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Hidden Gun Stores

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by ARTiger, Apr 27, 2008.

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  1. ARTiger

    ARTiger Member

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    Having a business that consists of traveling the south and midwest and visiting many small towns I have taken great delight in discovering many "off the wall" gun dealers who conceal their gun business as (or within) some other enterprise.

    Places such as the "lock and key" shop that hasn't cut a key in 30 years, but has over 500 guns new and used ready to sell. The rural grocery store "hardware" department where the "hardware" measures in calibers, millimeters and gauges. The tool repair shop that'll take your mil spec 1911 "tool" and tune it to perfection, etc. . . .

    Just this week I visited a lawnmower repair shop and bought an M1 Carbine along with a throttle control for my dad's (well, mine now) 30 year old Yazoo high wheel mower. (I think both had been in stock nearly as long.)

    Obviously, these dealers have a clientele that knows who and what they are and prefer it that other folks don't. Nothing wrong with that.

    Would love to hear some stories of other "hidden gem" gun stores. . . .
     
  2. garymc

    garymc Member

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    I think you may have made some assumptions. Have you tried asking the owner why the businesses or the names are the way they are?
     
  3. PTK

    PTK Member

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    There is, if my uncle is to be believed, a "Coin and Stamp Shop" in Massachusetts that sells firearms exclusively.
     
  4. ARTiger

    ARTiger Member

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    Of course, always. Some started out as focusing on another business line and later started selling guns then phased out the original business. Others are just local entreprenurs who like guns that added a gun business to their main line. A few in larger towns and cities relish the anonymous branding for security purposes.

    Here's an example: There's a gas station/car repair shop that originally opened in the late 50's. One partner died in 1980 and the repair function ended. Then the above ground gas storage tanks they had ended their useful life and the owner decided it was too expensive to replace them.

    Sometime in the mid 80's they started selling shotgun shells to the duck hunters that stopped by. That led to shotguns, then rifles, then handguns. Along the way a breakfast area for the hunters was added, then came plate lunches. It's still called a "Service Station", but sells no gas. Just lunches, breakfast, smokes and guns. Opens and closes with hunting season. I love the place and others like it.

    In many cases these hard to find dealers will have an occasional treasure of a gun that I have been wanting that's been sitting in the case for years.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 27, 2008
  5. Dope

    Dope Member

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    Hmph, interesting. Never heard of such a thing here. All of the gun shops I've been to here (in the Boston area) have been plainly and clearly labelled as to what they are.

    Dope
     
  6. Moonclip

    Moonclip Member

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    I love that sort of thing. I've been to some strange and out of the way gunshops in my time.

    One looked like a combination of a farm with a little of the Aryan Nations compound thrown in:(!!!

    My friend said he knew of a barbershop/gunshop at one time. I heard of a combo deli/gunshop once in a gun magazine, guy bought a Colt revolver smeling of ham and cheese!

    My dream gunshop would be 24hours and also involve a deli/restaurant/liquor store!

    Range I used to go to was located very close to some homes/apartments, strange zoning, also a school across the street. Non shooters strolled in all the time, vagrants and such and people just wanting to buy a coke or candy bars!

    I also know a hardware store/auto repair place that still sells guns.
     
  7. Moonclip

    Moonclip Member

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    There was a coin and gunshop place in CT I think. It even dealt in class III! My friend also claimed some local city had a strange rule that gunshops couldn't be called "gun" in the business name.

    So the place was called like Hunters lodge or something. I knew a defunct indoorrange called like Hunters paradise for some reason.

    My friend said he would have called a gunshop he opened Ron's Saturday Night Specials!

    One gunshop/gunsmith I know is located kind of out of the way on a hill and is a rod iron gate/decoration place as well. Guy had a doberman running loose, I made him secure it before we conducted business!

    I also know a sandrail/dune buggy place that sells guns.
     
  8. mnrivrat

    mnrivrat Member

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    Prior to the Clinton administrations attack on small FFL dealers there were many small gun shops around. Some on farms, and some in peoples garages, or sheds, or basements.

    The shop I frequent ran for many years on a farm in the middle of nowhere and started out in a small chicken coupe about 8 by 12 feet.
     
  9. dodge

    dodge Member

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    I personally know of a barber shop/gunshop that is located about 15 minutes away.
     
  10. ctdonath

    ctdonath Member

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    In Syracuse NY, it took me 3 days to find a shop that I eventually bought some holsters from. No storefront markings at all. Inventory was largely on a "need to know" basis. Up-and-up, just the owner wanted things quiet at his downtown location.

    In Atlanta GA, one of the most interesting gun-related businesses is in an unmarked building. Took me days to find that one too. Not the kind of business that wants riff-raff dropping in (and they would if suitably marked). If you want their business, you'll find out the address.
     
  11. Bob F.

    Bob F. Member

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    Up until a year or two ago there was a watch shop in Milton WV that had an awesome selection of mostly handguns. My first visit, nice guy behind the counter said "If you don't see what you're looking for, ask; I've probably got it in the back."

    It had been a family owned business for, I guess, a couple generations, Retirement time and nobody had the interest or money to buy "lock, stock & barrel" so it's now closed down. Wish I could remember the name.

    Bob
     
  12. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    A collector here knew of all the small stores in the area and would do a quarterly "loop" through them to see if they had anything interesting. I recall one that was guns on one side and furniture on the other... and the furniture space shrinking with every visit.
     
  13. gaowlpoop

    gaowlpoop Member

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    Barrow Automotive in Butler Georgia. They have auto parts but that is the small part of the building. They are one of the few stores in the country that has IN STOCK everything Browning sells. The also have a huge selection of everything else, including used weapons. It is a real hoot to visit them.
     
  14. armoredman

    armoredman Member

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  15. rocinante

    rocinante Member

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    Small town retailer do follow the general store principle a lot. I use to install and do training for computer systems for a company specializing in auto parts. One place in Enterprise, AL was a combination auto parts, welding supplies, fire works, hard ware, nursery and bunch of other miscellaneous junk. Pretty certain they sold ammo too. It was fun just seeing what Curtis and Miss Pookie stocked.
     
  16. Justin

    Justin Moderator Staff Member

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    THE CHAIR IS AGAINST THE WALL
    I remember a little hole-in-the wall gas station in rural Indiana that also stocked shotguns, a couple of rifles, and a bunch of hunting ammo.
     
  17. Mr White

    Mr White Member

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    Armoredman, your picture reminds me of the song...
     
  18. Sato Ord

    Sato Ord Member

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    If you're looking for hidden gun shops in the south east make sure you check out the little mom & pop bait stores. Many bait & tackle shops sell firearms and ammo but don' necessarily advertise it. Their clientele knows what they have they don't feel the need to hang a new sign.
     
  19. CannonFodder

    CannonFodder Member

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    Sir... that's not a service station.
    That's heaven.
     
  20. TAB

    TAB Member

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    There is a "quick stop" near me that sells booze, porn and ammo... 15 years ago they sold guns as well.

    its rather intresting store.
     
  21. GhostlyKarliion

    GhostlyKarliion Member

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    Hmm, probably what happened when I went hunting for a gun store while visiting my mother.

    I got bored one day and everyone else was taking a nap so I went to town, pulled out my computer and searched for a gun store. Turns out there was one just a couple of miles away so I headed that direction. Address to the place was 11100 County Road 212, Forney, TX, the name was "Getting Place". Only thing I saw when I drove by twice was a bunch of old cars and what looked like a vehicle servicing area so I just drove on by.

    heh, next time I am gonna stop in there.
     
  22. LawBot5000

    LawBot5000 Member

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    There is an excellent local FFL here that has his gun store hidden in a guest wing of his house in a quiet residential neighborhood. He does 20 dollar transfers and is great to deal with.

    The first time I met him, I found him through an FFL search program and had to drive past his house like 5 times before I found it. So yeah, well hidden.
     
  23. Rem700SD

    Rem700SD Member

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    There's a store south of Houston that is phasing out car stereo and phasing in guns. Their selection is actually pretty good!
     
  24. X-Rap

    X-Rap Member

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    Armoredman, is that place in Flag? If not there is a Gun / liquior store there too. As stated there used to be a lot of small garage and basement shops as well as storefront shops that had guns as a side. I remember a couple little shops in SW NM one was in a very ethnic little enclave where a gringo had a shop in his garage and carried a lot of exotic stuff and I believe he was class 3 dealer. Another was an old tin shed full of antiques but they had a real nice supply of guns.
     
  25. mgregg85

    mgregg85 Member

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    Its my dream to open "Matt's ATF Store".

    ATF obviously standing for Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and that is just what I would sell. Good alcohol, all kinds of guns and cigars/pipes/tobacco kinda of stuff with an indoor shooting range and a walk in humidor.
     
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