Gunsmiths, sportsmen, and interested shoppers swarmed the nearly 180 vendor tables during this weekend's Rocky Mountain Productions gun show at the Flathead County Faigrounds. Harlowton residents Larry and Terry Steuben have been putting the shows together for about eight years.
Larry says he married into the business but has always had a knack for firearms,"My dad and all of his brothers and sisters were hunters. Fox, squirrels, and rabbits were a mainstay back in those days. And we actually hunted for food. It kind of grew from there."
The Steubens are hoping to break attendance records over the weekend, their best turnout was 1,850 patrons. Larry said folks of all ages come to the 6-7 shows they hold each year for a variety of reasons.
"For kids, I believe the main interest is sport," said Larry. "Seems like every time they come out [collectors] want to try it. Then of course, at this stage in the game people buy for self defense."
For anyone looking to purchase their first firearm at the show, Larry says studying about guns and gun safety is the most crucial component of gun ownership.
"Take a class to learn how to handle your firearm in different situations. Education is primary. And also education about the fact that a firearm is a tool is very important," Larry explained.
So whether it's finding the next rifle to add to a collection or passing on hunting traditions to the next generation, the business of firearms has a strong future in Big Sky Country.