Area gun shop organizes weapons expo Saturday

Last year, National Sporting Goods, of Jersey Shore, held a shooting expo and, much to the staff’s surprise, more than 2,000 people attended it on the grounds of the Consolidated Sportsmen of Lycoming County’s club on Route 87.

It was the area’s first and only event of its type. Visitors had the opportunity to handle and shoot many kinds of firearms, such as sniper weapons, shotguns and handguns.

This year, the shooting expo will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday at the club’s grounds, five miles outside of Montoursville.

Adam Kordes, owner of National Sporting Goods, said it’s the same setup as last year – free admission and parking. Guests pay only for the ammo of whatever weapons they wish to shoot.

Attendees are not required to shoot any of the weapons.

“We have close to 200 demo guns this year and have 25 manufacturers that will be represented. That is up from last year. We have a lot more factory support,” he said.

The firearms industry is small, and Kordes said word got around that the event was successful and highly supported by the public.

“Everyone (manufacturers) that didn’t come last year is going to be there this year,” he said.

“They are going to have factory reps, so you are actually going to get to talk to the reps,” Kordes added.

To make things smoother, the staff will add shooting lanes so the lines will be shorter.

“Last year we expected 400 to 550 people; we had 2,000. We were a little overwhelmed, so we had some long lines because we didn’t have enough shooting lanes,” Kordes said.

The signage also will be improved so when a guest gets to the end of line, they know what they are going to be handling.

“We are certainly more organized,” he said.

Ammo will not be a problem. Kordes said he has been collecting it since December.

“Because of everything the industry is going through, I knew that ammo would be an issue,” he said. “I have priority allocations from the manufacturer. We will not run out.”

The expo will have a few special features.

Springfield, one of the expo’s biggest supporters, will have what Kordes said is pretty much every build they make there, even the new XDS models.

“Smith and Wesson is going to be running some promotions and they are getting priority allocations,” Kordes said.

Special pricing will be available on Smith and Wesson products at the store a week following the shoot.

“We will have stuff people are waiting six months for, and they are going to have that there,” he said, including the Smith and Wesson M&P Shield model.

One of the most popular firearms from last year’s shoot was the Barrett 50 cal.

“They sent us a $4,000 gun last year and it went over so well I requested another this year, and they sent a $16,000 gun to shoot,” Kordes said. That’s a big deal, he stressed.

“At 16-grand, regardless of what name it is and what ammo it shoots, who wouldn’t want to pull the trigger on something like that?” he said.

This year a “passport” will be offered, giving the purchasers a chance to shoot with every manufacturer attending.

At some stops, a guest may have a chance to shoot all the firearms there, or only a few.

“It’s not every gun, but it’s at every manufacturer, and once you go around and get everything marked off and you drop your passport off at the end of the day, we are going to draw for a $100 gift certificate,” Kordes said.

Those cost $99.

The expo is a one-of-a-kind event and Kordes said there isn’t anywhere else a person can go to test a gun before buying it.

“It’s not a gun show, it’s not a sales day,” he said. “It’s ‘come out and shoot and see what you like and what you don’t like.’ “

Each registered shooter will sign a waiver. Anyone under the age of 18 must have a parent or guardian present and they must sign the waiver.

“Cricket is going to be there this year, setting up a youth shoot,” Kordes said.

First-time shooters are welcome. Kordes said it’s a good way to learn about what you would want, and try it.

“If you want to try out an AR15, you can … because everyone knows that is probably the next on the chopping block,” Kordes said.

Food and gun raffles also will be available.