At Turner’s 18 stores throughout Southern California, big sales in the firearms department are coming from polymer-framed pistols, especially the Smith & Wesson Shield and Springfield XD. The XD Essential model sells right at $449, while the Shield is approximately $20 less.
Only handguns listed on California’s “roster” of approved models can be sold in the state, and that does hinder sales; in general, the roster requirement means Cali shooters can’t get most new handguns hitting the market.
“Thankfully, companies like Beretta are reviving some of the old handguns they kept on the list and making limited production runs on variants of Beretta 92s,” said Mike Etienne, Turner’s vice president of purchasing and marketing. “These re-intros create some excitement for our regular customers, giving them some ‘new’ options of guns to buy.”
West Coast Hot on AKs
For long guns, the hot sellers are the AK variants being manufactured by Century Arms, including the RAS47 and the C39V2 models. “We have people coming through the doors daily for those particular rifles,” said Etienne.
“The prices—just under $1,000 for the C39V2 and just over $800 for the RAS47—and the quality of these rifles are big for recreational shooters. Plus, Century rifles now being made in the USA certainly helps sales, too.”
Reloading supplies sales have been flat, mostly because of a lack of gunpowder on the shelves.
“But powder has become more available in the last month, so we’ll see if things pick up in this category,” Etienne said. “Ammo, with the exception of rimfire, is becoming more and more available, and I expect to see prices start to drop soon.”
Editor's Note: This brief originally appeared in the Fall 2015 issue of Gun Digest the Magazine.