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

Up on the Roof

September 2015
Wednesday, August 19, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER

In 2010 Vanessa Keitges and several investors purchased Portland-based Columbia Green Technologies, a green-roof company. The 13-person firm has a 200% annual growth rate, exports 30% of its product to Canada and received its first infusion of venture capital in 2014 from Yaletown Venture Partners. CEO Keitges, 40, a Southern Oregon native who serves on President Obama’s Export Council, talks about market innovation, scaling small business and why Oregon is falling behind in green-roof construction. 


Read more...

Quake as metaphor

Linda Baker
Tuesday, July 14, 2015
071515-earthquakia-thumbBY LINDA BAKER

The Big One serves as an allegory for Portland, a city that earns plaudits for lifestyle and amenities but whose infrastructure is, literally, crumbling.


Read more...

House of Clarity

July/August 2015
Monday, July 13, 2015
BY JACOB PALMER

Holding a Power Lunch at Veritable Quandary in downtown Portland.


Read more...

Photo Log: Waterfront Blues Festival

The Latest
Thursday, July 09, 2015
bluesfestthumbBY JASON E. KAPLAN | STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

The sweltering weather didn't keep the crowds away. Although the numbers were down slightly from last year, the Oregon Food Bank raised $850,636 to fight hunger.  About 80,000 people attended despite temperatures in the upper 90s.


Read more...

The Private 150: From Strength to Strength

July/August 2015
Monday, July 13, 2015
BY KIM MOORE

Revenues in Oregon's private, for profit sector maintained solid growth as the economy continued to rebound.


Read more...

Fueling Up for the Climb

July/August 2015
Friday, July 10, 2015
BY GREGG MORRIS

Rita Hansen aims to scale natural gas vehicle innovation.


Read more...

Reader Input: Rx for Health Care

July/August 2015
Wednesday, July 15, 2015

We asked readers how Obamacare has impacted their business.


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