Good CT and NH gun shops?


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Monkeyleg
September 9, 2004, 07:51 PM
I hope this isn't getting old. I'm contacting shops in CT and NH. I got some good leads from past posts---Newington Gun Exchange, Hoffman's, D'Andreas, and Center Sports in CT, and Riley's in NH.

All the shops sound like they're top-notch. I was really surprised, though, at how few gun shops there are in New Hampshire. Fewer than in any state I've encountered so far, actually.

So, does anyone here have any recommendations as to shops in these two states that you think are good in terms of service, selection, price, etc?

Thanks much for any replies.

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AZgunstudent
September 9, 2004, 08:05 PM
I can only speak as a former resident of CT, but here are a couple in that state:

Ron's Guns in East Lyme. Good selection, though the sticker prices occasionally border on the ridiculous. They're usually negotiable, however.

Cubeta's in Middletown. Excellent selection, fair prices, knowledgeable and friendly staff. This was my favorite shop when I lived in CT, and one of the two gun stores my wife would consent to visit (Hoffman's was the other).

Valley Firearms in Shelton. Smaller selection in a slightly cramped store, but the service is good and the owner, Rich, is a well-trained and knowledgeable shooter.

E&B Sporting Goods in Salem. Decent selection, nice indoor range, fair prices.

Silver City Sporting Arms in West Haven. Smaller place, but a decent selection and fair prices.

Two very tiny but good shops are Chris' Gun Shop in New Haven and The Grouse Perch in Old Saybrook. Not a great selection at either, but very friendly service.

Hope this helps.

Eskimo Jim
September 9, 2004, 08:10 PM
Monkey,
You and AZ mentioned some of my favorites already.

if you make it to Riley's in NH, then you aren't that much further away from Kittery Trading Post in Kittery, Maine. Here's their website:
www.kitterytradingpost.com.

Good luck and enjoy your trip.

-Jim

nhhillbilly
September 10, 2004, 12:24 AM
Reily's Gun shop, Village Gun shop in Wakefield, NH, Alstead gun shop in Alstead NH. Smaller but ok Welch's Gun shop in Lebanon, NH,


Village and Reily's are the two best that I have found. IF you want to rent something including class three. The fireing Line in Manchester NH is a great place to check out before you purchase.

KLR
September 10, 2004, 12:49 AM
Kittery Trading Post is cool because they maintain a storefront across the river in Portsmouth. You can select your gun at the main store in, well, Maine, then drive across the bridge for your transfer.

They still do that, don't they?

Oh to live in the land of the instant background check with no registration! :banghead: :banghead: :banghead:

That feels better.

Riley's is okay, but they aren't the store they were, say, 8 years ago. Long guns are still good to excellent, hand guns are not the selection I remember.

Just got a flyer from a gun shop in Errol, NH- L. L. Cote Sports Center. They are apparently a sporting goods store- Glock OD Frames and Sig Factory Refurbs $499. Errol is way up there, though. It has been years, but there was a neat-little hole in the wall gun shop in Freedom, NH.

One overlooked option are the auction houses (Amoskeag, Devine's). Granted they only do an auction every two months, but they usually have some good deals on everything from antique guns to the most modern.

Amoskeag Auction (http://www.amoskeag-auction.com/)

JC Devine (http://www.jcdevine.com/)

Billy the Kid
September 10, 2004, 11:28 AM
They got a good shop in CT in Wallingford called New England Outfitters, really cool guys, good deals.

Monkeyleg
September 10, 2004, 07:16 PM
Thanks for the suggestions. New England Outfitters and Cubeta's are now owned by the same guy. He asked me to email him some information about my site, then call him in a week or two.

It really helps to get feedback on this forum about the shops. If not for the replies I've received here, I'd have Doug's Shootin Sports in Utah on my site. :eek:

BlkHawk73
September 10, 2004, 08:24 PM
I went to Reily's once a few years bak and wasn't really all that impressed. Not a great selection and the customer service was, to be nice, terrible.
kittry TP is proberly worth the trip. Not my favorite place but they do keep A LOT of inventory. Quite a lot of new and used and they usually have the most recently released models. Their prices are finally getting better but they will rarely dicker on prices. the reloading/ammo dept is usually staffed by a very knowledgeable gentleman. Some clerks there are no better than those at Reily's but there are some decent ones. They've recently redone the entire firearms dept too.
Unsure about any others in the area specifically but some manufacturers will list regional dealers on thier websites as will some of the larger distributors. The gun auction sites list transfer dealers so looking there may let you see where some potential shops are. last resort - yellow pages online or a on-line search (yahoo, etc)

(heading to KTP this wkend since wife is buying! :) )

gezzer
September 10, 2004, 09:55 PM
Try these 2

L.L. Cote in Errol NH

The village gun shop in Whitefield NH Stan is a great guy.

OtG
September 11, 2004, 01:25 AM
Have you seen this site: http://gun.directoryusa.biz/states.php

http://gun.directoryusa.biz/NH/cities.php

It's how I found a number of shops. It's somewhat out of date, though, so make sure to double-check. I've looked for but not found a few shops in the list.

As for gun shops that I know of, there is:
Renaissance Firearms in Gonic
http://www.davidsonsinc.com/consumers/subsites/dealer_home.asp?dealer_id=645275
(603) 335-4116
A small shop, the owner runs it out of his sign shop (Renaissance signs).

Kittery Trading Post
www.ktpguns.com


I haven't actually been to these last two:
Seacoast Firearms, Inc. in Hampton
(603) 929-1234

Big Al's Gun and Sport Shop in Seabrook
603-474-9043


Look in a NH Phonebook, if nothing else.
Do a search for "guns" here:
www.switchboard.com

I searched for "guns" in NH and got this:

http://tinyurl.com/4kbop

Good luck. Your site seems like a potentially valuable resource.

-Owen

MissileCop
September 11, 2004, 11:01 AM
I'll second the Alstead gun shop, and the Village gun shop. Also, check out Lewis Arms in Bow. They used to do just gunsmithing work, when they were downstairs at Riley's. Now they have their own place, and do both firearms sales and smithing.

I for one, will never purchase a firearm from Riley's. Several years ago, I went in, with money to burn. On a slow Monday morning, when it was just me and one or two other customers. In the roughly 45 minutes that I was there, not one of the five or six people working there asked me if they could help me. Even though I had spent quite some time oogling the handgun section.

I wrote a polite letter, noting my discontent, and was not overly impressed with the reply that I got.

Because of that incident, I'll often go into a gun shop, and just listen. I like to have an idea what the man behind the counter knows. If he's got half a brain, he's got half a chance of getting my money. I haven't bought any new toys in a few years, but Alstead will be the first place I head for when I do.

gezzer
September 11, 2004, 04:12 PM
Forgot this one

Marshalls on rte 3A in contoocock

Monkeyleg
September 11, 2004, 07:14 PM
Thanks again for the info.

OtG, when does my site cease being a "potentially" valuable resource, and become a valuable resource? (Just kidding. All this work is going to take a lot of time).

OtG
September 12, 2004, 09:14 PM
OtG, when does my site cease being a "potentially" valuable resource, and become a valuable resource?

When there are more listings in New Hampshire and Vermont. :neener:

Anyway, good luck.

-Owen

Monkeyleg
September 13, 2004, 12:52 AM
Owen, here's my problem (and, to some extent, maybe yours, too): in AT&T's online Yellow pages, there are 909 listings in California under a search for "guns." For the "old geezer" state of Florida, there's 736. For New York, there's 525. For the lonely state of Idaho there's 176. And, for equally remote state of Utah, there's 146.

For the state of New Hampshire there's just 117.

You "live free or die" folks need more gun stores! :)

Back when I started calling shops in the middle of May, I thought I could get four or even five shops a day. Wrong, and wrong big-time. It's taking on average 2.6 days per state to get that number of shops on the site. Sometimes I have to make four, five or even six calls before the owner has time to talk to me. Heck, I'm still calling back shop owners whom I first spoke with back in early July, trying to get just 15 minutes of their time to get the information I need about their shops.

Thank God for time zones.

I'm risking nearly everything I own on the feedback I've received from shop owners who understand the importance of advertising, marketing, and just plain market exposure. If I'm wrong, and they don't want to pay $10 a month to have a full description of their shops on my site, you'll know all about it. Just listen for the scream coming from Milwaukee next February or so.

Ex-MA Hole
September 13, 2004, 02:48 PM
Lewis is GREAT.
Marshall's is also good. (Limited experience)

Both places are very friendly and helpful.

Problem with Lewis's is that they are not open past 5:00, but they are open Sat.

Marshall's is open late W-F, but closed Sat- Tues (summer hours, not sure of other schedule)

Unfortunately Riley's is 7 days, nicer hours. I hated them, too. Their customer service was piss poor at best. I use them when no one else is open, plus there inventory is better than the other two stores combined.

I will admit, though, that the last two times that I have been in there, I was lucky enough to have an older gent help, and he was great. He actually had a personality!

He was a good guy. Unfortunately, I did not get his name, though.

M

Seawolf
September 13, 2004, 03:11 PM
Hoffman's, Newington Gun Exchange are my two favorite stops - close-by as well.

Been to Cubeta's as well. Good experiences at all three.

mtnsldr
May 19, 2006, 10:16 PM
Just to add my .02 to this little convo, I've been to the gunshopfinder website, and its a pretty decent little place.

I have a little insight to give on Lewis Arms. I am a National Guard soldier recently returned from Iraq, and myself and one of the guys I served with dropped by Lewis Arms looking for an H&K p2000 and a Springfield XD40. We're both set on buying, its just finding the deal that is holding us up. We spoke to one of the gentlemen working in the store (we were both in uniform coming from work) and the employee proceeded to make comments about how he was in the Navy, and included those requisite cracks that any self respecting Navy man would make when in the presence of Army folks, no big deal. However, then it turned ugly. One of the other patrons asked if he gave discounts to military, and the employee proceeded to say not just No, but "hell no" and said that since we had obviously been overseas making the "big bucks" we shouldn't need any stinking discount... Well, my friend is a Purple Heart awardee and still sometimes has some anger issues, so I extracted ourselves out of there right quick before anything else happened.

Its not that we expected special treatment or a discount, but his comments were rude and unnecessary, and will ensure that they get no business from us.

I'll have to go up to Alstead, they love us since we came up and helped them pick up after the floods...

280PLUS
May 19, 2006, 10:25 PM
If you go to Hoffman's tell Roger that "Mark" said hello and that I'm too :cuss: busy to shoot his matches this summer. :(

Oh as far as E&B. You gotta take THAT guy with a grain of salt. He's a retired Coastie O-6 and can be a real PIA but all in all he's a good guy and means well. A lot of folks don't like him. If you go there you'll find out why. :eek:

:D

Hawkmoon
May 19, 2006, 11:26 PM
My sister's in NH but her husband hasn't taken me "on the rounds" there so I have no suggestions.

For CT, in addition to Newington Gun Exchange and Hoffman's I would add Sportsmans' Outpost in Wolcott, and Chris' Indoor Shooting Range in Guilford (this is the same Chris mentioned by AZgunstudent -- Chris apparently bought the range and moved his shop out of New Haven). Also, although he doesn't have a storefront or a huge selection, Zephir's in North Branford is a great guy to deal with.

mp510
May 20, 2006, 01:07 AM
:( Cubeta's in Middletown. Excellent selection, fair prices, knowledgeable and friendly staff. This was my favorite shop when I lived in CT, and one of the two gun stores my wife would consent to visit (Hoffman's was the other). Yeah, Cubeta's is a nice shop, but under new ownership, they are not quite what they used to be. The inventory seemed much smaller last time I was there:( Also, they are in Middlefield, not Middletown.

Two very tiny but good shops are Chris' Gun Shop in New Haven
If I remember right, Chris' left New Haven. I believe the owner opened up somewhere else, with a range and shop. Forgot where.

They got a good shop in CT in Wallingford called New England Outfitters, really cool guys, good deals.
They were nice guys:) Unfortunately, they went Out of business as well very recently. Used to shoot plates over there. See: www.fridaynightplates.com.

Connecticut Yankee
May 20, 2006, 08:06 PM
Bob's Guns on Post Road is probably the overall best general gun shop in Connecticut - IMHO. His store has the best overall selection and he and Kevin are extremely knowledgable. He's been there since 1954.

Jay Hansen's in Southport is the best overall collector's shop, has a good retail selection but really excells for high end collectibles, he's been there since the early 70s. Jay and Tom are extremely knowlegable not only about firearms but also militaria and collectibles - Civil War, World War 2, etc.. They are on the web at http://www.hansenguns.com/article.cfm. They also sell on auction arms as Lope (seller's name).

You can't go wrong with either of these shops.

Hawkmoon
May 20, 2006, 10:54 PM
Somebody mentioned D'Andrea's in CT. I was talking to one of my gunny friends in CT recently and D'Andrea's was the topic of discussion. Seems the owner has been busted by the BATFE on a wide variety of heavy-sounding charges. The shop has changed names and moved to a different town, the owner is supposedly under arrest and not allowed in his own store but the store remains open for business (???), and rumours are flying. Unfortunately, I have no specifics to offer, and nobody seems to really know anything. The whole thing may be BATFE retribution because the owner has been rather "outspoken" over the years ... or he may have been breaking a lot of rules.

If you're looking for leads to add to a directory, this one might need to be listed with some kind of asterisk or footnote for the present ...

Rangie
May 20, 2006, 11:05 PM
Lebenon sports center is another one you don't have listed yet and North Cove Outfitters in Old Saybrook and CT Sporting arms. Blue trail range also has a shop.

Smiley
May 21, 2006, 01:26 AM
New England Outfitters did not close down. That was a rumor going around a month ago. I have been there since I heard the rumor. Also, D'Andreas moved just down the street from my Dad's house before he got busted. Since then he is under indictment and a million dollar bond on 14 charges of selling to convicted felons and monkeying with sale document. The store can operate but he cannot enter or go near the store, nor can he take part in the stores operation.
I have shopped at his previous store for several years now and he was always outspoken when someone came into the store who didn't have a permit or even didn't seem like someone he would want to sell to. I personally saw him yell at someone to get out of his store who I heard mention that he needed a gat for his girl. He was very outspoken and spent much money on fighting some of CT's firearms laws that have been passed over the last decade or two.
I don't put the charges past him but I am less inclined to fully believe the ATF then him.

Manedwolf
May 21, 2006, 02:57 AM
Riley's is...okay. They do actually have some good deals at times, and a good selection of ammo, for certain. I still need to check out Kittery. At Riley's, I'd had the older salesperson as well, and he had the paperwork done and me out the door with a good-price used folding carbine within 20 minutes!

There unfortunately are NOT that many good gunstores in NH! Affordable Firearms in Pelham is okay, if small...they have a lot of odd rifles.

Pete's Gun and Tackle in Hudson is a small and apparently-never-cleaned place with dusty ancient inventory and a BS hangout crowd eating food. Skip it.

And do not EVER go to Sportsman's Trading Co in Amherst. Not unless you like a loud, pushy used car salesman trying to tell you what gun you need, and "Can't do better, I can get that for you right now, come on, I'll order it right now"...Uh....no.

jAK-47
May 21, 2006, 09:37 AM
In order to support my "addiction" over the past 5 years, off-and-on I've worked at Kittery Trading Post. They are the biggest gun dealer east of the Mississippi and have some very knowledgeable staff. As someone already said, if you live in NH they will drive the mile across the bridge to their storefront to save you the tax, etc.

You can check out their used guns by going to their site at: http://www.kitterytradingpost.com/

Not to be too partisan but the people at Riley's are *********s!!! I came to that conclusion long before I started working at KTP.

Edited to add - if you want to wait a couple of years, rumor has it that Cabellas is building a store in Hookset!!!!

jAK-47

Nashmack
May 21, 2006, 10:57 PM
+1 on Affordable/collector's in Pelham.

gezzer
May 21, 2006, 11:02 PM
For the state of New Hampshire there's just 117.

You "live free or die" folks need more gun stores!

Note we are way smaller than Idaho or Utah in fact we can most likely be placed several times in either.

Check out 2 shops a few feet apart in Wolfboro forget thier names.

IrvJr
May 22, 2006, 08:57 AM
New Boston Sports in New Boston, NH - great selection of shotguns, rifles and handguns. Great owner (Roger). (603) 487-3432

Al's Gun & Reel shop in Derry, NH - (603) 432-2708. Great selection of guns, and another great owner (Al). They do transfers to MA for MA residents also. Lots of nice stuff here.

Riley's is a decent shop. I've had positive experiences there. Decent selection. Some of their new gun prices are high, but they have a great selection of used guns at reasonable prices. Most of the staff (the younger guys and part time guys) are very friendly and helpful, although some of the managers are crusty.

KTP is great and has an unbelievably huge selection, but the prices at the smaller gun shops seem to be a little better, even though their selections are not as extensive as KTP.

Manedwolf
May 22, 2006, 09:51 AM
Also one thing I'd say positive about Riley's, the long guns, including the new ARs and all, are all out on the floor for you to handle and play with at leisure. I like that...rather than the experience in many stores where they're behind the counter, and they look at you oddly if you might actually want to handle one, let alone more than one!

ANGUSLINCOLN
May 22, 2006, 12:57 PM
The Village Gun Store in Whitefield, NH will give you the best customer service in my opinion.Stan and Sandy have owned the place more than 20 years and show more dedication to their store and customer satisfaction than any other place I've done business with around the Northern New England area. They work the store by themselves and eliminate the "bad attitude salesman" factor that you may be familiar with at other stores. They may be a bit out of the way for many, but definately worth the trip. I find their prices and selection to be the best around as well. Best of all, they back up their products, especially the used firearms; some thing that not all gun stores do all that well.

Manedwolf
May 31, 2006, 06:39 PM
Al's Gun & Reel shop in Derry, NH - (603) 432-2708. Great selection of guns, and another great owner (Al). They do transfers to MA for MA residents also. Lots of nice stuff here.

Update on this list. I found the place and stopped in there. They had a display empty box of Winchester Ranger on the counter, I asked about it, and was bluntly told "That's for law enforcement, NOT for you."

:scrutiny:

Yes, that's generally how most sellers are, but I would have more appreciated an "I'm sorry, I can only legally sell that to police." instead. Don't like that kind of condescending attitude, making a law-abiding citizen feel like they'd just done something wrong. No thanks.

Hell if I'll go back there. And I can order Ranger off the web.

Devonai
May 31, 2006, 08:18 PM
I forgot all about that place, even though it's the closest gun store to my apartment. I haven't been in there in two years, ever since I got carded for a box of .303 Brit.

Your story doesn't surprise me at all.

zoom6zoom
May 31, 2006, 09:12 PM
Owen, here's my problem (and, to some extent, maybe yours, too): in AT&T's online Yellow pages, there are 909 listings in California under a search for "guns." For the "old geezer" state of Florida, there's 736. For New York, there's 525. For the lonely state of Idaho there's 176. And, for equally remote state of Utah, there's 146.

For the state of New Hampshire there's just 117.

You "live free or die" folks need more gun stores!

If you figure it out as gun shops per capita rather than just per state, you'll see that it's Kaliforny that's way behind, not NH.

Nashmack
May 31, 2006, 11:57 PM
I've bought Rangers at Collector's. Granted they weren't in their original box, but they were Rangers. A little bit off topic here, if anyone in NH has a 9MM, I have a box of Talons for it. (I dont have a 9MM anymore)

rchernandez
June 1, 2006, 03:58 PM
How about the Manchester Firing Line (gunsnh.com) located near the airport in Manchester, NH? Don't know what he offers as a gunstore but it was sure fun visiting the shop and ogling all the Class III stuff he had on display!

Igloodude
June 1, 2006, 04:38 PM
+1 on Kittery's selection (great), helpfulness (usually very good), and prices (sadly, higher than average).

+1 on Affordable Arms in Pelham, too - not the greatest selection, unless you're looking for something unusual.

Having just moved to Derry, I'll have to check out Riley's (which I've heard many good and bad things about) and Al's (which I've heard nothing but what I've read here).

I've shot at Manchester Firing Line a lot and taken a couple classes there, but haven't bought any guns - if you're looking for a Glock or Sig, I'd expect them to do right by you though.

Nashmack
June 1, 2006, 04:41 PM
Firing line had 2 full auto Stens for a pretty damn reasonable price last time I was in, as well as a silenced 10/22.

Devonai
June 1, 2006, 05:43 PM
The MFL only stocks Glock pistols IIRC, the mixed offerings are mostly consignment pieces. The owner is a member here so he may correct me on that.

The Stens were gorgeous and just under $8k each. I may have to head down to Foxwoods this weekend. :D

Nashmack
June 1, 2006, 05:49 PM
I was almost drooling on that case Devonai:D

TMM
June 1, 2006, 06:14 PM
Connecticut Gun Exchange in Monroe, CT. IIRC, they're on Route 111.

Nice shop, though it's the only one i've been to. nice guys there, too. Tom and J.D.

~tmm

crsgw
June 1, 2006, 11:46 PM
Connecticut Gun Exchange in Monroe, CT. IIRC, they're on Route 111.

Nice shop, though it's the only one i've been to. nice guys there, too. Tom and J.D.


I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but J.D. just passed away about a week ago.

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