Review of Sportsmans Warehouse


May 11, 2004, 10:32 PM
generally it was a good store, except it seemed a little too relaxed, and it felt like they weren't listening to me. (I was in a bit of a hurry too).

I got there at about 11:45. It took about 10 minutes of me leering at the handguns for someone to come up and ask if I needed help. I ask to see a SA XD40. This is where is gets odd. The guy hands me the gun (without check the chamber first, I didn't expect it to be loaded, it's just comforting to see), and then says "I'll be right back" and walks away. I thought it was odd that this guy would hand me a new gun, and then walk off. I'm sure I could have slipped this into my pocket and walked out, wearing my trench coat, no one would have noticed it. Another individual walks by and asks if I need help, I tell him I'm just looking at this SA. He says "Okay" and walks off. I kinda wonder if anyone HAS walked off with guns before with this kind of service. Finally one of the head sales guys comes over and starts asking me how I like it, what i'm getting it for, just striking up conversation but at least he's keeping an eye on me and the gun. We chat for a few minutes, I decide I want to buy it. I grab some rounds and a IWB holster. Another sales rep comes over with paperwork. After telling him 5 times that I have filled out the paperwork before, I know how to read, and I know what to do, he smiles and nods, and walks me through step by step. Which is quite annoying. He's saying things like "if you read the first part of this question you realize that it doesn't apply to you, so just mark here" and "make sure you fill this out completely." I find stuff like that kinda belittling. It's now about 12:10.

I fill out the paperwork, hand them my DL and CC permit. The guy hands me another form which is okaying a $7.50 charge for the background check. I grab the head sales rep and ask "I already have my CC permit, that should waive this fee?" the sales rep, yes it will but fill this out anyway. okay fine whatever. I fill out the second form, he asks if it's okay to run a background check on me. I give him the *** look... I'm thinking, I've tld you guys about 25 times that I have bought numerous guns, I know how to do the paperwork, I know what you have to do, just do it. "Yeah, background check, go for it"

So he faxes it to the local BCI and tells me that it'll take 10 to 15 minutes. This is the first time I've seen a shop fax this paperwork. Normally it's called in and takes 2 minutes. So that kinda bugged me. I check out some fo the AR15 and other long guns they have. I ask to see one of the guns, an a younger sales rep comes up the grab it for me. After I look at it, I hand it back to guy, where's his finger? Right on the trigger, I wanted to say "take you're finger off the trigger, don't you know anything about gun safety" But I refrained from causing a scene, he did this same thing on a few other guns I looked at, and I bit my tongue. The paperwork comes back no to long after, and I figure we're good to go. NOPE. Now they have to get a second person to come look over the paperwork, this somehow takes 10 minutes, for one person to look over one piece of paper and make sure that the right boxes are marked.

After that there's a hassles of finding the gun. One of the guys goes in the back to get a new one, comes out with an XD9 that is marked wrong, goes back with another guy, they come out 5 minutes later with the right gun. And he decides to shoot the ???? with the guy next to him about the grouping of the bulletholes on the used target that is supplied. We get everything back there taken care of. And one of the sales reps is asked to walk me to the front of the store to get rung out. Good finally, this should be a simple job, unless the pretty pictures of Elk on the TV distract the sales rep. Yep, another few minutes for him to try to guess what #point Elk it is, gee, that was worth while, considering the video is on repeat and I've already seen it twice since I've been in there.

I get the register, get rung up, paid and am out the door in a matter of one minute.

I just wish the other guys could have been as quick as the woman behind the counter.

Maybe I'm blowing it all out of proportion, but at the gun store I normally buy from when someone says I want to buy this gun, the transaction in complete in less than 10 minutes. At Sportsmans it took a little over an hour. I just find that a bit too long, and I don't really care to go back if that's how long it's going to take to get things taken care of. I understand that buying a firearm is a big deal, and there are steps you have to go through, but there are quicker ways to do it.

There ya have it.

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May 11, 2004, 11:05 PM
Hmmm...I hate to say it, but you don't know just how good you've got it my friend. Here in Maryland I have to fill out the forms (and yes, they walk me through it each time as though it were my first..:rolleyes: ), pay the money, and then sit tight for seven days twiddling my thumbs and marking the calendar while I endure the background check and waiting period.

Believe me, if I could walk out with my firearms in an hour I'd be estatic.

May 11, 2004, 11:33 PM
I guess when it's compared to a state like Maryland it pretty good. I've just so many better quicker experiences, it made this one seem so sad. But I'm probably blowing out of proportion. I did get a new gun, that i'm happy of.

May 11, 2004, 11:38 PM
Got to learn when it is time to walk out. Tell them "You just blew a sale" At least print this out and send it to store. Tell them you will tell others.

May 12, 2004, 12:24 AM
I've shopped at the Sportsmans Warehouse here in Phoenix exactly one time. It's a clean store with a good selection, but the people aren't exactly the most helpful I've encountered. Not bad, but nothing to write home about either. The pricing is in line with the other shops I frequent around town, so that isn't a customer draw either.

I'll only be shopping there again if they have something that nobody else in town has. My first choice is the shop down the street where the guys all say "Hi Len" and pull a stool out from behind the counter for me when I walk in. If I want to look at a gun they tell me to walk over and grab it.......if I hang on to it for more than 30 seconds, they put a yellow sheet and a pen on the counter and continue with whatever story happens to be the "topic of the day."

Len in Phoenix

May 12, 2004, 12:30 AM
Was this the one off I-15 at 7200 south? I go to that one all of the time, and the only thing that I can reliably say is that the experience is different every time. Admittedly, their customer service is getting worse in the long run, but a lot of it just depends on luck.

I would expect a place with so much gun-related stuff to at least have decent prices on range ammo. :scrutiny:

XD-40, huh? Which finish/color scheme?


EDIT: The unreliable CS, the mediocre ammo prices, and the lack of 9x18 ammo for my friend's gun has led me to call it "sportsman's whorehouse" indefinitely. :eek:

May 12, 2004, 03:30 AM
Yeah, it was the one on 7200 South, just off I-15. The XD40 is blued (that means it's black right?) I know that's a dumb questions, but I've never asked before, and I want to make sure.

Come to think of it, my opinion of Customer Service may be a good bit biased, I have been doing customer service at my job for the last 4 years and am the top operator, I can handle any situation in less than 5 minutes. So when a simple task takes as long as this one, it gets on my nerves. I keep thinking, I can do this better. But they might not have the customer handling experience that I do.

Fumegator, check your PM's the times have changed for Thursday.

May 12, 2004, 03:38 AM
If you don't mind me asking, how much were they charging?

I'm heading to SW to see if they have a XD357 tomorrow, but I'm not going to bother if their price is too high.

May 12, 2004, 04:05 AM
I bought 1 gun from Sportsman's Warehouse, and my dad bought his Buckmark at Sportsman's Warehouse.

Things that are fun to do when you're there.

1. Watch how many employees had a customer a gun and then walk away.
2. Count how many times you get swept by a muzzle. Last time I was there I had a new all time low of 3 times.

Their prices are ok though. I still buy at the small gun store about 20 minutes north of me.

Tom Servo
May 12, 2004, 08:13 AM
I've had similar experiences with a big-name retailer called Galyan's ( here in Georgia. This is what happens when you pay your help a few cents over minimum wage. I've been given (and seen other customers given) some appallingly bad and erroneous advice, and you're right, none of these guys seem to even know how to handle a gun. In Georgia, if you've got a CCW, you're exempt from the NICS check (which, trust me, is a pain in the *&# if you've ever worked abroad), but from what I've seen, they make you go through it anyway (and charge you for it).

They're a few bucks cheaper, but I'd rather drive across town and support a local shop who seem to appreciate my business.

May 12, 2004, 08:20 AM
I've been to the north phoenix location.Customer service was ok,the gun prices were a little higher than i've seen in most places.They seemed to have a very good selection of all ammo and acessories at a decent price
Overall a clean and well organized store but i don't go out of my way to shop there.

May 12, 2004, 09:27 AM
Other than always being busy and making me wait for service, I've never had a bad experience at that exact store. They've been nice and patient.
That said, I usually only go to Sportsmans for fishing gear and cheap ammo.

Highland Ranger
May 12, 2004, 10:00 AM
Ditto in NJ - typical handgun purchase can take 2 hours . . . .

Ben Shepherd
May 12, 2004, 10:12 AM
Guys, the sportsmans in question can be agravating at times at the gun counter, alot of it is due to being very busy usually. I've just learned that I'll be there a while most times I go in and plan accordingly.

We'll talk about "where" to buy guns on thursday. Sportsmans is for reloading/fishing/camping gear. I buy guns elsewhere.

May 12, 2004, 10:31 AM
The SW in St Cloud is mcuh, much safer then the one you went to. The sales person never left the gun display the whole time I was there. Everytime he touched a gun he cleared it. This included when he took it off the rack, and when I handed back to him. There were never any fingers on triggers or any other else that made me not feel safe.

The store I was at was a new store in St Cloud, MN so maybe they are little more strict. I emailed SW to congradulate them on the fine gun handling that was exibited in their store. I got an email back from the VP of retail sales thanking me for my praise. I asked him when there would be a SW in WI he said soon!!!

May 12, 2004, 10:31 AM
Private party in Az - "Nice gun. For sale?" "Yep, two hundred." "Here ya go, so , how about them Diamondbacks?"
In store with background check, about 30 minutes when really busy....:)

May 12, 2004, 10:39 AM
My experience with Sportsman's Warehouse here in Missoula has been nothing short of outstanding. The guys at the gun counter know I can't buy a gun in Montana because I'm a Nevada resident, but I still buy a lot of reloading stuff from them. My friend has spent a bunch of money there, so whenever I go in there with him you can prettymuch hear their ears perk up. My only problem has been asked TOO MANY time if I need help. The guys have always checked to make sure a gun is unloaded and the muzzle in the right direction here.

john l
May 12, 2004, 10:43 AM
You told my story, man. I bought a handgun from them mid april and the way you described it, that is what happened to me, timeline and all. (Murray location) Here's the rub. The genius who processed my paperwork wrote down my ccw permit expiration date wrong, and so he calls my wife at home that afternoon to see if I am home, she gives him my work number, so he calls me at work( which is fine, no big deal) and I give him the correct expr. date. I think they background searched me enought that they wanted to take a picture of my butthole if they thought they could get away with it. But hey, they had the handgun I wanted that no one else had.
I figger that they put the fear of god in the minimum wage earners there and that's why they are pretty freaked out about everything.
john l.

May 12, 2004, 09:49 PM
Reno, I think I got a bit of a deal with my. The XD9 on the wall was marked $419, the XD40 was the same tag, but had the price marked out and $429 was marked on the tag. When I went to the register with the XD40 they charged me $419. I figured for the time I spent there $10 off was a good deal.

DJF, you hit the nail on the head. I was amazed that 2 salesmen were okay with the fact that I was holding a gun, apparently they were so okay with it that they just walked away. And then the kid that kept grabbing the guns, and putting his finger on the trigger, would hold the gun on his hip, and the barrel would be pointing down an aisle. I was amazed that these guys hadn't had any safety training.

May 13, 2004, 02:01 PM
I bought my XD40 at the same location. Admittedly, service there is hit or miss, but I got it there because of the "no sales tax" week they have every November. I also got them to price match another store on top of the sales tax savings, so mine was out the door with me for $378. I was in there a couple weeks ago, and had a problem with the little minimum wage pothead behind the counter with the GPS units and radios. When I mentioned it to someone else, they had me speak to the store manager, who was very accessable and nice, and offered to make it up to me in some way. He gave me a $10 off a $50 purchase coupon, even though I didn't expect anything from them except to kick the teenager's can a little bit. I really don't have an issue with them, and wouldn't hesitate to shop there in the future.

I generally like Galyans, too, but not for guns. Everything is trigger-locked, and it's hard to get a feel for a particular gun if you can't [SAFELY] play with the trigger somewhat. They seem to be priced decently, though.

May 13, 2004, 02:09 PM
I was in Sportsman's this morning looking for an alternative holster (see this thread: Asked the guy behind the counter if I could check the fit of a PT145 (my carry gun...didn't think they would appreciate me pulling my piece in the middle of the store:neener: ) in the pouch, and he locked the slide back prior to handing me the pistol.
I guess its just a hit or miss situation with safety and handling from the guys behind the counter.

May 13, 2004, 02:56 PM
I went to SW yesterday, price was $419 on the XDs, and the gentleman who helped me was very conscientious about safety.

Very nice guns, unfortunately they didn't have them in 357Sig.

May 13, 2004, 03:19 PM
I was recently looking for some thinmgs at the Sportsman's Warehouse in Loveland, Colorado, under the mistaken impression that they were cheaper than the smaller gun shops.

I bought a box of Speer GD bullets, and looked for two different kinds of loaded ammo, which they didn't have in stock. I asked for price quotes anyway.

I then went ot a police supply in downtown Loveland. They had the Speer bullets $1.00 CHEAPER than sportsman's Warehouse. They also had BOTH of the kinds of loaded ammo I wanted IN STOCK and 10 percent cheaper!

Neesless to say, Sportsman's Warehouse won't be getting any more of my business.

May 13, 2004, 03:31 PM
I also use that same Sprotsman's on 7200 S.

This is how I look at it. I take new shooters who are looking to buy a gun to Sportsman's where they can fondle everything. Then I help them shop around and we get it for less somewhere else. :)

Service there can be really hit or miss. There are a couple of guys who know their stuff, and the rest kinda suck.

I do buy reloading components there sometimes.

May 13, 2004, 05:08 PM
Don't know how all of your stores are set up, but I don't like the one in Meridian, ID. Sure, there are some beautiful mounts, clean new store, decent prices, but the way they display their handguns makes me cringe.

Do your stores have them 3-4 handguns deep on metal pegs hanging on the wall? They all get banged together, marked up from being slid on and off the pegs, banged by the gun above them, on and on and on.....

What if there were an earthquake, or if someone fell at an angle against that wall? Lots of iron hitting the floor at once; it would make the hardest gun nut cry seeing that sight.

FWIW, at least the guys here are friendly and helpful and in my experience safety conscious.


May 13, 2004, 05:16 PM
I really like how they display their handgun selection. I have never been one to worry about scratches. My guns are just tools if I wanted them to stay looking pretty I wouldn't shoot them. The nice thing about having them all on the pegs is it is easy to compare sizes and cost. They are all right there you don't have to bend over and try to stare at them through some glass. My only complaint is they don't make the prices big enough. I had to squint a little to see what some of the costs were.

May 13, 2004, 05:44 PM
I agree with Sturmruger. Besides, I'm not buying the one off the pegs, anyway.

May 13, 2004, 05:58 PM
I only buy powder and cleaning stuff from Sportsman's. Anything you need "assistance" with gets too complicated. Too bad really, their selection is impressive and their prices are reasonable.

May 13, 2004, 07:00 PM
I was at the SW up here in Portland a couple weeks ago looking for a SW1911. the salesman did the same thing, handed me the gun and walked off (apparently SOP with them), then looked at me like I was a mutant when I told him I wanted one, but only if they had one NIB. All they had was the beat up wall display.. ***?

May 14, 2004, 01:03 AM
They're pretty new around here, and I've only been to one of the stores once, but I liked the place. All kinds of hunting, camping, shooting, and sporting goods stuff, in a big and clean store with okay prices. My "primary" clerk in the guns section was a very friendly and chatty older guy, and there was a short delay while others reviewed the paperwork, but all-in-all it was just fine. The ammo and magazine selection was a little limited, though.

May 14, 2004, 07:31 AM
The S/W here in Idaho Falls has three-four very competent individuals working at the Firearms counter. Purchased my Steyr s40 and Bushmaster there, no problems encountered.

May 14, 2004, 07:40 AM
Hi, No matter how you look at it Customer Service and Sales cost more than $7 per hour . Corporate America doesn't think so tho . Waited at Dick's Sporting Good's counter while 3 employees had a conversation I assumed was business related . After 5 minutes they finished and all left the counter and no one waited on Me ! I Walked ! Won't be back to Dick's unless I buy some loss leader ammo . There name says it all about there management style. ....................WVleo

May 14, 2004, 04:07 PM
literally *all* SW locations are constructed identically. They all have the handguns hanging on pegs.

May 15, 2004, 03:54 AM
One of these is getting ready to open about 3 minutes from my front door.

I wonder if there is an employee discount? I already work too much OT at my current job(1375 hours last calendar year) but my wife has been saying she might start looking for a part-time job. I know she has been thinking Jo-Ann's or Micheals, but...this might prove more cost efficient.


May 15, 2004, 04:17 PM
Maybe I could apply there, and get a part-time job at the gun counter, and start whipping them all into shape about gun safety. :D

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