Visited Gander Mountain Today...


Ohio Rifleman
October 29, 2006, 11:03 PM
I didn't buy anything, as I am a poor college student, But I did get to handle some firearms that I hadn't handled before. I handled several revolvers, and I must say, I am absolutely in love with revolvers. They just fit my hands perfectly. Single action, double action, didn't matter. They all just fit me better than any semi-auto I've handled. So, when I get some money, I'm definitely getting me a revolver in .357 I'm having trouble deciding though. These are all Rugers, because I like Ruger. They have good guns at decent prices.

GP-100 Stainless 6" barrel-$519
Vaquero-5.5" barrel-$499

I'm trying to stay away from the .44 magnum, but I found another one I liked in that caliber:

Blackhawk-6.5" barrel-50th anniversary edition-$499

These are all roughly the same price, though there's another gun shop around where I can get these between $20-$40 cheaper. Suggestions? Like I said, I'm poor, so I won't have the money for a looooong while.

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October 29, 2006, 11:15 PM
If you're poor, I'd definitely go .357 over .44Mag.

You can buy .38 Spl ammo for about 19c a shot, 44 Mag is what, twice that?

Is this for self-defense? If it's not, do you already have a .22 revolver? Tons of fun for 2c a shot.

If for defense: you can save a ton of money buying used. You can get a used S&W Model 10 online for $160 or so (from Vivas and Sons: ), add $20 for shipping, $15-25 for FFL transfer.

You can also find good deals on the Ruger Six series (Police, Speed, Security models) in .357. I have one for sale cheap if you're interested.

If you want a cowboy revolver, Ruger seems a really good bet, though the Taurus Gaucho is about $100 cheaper. The $499 at Gander seems about par, or a tiny bit high maybe. I'd imagine you'd be happier with the new frame size, the (old) New Model Blackhawk .357 is really overbuilt on that .44 frame.

If you watch GunBroker, you can also buy a Ruger Anniversary Blackhawk (same size as the New Vaquero or Colt SAA, Ruger .357 small-frame) for $400 or so. That's if you like adjustable sights.

Just a few options to toss out. Drop me a line if you want a Ruger Security Six .357 cheap. Let us know what you end up getting in any case,


Chuck Perry
October 29, 2006, 11:52 PM
Buy used! You'll easily save $100 I bet. There are tons of quality used 357 double actions out there. Make sure the Ruger is the one and go hunting. They turn up fairly frequently on the board here around $350 or so for stainless.

October 30, 2006, 12:25 AM
for a new New Vaquero let me tell that here in Iowa one gunshow dealer who is also a full time gun dealer sells their New Vaq in stainless for $409. In Iowa one would have to pay 5% sales tax so add about $21 to that. My point, look around in your state and you may find a better price than Gander Mountain. Also, like another posting says, check for a nice used gun. There are many around.

Ohio Rifleman
October 30, 2006, 02:07 PM
I don't already have a .22 revolver, but have fired a Ruger P-series 9mm. I'm also looking for a revolver mostly for paper punching, and home defense is secondary. (If I was looking for strictly HD, I wouldn't bother with handguns. I'd be going straight for the shotguns anyway.) I'm 19, so CCW is out of the question. I kind of want to stay away from a 22 revolver because I'd like something I can "grow into" and sort of watch my skills develop. Start out with light .38 loads, then as I get better and better, move gradually larger loads of .38 and 357.

My father is advising me against buying used, so if something goes wrong, I have some recourse. If/when I do purchase a revolver, it likely won't be from Gander Mountain, but from that other gun shop with the lower prices. I appreciate the offers, but like I said, I won't have the money for anything for a long, long time.

October 30, 2006, 02:34 PM
Buy used! You'll easily save $100 I bet. There are tons of quality used 357 double actions out there.
And just as many single action revolvers.

October 30, 2006, 03:46 PM
My father is advising me against buying used, so if something goes wrong, I have some recourse.

I don't know about Smith or Colt, but Ruger will fix basically anything.

If it's Ruger's fault, many folks have gotten things fixed for free.

If it's operator error, Ruger fixes gear for cheap. Here's THR member Desertscout's story about his Ruger MkII:

That would be around 468,000 rounds and that's probably not far from being accurate. The gun still shot fine but the trigger was getting a little iffy and the bolt wouldn't stay locked back. I sent it back to Ruger and they went though it and replaced pretty much everything in it. I also had it re-blued and had them install a target trigger in it. The total for everything was around $45 + shipping IIRC.

I wouldn't shy away from used at all. Just make sure you buy from a company who stands behind their product. DO NOT trust the gunshop to do anything to "fix" your gun. The best they can do is give your money back, or tell you to send it back to the manufacturer.

I only buy new guns when the model I want is unobtainable on the used market, and I think there are plenty of THR folks who do the same. Almost always cheaper, and a lot of stuff was made better 20 years ago than it is now, and many good items have been discontinued.


October 30, 2006, 04:47 PM
I am a semi-auto guy. All my guns are semi-auto. But, I did look at revolvers earlier this year, and thought about getting one. If I ever do get one, I'd get a GP 100 stainless 4" version. It does look kinda sweet, and I did some research on it. Great gun.

That being said - I occassionally look at the Gander Mountain store in Houston, just to browse - would never buy a gun there, however. They are $50-$100 more on every handgun. U can find a better deal.

For your first handgun, I would not buy used.

October 30, 2006, 06:21 PM
For your first handgun, I would not buy used.

@ Shipwreck: why so? Not trying to be snarky, I honestly don't see the advantage.

New: if you get a lemon, you send it to the factory, they fix it and they mail it back to you.

Used (Ruger and similar): you save $200 or more on purchase, and it's already smoothed out from use. If it doesn't work, you send it to the factory, they fix it for $50 and mail it back to you.

If you're buying a used import from a defunct company, I could see that you're taking a risk. But if you buy used from a company that backs its products, what's the unusual risk which justifies paying more for a product made with more and more cost-cutting measures every year?


October 30, 2006, 07:54 PM
Gander mountian has price matching.

October 30, 2006, 08:33 PM
Since you have plenty of time for research, try browsing Collectors Firearms web site. These guys have just about everything...

October 30, 2006, 08:34 PM
Thanks ssteven1. I didn't know that Gander Mt. matches prices. That might come in handy someday. I've found that many of their prices here in michigan are somewhat high. I generally prefer to oggle the guns at Gander and then buy at one of two local shops. They don't have quite the selection, but they can normally order guns below Gander's prices. To go along with lower prices, many shops can give you the personal assistance if something does go wrong. Support your local gun and tackle shops. There are too few of them left.

Ohio Rifleman
October 30, 2006, 08:53 PM
I don't plan on actually purchasing a gun at Gander Mountain, they're just good for browsing, as I was doing. The other gun shop with the lower prices is much smaller, it's more of an outfitter kinda place with guns, ammo, reloading stuff, clothing, and archery equipment. Very nice place. And buying used would be relatively easy for me, since there's a gun show near me once a month. I'd just be worried about getting ripped off there. I'd prefer to buy brand-new so I can get the instruction manual and all that with the gun, which some people might not have. Decisions, decisions...

And what's this about Gander Mountain matching prices? If I show them the page that lists a lower price on the same gun, they'll knock the price down?

October 31, 2006, 01:00 PM
Gander will price match any local compeitor if they have it in stock. If it's a special order item, then they usually won't, but it's kind of up to the manager.

The gunsmith shop has what they call a "pro plan" on firearms. It's a one year warranty you can buy on new, or used guns. My shop includes them in the price of all used guns. If something goes wrong, the gunsmith fixes it.

October 31, 2006, 03:22 PM
Shipwreck: why so? Not trying to be snarky, I honestly don't see the advantage.

I think the first few replies in this thread sums up my opinion on the matter

October 31, 2006, 03:43 PM
I don't see any problem with buying used either. I've found that most gun owners are very honest when selling their guns, and will be more than happy to tell you if something wasn't right with the gun. In fact, I've read more than a few posts when people have had downright lemons, and have stated they wouldn't consider selling them just because they didn't want anyone else to go through the headache of dealing with a broken gun.

Also, many times a "problem gun" is something very easy to fix, like an extractor tweak or a couple springs or even a good thorough cleaning. In these cases, it's definitely worth the savings of up to (and sometimes more!) a couple hundred bucks.

November 1, 2006, 12:25 AM
I've been working at a Houston Gander Mountain for the last 3 weeks, back in the gun section. We do have price matching for any local shop with the same gun in stock. Our gunsmiths test fire every used gun, we hear it all day long. Some of the used stuff is a bit high but most of it is a screaming deal. We had a GP100 with a 4" barrel in great shape for $250 the other day. We actually thought about a betting pool to see how long it would last.

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