California legal DPMS AR-15s at J & K Guns and Stuff (courtesy Facebook)

Like most people who live in small towns, I notice small changes. When an empty storefront put bars across the windows, I wondered which direction it would go. Jewelry store? Pawn shop? Check cashing service? Was our town’s economy headed up or down? One day, I saw a neon OPEN  invitation on the window and a sign proclaiming the arrival of J & K Guns and Stuff. I’m sure some residents saw this as a bad thing. I did not . . .

As you’d expect in rural California – or rural anywhere in America – hunting is a big deal around here. Most women – including your reporter – have their own personal/signature venison recipe. Social events are sparsely attended during hunting season.

Our first – and previously only – firearms emporium is geared towards hunters. It offers a wide selection of hunting rifles and enough blaze orange clothing to warm the hearts of Moms Demanding a Gun Violence Action Day. What it doesn’t offer is an adequate inventory of AR-style rifles or handguns for self-defense, or the gear needed to keep and bear them.

In the great tradition of free market capitalism, J & K’s owners saw an opportunity and placed their bet.

The new store is bare. But it’s not “barren.” They offer lower receivers, some handguns and a few shotguns. Even though the smell of fresh paint and carpet glue was thick in the air, I could tell this wasn’t my grandfather’s gun store.

The owner recognized me from my writing. She asked about women’s options for concealing. I took that opportunity to demonstrate how awesome my belly band is.  “WOW! You’re small,” she remarked. “I would have never guessed you carried a gun in here. Not that I mind. I’m just surprised I couldn’t tell.”

So many gun stores condescend towards women, presuming that they need to be told what gun to carry and how to carry it. The idea that a woman might know more than the salesman, or that she has specific needs, doesn’t occur to them. Out comes the pink revolver, a box of hollow-point .38’s and . . . that’s about it.

When it comes to armed self-defense, there are so many variables that a “one size fits all” solution is misleading at best, dangerous at worst. A good gun store is a like a good conversation. Over time, both sides learn about each other; their needs, abilities and aspirations. Together, the salesman and customer figure-out works, what doesn’t work and what might work.

I don’t mind discussing gun rights with gun store salesmen, fellow customers or anyone else. But I don’t go to a gun store to call President Obama a socialist, sneer at criminal scum or prepare for the apocalypse. I go there to find the tools I need to protect myself, my family and my community.

If gun stores want to appeal to women, they need to understand this. More than that, they need to think of us as a resource – not a sleepy-eyed cash cow. We want to be welcomed as the free Americans we are, but treated with the respect we deserve. That we all deserve.

J & K gets it. And that means they’ll get my business.

116 Responses to Sara Tipton: Gun Stores and Women

  1. There are so many LGS that condescend to men too. Seriously, it’s like being a condescending d-bag is a requirement to work at many gun shops.

    Or maybe it’s because I am under 50 years old and under 250lb?

    • Your right. I’m reminded of that everytime I go into an out of town LGS or even a gun show. Some sales dude likes to make sure you know you can’t shoot 5.56NATO in a .223Rem AR or it will blow up or some old ass “collector” at a big gun show when the 23yr old wants to take apart the Luger to make sure all of the like 18 or whatever parts match like he says it does. Then he has to go get Jimmy from across the show to come over.

      Ok now I will get off my soapbox.

      • The .223/5.56 thing is probably just a habit. I’d rather say something to someone who already knows then not say something to someone who doesn’t know, but makes no indication that they don’t know.

      • At least your sales dude had it right. I’ve had guys tell me the opposite and refuse to hear otherwise.

      • This is a thing I try to clear up. It sometimes feels as tho I’m the Little Dutch Boy, and I don’t have enough fingers to hold back the tidal wave of BS.

        You can shoot 5.56 from a .223 chamber… for all values of 5.56 currently made.

        The 5.56 chamber (not the ammo) has a longer leade length than the .223 chamber. This means, that if NATO (or the DOD) spec’d that they wanted to run bullets that had a different shape that used more of the leade in the 5.56 chamber, they could make ammo that (in theory) contacts the rifling in a .223 chamber. This might present a situation for higher chamber pressures.

        But at the current time, all 5.56 ammo will shoot fine out of a .223 chamber. The longer leade in a 5.56 chamber means that .223 ammo (especially lighter bullets) might not shoot well (ie, as tightly grouping) out of a 5.56 chamber as it would out of a .223 chamber, but it will be entirely safe to shoot.

        Here’s a comparison of several 5.56 and .223 reamer dimensions:

        http://ar15barrels.com/data/223-556.pdf

        Look at the line that says “Freebore Length.” Freebore and leade are synonyms. I’m old school and tend to use “leade.” When you see me use this term, if you’re confused, ask or just remember it’s the same as “freebore.”

        See the PTG (Pacific Tool & Gage, Dave Kiff’s tooling outfit in Oregon) .223 Match’s freebore length as the largest there? That’s because that reamer is for 80gr+ pills. NB also that the case neck is smaller in diameter as well.

        Getting back to the 5.56 issue: NB the difference in freebore for .223 vs. NATO chambers, and you see that the NATO chambers have more freebore length. That’s the difference. IF, and I repeat, IF NATO decided they were going to use a bullet with more ogive length, it is conceivable that you could have a OAL-compliant 5.56 round that uses that freebore/leade… but I highly doubt that is going to happen.

        • just called Ruger and asked if I could shoot 5.56 in their new bolt action american rifle that was marked .223, and they said only the ranch rifle and the scout rifle were chambered to allow the safe use of both cartridges.

        • I’d be curious to know if the rep at Ruger was thinking “any” 5.56 or “some particular” 5.56 is not safe to shoot. (Or rather “no” 5.56 is safe to shoot or “some” 5.56 is safe to shoot.) In that case the conservative approach is to not shoot 5.56 in case it turns out to be a sample of the bad kind.

          In other words, both he and DG could have the same understanding of the situation, but presented it to you differently.

        • More likely, the Ruger rep was told by his supervisor exactly how to answer that common question, and that answer was relayed to the supervisor by a lawyer. From a liability standpoint, they’re not going to explain the finer points of ammo specifications and chamber dimensions to you, they’re just going to make a blanket statement that gives them the most protection from litigation.

        • .223 Remington or 5.56×45mm NATO? These discussions are a waste of energy. Chamber in .223 Wylde and never look back. Performs great from an AR-15 with both 5.56 and .223, no downsides. And if both barrels are good, usually more accurate than a 5.56 NATO chambering.

    • Heh. So much truth there.

      So many LGSs to go to here in Vegas. And so many I avoid like the plague.

      We have the:
      • ‘Everyone looks and acts liked an x-con’. store(s) (seriously, looks like a prison yard in there)
      • ‘The world is ending why aren’t you listening to me’ store
      • Several tourist traps best avoided by locals in any form
      • ‘No, you can’t look at the gun’ store
      • ‘I don’t have time for you’ store
      • ‘Want to argue with you’ store
      • ‘Might as well be Towbin Dodge store’

      And so many other gun store commandos. Easier to take my business to a FFL to do transfers and not have to listen to the utter amount of crap, disdain, indifference (hello? I want to buy a damn gun here! A little help please?), or other crappy attitudes.

      • Yes! I forgot about the “no you can’t look at/hold the gun store/table”

        That’s when I say “I guess a wallet full of plastic and an envelope full of cash won’t change your mind.” Then I walk out or away.

        • Better answer would be “Oh, so you really don’t want me to buy a gun from you ? Guess I will go find a gun shop that wants my business.”

        • I told told guy at a LGS after a no touchy comment, guess I will spend my $800 down the street in a loud voice, half the customers followed me out.

      • I’m stationed at Nellis and I’ve noticed the same thing, some goober at one shop tried to sell me a .300 blk AR compensator when I went in to ask the only actual gunsmith on staff about muzzle breaks for my .300 RUM… I told him it wouldn’t work and he looked at me like I had three heads.

        Also, if anybody out in TTAG land could recomend a muzzle break for a .300 RUM I’d be much obliged.

      • That is why the “big box” gun stores thrive and are driving the small LGS out of business. The sales people at “big box” stores are not characters but are disciplined and respectful in their interaction with prospective gun buyers, especially woman buyers.

      • I have been wanting to goto Battlefield Vegas for a while, even though it seems like an epic tourist trap.

    • Near me there is one gun store that is crewed by some older folks and has been in the business for a VERY long time. They’re condescending to newbies, and generally rude to everyone else. They have some HILARIOUS Google reviews.

      A bit farther away is a smaller place with some younger employees. Those guys are awesome. Helpful, friendly, and they definitely want your business. Probably a lot of it is that newer businesses try harder because they’re less well established.

      Another newish place opened up, I’ll have to swing by and put my theory to the test.

    • Our one locally owned gun shop has a pretty good selection if you’re a newbie. They will order more specialized stuff for you at full list price. They have a good stock of ammo but their holster selection is sparse. I once tried to order an Armalite AR-10 from them but they said they couldn’t get it, which was funny because Bud’s had them out the wazoo!

      My main problem with these guys is that as soon as you walk in the shop they cover you like a vulture on a dying rabbit and try to engage you in conversation so meaningless that you can’t look at the merchandise. I always tell them I’m just shopping. Sometimes it works.

      Charlie

      • If they say they can’t get it, it means either they’re lazy and don’t want to order it for you, or it means that the distributors they use (and there’s quite a few different distributors, all with different inventory) are out of stock or don’t carry the brand.

    • “Or maybe it’s because I am under 50 years old and under 250lb?”

      Now who’s being condescending?

      Not that you aren’t right in your initial statement, but then you pull the same crap

    • Oh I know exactly what you mean. I had a guy at my LGS tell me that I would limp wrist and jam a .45 because I’m thin. Tallish but under 150 lbs. Walked out and said have a nice day. I can handle .45s fine.

  2. If only these poor women that purchase firearms knew that thier weapon was more likely to injure or kill them than stop a fictional attacker. These NRA gun-nuts trogodytes should be ashamed for making women believe that theres evil everywhere instead of the real evil called “gun rights”.

    • Really? That’s the best you got Willy? As an owner of a LGS, I take offense at your pathetic attitude. And I pity you.

    • Mr. Lunchmeat,

      I think you mean “troglodyte,” not “trogodyte.” Also, I find your opinion interesting. Would you please provide some sources for the data you used to arrive at your conclusion that their firearm “was more likely to injure or kill them than stop a fictional attacker?”

      Thank you.

      • If you want to get technical, a fictional attacker was never there. Therefore, a gun could not stop them. Semantics, meh.

    • If only nuts like you understood that a gun is an equalizer against a much larger and stronger man who wants to do them harm. Where do you get your made up statistics?

      • The gun is not the equalizer completely the brains too know that carrying & use if necessary to protect yourself and others is the true equalizer. Don’t forget practice also. I personally have several air soft pistols that feel & fit my standard holsters. Watch the news = practice chance. Just as long as I vacuum after & NOT during Dancing with I Used To Be a Star if my wife’s home.

        • You are absolutely correct. The gun AND the will/wit to use it properly are both essential.

        • Careful…the idea that a married male gun-owner actually vacuums could blow Willy Lunchmeat’s mind.

    • Huh….all the rapes, beatdowns and murders have been fictional? Huh, all these years all these women must have been lying….. Lunchmeat, your an idiot…

      • It’s not sarcasm. Willy’s been around for about a week or so, popping up and trolling various threads with this exact same material. He drops it like a turd in a punchbowl, and then never comes back to defend his assertions. It’s not even good trolling. D-minus effort, at best.

        • Doggone, lazy kids! Back in my day, if you were trolling someone, you did it with PRIDE! And you kept on trolling them until they were good and thoroughly trolled! Today’s generation just throws out some half-hearted racial slurs and a poorly worded insult and calls it a day. What is this nation coming to where we can’t even teach our kids to troll properly?

      • If only there were some way to require training and a test before getting a license to drive those dangerous cars, maybe nobody would die in crashes….or at least require that cars only hold two people to limit the damage one car can do.

    • I haven’t been everywhere, but I have been a lot of places. And I watch the news and read above your 4th grade level, so I know a bit of history and current world events (crucifying Christian children, enslaving and raping women, decapitating your enemies) so I have a pretty good notion that if evil isn’t everywhere, it hasn’t missed very many corners.

      Grow up, kid. Better yet, why don’t you buy a bus ticket and go visit a CVS store in Baltimore, at night. I’ll bet you’ll see some of that evil you claim is a trogodyte’s [sic] myth. A little research might reveal to you that a woman and her 7 year old child were both shot in the head there not very long ago. I would bet that right up to the moment that tragedy occurred she was wishing she had a gun.

    • I don’t know you, so I’m not sure whether you’re kidding. The imbricate relationship between mockery of the antis’ arguments, and their arguments themselves, makes it tough to tell sometimes.

      Taking you at face value, though, reminds me of an observation regarding truth. All truth passes through three stages. At first, it’s ridiculed. Next, it’s violently opposed. Finally, it’s accepted as being self-evident. Here’s to you catching up with the rest of us someday.

    • If this was not sarcasm then I think Willy simply dropped by to shout out some leftist propaganda, and then run before we call him out on his BS. He is long gone now.

    • Willy must be joking, right ? If not then he is a total idiot and better go drink the rest of the Koolaid and put himself to sleep.

    • If only these poor women that purchase firearms knew that thier weapon was more likely to injure or kill them than stop a fictional attacker…until the attacker is not so fictional. Guns are like lawn mowers, they are tools, they are useful, and you must respect the equipment.

    • Tubesteak, you’re back. And still trying to squash those pesky civil rights. Now you want to turn the clock back on womens rights and make them defenseless.

      So, which group do you belong to? The klan? American nazi party? Berkeley indoctrinated? As much hate as you have for civil rights it has to be one of the above.

    • I know a woman who defended herself with her handgun. The only thing she or I would be ashamed of is having a creature like you occupy the same country as us.

      So funny when antis think we should be ashamed for something. It’s like a Nazi telling us we should be ashamed for getting in the way of Hitler’s master plan. To be despised by the despicable is a badge of honor.

  3. Hey lunchmeat I think your mom is calling, you need to get out of he basement to see what she wants.

      • Possibly not; we get posts like that from time to time. That is…trolls that have peed their panties at the thought that men…AND women…can choose to stand up for themselves.

        • Indeed, there was that MDA troll in here once that kept hashtagging, thinking it was on twitter or something. That was hilarious.

  4. Putting big old ugly bars across the front windows was a pretty dang moronic marketing move. As well as be a major nonproductive (not revenue generating) overhead expense. All it says is: “I want to be a fleebag business”.

      • Like the concrete pillars in front of Gander or Cabela’s to stop the stolen truck busting through the doors to get the guns. Required.

    • The bars in front are definitely not very attractive but probably a necessity for insurance and anti-theft measures in many areas. Perhaps there is a more pleasing way to do that but most of the gun shops around here have the same “decorations”.

      • Anything I can think of offhand that would be as effective but more attractive, would cost a lot more than some ironwork. Unfortunately, sometimes when you’re starting out, done is beautiful and the lowest-cost option that works is the best.

    • Makes it a lot tougher to break into a place that has bars on the windows. My LGS has a heavy duty metal gate that locks over the door and bars on the windows and it’s in a moderately wealthy neighborhood.

      Like it or not, guns are high-value targets for thieves and any place with lackluster security is going to be targeted by burglars. They need to take every reasonable step to ensure they don’t get robbed and if that means bars on the windows then bars on the windows.

  5. As a relatively new gun sales droid, I understand the comments. The sales men and women here at my store try very hard not to pre-judge any customer that walks through the door. I am continually amazed at how knowledgeable some of them are. It can be very humbling. There are some drooling idiots, of course, but most folks simply want a friendly smile, good advice, a good deal and a good relationship. Being kind to and appreciative of your customers works wonders. They like the service and they keep coming back. Man or woman, I treat them the same. If I could just keep myself from staring down the cleavage of a well endowed gal who is leaning over the handgun counter…..

    John Davies
    Spokane WA USA

  6. Down here in Miami, most of the POTG businesses are friendly to all comers. Miami is the “purple” area of Florida, and there’s a lot of antis floating around spouting off their drivel, despite the high concentration of shooting enthusiasts. So, any gun shop with a modicum of business sense will cater, and cater well, to anyone with the cash to spend, guy or girl, black, white, yellow, straight, gay, etc…

    Some of the stores might not be paragons of interior design, but they’ll gladly be of service to women.

    Women shooters are definitely welcome and taken care of in Miami.

    However, the condescension, to guys and girls, usually manifests itself at gun shows. I usually go, looking for ammo or accessories. For example, I usually seek out +P loads for my EDC and other pistols. Or 5.56 (not .223) for my rifle. I ask for what I want, ready to pay, and yeah I get it if it’s not available, but I don’t need a condescending lecture on how “civilians don’t need that type of ammunition…”

    I’ll determine what I need, thank you very much.

    But that’s only a few vendors at gun shows. 90 percent of the other vendors will sell you whatever you want if they have it in stock, and not give you drama.

    • If it’s not for civilians, why does it say Law Enforcement Ammo on the box and why does it come in so many handgun calibers that are not 9mm NATO?

  7. Last gun show my 17 y/o was looking for a specific 1911 Colt, dealer got cussing mad when my son politely said that a Ballester Molina was not what he was looking for but thank you.
    Kid has been shooting for 12 years and shoots competition. Same thing happened with my step-daughter who looks like she’s 10-12 years old. She is a 34 y/o Gunny who left the corps in 2012 to go to FLETC. Treated like a idiot at her LGS in PA when she asked for. 40 & .357Sig ammo. Told her a little girl like her shouldn’t be using a man’s ammunition, unless she was picking it up for her daddy. Asked if she could have it free if she could outshoot the owner. He learned a lesson & lost $250 worth of ammo.
    I know a number of brick & mortar stores out of business due to the good old boy syndrome. Internet killed magic shops because they didn’t.follow. good customer service

    • Would liked to have seen her outshoot the owner of the store. That would have been priceless. Too bad you did not record it. Makes one wonder how some small businesses stay in business as the owners of businesses like that one don’t seem to have a clue.

      • When she retires in 20 years It’ll be on YouTube. or it’s. successor right now it’s pulling teeth for Christmas pics that only we see. But I did similar job for a few years, still shave twice a day cannot stand having a beard. FLETC is Federal Law Enforcement Training Center. Not boring.enough for FBI or insane enough for ATFE. But great retirement package & can still shop at base commissary.

  8. My problem is finding a counter person who doesn’t have the info I want when I ask them the question. I’m just dude you work around guns. Shouldn’t you know about the products you’re selling? I usually get about 10 opinions on a potential gun purchase before I go to the LGS. And when I mean LGS I mean Gander Mountain and Academy. Sadly the town where I live doesn’t have any retail stores that I’m aware of and I’ve been living here almost all my life.

    • To be fair, though, I’d say to a point that depends what you are asking.

      There are a LOT of guns; big chain employees may only be ‘trained’ only in the models they carry…maybe a few others if they are enthusiasts/POTG themselves.

      I’ve been shooting and around guns very nearly five decades, and there are a LOT of guns I know little-to-nothing about.

      I’d be willing to cut ’em some slack, again, depending on the question, if they handled not knowing properly. If they try to BS me…that’s a deal breaker. If they say, “Hey, I don’t know; will you give me a chance to find out for you?” I’d be more willing to hang in there with ’em.

      Sorry for the tangent; just a thought I had when I read your comment.

    • Gander. Mountain. just had grand opening on 4-16 here they had a special on 9mm Hi-points for $149, after hearing the gun counter guy tell a few people that they were made by a division of Sig Sauer and were of the same quality knew not going to be a regular. I have purchased 3 weapons a mis-priced Walther P99as, marked as a used. 380 it was a new. 40S&W $327 and an exceptional Winchester 30/30 pre 1964 near mint for $349 and a September 1997 NIB Winchester 30/30 same price for my youngest birthday same month & year. However. $550 for a used PD trade beat to hell Glock I considered a bit overpriced New is $498@ competition. If you see a deal for a weapon you can use or have been looking for grab it if you can. Don’t get yourself into a fix financially, one thing about most hometown gun stores they will let you put a gun on layaway. They also usually know a Sig & hi-point are different

    • Cabelas recently opened in NC near Raleigh.

      Low point:Mid-day Saturday third week open and the pistol counter is long and crowded and I asked the saleslady if the have any CZ’s. Her reply was “What’s a CZ?” ….never mind.

      High point: In their “gun library” I was able to walk right up and handle a bunch of very expensive used long guns that had unlocked actions and no sales people interfering. Also had a another used section of 150+ used <$1000 long guns that also mostly had unlocked actions.

      Biggest question: Bass, Cabelas, Gander, & Field&Stream all opened nearby within last 18 mos or so. I would think at least one or two ain’t gonna make it. I’d bet F&S or GM first to go.

      • I’ve been to all of those new stores in NC. The CEO of Cabelas is the former CEO of Remington Arms. So there is good chance that it will be Cabelas that disappears first along with the Field & Stream store, which is a big Remington products shop. The new Cabelas store had a relatively small amount of shelf space for pistols compared to Gander Mountain.

    • I’d a million times hear “I don’t know” over a bullshit made up answer given in the fear that the customer will be unhappy if the employee admits he doesn’t know.

      I hear rumor that some big box (non-gun-related) retailers actually ENCOURAGE their employees to make shit up when they don’t know.

      • +1. Saying “I don’t know” is extremely hard for some people, but giving the wrong info can be worse than giving no info.

  9. The two closest LGSs are about the same distance away.

    One is well stocked, well-lit and roomy. The last time we went in there was for some magazines for my wife’s 1911. The, um, gentleman behind the counter repeatedly asked *me* what *she* needed. The only way to get the guy to actually talk to my wife was for me to walk away and go look at safes while she tried to convince him that she really didn’t want to trade her .45 for a pink revolver.

    The other has a genteel down-at-the-heels feel to it. Big-ish selection of used long guns, a sparse selection of new handguns. Not bad but not good indoor lighting, old paint, et ceteta. The last time we went in there we were looking for better hearing protection for my wife. The counter guy walked my wife over to the hearing protection section and went through through the pros and cons of the various types. THEN he asked me what I used, suggesting that since I already had an electronic set, we see if could get her a pair that used the same batteries. Finally he sent me off to play fetch with the dog (a sweet old German Shepherd) while she tried on some hearpro.

    Guess which shop we now go to exclusively?

  10. I don’t get much condescension at any gun shops. The guys at ProForce know me. So do the guys at American Firearms and Gunsmith as well as the LAPD Academy, Turners, etc. Since I’m easily as Rightwing as most gun shop guys, we get along fine. And Obama is a terrible president.

    The last negative experience I had was almost a decade ago when I was “prohibited” from shooting JHPs at paper because “you don’t want to do that.” I obviously just wanted to see that POA / POI lined up, but these idiots were trying to tell me that was unnecessary.

    At any rate, I’m a facts / science / history kind of guy. The truly knowledgeable people like Dyseptic Gunsmith are definitely worth listening to. Many gun shop guys still have valuable info, and some are blathering idiots.

    I was once told that 6.8 SPC doesn’t exist about 3-4 years ago. Rather than be a prick about it, I calmly looked up at Hornady 6.8 load and showed it to the guys. They actually had a few boxes tucked away.

    • “The truly knowledgeable people like Dyseptic Gunsmith are definitely worth listening to.”

      The trick is finding them.

      • Had a guy like that over here. Was a Marine sniper in the Pacific during WWII.
        Just a gem of a man. I could sit and listen to him for hours. He passed away late last year.

      • A81 is very generous in his praise.

        As to finding such people: Here’s the irony. When I now go into gun shops, I often don’t mention I’m a gunsmith. Increasingly, I don’t want to “talk guns” in gunshops. I don’t want to “talk guns” in gun shows. I don’t want to talk guns in most locations, actually.

        I’m around guns every day. Sometimes, I’d like to talk about something else, and sometimes, I just haven’t the patience or energy to man a large enough shovel to clear away the BS that some people are spouting.

        When I bump into other people who have lots of valuable knowledge about guns, we often remark upon to each other how we no longer like to “talk guns.” One gentleman said “the Guns & Ammo-ification of guns has ruined it for people who have actual experience and knowledge.” I had to agree.

        So you’re going to have to seek such people out. Ask around at shooting clubs, ask people who have had work done, ask people who have had custom guns built up.

        • D. G.
          I understand your feelings, and I’m with you all the way, but I’ve noticed you have provided us with a lot of knowledge, through sometimes lengthily posts, and I thank you for that. I’m just wondering why you bother with us?

        • Well, I reckon it this way:

          TTAG is one of the most-read gun blogs out there. Some people in shooting who have lots of experience will tend to focus more on blogs and sites that are highly specialized. I know several highly experienced and competent trap shooters who frequent only trap/sporting clays blogs and boards, I know guys who are accuracy shooters who frequent only benchrest and F-class boards, etc. Lots of people with high levels of experience in one discipline tend to frequent blogs and boards that cater to only their shooting specialty.

          I decided that I’d like to see people who have more general or new-to-shooting interests get more information than they might imagine exists. There are shooting disciplines that 99% of people in shooting have never, ever heard of, and probably won’t hear about on TTAG unless someone drops a hint of “hey, you guys who are interested might want to check this specialty discipline out…”

          One of the things that really worries me about the popularity of AR’s and plastic pistols is this: there’s a ton of knowledge and experience out there that would help new shooters…. if only they knew about it. For example, most AR shooters today don’t seem to know what the benchrest people are getting for groups and accuracy out of rifles today – and how that compares to AR’s and other semi-autos.

          Another example is how there are very real advantages to revolvers, even as most everyone today seems to think that revolvers are obsolete due to their “low capacity…” even as the Plastic Pistol Mafia is making more and more CCW pistols that have revolver-like capacities.

          All of that is technical experience. The other reason I hang around TTAG is because TTAG does get into the political/policy furballs, and I’ve been around the RKBA issue, in great depth and devotion of time, since 1992 or so. I became aware that we were in for a rough ride when Roberti-Roos passed in 1989. I’ve seen most of the strawmen and idiotic arguments since the early 90’s. There’s little new under the sun.

        • D.G., one of the main reasons I look at TTAG is to pick up on the technical knowledge you drop down. Keep it coming, and thanks for taking the time.

        • “A81 is very generous in his praise.”

          Respectfully I disagree. He is simply being accurate.

        • I can actually empathize with that. Not guns, but strength training and exotic animal husbandry. I’ve been around both a fair bit and jeez, I don’t really enjoy talking to someone about lifting if their whole source of knowledge is one year of bar time and a few Men’s Health articles.

          That said, I’d ask what accuracy shooters can do with an AR. Mine is a low end one I bought as a range toy but I get about 3-4 MOA with it standing; not that great but hey, I’m not a great shot. Curious what better shooters manage.

        • D. G.,
          Well, that was more of an explanation than I deserved. I am delighted that you grace these pages with your knowledge. Keep up the good work, and many thanks.
          Gunr

  11. But I don’t go to a gun store to call President Obama a socialist, [or] sneer at criminal scum

    That’s why I go to bars.

    • {Politics}

      “That’s why I go to bars.”

      Talk politics on-line.

      Seek intimate companionship in bars…

      🙂

  12. If its any consolation, camera stores are the same way, which is why I buy photography stuff online. We have a great gun shop in Northern California called Reed’s Indoor Range in Santa Clara (north of San Jose). Smart polite people.

  13. I always recommend a 1911 to women…

    Are they condescending, or dealing with reality? It’s a fact, women tend to go for the “small cute” guns, like the PT738. Pink insults you? It’s usually what a woman picks… And that snappy, tiny little .380 is no fun at all to shoot.

    “You were right, the 1911 is way more pleasant to shoot. It was so big and scary I assumed the little pink gun would be better for me, but it’s not.”

    • The first time my wife (who is all of 5′ tall) picked up one of my 1911’s, she drilled the X-ring at 25 yards.

      After three rounds in about a 2″ group, she put it down and went back to my S&W 41. She didn’t like the noise of the .45 at an indoor range. But she shot it juuuust fine.

      I’ve seen no shortage of women who can run a 1911 quite well. The grip isn’t too large, the trigger can be made very nice and the recoil presentation of the pistol doesn’t change much as it empties. This last issue has been remarked upon by women telling me it annoys them, because GLOCK (and other cheez-whiz pistols) become rather snappy at cranking your wrist as the mag empties.

      • Now I have to take exception to that. Cheez whiz is the absolute lowest grade imitation of cheese, and Gaston Glock believes in quality. So he used Velveeta.

      • My wife, also a five footer, didn’t like the empty brass bouncing around the stall walls at the indoor range. She can handle the recoil of a 12 ga. just fine. It’s reaching the controls with her T-rex arms that’s the problem. We split the difference and I bought her a youth model 20 ga. for her house gun.

        I got a semi auto 12 a while back but she hasn’t had a chance to try it yet.

    • I’m guessing most gals don’t want to lug around 3+ lbs. of artillery, and ammo. To any that do, mo power to ya!

      • A lot of guys don’t like to do it either.

        If they could make the entire pistol weigh 0.3 ounces including ammo (somehow), they’d do it.

        Personally I’d love to find a physically tiny pistol with a frame and slide made of tungsten (though the barrel would have to be steel still). Wouldn’t recoil as much and it wiould still be small enough to conceal.

        • If you make the pistol weigh as much as the bullet that it fires, the recoil energy will also be the same as muzzle energy, with all that entails….

      • I once dated a lady who had what she called a Bag of Holding for a purse.

        You could have dropped a pair of 1911 Government models in there, with 2-3 extra mags per and a box of Critical Defense just because, and not felt a noticeable difference in weight.

        Nor found any of that until months later when something would bubble up to the surface, for that matter. But that’s a different matter.

        • Reminds me of the movie “The Russians are Coming” 2x. Alan Arkin couldn’t find the car keys in the gals purse, and finally just turned it upside down and dumped everything on the table!

  14. Nice post Sara. It’s not just women who get idiot salesfolk…When this OFWG knows more than the average sales dude(or dudette) it’s sad…only been at this for 4years. But I’ve been buying and selling for many years. I’ve even helped the sales guy sell a few(I have a few buddies). AND my next gun is coming from the internet. I also have no use for overpriced and unmoveable a##wipes at gun shows-I’ve done hundreds of antique shows and know how to sell…

  15. My wife’s major complain is make it pink and call it a ladies model thing. She wants grips that fit her hand, stocks that fit a woman’s bone structure. On a personal note I had a Douche counter monkey tell me”left-handed guns aren’t necessarily” he seemed to think ergonomics are only for righty.

  16. Just to be clear: Some of this applies to men too. I don’t go to a gun store or range to discuss the Kenyan Muslim Socialist or the Cultural Apocalypse coming due to gay marraige.

  17. When my wife bought her Shield I got her a Hogue Handall Jr in pink for her. My thoughts at the time was to get her a Shield and then in a few months by one for myself, I picked the pink grip so when I got one for myself that we could tell them apart. As a southpaw I hate guns that have everything set up for a right-handed shooter and I had some issues with the right hand only Shield and worked past them. After shooting her Shield a few times I figured that I could deal with it. Also I was shooting my full size M&P once a week for six months and last December I went to go by myself a Shield , but it did not feel good in my hand. I could deal with the smaller grip but it felt too thin in my hand I shoot the full size too much. The M&P Compact felt much better in my hand, turned out S&W had a rebate to get 2 extra magazines going on. I went home with the Compact.
    Somehow, I fell in to the habit of buying pink shooting stuff for her. I remember a lady who bought a pink case for her Enfield musket, she said she wanted pink so her husband and sons will not take her stuff and use it themselves. That stuck with me so I get her pink so I will not be tempted to take it for myself. I show up at the range with a pink Shield every great now and then, maybe I need to review that idea.

  18. The SCUBA diving manufacturers doubled thier sales when they added multiple colors to all the equipment. They had been ignoring 1/2 of the customer base which wasn’t interested in basic black. The number of female divers exploded. Maybe gun manufacturers learned this lesson. Pink camo is everywhere these days. My wife wears it, but she prefers her SIG M11-A1 in basic black. That’s a HOT combo!

  19. My most recent experience. “Do you have any mags for a Hi power?”, “Hi power, you mean hi point.” ” No I am looking for magazines for Browning Hi power” “Let me check….no” He walks away grumbling to the bow sales guy he hasn’t heard of no browning hi power and says something about me being an idiot looking for something that he hasn’t heard of. Fuming mad and ready to punch him, I turn to walk out of store but say to him haven’t you ever heard of John Mosses Browning, he invented the 1911, he also assisted in inventing the 9mm hi power for military use” He interrupted me again to tell me ” Oh, ok you need 1911 mag” Epic face palm!

    • Last week at a LGS a customer asked the guy behind the counter if the had any H&K. The clerk never heard of H&K before.

    • Well, in their defense, please hear me out on this:

      When someone tells you that they know everything about every gun, they’re most probably full of fresh, high-quality organic fertilizer.

      I’ve been studying guns since I was, oh, 11 to 12. In decades and decades of study, having spent a lot of money on the subject (between guns, books on guns, gunsmithing school, tools, machines, tooling for machines, etc), and then working on guns… I feel as tho I’m barely getting a grip on the subject. There are days when my wife asks “Well, how did it go today?” and I answer “Weeellll…. I feel a little less stupid than I was when I woke up today.”

      Then there are days when I go to sleep knowing that I’m absolutely dumber than I was when I woke up. Those are the days when I learned of a whole new corner of the field that I had not known of that morning.

      The gun field is huge. The body of knowledge is nearly endless. If you don’t believe me, please visit the Buffalo Bill Center of the West museum in Cody, WY. When you walk through their gun collection, know this: They have at least 5 times as many guns hidden in their vaults out of sight, because they don’t have the display room. Look at everything on display. Ask yourself “Can I explain this action/type/period of history/etc about this gun?” As you move through the museum, the average informed gun owner might be able to explain about 20 to 40% of what is on display. I think I might be able to explain about 60 to 70% of what is on display if I’m lucky – after decades of study and thousands of dollars spent on books/research materials, thousands more on schooling, boatloads spent on guns, shooting, etc. Every time I drive over to Cody and we go through the museum, I’m learning something new; they’re constantly putting out obscure pieces on display.

      I’m not suggesting anyone should put up with rude, condescending or idiot gun store clerks. All I’m saying is that no one can know everything about all guns. It’s simply impossible. The breadth of knowledge contained in the gun field is simple incredible, and I honestly believe that it is humanly impossible for any one person to know everything. If you came into a retail store and I was manning the desk and you asked for the latest gee-whiz accessory for an AR, I’d probably smile and ask “Can you tell me more?” because I wouldn’t know.

      This is going to become more and more of an issue as more products made specifically for women come into the market. It won’t be only Bubba and Cletus who don’t know anything about these products…

      • I know a lot about the AR15, I know a lot about plastic cheeze wiz style weapons, and I know a lot about the different brands of firearms on the market but I know very little about the AK and know almost zero about the internals of a wheel gun. My point being I don’t treat people like crap because I am not aware of what they want/need, or assume that they need something.

        I also commented recently that I was sick of gun stores trying to sell Sig misquote to every woman that walked through the door.

      • There’s a big difference between knowing a lot about something and still understanding what you don’t know about it and knowing a lot about something and assuming you know more than the people around you. For some reason, there are a whole lot of the second kind of folks involved in firearms.

        If you go fishing, the next guy over doesn’t try to tell what lure to use or how to cast better. It’s rare indeed for a golfer to give you unsolicited tips, and they’ll never say you should be using different equipment. However, with guns, either at the store or at the range, the guy who just can’t wait to start talking to you about crap he just assumes you don’t know is common.

        The best recent example I can think of came when I was looking at cases in a big box store. I was trying to find a case that didn’t scream “gun case” for leaving in my vehicle and occasional transport in public. I had a cheapo hard case on the floor checking it out. Some customer wandering through the aisles with his wife out of the blue starts warning me about how that case was probably not TSA compliant. While I had to silently remind myself that he was just trying to be helpful, no stranger is going to walk up to you and tell you why the bicycle or cooler you’re checking out won’t suit your needs (needs he doesn’t know in the first place).

        • “I was trying to find a case that didn’t scream “gun case” for leaving in my vehicle and occasional transport in public.”

          Hit your local Salvation Army-type thrift shop or hit yard sales. Something like a well-used looking insulated cordura lunch bag kinda thing. Or a kid-sized backpack, also well used…

          Something a dirtbag wouldn’t want to touch. Like with My Little Pony or Disney graphics…

      • Why is it so hard for people to say three little words: I. Don’t. Know.

        I can deal with ignorance – for that can be cured.

        I can’t tolerate arrogance and condescension (nor can most).

  20. One of the problems I seem to have with LGS counters springs from my own curiosity about strange or different mechanical things. Just because a firearm isn’t the “best” doesn’t mean I don’t want it. I’ve walked out of multiple LGS because of that attitude.

    In one LGS alone I’ve walked away from an Astra 400, a Mauser side latch and a well used but well maintained Annie at different times. I now own an Astra and a side latch from different sources that I would have bought from them on the spot. I only regret not buying the Annie because I haven’t found one in my budget since.

    Why would you seemingly try to NOT sell me what I want?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *