Another Gun Shop Rant


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Detachment Charlie
March 23, 2004, 02:55 PM
In someways I feel like the little kid who says, "There's got to be a pony in here somewhere."
For about the sixth time I returned to a gun shop close to my office, hoping for a better experience than the previous visits. I was looking for some new +P .38 Spl. ammo for my 2" Mod. 10 -- my default carry gun. I wanted some of the Corbon Pow-R-Ball or the new 135 gr. Golden Sabers.
As usual, the place was empty when I went in. This should have given me a clue. It was lunch hour and a gun shop is empty except for the owner. He was on the phone. Good, I can browse the ammo shelf in peace for a few minutes.
About the time I pick up a box of +P Corbons, he hangs-up and asks if he can help. Holding up the Corbon box, I ask if these perhaps are the Pow-R-Ball loadings.
"Pure Ball? Never heard of Pure Ball," he says.
"No, POWER - BALL. Corban makes them," I explain.
"No they don't. I never heard of them. What do they do," he asks, looking at me as though he were a member of the MMM. "Kill better?"
Instead of replying with an honest, "Yes, especially on fat b$st$rds like you," I smile and say, "No, they have a polymer ball in the hollow point cone and are designed to expand at velocities you can get out of a 2" barrel."
"No, they don't," he states.
I replace the box on the shelf, and silently leave, ashamed that I actually went back to this guy, expecting that all of the other times he was having a bad day or severe constipation.
I feel like a real dope.
Good thing there is a gun show this weekend so I can at least get some tactical jerky.:banghead:

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hillbilly
March 23, 2004, 03:05 PM
C'mon, name of gun shop, at least.

Address or email would be even better.

At least name the gun shop.

hillbilly

foghornl
March 23, 2004, 03:07 PM
DC:

There is no pony in that joint, only a steaming "pony-pile".

Dang it, man, save yourself an ulcer or 2 and stay outta there. That guy doesn't deserve a dime of your business.

My favorite gunshop is a bit higher on ammo than some other places, but I know that I will be treated in a friendly, courteous manner, as though I am their biggest customer. I get treated that way every time, no matter what I buy, from nothing at all, up to a new firearm.



"Doc, I broke my arm in 4 places. Well, Sam, stay outta those places......."

R.H. Lee
March 23, 2004, 05:54 PM
The guy is probably close to deaf from shooting for years without ear protection. Cut him some slack.

I'll bet he would order whatever you want, though.

Standing Wolf
March 23, 2004, 07:00 PM
People who act like they don't want my money don't get my money.

Kestrel
March 23, 2004, 07:04 PM
I hate gun shops like that. Why does it seem there are more guys like that in gun shops than any other business? I know how you feel. There is a store in my area that I refuse to go in. Every now and then I will go in, though, just on the hopes that they have something unusual that I can't pass up. It never changes, though. EVERY time, they are jerks. Their prices are obscene. I mean insultingly obscene. Oh - and they don't even try to help you. I've never understood how they stay in business. They always have advice that is out of step with proven experience.

I would love to call that gunshop you went to and ask that guy for PowerBall. When he acts clueless, tell him it's for "killin' better". Tell him I want to buy 28 cases. What a jerk.

I quit going to gun shows nearly 15 years ago, but the gun shows were always full of these kind of guys, too.

Steve

MishMash
March 23, 2004, 07:26 PM
What a bummer. Unfortunately, some stores act as if they are doing you the favor by waiting on you or selling you something.

Then, the Internet and the World Wide Web was invented. Then, the field was leveled.....

Regards

bogie
March 23, 2004, 08:07 PM
Congratu-bleepin'-lations... You knew something that the gun store guy didn't know.

Feel better now?

I know something you don't know...

Detachment Charlie
March 23, 2004, 09:16 PM
Bogie:
Thank you for your contribution to the discussion. You must have been on your coffe break at the gun shop.

gp59
March 23, 2004, 09:51 PM
D C I know how you feel. I just came home from visiting the only local gun shop in my area and its 12 miles to the north of me. I was boiling mad by the time i left. this is not the first time I've had a bad experience with this shop. It's mostly just two of there employees that they have working there that have a attitude. they act like my money isn't good enough for them or just flat out ignore me when Im standing there with ammo in my hand ready to pay for it. and if i want to look at a gun in the case there rude and act like it's a big effort to help me. but the worst part is they have a whole storeroom full of used guns and if you don't see what your looking for in the case and ask if they might have any in there storeroom, most of the time they won't bother even looking, just give me a loud NO!. Iv'e gone to the owner several time and asked him if he could look and he's happy to and 95 % of the time he has something im looking for. but his two longtime employees don't seem to give a crap weather they sell you a gun or not. unless it happens to be a brand they like then there more then happy to help. this shop has a good size staff, it's just those two that work the handgun counter that seem to have a attitude problem.

:banghead: :banghead: :banghead:

ScottS
March 23, 2004, 10:03 PM
Congratu-bleepin'-lations... You knew something that the gun store guy didn't know.

Feel better now?

I know something you don't know...

What? That you're a S-Head? Too late, we already know that.

DC didn't go in to the store to "show up" the counter-guy. He asked about ammo the counter guy didn't know about, and instead of saying, "Oh, I didn't know they made that," he said, "No they don't." Because he (counter guy) had never heard of it, it didn't exist.

And people say, "Why are you buying your ammo at Wallyworld, instead of supporting the small gunshop owner..."

Scott

Justin
March 23, 2004, 10:47 PM
Congratu-bleepin'-lations... You knew something that the gun store guy didn't know.

Feel better now?

It isn't whether he knew more than the guy behind the counter. It's that the guy behind the counter was a complete jerk to him when he asked him a question.

Instead of being an obstinate jerk, a decent saleman would have heard him out and then gone to check and see if he had any in stock, or could get some.

Zeke Menuar
March 23, 2004, 11:35 PM
Gunshop?

I haven't bought a gun/ammo from a gunshop for so long I thought they were obsolete.

I have been using my C&R license to fill gaps in the gunsafe.

Why not order the stuff off the internet and blow-off the gunshop altogether?

ZM

longtom4570
March 23, 2004, 11:58 PM
There is a gun shop that i used to go to,but he had high prices and was a real jerk. I went in one time and saw a Schoefield, i asked to see it he acted like i was wasting his time,well i looked at the price and went:what: politely handed it back and said no thanks. I said that AZ Sportsman had one for a lot less, he acted like i was stealing food out of his mouth from his children and gonna run him out of business. I thanked him again and started to leave he sputtered and made me an offer to match what i saw it for else where,that and a pair of sheepskin lined slippers for what he originaly wanted for it. Found out later that it was a different pistol importer the other place had whoops did i go back and tell him:evil: :evil:
From now on i go to a much better store, they even know my name:D

DorGunR
March 24, 2004, 12:08 AM
foghornl posted
My favorite gunshop is a bit higher on ammo than some other places, but I know that I will be treated in a friendly, courteous manner, as though I am their biggest customer. I get treated that way every time, no matter what I buy, from nothing at all, up to a new firearm.

That's exactly how my local gun store treats me.......plus the owner and the other guy that works there really know guns. It's a pure pleasure to shop there..........................I'm blessed.:D

PATH
March 24, 2004, 12:17 AM
If I don't know I will say so and I will not make up an answer. If I have never heard of a type of ammo or firearm I will ask for information as I really want to learn. I will order it in if I possibly can, for you see, I want your business.

One of the reasons I am at this board is because there is more I don't know than I do know. Sometimes I feel rather inadequate at this board given the number of highly informed and talented people but I am here to learn from my fellow shooters. I am not ashamed to say "I don't know". I am also quick to say "I'll find out" or "can you tell me about that"!

cheygriz
March 24, 2004, 12:38 AM
There are two gun stores in the northern rockies area that I patronize.

There are dozens that I won't enter because the guys behind the counters are either ignorant, arrogant or both.

One shop in particular is dishearetening because he carries a wonderful selection of almost everything shooting related, his prices are more or less competitive, and his displays are well laid out and attractive.

Unfortunately, the guy is such a complete horse's arse that I won't speak to him, much less do business with him. Too bad!

Tamara
March 24, 2004, 12:41 AM
Yup, all us gun shop employees are illiterate hicks that don't know jack about jack.

If it wasn't for all the quantum physicists (who are, of course, married to supermodels, as the [thankfully] laminated photos in their wallets will attest) that come through the door every day to enlighten us about their days killing gooks with laser rifles in the 'Nam with SEEL Team 37.5, we wouldn't know a thing about the state of modern firearms.

cheygriz
March 24, 2004, 12:56 AM
Tamara,

Not everyone that works in a gun shop fits the same mold. Some folks, especially in the shops I patronize, are extremely knowledgeable and courteous. But I think you will admit that a very large percentage are minimum wage folks that the owner hired because he won't pay a decent wage to attract more knowledgeable employees.

Wildalaska
March 24, 2004, 01:08 AM
Yup, all us gun shop employees are illiterate hicks that don't know jack about jack.

:D :D :D

WildnothingmoreneedbesaidAlaska

Tamara
March 24, 2004, 01:11 AM
But I think you will admit that a very large percentage are minimum wage folks that the owner hired because he won't pay a decent wage to attract more knowledgeable employees.

I'll have you know that I make almost $2/hour above minimum wage! ;) :p :o

Wildalaska
March 24, 2004, 01:14 AM
I'll have you know that I make almost $2/hour above minimum wage

Yer overpaid, guess ya cant come work for us...

WilddoyadowindowsAlaska

PATH
March 24, 2004, 01:18 AM
:( SIGH! What is minimum wage?

Tamara
March 24, 2004, 01:18 AM
I dunno, I'm already commuting almost 25 miles each way for the privilege of spending my whole paycheck at work; Anchorage is a mite further down the road than North Knoxville. Maybe after I've put in another ten years at this gig I'll be ready for the big time. ;)

minnesota oldie
March 24, 2004, 01:49 AM
When you get lousy service from a gun shop employee, how about telling the owner? If the owner is the ahole there's not much you can do but avoid his store. I have on more then one occasion gone to the owner and told him that his employee has cost him a sale. They usually thank you for the information, and in one cae it got me a discount on the purchase. There is one gun shop that I know the owner and the clerks quite well and I often spend a Friday afternoon in the store. I also buy a gun a month from them, but you would be suprised at the number of jerks who come in and want to handle everything in the place and then walk off to buy at some discount store that won't let them handle the guns. Take a little time to get to know the owner or clerks and you might find that they have the same problem. It's a lot easier to just call someone a jerk then it is to try to understand them. Maybe there is an advantage to being an old fart when it comes to understanding people, then again maybe I'm just full of hot air. Excuse me now while I break wind.

Jim March
March 24, 2004, 02:18 AM
Ummmm...I hesitate to mention this, but the new 135grainer 38+P load is a Gold Dot by Speer versus a Golden Saber by Remington.

Cor-Bon is indeed doing a 100grain Pow'R'Ball though :).

Elarski
March 24, 2004, 03:18 AM
I don't care what kind of business I patronize, if I receive bad service, I just leave, and never come back. If the owner can't get good help, that's their problem, and their business. It's sometimes worth paying higher prices when you get good reliable service from a knowledgeable and caring staff. :cool:

BluesBear
March 24, 2004, 05:16 AM
Just tell Mr No-they-don't that Pow'R Ball is the Cor-Bon ammo in the Red & White box not the Blue & White box.

At least you didn't hear what I heard in one of my local shops today.
I was told that "Colt is Chapter 13 again and hasn't made a single gun in over a year." This is because "Firearms is only 10% of Colt Industries and that 10% is causing the other 90% to operate at a loss and the stockholders are insisting that they stop making guns."

TheEgg
March 24, 2004, 03:31 PM
Yup, all us gun shop employees are illiterate hicks that don't know jack about jack.

Maybe my reading comprehension is slipping, but I did not see anyone suggest on this thread that the problems mentioned apply to "all us gun shop employees". Or are you implying that this type of thing does not happen?

Tamara, I don't care if the employee does not know, nor do I expect them to know everything. What drives me nuts is when they don't know that they don't know, or they lie about it. It seems to me that some gun shops have a plethora of employees that either believe they know everything there is to know about guns, or are loath to admit that they don't. Often, when I encounter these types, they also get very belligerent if you try to suggest that maybe, perhaps, they might be in some small way be uninformed about the subject in question.

Also, just because someone works in a gun store does not exempt them from belonging to the group that will "enlighten us about their days killing gooks with laser rifles in the 'Nam with SEEL Team 37.5".

The gun shop I frequent most regularly has very smart employees -- smart enough to say "I don't know, but I can find out". That is the kind of employee I respect.

BTW -- this applies to all retail/service enterprises out there. No matter what the product or service is, there are plenty of people out there that will feed you BS and try to tell you that it is chocolate pudding!

TBeck
March 24, 2004, 04:13 PM
I recently had a wonderful experience at Bill Jackson's in Clearwater, FL. Bill Jackson's, a sporting goods store, has been around a long time and they have a top notch inventory. My wife is looking for a pistol so we went in for a long gun-fondling session. :D

The guys behind the counter have always been good and the one that day was no exception. I wanted my wife to handle a wide selection of pistols and get a good explanation of the pros and cons of each. I soon realized that he knew whereof he spoke and I felt comfortable leaving my wife with him while I took the kids to a more interesting (for them) part of the store.

When I came back my wife had settled on a Glock 19 but was uneasy about the recoil issue. The clerk allowed her to shoot a magazine of ammo on their indoor range at no charge! She did very well and left knowing that the G19 is a pistol she can easily handle with confidence.

When we buy the gun I will buy it from them. I could probably save a little by shopping gun shows and other shops but the professional and courteous treatment we received more than makes up for a marginally higher price.

Carlos Cabeza
March 24, 2004, 04:20 PM
Sheesh.................Wal-Mart or Gunshops. :rolleyes: If I got upset everytime I had a "less than desirable" experience, I would be a very bitter old man. Don't be so thin skinned. Sometimes you just have to let stuff roll off your back and move on....................................

Braz
March 24, 2004, 05:18 PM
Gotta watch 'em,

We have a chain of fishing and hunting supply stores here in LA. They hold weekly sales that are some of the lowest prices in the area. Many times they show you a gun from the counter, then rather than retrieve a NIB version from the back of the store, they send off to their warehouse for it. We have to cool off for 10 days in ********** anyway.

Twice in the last 12 months, they have received the wrong gun. Both times, the store, expecting the right weapon, recorded the serial number they saw on the form, not the actual number off the gun. It was only upon inspection after dros, that I noticed the switch. They were happy to find my real purchase, but I could have walked out with incorrect paperwork.

Strange, the incorrect guns are always the basic model. They also bait and switch by advertising a line drawing of a top of the mark model, then showing the basic model at the store and saying it was a mistake. Another store nearby showed me one brand of SAA and then sold me another from the back that was a cheaper brand of the same model. They also made it right, so no hollering was needed.

I understand the thin profit margins gun stores around the country and particularly in ********** are dealing with. It must be a dangerous job, and attracts idiot customers like flies. But I sometimes feel like I'm in a used car dealership rather than an gunshop nowadays. But I'm not sure I'd pay higher prices to get better service. Prolly just try and watch 'em closely.

Elarski
March 24, 2004, 05:41 PM
Braz: I sympathize with your experience with the "T" chain. I go there only as a last resort... some of the older guys are okay, but the majority of the younger employees at the Reseda store have way too much attitude for me. I had to wait fifteen minutes for a couple of boxes of ammo once...:fire:

I've also been in the store during some of their DROS screw ups; to see the pissed-off look of the buyers. That's why I use private FFL Dealers; no screw ups. :cool:

Weimadog
March 24, 2004, 09:54 PM
that come through the door every day to enlighten us about their days killing gooks with laser rifles in the 'Nam with SEEL Team 37.5,

They are not being truthful with you, Tamara

19112XS
March 24, 2004, 11:41 PM
In some cases, bringing a perceived problem to the owner's attention will do no good. The perceived problem may be a result of the owner's misguided policy, which leaves the hourly paid employee the task of enforcing a policy he or she disagrees with. I'm sure many of us can recount situations where the staff is much more knowledgeable, courteous and patient than the owner. Much good should be said for a staff that can maintain under such conditions. Skol!

Joe Demko
March 25, 2004, 09:30 AM
Yup, all us gun shop employees are illiterate hicks that don't know jack about jack.

Not really, but an awful lot of people are in the gun business who shouldn't be. They open gun stores or go to work in one because they like guns. They like guns so much, in fact, that they forget that there is a business to be run. I suspect if you take a look around THR, you'll find that gun enthusiasts tend to be (*gasp!*) somewhat opinionated about things gun-related. Moreover, though I know this is tough to believe, they can be somewhat abrasive in presenting those opinions.
As should be obvious, the gun business is nothing but retail sales. If a person doesn't like being a retail salesman, then the gun business isn't likely to make that person happy. I honestly believe most of the cranky, unpleasant JO's that are behind the counter in gunstores thought it would be all about guns when it is really all about sales. The disconnect between what they thought running/working in a gunstore would be like and what it is really like results in the bad attitude we carp about at places like THR.

hillbilly
March 25, 2004, 10:31 AM
I am not a knowledgable car guy.

I have never ever been insulted or treated rudely in a car parts shop when I go in looking for some kind of car part that the folks behind the counter have to explain to me.

I am a slightly experienced scuba diver. I have never been insulted or treated rudely in a scuba shop when I asked dumb questions or had to ask a ton of questions or asked to see and fondle all the new scuba gear.

I have never been insulted or treated rudely in a camera shop or in a pet shop.

The retail outlets where I have been insulted and treated rudely the most for asking a question, or asking to actually see one of the products for sale are all gun stores which I no longer go to.

I have been treated rudely and insulted at a car dealership exactly once, and that was in Montana. I have been to many, many other car dealerships since then without the experience repeating itself.

I have been treated rudely at exactly one motorcycle related shop, and that by a one-legged old geezer with a reputation for being a real arrogant jerk, and who was the main reason I went to that shop in the first place, to see how true the stories about him were.

But I have been around enough to think that yes, there are some folks in the gun business who get full of themselves and their uber-macho-expert tacticality and who get chips on their shoulders.

I'm not sure why, but I have seen it happen. I have experienced it and seen it done to others more than in any other kind of stores.

And no, Tamara, I am not saying all gun dealers are illiterate hicks.

But for some set of reasons it seems worse to me in the gun business.

hillbilly

JamisJockey
March 25, 2004, 11:10 AM
Congratu-bleepin'-lations... You knew something that the gun store guy didn't know.
You missed the point. The gunshop guy was a jerk to the customer when asked a question. The fact that the customer knew what he was looking for makes it even worse.
Get your butt back behind the counter and sell some ammo, boy!
:neener:

theCZ
March 25, 2004, 11:28 AM
I've found that ALL of the gun stores in the closest town to me have a similar attitude. I was thinking of selling my Anschutz 22-Hornet to buy something else, and out of the 3 gun stores I visited, only one person even talked to me. The other two I was ignored. The one person that talked to me had a shop with maybe 10 guns in it, all over priced. So I skipped on down to Carson City to Silver State Arms. I came in, the shop had people browsing, the owner was talking to someone. The minute he saw me he said, "Be right with you." He looked up the value of my gun, told me how much he would give for it, and then suggested that I put an ad in the paper because I could get more for it that way. Now that's what I'm talking about! I ended up buying some ammo from him because it felt so good to be treated like a customer. :D

Another gun store I can highly recommend is "Frontier Liquor and Guns". Yeah, funny name, interesting store. Probably the only store I've been to that has alcohol, tobacco, and firearms in the same store! Better prices than most of the stores I've been to in Reno, and he'll order something for you if he doesn't have it in stock. Kinda makes up for all those other jerks I've dealt with (and not bought from!).

theCZ
March 25, 2004, 11:33 AM
Oh, and that last store is in Fallon, Nevada :p

Elarski
March 25, 2004, 04:21 PM
Probably the only store I've been to that has alcohol, tobacco, and firearms in the same store!

Ah, the good ol' days... Believe it or not, we used to have those kind of stores in CA at one time... "Can I help you sir?"... "Yes, I'll take a six pack of Brew 102, a bag of Beer Nuts, a Mod. 94 Winchester, and a box of .30-30 to go with it." :cool:

Archie
March 25, 2004, 05:48 PM
I was once in a discussion with another customer and two gunshop employees regarding ammo.

The other customer wanted "Hollow Point Semi-Wadcutter" ammo for .38 Special. Salesman "A", the ammo expert, said no such ammo was made by any commercial concern. Salesman "B" looked at me and asked "Arch, you ever heard of such a thing?"
Being the dummy that I am, I said yes, I had. It was made by both Winchester and Federal at one time. It was called in various locations the "Chicago" load, the "FBI" load, and some other thing, I don't remember.

Salesman "A" repeated there was no such thing and never had been. He also pointed out the FBI carried 10mm. As if they had done so since the dawn of time.:rolleyes:

Instead of showing him the speedloader in my pocket, I turned 180 degrees, grabbed a Gun Digest off the rack, opened it to the factory ammo section and showed them all the listing for Federal ammo as described. (Winchester had ceased production, or it wasn't listed for some other reason.)

Salesman "A" then looked askance at the book, and says he'd never heard of it. His tone gave the distinct impression that his being informed was a crucial aspect of its existance.:banghead:

This conversation took place in 1999 or 2000. Salesman "A" was/is just slight younger than me. The 158 grain HPSWC load was extremely popular and well known among shooters up to the middle '80s. I find it amazing this fellow, who presented himself as a knowlegeable man in the ammunition field, had no inkling of the round.:confused:

On the other hand, he did know for a fact the store stocked no such ammunition. He did have some alternative suggestions for such a choice (defensive ammo). He is by no means an illiterate or moron. He just got his ego in the way.

To be fair to gun store clerks and owners, I have heard several (more than I care to remember) purported "customers" ask for "Riot Pump Guages" and "40 Magnums" and "Super Killer" whatevers :banghead: and "That gun like Quigley had.";)
I witnessed one "customer" in the process of buying a UZI carbine (1975 ish) ask if he could use the owner's machine shop to convert it to full auto. Either a real dope or an ATF undercover sting.:what:

I remember a very dear lady who worked in the PX at MCAS El Toro in 1971. She was a very competent gun seller and sold me my first Ruger Mark I Target Model. She knew about the guns in her case, and could discourse about most things firearmical (pardon the made up word).
One day we were talking about defensive pistols. She opined the Browning Hi-Power was the best thing going. She especially liked that it was single action and had to be cocked for each shot.
There were two of us at the counter... we asked just to make sure. Her P.35 had to be cocked for each shot and not just for the first shot.
Yes, cocked for each shot.:eek:
It took the two of us several minutes to convince her to take that pistol to a gunsmith, because it should not work like that.

So... whereas not all gunshop employees are dummies, some have "gaps". Is that fair? Like everyone else, some have bigger gaps than others. Everyone gets to have a bad day; some abuse the privilege.
And the biggest problem both ways is ego.

Like the guy who didn't know about the HPSWC; how dare he not accept my word? :fire:

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