What's up with todays' gun shops?

I bought one of my HK91’s in 1987. When Bush stopped all imports. It was the last one and I didn’t want it because it was Desert Camo. But I bought it figuring it was the last one paid- just under 1k . Turned out it was very collectible being desert camo hk only imported about 400. Sold it 2 yrs ago for just under 10 K. Yep

Yep, the prices on HK semi auto’s have gone way up there. I have not looked in a long time but a number of years ago the HK300 was selling for $3k without the claw mount. The claw mount was going for about $700 dollars.
I may have to see where they are selling at today out of curiosity.
 
This has been a very interesting thread to follow. I walk in and out of gun shops every day for a living (gun manufacturer sales rep) and I had to come terms a long time ago that the guns were getting less and less interesting every year that goes by. That being said, they are technological way better than most stuff from the past....but still less interesting.

It would be an interesting survey for this site to ask how many of us own individual guns worth over 10k, 15k, 20k, etc, and how many? Most on this site IMO would be considered far above average hunters and without a doubt we are all spending way more money toward this hobby than 90% of people that go hunting.

If I was a betting man and we did another survey that asked how many members on this site are under 35 years of age, the number would be super small. Then ask them what their most valuable gun would be in their collection, my guess is it's a 2k shotgun or 3500 bolt rifle (with scope), or a 4k Black Rifle. The only trend I see at the higher end for young folks is long range target "tactical" rifles. For some reason these young bucks are willing to go through the trouble of buying 5-8k heavy rifle in 6.5 or some super 30, spend another 2-3k on a scope and go through some "long range shooting course" engineered by some ex-military guy that probably just read a book about it last week, .......But he's an expert and knows how its done. Now that's not meant to be a shot at our military patriots, I have nothing but respect for folks that served, but let's not kid ourselves, 99% of these fellas were never, nor are they ever going to be the "American Sniper".

In a nutshell, there is more happening than most people realize in the gun industry. The management structure is getting younger and younger (lack experience) and are from outside our industry, and the local shops are just trying to survive. They have no choice but to sell what they can bring in and get rid of in a hurry, (for the worst margins of any industry I've worked in)....... or they go broke. The up-and-coming generation was raised on Call of Duty and the plethora of other military inspired games that highlight all the "tacti cool" stuff currently in the stores. Add to that their buying is inspired by the movie industry. How do I know this? Every time a new John Wick movie comes out, whichever HK pistol or Benelli shotgun he is using, we see a spike in sales after the movie release.

Times have changed my Africa Hunting friends, and they are continuing to change. It's becoming more and more difficult and expensive to do these things we love. The incredible level of complication to even get in your truck, drive somewhere out west and go hunting in our own country "the country with the most freedoms" illustrates the future of our sport........but that's probably a topic for a whole new thread....
Amen brother!
 
This has been a very interesting thread to follow. I walk in and out of gun shops every day for a living (gun manufacturer sales rep) and I had to come terms a long time ago that the guns were getting less and less interesting every year that goes by. That being said, they are technological way better than most stuff from the past....but still less interesting.

It would be an interesting survey for this site to ask how many of us own individual guns worth over 10k, 15k, 20k, etc, and how many? Most on this site IMO would be considered far above average hunters and without a doubt we are all spending way more money toward this hobby than 90% of people that go hunting.

If I was a betting man and we did another survey that asked how many members on this site are under 35 years of age, the number would be super small. Then ask them what their most valuable gun would be in their collection, my guess is it's a 2k shotgun or 3500 bolt rifle (with scope), or a 4k Black Rifle. The only trend I see at the higher end for young folks is long range target "tactical" rifles. For some reason these young bucks are willing to go through the trouble of buying 5-8k heavy rifle in 6.5 or some super 30, spend another 2-3k on a scope and go through some "long range shooting course" engineered by some ex-military guy that probably just read a book about it last week, .......But he's an expert and knows how its done. Now that's not meant to be a shot at our military patriots, I have nothing but respect for folks that served, but let's not kid ourselves, 99% of these fellas were never, nor are they ever going to be the "American Sniper".

In a nutshell, there is more happening than most people realize in the gun industry. The management structure is getting younger and younger (lack experience) and are from outside our industry, and the local shops are just trying to survive. They have no choice but to sell what they can bring in and get rid of in a hurry, (for the worst margins of any industry I've worked in)....... or they go broke. The up-and-coming generation was raised on Call of Duty and the plethora of other military inspired games that highlight all the "tacti cool" stuff currently in the stores. Add to that their buying is inspired by the movie industry. How do I know this? Every time a new John Wick movie comes out, whichever HK pistol or Benelli shotgun he is using, we see a spike in sales after the movie release.

Times have changed my Africa Hunting friends, and they are continuing to change. It's becoming more and more difficult and expensive to do these things we love. The incredible level of complication to even get in your truck, drive somewhere out west and go hunting in our own country "the country with the most freedoms" illustrates the future of our sport........but that's probably a topic for a whole new thread....
Somehow, I missed your post before now. But you’re spot on with everything you’ve stated. Your last paragraph rings true about just finding a place to hunt anymore especially with the younger hunters with average means. Unfortunately, it’s MUCH less expensive just to buy another tactical rifle or two than to buy an out of state tag and all of the expenses for a hunt out West. I live here now, but I couldn’t have afforded to do it back in the day even when tags and overall expenses were cheap. The only young people here I see elk hunting are with parents/relatives paying for it all because they can’t. Sad.
 
I’d buy a Savage Axis at 50 percent off just to mess around with. They’re probably the scope package ones too. I bought my daughter in law their Muddy Girl model in .243 about four years ago at Wal Mart for $200. Made Townsend @Bob Nelson 35Whelen jealous. LOL
Oooh, a real flat shooter from what I have heard!
 
I’d buy a Savage Axis at 50 percent off just to mess around with. They’re probably the scope package ones too. I bought my daughter in law their Muddy Girl model in .243 about four years ago at Wal Mart for $200. Made Townsend @Bob Nelson 35Whelen jealous. LOL
@CoElkHunter
You and @CBH Australia must be related , he bought his missus one to. You both must dislike females to do that to them
Bob
 
@CoElkHunter
You and @CBH Australia must be related , he bought his missus one to. You both must dislike females to do that to them
Bob
I can understand buying an inexpensive first rifle for a youth or gal and if they don't stay with it you aren't out much.

On the other hand the Savage custom shop will build custom calibers, etc., and you could give a gal the Lady Hunter that most men would be jealous of. If you've ever worked in firearms retail, which is the subject of this thread, and seen how so many men will put a full sized 300 magnum of some sort onto their gals hand, the Savage that fits her, and can be ordered in a more reasonable caliber is a much better option.

Cost has become the primary consideration in firearms retail consumer decision making. When I was stationed on Okinawa, an older Japanese man one said to me "Americans buy based on price, not quality. You are the only people wealthy enough to repeatedly buy cheap junk.". He was 100% correct.
 
I can understand buying an inexpensive first rifle for a youth or gal and if they don't stay with it you aren't out much.

On the other hand the Savage custom shop will build custom calibers, etc., and you could give a gal the Lady Hunter that most men would be jealous of. If you've ever worked in firearms retail, which is the subject of this thread, and seen how so many men will put a full sized 300 magnum of some sort onto their gals hand, the Savage that fits her, and can be ordered in a more reasonable caliber is a much better option.

Cost has become the primary consideration in firearms retail consumer decision making. When I was stationed on Okinawa, an older Japanese man one said to me "Americans buy based on price, not quality. You are the only people wealthy enough to repeatedly buy cheap junk.". He was 100% correct.
Your last paragraph is very true and I must admit I’m guilty of that very often. Although, as I’ve said I have two factory Savage 110s and they seem to be very well built rifles for the price and for pronghorn/deer they’ll be fine for my needs. I only bought the Axis in .243 because that’s the last one in any cartridge they had. I really wanted a 7mm-08. Those scoped Muddy Girl model AXIS (not 110) rifle packages now are over $600! Ridiculous! I just bought a new Browning X-Bolt .270 Winchester with a couple of light scratches on the stock for $535 after Bass Pro’s discounts. AND, being the cheap bastard that I am, I bought a 4x12x40 BDC Vortex Diamondback scope ($204) for it with Warne Maxima rings on a Leupold Back Country rail. All at 15 percent off and Bass Pro mounted it and bore scoped it for free. I wouldn’t want to upset the older Japanese fellow. LOL
 
33 here most exy firearm bought was $2k bolt gun, your age demographic guess (3rd paragraph) was pretty correct so far. Anyone else this bracket wanna chime in? I’m curious too.

28 here.

Most I've ever spent on a gun was about 5k on a comp AR I use for 2 gun. I did also have a Tikka Tac A1 in 6.5 which I used for precision rifle and some F class competitions.

My hunting rifles are, or were;

A Tikka M695 Deluxe
A Win 70 Safari Express
A Marlin 1894 with an octagonal barrel
A Beretta Silver Pigeon Deluxe
A Joseph Lang damascus barrel hammer gun
A Liege made side by side hammer gun of uncertain provenance
A cheap spanish side by side, also of no particular provenance.

I'm fairly traditional in this respect. I'll happily buy boring synthetic stocked rifles and trick AR platforms and competition pistols for my 2 gun and competition needs, but for hunting, I like classic. Double barrel shotguns, bolt guns, double rifles, all with good quality wood and blue. I'm hunting for pleasure, not to hit quotas or anything, and having that kind of rifle with me makes me happy.

Obviously being relatively young, my priorities have been more pay off my student loan, pay off my house, build the beginnings of a pension fund in the past. But now all those boxes are ticked, I expect the price of my hunting guns will start creeping up in the coming years.

I can't help but feel that I'm quite lucky to be in a position to consider that before 40, and I rather suspect that for many shooters in the under 35 crowd, the choice of a cheap synthetic stock Savage is made of financial constraints as much as pure preference.
 
I’d buy a Savage Axis at 50 percent off just to mess around with. They’re probably the scope package ones too. I bought my daughter in law their Muddy Girl model in .243 about four years ago at Wal Mart for $200. Made Townsend @Bob Nelson 35Whelen jealous. LOL
Nice, just a reminder to Townsend that a .243 is a nice option for the ladies. Shot placement matters.

Her’s is the Weatherby 1500 “Girls Hunt 2” nice fit stable Bell and Carlson stock with pink web accents.
Might be a Howa under another name but my Howa didn’t get the fluted bolt treatment so I tell her it’s special. Fits right, looks good and there is nothing wrong with a .243
 
Nice, just a reminder to Townsend that a .243 is a nice option for the ladies. Shot placement matters.

Her’s is the Weatherby 1500 “Girls Hunt 2” nice fit stable Bell and Carlson stock with pink web accents.
Might be a Howa under another name but my Howa didn’t get the fluted bolt treatment so I tell her it’s special. Fits right, looks good and there is nothing wrong with a .243
@CBH Australia
Chris as long as she is happy all is right with the world. Happy wife happy life.
Bob
 
Collecting guns just never turned my crank. However, I discovered building my 404J was extremely rewarding. Now I'm fighting an addiction. And my old African hunting buddy isn't helping. He's worse than a crack dealer. Always scouring the internet for parts and deals ... for me. But what can I do? Build a nice gun and it's hard to get rid of it ... even if a buyer can be found. Like selling a child. Perhaps if I could find someone who wanted a gun built for his kid. Yeah, that would work. My daughter and grandkids already have designated heirlooms and I'd be surprised if they hang onto them. And I'm likely to pick up a few more from my brothers before I cash in. Don't want to complicate matters further leaving a truckload of guns to them they may never be able to use.

Though I've never been an ardent collector/shopper, I can certainly see how the internet has changed gun trafficking. No doubt it is harder to find bargains these days, but on the other hand shoppers can literally cast a worldwide search right from their phone in a donut shop drinking morning coffee (which is what I'm doing right now). The nice thing about the net is one can filter out the crap in a search for guns. No need to sort through shelves full of black guns to find the good stuff. Not necessary to wait in line behind dorks who don't have a clue. Or deal with store clerks who are even more clueless.
 
The problem with a lot of fun shops in Australia is they want to sell you what they think you need not what you want or really need.
A lot of the counter staff nowadays know stuff all about guns especially older guns and cartridges. They want you to have the latest and greatest wizz bang pos at stupid prices.
They need to get back to basics and provide GOOD CUSTOMER SERVICE. Try and ask for 35 Whelen cartridges and you get strange looks and asked what's that or why do you want something that big.
Bob
 
The problem with a lot of fun shops in Australia is they want to sell you what they think you need not what you want or really need.

It would appear a lot of Australian gun shops and American gun shops have much in common…
 
My local gun club runs several events a year aimed at new shooters. Specifically, youths aged 8-15 years old and ladies. Never any charges. Youths have a one on one coach at the bench. They are able to try long guns of various types. Club provides ammo. The ladies only requirement was to bring a covered dish for the meal afterwards. The ladies rotate thru various stages, bolt guns, semi's, shotgun, archery, pistols and revolvers. About 5 hours worth. As Chief Range Safety Officer I give safety briefs, and I coach the ladies to not let the counter staff sell them a handgun at first( just because the staff get a free gun or bonus) Fit is important and their budget of course. As a sidenote, most ladies want to try a 1911 and 44 mag. at the range. Also baffles me is some are excited to shoot the Armalite AR50. Personally, my kind of gal!
 
The internet changed everything. It’s easy for a pawn shop or even an individual owner to figure out the value of even a fairly rare or obscure firearm…

I’ve found the best deals at gun shows lately… not because they are a high volume market… but because I intentionally look for stuff that is hard to sell…

Find a guy with a 300h&h on the rack in North Texas… chances are he’s been sitting on it a while and is ready to offload it….

You won’t get the same deal on a 6.5 creedmore or an AR… the price will be the price…

Find a 416 Taylor as opposed to a 416 REM Mag…

Etc etc…

It’s really not about the value anymore… everyone knows the value… the deals (in my experience) are now about cash flow…

Many of the Walmarts in TX have Savage Axis rifles at 50% off right now… my guess is they over stocked and are trying to move stuff and restock before hunting season…

A few years ago when a local field and stream closed down I snapped up a couple of guns when they discounted all firearms 20%…

With black rifles the market flexes a lot… ARs are the cheapest I’ve seen them right now… 3 years ago the entry point on a cheap ar10 was about $1200… a cheap ar15 would have cost you $750…

I bought 2x ar10’s a few months ago for about $525 each… and you can pick up entry level ar15s right now in the $375 range if you wait for a “sale”…
You can't go wrong with the Savage Axis .308 Win for inexpensive quality. Even with its cheap plastic stock, I added a Timney adjustable trigger on mine and glued in plastic forearm inserts from E-Carbo. The accuracy was darn good; 4 rounds within the circle of a quarter. Four rounds? That's what the rifle holds. I took it to South Africa for a plains game hunt and effectively dispatched every animal I shot, from Reebok to Wildebeest. Farthest shot was 260 yds.
 
If you don't have a lot of money to spend on a rifle for Africa hunting, I recommend for consideration, a Savage Axis in .308 Win, or 30-06. The platform is definitely base-line but has very good accuracy. If you want to stabilize the cheap plastic stock, and if you have a pre-accu-trigger model, E-Carbo has very low-cost upgrades that improves accuracy. I bought a pre-accu-trigger Axis in .308 from a pawn shop, replaced the trigger with a Timney adjustable trigger and added plastic inserts from E-Carbo in the forearm of the stock. Accuracy was inside the diameter of a quarter at 100 yds. I took it to SA and dispatched everything from a rebock to wildebeest. Just food for thought.
 
If you don't have a lot of money to spend on a rifle for Africa hunting, I recommend for consideration, a Savage Axis in .308 Win, or 30-06.

My wife took a Ruger American Compact in 308 on our first hunt in South Africa..

She had much nicer, more expensive rifles in the safe.. but specifically chose the American.. she simply liked the way it handled, and she was confident in her ability to shoot it accurately with the load I had developed for it...

Shes small in stature.. with a short LOP, etc.. so the little 16" barreled, short stocked American simply fit her better than anything else we had at the moment..

It has since become the baseline for almost every other rifle we have bought her in the last 8-10 years.. her current primary PG/NA Big Game rifle is a Kimber Adirondak.. a tiny little 308 with an 18" barrel and a very short LOP..
 
There are plenty of gun stores in South Africa and although there are a good number of black gun tactical shops there are as many traditional ones that will even stock double rifles. To make ends meet they will invariably stock outdoor and hunting stuff too. The larger ones have a a little restaurant and coffee bar, some even sell beer.
 

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