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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well have a space in one of my buildings that will enable me to open a gun store. Not trying to get rich just make a little extra money. My question is do gun stores actually make any money or will it turn my hobby into a pain?
 

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Are ya crazy, man? I've worked in a couple, one for ten years that was also an indoor shooting range. They are a PITA. Paperwork on top of paperwork, random ATF visits that can take days if you move a lot of inventory. You work to figure out what inventory you may be able to sell, pay for it in advance (or on terms if you are lucky nowadays) work to price and display it, try to make a small profit, only to have some schmuck come in an try to talk you down $5 on some BS item you are only making $3 on. NO thanks.
Some days it's fun, others it's misery. I wouldn't work in a gun shop again if it were the last job on earth.
Be warned, when your hobbies become work you begin to hate them.
My .02.
 

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It's easy to make a million running a gun store.
First step is to start with two million dollars.

Oh, and forget ever having time to go to the range again.
 

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Don't dew it!
 

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Gotta have big money to start with to make big money as mentioned.

$20k in inventory is nothing.... and if you make 15% profit on the items you sell you would be doing good.

Theres really no money in selling other peoples products, if you want to make a profitable business focus on services, not as much glory in it and a lot more work but at least you make $

Im going on my second year in my business and I share the responsibilities with my wife, on top of working a salary 50-60hr job. It becomes your life... Your hobby becomes work...

We are just focusing on getting a return on our investments, maintaining our licenses and making a small profit instead of killing ourselves to try an make a living at it.

The flip side for me is I'm an SOT 2 so I can own/shoot pretty much anything i can afford to build/buy, no waiting on things I manufacture, and short waits on things I buy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Well I have been thinking about it for a few years but didn't want to rent when I own a building one tenant is moving out makes for an easy good idea but you guys have about talked me off the ledge. Thanks for the input. I will keep you updated if I do decide to open one.
 

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Overhead, overhead, overhead. The death of any good business idea.
Seriously, from going to the gunshows in Knoxville, those guys are cut throat! Some of the lowest prices on handguns I have ever seen. That will be your competition.
I know a guy who has an FFL that he runs out of his residential garage. Just a few guns a month, doesn't make much. More for enjoyment than anything else.
If your area allows that, zooming wise, you might want to try from that direction. Order on demand.
 

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Overhead, overhead, overhead. The death of any good business idea.
Seriously, from going to the gunshows in Knoxville, those guys are cut throat! Some of the lowest prices on handguns I have ever seen. That will be your competition.
I know a guy who has an FFL that he runs out of his residential garage. Just a few guns a month, doesn't make much. More for enjoyment than anything else.
If your area allows that, zooming wise, you might want to try from that direction. Order on demand.


Best way to start....
 

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The guy I use for transfers does something similar to what you are talking about. He runs his main business(non-retail) out of an office in a rented area in a strip mall which he shares with his firearms business.
 

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The only gun stores that make money are the big ones. I wouldn't try to get in business with less than several million dollars, full time, as primary income.
If you don't have the time or money, and still want to do it, don't quit your job, do it few hours a day, after work, few days a week. Gun shows seem to be decent income for small guys.
 

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My local LGS is not a big store. There' a good selection of evreything from Glocks and AKs (usually WASR) to SSA revolvers and fud shotguns. I cant speak for the paperwork part but the guy makes a killing. The prices are ok for the most part, competitive, not over inflated, they wont haggle on anything even if its been sitting for a year but they wont overprice it either. During the panic he refused to take consignments that were clearly taking advantage of the situtation to make money and he didnt raise his prices. When they have 22lr its still $25-$30 a brick. You get my point. Anyway, the place is always crowded, firearms are always moving. Black friday they sold their entire stock of PAP AKs, all 90 of them, in under a 1/2 hour for $425ea. The dude takes hunting vacations to Africa, Brazil ...etc...etc...Drives around in a sports Caddy with Vette mechanics or some such thing. The guy makes a killing and he's maybe 45.
 

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Internet sales are the competition.., hard to compete with that price point as most LGS are 20%-25% over internet retail. It would take some time to get local loyalty customers and some shops offer smithing services as a small money maker and customer hook.
 

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Start small, and work your way up to a brick and mortar store if things are going well. You could name it "Up In Arms".
 

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The only way I would get back in the gun biz is if god came down and spoke to me in a audible voice commanding me to do so.
 

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Internet sales are the competition.., hard to compete with that price point as most LGS are 20%-25% over internet retail. It would take some time to get local loyalty customers and some shops offer smithing services as a small money maker and customer hook.
The big chain outlets are also driving small LGS's out of business. Case in point was a store in my area that has been open since the mid 60's and I have been going to since the early 90's closing a couple of months ago.

Of course the counter help being rude and their prices being way out in the stratosphere didn't help. The place wasn't all that big and usually had 2 or 3 fat fudds walking around aimlessly while blocking the asiles like human cholesterol.

I think running an FFL service for transfers and developing a customer base that you can market things to exclusively is the way to go. One employee (you), and flexible hours.
 

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May I suggest a few good names I considered when I had thought of opening my own gun shop in the 90’s:

“Blood bath and beyond”, or the “total massacre gun Shoppe”, also, “The Alamo” Feel free to use any of them.:cool:
 

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if there is no other nearby shop and there is a market, I would think you *could* make a killing. If there are other near shops, probably not. Location, location, location.

As others have also said, you need money for good inventory. I wouldnt expect suppliers to loan you much credit right off the bat.

I would personally start small and see how it went, especially if you have the spare space to do so.
 

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I think it all depend on what you are looking to get out of it and what you want to put into it. If you are looking to make a million dollars in a short time frame it isn't going to happen. If you are looking to be your own boss and make a living I think it is possible. One of my best friend has run a small lgs for almost 30 years and has done pretty well. He has the kind of store that may not have the biggest selection but you can get a answer to most questions that is correct. I believe you can make a good living from almosy anything if you are good at it and put in the effort. Seems way better than digging ditches or working at Mc Donalds
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 · (Edited)
Love the name. Guys I have some funding as I have a medical office that will cover the rent and that is my primary income. Would love to make more :) and enjoy guns. I have a guy that offers gun smithing as of right now that guy is working out of his home I could house him as well.

Up in Arms
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Love the name but not sure the local media wouldn't hang me out to dry plus the local churches.
 
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