In a few days, Connecticut Shotguns will ship its first batch of the company’s new A-10 American side-by-side shotgun. Sales and Marketing Manager Lou Frutuoso tells TTAG that sales are strong; some 50 examples of the $3995-and-up gun will leave the factory, with more orders in the bank. So how’s business generally in the $2200 to $5000 range? “Slow.” Mr. Frutuoso reports with characteristic understatement. When pushed, the marketing maven reports that gun sales have dropped by around 50 percent over the last eighteen months. “It’s the middle class, middle managers who’ve disappeared from the new gun market,” Connecticut Shotgun’s front man says. “The Pratt & Whitney engineer making seventy-thousand dollars a year with two kids and a wife that works. These are uncertain times. He’s not buying guns. Period.” Meanwhile, the top end of the shotgun market—where Connecticut Shotgun makes most of its living— remains “consistent.” “The trust fund guys, the guys that own oil companies, buyers at $7500 up to tens of thousands of dollars are still buying high end and collectible guns.” Not to vulture on someone else’s misfortunes, but are there any bargains to be had in today’s cratered middle market?
Need? Something tells me that people buying that type of shotgun already have a few stashed away somewhere safe. Perhaps Mr. Frutuoso meant “want.” Of course, Connecticut Shotgun would be delighted to discuss the issue and show you examples at their gun room, which currently houses 3000-plus shotguns. Perhaps TTAG will stop by on your behalf . . .