Six years ago, Tom and Janine Simmon began their business High Pressure Pneumatics as an air refill station. Their part-time business sold air and air tanks for air guns. They even supplied Jay’s Sporting Goods with tanks. Tom Simmon was a buyer in the gun department with Jay’s Sporting Goods at the time, a career he retired from in March of 2022 after 30 years.
Customers drive from other states to visit the store and orders from their website are shipped all over the United States. Since 2020, their business has had steady growth and a second expansion of their shop is planned in the coming months.
“We will work really well together [with Jay’s], we supply them and they supply us with a few items,” Janine said of their relationship with Jay’s Sporting Goods.
“To the best of my knowledge we are the only air gun only shop in the state,” Tom said. “There are three other FX [brand] dealers in the state and we work with all of them well. We work with together to swap product, or we refer each other.”
He added that the popularity of air guns is on the rise, especially after COVID. Pest control, small game hunting and target shooting are all ways that air guns are used.
“All of us in our generation think of a BB gun. It’s not a BB gun, it is still powered by air, high pressure air. So, it’s very, very quiet with virtually no recoil. Even people who aren’t big into guns usually like shooting an air gun. It’s fun, it’s not loud, you don’t need hearing protection. It doesn’t recoil or belt you,” he explained.
Tom Simmon’s knowledge and passion for the sport of shooting is extensive.
“Children, the elderly, anyone can shoot it,” he said. “It’s also a lot cheaper shooting in the long run than shooting any of your traditional guns.”
A tin of 500 pellets ranges from $7 to higher quality ones at $18 or $22.
“Some [air] guns take tubes and some take bottles,” he said. “It’s at a higher pressure so your home air compressor won’t work on these. You’re filling anywhere from 3,000 psi to 4,500 psi, so you need either a bottle to top off from a personal compressor or another compressor that is capable of those pressures.”
Simmon stresses any gun should be treated as if it’s a firearm, and gun safety is always a priority.
“In the State of Michigan for hunting laws for larger game .35 cal or larger PCP which is what we specialize in, you can hunt as long as it generates 150-foot pounds or more of energy you can hunt deer, bear, elk, anything you can hunt with a firearm you can hunt with an air rifle,” explained Simmon.
“I’ve got guys taking muskrat at 280 yards with a .25 caliber air rifle,” he said. “If people understand firearms these air guns, you can get a understand deviation of 2, 3, well under 5 and under 10, which is unheard of in the firearm industry most of the time.”
He pointed out that air guns are also dominating a lot of firearm competitions.
HPP sponsors shoots at the Harrison Sportsman Club in the summer months. This summer they will sponsor an N50 competition. The National 50 Benchrest is an Air Rifles w/pellets shoot and slugs alongside Rimfire .22 long rifle shooters in sanctioned clubs throughout the United States.
The 100-yard Benchrest competition is held the second Saturday of the month starting in May and runs through September. The N50 begins in April and is held the last Saturday of each month, also through September. There is a 30% payout for the top three shooters, and any leftover funds Simmon donates to the Harrison Sportsman Club.
Simmon not only sells air guns and accessories, he also services air guns. He tries to service everything he sells unless a vendor requires service in its own facility.
Tom and Janine Simmon are both graduates of Harrison High School. HPP is located at 1721 W. Temple Drive, west of Harrison. Visit them online at www.myhighpressureair.com or their Facebook page High Pressure Pneumatics.
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