Gun shops in the SF Bay area


August 29, 2006, 06:34 PM
A friend of mine in Berkeley CA is interested in getting a home defense shotgun. She said to me that she now realizes ... "no one is coming to help". I think the Katrina thing last year got her thinking along those lines.
I have pointed her to the Rem 870 or Mossy 500 as more or less the gold standard. She would like to buy used.
Could anyone recommend a shop in the bay area that is friendly toward someone with no prior firearms experience? I am also suggesting that she find some some competent training to include the legal aspects. She works out in Dublin so that area would be appropriate as well.

Thanks in advance.

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August 29, 2006, 06:40 PM
Why don't you go to Big 5 and get a Mossburg Security 12 GA. for $239. new. On sale this week.

August 29, 2006, 07:44 PM
Or a new maverick for around $175.


August 29, 2006, 07:57 PM
NOT Big 5 for the novice. She'll get all manner of different (possibly erroneous) information from Big 5 stores. I have and will probably again purchase from several of them, but caveat emptor!

I would also shy away from Traders in San Leandro, because I've heard of their reputation for selling to potential criminals, and for the case that was brought against them by ATF for failing to keep good records. Before anyone pipes up about JBT's, just be aware that sending a new potential gun owner in that direction might be bad.

If she's willing to make a trip, I'd recommend Reed's in San Jose (Alum Rock at White). They're really good about helping people out who need it (I could give several stories from my friends and co-workers alone). They also have a range in Santa Clara where she could try out handguns and shotguns and get a small discount on one she likes.

Sportsmen's Supply in Campbell is good, but their workers are less professional than Reed's. Some of them will talk down to a new shooter to impress them with their "superior" knowledge, but most are down to earth.

I also like Kerley's in Cupertino, but not sure that they sell many self-defense shotguns (they're mostly hunting supply).

I would stay away from The Gun Exchange because I've been treated very poorly, as have a few friends, in the past. I just feel that my hard-earned money is better spent at a place that recognizes that I'm granting them the privilege of selling to me, not acting like I'm bothering them.

Tell her to find out what she wants and then check and find it through them. Then she won't have to go "shopping" at different places. I bought a gun from Kerley's this way and they were super professional about the transfer and everything.

All these places are in the South Bay, though, so maybe someone has some better experiences with East Bay locations.

Good luck!

Old Fud
August 29, 2006, 09:37 PM
This is a commonly asked question on You may want to go there and search around a bit.

My 2 cents is:

Traders is no longer selling guns.
I'm not very fond of the dealers in Castro Valley or Dublin -- that's just me.
Agree that Reeds has a nice store with a good rep -- either Milpitas or Mountain View.

I KNOW she will be treated properly at Irvington Arms (40927 Grimmer Blvd in Fremont -- across from what used to be Tri-City sporting goods.)
Martin has an outstanding rep for doing right by people -- my experience as a customer merely re-inforces that rep. I'd suggest calling ahead and making an arrangement with him to meet.
(510) 226-7910 Tu thru Sat, hours are something like 11AM thru 7 PM, but check.

Then ignore the shabby facilities. They only prove he's not making big profits off your business.
The dog is friendly. The "lumps" are harmless at least and even nice people to know if you give them a chance.


Jeff F
August 29, 2006, 09:38 PM
Don't go to Traders in San Leandro with out calling them first. I think the ATF shut them down a few months back. I haven't herd if they are still selling firearms.

August 29, 2006, 09:41 PM
What's the gunstore that Jamie and Adam always use on Mythbusters when they need a gun?

50 Freak
August 29, 2006, 10:23 PM
Imbert and Smithers on the pennisula (San Mateo I think).

August 29, 2006, 11:05 PM
Has anyone ever dealt with American Outdoors Sports Supply (

Richard has a small shop, but he seems to me to be a decent guy, at least on the phone.

August 30, 2006, 12:10 AM
There is a excellent shop in Vacaville call Guns and Gear. This location has an indoor range and everything for hunting and fishing. It is located off Hy 80 at Alamo Drive.

August 30, 2006, 01:09 AM
Here ya go....
This is one really excellent gunshop.


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