Best and worst experiences in a gun shop?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by 38-45 Special, May 23, 2020.

  1. 38-45 Special

    38-45 Special Member

    Apr 4, 2020
    Hey guys. Just curious to see what kind of experiences you've had in a gun shop, or at least ones you'd consider memorable. Be it customer related, store owner, manager, or anything good and/or bad. I honestly have had good experiences when going to my local gun shop. Although there was one time I had just bought a handgun (Ruger LCR for those that care to know) and was waiting for the background check to clear, the clerk kept taking the gun out of the box and fondling it. Yes, he was legitimately fondling it.
  2. Ohen Cepel
    • Contributing Member

    Ohen Cepel Contributing Member

    Feb 4, 2003
    Where they tell me to go
    Worse was in md (bad place for gun people!). Asked about buying 2 French rifles the store had, told I needed a copy of my orders and lease (as I was military). Ok, I go get them but then the guy tells me I need 2 copies (one for each rifle) and even though he's standing in front of a copying machine insists that I go back to get another set.

    So, I bought the one I wanted more and never went back to that store. Sadly, for me, I'm retired in this miserable state and even though that same store is close by I still will not go back there. Guy jerked around a soldier for no reason and lost a nice sale for the cost of 2 copies.
  3. Heir Kommt Die Sonne

    Heir Kommt Die Sonne Member

    Dec 24, 2018
    Well one store that's prolific in the DFW area keep urging my mom to panic buy back in 2012. The thing is, it's a nice store Tons of military surplus, gear uniforms, etc.
    It's a family owned shop but anyway, they were just relentless when it came to pressuring people not knowledgable about guns to buy up everything in the store. Every time my mom and family went there, we came back home really depressed because of what they kept talking to us there. ("OBAMAS GONNA BAN THE GUNS, and.. .OOOGA BOOGA!").
    They were the kind of people to sell ARs at $2000 bucks and keep trying to scare people into buying it until they succeed. Not to mention I once heard them shout out about the weight of a female customer. She was buying a pistol and the guy behind the counter yells "HERE'S A FAT ONE!!!". How improper.
    Over the course of the Obama years, their business FLOURISHED of course like all gun shops did during that time, they even built their own indoor shooting range. Again, everytime you went in there they kept going "boo hoo Obama's gonna ban the guns, you better buy this model up before he signs his pen and bans it by the next month." It's like this store is the epitome of what people hate about the south.
    However, the stores owner (a guy with white hair) has always been nice, nice to me, a pretty cool and well mannered guy. He buys collections, estates, etc. so he's that kind of guy, lots of experience. There's just something about his kids though and the people they hire.
    Phaedrus/69 and Glockula like this.
  4. WestKentucky

    WestKentucky Member

    Feb 1, 2014
    Middle Tn
    A few shops I know the guys behind the counter and they know me. I have been texted a picture of a gun with a business card and a witty message asking for adoption and a starting point for negotiating adoption fees. These guys are my friends, and we cut up a bit.

    Then there is a shop where I am now. They had a beautiful limited edition revolver that I knew was overpriced but I wanted it. I stood there with my credit card in hand asking for help for 10 minutes. No other customers. Literally no other customers in the store. Dude was too engrossed in playing with his dog and being a smartass to bother taking care of a customer who obviously was ready to make a purchase. When I got mad and walked quietly to the door he started fussing about why was I leaving, which I responded that I was tired of waiting to overpay him and let him make a solid profit while he played with a dog that had crapped in the floor and stunk the place up. He started yelling at me and cussing. I haven’t been back and refuse to go back. Sad, it’s the only shop with an indoor range, AND they rent out guns for people who want to try before buy. They are also the only reloading vendor in town besides Academy and Academy has a very limited selection. I wish I could buy that business just to fire the guy and run it how it should be ran.
    Phaedrus/69 likes this.
  5. Middletown

    Middletown Member

    Jan 28, 2017
    When I bought my like new SS Single Six a few years ago I made the deal with the counter person who I knew in a LGS kind of way as I had bought a couple firearms from him already. It was in the display case by itself and he thought it didn't come with anything else. As we were starting the paperwork the owner of the LGS said wait a minute and brought the original box with the magnum cylinder out from the stock room behind the counter. I didn't say a word, they kind of looked at each other and the owner said "I guess you got a good deal". I also think I got a good deal.

    When I bought the Ruger Liberty Model Security Six in my avatar the pawn shop person did not mention it was a Liberty model and I didn't bring it up. Not a great price premium difference but if I was a pawn dealer selling a firearm I would have ask extra money for it. I also think I got a good deal for it as I would have paid the same for it if it wasn't.

    Never had what I would call a "Worst Experience". I have been in a couple gun shops that didn't give me a reason to come back. LGS's that don't take care of business probably don't last long.
  6. 460Shooter

    460Shooter Member

    Feb 12, 2011
    Best for me was my LGS owner telling me I was asking too little for a trade in value and giving me more money.

    Don’t think it gets any better than that.
    cc-hangfire and bannockburn like this.
  7. Armored farmer

    Armored farmer Member

    Mar 28, 2010
    South Eastern Illinois
    The worst thing I ever witnessed was my lgs owner decided to *pop* one of the big air cushion shipping bags that are stuffed in boxes.... kinda like bubble wrap but big single baggie.
    Wow! The hair stood straight up and I whirled around to see his silly grin.
    I told him what I thought about his k9 lineage and his low IQ.
    Hes a fellow lodge member, so I've sworn an oath not to kill him.
  8. guyfromohio

    guyfromohio Member

    Nov 23, 2011
    A couple from Gander Mountain 15 years ago...

    Went in on a Friday during lunch and found a nice stainless Ruger Single Six. Price was agreeable, but I needed to think it over. Came back Monday and it was like $50 more expensive than it was on Friday. I asked what gives and he responded with “as of this weekend, we now offer FREE lifetime cleaning and inspection”. I laughed....he cringed and apologized and then marked it back down. Wasn’t his fault.

    Then there was the day I was looking at this new Springfield XD thing at the same Gander. I was just browsing as it was new to the market. They had two identical guns in the case. One was like $75 more than the other. I asked what the difference was. One had a FREE holster and mag pouch.
  9. Ironicaintit

    Ironicaintit Member

    May 7, 2015
    I got into a “discussion” about a hipoint 45 in the case with a tag of $300!
    I said something to the effect of that they think their customers are retarded, and it went downhill from there. We reached a mutual agreement that I wouldn’t return to their snooty sheister shop.
    cc-hangfire likes this.
  10. MedWheeler

    MedWheeler Member

    Jun 14, 2008
    SouthEastern FL
    Best? Pretty much any time I walk in and find something I'd actually been keeping an eye out for, for a good price. Examples include a recent Beretta 950B (Italian-made, no safety, from 1964) for $150, and, in a different shop, a Seecamp 32 for $350.

    Worst? Pretty much any time I've walked in and found nothing that caught my eye.
  11. Double_J

    Double_J Member

    Jan 25, 2012
    Melbourne Florida
    My best and worst occurred at the same shop, albeit many years apart. The best was when I went in wanting to buy a particular handgun, and it was out of stock. The clerk talked to the manager and I got a deal on a better quality pistol for not much more money.

    The worst was a number of years later. I went into the shop with cash in hand looking for a particular rifle, and I knew they had one in stock. the shop was mostly empty, the usual counter surfers were present as were some real customers. I waited about 10 minutes for a salesman to acknowledge me after he finished discussing the finer points of the Taurus Judge with a counter surfer. He never even looked my way even after I pulled my wallet out and waved some cash at him. I walked out of that shop and went down the road to a shop that just opened and had great service. They gratefully took my money and through in some accessories as a thank you.
  12. drk1

    drk1 Member

    Jun 19, 2013
    Worst: Happened at a shop that friend had previously managed. Friend disappeared one day and I learned that the owner, who up to this point and never worked there a day in life and only bought the place so he could get "deals," had worked for GE and that company talked him into being an "independent contractor". About 6 weeks after that GE decided that it no longer needed his serived. So he fired the manager and worked at the shop himself for a few weeks until he got bored and hired his nephew as the "manager." A short time after the "nephew," who knew nothing about firearms, became manager, I walked in to find the "nephew" put it to his girl friend who he had laying on her back on one of the display cases.

    Best: The hundreds, if not thousands, of times that customers came back to thank me for helping them at the various shops were I worked.

    2nd Worst: Got a phone call one day and I could barely understand the woman. She was crying and sobbing so bad that I only understood a few of her words. Finally got her calmed down enough to talk a little more clearly when I hear this "smack," she screams and starks crying again. I asked her if she wanted me to call 911, and she paniced and said no, don't do that. After a little more effort, I got her to explain that her husband had purchased a tree stand and he couldn't get it to work because all of the parts weren't there. I remembered the guy and the sale. My boss wanted the back room cleaned out and there were lots of tree stands that had been canabilzed for parts that were missing on other stands. He told me to make 'em gone, mark 'em down to $40 bucks "as-is," mark it clear to the customer there would be "no returns" and mark that on the bill of sale. This guy picked up the parts to a really expensive tree stand and offered $5.00. We eventually settled on $20 bucks and I marked the receipt "no return". This guy now had the audacity to have his wife call demanding a brand new, complete stand that retailed for about $250 and then beat her the whole time she was on the phone! I finally got her calmed down and told her to have her husband bring in the stand. We had the police there waiting when he arrived.
    Phaedrus/69 and armedwalleye like this.
  13. TRX

    TRX Member

    Sep 5, 2008
    Central Arkansas
    > I waited about 10 minutes for a salesman to acknowledge me

    Variations on that are why my area *used to* have a bunch of gun shops. When the Cabelas/Gander stores opened, they were just as bad. Maybe it's a local thing.
    BlueHeelerFl likes this.
  14. Pat Riot
    • Contributing Member

    Pat Riot Contributing Member

    May 21, 2015
    Southern California
    I have had way more pleasurable experiences in guns stores than I have unpleasant ones.
  15. PTSchram

    PTSchram Member

    May 23, 2020
    Churubusco, Indiana
    I owned a Snap-on franchise and would regularly stop into gun shops on my route and add them to my list of calls.

    I made it a point to carry in small dead blow ball peen hammers and roll pin punches.

    It was like stealing candy from babies, until I walked into a new shop and their "gunsmith" started berating me for suggesting he'd need a hammer "that big" and my punches were overpriced.

    I was astounded and walked out never to return.

    As I left several customers followed me to the truck. I sold out of hammers, punches, and file sets

    All I could think of was how this guy had intentionally chased away a potential customer who was in a line of business where being armed was a given fact of life

    shop closed in less than a year
    Phaedrus/69, LoonWulf and P5 Guy like this.
  16. DeepSouth

    DeepSouth Member

    Jan 14, 2009
    Heart of Dixie
    Best experience, probably when I bought my 50-90 1874 Sharps. The FFL didn’t know what I had ordered, he just called me and told me it had come in. I showed up and he opened the box and there was a pristine shiny dark blued 36” full octagon barrel, Matched with high gloss fancy wood, with silver tips on the stocks and long range peep sights.

    Everyone literally everyone in the entire store (was also a hardware store) came over to admire that fine 15lb piece of art, it was certainly enjoyable for one of grail guns to get that much admiration.

    Worst experience: probably last year when I went to out only gun/sporting goods store left in town to have my sons bow restrung, and freshened up, it was given to my son and had been sitting for a few years. The guy told us after waiting for him to “do some checking” the bow was to old and the company (High Country Archery) had gone out of business so he couldn’t get new strings or parts.
    Now I don’t know much at all about bows, but I DO know a little about google, for instance— https://www.highcountryarchery.com/ — not out of business and his model is listed and I could order a string myself.

    Being lied to really, really pisses me of.
    I’ll never go back there. for anything under any circumstances.
  17. Kawamax

    Kawamax Member

    Mar 19, 2020
    Best experience: after listening to Dianne Feinstein’s anti gun vitrol on TV one too many times I decided to buy my first AR. At the time I lived in CA so there was a 10 day wait on the rifle. (Could have been 14 days, I don’t remember.). When i went in to pick it up, the helpful guy at the LGS said that due to a loophole in the law I could buy another rifle at that time (and only during the pickup time for the first gun) without the wait. Did I mention that they were having a sale on ARs? Was making crazy money at the time working long hours, so I walked out of the store with 3 ARs. Thanks Dianne!

    Worst experience: was at a different LGS for the first time. Counter guy is showing a pistol to a customer. Customer picks it up, sweeps me, then aims at me. I say “hey” to the counter guy, he laughs with the customer. I didn’t say anything else - just turned around and walked out. I bought over a dozen guns from the first LGS and never went back to the second.
    armedwalleye likes this.
  18. Fyrstyk

    Fyrstyk Member

    May 31, 2019
    Central CT
    The worst experience i ever had at a gun shop was when I was interested in a used Colt .45 commander. I asked the counter person to get the gun out of the case so i could look at it up close. He took out the gun, thumbed the hammer back and pulled the trigger. The subsequent explosion shattered the gun case and had nearly everyone in the store on the floor except the fool that had the gun. He just stood there shaking like a leaf.
  19. FFGColorado

    FFGColorado Member

    Mar 2, 2020
    Best was owner, when I was looking for 2 specific guns(G26 and Uberti cowboy gun)...said both times, 'wait a minute', went to his office and grabbed exactly what I was looking for..one was a gun some guy put on informal 'layaway' 4 weeks prior but never came back and the other was something he was considering keeping for himself..Great little gun store.

    Worse was arrogant store in Lakewood CO who wouldn't let me even touch/handle a Ruger Wrangler..A $200 gun! It's not like it was some sort of expensive relic or I was some kid with my pants about ready to fall down.
    As a comparison, son and I went to OldSteel firearms in Denver..they have some beautiful, rare and quite expensive firearms there and encourage ANYBODY to hold, touch, fondle..Great place.
  20. EIB0879

    EIB0879 Member

    May 3, 2015
    North Texas
    I will talk about the good experiences since I only have a couple of those.

    First in 1995 I was looking for a scope for my new Sako L691. I found a place in Plano, TX that had a Leupold Vari X 3 4.5-14 x. I took my rifle down there with my Optiloks and they mounted it, boresighted it quickly. Wasn't far off and sighted in easily at the range. Hasn't moved in 25 years. That is the only time I trusted someone else to mount a scope on my rifle.

    Second was Grabagun's retail location. It's 20 minutes from my office. Ordered a rifle, and had it sent to the retail location. Went down, did the paperwork, picked up the rifle and back to my office on my lunch hour. Same experience with friends and family going there.
  21. EIB0879

    EIB0879 Member

    May 3, 2015
    North Texas
    I would have also.
    Bfh_auto likes this.
  22. Hokkmike

    Hokkmike Member

    Feb 28, 2006
    Sullivan County PA
    BEST - Ammo Guy in Muncy, PA... Had some unneeded factory ammo that I was wiling to sell or trade-in for a caliber I actually used. I would have been content with $10 a box but the owner insisted on paying me what he would have bought them for which was considerably more.

    WORST - Gun shop near Mifflinburg, PA. There was a display of lots of handguns outnumbered only by signs everywhere saying "Do not touch or handle". The owner, who never even said hello to me, just watch me as I perused the selection. No smile, no communication, and following me with his eyes like I was going to stick something in my pocket.
  23. Arkansas Paul

    Arkansas Paul Member

    Mar 18, 2009
    Central Arkansas
    No, it wasn't over a pack of ammo.
    It was over someone committing a crime.
    If you'll steal anything, you'll steal anything.

    Damn, I hate thieves.
  24. Red October

    Red October Member

    May 24, 2011
    That. Exactly.
    stillquietvoice, Zeabed and Bfh_auto like this.
  25. cougar1717

    cougar1717 Member

    Nov 19, 2007
    St. Louis, MO
    With firearms stores, most of these have to do with the people working there and the procedures they have to do.

    One LGS is a small store with a good used inventory, but doesn't treat window shoppers too well. It's definitely a not a place to waste the salesperson's time if you're not going to buy something and I have seen some gruff interactions. However, this place is one of the best buying experiences. Prices are competitive, you get a cash discount, and once you say, "I'll take it," you're handed a 4473 and a pen. They call in the NICS check immediately and a buyer is out the door very fast.

    OTOH, my worst buying experiences have been at a certain big box outdoor store. I even ordered online and already paid for the gun. The store calls when the gun is ready. I have to take a number when I arrive at the gun counter and wait for every window shopper ahead of me. OK, I can wait my turn. Once the salesperson attends me and prints their paperwork, they direct me to a computer to fill out the 4473. I wait to clear the background check. Then, they have to get my firearm out of their locked storage. However, the first associate cannot find it. They look again - can't find it. They look behind the counter - not there. They call the manager to look for my firearm. The manager finds it in their storage location. I've passed the background check, fill out the store's paperwork. Finally, the manager has to be called back to review everything and that I have actually paid for the firearm. I am finally escorted out of the store, with firearm in hand.
    The process from the time that I was waited on to walking out of the door is an 1-1/2 hours. Remember, that is for a gun that I have already bought - no shopping time involved. The first time, I thought it was just an isolated thing, but after another buying experience, it appears that the 1-1/2 hour time frame is the norm for their processes. Sometimes a deal is worth the wait, but it has to be a really good deal, especially in comparison to the 20 minutes maximum at the first LGS.
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