Three things I like in a gun store.


July 18, 2011, 10:42 PM
1. Atypical guns. You can get rows of glocks and ar-15s anywhere, it is nice to see a Tokarev, mosin, or m98 on occasion. Even nice to see fruity looking fn p-2000s

2. Lots of bulk ammo. I just walked out of a local store with 2520 rounds of romanian milsurp tokarev ammo, and 500 rounds of 12 gauge for my saiga, all for under $600.

3. A friendly staff. Happy to show off their wares, talk about the history of individual guns, etc.

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July 18, 2011, 10:46 PM've never seen rows of Mosins before? :scrutiny:

July 18, 2011, 11:02 PM
I like:
1. Guns
2. Guns
3. Guns

Cal-gun Fan
July 18, 2011, 11:08 PM
My 3 preferences would be:

1. That its the CMP store
2. Good non-mall ninja staff
3. Wide variety

July 18, 2011, 11:19 PM
1) Good service from knowledgeable, intelligent people who won't hand me a weapon muzzle-first or complain about Obama and/or politics in general. I'm there to buy a weapon, not to have you show me your ass.

2) A good selection of ammunition in common calibers. I understand that you might not have 10mm Auto, but you're out of 9mm? Really? Two years ago I would have understood, but now? No way.

3) If you don't have it, you're willing to get it.

Honorable mention: You have clean books. I nearly got burned (long story that I don't want to tell) when the BATFE and PA State Police traced back my .45 to where I bought it used and their record keeping indicated that things weren't quite what they were supposed to be. Took me 7 months to get it back, and it should have been a week or two.

In other words, keep it professional and precise, and don't forget why you're in business.

July 19, 2011, 07:46 PM
1) Some guns priced well below $600. Bonus points if I see a couple of "pot-metal" guns. The guy I just ordered (and got) my Kel-Tec P-32 was the fourth shop I visited (of those I had not been in before) before placing the order. When I saw a Llama, a Jennings, and a FIE .25 included in his case, I knew I was not dealing with a ninja-gun-snob. He eagerly ordered my KT (though he didn't have any .32 ammo that day!)
2) at least a few holsters in left-handed configuration; tells me he cares about all of his customers.
3) Someone who looks up when you come in and actually greets you, then backs off a little as you browse, only occasionally offering to "show you something" if you don't immediately ask.

July 19, 2011, 08:15 PM
Used guns
Nice Relaxed Staff who want to help sell you a gun.

July 19, 2011, 09:27 PM
#1)Customer service. It irks me so bad when I walk into a gun store and some grizzled old man looks at me and talks to me like I'm some punk ass idiot (Im 26 and well dressed and still get this sometimes). These guys will usually just set a gun down in front of you to see what you will do with it (I safety check it) before they will give you the time of day. Local gun shops are closing all the time, you'd think they'd be super excited to even have me walk into the store in the first place. Really makes me not want to buy anything.

#2)Unique and plentiful used guns. I love to look at and maybe buy guns with character and guns that have been around. Doesn't even matter what kind of firearm it is whether WW2 or 1990's it peaks my interest. New guns are cool but feel more impersonal to me (except for revolvers).

#3)Pricing. I know everyone has to stay in business and that's about making money but seriously. This one ties into the other two quite a bit as I will pay more if I feel I am supporting a local (or otherwise) store that DESERVES to be supported. Some places, I wouldn't give them the change from under my car seat.

July 19, 2011, 10:24 PM
Well then never visit Shooter's in Lorton VA.

You'll get none of those things.

El Mariachi
July 20, 2011, 12:23 AM
We're about 4300 miles and twenty days into our road trip right now, and have walked into maybe ten gun stores along the way, just to see what the rest of America sells that us Californians can't buy nor own nor probably ever get to see in person. And we have just been overwhelmed by the courtesy and friendliness of every employee of these places----it's almost as if they all graduated from the Nordstrom's school of customer service. (if you don't know what I'm talking about, go ask your richest female friend). But I think far and away the coolest store was the one we stumbled across in Kentucky yesterday called Knob Creek. Holy spicoli, this one is like firearm nirvana. Probably saw at least 600 guns on display of every, used, big $ black ones. Nicest fricken folks you'd ever wanna meet. Plus they have a range that looks to be at least 350 yards out at the canyon end, not to mention they host twice yearly America's largest machine gun expo thingy, when people from all over the country come to to shoot almost any civvy legal firearm ever made. And probably some that are not. We're seriously considering driving back there in October for the next one. Crap, they'll even let you camp out there.....:D

July 20, 2011, 12:44 AM
1) A variety of used hunting-oriented firearms (the more pre-64 Winchesters and Belgian Brownings, the better)
2) A decent supply of moderately-priced milsurps
3) A staff which knows what's in the store, can help a noob get up and running without too much extra crap and will build a decent relationship with frequent customers.

July 20, 2011, 12:50 AM
Good Selection
Good Prices
Good Service

July 20, 2011, 12:55 AM
1) Quality ar-15's, ak's, etc. There can be rows upon rows of those, but they are generally crap in my experience.

2) A accessories section. I'm tired of hearing "whats slip 2000?", over priced magazines, crappy holsters, etc etc.

3) Good prices. I hate seeing items a couple hundred dollars over MSRP, ammo that is several dollars more than online, etc etc.

Generally I can find atleast one of those at any gun shop. But I've yet to get all three.

July 20, 2011, 06:30 AM
we have a place called Rays Gun Shop located by me in Newport, NC this place is great

1. Friendly and knowlegable staff, willing to help you and will not attempt to take advantage
2. Variety of guns including new and used that are fairly priced
3. cute gun girls are always a plus

July 20, 2011, 06:48 AM
1. Staff that doesn't ask like you being there shopping is a hassle.

2. A good selection of reloading components/supplies.

3. An indoor range that doesn't cost a fortune to use.

Truthfully, I don't purchase many guns locally - and when I do its usually from a pawn shop rather than a gun shop (better prices). I do buy a lot of reloading stuff, and other accessories like holsters and mags from the local shops. If they cater towards that, then they'll see me again.

July 20, 2011, 06:51 AM
Good prices- I won't beat you to death with Bud's Guns if you don't come out of the gate trying to rob me with retail +50%
Organized- Stuff not stacked everywhere. Peg boards that don't look like your garage. Make it easy for me to find what I want or need. And keep the display cases and racks clean and organized.
Friendly to women- Shops that neither condescend nor make a big deal out of having female clientele tend to be more enlightened. Enlightened management philosophy indicates that a business might have what it takes to stick around. I have a hard time justifying supporting a local gun store that is nothing but 80's swagger and works harder at being an anachronism than being a good place to buy guns and shoot. One of my barometers for this is how female customers are treated.

July 20, 2011, 09:10 AM
Being that it is a gun store, Having guns, ammo and accessories would be fairly obvious.

So what I like to see are:

1) Caring, knowlegable staff. It doesn't matter how busy they are, they say hello and often refer to you by name.

2) Stuff for the wife and kids to look at while I'm drooling over gun porn. Stuffed trophy animals for the kids, a toy section, etc.

3) A large amount of less-expensive and used firearms. That's just good business sense. In this economy, you're more likely to sell a lot more guns for less than you are going to sell high dollar custom ones. Cater to your customers, have a wide variety.

My LGS (one of two) has everything from C&B pistols to AR-15s, crossbows, safes, reloading, gear, etc. and does everything listed above.

July 20, 2011, 09:35 AM
I'm very fortunate. My gun shop is about 15 miles away, I consider the owners to be honest, If they don't have what I want they try to find it, and if they think I'm making a purchase I'm gonna regret, they tell me. The ONLY possible complaint I have when comparing other stores is the limited selection of handguns on display. But the prices are much better. They are geared more for hunters and have a large inventory of rifles and shot guns.

July 21, 2011, 01:12 AM
We have some good shops in the valley but I do have two things id like to see more of.

#1 More real Colt 1911's. Everyone has got 1911's on the shelves but of the 20+ gun shops the valley only two of them always have at least two different style Colt 1911's in stock.

#2 A wider selection of revolvers. Perhaps three stores have a selection of more than 12 revolvers that are more than S&W and Taurus or S&W and Ruger (SA, if i find more than two double action Rugers, its a miracle )

July 21, 2011, 01:17 AM
1) Staff who will let me look and ask stupid questions without making me feel stupid.

2) lots of used guns of different makes and models

3) Locally owned.

July 21, 2011, 01:22 AM
Yes Clifford, I agree on the revolver thing. I LOVE to play with and see a lot of revolvers.

Ala Dan
July 21, 2011, 02:11 PM
I like "Mom and Pop" gun shops, rather than the "big box" shops that cater to
only customers wearing suits and ties; like one shop here, near Birmingham,

Professional sales persons are a MUST~! Competitive prices, friendly type of
atmosphere, clean and organized store is always a plus. Also, lots of parking
[with handicap accessibility] is a MUST HAVE~! Staff training periodically
helps boost sales.

July 21, 2011, 02:18 PM
Lots of reloading gear.
Lots of ner and used firearms.
Good prices.

July 21, 2011, 02:20 PM
Have you ever been to a gun shop, where the employees act like little Rambos or part of the local police sniper team? No joking...! Just trying to look bad ass cuz' they work in a gun store. THOSE are the ones that I avoid like the plague!

I enjoy..
A. Fun loving guys that will involve you in the discussions or as one poster stated, won't make you feel idiotic if you ask what may be a dumb question.
B. Fair prices. I don't mind paying a little more from someone I like.
C. Good Selection...or a willingness to get a product they don't have.

There is one such store in this area. Kastle Keep in Largo, Fl. Andy, Rich and Rick are GREAT guys to work with. It's always a cultural adventure when i visit that store. ;)

July 21, 2011, 03:14 PM
1) Price
2) Selection
3) Service

July 21, 2011, 03:25 PM
Have you ever been to a gun shop, where the employees act like little Rambos or part of the local police sniper team? No joking...! Just trying to look bad ass cuz' they work in a gun store. THOSE are the ones that I avoid like the plague!

There's actually a term for that:

July 21, 2011, 04:05 PM
sounds like Rileys in Hooksett.
A good store, I mean.

July 21, 2011, 10:16 PM
1) Staff who will let me look and ask stupid questions without making me feel stupid.

2) lots of used guns of different makes and models

3) Locally owned.
+1. That pretty much sums it up.

July 21, 2011, 10:22 PM
There are 2 guns stores in my town (Seymour, IN) that I frequent.

1) Acme Sports = Great selection and prices. Lots of cool Class III stuff. Reasonably priced selection of Milsurp and used. Friendly and helpful staff (usually). Tons of ammo in-stock.

2) Bite the Bullet = Really great place to hang out and talk guns. Owner is super friendly. Nice selection of custom 1911s and nice wheelguns (mostly out of my price range). Reloading equipment and supplies.

VT Deer Hunter
July 22, 2011, 04:51 PM
1. Its got guns
2. Ammo and various stuff for hunting WOOOOO!
3. Its a gunshop

July 22, 2011, 05:41 PM
What do I like?....A store that has all their price tags facing up.

July 22, 2011, 05:53 PM
1. Longarms
2. Handguns
3. Ammo

The gunshops in my area are funny - the guys running and staffing them are decent, but it seemed like they're so bloody wary of new faces - at both of the ones I've gone to most frequently, they got friendlier and more welcoming each time I returned.

Erik M
July 22, 2011, 05:55 PM
I can tell you what I'd like to see, and that's guys manning the counter that don't follow you around like you are a thief if you aren't one of the 'old timer' regulars that just come in for free coffee and never buy anything. Everything is behind the counter or under glass, Ive never understood the 'buy something or get out' behavior.

Kentucky Outdoorsman in Corbin KY has a bad habit of this.

Mike's in Middlesboro KY knows how to treat its customers and has a huge used selection. They also buy guns for cash. On the last 2 weapons I've had to order in (Ruger Vaquero 357 and Savage Edge 223) they have beat Bud's online prices by $25.

July 22, 2011, 06:04 PM
A good gun shop has these things or the potential for these things: A reasonably good selection of firearms old and new; sales staff that are friendly and treat you with respect; and a good selection of ammunition including target 22 ammo. Sporting clothing, holsters, and opticas are a big plus as is fishing gear. You'll notice I didn't say "price". Fair and consistant prices are all I ask. .... and I will be back again and again.

Mike's in Middlesboro KY knows how to treat its customers and has a huge used selection.

I need to pay them a visit. Been to KY Outdoorsman in Corbin.

July 22, 2011, 07:28 PM
. Everything is behind the counter or under glass, Ive never understood the 'buy something or get out' behavior.

Kentucky Outdoorsman in Corbin KY has a bad habit of this.


Bizarre... sounds like every gun shop in NY I've seen - surprised to hear a gun shop in Kentucky of all places would be like that.

July 23, 2011, 01:14 PM
Went into one gun shop here locally when I was shopping for a new gun and no one gave me the time of day in spite of the fact that I tried every rental in their case, which would indicate to me, if I'd been on the other side of the counter, that the person was shopping.

What I like best about the LGS I frequent regularly:
1) When I walk in the door, they greet me by name, even if they're busy.
2) VERY affordable prices on everything (new, used, ammo, accessories, range time, etc.)
3) They didn't push the Walther PK380 or a revolver on me just because I'm a girl
4) When one of them gets a new toy, I get a text or call saying "come see what I got and shoot it!" Love that!

July 23, 2011, 01:18 PM
Good prices & selection of guns, ammo & accessories
Fair price on transfers $10 to $20
Knowledgeable staff who gives and honest opinion & does not push people into this gun or that gun.

Most of mu new purchases are actually used from sources like gun broker, THR classifieds and other sites so a good price on transfers is important to me. I will occasionally buy something NIB and if the local dealer can get within a few $$$ I will go with them but if not I am going to buy it and transfer it. I like to be able to get small amounts of ammo for things I do not shoot a ton like Mak or 380 at the local without getting killed on the price.

I love to talk guns so a staff that knows their stuff has preferences but does not push them onto the consumer is what I am looking for.

July 24, 2011, 04:38 PM
Guns You sound like a Red Flag grad.:p

July 25, 2011, 03:52 AM
Reloading supplies!!!!!! The closest store from me that even carries ANY reloading stuff is 80+ miles away in Dallas! I get bullets from a guy I shoot with, Powder and Primers from another guy I shoot with. Brass online. I don't consider Gander Mountain a Gun Store!! Ever since I went in there to buy Trail Boss Powder, I normally get it for $13 a can, they wanted $29.95!!! They are a Clothing store who happens to carry some gun related stuff!!!

July 25, 2011, 01:26 PM
I like a gunshop where my buddies work and hang out, a place I can go & kill a couple three hours and talk guns & swap lies. It's even better if I can dig around and come up with something interesting. Call me a gunsnob if you like, but potmetal guns turn me off. I've had enough dealing with kinds these of firearms through the years. I want to see what I think of as classic designs- old and modern- in their different configurations and the chance I'll come across something I've never seen before. When I find something I want, I like it when we can work out a deal so I can buy it. There were several gunshops in Southern California like that, back in the day, like Pony Express, Cole's, Martin B. Retting's, B&E Guns and a others whose names elude me. Gunshops like this are still out there, but they are rare

July 26, 2011, 02:27 PM
Used guns
Good service
Dog friendly is a MAJOR plus to me. And not just gun stores.

My LGS isn't big enough to carry the kind of selection the big boys do. I always shop there first tho & if I'm in no hurry I'll order it. His prices are usually competetive with, and sometimes lower than the big boys down the hill. I like to support my local shop. He even has a table full of gun mags & chairs. He's almost always busy. I never go there if I'm in a big hurry to be somewhere else. ;)

July 26, 2011, 04:02 PM
...I never go there if I'm in a big hurry to be somewhere else. ;)


July 27, 2011, 03:39 PM
An old dog.

August 12, 2011, 01:43 AM
1. Inventory!
2. Knowledgable/friendly staff
3. Fair pricing
(the whys)
1. I came to buy gun stuff. Not look at the 7 Glock 22s and 5 Glock 21s you call a 'selection'. Have accessories and parts! Have AMMO!
2. I dont need to shop here. I dont need attitude if you like a different gun than me. I dont like being eyed as a thief.
3. Why buy ammo here when I can get it cheaper online? Why pay 10% more on a gun that you've probably let some noob drop ten times?
^(Im a little miffed about the new owners of my closest LGS. Ive edited this a few times to remove as much 'low road' as I can)

My fave range likes to talk guns, you can ask anything you want and they'll tell you what they know. Noob or veteran, they dont care, as long as you're respectful and safe. The guy at the range knows me and my brothers all by name, that means a lot to me.

Ignition Override
August 12, 2011, 03:02 AM
A large selection of (metal and wood) milsurp rifles ranging from WW1-early 60s.
They are in the original configurations and nothing has been cut off or "sporterized" (ruined).

Too bad that no Memphis store has more than about a dozen.
"Al's Guns" in Clarkesville has a much better choice than all the gun stores here put together. That's where my Spanish FR8 came from a few months ago.

The other really good milsurp store is much farther, by I-30 just northeast of Rockwall/Dallas, "the Ammo Depot" in Caddo Mills, TX.
They are even open for a while on Sundays and the owner is also a pleasant guy.
This guy bought from an estate sale and even listed a very nice Enfield #4/Mk 2 for about $300 (sold two weeks before we arrived:(:banghead:).

August 12, 2011, 03:14 AM
An old dog.

Absolutely! A gunstore should have a dog. Lacking that, they should be dog friendly.

One shop I go to, in El Cajon...where they Exchange Guns...;)....
has a "no dogs allowed" policy. Fair enough. Their shop, their rules... but I don't go there as often as I might if my best friend could go with me.

And I don't generally trust people who don't like dogs...

August 12, 2011, 05:59 AM
1. an honest staff(i.e. no "raven mp-25 is an excellent little gun!")
2. reasonable prices(no ak47 wannabe chambered in .22 is worth $699!!)
3. a dedicated gun store not a "gun&pawn"

August 12, 2011, 07:30 AM
1. Fair Prices. I'm willing to pay a fair price, but if I see a Mosin Nagant 91/30 in moderate condition for $279.95 and there's nothing special about it, I know I won't get a fair price on anything else.

2. Used guns. I tend to collect unusual and interesting weapons, so I always seek out the oddities. Having a few of these on hand is far more likely to get me to spend money, and they don't have manufacturing costs so they tend to be more profitable anyway.

3. Unusual Ammo. I understand that it's impossible to stock everything, but I do like to see a little bit of eccentric ammo on the shelf. I also know that sales staff won't know everything and they often get customers who can't understand that .45 ACP rounds won't fit in a 9mm. But, when I'm looking for 7.62x38r ammo, don't suggest that I'm mistaken and want 7.62x39. If you don't have it, that's fine, but offering to order it for me will probably get a sale.

August 12, 2011, 07:50 AM
What I like in a gun store is not too different from what I like in any other specialty store:

1. Staff knows a lot about the items they have in their inventory and about similar or competitive items they can obtain.
2. A reasonable selection of on-hand inventory is well displayed (ever been in stores where you can't read the tags on items behind the case?) In gun store example, I don't mind if they have a pawn operation as this can help them pay their bills and thus keep gun prices reasonable.
3. Staff attitude is canted toward helping me make my desired purchase rather than selling me something.

August 12, 2011, 10:42 AM
Hah. I live 7-8 minutes away from SHooters, and do shoot there from time to time. Convenience speaks volumes. Some of their staff are nice and knowledgeable. Some...aren't. Pricing is not great either.

August 12, 2011, 06:49 PM
Used guns and fresh inventory.

The gun stores I frequent call me by my first name every time I go in.

August 12, 2011, 10:25 PM
1) Low prices
2) Large selection
3) knowledgeable staff

Good luck with that, two out of three ain't bad!

August 13, 2011, 08:05 AM
I would say that Williams Gun Sight near Flint, Mich is about the best I've been in. Out door range, large AR15 type selection, the biggest pistol selection I ' ve seen anywhere. Sales staff very helpful.

August 13, 2011, 11:40 AM
The gun stores I frequent call me by my first name every time I go in.

Is that a great idea if SWMBO is with you?:D

Maybe I'll add that I like a gun store that doesn't discuss/mention previous purchases while a guy's wife is present...:eek:

August 13, 2011, 12:26 PM
I'm about 20 minutes away from PSA. They've got a good selection of modern stuff, some used stuff but not much, the employees are generally OK, and their prices are very good. I've only ordered two things online that I can think of since they opened their retail store.

August 13, 2011, 02:32 PM
1) A place where the guy behind the counter will start outlining the features of the gun before I ask about it. If I know what I'm looking at, I have no problem letting them know, but often, I don't even know what to ask to begin with; and either way, I always enjoy learning about a product, even if I think I know everything about it. I wouldn't be there checking it out if I wasn't interested in hearing about it.

I do most of my hunting/shooting/gun shopping at the Glendale, AZ Cabela's, and two of my three guns were bought there in the past 6 months. They've got a few people behind the counter who are tight-lipped jerks (usually the older guys, which surprised me) who will walk right past you with their hands in their pockets, but several others who are awesome.

Other than that, Cabela's is my go-to store. I hate to leave, every single time. Sportsman's Warehouse (don't let the name throw you; it's all hunting/fishing/hiking stuff, which is what I like - who cares about basketball??) takes a very close second.

August 13, 2011, 06:51 PM
I like the same things I like in my local hardware store:

1. A selection of a little bit of everything (including reloading supplies) and a willingness to help you get what's not in stock.

2. Real knowledge of the products - not internet mythology/mall ninja stuff - and, preferably some first-hand knowledge.

3. Customer service - a willingness to spend a few extra minutes with a customer, even if an immediate sale isn't made. Too, they don't make me feel stupid because I've asked the same question asked by other customers for the tenth time that day.


August 14, 2011, 12:15 AM
Good customer service.
Good Selection.
Good prices.

I'll pay more to go to a shop that treats me like a person who wants to keep them in business and not somebody who gets in the way of them chatting with their buddies. And if you don't stock CZ's, I'm gone.

August 14, 2011, 11:59 PM
1. Privacy-I hate when they yell my personal information into the phone during the background check while the locals are sitting around on the barstools.

2. NIB-unmolested firearms NIB in the back.

3. Fairness-I don't like paying for other people's stuff through my higher prices.

August 15, 2011, 01:09 PM
How about,

[X] Good selection and pricing.


[X] Hot college chicks who know lot's about guns. :D

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