Northwest Magnum is a new gun shop, specializing in quality sporting rifles, that opened its door on August 1st, 2013. The spirit of the shop dates back to 1968, with the opening of a store in Iowa dedicated more toward bench rest and high-end varmint rifles; Bench Number One. Later, Bench Number One evolved into Midwest Magnum, also in Iowa, which officially closed on the same day that Northwest Magnum officially opened. It's not a coincidence. The former owner of Midwest Magnum, now seventy something, wanted to hang it up and spend more time doing absolutely nothing. He owns a home in the Salmon area, and claims he can do absolutely nothing here and have a lot more fun at it than he can in Iowa. It has something to do with about 95 percent of the land here in Lemhi County being accessible to the folks, while about 95 percent of the land in Iowa is privately owned and covered by corn or soybeans.
The Midwest Magnum retiree is a very fussy fellow. He gained a reputation from suppliers of being the guy who will return any product that does not meet certain standards. They're his standards, unwritten, and include such things as barrel quality, proper bedding, and several other factors that contribute to customer satisfaction through good performance. Also, he knows a lot of people in the industry who can make a difference. He's opinionated. "A handgun should be fired with one hand. That's why it's called a handgun and not a handsgun. And really nice shotguns always have two barrels, preferably side by side." He's been shooting for a long time... since 1949 with his first rimfire, and 1953 with a borrowed 30-06. The number of rifles he has owned since then number somewhere in the range of a thousand, chambered for upwards of a hundred different cartridges. His fear of terminal boredom has led to the agreement of his "passing the baton" to me, and staying on an advisor and rifle technician.
Northwest Magnum, as tiny as it is (which I have been told is a good way to start), is in an ideal location. It's right on U.S. Highway 93, which runs from Arizona to Canada (passing through Las Vegas along the way), and is just far enough outside of Salmon to avoid town traffic. The parking lot is roomy. It's comfortably warm in the winter and air-conditioned in the summer. The flat-screen television is often showing a hunting or instructional DVD, which we sell. Typically, no more than 30 or 40 rifles are on display. Others are kept nearby in a vault, in case customers don't see exactly what they want. In coming months, one by one we will be adding rifles to this site to show our inventory. This "showcase" will include prices, and we will ship to customers through properly licensed FFL dealers. Also, little by little, we will be posting experience-based opinions of many dozens of cartridges on the website. We hope that this will become one of your favorite shooting-related sources of information, at least within the subject range of sporting rifles. Incidentally, we regard that to be conventional rifles for hunting big game and varmints, and for informal target shooting. There are other sources that will do a better job of covering military-type semi-automatic rifles, rifles for various types of all-out competition, and so on. This site will be tailored for the regular person who simply likes to shoot conventional rifles one shot at a time.
Dating back well over 40 years, the predecessor of Northwest Magnum specialized in carrying big bore rifles for heavy and dangerous game. When Northwest Magnum opened, that baton was passed to us. We now have access to an outstanding array of fine big bore rifles that were not immediately transferred to this shop in Salmon, Idaho. Rather than that, and recognizing that big bores make up a very small portion of the market, the rifles have been retained at the previous shop location in the midwest. Carefully managed and stored in climate-controlled vaults, the rifles are now ready to be announced as available through Northwest Magnum. That's because our customer base is greatly expanding, with big game rifles having been shipped across the country as far as both coasts and to Alaska. Some dangerous game rifles have even been purchased here specifically for permanent transfer to professional hunters in Africa.
You might wonder why... Why is a tiny gun shop in a small town in Idaho being chosen by so many people from distant locations to be their supplier? We believe the reasons are quality of firearms, quality of service, and trust. Professionals and knowledgeable riflemen would rather deal with a true rifle enthusiast than with a sales clerk. It's just that simple. The "big-box" stores may have huge buying power and leverage that might save someone a few dollars on a lower-price-point product, but most of them don't even carry what we have available. Also, most of the chains, at one time or another, pledged that they would not carry AR- and AK-type rifles, but now most of them do. Their motive is profit. When it became clear that a fairly large segment of the adult population was willing to lay down a lot of money for such products, their tune changed. Consequently, these firearms have now been reclassified as "modern rifles," even though they are still ARs, AKs, and knockoffs of the M14. They seem to satisfy a need or perhaps alleviate the fear of some shooters that are not confident of their marksmanship. Whatever.
Back to the big bores... Here's a list of calibers (chambers) that we have available right now:
In most cases, we have several rifles in each of the chamberings listed. For our opinions on some of the cartridges, please refer to Cartridge Talk on this website. If you are in need of a big bore rifle for hunting, or simply wish to own one, feel free to get in contact with us to discuss your interests, questions, or concerns.