FEBRUARY 6, 2024

Self-Defense Series Launches In Feb. Shooting Industry With Focus On Handguns

For most gun stores, there’s no more important sales category than self-defense. Shooting Industry begins its three-part series on self-defense sales trends in February with a focus on handguns.

In what probably mirrors the trends in many shops, Mike Sfakianos, senior manager at Bill Jackson’s in Florida, reveals what his customers often look for in a carry gun: “Weight and size are big factors. People want to have a full grip. And then for any kind of handgun, they always look to get as much capacity as possible.”

Bryan Hendricks asks retailers to share how they prepare for spring turkey season. Nathan Dunn, owner of Dunn’s Sporting Goods in Pevely, Mo., notes how customer preferences have changed in recent history. “The past few years we’ve sold a lot more sub-gauge guns, a lot of 20 gauges and a lot of .410. A lot of hunters are getting older. They’re tired of packing around a big 12 gauge,” he explains.

Doug VanderWoude’s “Gaining Traction In The New Year” provides tips to boost early-year business by empowering staff and getting creative to move products when sales are slow. Hank Yacek proclaims 2024 is the “Year Of Technology” and suggests leaning into the idea to squeeze out extra profits as margins shrink. In “Shaping Business — Through Data,” SI Editor Jade Moldae points out resources that offer industry-related data, which can be used to fuel growth.

Massad Ayoob recommends employing a different kind of salesperson to help customers test-drive merchandise — manufacturer displays — in the Personal Defense Marketplace column. In Arms & The Woman, Ashley McGee revisits women’s roles in gun rights advocacy. She asserts, “Women are the 2A community’s best-suited advocates. And in a year where there’s so much at stake, the time to get behind ‘her’ is now.” Citing information-retention studies and insights from instructors, Nancy Keaton makes the case for shorter training courses in Best Practices.

The final installment of the 2024 New Product Showcase appears in the issue and features more than 40 brands. All told, the Dec. ’23, Jan. ’24 and Feb. ’24 issues offered an exclusive first look at over 150 manufacturers’ new-for-2024 products.

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