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A Short Story About Pawnshops

A Short Story About Pawnshops

Pawnworld in Kingman, Arizona with two locations is the oldest and largest pawn shop in northwest Arizona. But when compared to L. Oppleman Pawn in Lynchburg, Virginia we are the new kids on the block. Purportedly Oppleman is the oldest continously operated pawn shop under a single name in the United States.

The doors of this venerable insitution opened in 1890 with Jacob and Lena Oppleman as proprietors. In the early 1920s, Ike Oppleman, their son, took the helm. The next chapter for the store began in the 1930s during the height of the Great Depression. That was when Aaron Somers began working at the pawnshop.

Somers purchased the business from Ike’s estate. His son David came to work at the pawn shop in 1974. And now his son Ryan, GIA-certified gemologist, is ensuring that the Lynchburg institution serves a new generation of area customers.

The name has changed often over the years but in Chicago there is a pawnshop with an even longer record of continuous operation. In 2017 it was announced that The Loan Companies had acquired T.N. Donnelly & Company. This pawnshop had originally opened in 1881! THe Loan Companies also owns the proclaimed “Pawnshop to the Stars” in Beverly Hills, California that was established in 1938.

In 2012, Suffolk Jewelers & Pawnbrokers celebrated one hundred years of service to the historic South End district in Boston, Massachusetts. The store opened in 1910 at the corner of Washington and Newcomb Street as Suffolk Loan Company. It is the oldest pawnshop in the state of Massachusetts.

This long history is fitting for a district that was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1973, and as a Landmark District and Protection Area a decade later. The district includes the largest intact concentration of Victorian era row houses in the country.

Historic evidence indicates that pawn shops most likely originated in China nearly 3,000 years ago. That history lives on in the dynamic city of Hong Kong where there are pawn shops in each of the city’s eighteen districts. In 1821 sixteen pawnbrokers were registered in the city but today that number has swelled to more than two hundred.

But if you really want to experience pawnshop history a trip to Italy will be needed. In the old Jewish quarter of Venice is a “Jewish loan bank” which was a version of the pawnshop. The exact date that it opened is not known. However, there are records that the business was sold to Daniele Passigli, the son of Elia and Dolce Passigli  in 1664. Before the COVID induced travel restrictions the building was a pawnshop museum.

Many Italian cities and villages have ancient Monte di Pietà (pawnshop) buildings. One of the oldest documented Monti di Pietà in Italy is found in the village of Ascoli Piceno. According to area history it opened for business on January 15, 1458!

Pawnworld in Kingman may not be the oldest or largest pawnshop. But we proudly carry on a long tradition of providing service to the community. And we are also the largest gun store in northwest Arizona.

Written by Jim Hinckley of Jim Hinckley’s America

Know Before You Go

Know Before You Go

Education does not end with the cap and gown ceremony, and receipt of a diploma. Self education is a life long pursuit. It is also a responsibility.

The right of firearm ownership is enshrined in the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution. “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” This right carries tremendous responsibility and that includes education about care and use of the weapon, acquiisition, and storage.

Our current fiream inventory is large and diverse. This includes the popular Smith & Wesson M & P sport II semi-auto rifle, 5.56, 16-inch, with 30 round clip.This type of rifle has been tested extensively and reviews are favorable. Overall it is rated as one of the best rifles available in testing for 25 yard accuracy.

For the serious hunter we currently have a selection of 700 series Remingtons. Outdoor Life begins its review of these rifles with a glowing tribute. “You can’t talk about the best deer rifles without including one of the all-time greats ….” The review continues with, “The calling card of these rifles is their fast-handling and ability to deliver quick follow-up shots.”

For a hand gun we have the popular Glock Gen 3 17 in stock. And we also have the critically acclaimed Taurus G3 X. A review in Outdoor Life said, “There likely wasn’t a handgun in the 2022 Gun test that exceeded expectations as much as the Taurus G3X. This compact 9mm is a typical striker-fired poly pistol on the surface, but when being shot, it thoroughly impressed the test team.”

We also have the exceptional Colt Python. A review after extensive testing by the staff of Outdoor Life said, “Even after running the Python hard, the cylinder spun like butter, and locked up smoothly with no slop. The fit and finish was excellent, and even the seam between the crane and frame almost disappears when the cylinder is closed.”

Our inventory is ever changing. But there are still several shopping days left before Christmas, and we currently have a variety of firearms from Sig Sauer, Springfield, Glock, Tauras Colt, Beretta, Charter Arm, Ruger, Remington and Canik. We also have an array of firearm accessories.

But don’t forget, Pawn World is more than a gun store. If you are looking for last minute gift ideas we also have a large inventory of power tools, electronics, and even a Harley Davidson.

Pawn World in Kingman, Arizona is northwest Arizona’s largest gun and gun supply store. That comes with tremendous responsibility, something that we take very seriously. Our knowledgeable staff is here to assist with your firearm purchase, and to answer your questions about weapons as well as storage.

Written by Jim Hinckley of Jim Hinckley’s America 


Step One

Step One

The Pawn World stores in Kingman are northwest Arizona’s largest gun stores. That status comes with a responsibility that we take very seriously. And so we strongly support and encourage firearm training as well as education.

The first step in responsible firearm ownership is acquiring the knowledge needed for safe usage. In Marine Corps boot camp the recruit is taught the five basic rules of gun safety. The four primary rules have a  simple mnemonic: Treat Never Keep Keep

  1. Treat every weapon as if it were loaded.
  2. Never point a weapon at anything you do not intend to shoot.
  3. Keep your finger straight and off the trigger until you’re ready to fire.
  4. Keep the weapon on “safe” until you intend to fire.

The fifth rule is just as important but it is put into practice on the range. Know your target and what is beyond it.

A basic knowledge of firearm terminology and an understanding about types of ammunition is also important. What is the difference between automatic and semi automatic? Assault rifle, AR 15, what is the difference? Pistol or revolver?

The primary difference between a revolver and pistol is how rounds (ammunition) is loaded into the firing chamber. A simple explanation is that pistols have fixed chambers. Revolvers have chambers that rotate in a cylinder.

Does AR in AR 15 stand for assault rifle? No, the “AR” is for Armalite Rifle. That is the name of the company that first developed this type of weapon almost 60 years ago. After the company sold the rghts to Colt Manufacturing, the rifle was modified and sold to the miltary with the M 16 designation. The M-16 is an automatic weapon that allows the firing of multiple rounds by holding down the trigger. The AR-15, and Sig Sauer, is a semi automatic which requires that you pull the trigger to fire each cartridge.

According to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the definition of an “assault rifle” (or automatic weapon) is a machine gun. Since passage of the National Firearms Act of 1934 these type of automatic weapons have been heavily regulated.

Ammunition consists of multiple parts. Simply put, it consists of gunpowder, primer, a projectile and a casing. There are three primary types of ammunition – rimfire, centerfire, and shotshell. A round is a single cartridge. A shell is a form of ammunition that is fired by a large caliber cannon or artillery piece.

The size of ammunition is caliber or calibre.This is the nominal internal diameter of the gun barrel bore measured in inches or in millimeters. In the United States it is expressed in hundredths of an inch. So, a “45 caliber” firearm has a barrel diameter of roughly 0.45 inches or 11 millimeters.  (11 mm). A “9 mm pistol” has a barrel diameter of about 9 millimeters.

Regardless of expertise, it is always best to ask questions and to purchase weapons from a knowledgable staff at a reputable store. In Kingman, or northwest Arizona, Pawn World is that store.