September Shooting Industry Highlights DIY Profits & Fall Hunting Season


The DIY and gunsmithing segment is a fast-growing market in today’s gun store operations.
From rust bluing to grip stippling, customers are exploring ways to customize
and enhance their firearms at home or in the hands of trusted professionals.

The September issue of Shooting Industry begins a three-part series on incorporating DIY and gunsmithing products and services to a store’s offerings. Written by Bryan Hendricks, in part one of the series, he shares tips with dealers on getting more involved in the DIY/gunsmithing segment. The first step, though, is evaluating whether or not it makes sense for their business.

As dealers and customers prepare to gear up for hunting season, a critical piece of equipment is a knife suited to the purpose. Pat Covert interviews executives at White River Knives and TOPS Knives for their thoughts on product performance, sales strategies and how to help hunters choose from an array of options in a wide range of price points.

Shannon Farlow also focuses on the upcoming hunting season with a feature on what dealers anticipate for fall 2023. Despite the rise of big-box chains, local gun stores remain a go-to destination for firearms, ammunition, gear, hunting tips and advice. Farlow’s panel of retailers share how much of a stake hunting sales have on their business’s bottom line, what sales look like compared to last year, who is buying hunting gear, what’s new, trending and holding steady, how they’re marketing gear in this segment and tips for maximizing hunting sales.

Flanked by a wall of hunting rifles, Hunter Brooks assists a customer
with his purchase at Green Top Sporting Goods.

Mark Gore, president of Black Wing Shooting Center in Delaware, Ohio, notes, “Our success in a particular season, especially in the past few years, depends on if we have the right products at the right time. Often, this means ordering earlier than you would typically and sitting on it for 6+ months. We do this with the no-brainer products in our market (ammo, lever actions and slugs).”

Massad Ayoob’s Personal Defense Market column illustrates how sales of L.E./tactical products can represent a critical component of a dealer’s bottom line — especially as more agencies are losing funding and/or police officers/first responders are making their own decisions on what products they carry daily. He’ll also provide tips to educate the customer base on whether the storefront is a GLOCK Blue Label Dealer, SIG Professional Program or related initiative.

From a plain bag to the Zuca Cart — an all-in-one bag/rolling cart/chair — the variety of range bag options available are great. In the Arms & The Woman installment, Nancy Keaton offers tips on how to help female customers choose one by first identifying what she wants to carry — and then determining how.

In the Industry Link column, SI Editor Jade Moldae will be interviewing Hold My Guns, Walk The Talk America and NSSF on how the industry is advocating and supporting suicide awareness initiatives, as National Suicide Prevention week is Sept. 10–16.

To include a marketing message in this content-rich issue, reserve space by the August 1 deadline. Contact your rep or email for more information.

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