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By 505mark,

“My wife has decided she wants to own a gun.” Really? You still talking to her, the salesman asks. “Yeah. So I’m looking for something that she can handle.” Salesman shows a couple of reasonable options in 9mm. “No, something smaller. I want her armed, but not that heavy.” Hmm. You aren’t talking about something like a 22, are you? “Of course not! But I was hoping you had something maybe in a .32 auto.” Salesman briefly eyes the customer’s open carry 1911. John, I know you are a big bore guy, so why are pushing her into something so small for defense? “Hell, man, I want her to be able to protect herself, but if she opens up on me I want to be able to survive, don’t I? . . .

—– / / —–

Eye contact with salesman who knows my taste in guns. He nods and makes a come-hither finger move. You have to see this, he says. He lays a CZ 75 Cold War Commemorative on the pad on the counter. Just got it in yesterday, he says. I pick it up and shiver. Then I giggle. The Cold War? I’m a child of that time. I giggle again. “We won that one, didn’t we,” I say laughing. Goosebumps on my arms. My wife sighs, knowing I am lost. Salesman is pointing out the retro hammer, CCCP in the serial number, full sized 16 round magazine… “Stop,” I say. “Bitch, you had me at CZ.”

—– / / —–

“No, you don’t understand. I need a deer rifle with more umph, more stopping power! Something punishing. I want a rifle in at least .300 Win Mag.” Salesman politely points out that deer are not that particularly hard to kill and recommends a .243 or .257 Roberts. “Hell, son, I’ve got those already. Fill my tags with them every year.” So, why the desire for a howitzer,” the salesman asks. “Damn friend of mine always bad mouths my rifle, so this year I’m taking two. That prick will want to show he’s better than me with my own rifle, so I want something that will take him down a notch.” Well, then, the salesman says, picking a $1,600 rifle off the rack, how about a .300 Weatherby Magnum? “Now we’re getting somewhere,” the customer says, smiling. “And I want six boxes of ammo as hot as you’ve got and I don’t care what it costs.”

—– / / —–

During a slow time in the store, I approach a huddle of salesmen and favored customers, all true gun nuts and reloaders. “No, you don’t get it,” one of them is saying. “I’m telling you that the Laser-Cast will absolutely keep them down. The alloy used is like 5% silver. True Ag. They don’t say 100% silver in the books or movies – just silver. No undead or were-whatever will get up from a couple of 44 Magnum rounds topped by Laser-Cast 240 grain SWCs.” Indeed, I thought. Makes sense to me.

—– / / —–

“No, you don’t understand. I want a handgun for self-defense that can be accessorized! You know, lights, lasers, red-dot sights, special grips for holding spare batteries… maybe a bayonet.” Ah, the salesman says, putting the M&P Shield back into the glass case. You want a tactical self-defense handgun. “Exactly,” the 20-something eager young man says. “Well then.” the salesman says, “we don’t specialize in tactical weapons, just guns. But Store X, across town, they are specialists in truly tactical firearms.” After directions to that location (well known to the weekend-tactical crowd and assorted mall ninjas), the eager man hurriedly leaves the store. I make eye contact with the salesman and raise my eyebrows. “Guys like that just make my ass tired,” he says, and walks up to another customer.

 —– / / —–

I hear a gleeful, “Oh my god!” and turn around. A soon-to-be happy customer is proudly holding aloft a Marlin 1894CSS (.357 Magnum lever gun in stainless and walnut). “You got one in!” Another man, who’d missed the new rifle in his perusal of the racks, exclaimed, “Son of a bitch!” and tries to talk the other guy out of the rifle. “No way, no how,” is the smiling answer. I watch as the happy man carries the rifle to the counter and starts the paperwork. The unhappy man is watching carefully about one foot from the other guy’s shoulder. “What are you doing?” the first man asks, as he feels the other guy behind him. “Buddy, I’m tracking you all the way to the register. Feds say no or your credit card is declined, I want to be next in line for a shot at that rifle.” “And I’m after him,” another guy says. It is a happy day to walk out of a gun store with a new rifle in a box.

—– / / —–

“I’m telling you, the country is going absolutely to pieces! More gun control won’t do crap. Sliding into complete socialism! Makes me so mad,” the counterman proclaims to any that will listen. “So what are you doing today,” he asks me as I’m picking a couple of boxes of .44 Special off the shelves. “I’m going shooting,” I say. “Yeah,” he says with a nod and a small smile. “Yeah, well, there’s that,” he says.

—– / / —–

“I want to buy a handgun for my son. He’s in the Air Force, stationed in Massachusetts. Their gun laws up there are stupid, so I want to buy him a gun and ship it to him. He lives on base so it has to be something that he can tuck out of the way in his room.” The salesperson, a young woman who is very knowledgeable and a competitive shooter, just stares at him a few seconds. “Sir,” she says, “I just don’t know where to start.”

 —– / / —–

A passionate young customer is detailing exactly what he’d do with his latest Kimber .45 if anyone had the gall to kick in his front door at home. The salesman – a new guy – behind the counter is trying to look attentive but is failing miserably. The customer is going on and on, clearly demonstrating to all within earshot that he is a serious student of the gun and is up on all the latest self-defense DVDs. I am about 20 feet away, browsing the surplus rifle rack and one of the older salesmen passes behind me. He has on a well-worn, beat-up Government 1911, in a faded, stained, and creased open-carry holster. I hear him mutter, “He won’t do shit until he learns to shut up and actually practice,” as he walks behind me toward another customer.

 —– / / —–

An agitated, middle-aged woman approaches the counter. “I need to know something,” she says. “How many guns does a man really need to own?” The salesman looks a bit confused and clearly has no idea how to respond. The woman continues, “I mean, what’s reasonable? Ten? Tweny? My husband keeps coming up with reasons why he needs more guns and I just don’t get it!” A saleswoman gently slides between her co-worker and the woman and begins gently talking with her.

She walks her slowly down the aisles of used rifles and shotguns. Fifteen minutes later she is walking the woman in front of the glass cases full of handguns. She points and talks. Moves on. Points and talks. I overhear an explanation from the saleswoman, “For men, it’s sort of silly, I understand. They need to have a different gun for every purpose. But to be fair, it’s sort of like how we think about handbags and shoes. You have to have options or you just have nothing to wear…” The now-mollified wife of a gun nut eventually leaves the store. Sometime later that next week a large sheet cake from Kroger’s was delivered to the store with a big ‘Thank You!’ in the icing. I got a free slice, too, on my next visit. Quite tasty.

 —– / / —–

“No, nothing that small. My boyfriend says I need a .45 for self-defense,” the young woman says to the saleswoman. “I’ve tried to convince him my .380 is enough, but he just makes fun of it whenever we go shooting,” the customer says, and her eyes brim wetly. The saleswoman eyes up the boyfriend, who is playing with a pump shotgun about 20 feet away. She takes in the bad-ass cut of his eyes, the carelessness with which he sweeps fellow customers with the muzzle of the shotgun, and his heavily tatted up arms and neck. The saleswoman leans forward and says, “Sweetie, you don’t need a different gun, you need a different boyfriend.”

 —– / / —–

There’s always some cantankerous old coot at most gun stores who has forgotten more about firearms than most of us will ever know. He doesn’t work for the money anymore, just for the entertainment value. Old Coot spies me across the crowded store and yells out, “Hey! You there! I thought I told you to not come in the store anymore!” The whole world pauses.

“No!” I shout back. “You said I can’t come in unless I let my parole officer know first!” A couple of chuckles and the store volume picks up again. Several people nervously eye me as I walk to checkout. As I approach the register, the cashier is still grinning about my interactions with the Old Coot, who in the background calmly places a couple more boxes of precious 5.56mm onto my pitifully small, rationed stack of ammo. He winks and walks on.

 —– / / —–

I am aware of yet another (senseless) debate going on at the counter involving 9mm vs. .45. Each of the passionate debaters keeps trying to drag the salesman, a young man who I’ve chatted with at the range, into the argument. I’m browsing the used racks carefully that day, so the argument must have gone on 20 or more minutes before it broke up. I chat up the salesman. “How do you stand that,” I ask. He calmly lifts his smartphone out of his pocket. It is only then that I notice that he has one earpiece tucked in his left ear and the cord disappears into the neck of his shirt. “iTunes,” he says straight faced, and cruises away to help another customer.

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  1. I can’t believe I passed up the CZ75 Cold War when it came out a few years ago. They were selling for around $425. Очень глупый!

    • You think that was stupid. I owned a 1991 CZ 85 Which I later sold in 1996. What’s worse is now it sells new for double what I paid for it then.

    • Moral of the story?

      Don’t sell your guns. Unless it makes absolute sense. Heck, I’d only sell a gun if I absolutely didn’t like it or if it just plain didn’t work.

  2. Witnessed: Customer and shop attendant talking about concealed handgun options. Customer discusses stopping power of small bore handguns. Attendant notes that a serious defensive firearm should start at 9mm and up. Customer declares that caliber doesn’t matter if you hit them in the head. Attendant notes hitting the head is a difficult and small moving target. Scrawny customer with missing front tooth cuts in: “I can hit a moving target in the head at 25 yards no problem. I was in the Navy Seals.”

    Attendant: FacePalm

    • Actual former SEALs don’t actually brag too much about it in gun stores (or other places).

      • Every derelict at a bus stop trying to bum money, with an obvious addiction problem, was a MOH awarded green beret before his current career. Honest to God conversation.

        Him,”I was a green beret. Got the medals to show for it. I’ve hit hard times. Could you spare some change?”

        Me,”What outfit were you with?”

        Him, “Army.”

        Me.”Army ain’t an outfit. Unit?”

        Him, ” I told you, Green Beret.”

        Me.”Green Beret is a hat, not an outfit. What was the name of your 1st sergeant, your CO?”
        Him. Mutters curses and moves off looking for better pickings. This conversation happened at a bus stop in Vegas on the strip.

        • There is this guy with a limp, a cane and a Vietnam veteran placard that I passed every day. I never gave him anything. But one day I asked him what outfit? He came back with an answer down to the company. I don’t know if it was true but if went to that much trouble to get it right he deserved my support. I actually think he is telling the truth.

    • I have lost count of the number of times I have heard a customer or a salesman claim they were in the Delta Forces or the Navy SEALs. While I am certainly no SEAL, I am in the Navy so I can tell when someone is full of BS. I was in a gun shop one time just browsing the selection while I waited for my wife to finish up at the mall, across the street. I am looking at the hand gun case when a late 30’s salesman walks up with one of the most obscene beer guts I have ever seen. We get into a casual conversion about guns and tactical stuff, most of which we have differences of opinion on, and then he drops the bomb shell “I know what I’m talking about, ‘cause I was in the Navy SEALs.” “Really!?” I say, not believing him for a minute. “Where were you stationed at?” “Oh, all over the place. We did ops all over the world, but if I told you anymore, I’d have to kill you” he says with a toothy grin, jokingly. Ignoring his cliché, I comment, “Wow your BUDS training must have been really tough.” He says “me and all my buddies were tough. We were SEALs.” I do a mental face-palm and then say “what rank did you get out at?” He says “Well, I started off as sergeant, but I was such a good shooter, they made me a Captain in only a year and I ended up getting out as a Commander.” WTF? Usually, I just walk away but I had to call this clown on his BS. I don’t remember my exact words, but it was something to the effect of FOAD.

      • Local reloading shop I frequent, has the largest concentration of former military snipers I have ever seen in one spot in the world.

        Funny they never go out with the owner and I when we pull out our Swedish Mausers.

      • I was a SEAL!

        Well, I was in the Navy.

        Okay, the crew at Seaworld give me fish when I balance the ball on my nose…

      • In the Delta Para Scuba Rangers, we moved away from rank and just gave everyone code names. We also quit carrying the standard issue weapons once we got some pulsed plasma rifles in the 40 watt range.

      • When some sh1t-for-brains tells me that he was a SEAL, I ask him to prove it by balancing a red ball on his nose.

  3. One gun shop owner transferring a firearm to another gun shop owner, the one receiving the gun states “the people by me have disposable income.” This was a few days after I went to his store to purchase some ammo and realized that he jacked up his prices on ammo by 66%. I knew exactly what kind of business practice he was running and have never returned.

  4. I don’t know if this entry should win the contest, but I will say that it’s the most entertaining entry thus far!

  5. Two young twenty-something men are at the counter handling the a Glock 19. One is explaining the features to his obviously newbie friend. He’s extoling it’s reliability, accuracy, concealability as the clerk boredly watches. “This is what I carry,” the “expert” says, as he locks the slide back. He continues on for a few minutes, regaling the friend about his vast experience, before attempting to slingshot the slide forward. It doesn’t move. He looks confused. He tries twice more… nothing. The clerk looks amused and doesn’t open his mouth. I have pity on the kid. “Hey, you’ve got an empty mag in.” The clerk gives me a knowing look and rolls his eyes.

    • Every. F’n. Time. Dudes are usually wearing some less than reputable “shooting academy/school/course” or an affliction/tapout shirt and claim to have more guns that the store has in inventory….but that little slide stop….oh how it’s funtion befuddles them when they forget to take out the mag.

  6. Those fellas waiting on the Remlin ’94 just need to follow the buyer to the range and wait for him to throw the piece of junk against a wall in frustration. Unless Remington has finally figured out how to make them.

  7. After hours at a Military junk show, an older gentleman tells the story of why he’d recently moved. After a neighbor called in a ‘child with a gun’ the local cops wound up pointing firearms at a preteen armed with a orange Nerf product. The gentleman promptly sold his home for well under market value & moved. At the new property, law enforcement arrives after a report of significant gunfire. The gentleman calmly states what happened at his previous location & that he was burning through most of his truckload of ammunition prior to selling most of the gun collection. The LEO paused, then said “Can we help?”

    Amazing what moving across a state line can do, eh?

  8. “Hell, man, I want her to be able to protect herself, but if she opens up on me I want to be able to survive, don’t I? . . . — Article.


    [I keep missing my wife. But my aim IS improving.]

  9. I could write up a million of these. I run a gun store that’s in a major metro area that borders a rural area, so we get every type of person you could possibly imagine. Here are a few favorites.

    “you got any of them 9-11 pistols?”

    “I need me a dillenger, in 38 special”

    “Man, how may times do that AK shoot?” (It’s always an AK, no matter what type of SA rifle)

    “You all got any special guns? you know, that don’t need no papers”

    And on and on and on……..

  10. Last year I stumbled across a 686 at the FLGS, and since wife was in the market for a .357 revolver we immediately decided to get it. However, I felt I would be making it to easy to just say “yes”, and let the young lady helping us actually sell it to me, while the store owner (who knows me from previous purchases) stood nearby. After she ran down the basic features of the gun, I asked, completely straight faced, “Does it come with an extra magazine?” She was actually speechless for a second until the owner started laughing and she knew I was just pulling her leg.

    • I’m going to use that one next time I buy a revolver. I think keeping a straight face will be hard.

  11. I have never seen a cold war CZ75 until now. Never knew I needed one before either. Thanks,

  12. In my LGS a couple weeks ago. I needed some cleaning supplies and overheard a customer, an obviously frustrated one, trying to get hold of some ammo.
    Customer: Do you have ANY 9mm at all? This is the fourth store I’ve checked…
    Salesman: Well we do, but all we have is this stuff. *Grabs box off shelf, can’t tell what it is*
    Customer: What is it?
    Salesman: All we have is this frangible home defense ammo. It’s made for home defense and is made to not go through drywall.
    Customer: Fine, gimme your limit. How much?
    Salesman: For two boxes, it’ll be $79.95.
    Customer: SWEET JESUS CHRIST!! …Never mind.

  13. “I use these here hollow points. Theyre specifically designed to expand mid air, after leaving the muzzle, that way they catch the bad guy and really knock him down.”

    “The Glock only has a 60% approval rating. These Kimbers? 98% approval rating”.

    “The Marines are going back to the 1911 and the M14 because the Beretta and M16 arent cutting it.”

  14. “HK is my favorite. In all the games I play, they’re the best.” – the 20something selling me ammo the wallyworld gun counter. Not quite LGS, but so profoundly ridiculous I’m throwing it in anyway.

  15. “I don’t want much recoil, so let me see the smallest gun you have in a 45.”

  16. I was at Cabela’s one day – back when my local one still had a huge used firearms rack – and a guy pulls a generic AK off of the rack and starts oogling it. One of the Cabela’s employees walks over and starts talking with him about it. The guy says, basically, “I heard the AK is so popular in all those third world countries because it can shoot any ammo. Whatever kind of ammo you got, it will shoot it, even ***M16 ammo***, so they can capture our rounds and use them.” I thought the gun dept. guy was going to correct him, and instead I just heard “uh huh, yeah they’re really tough.” I butted in at this point and asked if the guy really thought he could just throw whatever caliber of ammo he wanted into an AK and still think he could keep his face after pulling the trigger. Blank stares from the guy and the Cabela’s employee, no answer. I went somewhere else where I couldn’t hear them any more.

  17. Long time reader, first time poster. I’ve loved most of the articles on this site but this article has been my favorite by far. It’s nice to get something like this every once in a while to break up the negativity coming from all corners of the world.

  18. There’s many a bloke in these parts who would use .338 Lapua on whitetail if they could afford it.

  19. Oh god this again.

    “No, you don’t understand. I want a handgun for self-defense that can be accessorized! You know, lights, lasers, red-dot sights, special grips for holding spare batteries… maybe a bayonet.” Ah, the salesman says, putting the M&P Shield back into the glass case. You want a tactical self-defense handgun. “Exactly,” the 20-something eager young man says. “Well then.” the salesman says, “we don’t specialize in tactical weapons, just guns. But Store X, across town, they are specialists in truly tactical firearms.” After directions to that location (well known to the weekend-tactical crowd and assorted mall ninjas), the eager man hurriedly leaves the store. I make eye contact with the salesman and raise my eyebrows. “Guys like that just make my ass tired,” he says, and walks up to another customer.

    As a younger gun owner, i gotta say, i can’t understand why you older guys give us such a rough time with making stuff “tacticool”. That’s what we like from all the movies and video games we play and we just get put down at gun shops and the range. I wonder how many people have been turned off shooting sports entirely because of this crap. My first time going in a gun shop, i just mentioned that i wanted a rail so that i could eventually put on a laser and tac light and the guy basically told me to get out of the store… You get shit for wanting anything other than MAYBE a scope on your rifle. To each his own, but to store owners, stop scaring away younger customers! They’re your future customers after all…

    • Promise you man, simply observing, not preaching. I have another CZ 75, SP01 Tactical version with Tritium night sights and a rail. And if I could find the bayonet they made for it, I’d buy it. Tactical is cool sometimes. But othertimes, so is steel and walnut.

  20. I was at a gunstore today and the package man came. The 2 guys behind the counter went at it like it was xmas morning. They got it open and there was a long pause. Then with little enthusiasm they both said together, “More Glocks.”

    They had tons of ammo at this place and a wide selection of guns. I guess the drought is easing up.

  21. During the ammo drought, I lucked out and was able to get a sack full of various calibers at Walmart. On the way home I had to stop for gas. At the gas station, a cute, petite young blonde rolls up next to mine. As she’s walking around her car she spots the ammo pile in the back of mine. “oh, so you like shooting do ya” she starts. After a few minutes of chatting she says “so I’ll tell you what, I’ll trade ya a little something-something for a few boxes of ammo”. I’m shocked, but only for a few second and responded, “Well, sure, I guess so. What kind of ammo do you got?”

    Ok, not real. But a funny joke I heard from someplace else 🙂

  22. Customer: “I need bullets for my 9.”
    Salesman retrieves a bag of 9mm bullets.
    Salesman: (with a mischievous grin) “These are 9mm bullets.”
    Couple hours later the man returns with an unloaded bullet stuck in the chamber of his Hi-Point.

    “Customer: I want to get my wife a gun. She’s never shot a gun so I want to get her something that’s easy to shoot. Like a snub nose .38”

    My favorite: “I want a shotgun, so I don’t have to aim.”

  23. At a Metro Walmart I was waiting in front of the ammo case for several minutes, as three younger gentleman struggled with helping one customer with a purchase, so I could buy some 6.8 fusions.

    Two gentleman come down the isle, one white with tats and a muscle shirt, the other a black man with dreads and somewhat baggy clothes. They were mid discussion as they went behind me as I was focusing on the ammo case when the black man Iin dreads blurted “Yeah, and that F’n nigger Obama is trying to take our guns away and Bloomberg is a little Bitch too.”

    True story!

  24. As a relatively new shooter (just a few years now), I enjoyed finding out that there really ARE stupid questions — and that I haven’t come anywhere close (yet) to making this page.

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