If you visit Airguns of Arizona’s physical location at 1970 W Elliot Rd., Suite 109, Gilbert, AZ 85233, you’ll likely run into Kip Perow.
“I do a little bit of everything,” Perow says, “but mainly I take care of the showroom so that the other guys can stay on the phone all the time. In addition, when a gun has a glitch, they often come to me to help sort it out.”
Perow, it seems, has been an airgunner since he was a youngster. “When I was seven, I had a Daisy 22 SG. It was a pump-up, super easy to pump, and I took it everywhere, hunting birds and lizards whenever I could.” Later he would acquire a Benjamin in .177.
Perow’s Dad would take him hunting, and as he grew older, he became more interested in firearms, and he and his Dad would build guns together.
Eventually Perow got married and started a successful landscaping company and continued to shoot doves at dairies with airguns. Jump ahead several years, and Perow runs into Robert Buchanan at one of the dairies. Buchanan was holding an attractive-looking rifle. “You getting ready for deer season?” Perow asked.
“It’s an airgun,” came the reply. A conversation ensued and Perow visited the AoA store, then located in Mesa, Arizona. “I was intrigued by an FX Tarantula, with a Hakko scope. What’s it cost?” Perow asked. Buchanan told him. “You’re crazy,” Perow said. “Show me something in my price range.”
“He sold me a Mendoza in .177 with a thumbhole stock,” Perow says. “I fell in love with that gun. Next, I bought a used Korean precharged. My Dad was so impressed that he bought one. About that time, AoA moved to Gilbert, AZ, which is closer to me, and that didn’t help my growing airgun addiction (Perow now has over 70 precharged guns).”
By this time, Perow’s landscaping business was big enough that he was supervising crews on various jobs. “The Lord works in mysterious ways,” he says. “In, 2006 I was becoming very ill, and no one could figure out why. At the same time, Buchanan needed help wanted me to work for him 2-3 days a week, so that’s when I started working at AoA part time.”
Perow’s health got worse, and still no one could figure out why. His wife took him to the Mayo Clinic, where it was discovered that he had a massive sinus infection that was actually attacking the bone under Perow’s eye.
“With the right treatment, in three days, I felt like a million bucks,” Perow says. “But the doctor told me that I had to get out of the dust and dirt of landscaping or I would die. I started working more days for AoA, sold my business, and by 2008, I was working for Robert full time.”
Because of his gun building experience, and some specialized equipment AoA has purchased, Perow can now help solve really tough airgun repair problems. “Now we can make some parts if we can’t order them, make valves for old guns, and fit smooth-twist barrels on guns,” he says.
Talk to Perow for a few minutes, and you realize that he loves what he is doing. But there is more to it than just airguns. He says, “The bond that is between all the guys here at AoA is well beyond just a bunch of guys working together. This is our family away from family. We’ve been through trials and tribulations together, and we put them in the Lord’s hands.”
Along the way, Perow has done a number of product review videos and a number of hunting videos, including hunting wild hogs in Texas, spearfishing with an FX arrow gun, and hunting for a couple of weeks with Jim Chapman in Africa. Perow has been a pioneer in airgun hunting in Arizona, now that it has been legalized there, taking two Javelinas, black bear, and – after three weeks of weekend hunting — a mountain lion.
In addition, Perow has been helping with AOA’s development and design of its new big bore airgun. His knowledge of hunting and firearm ballistics has helped direct the design and direction of the Western Big Bore ‘.45 Bushbuck. In fact, Perow used the prototype of the Bushbuck for his hunting in Arizona.
Til next time, aim true and shoot straight.
- Jock Elliott