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Gun Shops Suck (except when they don't)

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by aeriedad, Jan 28, 2012.

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  1. aeriedad

    aeriedad Member

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    We finished a "gun shops suck" thread not long ago (http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=636729). It kinda turned into a "customers suck" thread for a while too. I've had similar experiences to much of what I read in the 200 posts there, but I learned a little as well.

    It's easy to be negative; harder to be positive. Even so, I'd like to see if we can talk about some reasons why our LGS doesn't suck (or, at least, why it doesn't always suck). To be fair, I can usually save $50 or more buying online vs. my favorite LGS, and the service there is sometimes great, sometimes not. But that's all the negative I'm going to say here. The rest is about why the place doesn't suck.

    My favorite LGS has an indoor range. It's $5 for a lane, all day or until you're done shooting. That doesn't suck.

    There's a large selection of rifles and pistols for rent. Pistol rentals are $5 a day, and you can turn in one pistol for another all day long for the same $5. That doesn't suck.

    A basic range membership is $125 a year. It covers range time, protective eyewear and hearing protection for two shooters, and one free rental gun at a time. Members also get a t-shirt and hat with store logos (yeah, yeah, free advertising). The Platinum Membership is $250 and provides range time for four shooters and $50 off any new firearm purchase. That doesn't suck.

    Every Tuesday and Thursday, they hold Ladies Night. For $30, they provide an all-woman staff to instruct other women in basic pistol and revolver handling and marksmanship. They even talk a little about situational awareness and self-defense. It also includes 100 rds of .22 ammunition and, of course, a free t-shirt. (I took my wife to the range a couple times first, but once she went to a Ladies Night, hardly a week goes by without her asking me when we're going to the range again). That doesn't suck.

    Every two months, they have three Red Cross buses in the parking lot. There's free BBQ pork for everyone, whether they donate blood or not, but anyone who does donate gets $50 off any new firearm purchased that day. That doesn't suck.

    There is a HUGE selection of firearms here. My wife and I purchased three firearms from this LGS last year. They were a little overpriced, but we talked to salesmen and handled probably 25 or 30 firearms at the counter over the course of the year. We got to shoot similar ones from the rental counter (no charge for range members) before making final purchase decisions. That doesn't suck.

    As noted at the opening of the post, this LGS isn't perfect. But on the whole, it just doesn't suck.

    What examples will others share? Who else has an LGS that doesn't suck? A small measure of mixed reviews are OK, but if your LGS really does suck, you don't have to tell us about it.
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2012
  2. ColtPythonElite

    ColtPythonElite Member

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    I go into my local GS's at least weekly. I've gotten fair deals, not steals, but no total rapings either, on used stuff more times than not. I'm mostly interested in used stuff and the owners know what I'm in the market for. When a new piece comes in they know I would be interested in the hang tag often has an inflated price. If I pass it by or look at it and hand it back, the price often drops drastically without me even making an offer. It's all part of the game. They know it and I know it. To me, it's good entertainment.
     
  3. Beagle-zebub

    Beagle-zebub Member

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    aeridad, where in South Carolina is this gunshop?
     
  4. Archaic

    Archaic Member

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    We had a great gun shop here in Texarkana, but the old timer that ran it retired. For a while there was only the big box stores (Gander and Academy), but there is a new one that I like pretty well. Its not as good as the old one with the old men and old guns, but its nice to be able to walk in and talk to people that understand me.
     
  5. aeriedad

    aeriedad Member

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    It's near Summerville, about 25 miles north of Charleston. I've seen references to this place by other THR members, though I don't believe I know any of them personally.
     
  6. Vaarok

    Vaarok Member

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    Back when I was up in NY, Creek Road Guns & Ammo in Morrisville was go-to, small hole-in-the-wall shop but great service and claustrophobically packed with stuff, unless it was turning over too fast to stick to the walls. Also K&K Train and Hobby in Utica had a pretty big selection and good turnover, though they were more optimistic about their prices.

    Now that I'm in NC, I've yet to find a shop that carries much stock of used or interesting- it's all new handguns and new hunting-only rifles, with the odd Garand and M4gery thrown in.
     
  7. doc2rn

    doc2rn Member

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    When I was stationed at Naval Hosp Charleston, that place was a home away from home! Not only that, when the hospital refused to let me vault my gun the store let me vault it there until I transferred out! Camp Lejeune wasnt as gun shy.
     
  8. Acelaw

    Acelaw Member

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    I think I'm aware of the shop the OP is referencing. I know this is supposed to be a positive thread but that shop in particular has the worst prices I've ever seen on firearms... obscene pricing really. Like the OP said though, it's a nice shop with good services. I use the range there on occasion.

    I was happy with the CWP class I took there
     
  9. LiquidTension

    LiquidTension Member

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    Are you guys talking about ATP? I've never been there.

    I've found several good deals at my local shop. They're willing to come off the price of used stuff since I've been going in there for over a decade.

    Some deals I've gotten:
    Stainless Marlin Camp Carbine 9mm $175
    SPAS12 $300
    870 Wingmaster TB $50
    Recently picked up a new STI Spartan for $675 OTD

    Their inventory is not great but every now and then they do get some good stuff from evidence room sales. Lawmen's is up the road as well, great LE prices.
     
  10. Striker Fired

    Striker Fired Member

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    Its been about ten years since there has been anything I can talk positive about around me. All the negatives apply around here.Those of you who have good lgs's nearby are lucky.
     
  11. FLCowboy49

    FLCowboy49 Member

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    Oh ATP....The memories on $$$ spent trying to occupy myself well at NWS...
     
  12. aeriedad

    aeriedad Member

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    My wife and I took the CWP class there too, and I also took their Utah CFP class last summer. I thought they were charging a little much for the classes when paying for them, but afterwards I would say I got my money's worth. Five free range passes are included with every course, which helps when one or two (or even three) of my five kids want to go to the range with me.

    I agree the firearms prices are high, but I try to see the business side of it. They offer services you can't get from the Internet or big box stores. Those services impose some serious overhead costs, yet they don't charge that much for those services (e.g., cheap range time). I would even consider their large on-hand inventory a kind of service that you only pay for if you purchase a firearm.

    I wish their prices weren't so high, and on a lot of things they probably don't have to be. When I want bottom-dollar prices and don't care much what level of service is offered, I just shop someplace else.
     
  13. OH_Spartan

    OH_Spartan Member

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    One thing I like about a LGS...getting to fondle several different kinds, makes and varieties side-by-side.

    My local sells on AA/GB for 2-3 hundred less than his retail price. I will go in and decide what I want, wait for them to post to GB/AA, then pick-up in person to save shipping. Ironically enough, they won't match their auction price at the counter. :banghead:. On the bright side, though, if I can keep the secret from all the folks that pay retail, well :neener:.
     
  14. Fishslayer

    Fishslayer Member

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    I really have all the handguns I need... don't really have the $$$...

    ...and my LGS just put 2 NEW 3rd Gen S&W .45ACP compacts in the case. That SUCKS!:(
     
  15. NinjaFeint

    NinjaFeint Member

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    Every time that I am mad at my LGS, I go to a Cabelas and gain new appreciation. I stopped today as I was driving by.

    Aside from the gun area being an over priced, here's your buzzer mad house and getting swept by countless individuals looking at rifles, there was the mass crowds of people who walk slow and people taking pictures of everything.

    Also, one man was staring at the pool of trout when I came in and still doing it when I left 30 minutes later. I don't mean looking at it, I mean staring.
     
  16. thefamcnaj

    thefamcnaj Member

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    I love my lgs. Sometimes I go just to hang out. The guy that owns it is real cool, and doesn't pressure you into anything. When he's not busy he likes to just shoot the breeze.
    The guns are always priced 30 dollars more than Buds gunshop, so that by the time you pay his ffl fee, you might as well just bought it there.
    He also has every AR or AK after market part you can think of as well as odd ball magezines that are hard to find. He also sells bulk ammo for the same amount as you can get online after shipping cost.
    All in all I'm a fan of his place.
     
  17. Acelaw

    Acelaw Member

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    I'm jealous of you guys that have shops with prices that are comparable to Buds
     
  18. redneck2

    redneck2 Member

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    I'd second that. GM, Cabelas, and BPS are great places to visit so you appreciate the local shops. I still can't believe how many guns they sell at their prices.

    I'm lucky. Have lots of local shops close, and I travel for a living so I accidentally stop into nearly all of them. Since there is competition, their prices beat most online places, particularly after you figure in shipping and transfer fees.

    Only one place is a real jerk. Problem is, he has the best selection of reloading stuff so I need to go there once a year maybe.

    For anybody in Northern Indiana, there's a new shop about 10 miles west of Plymouth on Hwy 30. Great selection and great prices. Nice guys.
     
  19. jmstevens2

    jmstevens2 Member

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    Even the local ones that seem to suck, don't take 2 1/2 hours to process a shotgun sale like Cabelas did Saturday. I just educate myself before I go.
     
  20. Clipper

    Clipper Member

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    Well for new guns I have an old work buddy that sells (to everybody) @ $20.00 above wholesale + tax, and for used stuff, I have Williams gunsite (with its HUGE used inventory and world-class gunsmiths for anything I can't handle myself) about 20 miles down the expressway.
     
  21. Double Vision

    Double Vision Member

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    Some time ago I almost gave up on my LGS because of a few bad apples behind the counter. I haven't seen them the last number of times I've been there and they seem to have been replaced by good guys. Also, the owners are great. Their prices aren't the best but choices around here are limited.

    Last week I went in to put a deposit on a pistol and the employee actually shook my hand at the end of the deal. That's the kind of thing that'll keep me coming back.
     
  22. cassandrasdaddy

    cassandrasdaddy Member

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    lol i'd rather herd cats naked on my knees than run a gun shop. gunnies are a might persnickety
     
  23. smalls

    smalls Member

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    My LGS didn't suck. That is, til I read your post, aeriedad. For $125 membership, or $5 all day lanes, i'd be there every day, and wouldn't care about a little price inflation on the firearms.
     
  24. aeriedad

    aeriedad Member

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    So, smalls, what is it about your LGS that you do like? I mean, you go there and spend money, right? Must be one or two good things about it.

    Regarding my LGS, I've seen it bashed a lot in local reviews and occasionally here on THR. It's mostly about the high prices, sometimes about the service. I would even say some of that criticism is fair. But on the whole, it's a pretty good business, and that made me think it might be good to see how others on THR feel about their LGS.
     
  25. perdurabo93

    perdurabo93 Member

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    Just about all the "local" gun shops here in Austin, TX area suck. The one thats been around the longest, McBride's Guns caters to either old rich white "country club Fudd" types who couldn't care less that they are overpaying at or near MSRP for a firearm, or ignorant newbies who simply don't know they're getting [redacted]. Their USED gun prices are generally HIGHER than the same item NEW from Bud's Gun Shop or Impact Guns. Its a great place to go and handle something new before buying somewhere else at a much lower price.

    I like the guys at Tex-Guns since they tend to cater to cruffler types with a good selection of surplus rifles, but their prices are still pretty high and they just instituted a "no credit cards/cash only" policy that will probably be the final nail in their coffin.

    The one place that is actually pretty decent is the local GT Distributors showroom which is a police supply catalog business that until relatively recently only catered to police/fire/ems/military types and you couldn't even go inside if you couldn't prove you were an LEO type. These days, they let mere mortals buy almost anything except certain ammo and firearms that are policy restricted or have a special LEO-only price (ie no FAET tax), which is a great change of pace. They have lots of store-wide sales where they sell 5.11 gear, magpul accessories and whatnot at below MAP pricing and they honor all website "coupon code" sales in store. Best thing of all is that they have a well stocked clearance section where you can get good deals on ammo and gear. Their firearm/optics prices are about the same or a little more than you'd find at Buds Gun Shop, Brownells or MidwayUSA, etc but generally the fact you have to pay 8.25% sales tax makes it not worth it to buy items over $100 or so. That being said, they only charge $10 for FFL transfers so its easy to buy online and transfer it at GT Dist since they're on file with most of the popular online retailers.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 13, 2012
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