With Wisconsin’s 48-hour handgun waiting period recently eliminated, customers at the Ammo Box are like kids in a candy store.
Owner Doug Lindemann says the new legislation has brought a smile to local gun enthusiatics’ faces.
“I don’t think it’s going to affect my sales but it’s going to make customers happy, they are going to get instant gratification and can take their guns the same day,” Lindemann said. “But it’s not like anyone can get a gun. People still have to pass their background check.
Lindemann, a truck driver by trade, recently took over landmark Sun Prairie business after former owner Trygve Strand retired last October and passed away mid-January after running the business for over 20 years.
With a move from the former North Bristol Street spot, Lindemann is settling in to the Columbus Street location with ease, after all he was fan of the store, and Strand, before he became the new owner.
“It was just chance, I walked in and said I will take everything and Trygve said ‘write me a check’ That is how it all started,” Lindemann said.
The Chicago native is an avid gun collector, and with a nod to his sometimes cranky but loveable predecessor, is busy creating a new business atmosphere.
“We have definitely cleaned up it—how do I put this politely-it was little mess with stuff tucked away that you couldn’t get to,” Lindemann said. “We are also a little more friendly, when people come in, we give them a smile and ask if we can help them.”
Gone is the old-school swap meet look and in its place is a more customer-friendly experience.
The store features Smith & Wesson, Mossberg, Springfield and Glock. There are pistols, revolvers and long gun, along with must-have accessories of ammo, holsters, storage cases, sights and laser lights. And the shop even offers cleaning and limited repair service.
Lindemann said most of his customers gravitate toward pistols over rifles.
“People are looking for multi-purpose handguns; something they can use for target practice and home defense, and can conceal carry-all--in one gun,” he said.
The Ammo Box also has an expanded online inventory.
“If I don’t have it here, I can get it pretty quick, once paid, handguns can be shipped two-day air, and long guns 2-5 day ground,” Lindemann said.
The business is also on the Gallery of Guns website-- customers can order online and pick-up their guns at the Ammo Box.
Even with the big box stores, almost at the Ammo Box’s doorstep, Lindemann said he’s not worried.
“When Cabela’s came in, I think that they brought us customers because people were price shopping and 90 percent of our prices are going to beat theirs,” Lindemann said.
With more than two decades selling guns, Ammo Box attracts a loyal customer base, especially from Madison where a city ordinance prohibits handgun sales.
To promote the new location and ownership, Lindemann is planning an Aug. 1 grand re-opening that will feature a sale, raffles, and military surplus. There even may be the Porktropolis food truck—harkening back to the old location where customers could get their barbecue and guns at the same spot.
Lindemann said the event will be a great way to thank regular customers and bring in new fans.
“We are hoping that we can make this place just as popular as it was over there,” Lindemann said.
828 Columbus St.
Phone: (608) 837-8400