Dealers Report Top-Sellers, Best Manufacturer Support.
Firearms and ammunition sales continue to hit record levels, with no signs of abating. Dealers throughout the country are taking advantage of the hot market.
“Handgun ammunition is through the roof,” said Mark Rutan, hunting manager at Bill Jackson’s in Pinellas Park, Fla. “Most everything we sell is Speer and Federal. We don’t sell anything that’s sold at the big box stores. We do a lot of pistol business because of our range.”
Rutan said 9mm ammo is always their number-one seller.
“One caliber that’s made a big inroad in the past three years is .380,” he said. “That’s happened since the Ruger LCP has come out; now there are a bunch of pistols out there in .380.”
In rifle ammunition, Rutan said hunters buy the old standards, such as .308 and .30-06.
“However, we’re also seeing some interest in .223 ammo. With rifle ammunition, we’re selling primarily Federal and Hornady,” he said.
In reloading, Rutan said 9mm is their best seller, except with some competition shooters.
“Among IPSC and IDPA shooters, .45 is really big,” he said. “A few people are shooting .38 Super, but not many. However, only 15 to 20 percent of our customers do their own reloading. It’s not a big business for us.”
The big promotional push at Bill Jackson’s is on Labor Day.
“We get with a manufacturer such as Hornady, and get them to provide a box of ammunition with every gun of a particular type that we sell,” he said. “Hornady has been outstanding about donating boxes of bullets for this promotion, and it’s worked out really well.”
Hornady’s Zombie Max ammunition is also a hot ticket for Bill Jackson’s.
“It’s exactly the same as the Critical Defense ammo, and the price is the same,” Rutan said. “I think this is an incredible marketing strategy, because members of the younger generation are zombie nuts. If you set Hornady Critical Defense next to Zombie Max ammunition, a young customer is going to grab the Zombie ammo. The old timers don’t care much for it, but the younger shooters love it.”
Rutan said Bill Jackson’s gets good dealer support from ATK and Hornady.
“In fact, we just got an award from Hornady as one of their top dealers (2011 Customer of the Year),” he said. “In our last sale, they donated a box of ammo and a hat for every gun we sold, no matter what it was. ATK also has helped us with co-op money; they’ll help us do about anything we need with advertising.”
By Carolee Anita Boyles
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