We don’t live in the 50’s and this ain’t Mayberry

The weapon and shooter must perform flawlessly as the clock is relentless and unforgiving. It takes steady hands and a finely tuned rifle to win the Professional 3GN three gun (Pistol, Rifle, Shotgun) event and claim the $50,000.00 prize. Tannerman’s Weapons Systems, in Martinsburg, sponsored a professional shooter at the 3GN in Oklahoma and provided the custom built the AR rifle that helped win that event this year.

“Gunsmithing is an art,” exclaims Travis Bishop, Tannerman’s founder, who understands the need for quality and successfully applies his beliefs and experiences in this imperfect world. “It is a much needed art.” “We are a veteran run and operated business.” “Paul Auldrich, my lead gunsmith was trained in Italy by Beretta and has 20 years of experience.” “He is a 1911 and shotgun guy while Robbie is our 26 year old AR 15/1911 gunsmith guy who also does my Cerakote.” “Robbie Wood was honorably discharged by the Marines, spent time with Blackwater, and he is an artistic guy who brings that artistry with his gunsmithing abilities.” “I am a 2 tour Gulf War Vet and I love giving vets a 1st ,2nd 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th chances to come on board.”


Sponsoring a Professional Shooter and having him win is something that is usually reserved for the big gun corporations. “AR-r15’s are hot rifles and they are a great sporting rifle,” Travis explains in his matter of fact way. “They are used by competitions across the board.” “We built Joe Pitha, whom we sponsor, a $6000.00 AR-15 in the 3 gun pro tour competition.”

“He is shooting against competitors from Cabela’s, FN, Bushmaster and these other major names and it is a big feather in our cap.” “Robbie and Paul built the gun, tuned the brake and did some special work to lighten that weapon to 6.4 lbs with the magazine.” “We made it super light and super quick.”

“Those are the tricks of the trade but we have the right guys.”

“We provide professional gunsmiths, custom slide work and we are upping our game to meet more needs in the industry,” Travis says. “I don’t do any of the work I am the business guy, the visionary.” “What I have learned is what works and what doesn’t work.” “Gun sales in general are a tough business and the internet changed the way we do business.” “We use justified pricing on our guns where I can truly justify each price point of everything we sell.” “If you price yourself outside the marketplace the guns won’t sell.” “We also give a lifetime warranty on everything you buy, free handgun cleaning for life and a free half hour of range time when you buy the gun.”

Tannerman’s is a year around business. “Hunting rifles are a seasonal item so handguns are our largest sellers, Travis says from experience. “Most people don’t need a super expensive weapon.”

“A $650.00 AR- 15 type platform can make is a great gun for you but if you are going to spend $1000 on a firearm the optic should be at least as good as the gun.” “Your first shot is only as good as your front sight.” “Manufactured AR’s are not tight and we can hand fit or custom fit that gun to make it a more precision rifle.” “We can take that stock trigger and make it a whole lot better with a $25 dollar screw that will tighten up the trigger and take the slop and the creep out of the trigger.” “It will be smoking.”

“Why do you need a gun?” Travis asks. “Cause we don’t live in the 50’s and this ain’t Mayberry but we still have the concept.” “We owe it to our customers to put them in the right vehicle safely,” Travis admits. “People come in and want to buy a Glock.” “I ask them have you ever carried a Glock and if they say no, then I won’t sell them one.”

“They may not have enough trigger experience and control to handle the trigger safety.” “What they are going to do with the gun can determine the right firearm for them.” “A new gun needs to be broken in by firing at least 500 rounds for it to shoot its best.” “A used gun is often better than a new one as it probably hasn’t been fired that much but it is already broken in and that saves you money on ammunition.” Travis emphasizes the 50’s attitude toward customers accepting them as people instead of sales numbers. “We do not consider our customers, customers,” Travis says honestly. “They are family.” “We want you to feel welcomed and appreciated and it is an honest way to do business.”

“You know where I’m coming from as when you treat people right the money will come naturally.” “We are straight up and transparent and I am deadly serious about taking care of my customers and my family and my 2nd amendment rights.” “We are patriots and we believe in taking care of our own and the second amendment.” “In the roller coaster of the firearms industry you have to have a thick skin, fortitude, and vision.” “Our shop will close down and go to Capitol Hill to lobby for the second amendment and you don’t see other gun shops in our area going to lobby for gun rights.”

“When you give you receive and we are not changing.” “I have sold over 10,000 guns and not one has ever been used in the commission of a crime.” Travis wasn’t always the entrepreneur and visionary that he is today.

“My dad walked out when I was 15, and my mother died when I was 20,” Travis remembers. “And her last words to me were “Don’t give up!” “I made a lot of mistakes in my life and have been married 23 years by being honest but life became real and I grew up when I was 33 when my son was born.” “My son was a happy baby but within a week of being born he was a sick baby with a catastrophic heart condition.” “I was working 40 hours a week and another 40 hours on the part time business.” “I was working 18 hours a day and one day I realized I was killing myself and so I quit.”

“We started the first business with $1500 and an idea to provide a service in Martinsburg that was unknown,” Travis says. “It was the first EBay store in the nation and it all went back to my mom’s dying words.” “My son, Tanner, wasn’t supposed to make it.” “He is 15 now and my little girl is 7.” “If he was not alive I would never have been prompted to do more with my life.” “Tannerman’s is named for him and I give God a lot of the glory.” “People can’t tell me there is not a God in Heaven they have only to walk in my shoes and see what god provides.”

The EBay business evolved into a pawn operation. “This area is rampant with heroin,” Travis states. “And being a Christian I used my business as a ministry for about 8 years.” “I would be their friend even though they were addicted to drugs, I and treated them as people.” “Eventually a conviction came over me that in my heart I knew the pawn business was giving money to people who were using it for drugs.” “We don’t condone illegal activity and although the money was better in the pawn business I have been a firearms guy my entire life.”

“By design and intent we changed our structure and although it was a huge hit financially we are here in the firearms business making that difference.”

“There is a massive difference between an entrepreneur and an employee,” Travis says with a smile. “One day I started with 1500 bucks and today we average a million bucks a year.” “I have been at the bottom a lot in my business but so I’m not quitting and I believe in what I am doing.” “People tell me that I don’t walk to the beat of a different drum I have a whole band.” “We are approaching our 13th year in business which is a feat in itself.” “The firearms business is a winds of change business and the climate changes often.”

Travis enjoys teaching firearms safety as well as selling. “We care about the safety of people and we take the service we provide very seriously.” “We hope to open a 4 to 6 lane indoor gun range as I want to teach,” Travis says. “When someone comes to get training for a firearm you best train them.” “You can’t give them much training for 40 or 50 bucks.” “Two hour training is not training.” “Training is physical training, knowing the laws, and how to draw from a holster and carry the gun.” “I owe it to the public to give the best training I can for the money it costs to give the training.” “People need knowledge and training.”

“When you carry a firearm there are ramifications for using that firearm.” “If you draw your firearm in a situation whether you kill someone or not you will be arrested and you will be placed in a squad car and you will be taken to jail.” “When you pull that firearm you better be in the right and you will need an attorney.” “How do we keep the weapon safe in the home?” “As a firearms dealer it is your duty to keep people safe.”

“We sell a variety of Rifles, Shotguns and have Glock’s ,the McDonald’s of pistols, as well as Smith and Wesson’s, Colt’s, Kimber’s, Sig Sauers’, Ruger’s, and Taurus and many other brands so there is a graduated scale of brand pricing and qualities,” Travis says encouragingly.

“You get what you pay for especially in the gun business.” “With optics and firearms accessories we can build you a $10,000 gun if you want one.” “And with our Cerkote Robbie can even put your favorite tattoo, image or just turn a regular gun in to a work of art.”

“I’m a military guy, a 2 tour gulf war vet,” Travis admits. “No one works for me, we all work together.” “I am not the owner, I’m the guy helping everyone else become a team player and there is nothing more that I enjoy than to enter my shop and take on the day.”

Tannerman’s Weapon’s Systems 304-262-8500 45 Monroe Street Martinsburg, WV 25404 Follow them on Facebook.

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