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Iron and Wood Vintage Firearms

Written by Heather Penn

“I’m a gun person, We are gun people said Michael Altherr, owner of Iron and Wood Vintage Firearms located at 401 Old Steese Highway. Michael, an Army veteran, has always been a collector of fire- arms. “The phone was always ringing with people asking me about firearms”, said Michael. Since he was at it anyway, it seemed only logical to take his knowledge and turn it into a business. With over half of his own collection as inventory, he took the plunge and opened Iron and Wood.

This past Sunday marked the 51st day of operation for the rustic, welcoming, mom and pop type shop. The shop opened at noon that day and within minutes several customers perused the ranks of firearms and accessories. One man had brought his buddy in to show him a shotgun he had been eyeing the previ- ous day. Unfortunately, his delay had lost him the shotgun as another had bought it and so the slot lay vacant, though not for long as a trade was already underway.

Iron and Wood, run by Michael and his wife Karen, feel they have found their niche in the Fairbanks gun market. Though their niche might be a bit more exclusive as this duo specializes in, you guessed it, iron and wood, in the form of firearms of course. “You won’t find any plastic crap here”, said Michael “our cornerstone is classic firearms.”The shop offers the hunter, collector and sportsman/woman a variety of high quality guns and ammo. They offer the “best value in town” whether buying from them or trading your gun. For those looking for a trade, Michael invites them to “bring it in, let’s look in the book together and decide on a fair offer.”

Rarities are also on the shops can-do list as the owner has a knack for finding firearms such as those from WWI, WWII and the Korean War era as well as hard to find ammunition calibers. In fact, on the front counter of the store sits what is called the “White Buffalo List.”This list has proven quite popular with the local clientele. If there is a particular firearm or caliber you are looking for, it doesn’t have to be an older or even used one, perhaps it is a particular serial number or cartouche, simply write it down on the list alongside your name and the owner will do his best to find that particular one. Think of it as a priority call list which offers the receiver the first refusal, the best price and no obligation if they decide they don’t want it.

The couple welcomes and encourages solici- tation from the community’s charitable organi- zations, especially those concerning veterans. “We consider ourselves responsible corporate citizens,” said Michael. The couple strives to be the go-to place in Fairbanks for the best price on firearms, ammunition and accessories.

“We offer you honesty and transparency, you will not get a bad deal”, said Michael.

About the author

Heather Penn

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