Gun & Reel a one-stop store for power sports, sporting goods

Gun & Reel has been in Jamestown since 1953.

gun and reel sports gary dockter 030322.jpg
Gary Dockter is the owner of Gun & Reel Sports in Jamestown.
John M. Steiner / The Jamestown Sun
We are part of The Trust Project.

When the Gun & Reel Sports owner’s father and his partner opened the business in 1953 the goal was to provide quality merchandise that could not be purchased at a discount store.

“They always wanted to do the higher end quality products and service what we sell,” Gary Dockter said. “When they first started out, they just more or less did firearms and some athletic merchandise.”

They just wanted to be a full-line sporting goods store. One of the few in the state really. I don’t know if there is another one that sells power sports products and athletic, hunting, fishing, all that together.
Gary Dockter, owner, Gun & Reel Sports

He said Gun & Reel eventually expanded into selling power sports – boats, snowmobiles, motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles – and also sells sporting goods such as shoes for running, walking and sports, hunting and fishing products, clothing and firearms.

“They just wanted to be a full-line sporting goods store,” Dockter said. “One of the few in the state really. I don’t know if there is another one that sells power sports products and athletic, hunting, fishing, all that together.”

Because Gun & Reel is a one-stop store and the current availability of power sports products with the supply-chain issue, Dockter said he sees customers from all over the state.


“They pretty much have to drive to get it if they can find it because there is such limited availability of that stuff right now,” he said.

He said a sporting goods store that was north of the Grand Theatre, which was located where the Gladstone Inn & Suites is currently at, was originally purchased by his father and partner. The two decided to move the store and opened Gun & Reel in what is currently Sapphire Gallery on 1st Street West.

“I think they just wanted to be downtown,” Dockter said. “It’s kind of how things were back then. Everything was downtown.”

The building where Gun & Reel is now located was formerly Montgomery Ward. When the owners decided there was a need for more room for power sports, they purchased the building west of it after a laundromat closed and opened the walls so people could walk between each building.

gun and reel sports atv selection 030822.jpg
Gun and Reel Sports in downtown Jamestown has a variety of ATVs in stock and will be getting more soon. This photo is advertorial content that is part of the 2022 "Jamestown Has It" special edition of The Jamestown Sun. The annual Progress Edition features stories on unique experiences in small business, dining and culture in Jamestown.
John M. Steiner / The Jamestown Sun

Dockter eventually took over the business after he purchased company stock from two other partners. Dockter and the partners had purchased stock from his father so he could retire.

He said he has been the sole owner of the business for about two years.

Gun & Reel also purchased the Trading Post building after a fire and used it to display boats and other items. The building was eventually sold, and he used the money to build a new building just north of the U.S. Postal Service office.

Having Gun & Reel on 1st Street West is nice for businesses because people can walk around to each store, Dockter said. He also said there is plenty of parking available for shoppers.


“I think downtowns are starting to come back somewhat with all the restaurants and all that,” he said.

He said having restaurants and Babb’s Coffee House nearby have helped Gun & Reel get more foot traffic.

“A lot of times they will go to the corner and get a coffee and then they will stop by here on their way or whatever and check us out,” Dockter said.

What makes Gun & Reel unique is it has two service shops that can repair lawnmowers, motorcycles, boats or anything else that has small or large engines, he said.

“We have a certified mechanic in the shop to repair everything that we sell,” he said.

If customers are trying to find something, his staff, which Dockter said prides themselves on knowing the products, will find the item for them and even match prices with other stores as well.

“If they can get it in Fargo for a certain price, we can usually match the price and they don’t have to drive and spend gas and everything,” he said.

He said he sees customers who have shopped at Gun & Reel for years.


“Now we are taking care of their kids from generation to generation,” he said.


Gun & Reel Sports

115 1st St. W

Hours: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday-Friday; 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday

Masaki Ova joined The Jamestown Sun in August 2021 as a reporter. He grew up on a farm near Pingree, N.D. He majored in communications at the University of Jamestown, N.D.
What to read next
The labor intensive nature of the work, the length of time it takes for an evergreen tree in North Dakota to grow to a saleable height, and the competition from “big box” stores are deterrents to raising Christmas trees, said Tom Claeys, North Dakota state forester.
Cathy Scheibe, at 82, of LaMoure, North Dakota, continues with Toy Farmer Magazine, more than 22 years after her husband and co-founder, Claire, died. She talks about how the company is changing and preparing for transitions, about how markets for toy tractors and construction equipment have been unusually strong due to the pandemic and supply chain issues for new toy commemorative projects.
The deadline for nominations is Jan. 1.
The event is Dec. 16 at Carrington.