By LARRY SHIELDS
ALLIANCE -Jason Burtz said he gets a lot of customers from the Salem area. One reason could be the owner of Burtzland Outfitters bills his all-purpose, western-themed gun shop as "Great Guns for the Good Guys."
ason Burtz, owner of Burtzland Outfitters in Alliance, demonstrates the rapid-fire capability of the Glock Model 18C (compensated) on full automatic. Glock says the 18C offers a quality no other handgun in history can match — on demand, fully automatic capability. At a 1,200 rounds per minute rate of fire, five shell casings can be seen above the gun. The 18 and 18C are available only to qualified, reputable law enforcement/government agencies. (Salem News photo by Larry Shields)
Another reason is Burtz deals and Burtzland Outfitters goes out of its way for customers. The shop was opened in 2008 and is located on the western edge of Columbiana County at 2330 S. Mahoning Ave. in Alliance.
Burtz, 34, is a graduate of Perry High School in Massillon and worked in law enforcement on a Lakota-Sioux Indian reservation in South Dakota. He also lived in Illinois before returning to the area.
Like most outfitters, Burtzland is gearing up for deer hunting season. It is a time of the years when business nearly doubles compared to the summer months.
Burtz is prepared for it with a large selection of rifles, bow and arrows and cross bows and bolts. But it's not just deer season. Rabbit, squirrel, wild turkey and grouse seasons are approaching. But the once ring-neck popular pheasant season isn't what it used to be, said Burtz, who is a federally-licensed gun dealer.
Burtzland also sells deer licenses ($19 for Ohio residents, $125 for out-of-state residents) and is a deer check-in station. He also sells fishing licenses at the state rate.
Pheasant numbers are down for a number of reasons Burtz said while noting that deer are getting bigger because there are fewer hunters hitting the fields.
"The average hunter age keeps going up," he said, adding it is currently at 51. He predicts a "mass shortage" of hunters in the next two years and attributed the declining numbers to hunting "becoming less politically correct and the kids aren't getting out there." The second part of that is worth repeating: "Kids aren't getting out there."
In any business, fewer customers means tougher competition for the ones that are there. Burtzland offers just about everything a gun shop can including concealed carry weapons classes, hunter safety courses and it is starting up shooting competition under the United States Pistol Shooting Association banner. "We're doing it now, "Burtz said. "But next year we'll be sanctioned."
Shooters compete on the first Saturday of the month. There are about 20 people now, Burtz said. Registration is $10 per shooter and participants progress through stages of different scenarios like a bad-guy targets to hostage-situation targets.
On Sept. 14 and 15, Burtzland Outfitters will host Chris Cerino for a special training event. Cerino is best known for competing on the History Channels top shot in season two and season five of the "All Stars Top Shots."
Burtz said there are still a couple openings for $299 for the two-day class. Visit www.chriscerinotraininggroup.com.
Burtzland also has two gunsmiths available and a new service will paint any firearm with Duracoat. The paint job cost depends on how many parts the weapon has and how many colors the customer wants.
Color doesn't matter, Burtz said while nodding toward the lower receiver group of an AR-15 hanging on the wall behind the counter. It is pink. "It doesn't matter how many colors," Burtz said, adding it could be tiger stripes or other multi-color configurations.
"It usually takes four days to a week," he said. Prices for pistols begin at $50. "It depends on how hard it is to take apart," he said.
Burtzland has a state-certified pistol range and range time is $5 an hour per shooter.
The shop also maintains "a huge holster inventory," Burtz said, adding that as far as he can tell, it's the largest selection in the tri-county (Columbiana, Mahoning and Stark) area. As a Class III federally licensed firearms dealer Burtzland offers fully automatic weapons, short-barreled rifles, silencers/suppressors and machinegun rental.
Burtzland sells custom built AR-15's to specifications and buys, sells, trades, as well as handling consignment deals with a $15 firearm transfer fee and $10 for each additional firearm on the same transaction.
There is free basic gun cleaning for life on every firearm purchase.
Along with hunting supplies, Burtzland Outfitters also sells fishing supplies and camping gear.
Store hours are Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturday from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. and it is closed on Sundays.
For more information visit Burtzland Outfitters on Facebook or call 330-821-8866.