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Inc. 5000 Update: H&H Gun Range

The owner of a fast-growing shooting range talks CEO pay, regulation, and the typical firearms buyer.

Kenneth M. Ruggiano

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Miles Hall barely knew how to shoot when he and his wife, Jayne, opened a shooting range in Oklahoma City in 1981. Now, H&H Gun Range accounts for 5 percent of the state's gun sales. Revenue hit $15.3 million in 2009, and the company landed at No. 1,123 on the 2010 Inc. 5000—its fourth appearance on the list.

Our first house was a mobile home out on a lake. My dad told me that if I was going to live in the sticks, I needed a gun.

I'd had a Red Ryder BB gun as a kid but had never shot a handgun. So Jayne and I decided we wanted to learn how to shoot. The problem was that there was just one firing range in the city, and it was a dump.

It dawned on us that the shooting community in Oklahoma City was daggum big. We were having a blast learning to shoot and thought other people would, too—if we could make the experience more like going to the mall. So we got a loan and opened our own range. We also rented guns, taught classes, and sold ammunition.

H&H stands for "hers and his"—because Jayne still can outshoot me.

In 1996, we started selling firearms. And boy howdy, did things take off from there. We have grown 2,100 percent over the past decade.

Our average customer is married, has kids, went to college, and has an upper-middle-class income. Most of them are brand new to the sport.

When it comes to regulation, I believe that a right delayed is a right denied. In the age of computers, we don't need five days to decide if someone can buy a firearm from us. Most dealers work hand in hand with law-enforcement agencies, and every gun purchase needs to be called into a national database. We know right away if someone has a record.

Jayne and I take a fixed $50,000 salary. We are happy living a humble lifestyle, so we reinvest everything else back into the company.

For more on the Inc. 500|5000, go to www.inc.com/inc5000.

From the May 2011 issue of Inc. magazine

Must-read stories from the Inc. 5000
The Full List
The Fastest-Growing Company in America, Fuhu, Makes a Kids Tablet
One Thing Inc. 5000 Companies Have in Common: Performance
The Psychological Price of Starting an Inc. 5000 Company
The Ten Largest Inc. 5000 Companies
Productivity Secrets of Top Women CEOs
IPO Advice from Inc. 5000 CEOs
Facts & Figures of the Inc. 5000
Methodology

DARREN DAHL is a contributing editor at Inc. Magazine, which he has written for since 2004. He also works as a collaborative writer and editor and has partnered with several high-profile authors. Dahl lives in Asheville, NC.




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