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October 6, 2015

Master Gunsmith Mark Dye Joins 2016 SHOT Show University Speaker Lineup

Because we have many repeat attendees each year at SHOT Show University, we are always on the lookout for fresh topics and insights. One of these new presentation we’re excited to have added to the 2016 roster is a discussion on the value an on-staff gunsmith can add to a firearms retail establishment—and I don’t know that we could have found anyone more impressive than Mark Dye to headline this talk.

Dye began training in machining at age 16, always with a keen eye on becoming a gunsmith.  In 1996 he enrolled in Montgomery Community College Gunsmithing School, graduating two years later and promptly beginning his career in gunsmithing at Louisiana’s Clark Custom Guns in.  There he specialized in work on 1911 handguns. In 2003, Dye left Clark’s to work for Bowen Classic Arms in Tennessee, a shop that specializes in high-end custom revolver work. During his time at Bowen’s, Dye also ran a small business specializing in building handguns for competition shooters.  Dye stayed at Bown’s until 2011, when he returned to Montgomery Community College to accept a teaching position. He is now the Program Director for the Gunsmithing Program at this institution.

In addition to his professional accomplishments, Dye is a Master Class USPSA shooter and an active competitor in a number of shooting sports.  He also holds a patent on a trigger system for 1911-style handguns.

Dye will be delivering his presentation “Add a Gunsmith to Your Business” as part of the New Operator learning tract. In his talk, Dye will discuss how adding an in-house gunsmith can help retailers differentiate themselves from their competition, as well as realize a profit center that often bests the return on investment of other business add-ons. Attendees will also learn about the costs involved in hiring a talented gunsmith, such as expected salary ranges and the tools and equipment retailers will need to support their new hire.

SHOT Show University is NSSF’s annual education seminar for retailers. The 2016 event will take place January 18, the day before the show opens. Four educational tracks are designed to allow retailers from startups to veteran the opportunity to engage with a host of well-regarded business experts speaking on laws and regulations affecting their businesses, opportunities for growth and the latest in technology.

Registration for the 2016 SHOT Show and SHOT Show University are now open. Following last year’s success with ticket restructuring, once again NSSF will offer its Premium Retailer members one complimentary ticket to SHOT Show University. Tickets for any other NSSF member level and additional tickets for Premium Retailer members are $250. Non-NSSF members are welcome to attend, with a ticket price of $500. This event is always a sell-out, so retailers are urged to complete their registration for the show and SHOT Show University as soon as possible. For more information, including the link to the full University course description, click here. Need to upgrade your membership or join NSSF? Visit and click on the membership link.

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Categories: Retailers