Local gun shops... Outrageous prices


January 19, 2003, 05:28 PM
Several of the gun shops around town actively have booths at local gun shows. Their prices are decent for guns, ammo, accessories. However, I've been to several local gun shops that don't have a presence at the local gun shows whose store prices for just about everything is way out of line. Handgun prices were, at minimum, $100 higher in these shops than at the gun shows. Ammo prices seemed higher than even MSRP (e.g. 9mm Speer Gold Dot box of 20 for $14.50 and not even +P).

Maybe their clientele doesn't know any better and pays their prices. But, I came away unimpressed to say the least.

I would support my local gun shop if their prices weren't way out of line.


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January 19, 2003, 05:33 PM
People often vote with their wallets. When you gouge customers your sales will eventually fall off. Some shop owners don;t seem to care about repeat business. So it goes.

January 19, 2003, 06:21 PM
Our local gunshop is, from time to time, a bit high in its pricing. When I asked them about that, they said that they deserved to be supported because they are "local" hence the higher price. True, but only to a degree. Now, I price a gun at a non local gunshop and at the local one and determine the difference. Then I look at that difference and decide that what it will cost me to drive to the non local shop and have lunch on the way. Then I add that to the lower price and show it to my local gun dealer and ask him if he is willing to sell it for that price to keep me home. More often than not he is. Not always though but I think it keeps him honest. Good shooting:)

January 19, 2003, 06:42 PM
I bought my first gun at a local gun shop (actually local to where I work). Afterwards I found out (my fault, I should have shopped around) that I paid about $100.00 more fore the gun than it cost elsewhere.

The shop also had a range, and since I bought there I wound up joining their range. Whenever I was in the market for another pistol I would check with them, and always their prices were sky high. When asked about their prices they said they felt justified in charging more because they did a lot of KABA work. They actually were involved in the fight to get our city's CCW laws brought in line with the rest of the state, but that does not justify their high prices to me. No longer go there or belong to the range and when asked there are several other shops that get recommended- they don't.

January 19, 2003, 07:02 PM
I take advantage of purchasing online whenever I can.I have bought a few guns from gunfinder.good prices,and considering not having to pay tax,I dont mind paying the ffl fee.when the gun shop asks me why I bought online I tell them because the total cost including shipping and ffl is cheaper than their prices.they will get the message sooner or later.

January 19, 2003, 07:08 PM
vote with your wallet

Standing Wolf
January 19, 2003, 09:14 PM
I'll pay a little extra to do business locally, but $100 extra for a gun? I was born at night, but not last night!

January 19, 2003, 10:07 PM
Local gun shop here charges about $100 more for their Glocks and HKs but the kicker was the $750 Walther P99. :what:
I should have asked if it came from Bond's personal collection.

January 19, 2003, 10:35 PM
I've purchased the majority of my firearms from the same shop over the last 12 years because they have had the lowest prices in the East Valley. They don't sell at gun shows and they have always been right by me.

January 19, 2003, 10:55 PM
I don't have a lot of shops near me,but the one I deal with the most has always been fair with me,and the folks I've seen come into his store.His inventory is always changing and that tells me he's selling goods.CAnt do that if your high priced or rude...or both.
I would NOT pay a hundred bucks too much for a gun just to support a certain shop either.

January 19, 2003, 11:16 PM
Just like anything else, the person that doesn't have the intelligence or the energy to shop around and find the best price is going to get legally robbed.

Fortunately, most of these dealers don't make it in business for very long.

But honestly, if a person goes to a dealer, whether gun show table or store, and pays $1,000 for a used S&W mod 10, do you really feel sorry for the idiot? I don't!

January 19, 2003, 11:31 PM
I feel lucky then. The three local shops I shop at always have good prices. Maybe not as cheap as online, but not that much more if you add in shipping and FFL charges. They also have a great selection of used and consignment firearms.

...my $.02

Dave T
January 20, 2003, 11:05 AM
I have done business with the same 3-4 shops in my town for... well it's been a lot of years. They don't have rock bottom prices, but their prices are fair. They are honest and stand behind their products. I recommend them to my CCW classes.

Interestingly, gunshows have become the real rip-off experts in my experience. I see prices at gunshows that I find hard to believe. I only go to shows to buy reloading components or ammunition in bulk.

January 20, 2003, 11:30 AM
I'm with Standing Wolf.

If my gun store's prices are a bit above online prices, no problem. But if they're more than a few bucks more than online plus fees and shipping, I pass. No scene or talk, I just leave, and NO I don't tell anybody there what I have or where I got it!

January 20, 2003, 02:35 PM
A local gun shop here also has a web page, with prices that are pretty good. The first time I went there, the prices were off by $50-$75 and when I asked why, they said they are really Phoenix based. And those prices are for the shop in Phoenix.

They just have the same name, and say to go to the webpage, but don't honor the prices at all. This was also the place I bought my first gun at $100 over priced...

January 20, 2003, 03:25 PM
Well, if I went out and bought stuff based on price alone, I could probably pick up a benchrest rifle for about $1,900 or so.

My next BR rifle is gonna cost me about $2,400. Because that's what the GOOD gunsmith charges.

Yup. It'll be the same action. The same barrel. The same stock. And the same trigger.

But I _KNOW_ that it'll be right, and if something is screwed up, it'll be made right. Coupla years ago, I bought a package deal from him - a used rifle and several barrels, dies, etc.... Turned out that the barrels were not from the action on the rifle. The guy rechambered two barrels gratis.

And when I buy guns from him, I get to pick his brain about shooting.

January 20, 2003, 07:48 PM
SaxonPig: as far as I know you DON'T get a FFL for a "Kitchen Table Business". You HAVE to HAVE a storefront separate from your house or you HAVE to HAVE a store IN your house with an extra entrance and NO access to your house (if the community you are live in allowes you to have businesses in your house, especially a firearms business!!!), you HAVE to HAVE regular full opening hours (at least Monday to Friday) and God help you, if you aren't there when the BATF checks! Additionally you HAVE to HAVE safes, burglary-safe doors/windows, etc.

"Kitchen FFL's"? It' an urban myth.

January 20, 2003, 09:48 PM
This strikes a nerve,

We should all apply for a FFL. I have two shops within ten minutes of my house. One is consistently 10% less expensive. But they have less inventory. But they're more friendly and knowledgable in general. But... but... but.

I'm sad to see prices on weapons skyrocket when another law threatens them. Free commerce and all, but price gouging sucks.

Bushmaster wanna have's around the country, grab one soon.

January 22, 2003, 12:32 PM
RobW -

Kitchen Table FFL's are not an urban myth; a member of my family has been one for 25 years or so and counting. He's a little different, though - as a 'smith he can and does stand behind his work.

There are federal requirements for operating a gun business, but the requirement that eliminated many "kitchen table" operations is that all local and state laws must be complied with as well. Zoning regs that prohibit or limit home-based businesses eliminated most of them.

It's easy to comply with the regulations that do exist - regular operating hours can be M-F, 5:00 to 6:00 p.m., noon to five on weekends, etc. Safes are no problem - most gunnies have them - and designating a room in your basement that has no windows can work for burglar-proofing. Get a tax permit if your state charges sales tax, register the business name if you use a fictitious business name (notifying the state/municipality that "House o' Guns" is really DCR, for example), get set up to do NICS checks, and you've met all requirements and can wheel and deal with all your might.

Anecdotal example? Maybe, but it certainly establishes they do exist. And no, he does NOT operate contrary to the law or unethically in any way, shape or form - it's my job to ensure that.

January 22, 2003, 04:20 PM
I just got back from town. On the way back I checked with a local shop on the price of a Glock 30 he had. $549. Monday I was at another shop I`ve bought quite a few guns from and the price for a G30 was $479. Both of these places are pretty good afa service etc. Quite a difference.

I may just check with dealer who`s up the road from me about 2 miles. The problem is, his shop is in his home, separate entrance but accessible from the rest of the house and he`s rarely there.

January 22, 2003, 05:49 PM
"Interestingly, gunshows have become the real rip-off experts in my experience. I see prices at gunshows that I find hard to believe. I only go to shows to buy reloading components or ammunition in bulk."

I don't find this to be the case in this area - the "local" gun shops are way overpriced around here. Selling used guns for near new prices is a common practice. The dealers I do buisiness with at the gun shows all have their own gun shops as well and their prices are the same at the shop or at the gun show.

January 22, 2003, 11:51 PM

If you are in Dallas I couldn't agree more.

There are shops here that charges CONSIDERABLY OVER LIST on some of their units. Some have a reputation for service and some don't.

OTOH I have seen some crazy over-pricing at gunshows too.

My rule is to check the net, check Shotgun news and see how many different prices I can come up with over 30 to 60 days. If I find the model NIB at a show in the middle of that price range I will likely get it. I have a local "table top" dealer that I trust and check with if the show thing doesn't work out.

Like anything else, there are better and worse gun dealers and the educated shopper will go the extra mile to find the good ones. Sometimes they have stores, sometimes they only sell at shows. I tend to deal with "certain" dealers at shows and they know me now and understand I'm a repeat customer. That does help.


January 23, 2003, 07:05 AM
Pricing is subjective no matter what, where ever you are. There will always be those shops that gouge your wallet and there will be that one shop or two that goes the extra distance to stay competitive on all levels. When I was new to firearm ownership, I was smart enough to talk to friends that are firearm enthusiasts and I did shop around. When I finally settled on a handgun it was after checking around...for a while! I know I could have probably got a better deal, but I also don't feel that I was ripped off because of the great custome service I recieved.

Now with all that said, I do have one big problem with the shop I bought my gun from. When I first started shooting I didn't really check on ammo prices. So the ammo the guy recomended to me was a bit expensive, but what kills me is that he requires you to pick up the shells and return them to the counter (if you don't reload I guess). Now you think that he'd give you a small discount on the ammo since he'll either be reloading them for cheaper range loads, or using them himself. But no, I was paying almost 15.00 bucks a box of 50. So now I buy what I can find the cheapest in town and I don't care if they are CCI/Blazer that he can't reload. The only reason I keep going there is because I got a free membership to his indoor range, and as soon as that runs out I'll be going to another, better range. Ok...rant off. :rolleyes: :banghead:

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