Dishonest Gun Dealers


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Shane
August 9, 2003, 01:59 PM
Be patient, this DOES have a little to do with revolvers.

I won't mention names of the salesman or the store, but here is what happened.

I saw my cousin last weekend, and in the conversation she mentioned that she bought her first handgun. She bought it back in March. She's 31 and has NEVER shot a handgun before.

Being a gun nut, I asked to see it. It turns out the dealer sold her a S&W 640 (snub nosed DAO with no external hammer). Fair enough, NOT a bad choice. Although if I was with her when she bought it I'd have her consider something a little larger for shooting comfort.

Now, here is where my problem is: the salesman knowing that she had NEVER shot a gun before sold her Magsafe .357 magnum ammunition (70 grain bullet) for home defense. He also sold her a box of 158 grain .357 magnum for "target practice". :fire: What are they thinking? This is a young woman that has never shot a gun and they sold her 158 grain .357's for "target practice"? Worst yet, to be fired in a lightweight snubby? Unless I'm missing something, I believe the salesman did this to make a quick sale and put little thought into fitting the right ammunition to the right shooter.

I'm going to take her shooting next Tuesday, to hopefully teach her how to use her gun. First thing I'm going to do is get her some lightly loaded .38 specials, so that she has a load that is reasonably comfortable. I'm also going to start her off firing my medium (L) frame S&W--so that she can work her way up to her 640 snubby rather than starting with her snubby.

As far as the Magsafes go, wouldn't they be too loud for indoor defense? I'd imagine the recoil and flash would be intense too? I'm trying to convince her NOT to use the Magsafe .357's for home defense--I think she's better off with .38's of some form. Since the person that sold her this crap convinced her Magsafes are the way to go, perhaps .38 special Magsafes might be a little better choice?

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Jim March
August 9, 2003, 02:50 PM
In a steel-frame gun, 70grain 357 Magsafes aren't a totally psychotic choice. Meaning, the very light projectile weight does cut the recoil significantly. Whether or not significantly enough for HER is still an open question. How many did he sell her? If you have, say, 10, it might be worth shooting five after she's had some practice with 38 target wadcutters or similar.

The "practice ammo" choice was just crazy :banghead:.

Anyways. See if you can work her up to some 38 158+P lead loads (hollowpoint or otherwise). And don't do all this in one session I don't think, shorter sessions are less stressful, I think her first day should probably be target wadcutters only. Check for pain/issues during the next few days post-session, you'd be surprised how many carpal tunnel or tendonitis cases are lurking about out there (computer keyboards and mice are the big culprits).

Zeke Menuar
August 9, 2003, 02:57 PM
A snub-nose revolver for a beginner is a daunting proposition. Nothing like a snappy recoil, muzzle blast and noise to scare the heck out of a rookie. If you are planning to train her on an L-frame with lighter loads you are on the right track. I have not used Magsafes. I don't like gimmicky specialty ammo(this is just an opinion guys). When I owned a snub I used some form of the old FBI load. 38 Special 158gr lead HP +P. If she gets brave I think Remington makes a mid power version of their Golden Sabre ammo in .357Mag.
When I was training my wife, I made a point of trying to make practice fun. rathger than shoot at boring old cardboard, we shoot at club soda cans that are pretty shook up, bowling pins, balloons, milk jugs, takes the pressure off. Save the 'shoot the bad guy stuff" for when she is more confident in her abilty.

Good Luck
ZM

10-Ring
August 9, 2003, 03:17 PM
I wouldn't say dishonest, but not wise either. :rolleyes:

Shane
August 9, 2003, 03:30 PM
In a steel-frame gun, 70grain 357 Magsafes aren't a totally psychotic choice. Meaning, the very light projectile weight does cut the recoil significantly. Whether or not significantly enough for HER is still an open question. How many did he sell her? If you have, say, 10, it might be worth shooting five after she's had some practice with 38 target wadcutters or similar.

The Magsafes came in a pack of 10.

This first day, I'm going to stick with mostly .38 Wadcutters, and MAYBE mix in a few .38 Spl +P loads (which I'd have her fire in the L-Frame S&W 686+). With her little S&W 640, I only want her to shoot low powered .38 spls at this point....no need to scare her away from shooting.

Shane
August 9, 2003, 03:46 PM
I wouldn't say dishonest, but not wise either.

I personally would say dishonest, and here is why. The salesman in question expressly told her that the Sellier And Bellot 158 grain .357 Magnum ammunition he sold her was a "great target practice" load.

Furthermore, this is not the first time this particular salesman has pulled stuff like this. I've dealt with him in the past, and he pushes guns on people that they are NOT interested in, and his usual selling speech is "I have this gun and its my favorite". Many of my shooting buddies have had the same line thrown on them from this guy, so either he has a lot of guns and every gun he has is his favorite gun, or he is dishonest. I would probably take a wild guess and say he's dishonest.

Luckily, since I have knowledge on guns (as do my shooting buddies) I know to either politely tell him off or find another salesman when I go in. However, newbies like my cousin don't know better and this particular salesman takes advantage of that. The only reason I use to go to that store in question was for the prices--which were some of the best I've seen around here. Having said that, my experience with their honesty have NOT been good--some salesmen at that store are better than others but ALL OF THEM have been problems to at least some degree (in terms of honesty and general knowledge) in the past.

Standing Wolf
August 9, 2003, 08:01 PM
As far as the Magsafes go, wouldn't they be too loud for indoor defense? I'd imagine the recoil and flash would be intense too?

In a life or death situation, she'll probably never hear the noise or care one way or a dozen others about muzzle flash or recoil. Snub-nosed .357 magnums are okay shooters with light target .38 special loads, but generally uncomfortable with full house loads for most people.

The salesman definitely didn't treat her with kindness or respect. He should have explained the differences between .38 special and .357 magnum loads, and sold her some of both. In my admittedly slightly less than humble opinion, he deserves to see his customers take their business elsewhere.

Al Thompson
August 9, 2003, 08:06 PM
I'd write the store manager. Encourage others to do the same.

firestar
August 9, 2003, 09:38 PM
Other than the heavy .357mag loads he sold her for "target practice", I can't fault him too much. It wouldn't surprise me if he is a crook and a scum bag, they are not uncommon in the gun trade but I think you could find fault in any gun sold to a novice.

Why didn't you go with her to the gun store? That is the best way to make sure someone you care about doesn't get taken advantage of when buying a gun. I would never think of sending my wife, sister, mother, etc. on their own to a gun store to buy a gun. I know what gun dealers are thinking when a novice walks in the door and it ain't pretty.:D

Majic
August 10, 2003, 12:38 AM
Any caliber fired in a handgun indoors can damage hearing.
The light Magafes will have a lighter recoil sensation in her handgun.

To view this story from another perspective, knowing that women are usually careful shoppers, she may have chosen the handgun based on her tastes (remember you weren't there and only heard her side of the story). Larger, heavier models may have been shown to her but she rejected them. 38sp ammo may have been suggested for practice, but she wanted .357mag for her new handgun and the S&B ammo was the cheapest they carried.
Since I wasn't there it would be wrong to go blindly blaming someone for not making decisions I approve of.

Shane
August 10, 2003, 05:29 AM
Why didn't you go with her to the gun store?

I just found out last Sunday she bought the gun. I had no idea she was even looking for one (she use to be VERY ANTIGUN in the past).

Shane
August 10, 2003, 05:42 AM
Larger, heavier models may have been shown to her but she rejected them. 38sp ammo may have been suggested for practice, but she wanted .357mag for her new handgun and the S&B ammo was the cheapest they carried.

She use to be Anti-gun. She doesn't even know the difference between a .357 magnum and a .38 special--I had to explain it to her on Sunday and she still doesn't really seem to understand. When I asked her why they sold her the .357 magnum, she said its what they recommended. I would think a reputable gun salesman would take the time to explain the differences to someone that knows nothing about guns? She SHOULD have contacted me and I would have gone with her to help her out, but I just learned about this visiting her Sunday (she bought the gun in March).


Since I wasn't there it would be wrong to go blindly blaming someone for not making decisions I approve of.

Thats always good advice.

BUT, this was NOT the first time questionable sales tactics have happened at this store. If this was just a one time event I'd blow it off. Unfortunately, as I discussed earlier, I and other buddies have had very similar experiences in the past at this gun store, and mostly from the same salesman. There is a definite pattern here IMO.

BluesBear
August 10, 2003, 06:35 AM
Start documenting the advice/action from the salespeople at this store. When you have a sufficent amount of proof go to the owner or manager and tactfully explain to them that their actions are doing nothing to help their business or the shooting community. Any owner or manager should understand that it is repeat business not just low prices that keep customers coming back.

Without repeat customers they can't stay in business. Of course there is alway that old axiom that a satisfied customer will tell their friends but an unsatisfied customer will tell EVERYONE.

I can't even begin to count the number of out and out fabricated truths I have seen and still hear almost every time I walk up to the gun counter at any so-called sporting goods store. Maybe we should start a thread to see who has heard the most outrageous.

Back to the subject... a female friend of mine loads her taurus snubby with 2 .38+p Glaser Safety Slugs, 2 Remington 125gr .38+p and 1 of the new Winchester .357 mag 125gr Flat-Point FMJ (for penetration if the first 4 don't get the job done) Both the Glaser Safety Slugs ot the MagSafe's could possibly be less effective if an attacker had on a very heavy jacket or multiple layers of clothing.

Anyway, your cousin is lucky to have you to help get her started properly. I can only imagine all of the other women just like her that have been misled.

Jim March
August 10, 2003, 07:39 AM
That's a pretty good mix. I'd substitute one of the Gold Dot 38+P 125s from Proload, Georgia Arms or Black Hills for the Remington though.

The idea of setting up a full-on 357 "crack 'o doom" monster as "last at bat" has merit. It's the gun's way of saying "I'm dry, fool, figure out a plan B" :D. And it doesn't matter if you can't come back down off of recoil from it.

I'd use a good 357 JHP final round versus the hardball.

schapman43
August 10, 2003, 08:27 PM
Just an outsiders view

He sold her a small snubby revolver which most people suggest for women. He sold her ammo that was specificly designed for self defense. Then he sold her some cheap (sellier & Bellot is cheap here) for plinking and practice. When I think plinking ammo I think cheap ammo, not what ammo is going to have less recoil. Dont the rest of you do the same? Anyways it sounds like he's done a decent job. He's a salesman, most arent very honest :)

Fed168
August 10, 2003, 09:24 PM
I'd recommend staying with .38s for awhile until she is comfortable with moving up.

Heck, if the gun doesn't fit her, why not go to the next frame size? Snubbies can be a pain to shoot.

Shane
August 10, 2003, 09:45 PM
I'd recommend staying with .38s for awhile until she is comfortable with moving up.

I'm not certain she can move up at all. When we talked yesterday, she mentioned she's having ligament problems in her wrists. I'm hoping that even .38 specials are not too much for her. I'll take it slow and if she feels pain we'll stop shooting immediately.

Jim March
August 10, 2003, 09:46 PM
Well...I for one don't think the gun is such a bad choice, esp. if she starts with target wadcutters for both practice and at least in the beginning, defense.

A lot of attacks against females are rapes, which means VERY close range. The snubbie may be a "pain" with ammo loaded too hot, but it's THE dominant gun type at "bad breath range" because it can't go out of battery on muzzle contact, it's difficult to grapple away and it comes into action quickly with just one control - the trigger.

Shane
August 10, 2003, 09:50 PM
Well...I for one don't think the gun is such a bad choice, esp. if she starts with target wadcutters for both practice and at least in the beginning, defense.

I agree on the gun, its an okay choice. If I was with her, I'd have her also try and/or handle one of the 3" barrel small and medium frame revolvers, but who knows she might ending picking a snubby in the end anyway.

MoNsTeR
August 10, 2003, 10:33 PM
I'm going to be a dissenting voice and suggest that a small DAO revolver is a god-awful choice for a person who's never fired a gun before. Also, that giving them 158gr .357's to practice with is inexcusable even if you disagree with my first statement.

DA revolvers are probably the most difficult action to shoot well. For a new shooter who doesn't even know the meanings of the phrases "trigger control" and "sight alignment" this is doubly true. The fact that women's hands aren't as strong makes it even worse.

But that's all going to be a moot point when she touches off one of those magnums, especially if it's at an indoor range without doubled-up ear protection, because she's going to put that gun down and be done with the whole thing. I can't stand shooting factory 158's out of a 4" 686, and I know that if I had my wife shoot one out of a 2" J-frame she'd use the rest of the cylinder on me.

So yeah, this dealer is basically a jerk.

Shane
August 11, 2003, 01:09 AM
But that's all going to be a moot point when she touches off one of those magnums, especially if it's at an indoor range without doubled-up ear protection, because she's going to put that gun down and be done with the whole thing. I can't stand shooting factory 158's out of a 4" 686, and I know that if I had my wife shoot one out of a 2" J-frame she'd use the rest of the cylinder on me.

Agreed on most points.

For me though, a 158 grain .357 magnum fired from a 4" 686 or Ruger GP 100 is not that bad. However, when I fire the same cartridge from my Ruger 2.25" SP 101 my hand hurt so bad I could hardly grip the gun for the second shot. Medium (158 grain) and heavy bullets (180-200 grain) in .357 magnum fired from snubbies (which I'd define as small framed revolvers with UNDER 3" barrel) do NOT mix well. I can handle a full sized .41 magnum without problem for example, but load a .357 magnum snubbie with 158 grain bullets or larger and I end up hurting and have to call it a day.

I would NOT under any condition let my Cousin shoot a .357 magnum on her FIRST range session. Besides hurting her already slightly injured wrist, I'm sure firing a .357 magnum out of her snubby would most likely be enough to make her never to want to do practice shooting again!

foghornl
August 11, 2003, 11:58 AM
Dishonest ? ? Mmmm maybe, maybe not

Unethical ? ? Yes

Cheesy ? ? Absolutely

Intune
August 11, 2003, 12:52 PM
I would start her out with a .22 rifle and get her used to shooting that and THEN move to a .22 pistol. That way she knows that it's not gonna bite her. Even a .38 can be intimidating to someone who has never fired a weapon. I would also go with plugs + muffs. My 1.5 cents worth.

Jim March
August 11, 2003, 02:27 PM
Whether or not the DA trigger is right for her is entirely about her hand strength and size. IF he didn't have her safely dry-fire it right at the shop to see, he was an utter maniac. Which is probably the case, because I agree completely that the S&B 357s as "practice fodder" was intolerable and that alone should generate a letter of disgust to the store's owner.

Shane
August 11, 2003, 10:45 PM
Whether or not the DA trigger is right for her is entirely about her hand strength and size. IF he didn't have her safely dry-fire it right at the shop to see, he was an utter maniac. Which is probably the case, because I agree completely that the S&B 357s as "practice fodder" was intolerable and that alone should generate a letter of disgust to the store's owner.

They usually put ties on all the guns they sell and do NOT allow dry firing. Perhaps its a liability issue? I don't have a problem with them NOT allowing dry firing--in fact, most gun stores I go to do NOT allow dry firing.

As far as writing the owner, it probably won't do any good. I know what the owner looks like and I've dealt with him, and the owner was partially involved in the sales--according to the guys she described. She remembered their names too, including the owners. She described the owner to me picture perfectly, along with the salesman. While the salesman I like the least actually sold her the stuff, the owner was right next to him. Since he didn't intervene then, I doubt a letter would do all that good.

MoNsTeR
August 11, 2003, 11:47 PM
Any store that doesn't allow dry-firing isn't worth shopping at. There's no point in buying a gun you can't try the most important aspect of. No one would put up with a gun shop that wouldn't let you try the grips or sights...

Shane
August 12, 2003, 12:10 AM
Any store that doesn't allow dry-firing isn't worth shopping at. There's no point in buying a gun you can't try the most important aspect of. No one would put up with a gun shop that wouldn't let you try the grips or sights...

Dry firing can damage most rimfires (the Ruger Mk II semi-auto pistols are the only rimfires I can think of that say its okay to dry fire in the manual). Perhaps the stores that do NOT allow dry firing don't know that its okay to dry fire most centerfires?

MoNsTeR
August 12, 2003, 12:25 AM
If they don't know that, what are they doing running a gun store? Even if they thought it was damaging, they could keep some snap-caps handy.

Shane
August 12, 2003, 12:39 AM
If they don't know that, what are they doing running a gun store? Even if they thought it was damaging, they could keep some snap-caps handy.

Oh, I totally agree.

But out of the 4 closest gun stores that I've been to, only ONE allows dry firing. I WOULD be INTERESTED in WHY the others don't.

BluesBear
August 12, 2003, 08:25 AM
I could see the point in not dry-firing a commemorative revolver. You wouldn't want to ring the cylinder. And some of the older Colt SAA warned that "excessive" dry firing could damage the firing pin. (A fact I know from experience to be true since the Colt Sheriff's Model SAA 44-40/44 Special, I got new in 1979 broke the pin after less than 20 dry fires. (It was my fault for not using snap caps.) But I also know of people who have dry fired SAA hundreds of times with no ill effect.

But for the majority of centerfire revolver or pistols dry firing won't hurt a bit. As for rim fires, there are those cute little orange plastic snap caps that work just great. They even feed from the magazines of everything I have tried mine on.

Any gun ship that won't let a woman dry fire at lease once or twice must be run by jackasses.

They make you take classes to carry a gun perhaps they should also make it obligatory to take a class before you can sell them as well.

Shane
August 12, 2003, 12:53 PM
(reposted: I originally posted this question in the wrong thread):

Is Sellier & Bellot load hot?

On their website, they list their .357 magnum 158 grain bullets as 425 meters per second. By my calculations, that is equilavelent to 1395 feet/second. In contrast, most of the 158 grain ammo I use gets 1200 to 1250 feet per second. If the website and my calculations are correct, thats even MORE insane to sell to a newbie woman--ESPECIALLY to be fired from a relatively light weight snubby.

Shane
August 13, 2003, 02:26 AM
It didn't go well.

The noise and recoil of her S&W 640 petrified her (I used the lightest recoiling .38 Wadcutters I could find), and she decided she had to leave after only 10 shots in her gun. Despite spending 3 hours preparing a detailed training session (including starting her off with a .22, moving up to a L Frame .357 (firing only .38's though), and finally having her fire her S&W 640 it just didn't work out--and creating and printing presentations of proper sight alignment and grip which she showed little interest at. Since she didn't hit the broadside of a barn and told me that she has no intention of going back to the range, I'd say all the effort I put into this was wasted. I'm going to suggest to her that she should sell the gun, because there is no point for her to have a gun if she is afraid of shooting it and is unwilling of putting the effort out to try learning. I feel the gun is more of a danger to her than it is to anyone that would attack her--one can't expect to safely defend them selves with NO training or practice, IMO.

BluesBear
August 13, 2003, 05:42 AM
Now I remember wht I quit being an instructor 15 years ago. Thanks for jogging my memory. I was actually contemplating getting back into it again.

:banghead:

Make sure she gets rid of that gun QUICK! before she either shoots an innocent bystander or gets it taken away from her.

Oh well.... at least you tried.

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