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What's selling.


COLISEUM GUN TRADERS, 1180 Hempstead Turnpike, Uniondale, New York 11553

SI: Owen, what's selling at Coliseum?

OC: Nothing the way it was. I suspect the economy has affected things in addition to this being our normally slow season. At this point, we fall back on a lot of gunsmithing. The Glock .40 is still good. The Smith 640 is a hot seller right now because it is one of the guns authorized by the New York City police, although it has to have a sandblasted finish.

SI: Can you explain that?

OC: New York City sells the same guns through their equipment bureau to cops graduating from their academy. The 640 is an authorized off-duty gun but their version of it has a sandblasted or bead-blasted finish rather than a brushed finish. We've been selling so many of them that this week we are putting in a bead-blast facility.

Coliseum Gun Traders is located on Long Island in Nassau County and they are going into their 12th year of business. It is a small shop which does extensive customizing and restoration work with several outside gunsmiths. One of them is a specialist in restoring old double-barrel shotguns. They have an active retail business and Shooting Industry talked with Owen Chernoff.

SIEVERT'S GUNS, 4170 West Northern Avenue, Pueblo, Colorado 81005

SI: Marcele, what's selling at Sievert's?

MS: .45 Win Mags.

SI: .45 Win Mags! Why?

MS: I don't know, bigger is better I suppose. We've sold five Grizzlys and five AMTs in the last two weeks. What we've been doing with AMT, we're pretty tight with them, is getting some special serial numbers especially for some of the special forces guys coming back from Desert Storm. I don't know what is going on with the .45 Win Mag but accuracy wise -- 75 feet two-inch groups, and that's excellent. I mean the guns are shooting this fresh out of the box. You're talking a two-inch group out of a handgun that has substantial recoil, although recoil is not much worse than .45 ACP hot loads out of a 1911, a little more muzzle lift but your felt recoil isn't much different and you've got stopping power that is practically 20% more powerful than the .44 Magnum. Right now I can't keep them. I've got one Grizzly left and I've got no AMTs. I'm back ordered but I don't mind. It means a sale.

SI: Is anything else doing well for you?

MS: We cater to left-handers. We've got about 75 long guns in stock. We have the Savages (including several models no longer made) and even some limited run models. The new Rugers are coming in and people are showing some interest.

SI: Has it helped your business to specialize in supplying guns and gear to left-handers?

MS: Immensely! It draws those extra people. We put out the word basically to anybody that comes through the door so that they will notice the left-handed guns. We have an area set aside for left-handed guns. I draw from the whole front range, from Denver down to New Mexico and that's a long road, about 250 miles.

Sievert's Gun was stared by Fred Sievert over 22 years ago, and while the business has grown it is housed in a relatively small building of about 1,200 sq. ft. The inventory inside is what makes the difference. Depending what time of year it is, they will have up to 4,000 firearms. We talked with Marcele Singleton.

SHAPEL'S GUN SHOP, 1708 North Liberty, Boise, Idaho 83704

SI: Mark, what's selling at Shapel's?

MS: We're still selling a few of the Ruger Blackhawk .45 Colts and I've got some of the Uberti Cattleman .45 Colt single actions which have been selling too.

I think pistol sales have slowed down a bit because the Brady Bill is kind of on a simmer right now. When it was in the media every day we were selling a lot more pistols.

SI: What's selling in long guns?

MS: Only a few of the varmint guns have stopped selling and we're getting people tire kicking on the hunting rifles. Our .22 sales are still strong. There's a lot of ground squirrels still out there and the .22s are still selling well. The 10/22 with iron sights or four-power Bushnells or Tascos are popular.

Shapel's Gun Shop is a family owned business. The retail store and adjacent shop occupy approximately 1,200 sq. ft. Shapel's specializes in blackpowder firearms and accessories as well as carrying a complete line of modern firearms. They inventory over 300 firearms. Mark Shapel is the son of the owner and manager of the store.

SPORTS SPECTRUM, 615 North Valley Mills Drive, Waco, Texas 76710

SI: Bill, what's selling at Sports Spectrum?

The main emphasis in firearms now is varmint rifles for pest and predator control as well as normal varmint hunting. We are still seeing some activity in the IPSC pistol market, the 1911 pattern guns for people to build things out of, there are several pistolsmiths in the area that do real nice work.

SI: Which 1911 is the best seller?

BB: I would say the Springfield Armory is the most in demand. They are nicely done, and many of the custom 'smiths hold them in high regard. Their quality control is excellent. The Series 70 Colts are both expensive and getting hard to find.

SI: You mentioned varmint rifles, what seems to be hot there?

BB: In sheer numbers, the Remington 700 BDL in .22-250 would probably be the most popular. It's a nice price point. It's an excellent rifle and it's very attractively made and in many calibers. It's one of our best sellers.

Sports Spectrum is a new full line sporting goods store that encompasses 18,000 sq. ft. They devote 4,000 sq, ft, to hunting and shooting and inventory several hundred firearms. They also have athletic goods, running, hiking, camping and fishing goods. In the shooting sports related fields they carry lines of reloading, animal calls, video tapes, shooting supplies as well as used and antique firearms. SI talked with Bill Berry.

SODAK'S SPORT AND BAIT, 850 South Highway 281, Aberdeen, South Dakota 57401

SI: Scott, what's selling at Sodak's?

SM: We're starting to see an influx of trap guns and reloading supplies for trap shooting.

SI: What's your best selling trap gun?

SM: New-wise, probably the Browning BT-99 Plus has been selling as well as any and we've been selling the Beretta fairly well also. The 682 Combos have been the biggest seller among the Beretta.

SI: Is anything moving in the way of handguns?

SM: We have a few of them going out for gopher shooting and plinking. Rifles have been real slow other than .22s and .22 Mags for gopher and prairie dogs.

Sodak Sports and Bait after 18 years in business, has recently moved into a new 5,000 sq. ft. building. They maintain an inventory of 1,800 firearms and carry a full line of ammunition, hunting apparel, reloading equipment and supplies. In addition to firearms related merchandise they have an archery line as well as fishing tackle and equipment. They offer complete gunsmithing services on the premises. It is a family owned business and we talked to the son of the owner, Scott McIntire.

FORT THOMPSON SPORTING GOODS, 4404 East Broadway, North Little Rock, Arkansas 72117

SI: Tom, what's selling at Fort Thompson?

TD: For the past month we've been selling a lot of turkey calls and guns. The new Mossberg gun is selling real good, the REALTREE [R] camo.

SI: What else is moving?

TD: We're coming up to pistol season and we're selling a lot of Buck Mark .22 pistols and we're starting to sell a lot of Rugers. Right now everybody is getting out and shooting .22s. The best selling Ruger is probably the old standard MK-6 and we sell a lot of the target models too.

SI: How do you feel about the economy? Is it hurting your sales right now?

TD: I've been doing this since I was ten years old and I'm 31 now and every year, this time of year, we just take aspirins and kind of forget about six months out of the year. We start making money generally in July. If we stay busy this time of year we are happy. We do more business in one day in the fall than we do all week at this time of the year. It just ain't no good this time of the year and I don't sell fishing stuff. It's just economy or no economy, we do a little business, pay the bills and that's it. If you can figure a way out to make money this time of the year, I would like to know.

Fort Thompson is an institution in Arkansas. Arkansas outdoorsman have been purchasing their firearms and ammunition from the sporting goods store since 1931. During hunting season C.B. Thompson can often be found in the store telling hunting stories and working behind the counter even though he sold it to a family friend, Tom Denniston, in 1985. The store was remodeled five years ago and has 4,000 sq. ft. of retail space.
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Title Annotation:interviews with firearms retailers
Author:Smith, Kerby C.
Publication:Shooting Industry
Article Type:column
Date:Jun 1, 1991
Previous Article:Smith & Wesson: in-store promotions.
Next Article:The problem.

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