Next Steps

Across the industry, folks are wondering how many of these new buyers can be kept around. Will they buy a gun, toss it in the nightstand and then never think of it again? Or will it become an active part of their life? The key to turning these new buyers into repeat customers is getting them to connect on some level with the gun, said Clerc in Nebraska.

“If we can turn it into a hobby, we can keep them around,” he declared.

Perhaps the easiest way to do this is to help these new owners see their guns as, among other things, a form of entertainment. Maybe a weekly or monthly trip to the range can become a couple’s activity. The quest to customize the gun with accessories and modifications can become a hobby. Or perhaps competitions can grab their interest.

“There are just so many different things you can get them hooked on,” Clerc suggested.

His range offers a variety of monthly competitions, including IDPA, USPSA and bowling-pin matches. Something like the latter might be best for new shooters, but once they grow comfortable with it, Clerc will recommend checking out an IDPA match. He’s a believer in the value of those competitions for helping people develop gun-handling skills under pressure.