Dealer Blog 002: Gallensons
Dealer Blog 002: Gallensons
One look at the graffiti-clad walls that cover the entire exterior of Gallenson’s, and you’ll see that the shop is deeply rooted in both the gun industry and local culture.
This month for our dealer spotlight, we focused on a hometown hero. Located in the heart of downtown Salt Lake, Gallenson’s Gun Shop is the city’s oldest gun store and is one of Utah’s oldest businesses, having celebrated their centennial in 2016. So how does a gun shop live to be over 100 years old?
One look at the graffiti-clad walls that cover the entire exterior of Gallenson’s, and you’ll see that the shop is deeply rooted in both the gun industry and local culture. It’s an edgy mix of modern art by local artists with an homage to history that includes the M1911, a 12-foot portrait of John Browning, and a piece on the importance of a military presence.
The story begins in 1916 with William Gallenson and his uncle, William Paver. William Gallenson was a Russian immigrant and tailor, and with the help of his uncle, opened a tailor shop in Salt Lake City named Gallenson’s. In 1925, the tailor shop was turned into a gun store and pawn shop. After a series of location changes over a 70-year span, Gallenson’s finally settled into their current location in 1990.
If there is anything the shop is accustomed to, it’s change, which is one of the major reasons they are still in business today. Their ability to adapt to new surroundings as the city has evolved is a skill they have perfected.
As equipment and technology have changed over the last century, we have changed with it, said Tim Boulton, Gallenson’s General Manager. At one point, we had a guy who specialized in fixing and adjusting the wire crosshairs in old scopes. It was an art.
Amidst the constant changes, there is also consistency.
For over 100 years, we have had a staff of expert hunters, shooters, and reloaders. We have spent a century building a reputation we will continue to uphold, Boulton said. A competitive price will only get you so far, but when you mix it together with personalized service, you have that winning combination that will bring people back.
Being in business for so long has allowed the shop to get their hands on unique and historical firearms. Amid the museum-scale collection sit beautifully preserved 1911s and two particular rifles with a rather interesting history.
One rifle is a .30-caliber Model 64 Winchester that was once the property of Salt Lake County and used to carry out capital punishment sentences by firing squad. This gun has rid the earth of a lot of bad, evil guys, Tim said. The second is a 1873 Springfield Trapdoor Carbine chambered in .45-70, the same model that was used in the Battle of Little Bighorn by General Custer.
The history, local culture, gun collections, and personnel make Gallenson’s Gun Shop well worth the visit. The next time you find yourself in the Salt Lake City, be sure to stop by.
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