Home Back Issues April 2009 Boom times for bang bang

Boom times for bang bang

| Print |  Email
Archives - April 2009
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

Video: Kickstarting Oregon business

News
Thursday, March 27, 2014
02.04.14 Thumbnail VideoBY JESSICA RIDGWAY | OB WEB EDITOR

Watch this OB Original Video about three Oregon companies and how crowd-funding "kickstarted" their business ideas.


Read more...

Buy the book

News
Tuesday, March 25, 2014
2 03.25.14 thumb bookshopBY VIVIAN MCINERNY | OB BLOGGER

Oregon is home not only to many fine writers but also several accomplished small publishers.


Read more...

What I'm reading: Brad Smith & Travis Boersma

March 2014
Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Brad Smith, founder of Hot Pepper Studios, and Travis Boersma, president of Dutch Bros. Coffee, share their recent reads.


Read more...

Spring thaw

News
Thursday, April 17, 2014
Spring ThawBY JASON NORRIS | OB BLOGGER

The “polar vortex” of 2014 seems to have finally thawed and we believe this change in weather will bring more sunshine to the U.S. economy as well.


Read more...

On fire

March 2014
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
BY JESSICA RIDGWAY

A self-proclaimed “chile head,” John Ford “grows, eats and does everything spicy.” 


Read more...

Reader Input Survey

News
Thursday, April 24, 2014

Click here to fill out our survey on energy and environment issues. Results will be published in our June 2014 issue.


Read more...

Wheel man

March 2014
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
BY LINDA BAKER

Les Schwab has put a premium on customer service since 1952, when legendary namesake Les Schwab founded the company with one store in Prineville. (Schwab died in 2007.) But if the corporate principles remain essentially the same, the world around this iconic Oregon business has changed dramatically.


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