Do you support local "mom & pop" gun stores?


June 26, 2006, 10:25 PM
A new family owned gun store opened 14 miles from my house. That makes a total of 4 within 40 minutes drive. The closest is 7 miles away. I like Cabelas, Dicks, and Gander Mountain (I am NOT including them in any of those I have mentioned) but I fear for the future of these smaller vendors if we don't spend some money there. What is the local gun business availability like in your area? What are your feelings of supporting them vs. the bigger venues?

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ken w.
June 26, 2006, 10:30 PM
I do my darnest to support the localy owned shops in my area.I sell at gun shows and refer them all the time.The big store don't care about your buiness and are usuall very UNhelpful.But,sometimes the big stores have what you need NOW when you can't wait.I wish more folks would support the local shops too.

June 26, 2006, 10:34 PM
Well, there's a nice small gun shop within five miles of my house and I've done quite a bit of business there. There's a snobby kind of place across the county, but I hate going to even if they are bigger. If I can't order it through the place closest to me where I'm dealing with my neighbors, I'll order it from Midway or Cabelas or buy my bulk .22's from Wallyworld.

June 26, 2006, 10:35 PM
A good local FFL is a wonderful thing.

I have one who can get me pretty much anything I want for a decent price. The big stores won't do that for you. I also think mom and pop gun stores are much better at taking trades.

The walmartization of America will be our downfall.

June 26, 2006, 10:35 PM
I'm in Dauphin County, and from the stores you name I suspect you're nearby. (Or, since they're chain stores, and PA has a lot of of hunters, maybe not.)

I like the idea of supporting small stores, but on the other hand, I like large stores to carry (more) guns. and the more they sell, the more they carry -- small stores just aren't going to have the racks and racks of guns that Gander Mt. does. (Not that non-chain stores have to be small -- Guns and Ammo in Memphis, TN is certainly better stocked than the average large sports-store chain ;)). So I'd have to say case by case. When I lived in El Paso, I bought from a small shop, because it was nearby and relatively pleasant to shop.


June 26, 2006, 10:35 PM
There are about 5 stores within an hour of me. I have purchased all but one of my guns at these stores. (i'm up to 30 guns) I have compared prices between these stores and a lot of online retailers. When I factor in shipping, and the FFL transfer, I usually do as good, if not better, at the local stores.

An added benefit is getting to meet other gun enthusiasts and talking shop. I've learned a lot of stuff just by being in these stores and paying attention to the old timers.

I've made one of the stores my "default" gun store. I always go there first for anything I need. The owners do a fantastic job and are more than fair with me. They frequent my reataurant so we have a mutual relationship. After reading some of the gun store "horror stories" I feel very lucky to have this store close to me.

June 26, 2006, 10:40 PM
yhtomit, I am from the "Endless Mts." I hunt and shoot in Bradford, Sullivan, and Lycoming Counties mostly. Your northern neighbor!

June 26, 2006, 10:49 PM
My "local' gunshop is Maxon Shooter Supply in Des Plaines, IL. I am a very loyal customer, having bought a number of guns from them in the last few years. In return, I get warm greetings, friendly smiles and good prices from them. Because of the anti-gun atmosphere here in the Land of Lincoln, we need to support our local hardware merchants.

June 26, 2006, 10:53 PM
I only support one because it has decent prices and a knowledgable gunsmith. The rest of the places that mark their guns and ammo up 50%+ over wholesale and get pissed off when you want to hold a gun don't deserve to stay in business.

American By Blood
June 26, 2006, 10:56 PM
I've never so much as bought ammo from the big boys. The local FFLs eat, sleep, and breathe guns. Cabelas can stop selling guns and stay alive. The mom and pop places are dedicated to our hobby and often have politics that are not bound by corporate lawyers. They deserve our spport.

June 26, 2006, 11:03 PM
I live in San Francisco so you better believe I support my local shop...the nearest in in Pacifica, about 5 mi. out of the city-
Good shop, good people. They deserve my support, and so they get it!


June 26, 2006, 11:05 PM
I've never so much as bought ammo from the big boys. The local FFLs eat, sleep, and breathe guns. Cabelas can stop selling guns and stay alive. The mom and pop places are dedicated to our hobby and often have politics that are not bound by corporate lawyers. They deserve our spport.
Well said.

The one chain store in my area, Sporsman's Warehouse, doesn't deal in used guns. Sometimes you get something you don't like and wanna trade. Sometimes you want an old pre-lock S&W wheelgun, etc. If it wasn't for the locally owned guys I wouldn't own most of what I have now.

June 26, 2006, 11:06 PM
I hear ya fedlaw. We live a bit north of there and buy all our hardware from Smoke'n Gun up in Waukegan. Often the prices are a bit lower at Outdoor World in Gurnee but we like to toss our money to a family-owned operation.

June 26, 2006, 11:11 PM
I just bought myself a Galco Cop Slide from Smoke 'N Gun last week. It seems like a nice shop.

On the south side, there aren't any single decent gun shops. Because of that, I end up buying my firearms online. My FFL is great, $20 per gun and he's very quick in having stuff picked up. In fact, he prefers it picked up the next day. :D

June 26, 2006, 11:12 PM
No. I don't. I have and still do buy things at the local shop, but mostly because its on the way to work/range and the cheaper prices at the uber store won't really offset the extra gas.

I'd really like to say there was a shop in my area that was worth paying the extra buck, but all the ones I've been to have a majority of people who don't know what they are talking about, and refuse to do things to help out gun owners such as do transfers for under 75, or at all for that matter.

June 26, 2006, 11:17 PM
Every chance I get! :)

Stainless Chili
June 26, 2006, 11:23 PM
I usually see a box of ammo I need at any small gunshop I visit; it is the price I pay for conversation and seeing what is new. Sometimes the deal is so good, I get a couple boxes.

There is always the chance a used gun is priced right, and I'm a buyer.

I was recently lost, near Strausburg, PA, and came across a small shop; the guy specialized in BP recreations; sure enough, he had ammo I needed, at a fair price, and I bought a box.

The map and ammo I bought might seem minor, but they were sales; he made a dollar or three, and I found my way to go. Win-win.

Steve in PA
June 26, 2006, 11:24 PM
I don't buy any of my guns from the "big" stores. There is one local gun store here in W-B and another in Scranton that gets my business.

June 26, 2006, 11:27 PM
I prefer to gun shop in home owned gun stores. I do expect to be treated fairly and courteously though. I will not endure bad treatment to support any business.

June 26, 2006, 11:43 PM
I support my local "mom and pop" store but only on guns.

Reason: They are marked up on guns about 30%. I understand overhead, heating, a/c, etc.. So the mark up isn't really an issue even through I could get cheaper.

I can't support on ammo, access., etc.. The markup is just too high. I just ordered bulk ammo, .223, .45 and 7.62. The total cost, with shipping, was around the $400 mark.

If I were to buy it at the mom and pop store, it would have been double that amount.

Some goes for holsters, speed loaders, and parts.

Now, if I "need it now" I will go to the locals but the seldom happens. I know what I need/want and then order it ahead of time.

Not to be a capitalist pig, but, I go where the deal is better but I will throw a bone, sort of speak, when I can.

June 27, 2006, 12:19 AM
my local gun shop is a family business. They have been very good to me and I support them with my patronage. If I was richer I would do more for them.
Their great lay away policy has made life very interesting.Simmons sporting goods is located in Bessemer,Alabama just a few miles out from Birmingham. If you stop by, it will be time well spent.

Lurikeen pew pew
June 27, 2006, 01:14 AM
My local gun shop is decent. They are fighting against the internet
hehe business wise though. They are not too far from work so I can
buy things if need be. Like if I need bullets NOW :cuss:

I would prefer to shop on the net though because the prices are way
cheaper. The store is also very $ driven. They charge about 1/3 more
than most places but theres not many gun stores in the los angeles area.
They wanted to charge me $80 for a FFL transfer plus DROS yikes.

Nice atmosphere in the store that you cant get off the net though.

evan price
June 27, 2006, 01:39 AM
Locals usually have the best deals on trade in guns & stuff; there is a big local that is actually in three locations (Vances Shooters' Supply & Buckeye Outdoor) that consistently has great prices on new guns and sometimes on used guns and right now they have 9mm CCI brass or .22LR CCI bricks for the same price as WWB at wallyworld.
However I buy ammo in bulk from whoever has the best total cash deal. If I am in a place where I get 9mm for $10/100'ish I buy a couple boxes, be it wallyworld or any gun shop. I have bought ammo at Wallyworld at o'dark:thirty in preperation for going out shooting when I forgot the day before and that kind of convenience is just not there at the gun shops (closed Sunday & Monday, open at 10 am otherwise).
I run around periodically and check out the small shops and pawnshops when I am in the market for used stuff. The big stores don't sell guns for the kind of money I want to spend.

June 27, 2006, 02:16 AM
sfhogman -- I live in Burlingame, and I go to City Arms at least twice a month to say hello, chat a bit, and maybe buy some .22LR (CCI Standard Velocity, mostly). They're well worth the extra drive (two other shops are closer, but not nearly as nice).

They're nice folks, have reasonable prices on guns, great prices on powder/primers, are willing to order anything legal in the state, and have some ammo I can't seem to find elsewhere for a reasonable price (Korean PS-headstamped .30-06 M2 Ball).

For stuff they don't carry, I'll get it online (saves me gas, time, and money). I'll also get my bulk ammo purchases online as well. For onesies-and-twosies, I'll buy it at the shop, but it's simply not economical to buy much more than guns and the occasional box of ammo there.

That said, they're the most friendly gun shop owners I've ever been too. I'm almost sorry to be moving to Arizona, as I won't be able to support them anymore. Almost. :neener:

June 27, 2006, 02:48 AM
The smaller shops simply cost too much here.
I usually get guns when they go on sale at Turners (Outdoors chain).

For example, my XD-9 cost $460 at Turners.. The smaller shops charge well over $500 for the same gun!

June 27, 2006, 05:43 AM
The mom and pop stores near me are pathetic. No selection, rude condescending owners, high prices and ill-kept stores.

There are good shops, but the small-timers are small timers for a reason.

June 27, 2006, 06:22 AM
I will not give a single penny, to help support the corporate big boy's.
The local gunshop's get all my business.

June 27, 2006, 06:42 AM
Funny that this just came up as we we Marylanders were discussin this in another forum recently because the Bass Pro near us has finally decided to start stocking actual handguns.

I stopped by with Spot77 the other day since I hadn't been to see the new display and I was pleasantly surprised to see a nice selection of calibers, brands and actions.

I was further surprised by the fair prices.

I was blown away by the nice man at the counter who actually seemed like he gave a darn that I was there and, when asked about special orders, said that if it was available from a distributor he would do everything in his power to get it for me.

I've been as big a supporter of the small shops here as anyone (in fact I've never bought a gun from a box store) but the service and the prices here in MD have gotten to the point where I hate to go into a gun store.

I can understand that the small shops need a higher margin per gun to stay in business but when it's the difference between $545 and $675 on the same gun I feel as if I'm being treated like I'm too stupid to know that I'm being ripped off. Furthermore, I'm tired of this attitude that it's too much trouble to order what I want when I'm getting ready to hand over a stack of hundred dollar bills for a potential purchase.

BassPro will probably get my next sale.

June 27, 2006, 07:29 AM
Yep. I support them as much as possible. There is one about 2 miles from my house. I purchased my first long gun there and several of my pistols and ammo from them. I usually purchase outwear there as well. I'll admit the selection is hit and miss, but I usually go to the larger store to check things out then order through the local guy.

1 old 0311
June 27, 2006, 07:39 AM
I pass a big chain store to get to a Mom and Pop's. The big guy is in it as a business, the small guy is like us. He is in it for the love of the sport.


June 27, 2006, 07:59 AM
Yes, and no. We are fortunate to have several "small" gunshops in the area, that are well run, have good service (including gunsmithing), and fairly reasonable prices. But not necessarilly all at the same place! And none are very close to me (at least 1/2 hour drive). So I buy alot of small stuff (small amts. of ammo, cleaning supplies and such at Gander Mountain, which is right down the road (<5 min.). And we have a good gun show here, every 3 months, so I often stock up on ammo there (prices better than internet, once you figure shipping). But if I'm looking for a gun, especially if I might find a used one, I go to the "little guys" (although I'll browse Gander Mountain, too, but I've never bought a gun there) And if I'm in the neighborhood, I'll stop in, a talk a bit (known some of these guys for a long time), and if I need a few things, I will buy them then. And of course "browse" through the guns they have. And I have bought a few things online (a scope or 2), mainly because I couldn't find what I wanted locally.

So, I buy from almost any source, but do try to give the little guys at least some of my money!

June 27, 2006, 08:39 AM
The mom and pop stores near me are pathetic. No selection, rude condescending owners, high prices and ill-kept stores.+1. I've been ripped off by small shops, and have been treated courteously and have gotten good deals from large chains, notably Sportsman's Warehouse.

A store that earns my loyalty through courtesy, service, and pricing will benefit from my money; a store that earns my enmity by dishonesty, double dealing, and unethical behavior will most assuredly not benefit from my money.

And I don't care which store is small and which is large.

June 27, 2006, 09:01 AM
In general, I support good stores and avoid bad ones. But I also give smaller shops more of a break, since I want them to succeed.

I also make a point to support the larger chain sporting good stores that still provide decent firearms-related stuff; Academy leaps to mind as a good example. In this day-n-age of the big sporting goods stores marginalizing the shooting sports sections or removing them altogether (look to Dicks and Sports Authority as examples of that behavior), I think that it's important to reward those who'll keep firearms stuff visible and well stocked.

June 27, 2006, 09:10 AM
I try to, but there's a limit to my loyalty to the local guys.

I have a small shop close by, and they are very nice folks, but their
pricing reflects their dealer discounts as a shop that doesn't stock
much. I've purchased two pistols there, but I may order online and
do a transfer if I'm looking for something from a brand for which
they can't compete.

June 27, 2006, 09:30 AM
I would love to support mom and pop shops if there were any in my area. Well, there's one and if they have it I'll get it. I've supported local owners anywhere I live. The single biggest thing I like about the local shops is that you usually have some expertise there as opposed to the big box shops. They usually have some high school kid who doesn't know squat.

June 27, 2006, 09:41 AM
I have bought one gun at a "Big Box" store in the past several years. I have picked up probably a dozen at one or the other of several small privately owned stores. Yes, sometimes I pay more, but to me, its important to keep these little guys in business. There is pretty much zero after the sale help at Wally World or Dicks.

June 27, 2006, 09:57 AM
I support local gun shops, just like small local motorcycle and bicycle shops, for one simple reason. I have had small business owners stay late, come in early, or go out of his or her way to help me just because they know who I am. I may pay a little extra but the internet and large chain stores have never done anything like open up a shop in central Oregon, at noon on Sunday, to weld up a broken exhaust and bracket for me because the owner of the shop was in a restaurant with his wife and heard me asking about finding an auto repair shop or local welder.

June 27, 2006, 10:52 AM
I literally live within a minute of a gun shop. I thought that I should go in a check it out to support the little guy. I went in with my wife. That is usually my litmus test.

After SEVEAL attempts to go inside during business hours (at least according to the sign on the door), I managed to be in the right place at the right time. The OPEN sign was lit (not an unusual occurrence) and there were people inside (Very unusual occurrence). I was buzzed in and found that the attendant had an amazing ability, he could both watch me carefully while ignoring the hell out of me. AMAZING!

They were rude, condescending, and seemed generally distressed that I invaded the "enclaveís" special area. The place was a mess. Faded pictures of half naked silicone "enhanced" mall ninja fantasies hung on the walls. There was not so much dust on the shelves but shelves under the dust. I think they thought I was one of "Them" trying to put a tracking device so the black helicopters could see inside better.

The prices were terrible on what few guns they had. I figured I'd by some ammo. NOPE. It was like being the in the Monty Python Cheese Shop sketch. Silver tip, Corbon, Remington, Golden Saber? ... WWB? NOTHING. I could see a row of ammo on the back shelf that had a layer of dust and grime that had past patina in a sprint and was well on its way to Level IIIA Armor.

Another Gun shop, farther away. I describe my needs and desires for a revolver to the guy and he proceeds to tell me I'm a moron for wanting a revolver to fit my hand. Apparently, I donít need a gun to fit my hand to fire it properly in the dead of night when I'm blurry eyed. That I should just get over all that BS about a gun fitting properly and deal with it.

Slightly larger "chain" but still a local store. I (with wife in tow) ask to see a used 4" .357. I point to the gun in question. I call out the name and Model # of the gun. A "gentleman" with a 3 pack a day - was around way back when to say, "Dirt, what a great name for it" voice said, "You need a gun for the little lady. These are great guns for the gals." And proceeds to pick up a small S&W ultra light snubby with a CT grip and shines the laser at the ceiling and says, "See it even had a neat little light so the little lady doesn't have to aim."

I did not need to look up to feel the WRATH welling up somewhere beside me. "I hate that gun. I've fired that gun. It sucks. I'll keep my Glock 19 with night sights, Thank you." We left to get her some coffee.

Now contrast that with a trip I took to Austin, TX where the have a Sportsmanís Warehouse. It was PAINFULLY obvious that a friend and I were just killin' time. We had some stuff under our arms but we were NOT serious firearms buyers that day. The rifle and handgun counter guys were nice, polite, and shot the poo with us for about 30 minutes bringing out and letting us paw dozens of guns, shotguns, and rifles.

Also, I submit my experience at Gun shows. I've had a few "Little lady" types attack us, but the knowledge that I can go 2 booths over and get the same thing keeps the conversations mostly above board. Some crappy stuff to be sure, but much better selections and the people HAVE to be nicer for the most part.

All in all I would LOVE to find a local Gun Shop that I could support. But NONE (so far) have made the effort to make me want to.

Brian Williams
June 27, 2006, 10:52 AM
Yep, Trops and Backwoods Outfitters are two of my favorites.

June 27, 2006, 11:13 AM
I certainly do. However there are so few around anymore. My favorite is a little gun shop on 3/22 North of Morrow near Clarksville Ohio called WB Hickok run by a friend named Marty DuKorn. He has good prices and great service. He won't dicker on the prices as he starts low to begin with. He is glad to handle transfers and keeps the shop well stocked. I give him two thumbs up.:D

Shooter supply in Springboro is not too bad. I find if you talk to Ralph he can be persuaded to lower the prices a bit. But he is so high to begin with. Right now he has some interesting guns from an estate.

There is also a new shop in Bellbrook Ohio. His rifle prices were way too high, but he was not too bad on pistols. Go figure. :cool:

There is a little shop in Xenia Ohio too....I think it is called the X-ring. They were stocked fairly well but the prices were high retail....used stuff is also over priced. I have not tried to dicker with them. So they may be open to offers...

Considering how Walmart intends to get out of the gun biz in the near future it is important we patronize the little shops and keep these folks afloat. Or when the biggest retailer of guns stops we are going to find it slim pickings for some time.....maybe even lose some more makers.:eek:

June 27, 2006, 11:18 AM
I do.

There's an outfit not far from where I work that's owned by the husband of a business manager who used to work for us. His prices are halfway decent, especially on actual guns. His ammo is higher than Wal Mart but cheaper than Targetmaster and way closer anyway. Sometimes it's nice just to be able to go in there and know people who know what they're talking about and won't give you the jerkaround. When I buy anything but bulk plinking ammo that's where I go.

June 27, 2006, 02:21 PM
I got my gun at a small shop for a great price, and now I shoot at the local range/shop which is also a mom and pop place. They are friendly and do their best to have a quality shop and service. I signed up for their yearly range membership and am very pleased with their facility. Before I found them, I bought a little bit of Ammo at Walmart and felt kind of bad about that.

I typically am the kind to buy online and get the best price, but for guns I just feel better supporting the independent shop.

June 27, 2006, 02:38 PM
Even if it means paying 4 dollars more for a lb of HP38 or some federal primes. I have bought all my guns at my local gun shop/range, besides one Tracker which i bought at the gun show.

June 27, 2006, 02:46 PM
I'm loyal to the shop that treats me right, size notwithstanding.

frank c
June 27, 2006, 03:13 PM
I have been useing my local gunshop for the last 25 years,they opened in 1949 and have a great gunsmith who has been there since 1966.I still like going to cabelas and seeing the same gun for sale at usually $75 bucks higher than my local gunshop has it.coobie:what:

June 27, 2006, 03:13 PM
I do 90% of my business at a small dealer that has a shop in his basement. I also drive 1 hour (1 way) to get their. I get good deals, good service, and he is a good friend of mine.

June 27, 2006, 03:49 PM
I always prefer small gun shops, given the alternative.

I probably buy 60+% of what I need at "Rinks" in Lockport, out on Archer Avenue.

I can drive there at lunch, spend way too much money, and still get back to work in time.

Lynn and Ed work the store during the day and are great at finding what you are looking for. They ordered a Baikal Coach Gun for me and they found 2 of the 45-70 barrel inserts that Baikal had available to turn it into a double rifle.

Last week she was also able to find a Auto-Ord M1 Carbine that didn't cost my first born. I tried five of the big stores and a couple of online sources with no luck. It took them a couple of weeks but they found one for me.

I also use "The Gunshop", on route 30 in Plainfield just North of I-55. It's right down the road from Mega Sports shooting but a whole lot friendlier and with better prices on pretty much everything. Mega is huge and has a better selection and a lot more stuff in general. They are within a mile of each other.

Now there's also a Gander Mountain on the other side of I-55 too. A lot of shotties and hunting gear, a decent selection of handguns but very pricey and not much gun knowledge!

We had a few gun shops down here (South Side) that had an attitude problem but the free enterprise and natural selection process being what it is, they are gone.

My favorite was the guy who told me that if I asked him to order a stripped Bushie lower for an AR I was building, he'd have to "report me to the police for even asking, since they were illegal".

June 27, 2006, 03:51 PM
I do most of my business at Gunmaster in Plano, Texas. Even at their busiest, they have been polite and as attentive as possible.

June 27, 2006, 03:56 PM
I do most of my business at Gunmaster in Plano, Texas. Even at their busiest, they have been polite and as attentive as possible.Ah, my favorite place In All The World <tm>.

June 27, 2006, 03:59 PM
I try to support my local FFL, but sometimes the prices are too much. I'm particularly frustrated that the closest FFL (folks I like very much) charge a $25 service fee to ship a firearm. I understand the transfer fee on the receiving end, since there is paperwork involved. But the transfer fee on the shipping end seems to be gouging. But I do stop in pretty regularly to see what they have on the used shelf.

I buy hunting ammo from them. All other ammo in bulk either from a local remanufacturer or via the net..

June 27, 2006, 05:13 PM
All but one of my 30+ firearms have from local stores or from private sales. I guess I'm lucky to have two 'small' stores close by that stock 3-4 times the number of guns each than the only 'big' store around. Their prices aren't any higher either.

June 27, 2006, 05:25 PM
I guess I'm lucky to have two 'small' stores close by that stock 3-4 times the number of guns each than the only 'big' store around.

You know. That is going on my list of things to look for when I actually pull the trigger and buy a house.

Good Church, Good neighborhood, Good Food, Good Gun Store. My wife loves guns... but I don't think I can get it any higher than #4.

June 27, 2006, 05:51 PM
I prefer the local gun stores. I'm not above buying ammo online from Ammoman or Natchez, but if the local shop has what I need and is close on price, I just buy it. I won't consider WalMart.

Ala Dan
June 27, 2006, 06:07 PM
Many thanks for starting this thread~!:cool:

I not only support my local "mom and pop" gun shop; I work in one myself.:D

Simmons Sporting Goods in Bessemer, AL

June 27, 2006, 06:15 PM
I buy from a small, local gun store every chance I get. I try to buy a little something every time I go in, whether it's ammo or something out of the "bargain bin".


June 27, 2006, 06:18 PM
It depends on the business. I hate the big box stores since they, by and large, have certified morons working at them. Most have almost no product knowledge and the seem to be inclined to be selling volleyballs or tent stakes instead of guns.

I will try to support the small gun shop if I can. However, the reason I say it depends on the business, is because some of these small gun shops have individuals with a less than friendly demeanor owning or working there. At a lot of the shops they have rather condesending snobs who treat you poorly if you're not part of thier inner circle.

So if the shop is owned run by friendly folk who know how to make all
types of customers feel wanted and appreciated I'll patronize them even if their prices are higher. I would rather support these people instead of the big box stores. To me its worth it.

June 27, 2006, 10:44 PM
arthurcw, is you aren't - you should consider writing as a prefession. What an interesting, though distressing piece, to read. Thanks to you, an ALL, for the contributions.

June 27, 2006, 10:50 PM
My local walmart has a fabulous woman manning the counter. Knowledgeable, courteous and efficient.

My closest gunshop has thwarted each attempt to shop there. I am simply not paying more to be treated like a moron.

My gunshop of choice is Bear Arms in Scottsdale. Decently close, nice guys and they treat me right.

June 28, 2006, 01:25 PM
Yes. I bought an XD9 from Degoff's in Mechanicsville, VA, this morning. They have a very friendly staff and had the XD at a slightly lower price than the local big box gun store. They don't have a huge selection, but they'll special order for you or accept FFL transfers from other dealers.

June 28, 2006, 01:48 PM
High Country Guns and Knives
Bill's Trading Post
The American Gun Shop
J&G Sales

I hardly ever deal with Walmart for ammo and never for guns.
I had no idea gun shop were so few and far between in other areas.

June 28, 2006, 04:08 PM
Depends I guess. The local Gander Mountain, and Wal-Mart are local stores to me. They're just down the street here, the employee's live around here. They pay taxes here.

I've bought guns from both of them, as well as three or four "mom & pop" operations. The above mentioned Degoff's in Mechanicsville, Greentops in Ashland, and Clark Brothers Guns in Opal. It just depends on what I'm looking for and where I find it.

June 28, 2006, 04:41 PM
Other than private trades, and one gun I bought at Wal-Mart when I was 18, I have bought all my guns at private shops. I'va had the opinion that the small mom & pop gunshop is what really caters to the true gunnie.

True story. I was in a Kansas City gunshop named Denny's Guns in downtown North Kansas City. Guy walks in, says, "I'm looking for a Remington 870. He lays out what he's lookin' for in terms of extras, and points out to the shop owner, I can get the same thing for about $75 less at Wal-Mart."

I opined," Yeah, but you can't get custom work at Wal-Mart. You can't buy AR-15s, or milsurp rifles, or virtually any pistols, AKs, SKSs. You also don't have a quality gunsmith on staff at any of those places."

"Yeah, but I can get a better deal."

"Well, you can get a better deal on Remington 870s, but you can't on any of the other stuff I mentioned. The folks here have to feed their families, dude."

The man, somewhat ticked off, stormed out of the place, and I thought Oh sh*t, they're gonna be mad at me.

Instead, one of the employees says, "Tell the owner, this guy should get $20 off any gun he wants here." Then, he says, "Thanks for defending us. Did my job for me."

That gun store bought a return customer (and by extension, my girlfriend, who buys most of her accessories there, where they really make the money), who will probably be dropping about $1000-$1,500 a year into the place. I'd like to see Cabelas or Wally World do that!

Past the cheap Winchester blaster ammo, I see no good reason to frequent either place for guns.

Andrew S
June 28, 2006, 04:54 PM
The small shop I support is only open Tues-Fri and they have weird hours. They have some good prices though so its worth working with their funky schedule.

June 28, 2006, 05:32 PM
I almost exclusively buy from local stores. The service is ten times better, they are usually more knowledgable, and they tend to try harder to make you happy.

June 28, 2006, 05:47 PM
I live in the Bay Area(San Jose) and I agree with Swingset...

"The mom and pop stores near me are pathetic. No selection, rude condescending owners, high prices and ill-kept stores.

There are good shops, but the small-timers are small timers for a reason."

CSA 357
June 28, 2006, 05:59 PM
i can tell pretty fast if i can deal with a guy or not in the small shops, there is one shop in cullman al. that i would drive 3 hrs to keep from going in, one of them know it all types , has some nice guns but priced way too high , but 30 min the other way there is a little shop that i stop in every time i go by, and thats where i spend my $ they are nice to me and treat me like a friend , just any one cant run a gun shop, you have to know guns and how to treat people, like one place i put a gun on lay away, came back to pick it up and they had sold it! then tryed to get me to take somthing else, the bad ones will weed there self out and the good ones will still be there!*csa*

American By Blood
June 28, 2006, 10:42 PM
My gunshop of choice is Bear Arms in Scottsdale. Decently close, nice guys and they treat me right.


Bear Arms is great. Everyone who works there is nice, knowledgeable, and genuinely excited about the products they sell. As a plus, they have integrity. They do their level best not to stock items they wouldn't use. That shop is high on the list of reasons why I'm not terribly excited about finally becoming an official Maryland resident.

The place is like the movie "High Fidelity," but replace John Cusak with a guy who's mildly obsessed with the French Foreign Legion and the records with EBRs.

I have nothing but good things to say about Bear Arms.

June 28, 2006, 10:59 PM
ammo and compenents i get from specific shops. there is one i am going to this week that is not a chain, but is a solid hour and fifteen minute drive. guns are always from the smaller vendors. there are 2 that i use regularly, and will continue to use untill they no longer have their respective businesses.

June 28, 2006, 11:01 PM
OH yeah...! I'll drive a little farther and pay a little more to support the ma' and pa' stores. I may fondle the merchandise displayed on the wall of the sporting goods store to make a decision, but I always support the family shops.

June 29, 2006, 12:26 AM
arthurcw, is you aren't - you should consider writing as a prefession. What an interesting, though distressing piece, to read. Thanks to you, an ALL, for the contributions.


Actually I donít get to type much. The nurses volunteer to transcribe my words. The Doctors wonít let them loosen the restraints because, ďWe donít want another incident like last time, now do we Arthur?Ē Anyway... I have to go. Itís lime Jello night and if Iím good, donít fight my meds, and behave in ďgroupĒ they give me seconds.

June 29, 2006, 02:17 AM
Where I am in North Carolina apart from really overpriced pawn shops we have about 1 decent gunstore within 2 hours that isn't a Gander Mountain. Its quite sad. We only had the Gander Mountain for a week and a half so its got very few things I'm interested in. The other place we have is a walmart that makes me cry that we don't even have any local stores to support and only one gun range really in range. Luckly I have a massive gully on the back of the property that gives good stopage.

pete f
June 29, 2006, 03:34 AM
If i go inside I buy something. this applies to all shops but one, I have gone in a couple of times but the SOB is so rude and pig headed that I just do not go there anymore. I have no idea how he stays in business. I live only a few blocks from his store and I never see cars parked there. I had a personal rule about buying something no matter what, but after being told I was wasting his time by asking was calibers the rifle were on the wall behind the counter, I decided to just go.

June 29, 2006, 08:08 AM
Yes, I have bought about 1/2 my guns from small shops. Some have good deals on ammo or I get the "Hi Srigs" discount because we are on a first name basis. :)

June 29, 2006, 08:51 AM
Does working at one count? ;) I tend to buy a few guns there, too.:o

June 29, 2006, 01:29 PM
I generally support the local shops, I have bought most of mine from them. However, there are some in my area that seem to be somewhat less than honest.

Example: My SKS came without a gas piston. In the store I should have, but didnt bother to take off the gas tube when inspecting the rifle. Not a huge deal, but I called the owner when I got home and realized this. He basically told me to take it to his friends shop across my expense.

Same store, asked about 7.62x39 ammo, the guy said it would be months before anyone in the area had wolf. Five minutes later found some at gander mountain. Me and a friend bought 1 of 4 cases. The next day we told the gun store owner that gander mountain had wolf and it was on sale for 2.50 a box. The day after that we decided to buy more wolf, but gander mountain was out. The guy at the small store and recieved a mysterious shipment of wolf, and was selling for 3.50 a box.

Mr Mario
June 29, 2006, 01:47 PM
I shop at Dunns in Marion IL. it is about 15 miles from me, thay carry my powder and primers and newer guns no mill serplus more of a hunting store than a gun shop. The rest of my stuff I have to get from Midway USA or Graff and Sons. In the past years 4 mom and pop joints have closed in the area.:( :( :( :( :( :(

June 29, 2006, 08:50 PM
Usually I believe in supporting the local small owner over the soul-less corporation every time.

However, I did visit a small owner recently and had a bad experience there. I'm new to the area and new to shooting as well, so I felt a little intimidated going in there in the first place, but I needed to buy a safe and was looking to buy my first rifle too, and had a ton of questions to ask first.

When I walked through the doors I saw that it was all the local guys in there hanging around jawing with each other and the store owner. Everyone stopped talking and stared at me. I felt thoroughly awkward as I wandered around looking at safes, ammo and stuff with these guys eyeballing me the whole time. The shop-keep never said a word to me.

Finally I went up to the counter and asked a couple of newbie questions and asked to see a .22 bolt action rifle, which he handed to me. Some of the guys nudged each other when I asked him to show me where the safety was and how to work the action.

Finally I thanked him and left. As I walked out the door I heard them burst out laughing. :(

On the way home I stopped at Dick's Sporting Goods. There was an older gentleman behind the counter who was just awesome. He answered all my stupid questions in a way that didn't make me feel like a total loser and showed me practically every rifle on the racks. I think he was more excited about my desire to buy my first rifle than I was! :p

Then he opened every safe and gave me a run-down on the pros and cons of each. He spent over an hour with me doing this.

I forked over several hundred dollars and bought a safe from him before I left the store that night.

I know usually it's the other way around when it comes to gun stores, but this time the Big Guy won out over the little store hands down, primarily due to this salesman who truly understood customer service and the need to expand the average person's interest in firearms.

Sorry for rambling, but that whole experience has been bothering me for a while now and had to get it off my chest. :o

June 29, 2006, 09:30 PM
crazed ss is right about Mom&Pop prices...the bigger stores have better deals. What sucks is the customer service at both venues. You either get a counter queen with a superior attitude, or a pinhead with no firearms knowledge. I can deal with pinheads...but the counter queens loose my business real quick.

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