Hodgdon's Reloading Road Show Spurs Repeat Business

Playing host to the Reloading Road Show put on by Hodgdon Powder and other leading companies can put you in touch with a steady stream of repeat business.

Hodgdon's Reloading Road Show Spurs Repeat Business

Retailers throughout the country are benefitting from the Reloading Road Show put on by Hodgdon Powder and other leading companies in the shooting sports industry. And the fun is just beginning as more Road Show appearances are being arranged.

This whole concept was unveiled at the Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trades (SHOT) Show this past January. It is intended to reintroduce some shooters to reloading while fully introducing a whole new generation to the productive and enjoyable practice, which is both art and science.

There is a sense of accomplishment shooters get when using the ammunition they have loaded themselves. Their level of interest in shooting grows, which means they buy more as they shoot more. Ultimately, it is not just about selling reloading equipment and supplies, but about creating repeat traffic.

Savvy retailers can benefit from this effort, which is designed to use the manufacturer/retailer network to bring newcomers to the loading bench and beyond.

Long History

The Reloading Road Show brings representatives from the various companies into retail stores to show customers how the various products and services can help them either get into reloading or advance their capabilities.

According to Chris Hodgdon, this new program is a variation of what his grandfather did following World War II when the companies set up circus tents in communities around the country where they showed consumers how to load, using the equipment available on the market at that time.

During the war, there were literally millions of men and women in the military who, by definition, were already shooters, but who had little or no experience loading their own ammo.

Simply put, in the post-war era, Hodgdon recognized a potentially huge market and personally approached it with his products and others, along with people who knew how to teach newcomers the fun and advantage of loading their own ammo.         

Back to Basics

In 1947, Hodgdon Powder Company founder Bruce Hodgdon established the Hodgdon Powder Company. In those early days of reloading, Bruce Hodgdon partnered with companies like Hornady, Lyman, MEC, Nosler, RCBS, Redding, Sierra Bullets, Speer and other manufacturers to teach consumers how to reload. They traveled around the country hosting reloading seminars. In 2019, Hodgdon continues this Reloading Roadshow concept.

“Hodgdon will continue to collaborate with a lot of our original manufacturing partners like Hornady, Lyman, MEC, Nosler, RCBS, Redding, Sierra Bullets and Speer but will also partner with Dillon Precision, Frankford Arsenal and Lee,” Hodgdon explained.

The company will also partner with local Hodgdon dealers and bring in NRA-certified reloading experts to train consumers. They can also tailor courses to metallic handgun or rifle, or even shotshell reloading if needed.

“Grandad started this concept over 50 years ago, personally traveling around the country to show consumers how to reload,” says Chris Hodgdon. “I think he would be proud to see his family and his company keeping this tradition alive.”

Renewed focus on handloading is being triggered by a number of factors, not the least of which is the heightened interest in recent times in long-range precision shooting. Reloading allows the shooter to fine-tune loads for a specific rifle, which enhances performance. Shooters now are demanding top performance from all of their equipment, so it is logical that they also want nothing less than top performance in the ammunition they shoot.

And there are other reasons why shooters reload ammunition. One is cost. There can be considerable cost savings by reloading ammo, especially if the ammo is for obsolete or hard-to-find cartridges. These kinds of cartridges can range from .218 Bee to .348 Winchester and beyond. There are great classic rifles chambered for such cartridges, and reloading is about the only practical way to keep them shooting.

There can even be some savings when reloading for cartridges that are universally available in bulk quantities on the market. We’re talking about 9mmP, .40 S&W, .45 ACP and 5.56mm NATO here.     

Clear Benefits

There are all kinds of reasons why carrying and promoting reloading supplies and equipment can make sense — even beyond the profit of selling these specific products.

Shooters who reload tend to shoot more, which means they need to resupply regularly. And don’t underestimate the power of personal contact when it comes to fulfilling the dreams of customers. Reloading is about details and reloaders like to think and talk about details.

Yes, online retailers handle huge volumes of reloading equipment and supplies. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t a local angle to being part of that culture. The element that online retailers can’t bring to the table is the human presence and touch.

That’s what these Reloading Road Show seminars are all about — bringing actual representatives of companies in the reloading business face to face with individual consumers in a local store setting.

These seminars are great for introducing shooters to reloading and for firing up those who already do. And they also set the stage to keep those same customers coming back again and again once they’ve caught the reloading bug.

For example, all shooters attending reloading seminars can be added to the store’s customer database if they’re not already in it. And shooters who reload are part of a community that you can help grow within your local area. Networking is still alive and well in the world.

Increased focus on reloading may or may not be the hot ticket for all retailers, but it certainly is a factor to consider for those who are not already involved in that segment of the product stream.

In a market where there are periods of boom and bust, it can be comforting to recognize and profit from things that are constant. Shooters who reload shoot more frequently than those who don’t.

In a way, this whole Reloading Road Show is a sales and educational bandwagon. Hop on. It can be both fun and profitable.

For information about the Reloading Road Show, or to arrange for a seminar in your store, contact Kent Sakamoto at Hodgdon Powder Co. Call 913-745-0822 or email ksakamoto@hodgdon.com.


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