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9/22/2017 12:11:25 AM
Posted: 1/15/2006 9:59:47 AM EDT
I am going to be moving into this area sometime in the next 6months. Any gun stores worh a damn. I would like to open up a business in this area(gun store) but I am not sure on how the town would react. I don't think there are any gun stores in Normal. Any help or feed back would be helpful.
Thanks
Link Posted: 1/15/2006 10:36:13 AM EDT
I went to college there about 12 years ago. That area is not like Chicago. It still has a lot of farmland left. There is a gun club near Bloomington as well as a decent place to hunt pheasant near the lake. The gun store I used to frequent was called Vollmer's. I dont know if they are still in business. They had evil black rifles galore.
Link Posted: 1/15/2006 11:58:59 AM EDT
I moved away about 6 years ago and came out to AZ. Wy wife want's to return. I can only think of Vollmer's and some pawn shops here and there. To the life of me I do not remember anything in Normal. I woder if there are any laws against it in the town of Normal? I would think that there would be a market there for one. Plenty of shooters and people complaining about the lack of places to buy guns and ammo. Must do more research.
Link Posted: 1/15/2006 1:41:19 PM EDT
Slightly off topic, Birth place of Stake-N-Shake! 7 Locations in Blomington/Normal!
Link Posted: 1/15/2006 3:25:23 PM EDT

Originally Posted By joe1972:
Slightly off topic, Birth place of Stake-N-Shake! 7 Locations in Blomington/Normal!


Dude! Steak-N-Shake is good stuff!
Link Posted: 1/15/2006 3:52:37 PM EDT

Originally Posted By deej86:

Originally Posted By joe1972:
Slightly off topic, Birth place of Stake-N-Shake! 7 Locations in Blomington/Normal!


Dude! Steak-N-Shake is good stuff!



Hell yeah!
I got fat from eat there all the time while going to ISU!

Link Posted: 1/15/2006 4:01:10 PM EDT

Originally Posted By joe1972:

Originally Posted By deej86:

Originally Posted By joe1972:
Slightly off topic, Birth place of Stake-N-Shake! 7 Locations in Blomington/Normal!


Dude! Steak-N-Shake is good stuff!



Hell yeah!
I got fat from eat there all the time while going to ISU!



Whenever I go to B-N, I eat at the one at Wylie and Market...over by the outlet mall.
Link Posted: 1/15/2006 6:15:41 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/15/2006 6:16:15 PM EDT by blmff]

Originally Posted By joe1972:
Slightly off topic, Birth place of Stake-N-Shake! 7 Locations in Blomington/Normal!



Not any more. We are down to 4.

as for gun stores, we have 2 Walmarts LOL. and a K's Merchandise which has some occasional good deals, along with DICKS. Smileys sport shop has mostly hunting guns and alot of archery, but some times they have something good. We have a small shop that opened up a couple years agor called guns-N stuff which does not impress me much. Vollmers shut down in town several years ago and moved the safe buisness up north some where. Darnalls range is out west of town. they have a small selection. He does a lot of Smith work instead of selling guns. Just dont get in a hurry. If I want to by some thing I drive 35 minutes to Pekin gun. excellent selection and great prices.

ETA no laws against it in normal.
Link Posted: 1/16/2006 2:28:20 AM EDT
Steak and shake is great. Best burgers for the buck! Chili mac is to dy for. You all forgot about Avanties. Damn it now I am hungry. If I can, I want to open a gun store in the area. I want to try to give the best prices on ammo and guns possible. But, Illinois is such a screwed up sate in regards to its stupid ass gun laws, I don't know if this is possible or not. I went to high school at UHS and spent most of my adult life in the area. Escaped 6 years ago to AZ, but momma now wants to come home. Urggggggggg. Just mulling over idea's. Would love to oven a evil black rifle store.
Link Posted: 1/16/2006 4:36:53 PM EDT
I would do my part to keep you in buisness
Link Posted: 1/16/2006 6:59:25 PM EDT

Originally Posted By blmff:
I would do my part to keep you in buisness



+1

I'm hoping to be down there for 2 years starting this fall.

WIZZO
Link Posted: 1/16/2006 7:00:06 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/16/2006 7:00:40 PM EDT by WIZZO_ARAKM14]
Arggg...Double-tap.
Link Posted: 1/17/2006 6:23:07 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/17/2006 6:23:53 AM EDT by mw365]
It seems like there is/was a store down near ISU campus--I seem to remember some protest that some of the students were going to have. Kids are so cute...

I miss Vollmer's . They had a great store. It's not everyday you can walk in and see a PSG-1 or an HK 91 in the rack. Fred built some machine guns too. Now the building is a dance studio.

I would love to have an EBR gun store nearby that sold stuff like Ranger ammo, XM193/Q3131A, Black Hills, EBRs, and the "stocking dealer only" brands like Benelli, HK, and Kimber. Realistically, though, I don't know how profitable the idea is. The IllAnnoy gunowner community is dominated by hunters whose fondest desire is a cheap slug barrel for their cheap shotgun, which they use 7 days a year. Or the pheasant hunters who shoot as many of the few remaining pheasants left as they can, to the tune of about 2 boxes of shells a year. Or the waterfowlers (pronounced "loon-uh-tix" ) who want a bunch of nontoxic stuff to launch in the general direction of the moon, possibly connecting with a duck or goose. (Does anyone even like to eat duck or goose?) I could go on and on, but you get the idea.

B-N is a pretty yuppified town. They can't build cookie cutter lookalike subdivisions full of $300,000 houses fast enough. Still, Vollmer's did pretty well, I think. Personally, I'd like to have a place to get serious ammo, and I'd just as soon see a member of this board get my money on the stocking dealer only stuff as anyone.

I think the key to your success would be diversity. Vollmer's did 'smith work, safes, gold and silver, and the guns, plus the MG business. Darnall's does 'smith work, plus has a nice shotgun range layout. Smiley's does archery and fishing. Obviously guns and ammo are just part of the retailers' business. The point is, the places that have survived have a pretty wide range of services. It's sad, but I just don't see a place that does EBRs and ammo as surviving.

Niches you could fill:
--Handguns. Smiley's has a few, K's has a few, and that's about it. I'm not sure you could buy a Kimber or an HK in B-N. You might have some luck with the bigger revolvers that deer hunters shoot/want also.

--Optics. Nobody around has anything like a good selection, although most everyone has something. If you add drilling and tapping for mounts, that could expand your base as well.

--Cheap rifles. The hunting crowd will spend the money on a rifle, regardless of caliber, if the price is good. This is true even though they can't hunt anything with it, and will rarely shoot it. Wal-Mart had .30-30 lever actions on sale for something like $125 and they were GONE. A guy at work bought a Remington 700 in .243 because he got it for $275. He still has shells from the first box of 20 he bought. If your distributor puts out a deal on something odd, grab it and advertise. Be sure you have ammo for it too--they'll only buy a box or 2, and it will last forever for them, but if it's an "off" caliber (read: something Wal-Mart doesn't stock) you might get some business back.

--Youth models. This is a little shaky. Everyone wants a gun for their kid to go hunting with. There is a lot of competition in this arena. You would have to win the sale based on service, and even then, it's possible they would get your advice and do it cheaper somewhere else.

--Magazines. It's hard to find a place to go to get decent magazines. You wouldn't get a lot of sales here, but it's a niche. You migh be good to go after Glocks--the cops all carry them.

--Ammo. There's no place in Bloomington that stocks and sells Ranger, Black Hills, or mil-spec stuff. It's also hard to find premium handgun ammo for hunting. I went to Smiley's and wanted some .44 Mag Winchester Partition Gold ammo and he looked at me like I was crazy. Again, not a lot of sales here, but might be a small piece of your business.

--Police/personal protection. We have no CCW here , so non lethal stuff like pepper spray. There was a cop shop in B-N at one time that folded--it catered to police with equipment. I don't think the concept would stand on its own, but might be viable with a gun store. Disclaimer--I'm not a cop and don't know the ins and outs of their equipment procurement. Some research would be required on you part.

That's my opinion, worth every penny you paid for it. If you take my advice and it works out, maybe we can work out a discount .
Link Posted: 1/17/2006 9:06:28 AM EDT
These are all good ideas. I am mulling over an idea to open a small store front business in Normal(away from ISU area for sure) stocking handguns, rifles, shotguns, and black type rifles. A small vollmers if you will. I will do more of the internet type sales then store front. But my idea is this, You can come in and order just about anything you want, Gun,, ammo, etc. Since you have to wait 5 days to get a handgun, I can have everything shipped in by that time. Would stock a good assortment of display guns, etc. I am a cheap O when it comes to buying ammo and guns. My view point is simple. Stock what people want and or be able to get it fast. The internet makes this possible. You can find just about anything you want on the internet. Ya we all want to get rich, but I want to survive on a decent income. When you get greedy and raise the price of your products so high to make a killing, you drive people away. I would rater make more money on volume then jacking things so high that people will shop some where else. Maybe I am dreaming, maybe not. I am 6months to a year out from doing this. We shall see what happens>
Thanks for the input.
Link Posted: 1/17/2006 2:40:59 PM EDT
Yay ISU.

Link Posted: 1/17/2006 3:39:24 PM EDT
I can't add alot to what's already been suggested. I would like like to see you stock Stag and or Superior lowers at a good price. Some uppers as well. Also a nice assortment of Old milsurp C&R offerings.

As a Bloomington resident, I would be a regular customer. In the next few years or so I'm looking to get a Springfield XD45, XD9, a Marlin lever guidegun in 45/70, a few AR lowers and uppers and another ak. Oh yea, a FAL is on that list to

It would be awesome to be able to stop at a gun shop and pick up a case of Wolf and or Q3131 on the way to the range.

If you would imitate Volmers in your inventory I don't see how you could go wrong.




Anyway CFE738, welcome back !
Link Posted: 1/17/2006 5:00:28 PM EDT

Originally Posted By CFE738:
These are all good ideas. I am mulling over an idea to open a small store front business in Normal(away from ISU area for sure) stocking handguns, rifles, shotguns, and black type rifles. A small vollmers if you will. I will do more of the internet type sales then store front. But my idea is this, You can come in and order just about anything you want, Gun,, ammo, etc. Since you have to wait 5 days to get a handgun, I can have everything shipped in by that time. Would stock a good assortment of display guns, etc. I am a cheap O when it comes to buying ammo and guns. My view point is simple. Stock what people want and or be able to get it fast. The internet makes this possible. You can find just about anything you want on the internet. Ya we all want to get rich, but I want to survive on a decent income. When you get greedy and raise the price of your products so high to make a killing, you drive people away. I would rater make more money on volume then jacking things so high that people will shop some where else. Maybe I am dreaming, maybe not. I am 6months to a year out from doing this. We shall see what happens>
Thanks for the input.



72 hours.

Don't make it any worse than it is. King Daley doesn't need any new ideas.
Link Posted: 1/17/2006 6:09:54 PM EDT
will work for Guns
Link Posted: 1/18/2006 2:07:46 AM EDT
3 days? sorry I thought it was 5. My bad. I am used to walking into a store out here in Phoenix and getting a gun in less then a half hour. I hate the thought of moving, but sometimes you have to do what you have to do.
I am keeping notes on what you are all suggesting. I will not be back into the area for at least 3-5 months. Right now I am not even sure that is possible. Once I get the family settled then I will see if I can do this. I am working on doing my research right now and then I need to work on my business plan. Its all about money. I will need to find myself a gun friendly banker. I will keep you all informed as to what happens.
Thanks
Link Posted: 1/18/2006 1:39:47 PM EDT

Originally Posted By SIGNAL4L:
I went to college there about 12 years ago. That area is not like Chicago. It still has a lot of farmland left. There is a gun club near Bloomington as well as a decent place to hunt pheasant near the lake. The gun store I used to frequent was called Vollmer's. I dont know if they are still in business. They had evil black rifles galore.




They built my MP5 in 1997
Link Posted: 1/19/2006 1:53:42 PM EDT
Drive 30 minutes west to:
Midwestern Firearms Company

829 E. Camp Street
East Peoria, IL. 61611
ph. (309) 694-4867
fax: (309) 694-4874
Toll Free: 1-800-962-9934
John & Jan Meek
Link Posted: 1/19/2006 4:37:48 PM EDT
Pekin gun. excellent selection and great prices.

Great service and from what I heard, is the largest stocking dealer in the state.
Link Posted: 1/19/2006 6:33:27 PM EDT

Originally Posted By jrp454:
Pekin gun. excellent selection and great prices.

Great service and from what I heard, is the largest stocking dealer in the state.



MEGA SPORTS in plainfield has a huge selection, but for service or price Pekin is the place to go.
Link Posted: 1/21/2006 5:42:51 PM EDT
What ever you do, whereever you are... Stay there..

I just moved from this black hole town and trust me.. Its a vacuum into oblivion. Unless you like eating at the multitudes of bland chain restaurants and watching the locals tell stories of how important they are due to job position at State Farm, I would avoid at all costs..

Then again, its a safe homely town for raising kids.. As for a Gun store in this town, you will compete with smileys, K's and wal-mart. Even then, there isnt much of a calling for it.

If you are out west, stay put. If you arent, move to arizona..

Woot

Dan
Link Posted: 1/22/2006 8:16:00 AM EDT
Here is the deal. We moved from there 6 plus years ago. And you are 100% correct about how the town is. Problem is that my wife want's to move back to be with all of her family. I do not want too go back there. But what can you do. Short of the big D, which with 3 kids will cost me everything I own, I don't have many options. I can sell my house here in the Phoenix area and go back there and pay cash for a nice house and have ZERO bills. Everything paid off and a big chunck of cash in the bank. Also It is much better for the kids there. My father in law lives in Downs and we are thinking of moving out that way and put the kids in Tri valley. None of the iner city gang bull shit and related stuff. If the AWB goes thru then I will be screwed with some of my plans and will be trying to figure out what in the hell to do with all of my stuff. Life sucks, but you have to do what you have to do.
Link Posted: 1/22/2006 12:28:14 PM EDT
Dont forget Illinois is NOT a Class 3 state. So if you have any really fun toys you better sell them before you move.
Link Posted: 1/23/2006 3:53:12 AM EDT
I am just worried about the AWB bullshit ban. I have a good assortment of toys that I will not get rid of. I really am sick of the thought of leaving AZ, but I really do not have much of a choice. Any word on how the AWB is doing?
Link Posted: 1/23/2006 10:56:21 AM EDT
Illinois is a class 3 state, if you have a class 3.................! if not Vollmers could have been....!
Link Posted: 1/24/2006 9:00:24 AM EDT

Originally Posted By blmff:
Dont forget Illinois is NOT a Class 3 state. So if you have any really fun toys you better sell them before you move.



Will I could always sell the wife. She is a slighly used 1969 model. Hard to fire up sometimes. Might need a tune up. Tires are worn a bit, but she is drivable. No warranty. As is. Must stop now before she finds out I wrote this.
Link Posted: 1/25/2006 9:30:32 AM EDT
Man, I miss Vollmers! My first EBR ever was a new HK91, that I bought from Rob and the boys. As it turned out , when I went to pick it up, the ATM system across the street was down, and I could not access my account to pay the balance. (150.00) Rob, in his unique voice, told me "Hey, don't worry about it. Take your rifle home, and bring the money tomorrow!" Needless to say, I did, and they became my favorite "candy store". God, I spent some major money with those guys! If you do open a shop, let us know. I'll be there to check you out!! Pekin Gun is a good shop and I presently do most of my business there. But some honest competition would do our area good. Best wishes, and good luck to you and your family. MW.
Link Posted: 1/25/2006 5:59:51 PM EDT
Everything is up in the air right now. I am watching the AWB right now. If it passes, I most likely will not go thru with my plans. My research is showing the potential market is good, but not great. I need to figure out what would be the best way to start. I would sell handguns from 5-6 different manufacture's. I am looking into Kimber right now and others. I like black rifles, so kits, spare parts, receivers etc is on the plan. Also ammo. Lake city, surplus, and new mfg. Any suggestions will go into the mix. I do not think that I be the next Volmers, maybe a mini me volmers. They had some really cool stuff. Time will tell. I plan on moving back by the beging of summer. I want my kids to finish school here and have the summer to get used to things.
Keep up with the input.


(
Link Posted: 1/25/2006 6:24:40 PM EDT
Whatever you do, stock Wolf ammo for the budget-minded (i.e. my cheap ass)

WIZZO
Link Posted: 1/28/2006 5:55:48 PM EDT
Came up with a idea today. What if I also stock Airsoft guns and paintball stuff for the kids/non shooters. Is there much call for these things in the area. I have 2 M16 airsoft BB guns that are full auto and they are a blast. Just thinking that when dad and or mom is getting a new toy, so could junior. Just a idea. what do you all think?

Wolf is on the list!

I am CHEAP, just ask my wife. I want to try and get the best price to the customer and still make enough to survive. I hate going somewhere and seeing prices jacked way over what you can get it on the internet somewhere.

Link Posted: 1/29/2006 12:03:28 PM EDT
I would think about doing this, open your store, down in Heyworth about 9 miles south of Bloomington, I would think cost of doing business, I.E. taxes ect would be less, and would not be ground zero for any libs, protests, ect. town of about 2500 I would think they would like another business up there. just a thought
Link Posted: 1/31/2006 7:51:59 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/31/2006 7:53:18 AM EDT by mw365]

Originally Posted By CFE738:
Came up with a idea today. What if I also stock Airsoft guns and paintball stuff for the kids/non shooters. Is there much call for these things in the area. I have 2 M16 airsoft BB guns that are full auto and they are a blast. Just thinking that when dad and or mom is getting a new toy, so could junior. Just a idea. what do you all think?



That's a good idea. I'm sure you could move stuff like that. You'll want to get stuff that Wally World and Dick's can't provide, but I think you'd do OK.
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