations with some vendors was the attitude of ‘Place your order, pay for it now, and we’ll deliver it in a year and a half.’ I’m just not going to let a manufacturer hold $50,000 for 20 months,” said owner Mike Frezzolini.

This dealer got a commitment from SIG for a large order of M400 rifles. He also added Vortex Optics to the store’s lineup.

Fernwood Firearms, Hankins

Specializing in MSRs and handguns, this 1,500-square-foot shop is less than two years old. The owner was on the floor of the show when New York enacted legislation that bans MSRs. “Most manufacturers won’t sell to me in New York State. This is putting my store in a very difficult position. There is little inventory I can get, and most distributors that I deal with are in a ‘wait and see’ mode. I want to remind the industry what this law is designed to do—put me out of business,” said owner John Kielbasa.

Kielbasa said that his inventory is starving. He is only able to restock with surplus accessories and a few new guns from High Standard, along with Ruger Mini 14s and 30s.

He also mentioned that many of the companies and distributors that won’t ship to him have taken large deposits from his store, which they have been extremely slow to refund.

Firearms Support and Storage, Whippany

With more than 3,000 square feet of vault space, this retailer stated it was the first state-and federal-approved public gun storage facility in the country. This retailer sent five employees to SHOT for firearms, range equipment, and gun storage systems. The staff met with new and existing distributors to iron out inventory challenges in the coming season. They added new accounts with Beretta, Action Targets, SIG, and Windham Weaponry. “In the tri-state area, we see gun storage as a highly marketable service, and predict that our growth at this retail location will be substantial,” said owner Ross Osias.


Bob’s Gun & Tackle, Hastings

With an average inventory of 2,000 firearms, 35 employees, and more than 15,000 square feet of space, this large independent depends on the SHOT Show to find out what’s new. “We still do our large-scale buying at distributor shows, but we wouldn’t miss SHOT. It’s our only time to get the big picture of what’s new in firearms and gear. We actually bought more than usual in Vegas this year,” said buyer Steve Hayes.

Bob’s spent time in the Ruger booth committing to LCR .22 Mag., LC .38s, and several MSRs. Orders were also written at SIG and Glock, and for Kimber Solos.

Savage .17 Super Mags attracted attention, as did the new Redfield tactical scope’s accessible entry-level price point. Bob’s always sends at least two buyers to the show, and relationships built there go a long way when inventories are tight.

Midwest Gun Exchange, Mishawaka

With 8,500 square feet of display space and more than 8,000 guns in inventory, this Great Lakes area retailer usually sends five staff members to SHOT. “Normally, we go looking for deals and new product. This year, we went to foster orders with our most important vendors. We renewed commitments and demonstrated that our orders were realistic and not inflated. We believe it will make a big difference in our deliveries throughout the year,” said general manager Brad Rupert.

Although this year’s trip was more meet and greet, some large orders were inked at SIG and LWRC.

R.H. Kay Firearms, St. Paul

This retailer sent one employee to the SHOT Show to stock this tightly inventoried 500-square-foot store. The over-arching goal for this show was to order MSRs. “We really hunted for new suppliers, and were happy to find MGI. They committed to first-quarter delivery times,” said owner Rick Kay. Other large orders were placed at Windham Weaponry and Olympic Arms.

On the new-product front, the store placed a significant order with UTAS for the new 15-round-capacity pump shotguns. Although this retailer purchases mostly Taurus handguns through a local distributor in Minnesota, additional orders were placed at SIG and Glock.


Straightline Tactical, Anaheim

With barely 40 firearms in inventory (down from nearly 500), this store is having a difficult time getting restocked. Given sky-rocketing national demand for MSRs, handguns, and ammo, Straightline is at a disadvantage because it can only stock California-compliant firearms. There’s little to choose from. “We went to SHOT this year, ready to buy more than usual [compared to distributor shows], and we had a difficult time,” said owner Don Zappone.
Orders were placed with Glock, Ruger, and SIG. However, due to limited runs of state-legal firearms, this retailer is now in the slowest sales period of its history, despite the boom. Straightline has been buying ammunition at regional gun shows to resell in the store.

Second Amendment Sports, Tucson

The store will be opening a new location in Palm Desert, California, this summer, and sent four employees to the SHOT Show with instructions to buy for a 6,000-square-foot store with the capacity for 1,300 firearms. “We went to Vegas to find new rifle vendors. Show specials and communicating with manufacturers and distributors are the other reasons we were willing to send a large staff,” said general manager Josh Beck.

Glock and Springfield hold the top slots, with Ruger right behind. Beck foresees high demand in 2013 for Ruger LC380s and SR45s. The question is, Can he get them? In addition to checking on existing orders with the store’s top MSR sellers, new orders were given to Sun Devil Manufacturing and Black Rain Ordnance. Ammo seems particularly scarce, with this retailer continuing to feed the pipeline with orders out as far as 12 months.

Oak Grove Guns, Eugene

This gun store typically stocks 275 guns, yet current inventory is down to 100. The staff attended SHOT to buy, but had trouble spending their budget. “We actually were turned away by several MSR companies that couldn’t commit to delivery within the year. That drove us to look for new vendors,” said owner Dave Miller. “A few other rifle companies were more accommodating.”

The store opened a new account with SIG Sauer, and had a large portion of its order delivered by the time Miller got home from the show. Other new vendors include Benelli and Nanuk waterproof cases.



Chuck’s Firearms, Atlanta

Located in the heart of metro Atlanta, this retailer features collectibles, vintage military weapons, and higher-grade shotguns and rifles. Although this dealer does not carry MSRs, bolt-action rifles are unseasonably active, with Cooper Firearms of Montana and Remington CDLs attracting the most interest, mostly in .308. Sales of vintage military rifles are also up significantly from last year.

Handgun activity is at close to a record high, with Smith 642s, Ed Brown 1911s, and SIG 226 Navys receiving the most turns. Although handgun ammo stocks are falling, they are still available. “We spend more and more time doing largescale appraisals and collection sales, and they continue to grow,” says owner Jack Lesher.


Kirkpatrick Guns and Ammo, Laredo

With up to 500 guns in stock, this west Texas store specializes in a mix of both defense and hunting guns. Although MSRs are out of stock, this retailer expects roughly four units a week to trickle in during the next two to three weeks. “It’s certainly not ideal, nor will it meet demand, but we are getting some MSRs in,” says counter person Maria Gonzales. “But what’s coming will hardly fill our long customer waiting list.”

Ammo in .223 arrives at about 5,000 rounds a week and leaves within two days. Bolt-action rifles are still receiving attention, especially Savage Model 110s in .270.

Handgun sales are particularly intense, with 9mm Glocks and Berettas seeing the most turns due to availability. Ruger LCRs and LCPs are exceptionally hot, but are difficult to get.


Gun City, Barling

Keeping close to 1,000 guns in stock, this retailer maintains a brisk business by utilizing a wide variety of home defense and hunting inventory. An inventory of MSRs is fully back- ordered and sold the day they arrive. Other stocking challenges include .223 and .22 ammunition.

Sales are active across all departments. “We have a strong relationship with our distributors, yet even that only goes so far,” says owner Jerry Barling.

Handgun demand is exceptional across the board. Glocks, compact SIGs, and Rugers are in high demand. New Colt 1911s have seen an even higher level of activity than they garnered before Christmas.



Island Firearms, Pittsburgh

Located on an island in the Ohio River basin with only 800 square feet, this retailer also uses the ceiling to display more than 500 firearms. MSRs are still in inventory but are moving quickly. “We’d planned for a heavy order near the election, and it landed two to three months late,” says owner Wayne Lyken. “That’s why I have relatively good inventory, but it’s moving very quickly.”

Remington 750 autoloaders have completely sold out, and 700 BDLs and SPSs are seeing unusually high turns. Ammo is gaining momentum, with .223 stock falling fast.
Handgun activity is at an all-time high, with Glocks, M&Ps, and a few Ruger LC9s still in inventory. The store is expecting fairly good deliveries from distributors through the next three weeks.


Ken’s Shooting Supply, Attica

Stocking 150 long guns and handguns, this retailer also sells reloading supplies. With MSRs sold out, Browning BARs and Remington 750 autoloaders in .308 and .30/06 are commanding attention. “I can’t get a delivery date on any MSRs, and .223 ammo is just not available,” says owner Ken Fridmann. Other rifles are turning, including Remington 700 bolt guns, often in .308.

Handgun sales are soaring: Glocks in .40 and 9mm, and some Ruger LCPs and SR40s, are still available. “Glock is taking good care of us. We can get a few Springfields, but everything else is coming in almost one at a time,” says Fridmann.


SL Guns, Mason

With 1,200 guns in inventory and falling fast, this 2,000-square-foot store dedicates a third of its space to three gunsmiths. All MSRs are sold out, with heavy back orders and just a dribble coming in the door. What’s surprised this retailer has been the demand for hunting rifles.

“I’m not sure if it’s because a customer comes in the door ready to buy an MSR and can’t, and then just opts for a bolt-action, but we’ve been selling unusually high numbers of hunting guns,” says owner Paul Gauffin. A number of Thompson Center .22s, Winchesters, and Browning X-Bolts—and even a few Thompson Encore muzzleloaders— are heading out the door.

Handgun sales are off the hook, maybe the highest in the store’s history. SIGs and Smith M&Ps pull record numbers, while Glock is trailing just a few units behind. “It’s nearly a run on the store,” says Gauffin.