Volume 22, Number 2 April / May 2014

Archive for the ‘What’s Selling Where’ category

by Peter B. Mathiesen

Hogie’s Guns & Sport, Auburn
In business for more than 32 years, this small-town gun shop is located near the Iowa-Missouri corner of the state. It keeps an average of 500 to 600 guns in stock.

Muzzleloading season has boosted traffic. “Our blackpowder hunts still get lots of participation, and they extend my deer-hunting selling season through December,” says owner Glen Hogue. T/C Encores and CVA Wolfs are clear leaders, though a few Savage Model 10 centerfires in .270 are also gaining attention.

MSR turns are climbing. Rock Rivers and a few special-order DPMS .308s are crossing the counter at a rate of one per week.

Handgun sales are excellent, with all things 1911 from Springfield and Remington posting the most turns. Several Ruger LCPs are also moving.

Sporting shotguns are still in demand. Browning Maxus and Winchester Super 3X semi-autos are attracting pheasant hunters.

Keith’s Outdoors, Fort Dodge
This store stocks fishing, hunting, and soft goods as well as more than 200 guns. The Christmas rush is on, with a run on stocking-stuffer accessories like cleaning kits. “I’m still amazed at the traffic we get before Christmas. A lot of handguns are purchased as gifts,” says owner Keith Ekstrom. Smith Shields are selling as fast as this retailer can get them. Model 642s and Springfield XDSs in .40 are also doing well.

Sporting shotguns are moving steadily, mainly Remington 870 Expresses and a few Browning Silver Hunters. At the rifle rack, MSRs are king, with DPMS and Rock River seeing the most turns. Meanwhile, Savage 200XP Varmint Packages in .223 are selling as gifts.

Outdoorsman Inc., Fargo
Established in 1980, this store keeps an average of three employees busy selling a variety of general home defense products, rifles, and handguns. Demand for MSRs remains high here. “We’re selling one a day, and it’s been steady all year,” says manager Neil Nieman. On the rifle rack, DPMS, Colt, and Rock River are running neck and neck.

Pre-Christmas handguns sales are brisk, with Springfield XDSs and 1911s in the lead and Glock 9mms close behind. Shotguns are still moving. Waterfowl and pheasant seasons helped the store move Remington 870 Expresses and Benelli Super Black Eagle IIs.


by Peter B. Mathiesen

Buffalo Sporting Goods, Buffalo
Located 60 miles south of metro Dallas, this small storefront has kept an average of 300 firearms in inventory for more than 34 years. Small handguns are king; Ruger P89s and Taurus 709 Slim models remain in high demand. A few Smith Bodyguards are receiving regular turns. “Overall, our customers are price-point driven. That said, given the right circumstances, we do get them to trade up after they’ve been in the store several times,” says owner Archie Van Wey.

MSR sales are brisk. Windhams, Bushmasters, and a few ArmaLite AR10s in .308 are turning. Deer season is keeping lower-end Remington 700s and Ruger 77 Hawkeyes moving, mostly in .270 and .30/06.

Rossi Youth Rimfire Combos are a hot pre-Christmas item for this year, as are cleaning kits and Nikon Monarch 4–16×50 scopes.

Direct Gold Outlet, Covington
Carrying a large variety of hunting, home defense, and fishing gear, this store, located 40 miles southeast of metro Atlanta, stocks 300 guns. It also does a brisk business in gold and jewelry.

MSRs continue to move quicker than last year, and DPMS and Smith M&Ps are selling particularly well. “We see a steady demand for MSRs, and with our customer base, I don’t see it diminishing anytime soon,” says counterman Anthony Yates.

Deer season is in full swing, and this retailer is moving strong numbers of Remington 700 BDLs and Savage Model 10s, primarily in .270.

Handguns continue to move well, with Kel-Tec 380s and Ruger LCPs holding the top spot. Glocks, primarily in 9mm, are just behind.

Terry’s Toys, East Ridge
Keeping just under 100 guns in inventory, this small shop specializes in Cowboy Action gear. Ruger Vaqueros in .45 LC top the sales chart, but a few Ruger VAQ357s are also seeing turns. Other revolvers making turns include the Heritage Rough Rider in .45 LC and the Ruger Single Six 22 LR. “Our business is steady year-round and was never affected by the election,” says owner Terry Eisher.

Lever-action rifle sales are up for Christmas, including the Marlin 1894 in .32/20 and the 1894 in .44 Mag. A few Uberti lever-action Silver Boy .22 carbines are also on order. El Paso Saddlery leather holsters are selling well as Christmas gifts.


by Peter B. Mathiesen

Accuracy Gun, Las Vegas
Nestled in metro Las Vegas, this small gun shop keeps a full-time gunsmith on staff and stocks nearly 300 firearms. Established in 1972, it bills itself as “one of the friendliest gun shops in Nevada.”

Home defense continues to be a mainstay, with Russian Saiga 12 shotguns at the top of the list. “We continue to see steady demand on these kinds of rifles and MSRs. I don’t think that will be changing in the near future,” says counterman Jeff Hoskin. Other shotgun sellers are Mossberg 500 Combos and a few Remington 1100s.

Handguns are in pre-Christmas demand, particularly Ruger P95 9mms and Smith & Wesson SW40VEs. MSRs are experiencing quick turns; DPMS and Smith M&P Sports pull the high numbers.

Lake County Guns, Lakeport
This rural shop stocks more than 250 firearms in 700 square feet. Rimfires sell well here, with Ruger 10/22s and Savage 93R17s garnering the most attention. A few Henry .22 lever-actions are also crossing the counter.

Glocks in 9mm and .45 lead the handgun count, and numerous Springfield XDs are moving nicely. “Our handgun sales are dependent on California compliance, and that’s the main reason .380s aren’t popular. We just aren’t allowed to sell most of them,” says owner Cliff Rakic. MSRs are also selling: DPMS and Smith Sporters rule the roost.

Ponderosa Sports, Horseshoe Bend
Forty miles north of Boise on the Payette River, this retailer breaks 9,400 square feet into two stores: A “left wing” liberal display of Amish quilts, carved bears, and home décor, and a “right wing” conservative display of sporting goods, survival items, and 1,000 firearms.

Although quilts are selling well, Glock 23s and Smith 637s sell better. Gun sales at this store may be at an all-time high. “I’m just amazed at some of the high-priced firearms I’ve sold this year, including a Barrett M82. There’s more cash around than most retailers realize,” says owner Cliff Harrison.

Bolt-action rifles are slowing down, but Remington 700 SPSs in .308 and .300 Win. Mag. are red-hot. Several MSR sales have gone to Colt and Bushmaster. Mossberg 500 Self Defense Combos are also moving at unprecedented levels for this store.


by Peter B. Mathiesen

All American Gun Shop, Williamsport
This small retailer of custom MSRs and modified shotguns has moved much of its business to special orders to increase profitability. Notable sellers include DPMSs, M&P Sporters, and Bushmasters. On the custom side, zombie-finished lowers from Spike Tactical are selling well. “Our sales aren’t what we saw during the election in 2008, but they have been steady,” says owner Frank Lowe.

As for handguns, Kel-Tec P-3ATs and Taurus 738s top the list. Mossberg 500 tactical shotguns with in-house extras have been strong items for Christmas.

Blue Trail Range Gun Store, Wallingford
With more than 800 guns in stock and more than 120 outdoor shooting stations, this range has events for the entire family. There’s even a picnic area.

Small-bore accessories are flying off the shelves, including gloves and shooting mats for young shooters. “Our youth shooting programs drive heavy Christmas traffic across the board. Whether it’s a starter gun or a case, this is an active time of year,” says manager and instructor Lenny Smittner. Camo air rifles are especially in demand, with new models from Anschutz crossing the counter.

Compacts lead the pack at the handgun desk. Top sellers include SIG 380s, Walther PPKs, and Ruger LCRs. A few shotguns are also turning, mostly traditional Mossberg 500s and a few CZ over/unders.

Precision Arms, Carmel
This Hudson Valley shop keeps an average of 400 guns in stock. All things .22 are exceptionally hot at this store before the holidays. Sales for Ruger 10/22s and SR-22s are especially brisk, along with Henry lever-action carbines and Ruger .22 revolvers. “Our store has stayed busy all year long; It’s hard to believe just how high the demand is for anything in .22-caliber this year,” says manager Christine Ryan.

Although deer season is winding down, a few Savage 210F bolt-action slug guns are still selling. MSR sales are steady: Stag Arms and Bushmasters hold the top two spots, followed by Smith M&P Sporters–all in .223.

Sales of 1911s are hotter than usual. Colt Government Models and SIG 1911s are getting the greatest attention. Springfield XDSs, M&P Shields in .40, and Smith Bodyguards also enjoy fast turns.


By Peter B. Mathiesen

Bee’s Guns, Saltsburg

Keeping nearly 300 firearms in inventory, this small shop with a staff of two has competitive pricing, often turning its inventory over in a month.

"We started out slower this year than I expected," says owner Ken Bee. "But it’s really turned around. Our handgun numbers are strong, and in the last three months I’d have doubled our sales if I could’ve gotten my hands on the right inventory."

Ruger LCPs and Smith Bodyguards in .380 top the list. Interest in 1911s is high, but they remain on backorder. S&W .44 Mag. long-barrel revolvers are also moving.

Long guns are in high gear, particularly Savage Axis rifles and Remington SPS 700s in 7mm-08. MSRs are moving briskly, with Bushmaster and DPMS getting the most attention. Because of back-order issues, Bee has added MSRs from Palmetto Arms to fill demand.

Hart’s Trading Post, Ballston Spa

This one-man shop stays open six days a week and keeps 300 firearms in inventory. Handgun sales are strong, despite inventory problems. "I’m pushing .22 pistols, and my customers are really responding because they’re cheap and fun to shoot," says owner Bill Hart. "I’m hearing comments like, ‘I used have one of those. It was fun, sure I’ll buy it.’" In larger-caliber handguns, Ruger LCPs and S&W Bodyguards see the most demand.

Ammo stocks are average, and .45 Long Colts are still difficult to get. Used long guns are hot, with high demand for Remington 700s in .270 and .308. In addition, older Savage 900s are also in demand. On the MSR front, .223 Smith M&Ps are holding the top spot. Stag Arms (also in .223) are second.

Stateline Guns & Archery, Plaistow

This storefront keeps an average of 400 guns in 3,200 square feet of display space. "Our handgun sales have remained impressive, and they continue to increase as the election approaches," says owner Jean Rochette.

Glocks and Smith M&Ps in 9mm hold the top spot at this counter. Smith E series 1911s and Beretta Nanos are also moving well.

MSRs are strong despite average availability. Olympic Plinkers and Smith M&Ps pull the best numbers, while Mossberg 500s with the two-barrel set are hot. Ammo sales are brisk, with adequate inventory.


By Peter B. Mathiesen

H&H Guns, Warrenton

Stocking more than 500 guns, along with a selection of cowboy clothing and tack, this eastern Missouri storefront welcomes its customers with hot coffee. Handguns are holding the high ground with all things Ruger, and LCRs and LCPs are turning in great numbers. Springfield XDMs and Ruger 1911s are also in high demand.

Youth-model Remington 870s are seeing stronger turns this fall, and shop owner Mark Hale sees it as an emerging trend. "Clearly the election is moving a lot of handguns and MSRs. While the current trend has declined for traditional long guns, our sales of youth and women’s hunting guns are great," he says.

MSRs are in stock and are selling consistently, including the DPMS Oracle and Windham in .223. The store has also seen a few orders for .308s.

Gun City, Bismarck

Packing 1,200 guns into just 1,000 square feet, this store really earns its Gun City name. Ruger LCPs, S&W Bodyguards, and Glocks in .40 are this shop’s best sellers. "The election has certainly contributed to our bottom line, but so has the influx of oil workers coming to South Dakota. We’re having a great year," says owner Marlin Fried. With more than a dozen brands of MSRs in stock, price-point .223s are moving, as well as a few .308s. Colts and ArmaLites are leading the inventory.

Pump shotgun numbers are better than last year’s; price-point Remington 870s and Mossberg 500s are on the move. A few Browning BPSs are also seeing attention. Ammo stocks are better than expected, with just a few holes in odd calibers.

Shirts & Shooters, Le Mars

Located 40 miles northeast of Sioux City, this gun shop specializes in hunting and home protection firearms; the company previously pressed T-shirts in the adjoining building. Handguns are red-hot here, especially Ruger LC9s and SR9s in .22. Springfield XDMs also are moving well. "Springfield has taken great care of us this year, when other factories told us they just couldn’t help," says owner Dick Halter. "There’s no telling the numbers we could have sold if we’d just had the product."

MSRs do well here, primarily DPMS Oracles and Rock Rivers. Shotgun sales are slow, led by the Benelli for 12-gauge Montefeltro.


By Peter B. Mathiesen

Bear Arms, Scottsdale

Stocking more than 1,000 guns in 2,400 square feet, this metro Phoenix retailer keeps seven employees busy. Glock leads the pack for this home-defense retailer, with Springfield XD Essential packages selling extremely well.

"Our sales in ammo are good," says director of operations Kurt Stancl. "But we’re selling very few cases because many customers just can’t afford the increases."

Modern sporting rifles (MSRs) are turning daily. Smith Sporters are at the low end, and LWRCs own the premium category. Meanwhile, sales of middle-of-the-road MSRs are flat. Stancl also said that the store is seeing an unusually high number of middle-aged and older first-time gun buyers choosing home-defense firearms.

Mountain View Sports, Anchorage

This gun counter inside a general-use sporting-goods store stocks 200 guns and has five dedicated employees. With moose season wrapped up, over/under shotguns are seeing solid turns. Beretta Silver Pigeons and Browning Citoris (both 12- and 20-gauges) lead the pack. Other attention-getters include Ruger stainless take-down 10/22s and Ruger .22 pistols for pre-Christmas buys.

MSR sales are steady, with most turns being premium-priced models. "We’ve found a solid niche for the store in high-grade MSRs. We’ve been able to get them in our inventory," said counterman Chad Smith.

The handgun counter is red-hot for S&W 629s and Springfield XDMs. S&W Shields and Springfield XDSs see plenty of backorders.

Lolo Sporting Goods, Lewiston

Located in downtown "old Lewiston," this small storefront employs three full-time salespeople and has a large inventory of reloading supplies, handguns, long guns, and MSRs. Ruger tops the list at this store, with LC9s and LCPs posting good numbers, but Springfield’s XDs and XDMs are also moving briskly. This retailer has even seen a few coveted XDSs. "We ordered carefully in January, and our planning has paid off in good ammo stocks and better-than-average inventories in handguns," said buyer Mike Thomas.

Long-gun sales are brisk. Ruger Americans in .243 and Winchester Model 70 Featherweights in .308 and .30/06 outsell all others. MSRs also move fast, as Rock Rivers and Windhams in .223 top the list.


By Peter B. Mathiesen

Gilbert’s Guns, Frankfort

Located in central Kentucky, this independent has 4,000 square feet of retail space and a warehouse. Handguns are burning up the counter, led by the Springfield XDS Single Stack. Sales of concealed-carry handguns in .380 are very strong. "In 30 years of business, we have never seen backorders this high," says owner Jason Gilbert. "We still manage to keep turns at the counter strong, but it takes a lot of creative buying."

ArmaLite, Bushmaster, Colt, and Smith are all quick-selling MSRs. Budget-priced long rifles, such as the Savage Axis and Marlin XL7 in .270, are doing well. Sales of moderately priced long guns are flat. Ammo stocks overall are good, but Gilbert expressed concern that higher prices would be coming after the election.

Dury’s Guns, San Antonio

With 3,500 square feet of retail space, this store has 26 employees to keep track of 1,500 new and used guns. In handguns, Ruger LCPs and SIG 238s are selling impressive numbers. New inventory has been hard to get. "We have $400,000 worth of backorders," says buyer Laura Veale. "Although some manufacturers have been helpful, about half have not." Kimber 1911s remain on backorder, for example.

Long guns are starting to move, especially Remington 700s and Savage Americans in 7mm. MSR sales are steady, and January purchases have kept inventory of Smiths and Rock Rivers high. "We have seen a 200 percent increase in sound suppressors this year, and expect more, now that the state will allow them for hunting," says Veale.

Paducah Shooter’s Supply, Paducah

This facility includes an indoor archery and outdoor rifle and pistol ranges. The store sells archery and soft goods while carrying an extensive shooting and reloading inventory. October is duck time here, and new Remington 870s, Benelli Super Black Eagle IIs, and Beretta A400s are doing well, as are the Browning Maxus and Winchester Super X3 Sporter. MSRs continue to move, with an even mix of Smith M&Ps, Bushmasters, and models from DPMS.

"Careful planning has helped us, but backorders are still high," said Internet sales manager Mike Phillips. Smith Body guards continue to lead revolver sales, but Glock .40s and Ruger LCPs are still strong. Ammo availability remains a challenge for less-popular cartridges.


By Peter B. Mathiesen

Hart’s Trading Post, Ballston Spa

With nearly 800 guns in stock, this small-town store also offers such special items as western Victorian clothing and Cowboy Action accessories. It even hosts weddings.

The handgun counter this August is all about concealed-carry pistols; Ruger LC9s and LCPs hold the top spots. Other fast movers include bolt-actions from Savage, including the Classic in .308, and surplus Springfield M1As in .308.

Sales of MSRs have slowed from last year, and the store is sitting on inventories of Stag, DPMS, and Smith M&Ps. Ammo stocks for .223 are good, but prices are rising. "MSR sales haven’t been what we expected, but all it will take is a rise in the polls for President Obama and they’ll pick up," says owner Bill Hart.

Parro’s Gun Shop, Waterbury

This shop stocks 800 guns in 4,000 square feet while keeping eight employees busy. August here means hunting guns, and Parro’s hosts "Ruger Day" as a fall promotion. "We are so fortunate to have a wealth of knowledge from the local Ruger staff. Our customers flock into the store for one Saturday in August to meet them, and buy Rugers," says owner Henry Parro.

Given that kind of support it should come as no surprise that rifles are in the top spot, led by the new Ruger American in .30/06, with the Savage Apex in .270 running a close second. Several Bushmaster 16M4s are also seeing turns.

At the handgun counter, Glock is king in 9mm, .40, and .45. Ruger SR9s are trailing just behind.

Although ammo stocks are strong, .223 is becoming more expensive and difficult to get. The store started stocking bulk ammo this year, and has seen impressive turns from new customers.

Gorenflo Gunsmithing and Gun, Erie

Just a few miles from the Lake Erie shore, this small storefront specializes in handguns, rifles, and custom bolt-action modifications.

Ruger LCRs and LCPs hold the high spot at the handgun counter. Used Colt 1911s also are in demand.

Marlin lever-action .30/30s and Remington 700 BDLs and CDLs in .270 and .308 are starting to move. Custom orders for long-range rifles are also on the rise. "We build a lot of 1,000-yard guns from 700 actions," says owner Bill Gorenflo.


By Peter B. Mathiesen

Larry’s Sporting Goods, Nampa

Located in suburban Boise, this retailer stocks more than 300 guns, while keeping a mix of fishing and hunting gear as well as reloading supplies. Bolt-action sales have risen steadily over the last three years. "MSRs are just starting to take a foothold in our area. For our store, the traditional bolt gun is still king," says counterman Nick Wilton.

Browning X-Bolts and Savage Model 10s in .30/06 top the list, but several Ruger M77s in .270 are also seeing turns. MSRs are slowly gaining speed; here DPMS and Smith M&Ps in .223 sell to a mix of home-defense and varmint shooters.

Springfield XDMs in .45 top the handgun traffic. Ruger SR9s and Hi-Points are also popular. Ammo stocks are good, but .223 and 9mm are getting harder to inventory.

Cascade Loan & Sporting Goods, Auburn

Located between Seattle and Tacoma, this suburban retailer sells handguns, long guns, and MSRs in addition to tools, gold, jewelry, and sporting goods. Focusing on used guns, Cascade only buys new firearms for special orders.

Bolt guns are hot, and there’s a high demand for Browning A-Bolts and stainless Remington 700s in .30/06. Other rifle sales include Marlin lever-actions in .45/70 and Bushmaster MSRs. "Our used-gun business is where we make the most profit, so in the last few years we’ve moved heavily into used rifles and handguns," says counter salesman Mike Mace.

Kel-Tecs in 9mm are the most-asked-for handgun; SIG P266s are a close second. This retailer also reported that handgun ammo inventories are slightly better than last year.

Up in Arms, Fillmore

With 3,000 square feet, this retailer sits between Ventura and Simi Valley, near Highway 126. "We depend on handguns for the lion’s share of our business, and now that manufacturers are complying with California-compliant legislation, they have helped us improve our business," says owner Ed Edison.

SIGs (P2022 and P250 in 9mm and .40) hold the top slots; the Beretta PX4 Storm .40 is also turning well. Shotguns are just starting to move, led by Remington 870 Wingmasters and 12-gauge Beretta 686 over/unders. Henry H001 lever-action .22s are filling demand while Ruger 10/22s remain unavailable.