Gun shop caters to hunting enthusiasts
Published 11:36 am Wednesday, February 4, 2015
A Suffolk man’s enthusiasm for hunting and respect for guns encouraged him to open a shop where he might share that interest, as well as sell the weapons and necessary accoutrements for the sport.
In mid-October, he established South Eastern Armament Company LLC, which is located at the Airway Shopping Center.
“I’ve always wanted to have a gun shop,” said Mike Miller, who’s also a full-time firefighter. “Every firefighter does something part-time, and it made sense for me to do this. Here I am.”
Born and raised in Suffolk, he grew up as the only hunter in a family of fishers.
“I don’t know what gene led me,” Miller said.
But he does know what moved him to set up his own place. In addition to his enjoyment of hunting, there were two other factors. First, he grew tired of waiting for gunsmiths to do necessary repairs.
Too often, Miller would be told there was a lengthy back-log of orders. Now he employs Brian Bunting, who has a gunsmith shop in Suffolk for orders that Miller can’t handle.
Second, was the firefighter’s realization that he was more than capable of operating a gun shop.
“I can build cars. I’m sure I can figure it out,” he said. “That’s what led me to this point.”
He chose the Isle of Wight location for his shop because the county has “been absolutely wonderful to work with.”
Eventually, Miller said, he wants to have his own line of guns. He foresees that potential within the next five years.
More importantly, the customer response has been rewarding.
“I had six pistols and a few long guns at the start,” Miller said. “Now the supply is turned over every few months. I haven’t been able to keep ammo on the shelves.”
Working with him is Mike Oden, who started in December. This is his first job since graduating recently from Old Dominion University. Among his duties are taking care of online orders and handling social media. Caleb Baines is also onsite for reloading and other duties.
Like Miller, Oden is an experienced hunter. Just the other evening the men went hunting for predators, such as bobcats, coyotes and foxes.
SEACO will be hosting just such a hunt on Feb. 20. Registration will be available through noon, and interested hunters can stop by the shop to sign up. This is one way that families who hunt can enjoy time together, Miller said, adding that he’ll also try different activities in the future.
South Eastern Armament Company is typically open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Saturday.
The shop is located at 1345 Carrsville Highway. For more information, call 304-5183 or visit on Facebook.