It's no secret every customer who purchases a gun also needs gun-cleaning supplies. Long-time shooters probably have most of what they need, but they'll run out of patches and cleaning chemicals eventually; new shooters need everything. All of these products represent add-on sales retailers shouldn't miss.
Chris Barolet is the general manager at Big Daddy Guns in Gainesville, Fla. He has noticed a prevailing trend where many shooters are trying to simplify the process of caring for and maintaining their firearms.
"For example, many of them are using a CLP-branded product, which is a product used for cleaning, lubrication and protecting," he said. "In the past, most people cleaned their gun with a gun cleaner and then lubricated it, and then put some sort of preserving chemical on it. CLP products have been available for a number of years, but shooters have become more conscious of them recently, where they can use one chemical to clean a gun, wipe it down and put it away."
Barolet said his customers are also asking for "natural" gun care products.
"It's not a huge market," he maintained. "Most people don't see a difference between synthetic chemicals and 'natural' products."
The main product Barolet carries in this category is RAND CLP. According to RAND, their CLP product is non-toxic and biodegradable, and is formulated on a noncombustible vegetable oil base. "A lot of people find this appealing," Barolet noted. "It's kind of a 'vegan' option for gun care."
Another CLP brand Big Daddy Guns carries is Ballistol.
"Ballistol has been around for a long time," Barolet said. "Another one is Hoppe's. They make some really good lubricants and gun cleaners. We stock all of their universal gun-cleaning kits; they provide all the proper brushes and pads and cleaning rods. They're good quality and do a good job of holding up."
Barolet asserted his best advertising is through word of mouth.
"We do a few ads on the radio," he said. "But it comes down to friends who know if they have a question they can come here. If I have something new, I'll tell them about it and encourage them to come over and check it out."
Know Your "Go-To" Products
Angela Deere, the owner of Distant Thunder Gunworks in Broussard, La., said her store's goto product for gun care is SEAL 1.
"We clean every gun in SEAL 1 before we let it go out the door. As a result, most of our sales have gone toward this product," she added.
One of the things Deere likes...