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Posted: 1/14/2006 9:22:41 AM EDT
My business partners just bought me out and I have a lump settlement....I'm too young to retire....can I make a living as an FFL/SOT?

I need to look at all the angles...is there more money in smithing, retail or manufacture?

Your thought...from those in the business. Thanks
Link Posted: 1/14/2006 9:24:08 AM EDT
if you are very good and extremely talented, yes you can make some money. dont expect to get rich. keep in mind that gun owners are the cheapest bastards alive.
Link Posted: 1/14/2006 9:29:49 AM EDT

Originally Posted By TheRedHorseman:
if you are very good and extremely talented, yes you can make some money. dont expect to get rich. keep in mind that gun owners are the cheapest bastards alive.



I resemble that remark!
Link Posted: 1/14/2006 10:19:42 AM EDT
You can make money in the gun bussinness, I've thought about doing it myself, but you will NOT get rich, you'de be lucky to just break even or even make a small profit at all.... You get into the gun bussness because you WANT TO get into the gun bussness, not because you want to get rich, thats why you see alot of gun stores being run by older guys, there retired, and liveing off there saveings, the gun store may or may not be getting a profit, there doing it because they WANT to, if they make a profit thats a bonus, that said it IS possibal to make alot money, but not as a traditional gun dealer, you eighther sell other products besides just guns, or you could be an importor or manufacturor, and get a successful product where your the only supplier, or one of a few suppliers giveing you monopoly power to charge what you want for example think of Century as the importer, and FN with the PS90....
Link Posted: 1/14/2006 10:23:29 AM EDT
huh, and i half expected 40 replies that said "NO". Just like the KB. I don't see why you couldn't make money at it, but you do have to have a good selecction or people wont go there. If you have like 8 hunting rifles anda few handguns and say that you will order anything I don't think you will get much business, but if you have a bunch of guns ini stock then it is a different story. Of course you have t o have the $$$ to stock a bunch of guns.
Link Posted: 1/14/2006 10:23:50 AM EDT
Gun manufacturing in the US can make a lot of money (the industry is somewhat-protected by gun-import bans) but any sort of manufacturing is fairly expensive to get into as well. I have pondered it too, but from all I've read, it isn't a part-time job.
More like a 80-hr week job.
Can you do anything for 80hrs/week and not get sick of it?
~
Link Posted: 1/14/2006 10:25:00 AM EDT
Also check around the local area. Your competition might do you in before you start. Make a business model and stick to it. There are a plethora of ATF rules and regs as well as local city and state regs you have to stay in compliance with. Just do your homework and it will work out;

Max
Link Posted: 1/14/2006 10:31:38 AM EDT

Originally Posted By TheRedHorseman:
if you are very good and extremely talented, yes you can make some money. dont expect to get rich. keep in mind that gun owners are the cheapest bastards alive.



Bullshit. Aircraft owners make your average gun owner look like Brewster (from "Brewster's Millions). Ask any A&P.
Link Posted: 1/14/2006 11:03:06 AM EDT
Keep it coming guys...thanks for the input....the more opinions the more I get to think about this weekend.

To be fair I'm leaning toward specialized manufacturing. FFL07 building for LE/Govt. Also suppressors and such. I've also given some thought to providing Firearms to the movie industry. As well as custom smithing and such.

I'm not afraid of hard work....It's just that....night and day all I think about is guns....I love them. If I could make a living doing it I'd be the happiest guy in town....for sure. I want Dillons job....fly helo's and shoot FA all day.
Link Posted: 1/14/2006 11:06:25 AM EDT
Well if you want a normal gun shop you will have to cut out half your brain and learn to lie like a rug.
Link Posted: 1/14/2006 11:13:11 AM EDT
Find a market niche and stick with it. The dealer that I use sells primarily high dollar skeet and trap shotguns. That's not my thing, but he can order just about anything and gives me a good price on it. Anyway, he's extremely knowledgable since he competes in skeet at a pretty high level. The average hunter seems to migrate toward Walmart or one of the other big chains.
Link Posted: 1/14/2006 11:14:35 AM EDT
No, get a bunch of people to use you as a recieving FFL and you have a start. Now that you can FAX FFLs people can order online or out of ciriculars and largely cut you out of the loop except for recieving fee. The prices you get on wholesale do not allow much profit margin and the ATF will do thier damndest to run you out of business or revoke your license. Then thiers Wal-Mart and other large chains you will not make profits off items that they can sell cheaper.
Link Posted: 1/14/2006 11:14:35 AM EDT

Originally Posted By BUSHMAN15:
Keep it coming guys...thanks for the input....the more opinions the more I get to think about this weekend.

To be fair I'm leaning toward specialized manufacturing. FFL07 building for LE/Govt. Also suppressors and such. I've also given some thought to providing Firearms to the movie industry. As well as custom smithing and such.

I'm not afraid of hard work....It's just that....night and day all I think about is guns....I love them. If I could make a living doing it I'd be the happiest guy in town....for sure. I want Dillons job....fly helo's and shoot FA all day.



Manufacturing would be better than trying to be a dealer. The economics of being a gun dealer are not good. The economics of expensive, specialized toys are probably better.

The movie industry has a few big suppliers whose collections you will never match. My daughter knows a guy around here who has about 25 fully operational tanks of various types that he rents out to movies. He has them parked down in a big lot just off the 14 Freeway. You ought to see his gun collection. You would probably have to move to California to compete and California law probably wouldn't let you bring the guns into the state. If you aren't here already, you are probably locked out. Besides, lots of the "guns" are custom-built for movie effects. They aren't real guns at all.
Link Posted: 1/14/2006 11:25:29 AM EDT
I've thought alot about the average Mom & Pop Gun shop.....they are a dying lot I'm afraid. Walmart, Sportsmens Warehouse, and Cabela's have got the advantage around here.

It's the guy with everything except an FA toy I'd like to market. The folks have more money than they know what to do with....and I'd be happy to make their dreams come true for a reasonable fee.
Link Posted: 1/14/2006 11:28:30 AM EDT
You know how to make a little money in the Firearms Industry?


Start with a lot.
Link Posted: 1/14/2006 11:55:29 AM EDT
Ask SteyrAug or 1Gunrunner....
Link Posted: 1/14/2006 12:56:37 PM EDT
It's going to depend on your area and you. Things to look at:

1. Competition vs. Demand I couldn't make money here on guns. There's already a good shop in town and there's only 2,000 people who live here. If you figure 800 homes, half of which are gun-owners, half of which average a gun a year, half of which buy local and if half of those buy from me and I make $100 per gun I'd make $5000 a year. These numbers are outta my butt, but you get the idea.
2. Your strengths and weaknesses.
3. Federal, State and Local regs. Some areas are just too overregulated.
4. Remember that a lot of the money is in accessories. When I was in the business at one of the box stores, our mark-up on a firearm was usually around 10% and we paid our salespeople a 1.25% commission. By the time we paid overhead and wages, we lost money on guns. Special orders and accessories were a different story.

My .02
Link Posted: 1/14/2006 4:31:13 PM EDT
I could keep pretty busy just with parkerizing from the sound of it.
Link Posted: 1/14/2006 4:34:31 PM EDT
You will need to reinforce your floor from all the millions you make in 15$ transfers!!
Link Posted: 1/14/2006 4:53:40 PM EDT
Wow...is that all they charge out there in OR? Minimum is $20 bill here in PA and about $100 to $150 for NFA items. I'll have to put the wife on full time just to help endorse an deposit!!!
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