I know it’s been a couple years, but it seems like only yesterday when I walked by a couple tables at the Lewisville show and talked to the nicest couple about at Glock 17. I purchase a lot of handguns. Some of them make it past the 750 or so round-count evaluation and enter into my personal defensive collection. Others just get a detailed evaluation and then I sell them. My preferred vendor has historically been Republic Arsenal and a lot of other people seem to think the same way based on RA’s growth.
I recently had an opportunity to sit down and talk with Oscar Broca at the April Market Hall gun show. Here’s what he had to say.
TGR: Republic Arsenal seems to have grown almost exponentially over the last year or so. What are some of the factors you attribute to this growth?
RA: Customer service, fair pricing and the ability to locate unique and hard to find items.
TGR: So, if hard-to-find items are a specialty, you must get a lot of special requests. How does that work?
RA: There are customers that seek difficult to find items that are not stocked in our regular inventory. Our website has an online form for customers looking for particular items. They can fill it out and we review the item(s) working it into our item request to distributors/sources. Can’t promise but we try. If we can obtain the item we contact the customer, they pay for the item and pick it up at the shop or gun show.
Customers can also check out live inventory on our website. This is directly linked to the warehouse. Firearms purchased on line can be shipped to any FFL dealer in the country or local customers can arrange to pick up at our shop. Accessories ordered online will be dropped shipped directly to the customer’s address.
TGR: I see more and more women attending gun shows and more women interested in personal defense every day. How many Republic Arsenal buyers at a typical gun show are women or first-time firearm purchasers?
RA: 35% are women buyers and the percentage is increasing
TGR: While we’re on the topic of sales breakdowns, how do sales break down for conceal-carry firearms vs. long guns?
RA: 80/20 – we sell more handguns overall
TGR: It seems like every time I walk by the Republic Arsenal tables at a show, Oscar or one of the employees is in a deep discussion with a prospective customer. Do you spend a lot of time educating people during the sales process or is it purely sales?
RA: It’s about 50/50 – we try to educate and answer customers’ concerns and/or questions. Although we’d love to sell them a firearm, we also feel it’s important they make the right purchase.
TGR: I also see Oscar and his crew testing a lot of firearms at Eagle Gun Range. Is this just for fun or do you test a lot of the products before they end up on a table?
RA: We do frequent the range. We feel it’s important to offer first hand information pertaining to firearm performance, ease of operation and accuracy, etc.
TGR: What are some of the factors you recommend people consider when purchasing a conceal-carry firearm?
RA: Feel, brand, caliber and ease of operation
TGR: So, would you like to recommend some conceal-carry models for the readers?
RA: It’s very subjective; however, popular models for women are the Walther PK380, Sig Sauer 238 and 938 because of the ease of chambering rounds. Popular models trending for men include the Ruger LCP, Sig Sauer 938, Shield 9mm & 40SW and XDS models. Bottom line is you’ve got to like the way it feels in your hand.
TGR: I don’t know how many people have seen it, but the new website looks really nice. How are online sales?
RA: Steady and growing. We’re reaching out to offer customers a larger selection of firearms and accessories directly linked to our warehouse with product available for in-store pickup 1-3 business days for handguns and 1-5 business days for long guns. Customer is contacted when the item arrives for pick up. Accessories and ammunition are shipped directly to the customer. Don’t forget to check out our “In Store Specials” tab. These items are available for immediate purchase in which the customer can pay on line and call to make arrangements to pick up at the shop.
TGR: As we’re sitting here at the show, we’re just surrounded by tables. I’ve seen Republic Arsenal grow from two tables to ten tables in some gun shows. Will you continue this trend?
RA: We continue to participate in the Gun Shows and have now expanded to work multiple shows where it fits in our schedule. We are currently hiring looking to expand our Republic Arsenal team. If you are interested in working weekends then give us a call!
TGR: Well, I suppose the next question on everyone’s mind is what’s next for Republic Arsenal?
RA: We’ve added a showroom for customer convenience. Store hours are Mon. – Wed. 10am -4pm and Thurs. 12 – 6pm. Come check us out. We’re open for business!
TGR: Okay, then, what’s the address?
RA: 320 Texas 121 #206, Coppell, TX 75019 (469) 766-8510
Q.: And, finally, when something goes bump in the night, what does Oscar Broca reach for?
RA: My conceal carry is a Sig Sauer 238 and I’ll reach for the Colt 1911 at home
TGR: Thanks a lot for your time, Oscar. Please visit the Republic Arsenal web site or arrange a time to drop by the showroom if you would like more information.
And, thanks for spending part of your day at Texas Gun Show Review.
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