The H&H Shooting Sports Complex is holding its annual Summer Expo Thursday through Saturday.
More than 100 representatives from different firearms and archery manufacturers across the country will be showing off their product lines.
Those attending the Expo can buy tickets to shoot the guns and bows on display during the three-day event. H&H donates the money raised to charity.
Miles Hall, owner of the H&H Shooting Sports Complex, sat down for a question-and-answer session with The Oklahoman about the event and the state of the firearms industry.
Q: How much has the Expo grown since H&H held the first one more than 20 years ago?
A: “From probably 100 customers to close to 6,000 people now come to the Expo during these three days. Not just from Oklahoma, but we have people from all the surrounding states come in for it.
“We started with a single vendor and have grown to more than 100. Years ago, the first vendor years was Colt. When we moved to the new location, Smith and Wesson jumped on board and we have been with them ever since.”
Why do people come to the Expo?
“They get a chance to ask questions to factory representatives from all over the industry, firearms and archery. It's a grand fellowship of people. And people get a chance to shoot the guns and the bows on our range.”
How much work is involved in putting it on?
“A ton. It started off as such a simple idea. It's gotten so large that we have to provide additional parking at a nearby hotel. We escort (customers) to and from the expo in golf carts.”
How many people will attend the Expo this weekend?
“Last year we had 5,600 people attend. This year we are expecting to hit 6,000.
It's been called a mini-Shot Show (the firearms industry trade show held each year in Las Vegas, Nev.) What do you think of the comparison?
“Others have done that. I didn't. That's what you go to the Shot Show for, to meet all the manufacturers. Basically we've brought the industry to Oklahoma for three days.”
What is the current state of the firearms industry in your opinion?
“It is the strongest it's ever been. More people are involved than there has ever been.”
Why is that?
“Brand new shooters are finding out the magic of the industry. Many people buy a gun for the first time for self-defense, and then find out it really is a sport and fall in love with shooting.”
Has the ammo shortage improved? Are people able to find ammo more easily?
“It's getting a little better, but there are dealers that have closed around the country because they have nothing left to sell. We are very lucky. The manufacturers are keeping us fed better than most.”