Gun stores tend to have the same advertising scheme as prostitutes: word of mouth and a sign on the street. Even here in Virginia I don’t think I’ve ever seen a T.V. commercial for a gun store or firing range (except on the Outdoor channel, but who actually watches that?). If you’re a brand new shooter or new to the area that means it’s none too easy to find a shop or a range near you. The man behind PAFOA.org, the most popular firearms discussion website in Pennsylvania, aims to fix that with his new firearms related search engine ArmsDealer.net.
I had a chance to sit down with Daniel Pehrson at the NRA Convention last week, and he explained that the site was designed to give shooters the ability to quickly and easily search for gun stores, FFLs, and shooting ranges in their area. Just pop in your city and state and what you’re looking for and the website will spit back a list of stores. You can sort the results based on the distance from your location, the rating users gave it, the number of reviews, or just the name.
Reviews and ease of use, Daniel said, is what he hopes will separate his website from other similar sites. There aren’t many reviews yet, but that’s to be expected of a site that was only launched a few months ago. Posting a review is easy, and all of the reviews already on the site are helpful.
There are plenty of search engines that come close. Gunbroker has a search feature, but that’s only for FFLs and may confuse some people newer to the sport. Google has their business search, but ArmsDealer’s list is more accurate and complete.
The search may be a little wonky at times (why is a tire store listed as an FFL near me?) but the reviews make it work. If you need to find a gun store, this should be your first stop.