Jim Engel—The Great Outdoors Gun Shop, Atwood, Kan.
Firearms play a big role in daily life in Atwood, Kansas, located in the very rural northwest corner of the state. And when it comes to rifles, the wide open spaces of the Sunflower State are just made for the newest batch of long-range centerfires.
“In rifles, we are seeing a turn toward the latest, greatest, turbo-charged .264 round,” says Jim Engel, store manager for the Great Outdoors Gun Shop. “We’ve been selling some rifles in .26 Nosler and several in 6.5×284 and 6.5 Creedmoor. There are more folks getting into shooting long range right now, for hunting and targets.”
He continues, “If we could get the new Ruger Precision Rifle, we would sell the heck out of them. But we still have not received one through our normal distributor channels, and they have been out over a month.”
Lever-actions from Henry Rifles are always strong sellers here, too, while, for shotguns, Benelli is number one, followed by the various Remington models.
A recent change in Kansas law allowed “Constitutional Carry”, and with that change came many sales of smaller handguns, especially the Ruger LC9s, the Sig 938, the Sig 238 and the Smith and Wesson 642 series of handguns.
“For the bigger handguns, 1911s are the best sellers,” Engel notes. “We sell quite a few Springfield Armory, Kimber, Smith and Wesson guns. The higher priced 1911s like the Smith Performance Center guns are doing good, for just over $1,500.”
The Internet is affecting business here, but not necessarily in a good way.
“We are seeing a jump in gun transfers from the major online retailers that are undercutting our prices significantly,” says Engel. “It's hard to compete with online when the price my customer is getting it for is well below what I can buy from a distributor. We are trying to be very competitive, but we can't just give it away and make nothing.”
Editor's Note: This brief originally appeared in the October 2015 issue of Gun Digest the Magazine.