Boom times for bang bang

| Print |  Email
Wednesday, April 01, 2009


Gun Guns sales in Oregon are up and gun companies are hiring.

STATEWIDE Bullets are flying in Bend, or at least they are flying through the production process at ammunition manufacturer Nosler, one of the few employers in Central Oregon to be adding jobs rather than subtracting them. The 50-year-old company has hired more than 20 people in 2009, boosting its employee total to an all-time high of 123 on the strength of soaring demand for anything having to do with guns.

"We aren't just running out of handgun bullets," says marketing manager Justin Moore. "We're running out of all types of bullets. People are buying in advance while they can."

Business is also booming (sorry) at Wilsonville-based Crimson Trace, which builds laser sight grips for firearms; at optics specialist Leupold of Beaverton, which builds shooting scopes; and at the Gun Room in Southeast Portland, which sells everything from single-action revolvers to modern assault rifles.

Much of the credit for recession-defying gun sales goes to President Obama, whom Gun Room owner Warren Lacasse describes as "salesman of the year." Rightly or wrongly, gun owners fear tighter restrictions. But Crimson Trace marketing manager Lane Tobiassen says that another, possibly larger factor has to do with the recession: "There is a perception that in a down economy violent crime will increase. People are taking steps to protect themselves and their families."

That trend has enabled Crimson Trace to expand its workforce to more than 100 employees and increase its orders from vendors R & D Plastics of Hillsboro and Hydro Graphics of Newberg. It has also spurred a sort of "domino effect," as Moore describes it: "People go into the stores and see they're all out of what they were looking for, so they rush off to find it somewhere else."

These are not Dollar Store purchases. Crimson Trace's laser grips sell for around $300. Nosler's Accubond bullets cost $44 for a box of 50. The Colt AR-15s that Gun Room customers are clamoring for run around $2,000. Unlike fickle commodities such as oil and wheat, gun prices have climbed steadily without crashing.

That doesn't surprise Lacasse, who has been selling firearms in Portland for 42 years. "You buy the cheap toilet paper and you buy cheap beer but when you buy firearms you buy the best," he says. "A gun is a better investment than gold. The stock market goes up and down but Winchester and Colt have done nothing for the past 100 years but go up."

BEN JACKLET

Have an opinion? E-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

 

Comments   

 
Guest
0 #1 business ownerGuest 2013-01-16 11:08:06
Perhaps the real reason Crimson Trace is doing well is because their whole marketing concept is FEAR. The one subject that sell better than SEX. Their whole Schtick is about kill or be killed and Crimson helps you be more successful at killing. Is it true? Despite the dot (hard to see in daylight) What about hesitation ?
What about the controversy between Iron sights and lasers ? Lasers instill a false sense of confidence that could lead to a disaster.
Quote | Report to administrator
 

More Articles

Photo Diary: Forest Grove Farmers Market

The Latest
Thursday, May 14, 2015
IMG 8469BY JASON E. KAPLAN | STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

There are more than 160 farmers markets in Oregon, contributing an estimated $50 million in sales, according to the Oregon Farmers Markets Association. We checked in on the Forest Grove market, which for several years has brought local produce and food vendors to Main Street in the center of town.


Read more...

Credit Unions Perspective

June 2015
Tuesday, May 26, 2015
BY KIM MOORE

A conversation with Gene Pelham, CEO of Rogue Credit Union.


Read more...

Downtime with the director of Barley's Angels

May 2015
Monday, April 27, 2015
BY JACOB PALMER

Live, Work, Play with Christine Jump.


Read more...

Editor’s Note: It’s a Man’s World

Linda Baker
Thursday, April 30, 2015
lindablogthumbBY LINDA BAKER | EDITOR

Earlier this week we posted an article from our May issue:  It’s a Man's Man’s Man’s World. The story covered the gender divide in tech from the perspective of male workers. Twitter didn’t like it.


Read more...

The ancient fish that stops bullets

The Latest
Friday, May 08, 2015
hagfishthumbBY CHRIS NOBLE | PHOTOS BY JASON E. KAPLAN

Hagfish may not have evolved much over the last 300 million years, but their protein-heavy slime promises advances in super-materials.


Read more...

Change at the pump?

The Latest
Tuesday, May 26, 2015
001thumbBY JASON E. KAPLAN | STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

New Jersey and Oregon are the only two states in the U.S. that ban self serve gas stations. But these two holdouts may be ready to give up the game. New Jersey is considering legislation that would lift the state's ban on pumping your own gas. Oregon is considering smaller scale changes.


Read more...

Hall of Flame

June 2015
Friday, May 22, 2015
BY JACOB PALMER

A Power Lunch at Oswego Grill.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS