Hometown: Lebanon and Phillipsburg, Mo.
Family: Wife, Julie Caffey
In Town: In April 2018, Gary Caffey purchased Lebanon’s oldest single owner gun shop, Reloaders Gun & Pawn, founded 40 years ago by Dayton Massey..
Reloaders LLC, is still in its original location, tucked between Madison and Jefferson streets, off the parking lot behind First State Community Bank.
“We sell bullets, powder and primers, all the supplies needed for reloading,” Gary explained recently while standing in his shop. “We also offer loaded ammo, firearms, and all sorts of gun accessories, like scopes, slings, and targets. Of course, I could make quite a long list of those.”
Gary said owning his own business, especially this one, has turned out to be pretty much what he expected.
“I met Dayton years ago through my dad and my uncle when he first went into the gun business, even before he started this shop so there hasn’t been any big surprises here. Black Friday and my first deer hunting season here have been busy but it’s all been good.”
This is Gary’s first foray into the business world as he worked 27 years as a tool maker and application engineer for Detroit Tool, which included making bids and quoting jobs. He also worked in sales for the local John Deere dealership for a couple of years.
In the Country: Gary Caffey grew up in the Phillipsburg area of Laclede County where he and his wife, Julie, who has worked for 18 years for the Missouri Department of Conservation, own 320 acres and keep a herd of approximately 70 cattle.
“We raise commercial Simmental and SimAngus cattle, as well as some registered cows, in a cow/calf operation,” he said. “I’ve had up to 80-something and down as low as upper 50s, but I try to keep around 70. I grew up on a farm so raising beef cattle is something I’ve always done. We also put up our own hay, round and square bales. The majority of the square bales we sell are to folks who have horses and then we keep some for those times when you just need a smaller amount of hay, like for calves.
“Running a cattle operation is still like a business but you don’t deal with the public on a regular basis, like you do in the gun shop. The years in other businesses, like Detroit Tool and John Deere, were really good for learning all kinds of business skills,” he concluded.
And even with his new shop in Lebanon, Gary was pleased that he got to go deer hunting this year where he shot a nine-point buck with a bow and a nine-point buck during gun season, truly the best of life in town and in the country.