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Shooting Industry February 2010 - Page 46

Industry Industry watch Doing Business At The “Pretty Nuts” Level Russ Thurman I t was an interesting challenge trying to chat with gun dealers during December. In a quest to get an idea of how sales were going during the critical holiday season, I placed calls to a dozen dealers. I never actually spoke to a number of them — they were too busy making sales. I have a policy to never get in the way of doing business, so I took no slight. Rather, I took the response of “He can’t talk to you right now. Can you call back later?” as a welcome indication that business was brisk. When I did get a dealer on the line, the call was usually punctuated with numerous interruptions: “Yes, that’s something I can do.” “Include one of those with that pistol.” “Someone will be with you right “ away.” “Help him with that, would ya.” I love the sound of business in the morning! Or anytime. “It’s pretty nuts around here,” said Ron Buschmann, general manager of Shooter’s Supply & Law Enforcement Equipment in I love the sound of business in the morning! Or anytime. Louisville, Ky. “No complaints, of course.” That pretty much summarizes all the dealers’ comments. During December, the industry posted another economy-defying month, with sales brisk across most segments of the ” market. In firearms, NICS’ background checks in December hit 1,407,155. While this was 7.6 percent lower than December 2008, when sales shot off the chart, it was 14.4 percent higher than December 2007. Nationally, the U.S. Commerce Department reports retail sales fell 0.3 percent in December, a disappointing posting since many economists forecasted sales would see a gain for the month after an encouraging November. Thus, the industry continues to enjoy sales that can only be described as remarkable, especially when compared to most of the nation’s businesses. Will such business continue for 2010? Here’s hoping dealers will be too busy to chat with me throughout the year. enchmade Knife Company is building knives to support USA Shooting’s goal of preparing American athletes to win Olympic medals and promote the shooting sports throughout the United States. The USA Shooting Team Exclusive knives feature Benchmade’s patented AXIS locking mechanism, 440C stainless steel blades with the USA Shooting Team logo and a blue glass reinforced nylon handle. The 527BK-USA and 527SBK-USA will be offered for $105. A portion of the proceeds from every unit sold will be donated to the USA Shooting Team. “Benchmade takes great pride in supporting American athletes and manufacturing quality, USAmade products. We are very excited about the partnership with USA Shooting,” said Rob Morrison, director of marketing for Benchmade. Visit www.benchmade.com and www.usashooting.com. B Benchmade Supports USA Shooting inchester Ammunition is paying tribute to Oliver Winchester’s 200th birthday in 2010 with a commemorative line of .22 LR, .45 Colt and .30-30 Win. ammo. Also, Winchester Repeating Arms is returning the Model 94 lever-action rifle, in two limited-edition models, to celebrate Winchester’s birth in 1810. “Oliver Winchester was a pioneer and he left a legacy that we are proud to uphold. Without a doubt, he’s one of the most famous names in the shooting sports industry, and it’s only fitting that we pay tribute to his success during the year of his 200th birthday,” said Dick Hammett, president of Winchester Ammunition. For more information, visit www.winchester.com. 9 W Celebrating Winchester’s Birthday JOIN US! JULY 23-24, 2010 (2-day event!) Why should these shooters have all the fun? 46 FEBRUARY 2010 SI DIGITAL Hot Link Read SI DIGITAL www.shootingindustry.com

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