When Niki Jones created the all-female shooting group, Austin Sure Shots,in August of 2010, she could not have known that less
than two years later she would be making waves on national TV as a featured guest on the Discovery Channel show American Guns.
I spoke with Niki as well as Renee and Rich Wyatt, the proprietors of Gunsmoke, the shop around which American Guns is based, and got a little insider info on the behind the scenes story as to how the whole thing went down.
So here is how it all started: As much as Niki loved her beautiful Snow Queen (that is the name of the white AR-15 that she built herself), it was time for a change. “All of the Sure Shots share guns and several of us have AR-15s. I wanted to bring a gun back to the girls that we could have some serious fun with,” she says.
As you may have seen on previous episodes of the show, Rich loves a deal. He truly enjoys the negotiation aspect of his job and he is very very good at it. Renee is charged with keeping the books at Gunsmoke and makes sure they get the most out of every deal. According to most of the customers who have been through Gunsmoke, Rich is a pretty tough negotiator. But when Niki Jones comes to town, all bets are off.
Rich recalls the process:
“Niki came in and she had her AR-15 platform gun, The Snow Queen, and wanted to do a deal with it to upgrade to a .308 AR-10 to get to 1000 yards and to beef it up a little. We looked it over and discussed the deal. ”
How was the negotiation process for you?
“Brutal! I didn’t stand a chance out of the gate. I have my wife who normally wants me to get a good deal and now she wants me to *make* the deal. I really should have just gone home,” Rich says with a laugh.
So what role did Renee play in this sale?
“I was stepping on riches foot behind the counter!” she says. “It was an emotional transaction for me. Niki reminds me of me. She is a huge proponent for many women in the industry. We have this girl power thing going on. Niki was an atypical Gunsmoke customer in that she came from a long distance and she is a women and she knew what she wanted. She was very committed the entire time. Her focus was right on target. I could tell that this group, the Sure Shots, is one that I would like to do more business with. Niki is an amazing chick. She is beautiful, smart, articulate and a serious badass. I knew from the beginning
that we wanted to work with her in the future and I did not want to lose this deal.”
“So after we agreed on the deal we got the gun going and Kurt did the engraving and added a few more accessories,” Rich explained. “We built a gun for her that she could do anything with. To top it all off, we set up a huge course of fire for her. I have to say I was very impressed with Niki. A lot of guys could not have done what she did with that course. At the end there was huge finale and, though I don’t want to give away too much if you haven’t seen the episode, I can tell you the grenade launcher was involved. She was awesome.”
So what was Niki’s assessment of the Gunsmoke crew?
“They could not have been nicer. Renee and I have kept in touch. I really look forward to shooting with them again someday soon.”
Congrats to you, Niki, for making ladies in the industry look good! And kudos on those negotiating skills. We can’t wait to hear how you like the NEW version of the Snow Queen!
Tune in for American Guns Wednesdays at 9:00pm ET/PT.