The Original – Duncan Gun Shop 1976
Painted by Betty Lou Duncan
Duncan Gun Shop was founded by two brothers in 1976. They had a large dream, especially for two young boys. Matthew just in his teens and Mark at the young age of twenty. Despite their young age, their dad Clate Duncan Jr., was willing to gamble on them and signed a bank loan giving them the start they needed to open a business. So in 1976, Duncan Gun Shop arose from the remains of an old house located just in front of the current store. They gave the old house a face lift and opened for business. The original show room was about the size of the average living room.
Mark and Matthew realized very soon after opening that they didn’t have the selection, or the buying power to compete with their many competitors. However, what they did have, was a true desire to treat people right, stand behind what they sold, and keep their word. In the process, Duncan Gun Shop was forming it’s own unique way of doing business. They believed in taking care of the customer and offering them the best customer service possible.
The early years were hard and profit was scarce. Somehow they managed to keep the doors open and soon they out grew the old house. In 1981 the old house was torn down and the new shop was built.
Mark & Matthew had also been lucky to have their mom (Betty Lou Duncan) helping out. She handled the books for Duncan Gun Shop, which allowed the boys to work on other aspects of the business. Betty Lou was a very important part of the business in the early years. The two brothers would wait patiently at the end of every day, for Betty Lou to let them know how the numbers came out.
The mid-80’s proved to be quite a challenge. Matthew had to retire, due to health reasons and Betty Lou left the business as well. Now Mark was out an accountant and a salesman. Mark was on his own until he hired a man by the name of Alan Brown. Alan came to work at Duncan’s, and his expertise and customer service skills were everything that his slogan was, “We Take Care Of Our Customers” and that they did. Things went along well overall, until Alan’s health failed in the mid 90s and he was no longer able to work.
In 1989 they opened the indoor range. This provided a place for customer to shoot, an area for classes, and a place for customers to try out new purchases.
The store has stood in the same location since 1976. While some things have changed, the one constant, is Duncan Gun Shops belief in, taking care of thier customers. The loyalty of our customers has kept the doors open all these years and Mark and Matt want to say — Thank you !
Matthew passed away Dec. 04, 2009 (He is greatly missed, by all who knew him)
Thomas Burch (Nimrod Berry Burch) resides at Valle Crucis, near Boone N.C. in Watauga County. Tom, born in Anson County, NC , whose actual name on his Birth Certificate really is “Nimrod” (Named for his maternal grandfather). Tom Burch is a designer, an inventor, a shooter, businessman, a hunter and the Guy who, in 1989 Mark and Matthew requested to start the plans of building Duncan Gun Shops Indoor Shooting Range.
Tom wound up not only designing the additions in 1989, but handling the construction as well. Tom is a “built in” part of Duncan Gun Shop and Indoor Shooting Range. He comes around only occasionally, but to this day is an integral part of its history!
After Mark Duncan reviewed the obstacles in the way of the construction in 1989, Tom just took them all in stride. When the Son-in-law of Bill Ruger, came by, he told Mark and Mathew, “You Two had figured from the beginning to Build the Classiest Shooting Facility in the USA !”
“Tom Burch just does things that way!” Mark Duncan was overheard saying.