How to Become an Ammunition Dealer

by Kurt Schanaman
Ammunition is a hot seller during the annual hunting season, as well as throughout the year by law enforcement and target shooters.

Ammunition is a hot seller during the annual hunting season, as well as throughout the year by law enforcement and target shooters.

Hunters and target shooters are always looking for ammunition dealers who are able to keep them supplied during the year, especially during the busy hunting season. Becoming an ammunition dealer can be a lucrative niche market in many areas, especially if the business is established in the outer part of a town or city. The closer an ammunition dealership is located to woodlands where hunting is practiced, the more likely the business will be patronized.

Evaluate the local market to determine which types of ammunition are in demand. This information may be obtained by visiting local hunting and recreational shooting groups or clubs. Courteously notify them that you are setting up an ammunition dealership in the area to serve them more efficiently, and ask the members what types of ammunition they use and how much of each type is used throughout the year.

Contact at least two ammunition wholesalers and inquire about minimum initial purchase requirements to get the best possible price. All wholesalers offer large price breaks when an item is purchased in bulk. The less a retailer pays for wholesale, the more an item can be marked up for retail while still remaining competitive with other local dealers.

Set up a permanent location with plenty of shelf space to hold boxes of ammunition. Since ammunition is quite heavy, it would be best to use metal shelves rated to hold at least 100 pounds each. Set up the shelves as desired, while leaving at least six feet of walking space between them.

Set up a POS (point-of-sale) location in the store, preferably near the front doorway of the building, and install a cash register. Some ammunition, such as .22 caliber shells, come in small boxes, which may be easily stolen, and having the POS near the front door will discourage theft.

Order an initial inventory of various types of ammunition from your chosen wholesale outlets, buying the amounts necessary for the best price break possible. Store the majority of the ammunition in a locked back room of the building, and stock a portion on the store shelves as you feel necessary for your given area and for the given time of the year.

Advertise the new ammunition dealership by informing the local hunting and recreational shooting clubs and groups that the business has opened. Consider having an Open House event, complete with donuts and coffee for all who visit your store on a given date. This will make it possible for local shooters to browse the goods, becoming acquainted with the store.

Establish an inventory reordering routine that works best for your store and the area being served. This will require some record keeping of how much ammunition you have on hand at all times. A good reorder routine might be a "50 percent rule" where new inventory is purchased once the amount on hand gets down to 50 percent. For example, if you purchased 100 boxes of 7.62 x 39 ammunition, you will want to order another 100 boxes once you have gotten down to 50 boxes. Hopefully the new inventory will arrive before having sold the last box you have on hand.

Items you will need

  • Start-up capital (amount desired for size and scope of ammunition business)
  • Business retail store building (rent or buy)
  • Cash register

Tip

  • Add ammunition reloading equipment to your store inventory to serve those who want to refill their own casings. Primers, bottled gunpowder and packages of new brass casings can all increase income for the store.

Warning

  • Ammunition contains a large amount of gunpowder, which is explosive. Never store your ammunition inventory near water heaters, furnaces, stoves or any other heat source. Never smoke, or allow smoking, in an ammunition store.

About the Author

Kurt Schanaman has had several editorials printed by the Star-Herald Newspaper publication in Western Nebraska. He attended Western Nebraska Community College.

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