As a boy, Russell Gordy pored over Sears catalogues, pining for shotguns and rifles his “dirt-poor” Texas family couldn’t afford. “Why are you torturing yourself?” his grandmother asked as he flipped through the pages. “One of these days, Grandma, I’m going to get every gun in this book,” Gordy replied. “Don’t let it haunt you,” she returned. “Life doesn’t always turn out like you want.”
Then again, sometimes it turns out even better. With his first paycheck as a roughneck in an oil field, Gordy bought a shotgun. Little by little, he built a booming career in energy and real estate. And just as incrementally, with every success came a new firearm for his collection, a onetime wish he could hold in hand.
Now, with his sons, Shaun and Garrett, comes a sentimental triumph, one they’ve noodled with for years: the opening this spring of Gordy & Sons Outfitters, a lavish hunting and fishing emporium in Houston. Jerry Locati, an architect who designed Gordy’s ranch house in Montana, masterminded the striking shop, situated in a revamped midcentury brick building just west of downtown. Inside, on the reclaimed longleaf-pine showroom floor, row after row of long guns from the likes of Beretta, the Syren women’s line, and Blaser rest alongside apparel and one-off accessories such as William Henry knives. A well-stocked gun vault, though, stars as the store’s centerpiece. Secured behind a nine-ton 1930s bank-safe door, heirloom walnut cabinetry enhances the burnished steel of two hundred of the world’s finest bespoke firearms; engraved versions from London’s Purdey line up against big-game rifles from John Rigby & Co., Beretta’s premium SO series of hand-finished shotguns, Germany’s Anschütz rifles, and more—essentially, the premium models that have caught Gordy’s eye over the years.
Dustin Mount, a gunsmith who trained with Purdey and is one of the only people in the country qualified to work on the line, leads an in-house team for repairs, customizations, and gun fittings. In fact, the Gordys ordered more than thirty Purdeys in various stages of production, to cut the lead time for a fitting from three or four years to six months. “We wanted to make it so people in America can get their hands on these a little easier,” Garrett says.
Even though he and Shaun grew up hunting with their father, Garrett’s heart lies with angling, hence the casting pond out back stocked with bream and bass. There, customers can size up premium fly rods from Scott, R. L. Winston, and Hardy, as well as bamboo rods, and vintage reels by Charlton and Seamaster. In the spirit of a true outfitter, Gordy & Sons will also help you try out all that gear in the wild: Soon clients will enjoy access to Gordy’s eight-thousand-acre spread north of Houston, which he is restoring with longleaf pines to lure back wild quail and equipping with an English-style range for gun fittings and testing. In addition, the shop is booking fishing trips to Cuba, Mexico, Alaska, the Bahamas, and Montana—with a bevy of upland hunting destinations in the works.
“We’ve built the shop with a non-business plan,” says Gordy with a laugh, noting he might have spent a little more on the build-out than he planned. “But we hope to make it a family deal.” The “& Sons,” after all, now extends to his three grandchildren, too. “I wanted to make it special—a place my family can come for the next hundred years.”