Do you like your local gun shop?


May 16, 2011, 02:54 PM
Call me crazy but, as a young(er) guy of thirty-four, I don't think local gun shops are even interested in dealing to my demographic.

Living up in Maine these days, whenever I'm on the road due to work or travel throughout the state, I try to make it a point to stop in the local gun shops to see what they have, pick up some ammunition, targets, whatever it may be to help support these small shops that, really, just can't compete with the internet and larger stores that can buy in volume. The problem is, when you get right down to it, it's a group of "old" guys who aren't even interested in giving me the time of day. I'm not fondling guns, asking stupid questions, or making any sort of ruckus, but these guys don't even put down their cup of coffee to say hello.

Does this happen to others, or do I have the face of a serial killer? I always say hello when I walk in, comment on the weather or something innocuous, and am a polite customer - it's starting to get to the point though where I'm figuring "why bother" when I drive past these places. Heck, I know I'm spending more than I have to when I buy at the LGS, but an extra couple bucks out of my pocket and into theirs is, to my mind, a little positive karma!

Anyway, what are your folks' thoughts?

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May 16, 2011, 03:18 PM
some shops don't seem to care if they do any business or not; I've found this most often occurs with shops that have been there for decades and probably have very little overhead. I'll stop into these ones occasionally to see if anything interesting has come in, but they don't get any of my new gun/accessory/ammo/reloading supply business.

May 16, 2011, 03:44 PM
Yeah, I do like my local gunshop.

When I go in looking for a new gun, I pretty well know the going price, what the average dealer cost is, what it costs online (Bud's) and what I will give for it.

My new Elsie Pea was bought at my local gun/pawn shop. I paid $300 for her ($10 more than Bud's) and I was happy. The gal came down from the $339 sticker price with no dickering cause she knew how much she had in it and knew I did too. True, this was the third or fourth gun I've bought from them, (all Rugers) so she also knew I was serious when I asked.

Treat the LGS fair and they will usually treat you fair.

May 16, 2011, 03:49 PM
I had a favorite until the owner quoted me $3 OVER list price (he rounded to the nearest 10,in HIS favor) .I didn't let on that I had shopped around before I asked for a quote so I bought from another LGS whose quote was 75 under MSRP.
I still go to shop A for supplies and used guns but go to shop B for my new guns.
I guess I can say I like my LGSs but I shake my head when it comes to the way some do business,

May 16, 2011, 03:50 PM
Yes, I like my LGS! Several ex-marines working there who are willing to share their accumulated knowledge, and respectfully listen to my opinions whether they agree or not. Always give me a break on price (and their asking prices are reasonable). Are very helpful when I am trying to figure the proper gun for a given task.

May 16, 2011, 03:53 PM
The nearest shop to me is good, has a good inventory of popular items and generally helpful staff.

Now the one further away is another story altogether. They are far larger in size and sales volume, but are on the take a number system, with customers standing in line for even ammo, never answer the phone if you want to ask a question or quiz them about stock. I find I have less reason to visit them all the time.

fallout mike
May 16, 2011, 03:56 PM
My lgs is great. They go out of their way to help you. You just have to be patient bc they are very busy most of the time. If they don't know something I ask they will actually say "I don't know". And they will try and find out. Lifetime warranty on all guns, new and used, and they usually have the cheapest prices to boot.

May 16, 2011, 04:02 PM
My old one, no, total dicks. They were the typical "if you arent here to pay 50% more than anywhere else, we dont want your business" and "your 'internet knowledge' is not welcome here" type of place. Every DPMS/Bushy/Armalite AR was $1700 and they wouldn't stop eating their lunch or talking with a friend to let me look at a rifle.(I am only 27) They preyed on old people who were out of touch with actual gun prices.

My new shop, yes. Palmetto State Armory opened a store last year, I went in the first day they opened their doors and got a tour and a free hat:D I talked to the owner for about an hour. I think I have been in there at least 4 times a month since.

May 16, 2011, 04:08 PM
They are okay. The one closest to me in mainly centered on sporting shotguns and shotgun reloading, since there is a really nice Sportsman's Club about 5 miles from his store (he even closes early on wednesdays to go shoot trap. He says that it doesn't hurt business because a lot of his clients are there too). He also has a good selection of Glocks, Rugers, Sigs, and Smith&Wessons, and a few rifles. I'm mainly interested in surplus rifles and older handguns, so his shop isn't that great for me. Not much ammo selection either (although he stocks some oddballs like 30 luger and 5mm rimfire). If he would carry surplus rifles, surplus ammo, and more old handguns, I'd be in there all the time. How it is now I just stop in about once a month, poke around to see if he has my kind of stuff, buy some cleaning supplies, and leave.
There is another shop about ten miles from me that's about the size of a master bedroom. They have a pistol display case that's about 6-8 feet long, and not particually full, and about 20 long guns, including some surplus pieces. They have a lot more ammo than the first store, and carry a good selection of surplus ammo, and speciality 22lr. They have semi-goofy/irregular hours, otherwise I'd go there a lot more.
Overall I buy most of my ammo and accessories at gun shows or online. I buy guns from area dealers, but I don't think that I've ever bought 2 firearms from the same dealer, as I shop around and am willing to travel an hour or so to pick it up (mind you I have to take 2 trips with Illinois' waiting period).
It's my opinion that the vast majority of gun shops are in business because the owners are into guns, and not to make money. Most of these shops don't even know how to run a business, like having weird hours, or bad stores, no prices on anything, no advertising, etc.

May 16, 2011, 04:18 PM
What local gun shop?
You got a local gun shop??

Walmart finished off most of them in my city, then quit selling guns.
The ones that survived Walmart were wiped out by a new Cabala's 25 miles away.

All we have now is a pawn shop that thinks used guns are worth more then new guns.
Kind of like Cabala's.


May 16, 2011, 04:31 PM
Well, I'm jealous. But it is nice to hear people actually do have success at their LGS!

Now, does anyone know of any good shops in Mid-Coast Maine that are, for lack of a better term, friendly?

Friendly, Don't Fire!
May 16, 2011, 04:32 PM
Do I like my local gun shop?

I would not trust them making a repair to a $50 Saturday Night Special. :banghead:

May 16, 2011, 05:22 PM
Indianapolis is kind of a funny place. Yes, I like two or three of our local gun shops a lot...and I hate a couple of others. All in all, Indianapolis is a pretty good gun shop town.

Indianapolis also has the distinction of having absolutely the worst gun shop on the face of the earth here. Rude, condescending, and downright belligerent sales people selling crappy inventory. I am going to decline to name the place as a) if you don't live here you don't care, and b) if you do live here, you know which place I mean ;).

Ole Coot
May 16, 2011, 06:10 PM
Mine is reasonable but not cheap on firearms, but on other things a little high like ammo. My last purchase I offered $50 less than priced, he wouldn't come down so I told him I would check around. I did, two weeks later when I walked in I just said I give up! He laughed and got the pistol, then dropped the price $25 which was less than I could find it anywhere else. I have seen him bore sight free for total strangers and knows firearms well.

May 16, 2011, 06:22 PM
Mine is reasonable but not cheap on firearms, but on other things a little high like ammo. My last purchase I offered $50 less than priced, he wouldn't come down so I told him I would check around. I did, two weeks later when I walked in I just said I give up! He laughed and got the pistol, then dropped the price $25 which was less than I could find it anywhere else. I have seen him bore sight free for total strangers and knows firearms well.
That will be the last time you haggle with him. Try it again and he will remind you.

May 16, 2011, 06:34 PM
My favorite gun store is Moe's Hardware Hank in Black River Falls. They sell new guns as cheap as Buds or Davidsons and also do transfers for both. I have yet to ask them about a gun that they didn't have down in the basement or been able to order and have within 3 days. I believe their sign claims they have over 2000 guns in stock.....and I believe it. They give good trade in allowances and have a good selection of reloading supplies with prices comparable to online. They are a family run business and are just nice folks all around. Very seldom have I gone in there and the owner is not behind the counter. They are a huge Hardware store also and walking in the front door is like going back in time.

Check 'em out...............Moe Hardware (

May 16, 2011, 06:35 PM
The nearest gun shops of any size are about fifteen miles away. One specializes in military type weapons and prices are high. The other has a broad selection of everything you would want in a gun shop. However, the prices are incredibly high. There is a small gun shop and a pawn shop locally. The gun shop prices are high but not as bad as the others, but still higher than the internet dealers. The pawn shop is good for using the FFL at twenty five dollars a transfer but his prices are high.

May 16, 2011, 06:40 PM
I have one LGS that I will never set foot in again. I donít care if it is the last one on earth. The guys there are anything but friendly and if you have a different opinion then theirs you are flat out wrong and they will tell you that. When I was looking at .22lr pistols they actually laughed at me, because .22lr are for ladyís and kids.
There is another LGS in town that has really nice guys behind the counter. They have a decent stock of guns and there prices compete with the internet. The other side of the store is the reloading shop. His prices are right inline with Midway USA before shipping, heck sometimes his prices are even better. When I bought my reloading setup he took the time to do a dry run of the process with me. They also like it when you bring your kids with you and they make a point to say hi to my son and treat him with respect. You donít get that at to many places when you walk in with an autistic child.

May 16, 2011, 06:45 PM
Does this happen to others, or do I have the face of a serial killer?

Nope. Same thing happens to me constantly.
We have four around here right now, and oddly enough, after I started spending money almost exclusively in the one that didn't and started steering younger shooters to this specific one, the treatment got better.
Not good, but better. At this point one is a place where they refer to me and the pink haired wife as "the kids" and inquire more about how our College is going than about what we want and the other they know the wife as the rabid Beretta fan.

So do I like my LGS? In 50% of the cases and after about a year ... yes.

May 16, 2011, 06:47 PM
The folks in and around Huntsville, Al are very fortunate to have Larrys...They have no serious competition, and they are friendly, helpful and very fair on their prices. The indoor range is nice, with helpful range masters as well. Gander Mountain just down the road from them definitely can't compete with them, and another guy opened a couple of stores locally, but isn't competitive either. I believe I heard that Larry's was the Ruger Dealer of the Year last year. They are big Glock and Kimber movers, as well as S&W. They sell all types of new and used firearms, and all kinds of accessories. If they don't have it, they'll get it for you. I've bought guns from them as a resident, and as a non-resident, and always treated great. There's always a sale going on, and they seem to always have the ammo you want when no one else did...Great group of folks...

May 16, 2011, 06:48 PM
Honestly, it sucks here in this little town. One big player thinks they have the best deals in town, having the RCBS operations right next door (like that makes it a big deal) and they are usually 30% higher than any price you can find at shops lke Cabellas. There's a half dozen other smaller shops in town and they can always beat the prices of the big shop but they can't really carry that much inventory, so... you hear, "I can order it for you..." blah, blah, blah... but if you buy out of state and pay shipping and then pay the state extortion fees, you're still cheper than the big player prices out the door.
Do I support them, Yes, I try to but let's get real... if I place an order and expect it to arrive in a week or so, don't keep telling me you don't know when it'll arrive 3 months later!
This happened top me in late March and I ended up going to Berry's online and had the stuff I needed in 4 days.
If you own a small local gun store, you better be better than everyone else and you better take care of every single potential customer, because for every one you loose, they'll tell three others and pretty soon, you won't have a business.

May 16, 2011, 06:52 PM
There are about 5 in my area. One of which has stellar service and competitive pricing. The closest one to me has a good selection, they remember my name, and don't care that I am under 30. 2 of them seem to think because I am younger, that I'm not worth their time. Of these 2, one has a decent selection and the other one just sucks so I stay away. Unfortunately, none of them seem to have a great used gun selection, which is unfortunate.

Overall they are pretty darn good.

May 16, 2011, 07:06 PM
within 45 minuets of my home I have 4 .. maybe 5 shops that I can do buisness with .

Of them . 3 are outstanding for various reasons (Customer Service/knowledge/prices)

1)Wallenpaupack Sports Shop in Hawley, PA . Owner wont BS you at all, very competitive pricing

2)Advanced Arms in Pitston, PA. very enthusiastic sales staff, eager to show and tell/answer your questions.

3)Gun Toters in Eynon, PA . Again very eager to help, answers questions, knowledgable advice, and in general a friendly atmosphere

The other two, I wont name, even to bash them . One of them features a dealer who will show you anything on the shelf , then give you a thousand reasons why it's not the right gun for you . he'll then bash whatever your carrying or shooting . I'll be honest , I stop in there for entertainment value on occasion. The other shop, features everyones favorite "Your stuff is junk/buy mine because it's more costly" attitude . and the general "You annoy me" aire as soon as you ask a question .

So I guess you could say I love 3/5ths of my LGS lol

Professor Gun
May 16, 2011, 07:14 PM
I am very lucky to have three great, locally owned gun shops within 10 miles of my home. I try to spread my business among them as much as I can.

There used to be two gun shops here in town similar to what the OP described; they went out of business.

May 16, 2011, 07:33 PM
It used to be DeLar depot in Wilmington, VT. Larry knew my dad since the 1950's and ran a great shop. Because he knew me to be a gun nut from an early age, he'd often let me shoot the new-to-him used guns and his own collectors whenever I'd stop by. Many a time when I was a young lad I was introduced to a weapon that most young lads would NEVER be allowed to touch. I fired my first WW2 era M-1 there and the one and only time I've ever fired an honest to God brought back Luger.

Sadly, Larry died a few years back, and I was forced to go elsewhere.

Kip was another family friend who owned the general store in Wardsboro, but he had some kids working for him that broke in and robbed his handgun case. He ended up having to sell the place by the time the court case was done.

I've been frequenting Trader John's in Winchester, NH (hahaha ironic)
It's a bit of a drive, but well worth the prices.

I have posted here about the Elmer Fudd's of the gunshop business...
I just won't shop there without calling first to ask if they have a certain gun.

May 16, 2011, 07:39 PM
i don't really care for any of the local gunshops in my area and i'm sure they don't care much for me either.
i don't buy new guns, they rarely have anything used i'm interested in and when they do they are not even in the ballpark pricewise. i think the main problem i have with gunshops is that they don't have a clue about the market of high end or vintage sporting rifles and price them accordingly.
i now use a pawnshop for my transfers and anything else in need thats gun related ups or usps delivers to my door.

May 16, 2011, 07:52 PM
Dryft, I've the same trouble you've described and I'm 56 yrs old. I mostly buy online now or at a gun shop in a larger town 90 miles away. Great prices + service that way. LGS operates with a bad attitude, and I kick myself when I give them my hard earned after being treated in such a way. Must be something in the water.

May 16, 2011, 07:59 PM
I like mine. There are several in the area, but the closest one is here in Moscow, ID and the owner is a great guy. Always willing to work with a customer. If it isn't in the store, he knows exactly where to get it and how long it'll take. Won't BS a customer into buying something.

DC Plumber
May 16, 2011, 08:08 PM

That is one heck of a Hardware Hank! I used to live between Galesville and Holmen. Awesome part of the state. The drive on 54 on the way to BRF is a nice drive. I miss that part of the state.

Yes, I like my LGS. It's actually only a hardware store that has a FFL. He does all of our transfers for our gun club and if you buy a new gun, he give us one heck of a deal. He greets everyone as you come through the door. Great guy.

May 16, 2011, 08:15 PM
In the course of the last three years, I have utilized three different LGS. the first was a big outfit with high prices, indoor rental range (bow, pistol, rifle), and hot chicks working the reception counter. The gun shop guru's were quick to point out what I didn't want, despite what I was actually telling them. Their elitist attitudes and high prices drove me to the second LGS. I actually really like this place. Good gunsmith, not just a retailer. Not a lot on the shelves, but inventory rotated enough to make stopping by worth while, even though I usually didn't buy anything. I've missed out on a few good deals there not being quick enough on the draw. I only don't go there anymore because I moved.
My current LGS is another large outfit. They have a lot of inventory, both guns and ammo, and hunting and fishing and everything else outdoors oriented. Usually very busy, but the gun salesmen really know their stuff. Ammo guy is a hoot, and again, very knowledgeable. Prices are competitive. As long as they treat me well, I'll return and do business with them.

May 16, 2011, 08:22 PM
mine used to be great, but the elderly gentleman and his wife who ran it were murdered by punks in their bedroom late at night.they caught the guys and one of them killed himself.its now run by their 2 sons and they try hard but its not the same.but i still give them all my blackpowder biz cuz thats what they do best and out of respect for old bob and his wife.they do have a lot of uncommon stuff but out of stock stuff takes forever to get ordered back in.

May 16, 2011, 08:43 PM
I have several LGS in my area. There are only two that get my business. They are both excellent.
One has an enormous selection of firearms (1000+) and they are always swamped. The employees are pretty knowledgeable, and friendly. There is some obvious discretion on their part when they wait on people. If they know you buy stuff there you will get waited on before a new guy even if he was standing there first. That can really sour someone in a hurry, so I always make it a point to say if someone was there before me.
The second one is a smaller shop. Usually just the owner and one other employee. I would say less than 100 guns, but he'll order you anything you want. They are extremely knowledgeable, and very courteous. Really nice place to do business with. I've only bought one firearm there, but buy accessories and lead there often.

May 16, 2011, 08:54 PM
I like some of them better than others but I won't say that I'm a huge fan of any of my local gun shops. They are just businesses and I try to support the better ones. The thing is that I've bought guns from all of them at one time or another over the last 15 years and all of them have annoyed the heck out of me.
I'm in the Richmond, VA area so maybe it's just this part of VA. I don't know. I've had the old guys behind the counter act rude, bored and uninterested (on several occasions). I had one guy go off on a derogatory rant about the Marine Corps after I mentioned that I liked a USMC decal on the display case and was a former Marine. I asked another salesman what he had hanging up in the corner. He responded with, "That's a gun." He lost a $850 sale that day as I drove across town and bought a Bushmaster from another dealer (the one with the rude, bored, old guy working the Assault Weapon section).
I don't know. Maybe it's me. I'm not that thin skinned but when I'm buying a gun I expect a bit of service. I buy at least a gun or two per year (Kahr CW9 and LCR this year so far) and crappy service sends me to the gun show instead of the locals.

May 16, 2011, 09:26 PM
No..... would not even think of him trying to make a living with is bad everything let him drown in his own crappy perspective of how to treat people. The hell with those type of Owners....

May 16, 2011, 09:40 PM
Walmart finished off most of them in my city, then quit selling guns.

Any gun shop that is put out of business by Wal-Mart was headed that way anyway. Wally world carries no hand guns (Except AK) and a couple dozen cheap rifles and shotguns. That's not competition.

A good gunshop will survive. Here, they put up a Sportmans Warehouse across the highway from The Firing Line, and a Gander 2 miles down the road. Sportmans shut down, Gander is headed that way, but Lenny and Mike have never been better. They have a huge inventory and a good staff, and they price merchandise competetively.

May 16, 2011, 10:02 PM
Call me crazy but, as a young(er) guy of thirty-four, I don't think local gun shops are even interested in dealing to my demographic.

Living up in Maine these days, whenever I'm on the road due to work or travel throughout the state, I try to make it a point to stop in the local gun shops to see what they have, pick up some ammunition, targets, whatever it may be to help support these small shops that, really, just can't compete with the internet and larger stores that can buy in volume. The problem is, when you get right down to it, it's a group of "old" guys who aren't even interested in giving me the time of day. I'm not fondling guns, asking stupid questions, or making any sort of ruckus, but these guys don't even put down their cup of coffee to say hello.

Maybe what your problem is that you're not fondling the guns or asking the questions.

In their mind you're probably just one of many that have walked through their door to just window shop. They don't make a living from you window shopping or out of just selling the occasional box of shells or a few targets. It's the guns which have the real mark up (couple hundred at least) so unless you make them believe that you're seriously looking for something, they're not going to waste their time.

Like you, I'm on the road alot. While I may be just looking, I always pick a gun or two in the case or on the rack that I ask to see, let them know that drive through the area from time to time and been meaning to stop. That I like stopping at shops like their's cause you never know what I'll find that I just can't leave without. If it looks like a shop that I might come back too, I alway introduce myself and hold out my hand to shake. People don't usually introduce themselves unless they plan on returning the shop owner knows that as well and will be more open and welcoming usually.

May 16, 2011, 10:09 PM
Dryft, I like the employees at the gun club and range I'm a member of. Most of the employees were not gun people prior to working there, the GM hired nice people and taught them about guns. What's even odder is that the guys working there that are gun people are good and don't get into religious arguments and just help people.

There seems to be a sub-culture of gun enthusiast that are very opinionated and only interested in their opinions and unfortunately the tend to work in retail gun shops. They also don't seem to be too friendly unless you're a regular customer. Around here that's changing since we have more options with new shops opening up that actually want to attract and keep customers. With any luck the new interest in gun ownership will translate into a descent shop up in your area.

May 16, 2011, 10:13 PM
I love my LGS and support them, and will continue to do so. Find one you can love and love them to death.

Lex Luthier
May 16, 2011, 10:22 PM
The closest LGS to me is run by a couple of old coots who should just retire and get it over with. No selection, and a seeming unwillingness to foster a relationship with a great new customer.

The next closest LGS gave me a weird look when I enquired about Condor technical gear, and assured me that he did NOT have a variety of slings for the AR15. (That old guy thing again)

The next closest LGS has a decent indoor range, a wide selection of everything, and I give them the first shot at selling me the next shiny object I need to have. If they cannot order it in a timely manner, I move on. They do however get my range $, and we know each other's names. My wife likes to go there and talk to the pistol packing salesladies. Win win.

The nextest closest LGS is fricking awesome and huge, but is too far away to just go and see. It is also a problem, because I cannot walk out of there for less than a couple hundred bucks a visit.

May 16, 2011, 10:30 PM
In central Maine try Old Town Tradeing Post. They have new and used guns and are very Knowledgeable. They are often real busy and you must be patient. People enjoy going there. I know I do.

May 17, 2011, 12:06 AM
WE have several good ones, one very good one and one I liked OK 'till the main salelady was on vaca and I dealt with the owner who seemed a total jack ass too me. A couple more visits and I just couldn't spend another $.05 in that shop. Love the folks that work there and can't stomach the owner.

May 17, 2011, 09:12 AM
I like my local shop so much I need to have a camper in the parking lot.

May 17, 2011, 09:15 AM
Not as much as I used to, their are 2 I frequent now, both are way high on price, but one has a huge collection worth browsing, the others a pawn shop and decent people just high prices, though I can generally talk them down to reasonable

May 17, 2011, 09:23 AM
A few years back, a new shop opened near me on the main drag. The selection was good, the prices were great and it was a stone's throw from the best Cuban/Puerto Rican plate-lunch place around, so I became a regular. It was great, a fantastic lunch and then a trip to the gun shop. I spent quite a bit there and, a couple of times, when I saw some WWII handguns there, called my father and he, 1000 miles away on the phone, spent some major money. The owner was a big internet-email user so I could shoot an email to him telling him what I needed and he'd get it in and email back. It was a very nice, cordial, convenient arrangement. He did transfers for $10.00 as well!

Then, I went in there with my girlfriend at the time. The owner wasn't there and one of his employees, in front of 5-6 all-male customers, said "no women allowed." He just sat there smirking. I said "what?" He said "you heard me, no women allowed," still smirking. It was very awkward and all of the cutomers were just standing there, looking at my girlfriend who was getting pretty uncomfortable with being made the center of attention. I told him to cut it out; he did it again. After he said it a few more times, he then said "we'll let you slide today because you're with him (me) and he's a good customer." The whole time, my girlfriend was very uncomfortable and embarrassed with being put on the spot in front of everyone. The whole store was silent and everyone was just looking at us while the jerk just sat there grinning. It, well, I, got a little loud and the other employee present said that it was a joke and that we didn't think it funny because we had no sense of humor! We left, very pissed off.

I emailed the owner and told him what happened and he never replied. I tried again and he still didn't bother to answer.

In the less than two years I shopped there before this nonsense happened, I and my father easily spent in excess of $4,000.00 there. I also shoved my friends in his direction, too. The woman I was with loves to shoot, owns two handguns, and would have been a regular. I haven't set foot in the place since and she now asks me to get her ammo for her because she doesn't want to chance anything like that happening again somewhere else. She's a carry permit holder who now avoids gun stores. It was pathetic.

Since, I've either bought online or in a little pawn shop near me that either prices stuff way too high or very, very low, like a dangerously loose and beat-to-death H&R 922 for $225.00 or a beautiful Model 14 for $300 out-the-door. Mostly, however, I shop online. Everyone else around here usually charges way too much.

May 17, 2011, 09:30 AM

The main one that comes to mind in Ogden is Impact. They have a huge presence on the web, and their management is very tech-savvy, but they hire chimps to work their floor. Safety violations, bad legal advice, etc. But I have been dealing directly with their management over their facebook page, and he has helped me and a few of my friends out a lot. I think they pay more attention to what their customers are actually saying there.

I really like Norman Van Wagonen in Orem, but I don't live there anymore and I haven't been there in several years.

May 17, 2011, 09:43 AM
Go to C&R trading post in Freeport. Craig and Roger are great guys, with a good selection and no BS. My wife loves going there too, because they don't treat people like idiots. If someone has a question, they will answer honestly, or say "I don't know."

Kendal Black
May 17, 2011, 09:46 AM
When I travel I visit gun shops. There are still some good ones out there, but a lot have turned to the dark side: providing customer misinformation, trying to vastly under-pay for the guns customers sell them or trade in, rocking the pseudo-commando attitude, and the rest.

I blame the economy, mostly, the atmosphere of uncertainty that makes people tempted to grasp for any penny of gain. Gun shops already operate under a regulatory burden greater than most businesses and the industry has excise tax and hoop jumping to deal with, all of which presses down on the bottom line, even in good times.

A good gun shop, in my opinion, is one where the staff is truly knowledgeable, and uses their knowledge for the customer's benefit. A good shop is interested in advancing the customer's knowledge and capabilities--which cannot be done by selling him the wrong thing because it's what's in stock, handing him a line about what he's buying (there is a whole thread about that ( and so on. The good shops, of which there used to be more, are more interested in making customers than making sales, taking the attitude that a lifelong customer is worth more than a quick buck.

The shop nearest my house isn't the one I use; I drive farther to get to either of two others--nuff said, probably.

I'm a realist about business. I know shops have to buy low and sell high, and charge prices that will keep the lights on. I don't have a problem with that. But there is a line--not a fine line, but a big broad bold one--between being, on the one hand, in business to make a profit, and being a sleaze, on the other.

May 17, 2011, 10:10 AM
They don't make a living from you window shopping or out of just selling the occasional box of shells or a few targets. It's the guns which have the real mark up (couple hundred at least) so unless you make them believe that you're seriously looking for something, they're not going to waste their time.

Actually, that's exactly backward from the accounts of almost every gun dealer/FFL I've spoken with or who's posted here.

The guns are teasers to get people in the door. Markups are small. The real profits, scant though they may be, are made on accessories, ammo, services, etc.

Cal-gun Fan
May 17, 2011, 10:25 AM
My dad and I love our local gunshop. It mainly caters to LEOs and my dad's department, so we buy pretty much everything there. They've got a very good stock and their customer service is great.

May 17, 2011, 10:47 AM
I don't like mine at all. From what I have found, the IF they have the gun I am looking for, it is WAY overpriced. Because of this, I get all my guns off gunbroker.

May 17, 2011, 10:52 AM
Yeah, I like my LGS. Prices are competive with the Internet. Have an incredible selection and I can leave with it the same day.

May 17, 2011, 11:08 AM
I really love mine. Good prices and a willingness to answer questions go a long way. They usually do pretty good on trades as well.

May 17, 2011, 11:12 AM
Living in central delaware there isnt a gunshop in the state farther away than an hour maybe an hour and a half

the few shops up north have the typical "wont speak to you" attitude with the exception of one called xring so i like them

middle of the state only gets you three dealers two with the buy it or get out mentality with one of those two being a law enforcment supply shop that does business with the general public... i dont know why they do because anyone who goes in there without a badge gets treated like they shouldnt be on the same planet let alone in HIS shop

the third dealer also has a range and very nice people who will be honest and answer any questions they can I have seen a few people that work there that seem a big gruff but usualy they warm up to you if you dont start giggling at ARs and talking about some video game you saw that "m16" in
shooters choice is the best there (and the closest to my home as well)

the lower slower part of delaware opens up a few different "sports shops" which means they mostly sell fishing poles and have no clue about the gun cases in there shop or why they are there or whats in them other than the owners pricetags are firm

the actual gun shops are few and far between but the ones know usually have grumpy salesman that give you the death stare untill you leave
there is one shop that has a great inventory but the salespeople are so offputting i stay out of there completly

there is one little shop that has excellent customer service but limited in stock inventory and that was branchys he was great cause anything you want he would try and find you a fair price and works with you any way he can

so yeah in the longrun most of the shops here arent worth the time unless your doing ffl transfers on the cheap but a few that can have my money

May 17, 2011, 12:25 PM
There were 3 in Ohio that I really liked (Vance's, Blackwing, and New Albany Gun Club), but I don't live in Ohio any more.

I haven't found a shop in SC that impresses me yet, but I haven't been to Palmetto State Armory or Shooter's Choice yet, either. I expect that one or both of them will fit the bill nicely.


May 17, 2011, 01:47 PM
Off the top of my head, I can think of 6 local gun shops within driving distance of my house or office. I like all of them except one. It's probably the busiest and does the most business, but they aren't real "personal". It's not the sort of place where you are going to have much luck ordering something, for instance.

But really, I'd prefer to buy from an individual anyway, so it doesn't really matter what the stores are like to me. My ammo comes from one store which deals mostly with law enforcement and so I get a good deal. Otherwise, I order what I need.

May 17, 2011, 07:30 PM

That is one heck of a Hardware Hank! I used to live between Galesville and Holmen. Awesome part of the state.

If you lived that close I can't believe you never made it to Moe's. It been a famous landmark to gun lovers for over a century.

The drive on 54 on the way to BRF is a nice drive. I miss that part of the state.

Yep........we ride 54 from BRF to Winona quite a bit on the bike. There's a good place for grub in North Bend and plenty of places to stop for a attitude adjustment. Then there's the infamous "Mindoro Cut".

The Mindoro Cut (

Arkansas Paul
May 17, 2011, 08:11 PM

Here's what I think of a local shop, and "old" guys.
Don't get me wrong, all of them aren't good, but there are two within an hour's drive that I absolutely love.

May 17, 2011, 08:59 PM
Arkansas - thanks for that link, I by no means wanted to give the impression that I was put off by them being "old"! Frankly, I see all the time and have dinner at least once a week with my grandfather, an old Navy man, and I start looking forward to the next one as I'm pulling out of the driveway.

That man knows more than I ever will, even if I were to live to be a hundred fifty years old.

May 17, 2011, 09:28 PM
Hey Dryft,

I have a great local gun shop up here in Medway, Maine. Barry at Two River canoe is a great guy and treats me good. He has sold me 10 rifle in the last 2 years, and the prices were right. I have also had good luck at a little shop Bob's in Matawamkeag, he has a lot of use guns and reloading equipment. There is another place in China called Wildwoods, he is a little high on prices but some times you can get a deal.

May 17, 2011, 11:19 PM
There's one I like and another I avoid, if possible. The good one is friendly and attentive. Their prices on most things are fairly decent. Only problem is they no longer do FFL transfers.

The bad is snobbish, sky-high prices, but they will do FFL transfers.

Can't always get what you want, right? :rolleyes:

May 18, 2011, 12:23 PM
Dryft, are you near Brunswick/Freeport?

May 18, 2011, 03:53 PM
8654Maine - Yup, I'm about forty minutes north.

May 18, 2011, 11:57 PM
A good gunshop will survive. Here, they put up a Sportmans Warehouse across the highway from The Firing Line, and a Gander 2 miles down the road. Sportmans shut down, Gander is headed that way, but Lenny and Mike have never been better. They have a huge inventory and a good staff, and they price merchandise competetively.

The Gander Mt deserves to go. They wonít be missed. The Bass Pro up the road is always a zoo. Once the novelty of going there wore off I canít think of a good reason to go back. Too crowded, too expensive and despite being huge, somehow I can never find what Iím looking for.

Iíve been to most gun stores in Denver but somehow have never been in the Firing Line. Iíll have to remedy that.

I live across town and have five within 20 minutes of me and only one worth going to. Another is OK, I want to shop there, but heís just too expensive and has a very limited selection.

May 20, 2011, 10:27 AM
I almost went into a limited partnership with mine. I like the entire culture. I find gun owners to be Generally intelligent, able to discuss things without bias and nice folks . I also like to help people make informed decisions as to what they need and don't need. Many are concerned about leaving a gun in the house and things of that nature, if they have small children". Just informing them of the various methods of rendering the weapon inoperative seems to help sell a gun to an otherwise concerned parent. They "gun stores" are not all the same as we know. Some don't give you the time of day, but just like any other business, it's part business, and part personality. If you talk to folks in the way that you like to be spoken to, you open the door to selling them something. It may not be today, but when they decide to buy, chances are they will come to you for that purchase.

May 20, 2011, 10:44 AM
Of the 5 shops I have been in that are within a 15 mile radius of my home I like 1 out of 6.

2 are pawn shop type sellers with limited overpriced inventory.

One is well stocked but sells guns for MSRP or higher. :what:

1 has no inventory charges $30 for transfers from other FFLs only and if you ask him to order something you pay upfront and he charges you MSRP.

The last guy is my go to guy. He is just starting up. Does local shows and has a small shop. $10 transfers. He has limited inventory but is willing to order things at a fair price and sells things reasonably. He is ex-military and a younger guy.

The local market has been dominated for a longtime by the well stocked overpriced vendor. Too many people do not know any better and simply pay what they ask because they have it in stock. I have found over the years that in smaller areas the "local FFL" has enjoyed a virtual monoloply and has developed a take it or leave it attitude.

When I lived in VA I had a great transfer dealer who charged me $15 and then just down the road was Greentop which is great store, even if they are a little over priced on some items.

May 21, 2011, 10:46 PM
Like the Professor we have several very good tradesmen in the area. I do my best to custom them equally.

May 21, 2011, 11:30 PM
the smaller "mom & pop" type gun shop about 2o minutes from my home has good prices, friendly, helpful staff. and low target range rental prices.

May 21, 2011, 11:33 PM
I live in the boonies, but we do have a couple FFLs within 40 miles or so. One only handles new high end stuff, the other only used weapons.

The guy that sells only used, will order for you, and his prices are very reasonable. He sells his ammo cheaper than Wal-mart does for the same stuff and will give you a price break for large quantities. He also has a lot of reloading supplies, black powder all kinds of stuff. $20 transfers. Really nice and easy to work with. Very small shop. This is where I take most of my business.

The guy that sells the high end new stuff has average pricing, not super good, not really bad. He has a lot of ammo, but very little reloading stuff. $35 transfers. I don't know who he sells all that expensive stuff to, but he has been in business for years. Nice guy if he has is what you want, but he really doesn't like to special order.

May 21, 2011, 11:37 PM
I have three in my area. One with odd hours that you almost have to call ahead and make an appointment. That doesn't work well when I want to browse. One shop with a moronic owner who, last time I was in there whined because I was getting fingerprints on his guns. I was looking for a used .22 rifle but left immediately when he started fussing and drove 90 miles to big box store and got a better deal. I'll never darken his door again. The third has limited inventory with high prices but I have bought a couple of guns from him. Probably won't do it anymore though. I'm tired of getting shafted and don't really need any more guns anyway. Everything else I can get on the internet much more reasonably. None of these are businesses anyway, just hobby shops.

May 22, 2011, 12:34 AM
The one where I used to live wasn't very good. They sold me a WASR-10 and the guy was a total jerk, but I was a young Marine and wanted an AK-47. I had a problem with one of the magazines, and this place is SUPPOSED to be a gunsmith too, and after I took the mag back twice I finally gave up and just busted it apart myself. I noticed there was a dent inside where the follower kept getting stuck, so I just took a hammer and whacked the follower to dent it to go over the mag dent and the mag has worked fine ever since.

The shop by where I live now is pretty good, got me a CZ-82 from CTD for the exact price they had it listed for online. They have changed owners since then, but the guy who works the counter is still the same so not sure what real difference there is now. It's kind of funny because the store shares one of those steel buildings with a shop that carves headstones. Every time I go in I'm the only customer and it makes me a little sad. The guy working there is really nice but I'm afraid they won't do enough business to stay open.

As for the local pawnshops... I can relate to the guy who said his thought used guns were worth more than new ones. Besides, they all have a sleazy feel to them.

May 22, 2011, 12:38 AM
I don't like mine at all. Very impersonal and when I go in, they look at you as what do you want? I have bought one rifle there (Rem 700) and have been in several times. I asked for #11 percussion caps. Not in stock and seasonal. I asked could he get some, he wrote my name down and put me down for 500, have not gotten a call. (been in several times since) no caps. It's been 3 months. Asked about small pistol primers (he had large only) and was told when he gets enough interest to order enough he can make a profit, he'll do so. Didn't know when that would be. Asked about bulk handgun bullets, nope, don't carry them. Asked about real black powder, don't carry it due to storage regulations. Only shop in town. Had a better experience at the pawn shop where I bought a used pistol.
I would like to buy local, and support local business, but this place sucks. I do a whole lot better from the computer, and the UPS guy has a personality.

Ruger GP100 fan
May 22, 2011, 12:46 AM
I am very fortunate in that I have a lgs where I can buy almost anything having to do with reloading. What's more,the owner is an absolute wealth of shooting and reloading knowledge and as soon as he came to understand that I am serious about learning,he eagerly shares his knowledge with me. I could not ask for a better situation and in return I buy most of my supplies from him,though I honestly don't think he's the kind of guy that would treat me any different if I didn't. I am lucky,in deed:).

May 22, 2011, 01:04 AM
Any gun shop that is put out of business by Wal-Mart was headed that way anyway. Wally world carries no hand guns (Except AK) and a couple dozen cheap rifles and shotguns. That's not competition.

I'm glad to hear someone else say that. Any gun store that can't compete with a Wal-Mart, of all things, doesn't deserve to be in business.

My favorite gun store is sandwiched right between two Wal-Marts and has a Gander Mountain right across the street. There is a Bass Pro Shops up the road a stop light or two. Plus another gun store 10-12 miles away. You darn near have to take a number at the gun counter most days.

I drive sixty miles one way to shop there. Most everything you see me post a picture of, came from there. Yea. I like them.

May 22, 2011, 01:10 AM
My local gun shop is a fantastic places with very good prices, and very competent staff who actually know guns. I rarely deal anywhere else.

May 22, 2011, 01:14 AM
My small town has two decent sized medium shops with good service and two small shops, one of which has good service, the other has outstanding service. I consider myself very lucky and try to spread my money around to them all.

May 22, 2011, 01:23 AM
Yes, very much. They have always been very helpful to me and my shooting partner. They have never been condescending and they encourage women shooters. I hang out and listen and they dont mind. They discuss any questions I have about self-defense in general, not just guns.

They have lots of guns to rent, which I did before buying mine.

As for prices, they're not bad. But I'm not much of a gun buyer, just a shooter.

Edit: my gun shop is also my local range...does that make a difference? It's also where I go to shoot.

May 22, 2011, 02:27 AM
I must admit that I don't like any of my LGSs. I am an Indianapolis resident, and we suffer a severe dearth of even passable gun stores. The one Naptown resident in this thread said it best earlier when he mentioned a certain unnamed shop. I have to travel at least 30 miles one way to find a decent store. Woe unto us Naptowners. :(

May 22, 2011, 08:34 AM
Yes, I do have a great local gun shop. It's a small two person operation, and both people are good to deal with.

The owner will order anything you like, that he can get. He'll also do transfers at a reasonable price if you buy something out of state.

He also does Gunbroker sales, so he has the best of both worlds going. A good guy, and loads of fun to talk with. He sells all kinds of guns, with no preconceptions of say, hunting vs. ARs or whatever.

I can heartily recommend him, and do all the time. So much better than dealing with the mega stores.

It's comical to be on a first name basis at a gun store, almost like Cheers. "Norm!"

May 22, 2011, 08:50 AM
A few weeks ago I would have said no. I had just purchased a new firearm from them 10 days earlier and I purchased a rifle they did not carry from an auction site. I went in to see about having it shipped to their FFL and was told that they have a graduated scale for the charge depending on what the gun was and that that particular firearm would be $60 for the transfer fee! Needless to say I used another shop. This weekend I went to the range next door to that same dealer ($60 transfer). I had a minor problem with my firearm (turned out to be a screw in the optics mount that had backed out) and the gunsmith from the shop walked over to the range, checked it out, fixed it, and refused to charge me. So now I'm conflicted! Bad treatment/great service, same shop...


May 22, 2011, 09:16 AM
I don't like any gun store in the area north of Cuyahoga Falls.

All of the gun stores here north of there are either:

insanely over-priced
stocked mostly with boring (to me) firearms
staffed by obnoxious buffoons who let their neer do well buddies hang around and do their Andrew "Dice" Clay impressions

If I actually PLAN to go to a gun store, it's to Dick's Gun Room or Pro Armament, both in Cuyahoga Falls.

May 23, 2011, 08:32 PM
So I have decided I really like my LGS. They remember their customers, the counter lady called me by my first name today. Granted, I was in there on Friday, but still, not what I expected. I went in there to put a shotgun on layaway, all of $79.50 but I didn't have the cash on hand. For a sub $100 gun, layaway. Not only that, but they take me out to their range and test fire it. Nice. Well the older than dirt single shot 20 gauge has some issues, the recoil loosened the fore end and it slipped off. Not a big deal, but they gave it to their in house gun smith to fix while it's on layaway. Excellent customer service for a POS gun. Gotta love it.

May 23, 2011, 09:00 PM
Although there are several gun shops near me, I would say "my" gun shop would be Buds (THE Buds). Some might argue it's not local because they do so much business online, but there is an actual brick-and-mortar store in Lexington and I love going in there! They could arm a decent size army with all the guns they have in stock. Not to mention all the accessories they sell and the really nice indoor ranges (reactive steel and paper). Unfortunately they do jack up ammo prices a little, so I get that at Walmart or online, but as everyone knows, you can't beat their gun prices. Most of the staff is also very knowledgable and friendly.

It doesn't hurt that I've been in a lot recently so the staff is starting to recognize me.

May 23, 2011, 09:17 PM
I've had great success with my local shop. I have been buying from them for over 40 years. I compete with them at shoots and we are good friends. They are just local people and not really business people. If they put a selling price on something 5 years ago and it doesn't sell until that is the price.

I had occasion to visit a large gun shop in the Buffalo, NY area. I have never been treated so well in my life--even the local guy isn't out going like these guys.

They answered all my questions and even let me buy extra primers (during the shortage a couple of years ago) because I was so far from home.

You never know.

I do see the side of the, old guys could care, in a shop I visited near Burlington, VT--it was like he was doing me a favor.

May 23, 2011, 11:34 PM
I finally got a great LGS close to the house. It's a one man show but that makes it even better. We took a while sizing each other up but it was worth the wait. Where else can I fondle guns, talk politics, fondle guns, shoot the bull about the old days, fondle guns, fix my AR on a Saturday, did I say fondle guns?

I make it a point to almost always buy something, doesn't have to be a lot, but just something like optics, mags, slings, etc.

I need to drop by tomorrow to shoot the breeze.

May 23, 2011, 11:37 PM
The gun shops are alright, just higher priced then I'd like. One seems to cater toward LE more, has a large bit of case area dedicated to "LE-Only" discounted firearms. The other has a classy feel to it. One seems to go out of business and reopen on a weekly basis. Another is pretty much a hole in the wall next to a pawnshop with very limited selection. Last time I took a tour of them all were overpriced in my opinion ($75-$150 over MSRP at times).

Then again, surplus/mail-order and the internet has skewed my perception of what firearms are worth.

The ones that really piss me off are the Benny's Pawnshops. Massively overpriced, unwilling to discuss prices, and staff don't know squat about firearms. Wanted $400 for a Ruger Security Six who's finish was so heavily worn you could have mistaken it for a dirty stainless (it wasn't). Upon examination the Cylinder was locked up, wouldn't budge, and it looked like some one had tried to pry it open with a tool. At another Benny's they wanted $270 for Remington 870 20ga. It was covered in surface rust and the stock was covered with rub marks. Guy behind counter was willing to lower the price to $250.

I remember going to Benny's as a boy with my father, used to be reasonable. Don't know what changed with them.

May 23, 2011, 11:56 PM
Speaking as someone from behind the gun counter I go out of my way to greet and bs with the 20-30 something customers come into the store (college town)
I well know that there are sales to be made with them, about 1/3 have pretty good firearm knowledge and I enjoy talking with them. The down side is that many don't have money and are just curious and want to drool- I have to talk to 10 students to sell one gun- (i was a poor student once and sympathize with their frustrations)

You younger guys keep in mind that the older guys typically dont follow the tacticool stuff or the latest polymer pistol- combine that with talking to ten people of a cashless demographic to sell one or two guns...
Furthermore, that friend they are bsing with has probably spent thousands of dollars at the store and they know each others firearm tastes- Just sayin... the kid that come in will be "can i see that one, can i see that one, can i see that one?" "Oh, sorry, I'm only 20..."
On a final note, 9 out of 10 customers say "no thanks, just looking." when asked if they have questions. I know because I ask irregardless :)

No doubt though, some stores do suck balls

May 24, 2011, 12:17 AM
Hooked on Toys in Wenatchee, WA.... guns are only marked up 10% not too bad for this area and its one stop shopping hunting, camping, fishing, boating..

May 24, 2011, 01:10 AM
I am fortunate... there are a couple pretty good LGS's in my hometown.

One is larger, sells more and buys more I think, and generally has prices just a little higher than the other. Their customer service isn't as good. At times you might have to stand at the counter and wait for someone to come and help you out. They're not exactly unfriendly or unfair, but they're not exactly always right on top of it when it comes to selling you a gun or some ammo either. Still, they guarantee used guns for 30 days and have a large selection of used guns to buy and new guns to slobber over. I stop in a lot and buy sometimes.
The other is an Army-Navy store with a gun department. The owner can be a difficult at times but the manager of the gun department is a personal friend and a very good guy. He takes people to the range on his lunch break to familiarize them with guns at times. Another employee there is a very experienced shooter and retired PA State Trooper - he also knows his stuff. Other part time employees come and go but as long as they have the help of the more experienced guys to fall back on for help, they're largely OK. Their prices are generally a little lower than the big store "down the street" and the service is a little better, but the selection isn't as vast. I buy there when I can and stop there as often as possible to BS about guns, the opposite sex, politics, and to sling rude jokes at the employees (who sling rude jokes back at me).
There's a small overpriced place on the outside edge of town. I stop there from time to time and have gotten some ammo there but never any guns. I'm just not impressed with them. They don't bring anything to the table that I can't get from the other places. They'd have to have something I really couldn't live without for me to buy there.
There's another tiny hole-in-the-wall place about twenty miles away that's the best for transfers I've found. I like the place just because the owner gets in "different" guns from time to time... like Uberti Colt Conversions or a Spencer replica. Gun prices are OK, ammo prices are generally too high, and the owner's daughter is freakin' hot!

Based on this info... can you guess where I'm from? :cool:

May 24, 2011, 03:32 AM
I really like one of my local gun shops, the other one not at all. The guys that work at the one I like have been there for years and they treat me like a friend not a customer, I go in there all the time just to hang out even if I have no intention of buying.

The other gun shop is real small with a poor selection of guns and seems to cater more to LE and the people that work there are a bit standoffish.

May 24, 2011, 06:24 AM
I guess the best local gun shop in the Tampa area is Shoot Straight. Great prices when they have sales and the sales force is very courteous. The place is huge, about the size of a supermarket, and there are probably 20 to 25 salesmen/women on duty. And they have an indoor rifle/pistol range right in the store. I took a "New Shooter" and my "Concealed Carry" classes right in their in-store classroom (taught by an excellent teacher who is a member of the Tampa police swat team.) I've tried some of the smaller places in the Tampa area but I found the prices high and their patience with a new shooter with lots of questions (like me) to be very limited.
And Walmart...I buy most of my ammo there and purchased a beautiful Henry 22 lever action and a Ruger Mini 14 there at prices far better than I could find anywhere else.

May 24, 2011, 09:52 AM
My LGS is where I shoot (the Range Stafford VA). Good folks. They donít have the biggest inventory, but often have used guns at decent prices. I look over their inventory when I go shooting and occasionally see a deal.


May 24, 2011, 10:50 AM
Nope, can't say that I do.

There are 3 local shops to me.

One is a very small shop that is mostly a gunsmith business with a few extra things. His gunsmithing services aren't priced too bad (the same can't be said of the for sale merchandise), but the gunsmith/owner has a BAD attitude problem. Everything he might work on is a great favor to you and you should be happy he's even taking the time to see you. Eventually he hired a clerk to deal with the customers as his people skills are just not there. The clerk is nicer, and has a decent gun knowledge, but something just don't sit right with me about him. Just seems "off".

Gun shop and range a little further down the road: prices on guns and ammo are INSANE. For new guns expect - no joke - 15 to 20% over MSRP. I can't believe they sell anything, but somehow this place is always crawling with people. That's actually a good thing IMHO, as some of the smaller shops if you're the only customer in the store just browsing the staff seems to regard you with suspicion for some reason. Haven't ever bought a gun or ammo from this place - doubt I ever will - but I do buy some accessories. Holsters and such. They often have good prices on used magazines (in a big bin - no labels - just search through and if you find one you can use it's $10). Their range is also excellent - $5 to shoot all you want to. $5 gun rentals so long as you buy their ammo to shoot in their guns. In think the range is what keeps the shop full.

The other local shop I don't get to as often. It's the closest to my house, but farthest from where I work. I can't make it there on a weekday and they close so early on Saturdays that I only make it up there a few times per year. Their prices are ok-ish. Ammo is a bit high ($25 for a box of 9mm Makarov last time I was there - ouch), but their gun prices are a little less than the other shops in the area. Sadly though, their accessories are mostly static items that never seem to change. Their "reloading section" currently has the same 6 or 7 trays of shotgun primers in it that it had there 2 years ago. Never seen another thing appear on that shelf. Same couple bottles of powder too. I've never seen another customer in that store at the same time that I was in there. They really seem to move virtually no inventory - makes me wonder how they're still in business.

Also, I don't know what it is, but ALL of the places above have the same dank, concrete floor, dimly lit appearance. I swear some better lighting, actual tiles on the floor, and just a general clean up of the place would bring more customers into some of these places. Make it feel like a real place of business rather than some back alley that you accidentally wandered into.

May 24, 2011, 12:03 PM
Local gun shop that had an extremely helpful older gentleman owner went belly up!

Only big chain stores close to me now.

I drove to a 'local' shop on the other side of town, and after pointedly standing at the counter for an eternity <eek! A lone female - surely she's waiting for male accompaniment> someone finally approached. In a sneering tone "what are you here for? You want to buy a gun? (snicker) I informed the counter person that I was interested in looking at sporting clay guns. After showing me two he excused himself and walked away to attend to someone else. (it was not busy, other counter people were free) I left.

Sadly, I had a much different experience when I took along a friend's husband from the Army for shopping. They were falling all over themselves to show us guns. (admittedly a different store, but still a Mom and Pop place) Apparently single females are scary!

May 24, 2011, 12:31 PM
vikinggirl - that kind of treatment is a shame. While I was at a LGS yesterday, a young woman came to the counter wearing a sweatshirt from the same university I attend. She was looking for a trap gun and knew what she needed. She was talking to the salesperson (a knowledgable and pretty decent guy) about sight pictures, how the stocks on field guns, skeet guns, field guns all differ, about how she didn't want longer than a 28" barrel - in short, she knew a hell of a lot more about them than I do and she knew exactly what she wanted.
Good thing for that shop that they have employees who aren't consdescending idiots toward female shooters.

May 24, 2011, 12:36 PM
There's a gun store within 2 miles of my home, but I don't particularly like it. Selection is poor, and just as Dryft experienced, when I went in there to ask some questions, they acted like I was really putting them out.

I have had nothing but good experiences with Ace Sporting Goods in Washington, Pennsylvania. It seems as though whenever I'm looking for something in particular, they seem to have it when none of the other stores (including Cabela's) has it. The staff is professional, knowledgeable, and polite. One of their salesmen went out of his way to answer Mrs. jkp1187's questions, both about the gun and holster selection for a woman when she was there. I therefore don't mind driving 45 minutes to shop there.

May 24, 2011, 01:02 PM
to the op, it's exactly like you described, in florida. some shops are all old timers. others are regulars only.

new comers or walkins are treated poorly at best, and some shops even ignore them compeltely until they just leave. and i don't mean gangsta looking troublemakers or crazy eyed nutcases, i mean regular joe types who have never gotten into firearms before. which makes me think maybe bad gunshop attitudes have helped fuel anti-gun sentiments/attitudes in some regards?

i dislike most of the local shops. some are better than others obviously and some employees at each shop are better than others. most have more than a few know nothing arses, loud mouth types. also at least one who doesn't want to talk at all, or answer questions, and acts annoyed by real questions, and having to do his job.

i avoid gunshops for anything i can get on the internet, meaning anything but guns. yes i know i can get guns on the internet, but the ffl's down here have banded togther to make it a real pita on doing transfers, and a lot refuse to do them. maybe i'm wrong for doing this on ammo and accesories via the internet, but i find it easier, but more importantly a much bigger selection and much better pricing, even with shipping charges.

i often wonder if it's the business and all the nutcases, idiots one has to deal with that turns some gun shop workers and owners into such anti-consumer types?

Broken Anvil
May 25, 2011, 01:25 PM
Can't stand it. We have one large gun shop left in Baton Rouge and it deserves to die and let the big box stores fill the void. They have no interest in anything except your wallet and good luck if you have a problem with a firearm you bought there. The so called "gunsmith" on site won't even come out to speak to you, he just sends a shop flunkie out to tell you to "send it to the factory, not my problem". :fire: I shop on Gunbroker and the internet, anything else I can get at Cabelas, Bass Pro or Academy Sports. It's a crying shame the local gun shops have gone away but for some it's good riddence.

May 25, 2011, 07:22 PM

May 26, 2011, 09:38 PM
Absolutely. It's very small, but they'll order anything you want, and their prices beat anything I can get online or otherwise. Owned and operated by some local LEO's. I consider myself fortunate to have them 15 miles away.

May 26, 2011, 10:50 PM
i pulled up to this metal shack amongst others like it; typical industrial area. i didn't know what to think. there was a banner hanging lazily atop the entry that said "GUNS."
when i walked in to this dive... i instantly remembered that feeling i got as a kid when the traveling carnival came into my town; excitement!

it was bleak looking inside... except for the guns; w german Sigs, the new Glock 17, old Remington Wingmasters that dripped with patina, guns and more guns, Steiner binoculars and 2 smiling faces that stared toward my direction from the other side of the counter. an HK Benelli M1 Super 90 sat on top of a wooden box next to a cup of coffee.

yup, i had come to the right place! to make a long story short, i found some great friendship at that "dive" and still miss those wonderful people that kept that place going. we sat many a time discussing and solving the world's problems, while neglecting our own. there was always time for coffee and visiting. it was truly a "gun shop" and there was no mistaking it for a "store."

E Mark Felix and his dad Herb left california for las vegas and along with them went my best wishes. i'll never forget them.

i don't expect to find a place like that in this day and age. but i have found a pawn shop that treats me well, that is local to me. i've done some out of state transfers with Alamo Jewelry and Loan with no glitches. i found an older pristine (1983) w german P220-E .45 ACP at Alamo which i could not afford.... Josh offered me a layaway arrangement i could not say no to. a european magazine release P220 has long been on my list and this one will soon be in my safe.

May 27, 2011, 09:00 PM
Yes, I like some of my local gun shops. There are probably a dozen gun shops in my immediate area. I haven't visited them all. There are three chain stores (plus 5 or 6 Walmarts) and 4 or 5 pawn shops that sell guns that I can think of. I visit a couple shops every month or so but have not visited all of them. Several are dogs that I visited 4-5 years ago and was not impressed. Maybe one of these changed? I doubt it. I tend to visit the same three or four shops and skip the others.

May 29, 2011, 05:07 AM
Mine sucks. Grumpy old fart who is not current on his gun info and I have found him to tell some outright bs on occasion.

May 29, 2011, 02:31 PM
There are two major gun shops in San Antonio (and a few smaller ones, I don't know much about). Dury's - is the one I use. They are pleasant and helpful. Their gunsmiths have always done well by my tasks. Decent prices on used guns with a warantee.

There is another big one - nasty in my experience. YMMV.


May 29, 2011, 03:37 PM
I've been to three of our local gun shops. First one I went to also has an indoor range and I went specifically to shoot some rentals in my quest to find the gun I wanted. Made several trips there since, only one of the range officers was friendly and helpful, others did as asked and little more, even after seeing me there multiple times. I made clear each time that I was trying to decide on a gun to purchase but not once did anyone offer to show me a new gun or make a suggestion on anything. Maybe as Viking Girl suggested, single females are scary.

Second place - Dean Forest Guns & Ammo. I talked to the owner at his booth at the gun show, then dropped by his store a week or so later. He remembered me and helped me for a while, but then as I was getting ready to leave, one of the other guys, Mark, asked me a few question then really spent time helping me make a decision. And I did make my final decision based largely on our discussion (in addition to my own research of course).

Third place - also indoor range, larger selection of rentals than first place, FAR less expensive, but actual range was no where near as nice. Staff was friendly, but really young, though I didn't get into any discussions with them so have no idea if they were knowledgeable. Price on the gun I want was cheaper than Dean Forest but the guys at Dean Forest took time with me, made me feel comfortable, and were very helpful - they earned my $$ and that's where I'll make my purchase in a couple days. (woo hoo!)

I did meet one other gun shop owner at the gun show who owns a shop about two hours from me. He was very helpful, small shop owner, and I've spoken to him on the phone a couple times since about some hard to find parts. I'll purchase larger ticket items from him in the future too, again because he was helpful.

On a side note, specifically for those stores like the first one I went to and others like them: It would be nice if the guys behind the counter would recognize that it takes a little bit of courage for a woman to walk into a gun store alone and ask a question in front of ten big scary guys fondling guns. I'm not asking for special treatment, but geesh, don't make me pry the answers out of you - because I won't. I'll go somewhere else.

Joe Demko
May 29, 2011, 04:00 PM
There are several around here that I like. Other than one of them refusing to do any business with Buds, none of them are cranky or quirky. Generally, the closer in to Pittsburgh you get, the less pleasant the privately owned shops are to deal with in my experience. It's the younger clerks, too, not the fabled grouchy old men. When I ask if something is in stock, I want to know if it is in stock, nothing more. I don't need any commentary on what it is I want to buy or what is on my hip. I especially don't need it from some neckbearded calorically-oversupplied dweeb in a black "kill'em all let God sort 'em out" tee-shirt. When said dweeb is also snippy with me for taking him away from his cell phone conversation to wait on me, that pretty well seals that I'm not spending a dime there.

May 29, 2011, 04:10 PM
Let me start by saying I'm 21, and have been going to local shops since I was 15, first with my father, than eventually on my own.

I have two of which is large, has a pretty good stock at any given time, tons of employees...and that I cant stand. They wont let you look at a handgun without a permit (granted you need a permit to buy, but I was personally looking around at handguns before I GOT my permit, and I doubt I'm alone there) And THAT'S even assuming you can get someones attention long enough to ask in the first place. VERY impersonal, and sometimes just outright rude.

The other is a smaller shop, but I love the place. I've gotten to know several of the employees, and can just chat and hang out at times. On this past wednesday, after finally getting my permit, I went in intending on picking up a Glock. It was about 30minutes before they closed, and the states version of the NICS check closed, and they just told me I'd get delayed anyways. That said, they sat there, went through them with me, showed me any I wanted to see, and then took the one I picked, and set it aside for me. Went back Thursday morning to get it. They've reliably gone above and beyond, and have no problem just chatting with you if they're not swarmed with customers...them, I like.

May 29, 2011, 04:13 PM
The three I visit the most frequently have very friendly and helpful staff, but no one has a good selection of anything reloading components are hard to find, and ammo prices were much better in Tacoma.

May 29, 2011, 04:14 PM
NO ~ we have three, two are owned by the same guy. All three are run by a bunch of opinionated jerks that are out to fleece their customers for every penny they can. Aside from that - don't dare like a model, make, or caliber of gun that is different from what they are trying to sell.

The last few years, all the guns I have bought have been FTF from individuals or off the internet. I also buy my ammo in bulk off the internet. I'm not saying I would not patronize a local gun store if we had one that knew how to talk too, and treat customers in a decent manner. But, until then, there are other avenues to pursue my hobby.

May 29, 2011, 05:14 PM
I don't.

There are two a couple towns over from me. One of them acts like they're too cool to talk to me. Fat middle aged guys with way inflated prices, basically acting like they're the only gig in town. This is the closest one; I've only visited once. It's maybe 10 miles away.

Another place, the owner is friendly and has good gun deals, but has very high prices on accessories. This one is probably 12 miles away. Occasionally, good deals can be found here. These guys have a range and they have bowling pin shoots sometimes.

I'm sad to say that Bass Pro's employees are the most friendly to me. They employ guys behind the gun counter of all demographics, and they don't act like I'm wasting their time if I'm just browsing. Bass Pro is 15 miles away from me.

There's a bigger gun shop that is about 30 miles away from me. Their prices (for guns, at least) are competitive with the internet, but their accessories are way marked up. They're super-busy, so they hardly ever have time for me. There are maybe 10 salesmen there at a time, and they're always busy. I've bought a few guns from them. (

In short, I won't support a local shop just because they're local. They have to be friendly, honest, and they have to not insult my intelligence by pricing everything way too high.

May 29, 2011, 06:08 PM
Yes, I do like my FLGS. He is a pretty small shop, excellent price on guns, decent price on ammo (380 is a little on the higher side, but whatever) and treated me like I was a long-time high-volume customer on my first visit. M&M Guns in St Peters, MO.

May 29, 2011, 06:54 PM
HAHA good one!

Call me crazy but, as a young(er) guy of thirty-four, I don't think local gun shops are even interested in dealing to my demographic.

Try being 20. None of the gun shops around here know that I can legally possess a pistol (this in a state where the min age for a carry permit is 18). Which would generally be fine, except some even refuse to sell me holsters and mags because I'm under 21Ö

One store tried to steal my pistol when I brought it in to have some night sights installed. Seriously, I had to threaten to call the police and report an armed robbery (he was carrying) just to get out of the store with my gun!

The next one (where I went to get the night sights mounted after LGS #1) handed my pistol back to some random guy standing next to me.

The next one lets me look at pistols and at least is reasonably stocked, but has one employee that makes it a habit of dry firing uncleared pistols at my chest. They also sold me an 8 year old gun with a known defect as "new"

The next one is a little over priced and won't let me look at anything (even long guns) because I'm under 21. They claim pistol grips (like an AR carbine) make the rifle transfer like a pistol so I can't buy from them, so I have no reason to look at the gun. The sad part is that they are a suppressor dealer, so I'll probably be dropping a lot of money there in a year or so.

Fortunately I have managed to find one about an hour and a half away that actually treats me with respect and even comments favorably about my bike (hard to find around here) and is very knowledgable. Even though it'll take a bit of time to get up there, they will be getting ALL of my business from now on.

May 29, 2011, 07:10 PM

The closest shop just closed up (20 miles). My friend worked there, but the owner who ran it was a D$%k - he would practically rape anyone who walked through the door - he justified it by saying that he didn't get many customers, and it was hard to keep the doors open. The jerk never realized that he was destroying his few chances for repeat business. Eventually he had to close his hole in the wall shop.

A bit farther away (40 miles), is an honest to God professional gun store. It is a huge open floor building with 6 or 7 uniformed clerks on floor at any given time, clean bright display cases, huge selection, many diverse taxidermy heads, bathrooms, vending machines, and a professional attitude. They even haggle / match prices.

Guess which store I shopped at? ;)

May 29, 2011, 08:10 PM
My old one, no, total dicks. They were the typical "if you arent here to pay 50% more than anywhere else, we dont want your business" and "your 'internet knowledge' is not welcome here" type of place. Every DPMS/Bushy/Armalite AR was $1700 and they wouldn't stop eating their lunch or talking with a friend to let me look at a rifle.(I am only 27) They preyed on old people who were out of touch with actual gun prices.

My new shop, yes. Palmetto State Armory opened a store last year, I went in the first day they opened their doors and got a tour and a free hat:D I talked to the owner for about an hour. I think I have been in there at least 4 times a month since.
The folks at Palmetto State Armory are super! And they have competitive prices on their
firearms and ammo.

Cap'n Jack Burntbeard
May 29, 2011, 08:38 PM
My local store is run by an old man who believes that people should only own revolvers and. 30-06 bolt actions.
But I still stop in every now and then to see if he has anything in as a trade.

But about 30 minutes away, there's a place called the Powderhorn, they have good selection, good service, and fair prices.
To me, it's worth the drive.

Cap'n Jack Burntbeard
May 29, 2011, 08:40 PM

May 29, 2011, 09:12 PM
There's a new gun store north of evansville which I've been to once. Seemed a little high priced. No good gun stores in Evansville, one's got the paramilitary cop attitude, and the other is a bunch of rednecks.

Whitaker's Guns in Owensboro is awesome. They have the most of anything I have ever seen. 6000 guns on premises. Six. Thousand.

May 30, 2011, 05:02 AM
Those of us that live in Northern Virginia (suburban DC) should consider ourselves very fortunate. There are some outstanding firearms stores here with excellent folks manning them. This creates some healthy competition for business as this area has one of the highest median incomes in the country. Just to put it in perspective, a husband and wife, both working for the federal government here for 20+ years have a combined annual income of nearly $200K! One local shop cannot keep Ed Brown, Les Baer and Wilson guns in stock because they sell so quickly. $2000 to $3000 each as we all know.
In a nutshell, the gun stores here are staffed with friendly, knowledgeable people, for the most part, who realize that if they want to sell guns and keep people coming back to buy more guns, they better make the visit to their store a pleasant experience.

Sav .250
May 30, 2011, 07:13 AM
Some old Gun stores (in the boonies) seem to be more of a local gathering/watering hole than an active business. :)

May 30, 2011, 08:26 AM
i live near Lawton, OK. Despite being the third largest city in OK; Lawton does not have a gun shop. There are pawnshops who have FFLs and their prices are terrible. Closest gun shop is Duncan, OK. The guy there is a rip-off artist. My new guns come from a pawn dealer in another town: He charges me $40 above his price.

June 1, 2011, 12:30 PM
My LGS is where I shoot (the Range Stafford VA). Good folks. They donít have the biggest inventory, but often have used guns at decent prices. I look over their inventory when I go shooting and occasionally see a deal.


I used to shoot there when I lived in Fredericksburg. They are good people and you can find good deals on used Glocks there. I never bought anything there but shot there a few times a month.

June 2, 2011, 02:45 PM
I go to one about an hour away that has almost 4000 guns in stock. His prices on guns and ammo are good, but everything else is overpriced. Nice people though.

June 2, 2011, 03:40 PM
Gun shops are just like any other businesses.

There are good and bad shops.

The good shops will do well - the bad one's will die.

I do feel that gun shops get a lot of tire kickers & lookers.

I know they get tired of that.

I have 2 gun shops that I buy from - I had to look a while to find them.


June 2, 2011, 07:35 PM
There are a few where I live but Tomball Pawn and Jewelry has my recommendation: friendly staff, great service, decent FFL fee ($25).

June 2, 2011, 07:42 PM
not particularly. with most of them, it's just like walking onto a used car lot.

June 2, 2011, 07:47 PM
My four "mom-n-pop" LGS favorites treat me well. But they know me.

Most any LGS that I wander into seems to treat me well too, but I'm in NC, and I'm 52 and usually rather Dudley DoRight looking. Maybe that makes a difference in how they perceive me... Dunno, but I'll take it.

June 3, 2011, 02:19 AM
Used to have a small gun shop in a small town where I knew the owner. Every Saturday I was there, bought my first rifle there, a 30-30 for $85. I refered all my buddies to his place and have spent alot of money there as well. After 10 years he builds a new shop and hires a bunch of turds to run it. Trading was a mainstay at the old shop and it was fair priced, he'd make some on trade-in and some on the bought gun. Now it's like a used car lot, they talk down a trade and try to rape you on the new price. Last time I went in, this is just what happened. I told them good luck and havent been back since. I really miss that place when it was small.

June 5, 2011, 11:23 PM
My old one, no, total dicks. They were the typical "if you arent here to pay 50% more than anywhere else, we dont want your business" and "your 'internet knowledge' is not welcome here" type of place. Every DPMS/Bushy/Armalite AR was $1700 and they wouldn't stop eating their lunch or talking with a friend to let me look at a rifle.(I am only 27) They preyed on old people who were out of touch with actual gun prices.

My new shop, yes. Palmetto State Armory opened a store last year, I went in the first day they opened their doors and got a tour and a free hat I talked to the owner for about an hour. I think I have been in there at least 4 times a month since.

I too have been very impressed by Palmetto State Armory. That place has been very busy lately, but the guys in there are very good about answering questions and are always polite and helpful. It doesn't hurt that their prices are generally the best in town.

By the way, I'm almost sure I know where your "old" gun store was. ;)

June 5, 2011, 11:29 PM
(Lower NY State)

Why wouldn't I like a dealer that sells 9mm and .38 spl factory fresh ammo for $10 a box?
And when I drop enough coin on ammo, waives an inbound transfer fee (an already low $25 per firearm.
And operates his business late in the evening, which works well since I rarely am able to get any personal errands.
His shop is always crawling with local PD, they're generally a decent bunch, and listening to their banter is... interesting.

June 6, 2011, 11:18 PM
There are a few employees at the local shop that won't even give me a second glance,even if I've been staring at a gun for 15 minutes. There are, however, two or three that will sit there and BS with me for 45 minutes on a busy Saturday, show me 30 guns, and tell me "when you're done saving up for it, come see me and I'll see what kind of deal we can work out", and answer any and all questions I can to the best of their knowledge. So I guess I love and hate my LGS. It really depends on who's working.

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